This weekend, get a taste of Burning Man in Boulder without the dust.

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The equivalent of more than half of Boulder paid a small fortune to pilgrimage to the playa this week for the 29th annual Burning Man.


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While that journey is a rites of passage that has changed many lives, Boulder can be a microcosm of that same transformational culture with way less fuss.

Burning Man is much more than just a party in the desert.  It has become a cultural catalyst, a new paradigm of consciousness, and a global community with home-bases right here in the Front Range.

The Burning Man philosophy is based on 10 core principles that you can practice regardless of whether you ever make it to the desert.

Radical inclusion: Welcome everyone Gifting: Practice giving unconditionally Decommodification: Choose non-commercial alternatives Radical self-reliance: Be the change you want to see Radical self-expression: Be 100% yourself without apology, “let your freak flag fly” Communal effort: Work together to co-create social connections Civic responsibility: Take care of each other Leaving no trace: Take care of the environment Participation: There are no spectators Immediacy: Be here now


filename-pearl-streetYou can experience those principles any day of the week in Boulder.


Pearl Street is clearly the most playa-like with year-round participatory entertainment, public art, a gifting culture, and a diversity of people demonstrating radical self-expression.

Fashion is one of the key ways that burner’s express themselves, and Boulder is unique in offering three local boutiques featuring burner gear you can usually only find seasonally, at festivals or online.

playa fashionUmba on Broadway just north of Pearl sells the latest festival fashions made of natural fibers in small batches by independent producers.

The Ritz on Walnut and Candy’s on Broadway are year-round costume shops with new and vintage selections for any occasion.  

Throughout the year, the local Burner community throws burning man-inspired events like Apogaea ( Colorado’s regional event), as well as fundraisers and decompression events throughout the Front Range.

There’s something ancient about community gathering together on the earth, celebrating diversity and expanding consciousness through sharing, music, dance, and art! It’s a ritual that civilizations have performed since the beginning of time, and it’s profound in its ability to reconnect you with your power, your purpose, your place…

If you’re interested in experiencing a local version of this cultural movement, check out the Rainbow Lightning fundraiser this Sunday (9/6) at Metta Cosm in east Boulder from 12-7pm, 7648 Arapahoe Rd. Boulder, CO ($5-25 suggested donation).

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You can also plug into the local Burner community on Facebook at and .

Finally, for a taste of the urban, fire-spinning, art car elements of the scene check out the 10/10 Decompression party in Denver

Burning Man has been a mecca for cultural transformation, and it’s through communities like ours that the wisdom of that movement can ripple out in the awakening of a new human consciousness. Check it out!