Vintage Burning Man Photos Provide Rare Glimpse Into The Birth Of A Counterculture

Never-Before-Seen Burning Man Photos Reveal The Birth Of A Counterculture

It's hard to believe that Burning Man's early years involved little more than a handful of hippies dancing around a seaside San Francisco bonfire.

Since its humble beginnings in 1986, the desert bacchanal has swelled into an international phenomenon, drawing more than 60,000 individuals to a remote stretch in Nevada each August and spawning a subculture that permeates year round.

This collection of photos, taken by Stewart Harvey, reveals a simpler side of The Burn. Founder Larry Harvey (Stewart's brother) and his cohorts are shown setting the scene first on SF's Baker Beach, and a few years later, in Nevada's pop-up paradise of Black Rock City.

Behold, a rare glimpse inside the origins of what is now a worldwide way of life:

arrivalBaker Beach Arrival, 1989.

burning manRaising the Man, Baker Beach, 1989.

loadingLoading Seven Sections on Seven Pickups, 1989.

assemblePioneer Burners, 1989.

drummerDrummer, 1990.

black rock pioneerAssembling the Man, 1990.

larry crimsonLarry and Crimson Rose, Pre-Burn, 1998.

BONUS: The story of the playa is now a major motion picture! "Spark: A Burning Man Story" opened August 16, 2013. For more information on the film, available on VOD, check out showtimes and locations here.

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