What is Burn2?
Burn2 was first held in 2003 when the grid was still in its infancy, and this is its 7th year running. Burn2 is the Second Life version of the real life Art, Fire and Community festival known globally as Burning Man. Both Burning Man and Second Life began in San Francisco, California, USA, (on planet Earth). But they have a lot more in common than their birthplace.
In 1999, an innovative man made a long trek from San Francisco to the sun-baked playa of an enormous, flat, dry lake bed in the Nevada high desert. He went to attend the renowned Burning Man festival where, for one week each year, 50,000 people build art, camps and communities and celebrate being who they really are. This man came back with new ideas for the virtual world he was planning; ideas about the nature of reality, creativity, identity and community. He worked some of these ideas into the very fabric of “Linden World” which eventually became what you and I know as Second Life. That man was Philip Linden.
What happens at Burning Man is something phenomenal. This real-world city built by its citizens has roads, street signs, an FAA-approved airport, a power grid, a hospital, huge public plazas, street lights, processions, rituals and spectacles. It has fabulous fashions, ridiculous situations and artworks so raw they are dangerous.
BUT – It’s all temporary. At the end of that week, every last last speck of what was brought there is taken away again, Leaving No Trace of the city that was just there. When the winter rains come, even the footprints vanish. Til next year….
Because Burn2 is a mirror in spirit of a real life event, albeit with the unique and creative twists only Second Life can offer, we follow suit. Together, we will build a city, and we voluntarily accept many of the same restrictions that Nature imposes on the real thing. We do this to see how creative we can be with the same palette of materials and to revel in the beauty of simplicity. We use the same blank, desert landscape, and many of the things we build are naked or primitive in structure, easily revealing to the casual viewer how they were constructed. Just pretend that you’re bringing everything you need with you in your car or truck and you’re going camping. Extreme Camping. Really Extreme Camping.
The other thing you need to know up front is this: Both Burn2 and Burning Man are completely non-commercial. There is no buying or selling in this city…no sponsorships, no logos, no advertising, but acts of unconditional gift-giving that play a large part in Burning culture. It’s all about about the radical inclusion of participants, it means welcome and respect — with no prerequisites for participation. It’s all about us and what we have made for each other to