Midburn 2016: Israel's Regional Burning Man

05/26/2016 08:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Photo by Moran Itzckovich

No matter where in the world you are or what language you speak, you can attend a transformational music festival and feel like you are home. Though the famed Burning Man is not necessarily considered a music festival as it is in a category of its own, it has influenced and created an entire community that all posses a particular aesthetic and live a similar lifestyle. While both the aesthetics and lifestyles can vary greatly within the festival community, it is the cohesive similarities that are seen when they all gather together that are the building blocks of the Burner community. It is this unity and oneness that we call home.

Taking place in the ancient Negev Desert of Israel during the week of June 8-12, 2016, is Midburn, the official regional event organized by the Israeli Burning Man community with 130 themed camps and 100 art installations. Just like its American progenitor, Midburn is a temporary city that is built for five days celebrating communal lifestyles, creativity, music, art and radical self-expression. There is no cash exchange and it is a non-profit organization. This will be the event's third year after selling out in 2015 and expects to see upwards of 8,000 attendees. Carefully following Burning Man founder Larry Harvey's 10 principles (radical inclusion, communal effort, gifting, civic responsibility, decommodification, leaving no trace, radical self-reliance, participation, radical self-expression, and immediacy), Midburn has created a timeless space that is a world of its own.

Rich in history and culture, the Middle East is a region that is a constant reminder of the dichotomy between beauty and turmoil. Though not completely war-torn, as much of the American media chooses to depict, there is still a thriving culture of individuals who adore life, revel in celebration, and express themselves artistically. There is excitement, nature, and purity upon the dusty lands of the Negev and Midburn is the manifestation of these elements. Gathering Burners from all over the world, Midburn gives a new region of our planet the opportunity to participate in one of the most transformative events ever created by mankind. Though thousands of miles from the American Playa, Midburn and Burning Man still exist on the same plane.