Art & Photography / In Pictures

Mads Kornerup's Guide to Burning Man

As thousands prepare for Burning Man Festival 2014, Mads Kornerup of Shamballa Jewels shares his ten point guide

Mads Kornerup at Burning Man Festival
Mads Kornerup at Burning Man Festival Photography courtesy of Mads Kornerup

This weekend, thousands will descend in their droves on Black Rock desert, Nevada, for Burning Man Festival. Designed by Black Rock City and erected for just one week, it champions free-spirited bohemia in a rich tapestry of art installations, performances and costume. Mads Kornerup of Shamballa Jewels is a seasoned veteren of Burning Man and counts the festival as one of his fondest memories. Here, he offers his ten point survival guide.

1. Dress should combine comfort and fantasy
“Wear comfortable clothes. Adornments or costumes to explore your primal character. I borrowed some costumes from the Royal Danish Theatre.”

2. Gifting is your currency
“It is anything that you feel like giving or sharing. In my case it was a necklace, making 500 cheese fajitas and a performance. The principle, to my understanding is that everyone has something to offer that is valuable to another person. Isn’t that a thought?”

3. Bring your bike
“I travel on a mountain bike decorated with Buddhist prayer flags. I also carry my yoga mat and lots of fresh water taped to my bike.”

4. Plan your accommodation
“I sleep in an RV…too old to rough it out in a tent.”

5. Eat and stay hydrated
“I eat mostly anything healthy. Sometimes, whatever you have been offered.”

6. Look out for the wood temple 
“Architecturally stunning, made every year and then burned to ground. It is sad to see it burn, at the same there is anticipation — you know it will rise again next year. To me, it is a wonderful symbol of the cycle of creation and recreation. And then there is the crooked gospel church.”

7. Pack the essentials
“A constant smile, lots of water, protein bars and nuts.”

8. Don’t pack...
“A bad mood.”

9. Socialise
“It is a unique experience. It is a fascinating view on how 70,000 humans can live together treating each other very consciously with love and compassion, and without commerce.”

10. Be prepared for anything
“There was this one day when almost everyone I met on my way stopped to give me a hug and said 'Welcome home.'”

Text by Mhairi Graham