Israeli Burning Man event sets up camp in the Negev
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Israeli Burning Man event sets up camp in the Negev

Long before Burning Man, ancient Israelites partied in the desert, if the Book of Exodus is to be believed.

So perhaps it was only a matter of time before the Nevada-based festival sparked an Israeli counterpart. Midburn takes its name from the Hebrew word for desert, midbar, and was first held in 2014. Last week, 8,000 people attended the third annual Midburn in the Negev desert near Kibbutz Sde Boker.

03-4-L-Thetadron-picThe five-day event is a citizen-run festival meant to inspire, create art, and convey personal expression among people of all ages. This year’s theme was “Abra Cadabra”.

The center of Midburn was “Noah’s Ark”, a massive ship made of wood. Visitors could explore the inside of the ship, and then head out to the deck to admire the spectacular Negev view. That was just one of the event’s large art installations that spread out into the desert.

“Midburn is like a playground for grown-ups, and there are a lot of people here who love to play,” Amir Shalem, a leader of the Fugara Arts Group, told Haaretz.

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