You’ve probably heard about Burning Man, a week-long festival in the middle of the desert in Nevada, USA, during which an entire city is created from scratch. We wrote about it a while back, check out the blogpost here. For those of us who can’t go that far (or who didn’t manage to grab one of the limited and highly coveted tickets), there might be a solution. Near Saragossa, Spain, during a couple of days in summer, starting today, you can find Burning Man’s European brother: Nowhere.

Every year, during the first week of July, around 650 people get together in the desert with enough water and provisions for several days of celebrations, artistic performances and unexpected encounters. The ideas is to spend those few days living in a state of absolute creative freedom and bliss, a time with no concern for money, stress, time management or work.

While the idea sounds great, there are of course a few rules, principles if you will, that Nowhere is built upon and that are to be respected at all times by anyone involved.

1. Radical self-expression: The freedom to be yourself

Nowhere is a welcoming and tolerant environment allowing attendants to explore and express who they are. It is a playground for the wildest artistic performances.The idea behind Nowhere is for everyone joining the festival to contribute to making it what it is, so it’s hardly just about you watching everything unfold. Get in there, be free and show off. You want to dj? Do it! Perform a little fire dance? Go on then! No one is here to judge but only to witness and appreciate.

2. Radical self-reliance: Being responsible for yourself, in a harsh desert environment.

All participants need to act responsibly of themselves and others. This includes bringing your own survival gear (a tent, enough food and drink, warm clothes for the rather cold night time, toilet papers, etc) For the whole list of things to consider and bring click here.

3. No commerce: Forget about money – there’s nothing to buy.

Those who want to join the party must be self sufficient and willing to help others as sharing is one of the main values of the festival. Some will offer their music or dancing, others will feed them. People can gift as much as they like, but never sell anything. The only thing that is available for sale is ice.

4. Leave no trace: Dust to dust

Leave only footprints. Whatever happened during those few days in the desert needs to disappear at the end. Everyone agrees to respect the environment and bears in mind that all creations are short-lived and can only be remembered, not maintained. All that remains are photographs and memories, part of the romantic notion of the entire festival.

5. Participation: Get involved

Nowhere is what people make of it. There is no sitting around waiting to be entertained, everyone needs to get involved to create Nowhere. Show off your juggling skills, dance the dance, swing a hoola hoop, read tarot cards, whatever is your skill – let it show.

The theme for Nowhere 2012 is “Rebirth Earth”, so if you’re thinking about attending, this the motto that might inspire your outfit, actions and dreams. We can just about picture ourselves with bikes full of flowers and leaves!

photo by Dave Bradshaw

Intrigued? Find out more about the festival on their official website and email us if you’re going to Nowhere 2012 and want to write about your experience.

All photos: Smoobs/Flickr.


*guest post written by Jenny Joussemet