Smiling at Burning Man

Thomas 'VovemoD' Lütken headed to the world’s most creative festival, BURNING MAN, where every year 50,000 people build an bizarre city in the heat of the Nevada desert.  

Bringing along with them hundreds of crazy works of art, art cars and thousands of colourful activities and gifts, the inhabitants try out innovative types of societies. Thomas brought smiles to his fellow citizens with his innovative move-your-worry-concept.  


Thomas VovemoD attending the worlds most creative festival

Every year 47.000 people move into the Nevada-desert in USA. In only one week they build a colourful futuristic society, which can not be compared to anything in the rest of the world – an in particular not the average American culture.


For example:

1. You can't buy anything (except icecubes – it is approximately 45 degrees during the day)

2. No company is allowed to advertise anything. Not the name nor the products (It is completely add-free)

3. It is forbidden to throw trash anywhere. When you leave the desert, the device is “leave no trace” (imagine a large festival with no trash anywhere – now there's a test?)

4. The festival has only one thing on the program Saturday night, toilets and an icecube-stand are set – the rest is up to you.


Within these limits Burning Man functions by placing half of Wall Mart in a motorhome -including an ocean of water to make sure, that neither you or your friends dry out.

Then you drive endlessly out this dusty road in Nevada, install yourself among others, who immediately greet you as long lost family. All “burners” as  they are called, dress exactly how they have always dreamt to dress (for some this includes not wearing clothes at all) – and everyone has brought their own activities or performance. This can be anything from excellent massages and healing to performing music or wild artistic happenings – sculptures, strange mutant vehicles and this type of stuff. 

 When 47.000 people all bring an activity, it means, that you in this week literally can swim in thousands of funny, creative happenings for free (besides the entrance-fee of 250 dollars ), whereas some are so weird, that you actually drop your jaw in the desert sand.

Our Danish team included Christian Dietrichsen, Morten Øgendahl and me, who practised an activity, which we called “Move your Worry”. This in short meant, that we offered by-passers help  to find three unique solutions to the biggest worry in their lives. It was a pleasure to experience the Americans happy after a session with a possible solution to their every day worries, even though these were forgotten during the week of the festival.

We also shared the company of two Danish girls, Jette and Birgitte, who amazingly expressed their theatrical talents different places in the festival.   

Also it is important to mention, that the Burning Man festival has an economy of gifts, off course. Everyone brings – besides the activity – gifts for every one they meet. This means that you keep getting presents from people, you don't know, and funny enough, this doesn't feel funny at all. On the contrary it is extremely liberating, that it isn't necessary to be on guard all the time, because no one will try to sell you anything. Instead this means that you are welcome to enter any motorhome, tent or camp to say hi. 

There is much more to tell from three visits to this fantastic place - if you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me an email.

The Smiling Fairytale Society