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Here is one of the only known photographs from Burning Man 1987 on Baker Beach in San Francisco. The first Burning Man took place inrn1986 in the same location, with only 20 participants.
The Burning Man crew readies the Man for its immolation on Baker Beach in San Francisco in 1988. That year, around 150 to 200 people showed up to watch the wooden figure burn.
In 1989, Burning Man participants carry the Man’s head out onto Baker Beach in San Francisco, with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in the background. That year, there were at least 300 people on hand to witness the by-then 40-foot-high figure burn.
Burning Man founder Larry Harvey poses for a picture in front of the event’s signature figure as it’s consumed by flames. 1990 was the burn’s first year in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, and it was attended by 90 people.
Before the Man was taken to the desert to be burned in 1991, it was erected outside Fort Mason in San Francisco.
Kimric Smythe rides the Java Cow to the Man at Burning Man 1993 in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. That year, 1,000 people participated.
In 1994, Burning Man built its first Web site and hosted it on the Well. That year, 2,000 people showed up in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.
A storm approaches Burning Man in 1995. More than 4,000 people made it to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert that year.
For Burning Man, 1996 was a significant year, as internal politics led to schisms between organizers. But 8,000 people attended, making it the third straight year the population doubled. Here, a “corporate” building called Hellco burned.
Burning Man founder Larry Harvey waits for Crimson Rose, a member of the event’s organization, to ignite the Man. This was CNET News.com reporter Daniel Terdiman’s first year as a participant.