For a glorious week, Burning Man returned to Nevada's Black Rock desert, along with the custom art, outrageous outfits, eye-grabbing vehicles and inventive technology participants had been preparing for months in advance. A journey through the playa – the festival's main grounds, a little pop-up metropolis in the literal middle of nowhere – is like a trip through time and space. Here's what it looked like. Photos by Scott London
PearCloud, a computer-controlled sculpture by Mark Lottor, created beautiful and psychedelic light effects in the pre-dawn twilight.
Christie, a Burner from New York, takes in the sunrise at the Temple of Grace.
Jan Lewin's interactive light installation Super Pool turned into a popular dance venue in the early morning hours, for those with spare energy to burn.
Scott and Michelle were one of dozens of couples getting married on the playa at Burning Man 2014.
Pulse and Bloom, an interactive LED sculpture and popular chillout destination, was made up of 25 mechanical lotus flowers with rhythmically shifting colors.
An alternate "man" donning a colorful Stetson hearkened back to the early days of the event, when the effigy was cobbled together from wood and neon and raised up by the participants themselves.
Lara and Bar, two friends from New York, were caught in a choking whiteout one windy afternoon at the temple.
The Temple of Grace, an installation by artist David Best and crew, became a spiritual centerpiece for many participants at Burning Man 2014. It was burned on the final night of the event.
Dancers stave off boredom at one of the many pop-up dance parties on the playa.
Walter, an art car built around the chassis of an old firetruck, is billed as the world's largest VW bus. Here the driver and a few curious passers-by wait out a dust storm.
The Candymen, five enthusiastic first-timers from the Bay Area, contribute to Burning Man's "gift economy" by handing out licorice, gummy bears and other treats.
Embrace, a massive wood sculpture by Matt Schultz and crew, was one of the most talked-about art pieces — and the backdrop of countless selfies — at Burning Man 2014.
"The Voice of the Man," an installation by Stephan Douris, offered participants a place to relax and fill their minds with Burning Man propaganda.
Bay Area artist Greg Barron built the Monaco on top of an old Winnebago. When the winds kick up, he kills the engine and lets the sails do the work of ferrying people across the playa.
Star and Eddie, two leggy stilt-walkers from Minneapolis, strolling on the open playa.
"El Pulpo Mecanico," a fire-shooting mechanical octopus created by scrap artist Duane Flatmo, startled and delighted crowds wherever it went.
Bay Area artist and costume designer Ka danced at the temple in a red feather embodiment she called "The Phoenix."
Sunset yoga has become a tradition at the temple, even if not all playa outfits lend themselves to challenging postures.
One of the scarier mutant vehicles on the playa, Dragons of Eden, was inspired by the mythological Greek monster Hydra. It was created by Santa Cruz-based mechanical engineer and fire artist Lucy Hosking.
Uncle Ira, a costume designer from San Jose, fashioned a colorful smock and gold headpiece made of baby doll parts.
"Pyramid of Possibilities," an installation by artist Douglas Taphouse, was one of the best places on the playa to take in the sunrise.
Huck, Tangle, Neville and Vanessa, four friends from Saskatchewan, participate in the annual "White Procession."
Duct tape, flashlights and neon letters were used to make this old Cadillac fit the requirements of Burning Man's Department of Mutant Vehicles.
Nirvan, a four-time Burner from Los Angeles, in a hand-crafted dandelion helmet.
Erica, a first-time Burner from Queensland, and Valdiel, an eighth-timer from Nevada City, California, spinning themselves dizzy.
Eidolon Panspermia Ostentatia Duodenum (EPOD for short) was an interactive installation by Berkeley artists Michael Christian and Dallas Swindle.
Josh, a first-time Burner from Brisbane, Australia, surveying the playa from Center Camp.
In what’s become a longstanding tradition at Burning Man, Grady and other members of the Gamelan X camp lead an interactive monkey chant at Center Camp.
Members of the Northwest Fire Conclave put on an incendiary performance before the man goes up in flames.
The burn – the fiery main event from which the festival takes its name – got off to an explosive start, but when the statue took over an hour to fall, many left and the party moved elsewhere.