Burning Man has said it is “Impossible to say right now” if the flagship festival will go ahead this year.
After weeks of deliberation and uncertainty last year, the announcement Burning Man 2020 would not be going ahead due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, almost 12 months later, the team behind the Nevada festival have said it is “impossible” to say whether a 2021 edition of the festival would go ahead.
In a post via the Burning Man journal, the event’s Associate Director of Communications, Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley, said: “If it isn’t immediately and fundamentally obvious, let me make it clear as day: There is nothing we want more than to build Black Rock City side-by-side with you again. It’s the holy grail. It’s our north star. Putting up that bright orange trash fence, raising the Man, then watching the string of pearly white headlights drive (at 5 MPH please!) along Gate Road and into the heart of BRC to build the most inspiring place in the world.”
“Predictably, of course, it’s impossible to say right now if Black Rock City can happen in 2021,” he continued. “We want you to know we’re doing everything we can to be ready if the stars align. In fact, we’re trying to help the stars get there. In collaboration with other large-scale outdoor events in Nevada and our permitting agencies, our Government Affairs team is working behind the scenes to support the State of Nevada in their efforts to ensure safe and successful events in 2021.”
Debucquoy-Dodley also added that a COVID-19 task force were monitoring the changing situation each day, to help the event “move forward safely”.
Last year, an alternative, virtual event and was announced in the festival’s place: Dusty Multiverse.
In February 2020, Burning Man announced they would be moving forward with suing the U.S. federal government. The festival first filed the lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) back in December 2019, demanding that the goverment honor its appeals process in relation to costs that it imposes at the event. It equates to a total of $18 million in permit costs levied against the festival since 2015.