Desert Storm

MELISSA FARLOW / NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC IMAGE COLLECTION

In recent years, an ever-growing chorus of festivalgoers has complained about the sanitization of music and arts fests, and not without reason. At this year's Glastonbury music festival in the U.K., for example, well-heeled attendees paid more than $10,000 each to stay in luxury tented accommodation — a far cry from the event's countercultural origins. And it seems that no large gathering — from Japan's Summer Sonic to Scotland's T in the Park — is without its gaudy glut of sponsors' logos.

But for those who rail against the commodification of culture, there's always Burning Man (

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