Burning Man has been canceled for the second year in a row: 'We recognize that the pandemic is not over'

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Burning Man has been canceled for the second year in a row: 'We recognize that the pandemic is not over'
REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
  • The Burning Man festival has been canceled for a second year in a row, the organizers said Tuesday.
  • "We recognize that the pandemic is not over," CEO Marian Goodell said.
  • Last year, thousands of fans held their own makeshift festivals in violation of social-distancing guidelines.
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Black Rock City will not be built in 2021, Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell announced Tuesday.

"We recognize that the pandemic is not over," she said, explaining why Burning Man will not take place this year. "We've made a difficult decision, based on the best information available to us."

"It's too important to do half-assed, so we're doubling down on next year," she added.

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Last week, the festival's organizers were weighing a decision over whether to require attendees to provide proof of vaccination.

Burning Man's pivot to a virtual festival for 2020 didn't stop thousands of fans from holding their own makeshift festivals in violation of Nevada and California social-distancing guidelines.

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For Burners hoping to explore the Black Rock Desert this summer, the Bureau of Land Management plans to keep public lands open.

"Show up as a responsible burner. Remember: Leave no trace, civic responsibility, and radical self-reliance," Goodell said. "Be ambassadors for the Burner culture."

An economic analysis by the organizers found Burning Man is responsible for roughly $60 million in revenue for the state of Nevada each year.

Burning Man was also a recipient of Paycheck Protection Program loans worth between $2 million and $5 million, filings show.

"We're not cancelling Burning Man," Goodell said, referring to the cultural movement, "we're just not doing Black Rock City."

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"We will always burn the man," she said.

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