First posted 096-29-2015:
1996 was a major turning point for Burning Man. Some say it's when Burning Man grew up, others, when it jumped the shark. I think it jumps the shark (and many other challenges) every year. The best summary I've heard is, "Burning Man's the thing same every year - completely different.
Anyway, 1996 was before my time on the playa, but here's the best film I've found on the topic:
Burning Man 1996 "No Clemency For The Wood""
Also before my time on the playa:
1997 to 2000
And other content that spans several years:
2001 to 2010
Burning Man Timelapse Pre-2014