For fans of Burning Man, this was a year that will be remembered not so much for the art, music, and the Burning of The Man, but for the mud.
Last weekend was the high point of the Burning Man art and music festival in Black Rock Nevada, which normally has the high point of the event, the Burning of The Man, a huge wooden effigy, on Saturday night. But then the normally dry desert ended up getting heavy rains. The result was ground turning into a muddy mess. People ended up covering their shoes in plastic bags so they wouldn't get stuck in the thick muck. With people unable to leave, or order fresh supplies, people were asked to conserve food and water. Some grumbled at their festival quite literally dampened. Others just took things it stride. There was also a death at the event when a man was discovered having died for reasons still unknown. The Burning of The Man ended up postponed until Monday so things could dry out. But by then, many had taken advantage of the roads finally being driveable again, and there was a jam of people trying to leave.
For Second Life, Burning Man has had a long-lasting connection. In the late 1990s, many of the original staff of Linden Lab, including it's founder and first CEO Philip Rosedale, would attend and be impressed by the temporary city of attendees having been so quickly created out of nothing, which helped inspire the creation of Second Life. Second Life would have reflections of the Burning Man festival almost since the beginning, taking place in October. They would be sponsored by Linden Lab until 2010, called Burning Life. In 2010, Linden Lab would cut off it's support, and the Burners would run the event on their own, renaming it Burn2. Eventually there would be spinoff events at other times of the year. In 2022, a split among Burning Man fans in real life would be reflected in Second Life with a "Renegade" Burn being held in the virtual world, as well as real life.
Image credit: BBC