Image: Participants dance and climb on an art installation as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

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Desert Dreams Come to Life at Burning Man

The Burning Man festival — dedicated to art, community and imaginative self-expression — creates a temporary metropolis in a Nevada desert.

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Image: A mutant vehicle on the Playa as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

Festivalgoers stand on a "mutant vehicle" decorated like the Golden Gate Bridge during Burning Man in Nevada's Black Rock Desert on Friday, Sept. 2.

Some 70,000 people from all over the world are expected to attend the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival.

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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Image: A participant rides a zip line as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

A thrill-seeker rides a zip line on Friday.

The festival takes its name from the burning of a wooden effigy that ends the weeklong event.

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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Image: A mutant vehicle on the Playa as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

A bicyclist passes a mutant vehicle Friday on the Playa. The Spanish word for beach, playa, is also used to describe the dry lake bed where the festival takes place.

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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Image: Participants hula-hoop as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

Participants use hula-hoops on Friday.

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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Image: A mutant vehicle on the Playa as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

An important part of the Burning Man experience, the festival website defines a mutant vehicle as "a motorized conveyance that is radically, stunningly, (usually) permanently, and safely modified."

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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Image: A view of Black Rock City as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

Vehicles and tents form "Black Rock City."

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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Image: The Catacomb of Veils is burned as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

The Catacomb of Veils is burned on Friday.

Burning Man began in 1986 when two friends burned a wooden effigy on a San Francisco Beach. The spectacle drew a crowd and the seeds of the festival were planted. When it moved to Nevada in 1990 there were only a few hundred people in attendance.

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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Image: People sit in a mutant vehicle as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada

A man sits in a mutant vehicle.

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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Image: Participants explore the art installation La Victrola as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

Participants explore the art installation, La Victrola, on Thursday.

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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Image: An art car drives on the Playa as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

A mutant vehicle, or art car, drives on the Playa on Thursday.

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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Image: A participant passes an art installation as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

A cyclist passes an art installation on Thursday.

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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Image: Participants dance and climb on an art installation as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

Participants dance and climb on an art installation on Wednesday.

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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Image: An aerial view as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the 30th annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S.

An aerial view shows the grid of "Black Rock City" on Wednesday. The festival runs through Sept. 5.

More photos from this year's Burning Man

JIM URQUHART / Reuters
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