The mantra of the Burning Man festival, "leave no trace," seems a perfect explanation for the celebration's ephemeral deity. In Nevada's Black Rock Desert, a massive wooden effigy of a man is annually constructed and then set ablaze, erupting in flames that can be seen from miles away. The figure usually stands between 50 and 100 feet tall, symbolizing an artistic community that illuminates the barren landscape for a week, only to disappear. The city is erected and submerged every year, a kind of modern day Atlantis that reveals itself on the dried-up lake known as the Playa. The festival attracts everyone from environmental hippies to billionaire tech CEOs, and remarkably proves that those two types of people aren't so different. That's because Burning Man is based on the principles of artistry, self-expression, self-reliance, gifting, civil responsibility and radical inclusion. In this way, Burning Man creates a truly esoteric culture, one that is rebuilt differently from year to year, juxtaposing the ideas of free society and massive organization.
Make no mistake, Burning Man is not an impromptu party. The Burning Man organization plans the festival for months leading up to the event, working with law enforcement as well as the Department of Public Works. It should be no surprise then that there are medical professionals, police officers, federal law enforcement and DPW workers in attendance. This group of participants might confuse some who have only heard the Burning Man legend, but the truth is the festival could not exist without a dichotomy of government-style order and artistic freedom. In fact, the idea of not including these officials, or any person for that matter, goes against the ideology of the entire event. Yes, Burning Man is a unique week-long bacchanalia, but it is also a summit for people of all ilks to build a one-of-a-kind community. Needless to say, Burning Man takes a little preparation.
First consider the measures it takes to create the horseshoe-shaped city that surrounds the festival's namesake. Workers must scope out the desert months in advance to decide the exact location of the structure on the Playa, and then trace out how the community will be built around it. This is no small task, encouraging many DPW workers to rove the streets of the festival asking for beer and food in repayment for all their hard work, which is readily given due to the event's gifting nature.
Then take into account the challenges of the landscape. All those attending Burning Man are expected to come prepared for the arid heat and shadeless expanse of dessert. Officials recommend 1.5 gallons of water per day per person to safely stay hydrated in the 100-plus degree heat. Furthermore, the Playa has the ability to appear as an angered goddess, exhibiting unpredictable weather which can bring high winds, lightning and dust storms. These conditions task officials and volunteers with securing port-a-potties, cleaning up burn scars from bonfires on the Playa and ensuring trash does not get blown away in the wind, that way no trace of the festival is left behind.
A hodgepodge of art
Artists partaking in the event face their own set of unique challenges. Sculptures and artwork must be transported to the Playa and then reconstructed. Artists have to find ways to provide electricity for much of their work, which can vary in size, structure and purpose. These art installations often takes months of planning to build, all to be revealed at the Burning Man festival. Much of the art is interactive, providing unforgettable, esoteric experiences for festivalgoers. Imagine glowing neon trees controlled by cellphones, pyrotechnic sculptures and interactive light shows linked to a participant's heartbeat. These brilliant displays then must be deconstructed at the end of the festival, leaving no trace that the technological wonders ever emblazoned the vacant land.
In more recent years, some critics have ironically cited the downfall of Burning Man due to the influx of elite members of the tech world. What most of these pundits don't seem to realize is that IT pros have been hiding in plain sight at Burning Man since the beginning. Moreover, not including these brilliant minds would take away from the concept of radical inclusivity. Frequent participants in Burning Man include Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are also known as regular Burning Man participants, having in the past donned full-body spandex suits to hide their identities. In many ways these techies make Burning Man possible, rigging up light structures, fixing electrical and tech problems, managing light shows for musical acts, participating in art displays and generally adding to the gifting culture of the event.
The Burning Man festival is perhaps one of the world's most expansive and remarkable displays of human creation, collaboration and expression. Yet, the key to the existence of the event relies on a devoted following of staff and volunteers working to create order among chaos.
Ladies, what's your perfect guy look like? Great hair, beautiful eyes and a gorgeous smile? Oh, and he can dance? Serenade you with love songs? Sounds like a keeper! Multiply that perfection a few times and there you go, the quintessential boy band is born. At least that's how I imagine it happens.
Although a few things have changed since the 90s – gelled hair has been replaced with the Justin Beiber blowout – much of the boy band DNA remains the same. Good looks, catchy hooks, smooth moves. Hey, we can't help it; we "Want It That Way."
New Kids on the Block
- No. 1 Heartthrob: Jordan Knight
- Song: "Step By Step" (1990)
- Fun Fact: NKOTB was the first teen group to have four top ten hits on one album: "Hangin' Tough," "Please Don't Go Girl," "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" and "I'll Be Loving Your (Forever)."
Boyz II Men
- No. 1 Heartthrob: Shawn Stockman
- Song: "I'll Make Love to You" (1994)
- Fun fact: "I'll Make Love to You," was bumped from the No.1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 by another Boyz II Men song, "On Bended Knee," making them the third US artist to achieve the feat in 30 years.
By the late-90s early-2000s, the Backstreet Boys were still "Playing Games with Our Hearts." Then, Justin Timberlake, Chris Kirkpartrick, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass and JC Chasez started a "No Strings Attached" love affair in the late-90s that went long-term, lasting well into the 2000s.
Late-90s / Early-2000s
- No. 1 Heartthrob: Nick Carter
- Song: "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" (1997)
- Fun fact: There were technically six Backstreet Boys. Lou Pearlman, the former Backstreet Boys' manager/producer - who double, I mean triple dipped - claimed a cut of the band's profits as their manager, producer and sixth member. The Ponzi schemer also represented 'N Sync, who followed suit and sued the scammer.
- No. 1 Heartthrob: Justin Timberlake
- Song: "Bye, Bye, Bye" (2000)
- Fun fact: Before JT started denying his roots, he was a curly-headed cutie. Oh, and Timberlake might have been the poster child of the 90s phenomenon known as "frosted tips."
- No. 1 Heartthrob: Isaac Hanson
- Song: "MMMBop" (1997)
- Fun fact: The Tulsa-based band of brothers started brewing beer, appropriately branded "Mmmhops."
After a few relatively quiet years on the boy band front, the British-Irish boys of One Direction made waves from across the pond. The British invasion led to a boy band resurgence. Heartthrobs like the Jonas Brothers, Big Time Rush and The Wanted popped up on the scene.
- No. 1 Heartthrob: Harry Styles
- Song: "Best Song Ever" (2013)
- Fun fact: 1D got their start as independent acts on the British version of the X-Factor, but none of them made the cut in the solo category. Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson joined forces, and the rest is history.
- No. 1 Heartthrob: Joe Jonas
- Song: "S.O.S" (2007)
- Fun fact: The Jo Bros have a 13-year-old brother, Frankie, who's a young actor and is sometimes called the "Bonus Jonas."
The Australian quintet started out as a group of Aussies pulling pranks and posting videos on YouTube. Their outlandish stunts and questionable behavior caught the attention of the Biebs, who also found fame as a YouTube sensation. Now their mocumentaries, skits, and boyish good looks have earned them a loyal fan following. While The Janoskians fit the boy band bill, their tour name says differently. In April 2013, the group announced their Not a Boy Band Tour.
- No. 1 Heartthrob: Luke Brooks
- Song: "Best Friends" (2013)
- Fun fact: The band's name stands for "Just Another Name of Silly Kids in Another Nation."
Whether "Up All Night" listening to One Direction's newest hit, "Diana," or playing back the old school hits that paved the way for the boy bands of today, one thing's for sure, boy bands are hotter than ever! Man bands like NKOTB, Boyz II Men and the Backstreet Boys made a comeback, and our favorite boy bands of today have been touring their hearts out.
Who are you dying to see?
If you've bought a ticket from Ticketmaster this month, you've probably noticed something a little surprising; it's pink!
Ticketmaster has turned its tickets pink this month in honor of American Cancer Society's Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. And we want to get you in on the fun!
We want to see your pink tickets in all their rosy glory, so if you're up for it, we'd like you to post a photo of you posing with your Ticketmaster ticket using the hashtag #PinkTicket. Post it to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, heck, even take a video with Vine! As long as you tag it with #PinkTicket, it'll show up on our #PinkTicket tagboard!
We want to paint the page pink with Ticketmaster tickets, so if you've got one handy, tag it, post it, and help spread us support Breast Cancer Awareness Month!