Early Burning Man Footage (1986 to 1991)

Historic Burning Man Films

We have included the earliest films available for Burning Man. In almost all cases we re-digitized the videos from the original sources. Many remain in poor condition, reflected the issues in the original material.

1986 Baker Beach Burn

Note: No audio. The original material does not contain audio.

1988 Baker Beach Burn

1989 Baker Beach Burn

“A Burning Man, 1990”

Larry Harvey gained access to free video equipment through the Bay Area Video Coalition, which resulted in two videos based on film from early Burns.

The first video was created around 1990 by Peter Hassan, with help from Larry and features quotes from Larry, with ambient music by Brian Eno and William Empson. Third Wave Productions produced it (one of their first productions). It shows the raising of the Man in 1990 on Baker Beach, and it being again raised and burned at the first Burning Man at Black Rock Desert.

This 2002 re-mastering improved both the audio and video of the original version. It was never publicly released to our knowledge.

“A Burning Man, 1990 (Original Transfer)

This is the original 1990 video transfer, reflecting lower resolution and more muted colors, a 4:3 aspect ratio and a slightly different sound track (no music on intro and outro titles).

Note, the first 15 seconds are silent with no video.

Burning Man 1990

1991 Fort Mason Man Exhibition (very poor audio and video)

Larry Harvey was awarded a grant by the Capp Street Project for the display of the Man on a barge for a week at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. The very poor quality video shows the rising of the man. Featuring John Law (voice), along with Larry Harvey and Dean Gustafson on drums

Burning Man (1991 by Larry Harvey)

In 1991, Larry Harvey created a short film about Burning Man. The previous year he had learned from Peter Hassan of the resources offered by the Bay Area Video Coalition, which at the time provided free use of video recording and editing equipment to independent producers.

1991 Black Rock City

Film of the procession to raise the man and the 1991 Burn.