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Where money is worthless: learning to 'gift' at Burning Man

It’s the week long event where self expression is taken to another level. Once a year, the Burning Man festival attracts close to 70,000 people to Black Rock Desert — a deserted plain located 100 miles north of Reno.

You can’t “Wolf of Wallstreet” you’re way through this festival. At Burning Man your money is worthless. In fact, the only products that can be purchased at the event are ice and coffee – everything else must be “gifted” to you.

MORE: Meet the ‘Burners’ at Burning Man 2014

“First of all, gifting has to be unconditional and everyone knows that,” says Larry Harvey, who co-founded Burning Man back in 1986. “A gift can be an action, a gift can be a volunteer service.”

Harvey is also the author of the “Burning Man 10 Principles,” a constitution of sorts that includes gifting as one of the primary pillars. As we learned during our week long trip, the concept should not be mistaken with bartering.

With Nutella in hand and a few extra chapsticks, the AM Tonight team sought out to do some gifting of its own.

Where money is worthless: learning to 'gift' at Burning Man

It’s the week long event where self expression is taken to another level. Once a year, the Burning Man festival attracts close to 70,000 people to Black Rock Desert — a deserted plain located 100 miles north of Reno.

You can’t “Wolf of Wallstreet” you’re way through this festival. At Burning Man your money is worthless. In fact, the only products that can be purchased at the event are ice and coffee – everything else must be “gifted” to you.

MORE: Meet the ‘Burners’ at Burning Man 2014

“First of all, gifting has to be unconditional and everyone knows that,” says Larry Harvey, who co-founded Burning Man back in 1986. “A gift can be an action, a gift can be a volunteer service.”

Harvey is also the author of the “Burning Man 10 Principles,” a constitution of sorts that includes gifting as one of the primary pillars. As we learned during our week long trip, the concept should not be mistaken with bartering.

With Nutella in hand and a few extra chapsticks, the AM Tonight team sought out to do some gifting of its own.

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