We’ll Always Burn the Man

We’ll Always Burn the Man

On Saturday, September 4, 2021, a small group of people gathered at Fly Ranch to raise and burn a 20-foot tall wooden figure. It was silent. But we were not alone.

Around the world tens of thousands of Burners shared in this Burn Night ritual. We felt you. Your focus. Your excitement. Your hope, as we crossed over into a new Burner year, and started building our Waking Dreams out of The Great Unknown.


As she has every year for almost three decades, Crimson Rose captured a flame from the sun, nurtured it for seven days, and danced to its final act of igniting and releasing the Man.

“In the last two years, when Black Rock City was not happening, it was even more important that we keep our rituals alive. We may not have been in Black Rock City to start that first fire, but the next best place was in the center of our 11-circuit labyrinth that Will Roger and I built on the edge of the Black Rock Desert. Extracting a fire from the sun from the center of the labyrinth was even more powerful.

“Once the flame was extracted from the sun, we needed a vessel to hold and secure the flame for the week. We utilized a lantern to keep that fire burning, always making sure there was enough fuel. This same captured flame will help release the Man.

“When the time came, the arms of the Man were raised into full position. I transferred the flame from the lantern to my fire bowl. My heart was pounding as I took a long breath and slowly danced towards and for the Man. Every step is one moment closer to the demise.

“I sacrificed my fire bowl as I placed it on the platform and lit the Man’s legs. And as I walked backwards away from the Man, I was reminded that our rituals have become second nature to us.

“Each year we lovingly create this wooden figure, we call the Man, and for some it represents nothing. I will let you make up your explanation as to what it means to you. But I am reminded of a quote by Larry Harvey: ‘It is a blank canvas onto which to project your own thoughts and feelings, a ritual outside of context and unfettered by explanation.’”

~ Crimson Rose, Co-Founder and Founding Board Member

Read about the 2021 Man Burn in the Burning Man Journal