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What’s it going to be like going to Burning Man for your first time? Even as an older, more experienced person you’re likely to feel overwhelmed with the size and scope of his event. It is hard to figure out how to plan your day and see everything that’s happening.

I can tell you from personal experience that you’re not going to be able to see it all. In fact, you’re likely to look at many pictures from this year’s Burning Man and see things that you never came across. That still happens to us after nearly a decade of attending the Burning Man Festival.

We choose to skip events that hold little or no interest for us. For example, because we’re not big fans of techno music, we rarely go to the discos unless we know of a special performance that will take place and that appeals to us.

Hopping a ride on an art car is an experience not to be missed.

Hopping a ride on an art car is an experience not to be missed.

We also try to avoid wasting a lot of time in long lines. The structure housing the man is often very busy, so we only go to see it at odd times when crowds are very light (like the middle of the night). We also enjoy early mornings on the Playa when there aren’t many people around and we can peruse the art at our leisure.

But remember that the art can look totally different from day to night because you can only see the fire and lighted features after dark.

You can use your How, When, Where guide that you receive as you enter the gate to plot out your week, but we’ve always found it difficult to stick to our plans, since we see so many surprising and interesting places to visit while we’re on our way to someplace else. Just relax and enjoy whatever you see. There’s more than enough going on for the week – or even three weeks. But do use the guide to find events that you don’t want to miss.

Reviewing the guide can take a lot of time and effort because so many activities are repeated in the daily listings. I don’t advise creating too rigid of a plan lest you miss much of the fun and whimsy constantly buzzing around you. And while you may think that only certain kinds of activities will interest you, don’t by-pass the carnival-like fun of flaming ski-ball and roller disco on your way to see an important piece of art or listen to a Ted talk.

If you’re interested in the burns, remember that there are more than just the Man and Temple burns. The burns of the CORE projects all around the man occur on Thursday, and there are other project burns throughout the week. Check the guide and select the ones you want to see. While you won’t want to miss the Man burn and the Temple burn, you probably won’t have time to see all the burns. Chill out and catch whatever you can. There’s always next year for seeing other burns.

Have a great time. Try to see as much as you can, but don’t expect or attempt to see it all. You’ll end up exhausted, dehydrated and spending your day in the medical tent. Relax and have fun.

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