Earlier this morning, Burning Man Project CEO Marian Goodell took to the internet to share a “What’s New With Burning Man?” update. The TLDR: the 2021 event is not happening.
As described in the video, they have “decided to focus their efforts on Black Rock City 2022. It’s too important to do half-assed, so we’re doubling down on next week. We recognize your need to be in communities… so we suggest that you create community.”
Understandably, they are continuing to push the ethos and community of the Burning Man space onwards regardless of a physical and/or official event in 2021. Instead, they’ll look to 2022 as their next event, meaning that 2021 will be their second consecutive year sans-event due to the pandemic.
A blog post posted shortly after the video reads:
All of us at Burning Man Project have been busy projecting all the possible scenarios that would allow us to bring our desert city back to life in 2021. The variables are many, and our capacity to overcome challenges is high. It’s what we do.
But, although here in the United States we may be feeling the weight lifting and the light at the end of the tunnel brightening, we are still in the pandemic, and the uncertainties that need to be resolved are impossible to resolve in the time we have.
We have decided to set our sights on Black Rock City 2022.
Ultimately, I’m glad to hear this has been the decision – after ample feedback from their community, they listened. The pandemic is not yet over, and putting attendees at risk in any way, shape or form in relation to COVID-19 is not only a risky legal hurdle, but a situation that puts a shadow over the ethos of Burning Man as a whole. And even beyond this, from a logistical perspective, there has not been enough time for the Org to properly put together an event with regards to moving logistical targets – i.e. when Nevada’s population will be vaccinated, permits with BLM, contracts with the third-party companies used to set the event up, and the list goes on. The process of planning Burning Man is not a quick one, and having only a few months to do it would result in something “half-assed” – to quote Marian.
In lieu of an in-person, official event, they will be hosting a virtual Burn Night on Saturday, September 4, 2021 – similar to last year’s event. Marian also subtly suggests that the Bureau of Land Management confirmed that the Black Rock Desert, where the event takes place each summer, will be open for camping throughout the summer.
As Marian shared: “We’re not cancelling Burning Man. We’re just not doing Black Rock City. Remember: we will always burn the man.”
You can read the full blog post from the Burning Man Project here.