The Burning Man Multiverse in 2020

After much listening, discussion, and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision not to build Black Rock City in 2020. Given the painful reality of COVID-19, one of the greatest global challenges of our lifetimes, we believe this is the right thing to do. Yes, we are heartbroken. We know you are too. In 2020 we need human connection and Immediacy more than ever. But public health and the well-being of our participants, staff, and neighbors in Nevada are our highest priorities.

We are, however, going to build Black Rock City in The Multiverse. That’s the theme for 2020 so we’re going to lean into it. Who’d have believed it would come true? We look forward to welcoming you to Virtual Black Rock City 2020. We’re not sure how it’s going to come out; it will likely be messy and awkward with mistakes. It will also likely be engaging, connective, and fun.

Some of you who already purchased a ticket for the playa may need that money now more than ever. We’re committed to providing refunds to those who need them, but we’re also committed to keeping Burning Man culture alive and thriving, and to ensuring our organization stays operational into next year’s event season — which will require substantial staff layoffs, pay reductions, and other belt-tightening measures. Burning Man Project’s survival is going to depend on ingenuity and generosity. Luckily, our community is rich in both.

Whether you have already purchased a ticket, have been waiting for the Main Sale, or are simply supportive of our vision and mission — if you have the means, it is our sincerest hope that you will consider donating all or a portion of your ticket value, and/or making a tax-deductible donation to Burning Man Project. This is going to be a tough year for us, as we know it will be for you, but we will get through it together.

With your support, we will continue investing in key programs like Burners Without Borders, Fly Ranch, the Regional Network, and our Philosophical Center. We will continue with projects already in motion, including grants to artists, BWB micro grants, and deploying educational leadership content. We also have exciting new projects on the horizon, including publishing a book and launching a cultural magazine.

Financial challenges aside, we are optimistic about Burning Man’s future and what The Multiverse will reveal in the year ahead: a chance to explore new ways of connecting and convening online (prepare your playa gear for a virtual Black Rock City — more info below!), deepen our commitment to environmental sustainability, realign our partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, and create new and meaningful pathways for the community to connect and collaborate, especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Since our earliest days on Baker Beach, we have always been, first and foremost, a community. And we’re a community familiar with being in a state of survival. There were many years when the Black Rock City event almost didn’t happen. We know how to face uncertainty and how to adapt to the changing world around us. We will tackle this challenge the same way humans across the globe are doing right now — by drawing strength and inspiration from one another. We are all Burning Man.

Please watch this important message from Burning Man Project CEO Marian Goodell, read below for answers to your burning questions (yup, we said it), and explore more of our upcoming Multiverse here.

#ThanksLarry

Burn on,
Your Friends at Burning Man Project

FAQs

Whoa. What’s happening?

As we all know, the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to wreak havoc around the world. At this point the likelihood of 80,000 people being able to gather safely this summer is extremely low. Because Black Rock City requires the collaboration and commitment of an entire community — artists, builders, theme camp organizers, volunteers, local stakeholders, and so many more — coupled with significant investments of time, money, and energy, we don’t think it’s practical for us to continue waiting and hoping for the best. Nor do we think that would be fair to our community members who give so much of themselves to this event. Beyond our concerns about the coronavirus, new impositions and unnecessary cost requirements from the Bureau of Land Management have seriously threatened the viability of producing Black Rock City in the Black Rock Desert. If Black Rock City is to be built on public lands in the future, we have significant challenges to overcome with the BLM.

What does this mean for the future of the organization? What will you do instead of building a city in the desert?

Things are looking a little grim. We are a year-round nonprofit dedicated to extending the culture of Burning Man beyond Black Rock City and into the world. Our teams spend a considerable amount of time and energy on other programs, including Burners Without Borders, Fly Ranch, the Regional Network, and our Philosophical Center. We intend to keep supporting these efforts in addition to supporting grants to artists, issuing micro grants through Burners Without Borders, deploying educational leadership content, publishing a book and launching a cultural magazine. With your support, we will keep doing this work. We will also continue to co-create ways for you to explore and imagine via in-person and online convenings that will keep us all connected in the dust-free year ahead. We are going to have to do it more efficiently and with fewer resources, but the work will go on. However the world changes as a result of this crisis, it’s going to need Burning Man more than ever.

We are especially excited to refocus our efforts on co-creating a collective, online celebration of The Multiverse, also known as a virtual Black Rock City or “VBRC” (see what we did there).

A virtual Black Rock City? What does that look like?

In this Multiverse, Black Rock City will be online, and everyone will be welcome to join in. On a virtual playa, there’s no limit to who can participate. Like That Thing in The Desert, we will have costs and will need to create some kind of “ticket.” We’re working out those details and will share them as soon as we can. It won’t be like the BRC we’ve built over the years; we know there’s no substitute for an in-person experience. It will be a new kind of Burn. We want to co-create BRC online with 100,000 participants to share our passions, explore fun new ways to live more sustainably, connect in these challenging times, and take care of one another. We know the community has vast potential to meet the challenges of the world. Let’s do it together. If you want to collaborate, let us know here!

How will Burning Man Project weather the economic impact of this decision?

Only with your support. Tickets to Black Rock City are our primary source of revenue, representing more than 90% of the nonprofit’s annual income. But 60% of the work we do is dedicated to the year-round cultural programs. Without that revenue to rely on, we have made and will continue to make hard decisions and sacrifices. We have started by implementing salary cuts for everyone on our leadership team and are having to lay off some of our dedicated staff members. We hope to bring many of them back in 2021, but it’s too soon to know exactly how all of this will unfold. We are slashing expenses and looking at every line of our budget for possible cuts. If there’s any change stuck between the couch cushions, we’re going to find that too. But we really need your support to survive. We will not be able to build Black Rock City in 2021 if our experienced team members aren’t able to be with us.

What can I do to help Burning Man and Burning Man Project survive?

First and foremost, don’t give up hope. Burning Man will survive this crisis just as we have survived existential threats in the past. Second, keep burning in all the magical ways you know how — connecting and collaborating with your friends and imagining new ways to bring the 10 Principles to life. Third, take care of yourself and those around you — Burning Man is not a place or thing; it’s about the human-led and created culture that we continue to share and reinvent. We want to see all you beautiful people on the other side of this crisis, when we trade in our plague masks for dust masks. Finally, if you can afford to make a donation to Burning Man Project, please give what you can. In return, you will become our personal hero/heroine/otherwise-gendered heroic human and will be able to count yourself among the generous souls who helped save Burning Man in a time of crisis. Your generosity will have a huge impact on our collective future.

How and where can we continue to self-organize, share information, celebrate Burning Man, and maintain momentum?

There are many existing ways to connect and collaborate, and some we haven’t thought of yet, or are just beginning to invent! First of all, we encourage you to head over and Share Your (COVID) Story about how you, your campmates, or your friends and family are applying your Burning Man experience to help you get through these strange and challenging times. Check out the COVID response by Burners Without Borders, and take part in one of their weekly Community Conversations. Just this week we launched an entirely new publication: it’s called Beyond Burning Man and you’ll find it on Medium. This environment is devoted to the stories and takeaways that can inspire our collective creativity and impact. We want your stories. Please follow it if you’re on Medium and let us know if you’d like to contribute. We’re ready to be a clearing house for ideas and connection around content. It’s possible we’ll repurpose the Playa Events Calendar and just wait until you see what’s in store for Kindling. As usual, subscribe to the Jackrabbit Speaks, check out the latest stories from across our global community in the Burning Man Journal, and stay tuned as we continue to add more ways to get involved on Community During COVID You can also check out ePlaya to continue conversations, and Spark to collaborate on projects year-round and around the world.

That all sounds cool, what else?

We’re also in the process of building something that we’re super excited about. We call it Kindling. It’s content to spark the fire. A social laboratory, where we can explore the many ways you, the keepers of Burning Man culture, inspire and galvanize positive change and creative action in the world. Get ready to dive in, collaborate and share stories and content with fellow dreamers and doers across the Burnerverse. This new platform will also be a gathering place. If the global health situation stabilizes, we expect to also create an in-person event in the first half of 2021. You’ll be able to join activists and creators, changemakers and entrepreneurs at an in-person convening to connect, co-learn and explore. We’re thrilled to be jumping into this unknown and hope you’ll come along for the ride!

Are you offering refunds? What if I purchased a FOMO or DGS ticket for 2020?

The short answer: Yes, that’s the intention. Providing refunds is the right thing to do for our community members who have put so much trust in us over the years, and who may be experiencing their own financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic. This is a decision made in the interest of our culture and our community. It is an enormous financial risk, but we have faith that those with the means to do so will help us stay afloat during these challenging times. To that end, we’re going to ask that you consider gifting the value (or a portion of the value) of your purchased ticket back to Burning Man Project as a tax-deductible donation. This need is real. Please consider that Black Rock City on the playa isn’t happening, but Burning Man is still on fire and going strong!

How do I request a refund? 

You will be able to request a refund through your Burner Profile. There will be several options, including one for requesting a full refund. You will also be asked, if you can, to donate the value (or a portion of the value) of your ticket(s) and/or vehicle pass to Burning Man Project. Once we have finished building the refund tool (working on it!) and are ready to start processing these requests, we will email ticket buyers from the DGS and FOMO sales with specific instructions. There’s a lot going on right now — please know that we’re working on it as fast as we can!

Will I also be refunded for the taxes and fees?

The 9% added to any ticket order to cover the Nevada Live Entertainment Tax is refundable. We are not able to refund transaction fees, however, because these fees are assessed and collected by third parties in order to process the transactions. We are of course in the position of working to get a refund to give a refund. Oh, the circles we are weaving!

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes, donating the value of a previously purchased ticket qualifies as a tax-deductible gift. That said, donors should always consult tax accountants or lawyers to confirm whether a particular gift they’re making qualifies as deductible.

Why aren’t you offering a “rollover” option so that the ticket I purchased for 2020 can be applied to 2021?

While this seems like a logical solution at first glance, it’s actually not a very practical or helpful one for managing our organizational operations and finances. Rolling tickets over to a future year only punts the financial challenge to a future date. We start spending money on the next Black Rock City at the beginning of the year a full 9 months before it happens —  for contracts, staffing, permits, etc. So due to the complexity and unique nature of our event, we have already spent a  portion of the funds from tickets sold. Although a “rollover” may be a reasonable option for smaller events with shorter production timelines, it would only serve as a very temporary band-aid to address the situation we’re in. We’re seeking long-term solutions that set us up to be sustainable for years to come. We think the difference between rolling over and having the money now and not having it in the spring of 2021 could be $10-12 million and we don’t know how to easily make up that shortfall at that time.

Don’t you have a “rainy day fund” or “prudent reserve” for this kind of thing?

Yes, Burning Man Project has approximately $10 million in reserve funds to cover contingencies, but this crisis goes well beyond any normal planning scenarios. Since we are providing refunds and keeping the ticket money separate in our minds from the operating expenses, we are currently using the reserve to survive. We don’t expect to have a reserve at the end of this year. Truthfully, without major changes, deep cutbacks, and a generous outpouring of donations, we could only stay operational for a few months on our reserve funds.

Doesn’t Burning Man Project have cancellation insurance? 

While we do have cancellation insurance for certain situations, our insurance policy does not cover cancellation due to health epidemics or pandemics. We do not expect to receive any funds from insurance as a result of our event in the desert not happening this year. We have, however, applied for support from the Small Business Administration and are exploring every possible opportunity for federal support to help us weather this storm.

Was the Bureau of Land Management or the State of Nevada going to cancel the event anyway? Were any government entities involved in this decision?

We have been working closely with government officials and therefore this decision was entirely ours.

What about the economic impact on Northern Nevada? Is Burning Man Project planning anything to support Gerlach and nearby communities?

Black Rock City, including event production and participant activity, represents an annual injection of $75 million into the Northern Nevada economy. There is no doubt, especially in a year when the economy is taking an enormous hit, that not gathering in the Black Rock Desert will have a significant impact on Reno, Empire, Gerlach, and other Northern Nevada communities. We are committed to our neighbors in Nevada and are working on some ideas for offsetting this development. As an example, with Fly Ranch and the LAGI 2020 design challenge we are working to slowly build a steady flow of economic benefit. While the current situation prevents us from hosting group activities or nature walks, it does not stop ongoing progress towards building a year-round rural center for the Burning Man community, creative culture, and nearby communities.

Why cancel now? What is the downside of a “wait and see” approach?

Burning Man is a community of people who spend weeks, months, and in some cases years planning, preparing, building, and creating so that we can come together and experience the most awe-inspiring, engaging, and vibrant city on the planet. Given this reality, it is not possible to wait further into the summer to make a decision. Waiting would only cost the participants, the organization and the various cooperating agencies money and time, though truth be told we did wait as long as we could to make this decision. The time is now.

This year’s theme is/was/will be The Multiverse. What will the theme be for 2021?

The many worlds of The Multiverse allow for a near-infinite set of possibilities, but frankly, no one saw this coming. Let’s continue to open and explore new doors of experience and perception that technology and our own inventiveness allow in these unusual times. At this point, we won’t hazard a guess at the 2021 theme. It will reveal itself.

Will there be a Black Rock City event in 2021?

We certainly hope so. We don’t know what the public health situation will be a year from now, or what impact the pandemic will have had by then on our participants, our organization, or the global economy. It will also depend on whether the Bureau of Land Management, our permitting authority, is willing to work with us in a more collaborative manner. As you may know, the BLM has been imposing mounting costs and restrictions, making it increasingly difficult for us to continue holding our event in the Black Rock Desert. With your continued support, if we can keep the organization afloat and come to better terms with the BLM, yes, the Man will Burn again in Black Rock City.

You didn’t answer my question!

We know there are many more questions not answered here. We don’t have all of the answers! Like you, we are feeling our way in the dark here. Feel free to leave your unanswered questions in the comments below. We will share more information over the coming months, and as always, keep your eyes on the Jackrabbit Speaks and the Burning Man Journal for the latest.


Top photo: Graphic art by Tanner Boeger

About the author: Burning Man Project

Burning Man Project

The official voice of the Burning Man organization, managed by Burning Man Project's Communications Team.

527 Comments on “The Burning Man Multiverse in 2020

    • Laughing Bear says:

      Thanks for making the right call. If we decided to “keep” our ticket, do we still get paper tickets and a fireball?!!?!

      Report comment

    • Nirv Lahav says:

      Oh no!!!
      Really? But it’s in late August. Most chances that until then it will be over. Why did you cancel already???
      Why not too wait till June?

      Report comment

      • Tits McGee says:

        Did you not read any of this!! Freeking answer is in doc of you bothered to read whole thing
        So annoying

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      • Moving Violation says:

        The art that is out there takes months to build with volunteer workers. All these artists are the ones building, how can they donate time when they are playing catch up? So much to consider besides waiting until June when the writing is on the wall. This virus is serious.

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      • @Moving Violation is right- The art out there would be so quished for time, volunteers, and resources. I am glad that I now have 500 days/70 weeks to create my installation for 2021.

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      • Beck says:

        Hahaha! You are deceiving yourself. It is in Autumn the second wave will strike. It will strike communities spared during the first wave. Such is the dynamics of pandemics. It could strike right during Burning Man, causing the first real Mass Incident for BRC.

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    • Plutselig Pilegrim says:

      This “ enormous financial risk» the CEO is taking refunding tickets ….?

      I attend major major music festivals and follow the music scene world wide….it’s my passion…

      Burning man was bucket list for me….but what emerged to the surface from you guys in this time of crisis is staggering…..

      What do I mean ??

      Not ONE cancelled event worldwide has “burned” it’s one reputability like you guys…small or big…

      Not ONE cancelled event worlwide has had any form of prolonged communication with negative content and dismay from audience like you guys…..small or big….

      Not ONE cancelled event worldwide has had such Black clouded and ill managed messages to future participants like you guys…..small or big…

      Your fatal way of handling this matter of refunds , even with todays wording and video from CEO , has depleted any form of motivation to seek future participation….

      This all has left a bad taste in my month and I am «burned»….

      That is the gigantic financial risk you guys has put on yourselves……this negative mental virus you have constructed yourselves…,

      If org burning man goes under to file for bankrupcy eventually not ONE is left uncertain where it all started……

      Report comment

      • Pablo Arroz says:

        Your posted comments are unkind and inconsistent with the loving spirit of the Playa. Maybe the Playa just isn’t for you, brother.
        Peace be with you. .

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      • GTFO says:

        Good. No one wants you here anyway, you little ding dong. Go back to Coachella that you’re so passionate for.

        Report comment

      • Eric Gilliom says:

        BMORG handled this with grace & style, your comments are baseless & ignorant, please please please don’t ever come to our amazing community, you are the absolute antithesis of what happens at BM.
        Aloha from an 11 year veteran burner.

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      • Dr. U says:

        Wow Zero Love Given

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      • Better off without you says:

        70000 broken hearts and all you care about is your bucket list. People like you are ruining this event. Troll.

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      • Gabriel Karpati says:

        Your comments are a disgrace. Please stay away from our community.

        Report comment

      • Doctor says:

        If this left a “bad taste in your mouth”, you’re really not gonna like playa dust.

        Report comment

      • Bailey Queue says:

        Wow. I am so sorry you were unable to attend our event. I say our, because we ALL put on this event. Even though you are receiving some negative responses here, I am sure on the playa your perspective would change.

        Please don’t give up. Attend one of our regionals. It is less of a commitment, however, the community is there.

        It takes a lot for us to put on this event. We build a city in the desert. A whole city for one week. It is amazing.

        Maid Marian and the staff have sent a well thought out plan for our future of the event and our projects. I don’t understand where you are coming from please explain if you wish. If you have any questions about or community please open a dialogue.

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      • Pooh Bear says:

        Burning Man isn’t a corporate sponsored, soulless, over-produced music festival. While it is filled with music, it is not a music festival. Look at what is left after one of your festivals and look at what is left after the BM. Event. At a music festival it is a pile of trash. At BM it’s a pristine desert. Burning Man is messy. Many of the things we do we are doing for the first time. There is no manual. The people who run it are not graduates of business schools. They themselves are passionate members of a counter culture who do their best on the cutting edge as incidents like this happen for the first time. Please take Burning Man off your bucket list. It requires much more commitment than that. It is the most difficult thing you would ever do. It will exhaust you. It will challenge you. It will try to break and remake you. It requires much more commitment and acceptance than a music festival. It will also bring you joy. I invite you to join our community, but not as a transient tourist. Make a commitment to us and you will be welcome. You’ve seen us under stress. You’ve seen that we are a family that argues, but comes together when we need each other. You’ve seen our leaders struggle but come to the right decision in the end. That’s how love works.

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      • Organizedchaos says:

        Your comments just go to show exactly how little you understand this event. If there is a silver lining here, it’s that people with attitudes as poor as yours will be deterred from coming to the event in the future.

        Report comment

      • glowStix says:

        Im sorry you feel that way. Im just a regular person that goes to Burning Man. Wait till you met us. We’re different and awesome.

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      • Coco says:

        I am glad you have plenty of other events to attend, do so! Not sure where all your negativity is coming from since you haven’t even purchase a ticket at this point. Fyre and Coachella want you back!

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      • andifeelfine6oclock says:

        You are completely right, please tell all your friends and instagram followers!

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      • Cosmic Giggle says:

        You sound frustrated, and like you really wanted to go this year. There are many years to come, and maybe there will be a right one waiting ahead.

        We are not trying to uphold our interests in making sure our “event” happens, we are supporting artists, and theme camps, and everybody who makes BM so fucking awesome.

        I invite you to come, but BM isn’t just a party. It’s where people get an opportunity to feel themselves, grieve, rage, laugh, exude absolute joy, and have playful times on all the art projects, and it’s also a place where we find ourselves disappointed sometimes. And where we fall apart so we can find ourselves again. If all that appeals to you still, come out and play, and experience what a burn is.

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      • Elizabeth says:

        It is heart breaking to see such venom when they are so concerned for the loving people that are part of a loving community and care so much for each other.
        Perhaps you need to search your soul and decide if this is the place for you.
        May love and peace find you.

        Report comment

      • verde says:

        well keep going to music fest and slop around in half eaten hamburger and puke.

        Report comment

      • Bob says:

        Such vitriol, considering that this entire event got started on Baker Beach as a celebration of a divorce 40 years ago.

        Report comment

      • DavyRay says:

        You are either on the bus, or not on the bus.

        Report comment

      • Magnum says:

        Your assessment of the situation is spot on and well worded. I’d like to add a few points as well. As a disclaimer, I am a 19 year veteran of the burn. I worked for the org 9 of those years. I am not a disgruntled employee or a jaded veteran burner; rather I loved my time within my department, and it’s what kept me coming back the last decade.

        I am CEO of a tire manufacturing company with customers loyal to my brand for their needs. Many will not run any other tire on their car. They are the automotive version of burners. Their loyalty to my brand is not too dissimilar to burners loyal to the event.

        I would not even entertain the idea of a donation from my customers to keep me afloat due to my mishandling of funds. You need a loan? Go to a bank. Asking your lemmings for money is incredibly inappropriate.

        The org grosses 28m (+/-) each year. Of course there are expenses to de deducted from that amount, however that should still leave a substantial fund each year in the coffers. Rough calculations estimate the ten year gross at nearly 250m. That’s a quarter of a billion dollars, and you mean to tell me you cannot sustain yourself for one year?

        Something is not adding up.

        I am not a forensic accountant, but I believe wildly unnecessary high overhead and salaries are partly to blame. Why the need for 3 offices, not including the DPW ranch? I understand a need for an office in California, but perhaps in an outlying area of San Francisco. I can only imagine the high rents in the city. Why another office in Reno AND Gerlach? Why not combine those two and relocate to the ranch which is 20 minutes up the road?

        It seems as though the org invested heavily in a festival that has long had an uncertain future. Aside from the org itself and the participants, no one seems to like Burningman as much as they like themselves. I think that once this year is over, Nevada will realize it does not need the event nor its “contributions”, and will likely cease allowing it to continue. I may be wrong, and I certainly hope so, as the event meant a lot to me, but I am simply being honest about matters, given what I’ve seen and heard over the last decade.

        With each year having more BLM restrictions imposed, and louder threats re permits not being issued, why the heavy financial investment By the org in Nevada? The purchase of Fly Ranch seems like year another poor way to spend money. Is it beautiful? Yes. Are there some redeeming values/benefits to ownership? Possibly. Will the taxes/upkeep/improvements be worth the financial cost, vis-a-vi spending (or better year banking) those funds to continue the event? Not likely.

        I will be curious to know if all the board members refuse their annual salary before they hold their hand out asking for donations.

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      • Nikolaus Heger says:

        Absolutely right.

        Burning Man showed weak leadership, unbelievably poor judgement for someone supposed to be an “alternative” event.

        2020 is the moment Burning Man sold out to CNN

        Counter culture no more, it’s now mainstream, and ironitcally at a time where mainstream just hit the iceberg and is about to sink like the Titanic.

        This means Burning Man ORG is totally out of touch with all the amazing people going there.

        BMOrg is totally out of touch with all the countless voices that called this “plandemic” fake from the beginning – planned by the dark powers behind our politicians, and BMOrg fell for it hook line and sinker.

        And it is, rightfully now, sinking like a rock.

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      • Beck says:

        If you treat Burning Man as only as corporate entity, as your unkind and ungracious comment seems to indicate “CEO” this and “reputability” that, you would not to a BRC Burning Man and still miss it. Your attitude is not that of participant. It is more of the customer. Peace.

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    • I live in the UK and am thinking of coming over to the US and driving out to the where the 2020 BRC would have been. A sort of pilgimage. I suspect there will be a few hundred/thousand burners like me who will do the same. We can recreate one of those unstructured, ticketless burns of the early 1990s. Does this seem like a good idea to you guys?

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    • Marscrumb says:

      But we all have our face masks and gloves. and the virus coat breaks down in alkali. Just dissolve Black Rock City and have everyone disperse across thee vast playa a hundred meters apart. It will be like the Wild West Days.

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    • Paul says:

      I would gladly donate my refund if I could get the tickets & vehicle pass to frame and hang on the wall.

      I hope to be able to look at them and remember this as the most significant effect that the Coronavirus had on me.

      I understand why it was necessary to cancel, and I agree with the decision.

      Report comment

    • Col FoXXX says:

      Who died and made you boss? I’m goin’ out there anyway with my tiki bar.

      Report comment

    • Mike says:

      I’ve never been able to afford to come out but hopefully when this is all over I will finally make it, blessings everyone!

      Report comment

    • Marie mczoeken says:

      Honestly.. I fucking hated burning man and I’m happy that I might never have to go again :)

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  • Polaris says:

    A difficult decision, but probably the right one. Thanks!

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  • Ned Beebe says:

    Wise choice!

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  • Karen Yvette says:

    See you next year
    But I understand this has to be done

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  • SHARON FIEKOWSKY says:

    Thank you for having the courage to do the right thing for the wellbeing of the community…in some other slice of the multiverse, we’ll be in BRC :)

    Report comment

  • Jonmy says:

    Uh, dont tell me what to do?
    We are still going, sorry bmorg

    Report comment

    • Doug says:

      The BLM will enact a closure area, just as they have done for the last upteen years. Last year you were allowed to enter the closure area if you had a ticket. This year, no one will be allowed to enter. A Burning Man without all of the infrastructure and permits and fees just ain’t going to happen.

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    • SBirder says:

      Local residents, including the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, don’t want tourists, visitors, stubborn burners bringing infection to their communities. They dont have a lot of medical resources. Think about their communities and lives. They are worth more than your vacation.

      Report comment

      • Cynthia Franzen says:

        Absolutely correct. You could literally leave a path of death and destruction if you infected people in the area. Please think of the bigger picture.

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      • Bob says:

        It was your and the other outrider haters fault the event was mistakenly prematurely cancelled. The locals have zero say and authority on first amendment freedom of assembly , public highways and federal lands. State , county public health authority will open everything up by June.

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      • Nikolaus Heger says:

        Make no mistake – this simply means one thing: Burning Man is dead. Officially dead.

        This is due to a number of mistakes being made – but mostly it is due to a lack of integrity in the leadership. A lack of backbone. A lack of critical thinking skills. Probably too much vaccines and fluoride in their bodies, closing off the visionary gland.

        Maybe you can turn into a second Coachella? Sell sparkle pony gear at the entrance?

        But I want to offer some more constructive criticism too, even though I personally believe it is too late. This is a time when the mettle of men (and women) is tested. BMOrg was tested, and has failed quite spectacularly, caving at the first signs of trouble, far over the horizon.

        Caving at the spectre of a disease; running away from the shadow of a mouse, made large by a media spotlight shone on it from close up.

        So here’s some criticism:

        – No pandemic has ever lasted 4 moths, by the time this was posted China had already recovered, proving that it’s only taking about 2 months

        – Simultaneously all the data was released about 80% false positive tests, stuffing the covid numbers in the west, actual fatality rates miniscule, it was just the flu- even Trump figured it out, how did BMORg fail so badly? Outdone by orange man? How?

        – Burning Man needs only two things – a location and a date, the rest is nice, but not necessary for the festival. Big art, big names, big prep – all not needed.

        – “As we all know, the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to wreak havoc around the world. At this point the likelihood of 80,000 people being able to gather safely this summer is extremely low. ” absolute bullshit. This fairy tale was BS from the beginning and everyone woke enough to use two hands and type into google could find out about it in less than 2 hours of research. But if you’re glued to CNN 24/7 you won’t find out – so I guess thats what BMORg was doing.

        – This was an utterly spineless, fear based, mass media nonsense based decision. Burning Man cannot thrive with people at the helm who believe the BS in the mass media. It’s impossible. There is no integrity, no soul, no nothing. It’s dead up there.

        Shame on you for killing burning man!

        I will grieve for my festival – remembering it as having been destroyed by cowardly leadership

        If there was ONE opportunity in this century to show your true colors this was it. I get it, it was confusing, fear demons were being painted on the wall by your politicians and media, and fear activated the lizard brain of self preservation, confusing your thinking. But really, when have politicians ever told the truth? When has media? Why do you suddenly beliieve them when any other time you’d say they’re lying?

        This was a test of merit and you have failed. I will not forget all the amazing times at Burning Man – but its era is over, strangely just at a time when its utopian principles are going to be put into practice and real life for the first time in human history.

        When utopia becomes reality – perhaps then the utopia is no longer needed.

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    • Kate says:

      Many tribal and rural health services across the country are seriously struggling to provide services for the permanent residents of the immediate area. If you needed any kind of medical treatment while in northern NV you would burden the local communities and threaten the care of tribal members of rural folks who live there year-round. Think about the consequences!

      Report comment

    • Peace says:

      That would make you a selfish fool, not a dedicated Burner.

      Report comment

    • Scooter Pie says:

      Don’t be a Covidiot! Don’t be an entitled prick!

      Report comment

    • andifeelfine6oclock says:

      Lol, good luck with that.

      Report comment

  • Douglas Wolk says:

    Thank you for making this call now, hard as it must have been. (And… it’s kind of nice to get to skip a year without FOMO!)

    Report comment

  • Brayden McLean says:

    I know many reading this will probably be heartbroken, but I personally think you made a good decision. The coming year will be tough so let’s work together to make 2021 awesome!

    Report comment

  • dale says:

    Will DGS allocation change next year?

    Report comment

  • Magnum says:

    Smart move. This also may be a great way to end a great run of burns, and focus on smaller regional events.

    Report comment

  • Amp says:

    Is Daft Punk still going to play tho?

    Report comment

  • Colleen Haggerty says:

    Thank you for your leadership during this challenging time – you made the right decision. I also found your Q&A very informative, thank you! See you in 21 )*(

    Report comment

  • Eggchairsteve says:

    Thank you for providing all this insight, thank you for all the hard work over the years

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  • Jeremy Adair says:

    Tough decision, but probably the right one.

    If we donate, will we get our ticket as a memorial?

    Will the ORG be able to get any of the federal aid?

    See you in the dust next year

    Jeremy

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  • Joe Buchman says:

    Love you all. Never felt closer to this community. I’ll be there virtually, and wherever whatever is in 2021.

    Massive gratitude

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  • TILT says:

    Keep up the good work, reach out, get donations. People will make it happen in 21

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  • William Stemwell III says:

    I’m in line for the donation. Not a problem. To me it’s Burners helping Burners!

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  • Acid Angel says:

    Is there anyway to donate even if we didn’t get a ticket? Was planning on getting one during main sale, but willing to help out if possible.

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  • Jack Foust says:

    I have a great deal of admiration for you, Marian, and I don’t believe that anyone could have done or will do better. I am weeping now, but I know will all be there again, whether it’s 2021 or 2022. (Let’s make it ’21!)

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  • Jim Lahey says:

    Separate the Burning Man Project and Burning Man the event. Fund BMP with donations from people who actually want their money going to such causes. I want my ticket price to go into the funds that are responsibly managed with the intent of maintaining the livelihood of the event.

    The philanthropic pet projects of BMP have jeopardized the event. Period.

    Report comment

    • TJ says:

      I tend to agree. If not now then at least move in that direction.

      Report comment

    • Mog says:

      Agree. Folks are buying tickets to an event. We bring the event activities and we pay for the event infrastructure and event art grants. (And seasonal or year-round staff required. I don’t expect y’all full-time dirty hippies to survive on good vibes.)

      We are not paying to fund year-round evangelism of the Gospel of the Ten Principles. Those staff and those activities need to be separated somehow, for certain. This mission creep has been thrown into the spotlight by COVID. Now would be a great time to address funding that appropriately, not through event sales.

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    • SK says:

      would you support the event being a for-profit entity owned by the BMP?

      Report comment

      • Jim Lahey says:

        No. That just seems like what is going on now but with more transparency.

        Burning man is owned by the attendees that have made the event what it is over the past several decades. I’d like to see it completely separated. The aspirations of the board and their philanthropic ideas are not in line with what the burn is about. Some people will disagree, but I challenge the org to pose the simple question and get feedback on this: “Would you like the BORG to continue funding projects outside of burning man to the point where we can’t take a year off without the sale of tickets?”

        Most people will answer no. It’s a blatant scope creep with serious consequences.

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    • E Wise says:

      I agree completely

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    • Steppenwolf says:

      Yes, Jim. That’s right. The outside projects need to be cut for a while. The BM event is what should be the sole focus.

      Report comment

    • Laura says:

      I absolutely agree.

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    • Dusk Rider says:

      I couldn’t agree more!! We need to make sure the BMORG hears this critically valid concern and responds to it. While the seemingly ever growing list of BMORG projects, ventures, activities, publications, etc. might appeal to some, I’m sure there are plenty of others like me who just want the BMORG to focus on building BRC every year. If others want to support all those other projects great, but I don’t remember getting to cast vote about how the BMORG prioritizes and allocates funds or decides how or why to expand the organization. Here’s the bottom line for me, if the BMORG will promise to use my money exclusively to build BRC next year, I’ll donate 100% of the cost of my already purchased tickets, if not, then I’ll want a refund as I’m not interested in funding a book or a cultural magazine or trips around the nation or the world to evangelize the Burning Man Philosophy.
      Also, I’m very concerned that if the BMORG is not giving its undivided attention to working out our serious issues with the BLM there won’t be another BRC anyway. Intense focus needs to be placed on how to secure our ongoing ability to use the Black Rock Desert. Sorry BMORG, but that’s what your beloved BRC burner community needs you to do. If you’re not interested in that being your highest priority, please just say so. You owe that to this community. Speaking frankly, I don’t care how wonderful you make it, but a VBRC (virtual Black Rock City) is never going to replace that thing in the desert. Please consider addressing these concerns the next time you reach out to us.

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      • Laura says:

        I agree. Address focusing just on BRC. Let us know soon.

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      • Mark McCormack says:

        I agree. BMORG needs to get this Same shit every year BLM arguments done, and get a 10 year deal. ( long term cost savings )Whats up with the BLM LAWSUIT? I am.on the same page, no more world junkets, no more dishing out money to these little “projects” BMORG needs to build the bank account fund to sustain.

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    • One Who Makes Art For BRC says:

      Formalized or not with an actual schism of event & org I agree with the voices saying there needs to be a stronger commitment to the continuity of Black Rock City.

      “I hope so” isn’t good enough for my donation and leaving BRC in the hands of the BLM to decide if they want to do it our way gives over to them the decision of if it happens at all. That does not reflect Radical Self-Reliance, Communal Effort or Civic Responsibility.

      Reading this announcement I am inclined to ask for a full refund if there is not a stronger commitment given to building Black Rock City in 2021.

      A magazine feels like a vanity and in many ways out of touch with the modern world and should probably not exist even in a healthy year. This is not the year to build solar power for Fly Ranch. This is not the year to fund public works of art outside of BRC. It is short sighted to waste time and money on a virtual event when one already exists as a regional. We need staff to figure out how to do this event in the dust in 2021 with all the new things needed to protect local communities. It will take longer than the normal cycle to do that and momentum needs to be put in place so those opposed to the burn do not have time to build a citadel.

      To be clear do all those things with what money you generate from creating Black Rock City. Your money. But I am probably not on the list that would fund them directly without the promise of Black Rock City.

      The culture begins in the crucible of BRC and the fire spreads from there. It does not need other forms of evangelism than just creating more Burners via BRC. It is the result of the cultural experiment not the purpose of it.

      I think this message misses what priorities should be in oder for burners like me to consider donating a few thousand dollars. I would like to see another message emphasizing continuity of BRC.

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  • dustin warr says:

    It’s five.months.away. Goddammit. Count me in for a donation to keep it moving forward for 2021, but August is going to roll around and this is going to feel like a bit over-reaction.

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    • curmudgeon says:

      the whole thing is an over-reaction. haven’t you done the math? This thing is 99% bullshit.

      Report comment

      • bummedburnerbabe says:

        I gotta say…. canceling Burning Man now does feel a little premature.

        Report comment

      • Slacker says:

        Maybe you should do the math for us. Are you fucking serious?

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      • randall_burns says:

        There is a lot about COVID-19 that is just not yet known.

        What we do know:
        The government of Singapore was not able to avoid a lockdown despite having some of the best preparations in the world. They had an infrastructure they had built for Sars that was all ready to go. Singapore also started gettting test kits built as soon as they knew China had a problem.

        The US Navy had a commander of the aircraft carrier, Teddy Roosevelt that sacrificed his career because he felt he to do so to protect his crew.

        The projection for the US are not going into a worse case scenario, but I think it would be pretentious for Burners to think they can assure the safety of their people when organizations with a lot of resources are still having real reliability problems.

        Burning Many events present challenges and risks that are unique.

        I would actually agree there is a good chance that a Burning Man event could go off w/o a hitch. The thing is: if it didn’t, then Burning Man would find itself with bad publicity Burners could never live down.

        The people that make up BRC and the regional events are still around. I think beyond virtual events, we’ll start to see more events that are even smaller than the regionals.

        I think we’ll see some ability to get permits for events for 20-70 people this summer, particularly if they are seen taking precautions like some social distancing and use personal protective equipment. A lot can still be done in that context. No, it won’t be the same as BRC, but it won’t be nothing either.

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      • Cynthia Franzen says:

        I did some math. About 1,600 people, in New York City alone, died of CoVid19 in just the last 2 days. I personally don’t want any Burners to bite the dust. (See what I did there?)

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    • Lawrence West says:

      For those of you who think BRC just appears magically out of the dust in late August for your personal pleasure… You might want to consider the 100’s of workers, both paid and volunteer, who begin to descend on Gerlach (and the Playa) beginning MID-MAY, which is only a few weeks away! Do you expect them to show up, live in VERY close quarters, mingle with the people who live year-round in Gerlach (many of whom are over 65), and just deal with it when they get sick with Covid-19? Do you think the government would even allow this to happen? Do you think the residents of Gerlach want their local population to swell many, many times in the midst of a pandemic, without adequate emergency medial care nearby? Can you imagine what would happen if dozens, if not hundreds, of people died as a result of Burning Man just cruising along, as though nothing extraordinary and dangerous was happening? As disappointed as we all are about the event being canceled please look at the situation from a logistical and humanitarian perspective, rather than your own personal desire. Quit whining, stop making nasty quips about the amazing people who work full time at BMO, and try to conjure some of the spirit that made BM into what it is. If you really care about BM please do what you can to help it grow into the future – bigger, better, more powerful, and more relevant than ever. Meanwhile, Fuck Your Burn!

      Report comment

      • Daddy. says:

        Thank you. Hate seeing these “it’s a hoax comments.” It’s not. Trust me.

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      • Standard Deviation says:

        In project management the saying “Items on the calendar are closer than they appear” is a major potential impact understatement when so much in funding dollars (Main Sale) comes in so close to expense. The pandemic has had a large enough known economic effect that waiting on the future unknown economic effect to hit could be, outsider opinion, an .org killer. I expected a decision sooner.

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      • Standard Deviation says:

        And, I think it’s a good decision

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      • Chase says:

        I semi agree with you. I’m not upset at this choice and I fully understand why it must be done.. however, safety 3rd and if you read the ticket it says you come at your own risk and if you die so be it that’s life baby!! So I think they should have shut it down but at the same time of all things to not shut down at the risk of the pandemic and leave the choice up to the people who wanna do it if they deam it worth risking

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      • Bob says:

        Larry if it were postponed till October it would be a lot less hot and workers wouldn’t show until July which is after everything is opened up. Workers can wear masks , distance and not cough on people. See how that works

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      • wantingtothinkaboutthefuture says:

        OK 2020 is done. But we do need to start figuring these things out for 2021. Radical Self Reliance, Civic Responsibility. Or maybe we wait for the magazine to come out and tell us what to do.

        So I am just curious why is it that they were they arriving with COVID 19?

        There are ways to test and ways without testing to ensure someone does not show up carrying. If a lot of healthy people not carrying the virus show up. No one has been placed in danger unless those communities are already hot spots.

        Along with building a city we can start including showing other how to transact safely in a COVID world as part of our little ‘dress rehearsal for a post scarcity society’

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      • Mark McCormack says:

        Fuck your burn? HELLO, my burn is already fucked & put up wet.

        Report comment

    • Silvergirl says:

      I don’t think it’s premature. Not to say that I’m not upset, but feel this action is understandable. The burner community is international, and this pandemic is too fluid a thing to predict at this time. As a physician, seeing both mild and critical COVID cases, I would say that even a few cases rolling through the playa could be devastating. If the incubation period of the virus is ~5 days +/-, many thousands could be ill by the time they travel home.

      As the ORG says, the resources and planning that goes into this event takes months if not years. This is not a train that you bring to a stop on a dime.

      I am looking forward to volunteering again in 2021.

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    • Bob says:

      Yes it’s an over reaction, China is back open now , Austria and Denmark are opening soon and the rest of Europe America will be open in June. Regular normal life will resume. Funny thing is you agree to a contract on the ticket that you can die or be seriously hurt going to burning man and there’s no expectation of safety. Plenty of people have died at burning man.
      This is a financial decision. it’s cheaper to cancel now then in June if BLM etc pulls the permit. It’s not about personal safety risk. If you don’t want risk you would have never gone to burning man. And 60,000 people in USA will die from regular normal flu from October to March , just like every year. People dont get FLu or other shots. WONT GET COVID SHOTS.

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      • Kennita Watson says:

        If you buy a ticket you are consenting to the risk of death, but the friends, family, and colleagues that you could come back to with COVID-19 consented to no such risk; are you willing to commit to self-quarantining for 14 days after you get back, besides using PPE to make sure you don’t leak any virus on your way home? Multiply the strength of that commitment times 80,000, many of whom are traveling across the country or even across oceans; Burning Man can easily generate another deadly wave of the pandemic all by itself.

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  • Greg Watson says:

    Thank you, all of you, for the time and consideration that has gone into this decision. It’s a sad one, but it’s most assuredly the right one. I hope that groups that were awarded honorariums, such as the Temple artists, will be invited next year, so tat they can spend this extra time making even more fabulous art!

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  • Dmitry Word says:

    I will buy a ticket still if I get an official 2020 ticket mailed to me.

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  • Tahoe Lara says:

    What admirable leadership, BMP. You made the right decision and I think we will all find that it pays off in unimaginable ways.

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  • Starlight says:

    I am so heartbroken right now, but also so grateful to know and have experienced what is “Burning Man”. This is a tough time for a lot of people, thinking of my community and holding you all close to my heart. Until we see each other again!

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  • Mac Kaul says:

    Thank you for not waiting until the last minute to announce this. It gives me time to plan my summer. It will be weird to not go.

    Report comment

  • Kindred says:

    This is the right move, kudos for having the bravery to make it.

    Everybody who ever got on a bullhorn and said Burning Man is canceled, go home: you finally got your wish!

    Report comment

  • t-bob says:

    Civic Responsbility. Thank you BMP for practicing this principal in this time of crisis.

    This is not a time to sit back; take your burner ways, and go out into the communities that need our help in dire ways right now. This is what BM was meant to be, not a party, but about participation. We can make a difference; let’s show the world how.

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  • Dale Taylor says:

    A hard decision to make. Understandable and probably the right thing to do.

    Report comment

  • Trance Thompson says:

    Well done! You have our admiration and respect.

    Thank you.

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  • Lifeguard says:

    Thank you!

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  • Schioldager Ron says:

    Good decision Burningman. And think of it this way, you get a lot of extra time to create some fabulous art!

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  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.

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  • CHRIS "Q" Quintana says:

    THIS WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT AND REVELANT FAQ:
    “Will there be a Black Rock City event in 2021?

    We certainly hope so. We don’t know what the public health situation will be a year from now, or what impact the pandemic will have had by then on our participants, our organization, or the global economy. It will also depend on whether the Bureau of Land Management, our permitting authority, is willing to work with us in a more collaborative manner. As you may know, the BLM has been imposing mounting costs and restrictions, making it increasingly difficult for us to continue holding our event in the Black Rock Desert. With your continued support, if we can keep the organization afloat and come to better terms with the BLM, yes, the Man will Burn again in Black Rock City.”

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    • Willie says:

      I agree, BRC has been on shaky ground with BLM for a few years.
      Covid was the final straw. BRC will never be the same.

      “When we cross this line, move into this desert, nothing will be the same. Everything will be different”
      Michael Mikel

      Report comment

      • Andrew Calo says:

        Time to deal with the BLM and Nevada State. They’ve been taking the piss for years.

        Remember: y’all are dealing with the people who run Vegas. Bluffs won’t work.

        Report comment

      • Teal says:

        Maybe a year of no revenue from Bman will make the bureaucracies a little more flexible. Every year more and more demands, rules and especially fees. A low income ticket and car pass is over $300. This would have been my 16th time at BRC and since 2005 my entire year is planned around it. I am beyond deeply saddened, but am hopeful that in some way good will come from this. In dust, we trust.

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    • ThinkoftheLocals says:

      The Native tribes of Northern Nevada are concerned about extinction in this crisis. I think moving BM is a priority in relation to the native people of this country. They live in Reno, Wadsworth, Pyramid, and Nixon.

      Report comment

      • Bob says:

        And yet they’ve been fine with burning man since the 1980s. A tiny fraction of a percent of the total population will get and then die from coivd 19. That’s not extinction.

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      • Don says:

        Teal for 15 years burning man has been your whole life. Find a new hobby. Talk to your real family. Make new friends. There’s life outside of burning man. Deprogram.

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  • GRZLY says:

    See you in 2021. Black Rock City is in our hearts.

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  • Don says:

    Fourth of Juplaya is gonna be a rager this year after hearing this.

    Report comment

    • Badger says:

      The first rule of Juplaya is: You do not talk about Juplaya. The second rule of Juplaya is: You do not talk about Juplaya…

      Report comment

      • Geomom says:

        There is no Fourth of Juplaya. (gets out MIB memory eraser)

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      • SpilBoi says:

        Hey , was that Swamp-gas lit up by an aurora we just saw???

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      • SBirder says:

        Again, remote communities including the local Paiute tribe don’t want stubborn burners bringing infection to their communities. The PLPT is under a state of emergency. You stop for food, gas, bathrooms – you bring the risk of infection. Your desperate rager is not more important than their communities. (You want to repeat history and make Native Americans suffer for your kicks?)

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      • SBirder says:

        Dude, the local residents don’t want you bringing the virus to their communities. They don’t have the resources to endure the consequences of your visit. Stay out.

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    • bird says:

      lol, not gonna happen.

      Report comment

      • Bob says:

        Dude they are free to refuse service to everyone. The reservation has cooperated with local law for the last few years to stop and extract a toll fine bribe from every burner using the highway. That extortion blackmail scheme is over.
        Wal Mart and Bruno’s never close. You are not the president of the Native American people. In fact you’re nothing.

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  • roissy says:

    I am one of the few who disagree with the decision, but I understand why you make it. I also have issues with how this shelter in place was handled, that is a discussion for another time…

    Report comment

    • Badger says:

      Disagreement is a natural consequence of living in a world where people are different in their perceptions.

      Doesn’t make your opinion wrong.

      I wish it were the other way myself.

      Report comment

  • Walkabout Dave says:

    Thank you for all that you do we would not be The community we are without you

    Report comment

  • Pete says:

    For once, finally, burning man was literally better last year. But it will also be better next year. <3

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  • TimofVoodoo says:

    That’s totally Dildos.

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  • A.S.S. Camp Chrispy says:

    This is the right & thoughtful thing to do with everything still so unknown and unfolding. Deep bow of gratitude to everyone at BMHQ for staying true to your promise of transparency. We remain, collectively, Burning Man. Let’s use this pause to dream big y’all.

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  • Quentin Coyote says:

    So sorry to hear this, but it is not at all unexpected, and it’s the right thing to do. Will happily donate my ticket money once the option is made available. Stay strong, it was better next year! ❤️❤️❤️

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  • Thank you Marian and the entire team that put together this well thought out and heartfelt post, as well as the new sites. A Herculean effort to keep us informed, together and engaged, so appreciated. But damn it sucks! ❤️

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  • Lithia Xcellent says:

    Holding space for you all as you made this difficult decision. Hugs and high fives. Burn bright – my donation is on its way. <3

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  • Badger says:

    Anyone really versed in the idea/theory of the ‘multiverse’ will immediately recognize that… there’s no need to change 2021’s theme. But my opinion is a data point of one.

    Having said that I can only hope that 2021’s theme is not going to end up being thematic to what we’re all going through at this moment in time.

    That would be lame. That would suggest (to me) a complete lack of imagination about what our little camping trip in the desert is all about.

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  • curmudgeon says:

    a few things:

    one: you’re a nonprofit. Yay. Most people don’t understand that “nonprofit” means “we spent millions on executive ‘compensation’ so no profits to show, sorry, see how virtue-signally we are?” And yet you have $10 million in contingency funds but we’re supposed to donate? hahahahaha fuck you.

    two: this is an opportunity for you to spend a year shopping for your own property. For the amount of money you pay the BLM to fuck with you every year, you could have your own zillion-acre property in any number of places. Pull your heads out.

    three: do the fucking math!!!! this coronavirus thing is 99% con. Scare everyone, you can get away with anything. The reason it feels like a bad dream is because you’re asleep.

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    • Badger says:

      OK. Why don’t you bell the cat.

      Tell us where. Show us a location that is as unique as the Black Rock desert that doesn’t have to take into account geography, weather, location, access to resources, local governmental regulations, Federal regulations, population centers, fire zones, a functioning infrastructure that can accommodate 80+ thousand attendees over the course of a two week period…

      I hear you and I’ve heard this over a multidecadal stint as both an attendee and as someone once involved in setting up the event.

      Your frustration is noted. I hear that. But for the sake of argument do not think for a minute that your suggestion hasn’t been scoured over decades for an alternative. It has.

      Part of the core and very uniqueness of Burning Man is that it could never – NEVER – be held in any other place in all of North America given than where it’s currently being held.

      Report comment

      • curmudgeon says:

        horseshit. the people make the event. once they’re gone, it’s just a piece of dirt. FFS, they could have it at fly ranch but nooo….that’s for special folk, paid with your millions. lol.

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      • Zippo says:

        Badger,
        Your hubris is the part I like most about you. I must assume that you’ve covered every single inch of the earth to say that here’s no other place on earth that Burning Man could be held except the Black Rock Desert. You know, of course, that almost all of the regional events are held in grassy area, fields, meadows, terrain with hills and valleys, and other landscapes, and they do just fine. I mean, does a derelict cabin cruiser mounted on a cement truck chassis define your experience at Burning Man? Even Larry Harvey, at the press conference in 2012 that had to do with the scandal created by Jim Tannenbaum (a member of the newly created Board of Directors of the “non-profit” Burning Man Project) and his “Popsicle Camp, replied that he “didn’t see the future of Burning Man as being on the Black Rock Desert, but in the Regionals”, which he saw as a better way to spread the Burning man “culture”. Now is the perfect time for the BMORG to take a step back, reassess what’s best for the community, and find another place.

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      • Andrew Calo says:

        Yea. Coachella it aint.

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      • Anna says:

        I suggested (in the past) that perhaps the Alvord Desert OR would work.

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    • SpilBoi says:

      “this coronavirus thing is 99% con”

      My Brother and a friend or two have this “Con” so ‘there’s that’

      Not saying you’re heartless, but indications point that way.

      Report comment

      • Badger says:

        Well, because Curmudgeon, based on his prior posts, has absolutely convinced me that he’s either 1) a microbiologist 2) a virologist 3) an epidemiological statistician or 4) an aluminum, hat wearing ass-monkey.

        For the sake of argument would you mind posting your academic bona fides? Better yet, toss in a PDF of your curriculum vitae.

        Look, I know. I know. People aren’t supposed to publicly derive humor from stupid but… you really are an exception to this.

        Report comment

      • curmudgeon says:

        naw. they’re the unlucky (probably unhealthy) 1%. I didn’t say it wasn’t real. I said it was 99% con.

        well, new-projected deaths are down to 60K from 1.2 million…and we could say that half of those are bullshit…so 30,000/1,200,000 is 2.5%. So you got me.

        It’s 97.5% bullshit.

        Report comment

      • Andrew Calo says:

        It’s not a con. I’ve never had two members of my family die in the space of two months, then BAM, so…anyone who pulls that line has skin in the game somewhere. Pull your head out your ass.

        Report comment

    • Mad Max says:

      An exponential growth looks like 99% nothing for a long time.
      In fact, exponentially speaking, its 50%BS the *day* before its 100% oh shit!

      Report comment

  • Tetris (Andy H) says:

    I think Burning Man has got this absolutely spot on.

    A huge thank you to all at BMORG for the insane amounts of hard work, virtual meetings and stress that I know have taken place to get to this point, and wishing everyone the best of luck for navigating a smooth passage through these difficult waters.

    I fully trust our community support as needed.

    Report comment

  • Burnerd says:

    Dear Marian, all staff and volunteers:
    Thank you for your leadership and dedication, not only during this crazy time, but for all the times past and future.
    I can’t begin to imagine how difficult the past 60-90 days has been for all of you. Our community will survive and thrive, when the dust settles…
    Wedding on hold until 2021.
    Much love to all.

    Report comment

  • victamone says:

    Dear Maid Marian,
    Thank you and to the entire org, staff, volunteers, creators and makers that is this great thing we call Black Rock City. I hear your request for ticket purchases to be left with the org, and I’m so willing to, but can I still have a ticket? I mean, it doesn’t have to go anywhere, you can put all the legal business you want to on it, I just really want a ticket to remember this by. I just really am gonna miss that fireball coming in the mail this year…

    Report comment

    • Brando says:

      We will need to have the community to create ticket art submissions, before the official tickets to the Virtual Black Rock City. Then maybe we can have the ticket design available for download, so that we can all print out our own ticket.

      Report comment

  • Dusty Lashes says:

    This is the hardest decision the BMORG has ever made… nonetheless many regionals as well. Please give support in not shaming them for doing the best they could in deciding what is best for all of us this year.

    There are many ways to still be involved, like BWB, community support, and staying attuned to what our brothers ad sisters do in this time. Our ethos and community does much much more than host a gathering in the desert every year.

    Report comment

    • Rebar says:

      i agree with this 100%. i could not help but take note of some unnecessary and unsupportive comments in regards to steps marian and our friends ‘should be taking’; about the purported reality of this viral outbreak; and other divisive opinions about the validity of organizational decisions taken so far.

      Now is really not the time nor is this the place to discuss these matters. Postponing the event is the responsible thing do in light of this situation. Like dusty said the ethos of this community reaches far beyond just this event, and it is by no means diminished by the lack of a physical gathering this year.

      Report comment

    • gron says:

      It was not the hardest decision, BMOrg had no other choice. That’s it. Now they can scam the camps for not returning the tickets, with the soft, unspoken rule: we watch your fund return demands.
      Being realistic, the chances are slim to have BM as we know it, return in 2021. Don’t be too naive about the Wuhan Virus, it will take minimum 3 years to get it handled somehow. In meantime BM politicians and players will try to scam you into something else, calling it “Burning Man Ethos”. The fact is that they lived on the society of builders with ideals, where BMOrg became ugly entitled bunch of highly manipulative vultures.
      RIP Larry H. and his legacy. Time to move on

      Report comment

  • Jason Siadek says:

    Thank you, BMP, you’re extraordinary in extraordinary times. I’m looking forward to seeing us all in the multiverse.

    btw: why limit an online experience to 100,000 participants?

    Report comment

  • Hester says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for all that you do. I can only imagine how difficult this is to manage.

    Report comment

  • Daniel Finton says:

    Sad decision, and I’m sorry you had to make it. I will miss you all this year.

    Report comment

  • Marian and Gang,

    Thank you for all you’ve done to keep things going this year. Nobody can be happy about it, but I’m sure that many are relieved. For all of our sakes, you made the right call.

    Now the task is moving forward together, in the spirit of finding ourselves face to face on Playa next year!

    Stay well and warm!

    Report comment

  • The Hustler says:

    I’m still processing this … a few of us figured Black Rock City would only be a dusty memory in 2020, but sort of hoped it would happen anyway.

    This global pandemic has been a giant emotional roller coaster, especially with no federal leadership in the US.

    We’ll get through this, together (but at a safe distance, after you wash your hands).

    Report comment

  • Rubymer says:

    Is asking for a refund going to affect DGS allocations for 2021 is all I want to know

    Report comment

    • SmallBalls says:

      Seconded. The way the article is worded makes me nervous: “We’re committed to providing refunds to those who need them, but we’re also committed to keeping Burning Man culture alive and thriving.”

      There almost seems to be an expectation that we would donate our ticket. Losing nearly $1300 is a tough pill to swallow…and I don’t believe a virtual event comes close to being worth that amount of money. I love Burning Man and am committed to going and supporting the org, but the wording and approach to refunds makes me doubt the intentions.

      Personally, I’d be happy to donate separately and I wish we would all simply receive our refunds…that would be how the org could act in good faith.

      Report comment

      • Daria says:

        I agree. I find this call to DGS participants strange and unnerving. I understand that the org needs financial support now and call for donations from the whole BM community would be right… but this is not it, instead, it’s a call to artists and theme camps specifically, the ones who have their expenses piling during the year, same as the org. They are in a difficult position already, and here is the org asking for $1200 donations (and much more from camp leads.)

        Report comment

      • Guardian says:

        One thing that isn’t clear to me is what the *recommended donation* is. Give us some transparency into *our* budget and expenses. If you’re wanting us to donate then let us know what ‘break even’ is. Asking us to find it within us to donate all we can seems irresponsible. This is akin to the church requesting to ‘give all you can’. How about ‘we all split the costs of what is deemed *necessary* to stay afloat’?

        Report comment

      • Anthony Thomas says:

        As someone who proactively donated money a year ago and didn’t get tickets in the main sale it didn’t help me so I doubt the reverse would be true (a penalty).

        Report comment

  • DLP says:

    Where do I buy a virtual parking pass?

    Report comment

  • Shannon C says:

    It was coming just hurts to hear it now it is official. I can’t donate the entire ticket price, but will help out with what I can.

    Report comment

  • Diego godiechoes says:

    The culture was not canceled. In fact, everyone from their universe will make this multiverse even more real. A very wise decision to return to the dust with more desire next year.

    Report comment

  • pluto says:

    Right call, hang in there, see you in the dust 2021

    Report comment

  • Dave O says:

    This is BS. PERIOD.

    Report comment

  • Drew Wallace says:

    Stuck inside or safe inside? I read these first few paragraphs and feel sad—that’s just me and my feelings, thinking about me and my feelings. However, the power of reframing lets me move past these initial reactions and instead focus on a higher frequency of mindfulness. Is it a bummer that we’re not going home this year? Yeah, it is. But what will we do with our money instead? What will we do with our time instead? What will we burn in 2020 and how will we burn it together? Michelangelo once said, “Art lives on constraint and dies on freedom.” So I ask, Is Burning Man canceled, or is it constrained?

    Report comment

  • Wet Spot says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is what we needed to know. Much respect.

    Report comment

  • Anna says:

    Very sad over the news but accepting it. A big THANK YOU to all that make Burning Man possible, I have been several times and had the most amazing time every time. Burning Man is more than words can express to me and many others. So THANK YOU, I am grateful for you all. I hope we will all reunite next year. ❤️

    Report comment

  • Dory says:

    Definitely a downer but it’s the right move. BRC involved so much planing and travelers from all over the world. Will be donating. Hopefully BLM will work cooperatively, but if the future is grim, what are the logistics of looking elsewhere? As much as being on the playa is an integral part of the experience, perhaps that aspect will need to evolve.

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  • Dorothy Tecklenburg says:

    It’s OK. I head a rumor it was going to be dusty.

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  • Dace says:

    A difficult, but loving, smart, and wise decision. Cannot even imagine how hard this has been to decide. Thank you for prioritizing our health and confronting a challenging reality with dignity, respect, and transparency. ❤️

    Report comment

  • Goofy says:

    I am more than happy to donate my ticket price, and especially for people who do so, would it be possible to consider giving us an automatic invitation for next year?

    Report comment

  • Syd Gris says:

    Sorry this is all going down this way. Right call in a F’ed up situation. The man burns in 513 days?

    Report comment

  • Shpilkus says:

    This is a sad but realistic decision that had to be made. I would have loved to see the option of carrying over the tickets already purchased to 2021. Not exactly a donation, but a huge influx of cash to run the org over the year. Offering some small incentive for people who are not in distress this year may be another option.

    Report comment

  • ElectriKat says:

    Thank you Maid Marian & all of the BMORG staff. Love you all & See everyone in the multidimensions this year. <3

    Report comment

  • Trailer Trash says:

    As a burner who is also a public health worker… thank you. It was a tough decision but you made a responsible choice. Burning Man is a really big part of my life at this point and this stings a lot, but I appreciate that you did the right thing.

    I’ll be donating a bit of my ticket cost and I hope to see you all in 2021 and beyond!

    Report comment

  • ifellfromthesky says:

    I feel for the people of Gerlach who really, really need those contracts/jobs…

    Report comment

    • Elizabeth says:

      I agree with you, I was thinking the same thing, a “virtual” Burning Man will not help the people of Gerlach or other parts of Nevada that depend on the income generated from Burning Man.
      This is tough, I can’t stand the thought of not having Black Rock City and also, considering the nightmare of what Nevada would make the Borg pay for, and legislate, the different fees that they would create to try and have Black Rock City, is beyond what I can imagine.

      Report comment

    • SBirder says:

      Rural communities don’t want visitors, tourists, burners bringing infection to their remote communities. They dont have a lot of medical resources. In recent posts, Paiute tribal residents and other local residents have clearly stated they dont want visitors. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe has declared a state of emergency. They have one clinic. These rural communities would suffer a lot more if overrun by the virus. Stay away and spare their communities.

      Report comment

  • J says:

    4th of juplaya is gonna be off the chain this year.

    Report comment

    • SBirder says:

      Local residents, including the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and Gerlach residents, *don’t want visitors, tourists, burners bringing the risk of infection to their communities. The PLPT has declared a state of emergency. They have one small clinic. These rural communities don’t have the resources to endure you bringing infection to their towns when you stop for gas, food, and to take a piss. Not to mention your trash. Stay away. Their lives and communities are more important than your vacation.

      Report comment

      • Don Keyhole Tay says:

        Third time you’ve said this and pulled out the ‘infectious white man’ trope.

        Why don’t you STFU until you know what you’re talking about – especially when it comes to speaking for members of the local tribe.

        Because that’s about as patronizing as it gets.

        Report comment

      • White bread says:

        4th of JuPlaya!!! Come hell or high water

        Report comment

  • Buena Chica says:

    I am extremely embarrasssed that it took the Org this long to make this obvious CANCELLATiONS.

    I pride myself of being in the company of such amazing Burners who are amazingly creative and, like during the most freaking DustStorm-ThunderStorm-GateClosure on Playa… we have always pulled ahead with amazing humour and percevereance with our heads hels high and our pants pulled down. But not this time, you people at the top managed to ignore our Principles……. and that is an incredible shame!

    We in Europe started cancelling our Regionals one by one. Creme Brulee in France was the first…. and oh boy was it difficult to take Nowhere cancelled in Spain! But Playa was no brainwork….. You could have been leading, but instead humble yourselves way way low and see how ALL International Burners adn otear American Regionald had much to show you.

    No time to cry, we gotta go bury our dead!
    #StayWellDearBurners #TheWorldNeedsUsNOW
    #StayHome #QuedateEnCasa #RestezChezVouz

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  • Fred Besch says:

    How about offering those who donate this year’s ticket a direct purchase code next year’s ticket (for full price) as incentive to help?

    Report comment

  • Papa Penguin says:

    Out of the ashes…

    See you in the multiverse.

    Report comment

  • Saint Burner says:

    Right Decision was made, We will come back stronger in 2021. Now all the fake burners from Instagram can go f themselves or use a green screen

    Report comment

  • Tim Lee says:

    The Org may want to set up a link for mental health resources to support Burners during this transition.

    The Org made the right decision to cancel the BRC event this year. Worldwide, people are dealing with major losses.

    Report comment

  • Renu says:

    It is sad but not unexpected. So what about “Days till the Man Burns” clock?
    Change it to “Days Since the Man Burned”?
    Or?

    Report comment

  • Zaven says:

    Hell yes this is definitely the right thing to do. May the incredible energy and industry of this community benefit the default world during these difficult times

    Report comment

  • Cowboy says:

    As sad as this decision may be, just think… If as many of us who are able were to put in as many hours toward helping our local communities as we spend preparing for BRC, that’s an immense amount of “Man”-power.
    One way or another we all still have the opportunity to sweat our asses off in masks and tutus for nothing but the investment in better tomorrows.

    Report comment

  • Zippo says:

    I find it simply astonishing, amazing, and unbelievable that Burning Man “Project” has 10 MILLION $$$ in “contingency” funds that, as stated, will only keep it running “for a few months”. Just what the F##K are you people spending money on ?????? I know for a fact that the BMP spent 6 MILLION $$$ to buy Fly Ranch, mostly so that Burning Man Bigwigs could have their own private natural hot spring. BTW, I’ve been there, by invitation, three times, and snuck in a couple more. It’s really one of the best hot springs in the west. If your organization is so valuable, and you want to keep it at full strength, why don’t you sell it ??? Then you could buy thousands of acres of your own private land and you could have the festival without interference from at least five different governmental agencies. A 9% Nevada “Outdoor Entertainment TAX, as everyone knows, was passed just to get more money out of Burning Man. The BMORG / Project also last year paid about 1.3 MILLION $$$ in fixed fees to the BLM, PLUS a percentage of the gate. Don’t you understand that you will NEVER have a “more collaborative” relationship with the BLM and all these government agencies. Not when they see you as a fun group to harass and tax and fee your ass off. TAKE THIS “TIME OUT” to reassess what you’re doing, go and explore and figure out a new location to have this event, and BUY IT !!!!!!!!!!!!! You’d save the cost of the land in just a short period of time, and save yourself, and all of us loyal burners (I’ve been attending for 18 years, and volunteering for 14 years) so much annoyance, and the ORG so much money. Thank you.

    Report comment

    • curmudgeon says:

      brilliant. I’ve been saying the same thing for years. I even sent these assclowns listings for huge worthless pieces of land all over the US…in response to their request for donation. Knuckleheads.

      Thank you for typing all that out. It saved me the time. :)

      Report comment

    • Savonnette says:

      Wasn’t Fly Ranch a donation from some rich guy?

      Report comment

    • Ernest Palmer says:

      Perfect!! Thanks for writing this.
      Listen up BMP, this is your constituency speaking. Enough already and there’s a simple solution.
      1. Find a tract of suitable land for an annual US located Big Burn and buy it. Period.
      2. Make your only focus the annual construction of the Big Burn city and it’s infrastructure. Period.
      3. Your only work other than that should be to manage logistics, organizational structure, staffing and inspiration for the annual Big Burn. Period.
      Beyond that, you’re on your own.
      If you care to proselytize to the global masses about sustainability, the amazing BM culture or ethos, your incredible leadership, or or to fund big off-playa art, conferences or events unrelated to the Big Burn, find your own funding sources or don’t do it! Suggestion: if you want to play high-profile cultural emissary like the big boys and girls, hit up some of your pals like those turn-key camp tech moguls or high profile Instagram “personalities” and influencers.
      Maybe you can tell that some of us veterans are simply not impressed with or supportive of, your costly and extravagant “outreach programs” requiring highly paid staffers and a bloated payroll.
      As one who generously donates to the Temple build every year (including this year) and then volunteers as a Guardian, I always have skin in the game and it irks me that it seems like the BMP now cares more about grand personal pet projects than keeping alive the namesake event that undergirds the whole damn organization! Reassess your priorities BMP, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

      Report comment

  • Bfly says:

    BRC in MINECRAFT!!!! Now is the time.

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  • Infored says:

    Good leadership takes a lot of courage.

    Report comment

  • C says:

    How will we adapt and evolve? The future is ours to create. Thank you for making the space to grow. Onward into the multi-verse!

    Report comment

  • Michael Munger says:

    No. Period. You sold out to the man and a world financial reset. Just No. Marian. No. You are wrong and we have no hope in your leadership.

    Report comment

  • Lisa Leis says:

    Hmmm… maybe some techy person can develop a virtual Reality Burning Man world that we can all buy the virtual reality glasses for….

    Report comment

  • Mike A. says:

    Online shirt-cocking?

    Report comment

  • Quickdraw says:

    LOOK:
    Stop spending money on anything except creating a 2021 event. I know it’s a lot of fun to run this high-profile jet setting company with a big fat budget . . . STOP IT!
    My $1200 DGS is history? I can accept that if you are cutting every part of that organization that is not absolutely necessary to creating an event in 2021.

    That’s it. No more symposia, no more culture propagation. JUST Save the damn event Marian.

    Every company in the country is cutting its valuable loved employees and leaving them to fend for themselves for a while while the company takes care of itself. Do THAT!

    Slash every expenditure possible and spend my 1,200 bucks on saving the event that means so much in my life.

    GO FORTH! Make us PROUD!

    Report comment

  • Timeless says:

    Just think of all the magnificent artworks being orphaned as we read. Artists have a particular challenge. We provide inspiration to get us all through hard times, yet we are the first to go homeless. Maybe that’s why depression and war-time art is later so highly valued…

    One such project (Click my name for details.) was being produced by our group, Fire Inside Art — until this came along. It’s Burner-patron and owner of a slew of hotels and restaurants has just notified us there is no money to continue…effectively putting a team of artists out of work! Now is the time for investor/superheroes to support and own art projects — and just maybe end up doing well while doing good…

    Report comment

    • Rhubarb says:

      You are so right about the art because you of all people have done great things for all of us at the Burn that have been lucky enough to spend time with you ! I for one will miss seeing and Drumming at your art for you. Be safe my brother!

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  • SpilBoi says:

    Sad, hard to take, but the best approach right now and MASSIVE Kudos to the team for the option to donate. I will be there in 2021!!

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  • Dogknee says:

    So the man is put to rest on Good Friday..Does this mean he will rise again on Sunday?.

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  • Stefano Kajatt says:

    I’m excited for the new virtual BM. It’s a great idea and naturally where art and technology meet. It’s propelling us into that future with some of the most creative minds on the planet.
    Burners have always shown great communal effort in the face of any challenge. This is an opportunity and invitation to take BM to the next level.
    Eventually the Virtual and real BM could integrate in endless ways. It really opens up a whole new spectrum of possibilities.
    One that also allows for the participation of people who otherwise would not be able to make it to the playa.
    It’s going to be a bumpy ride at first to get it right as there probably isn’t anything else like it. But if anyone can figure it out, it’s this community.

    Report comment

  • Serena says:

    Any chance this decision could be reversed if things get better?????

    Report comment

  • $teven Ra$pa says:

    In 1990 Burning Man moved from Baker Beach to the new frontier of the Black Rock Desert. In 2020 we have an opportunity to step across a new “line drawn in the sand” into a virtual frontier together. Nothing is the same as in person experience but nothing will be the same on the other side of this leap we are now taking. I am excited to see how we can, as a community, push online mediums and reality through new and imaginative wormholes of experience, togetherness, interactivity and cultural expression. This truly is a powerful and historic challenge and moment for our culture to experiment with. It offers opportunities to be even more Radically Inclusive, to lower our carbon footprint, honor Civic Responsibility and invent new forms of radical expression.

    We can take this “experiment in community” to new and unexpected places together.

    I am definitely mourning this loss, but I am also intrigued by the possibilities and convinced the bigger community work we do in the world is needed now more than ever.

    However the Burning Man Project has to survive this financially to get to do this work. Honestly, I find the above announcement doesn’t adequately convey the very real economic hurdle and threat, which was shared with many of us recently. So, I’m just personally requesting that if you can afford to, please donate your BRC ticket to co-create this year’s Virtual BRC and bring the Multiverse theme to life. It’s going to be a thing! But, more importantly, it will help us continue our work in the world.

    Beyond that, do what you gotta do to stay healthy, feel whole and remain positive; help those in need; be kind and patient with one another, especially those who are mourning deaths, alone or sick; draw silly faces on your face masks; howl from balconies and front porches in formal wear and lingerie with neighbors; and out-weird the weirdness of this situation. Thrive in place! Who better than us, really.

    Love you all to the Multiverse and back!
    See you in VBRC and thank you for being an amazing badass! You got this!

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  • Charlie "Cheezit" Stolar says:

    Sadly this is the correct unavoidable decision. It’s what responsible folks do. This is no time for the sometime free-form Burner-think. But from the ashes of “defeat”, the Phoenix arises renewed. We shall return.
    Sadly, the economic consequences of this mess are such that many will need their funds returned…and many more would never be able to generate them. See everyone in silico.

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  • Butterfly says:

    What would Larry have decided?

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  • Kit Tinsley says:

    Take this with a grain of salt because I’ve never been to a Burning Man event; however I think a Virtual setting has very big potential. I’m looking forward to participating in that, and seeing what’s done with it.

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  • Ana says:

    You will make it guys! This situation will improve your team and the amazing Black Rock City ❤️❤️❤️ All the world with you ❤️❤️❤️

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  • Mr Clean says:

    Tell us the theme for 2021 so we can work on projects while we are stuck indoors…

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  • Marlene says:

    While I knew deep down the event would most likely be canceled, I have to say I’m heartbroken. I was so looking forward to bringing my son for his 25th birthday, being there with my daughter for her 3rd burn, and… volunteering as a Ranger. (just got word this week my application was accepted.) It is the right thing to do, in this worldwide crisis. I’ll see what I can do to support BM, have bought tickets already.

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  • Roger G says:

    VBM way to go. More flexibility less air miles.

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  • Pillar says:

    Hats off to you all for having the courage to make such a difficult decision, showcasing what civic responsibility looks like.

    May we use this opportunity to bring the 10 Principles out in our local communities, and cocreate culture and changes worth celebrating next time we’re in the dust.

    ✌️

    Report comment

  • Matt Nelson says:

    A difficult but necessary decision gang. Hang in there and good luck weathering the storm.
    Stay safe. Wash your hand.s

    Report comment

  • Merlin says:

    Dissemination of Covid-19 on Playa: a Case Study Hypothetical

    Five early entrants are exposed to Covid-19 after sharing a suite at the Peppergrinder in Reno.

    They enter the event on Thursday of build week.

    By Monday, they are asymptomatic, and have already spread the virus to 832 people via hippie hugs, shared flasks, open snack jars, and the porta potties.

    By Tuesday of event week, 16,764 people are infected by shared showers, shared doobies, shared drinks, bodily fluid bonding (f*@king), hippie hugs, open snack jars and the porta potties.

    A geographical etiology of the spread indicates clusters around Human Carcass Wash, Dr. Soap’s camp, the Golden Guy Alley, Orgy Dome, the Down Low Tent, the Man, the Temple, Center Camp, Camp Arctica, and the Commissary.

    The BLM orders the gates closed and all porta potties to be zip tied shut, unfortunately, all DPW have already contracted the virus and died. All DPW alcohol has been relocated to Golden Guy Alley during a “midnight acquisition” allegedly undertaken by and transported in the Psychic Taxi.

    By Friday, 47,212 are infected because feces and urine are accumulating on the open playa, and in the streets and as it dries it becomes airborne and the virus is aerosolized and spread via dust devils, and Haboobs. It will later be determined that the virus has mutated into a super strain, version E, due to attendees’ immune system suppression after a week of substance abuse and no sleep.

    On Saturday morning, it is apparent that the BLM has cut all power and internet, sabotaged organizational generators, and has fled the playa, blowing up the passes on Route 447, and the train tracks. The BLM drops off infected clothing, blankets, and dome pillows on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation.

    By 6 p.m. Saturday, burn night, 76,788 are infected, dead, or dying. The remaining 212 healthy attendees, including 24 from Pyro Camp, location classified, have developed immunity to the Virus via the interaction of high doses of Splicers, custom synthed pills made in an underground Bay Area acid lab, and combining MDMA, Adderall, GHB, Ketamine, Cocaine, Oxy, Zanax, Fentanyl, and Orange Sunshine acid. Another 188 healthy attendees are cluster in the area of Toast Camp at 9:30 and A, having had their gifted avocado toast dusted with ground Splicers every morning without many attendees’ knowledge or consent. Toast Camp did not get stickers from the roaming volunteers who inspect camps for adherence to the Ten Principles.

    Since the aging BMORG directors in First Camp have all died, the remaining, unsupervised, 212 healthy attendees convene a council, and decide not only to burn the Man, but also First Camp, Center Camp, the plug and play camps, and most of the rest of the city, save the Golden Guy Alley, which is unstaffed due to 100% mortality, but is still full of booze. Spurned on by the heavily armed biker gang members from Pyro Camp, It is also decided to “drive around real fast and shoot shit up.”

    At 8:07 p.m., the Man is lit on fire, and 572 Chinese lanterns are released under moderate winds. By 8:12 p.m. the entire city is burning.

    At 9:47 p.m., aliens from Proxima Centauri B, having been attracted by the conflagration, arrive in 72 flying saucers and systematically attract the remaining 202 living attendees with flashy lights and lasers (5 died in the shooting rampage subsequent to The Burn, 2 were run over by vehicles, 2 died from blunt force trauma and burns caused by flying, burning debris, and 2 overdosed on Ketamine), then impregnate them, anally, with ovipositors.

    On Sunday, the uninfected 202 attendees wake up in The Temple and try to remember which camp the terrific flying saucer party and orgy happened at, having been too high on Splicers to comprehend what was going on, and, in their defense, aliens and ovipositors didn’t seem at all out of place on Playa.

    By the Thursday after Labor Day, all the booze in the Golden Guy Alley is depleted, and the 202 attendees decide to caravan home. They all wax poetically how “this year WAS actually better than last year!”

    These exiting attendees notice that the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation seems awfully quiet and no one is selling tacos or washing cars, but man the road conditions really deteriorated since build week.

    All former Burners who could not attend the 2020 event, having sensed a deep wound in the Hippie Collective Mind, all committed suicide.

    The families of 72,077 of the 76,788 deceased attendees sued the BMORG citing their “deliberate indifference” in the failure to adequately plan for and control a Pandemic at the event. Cases, which repeatedly cite “hippie stoner cultural norms,” are consolidated, and Plaintiffs’ counsel collect most of the BMorg’s $66 million in cash and assets, after the Judge cites the BMorg’s “weak waiver of liability“ included on the back of event tickets.

    The mutated E version of Covid-19 sweeps the country, spread by the exiting 202 immune attendees who all stop at Out Burger in Reno and spread the virus droplets on their skin by bathing in the restroom sinks.

    The Presidential Election scheduled for November 3rd is cancelled.

    Burning Man is forever pilloried for the decline of America.

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  • Lion Moon says:

    FUCK YOUR BURN <3

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  • Chris says:

    Well…I have been researching and preparing literally ALL year for my FIRST burn. I am sad but I understand. I don’t know about VBRC but MAYBE. Well…BRC 2021 here I come… Hopefully.

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    • Savonnette says:

      The good new is that you’re going to be “really well prepared” for 2021. There’s no such thing as being overly prepared for the Burn. Trust me! Anybody who tells you otherwise is just fucking with you.

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  • Just joey says:

    Virtual = default. Viritas is in peson. cancel is ok. Refind is ok. Virtual.. NOT peterman plan approved!

    Report comment

  • Leslie crowfoot says:

    Moving forward the Burning Man Event held at Black Rock will be cancelled indefinitely.

    The Pyramid Lake Tribal Council as the governing body of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe is charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the peace and safety of the residents of the Reservation as well as the environmental impact caused by this event.

    Be advised the Tribal Council, in order to protect the general welfare of the residents and the resources of the reservation, approved the Bureau of Indian Affairs request to carry out a joint interdiction operation to shutdown the Burning Man Event held at Black Rock indefinitely.

    One of the new initiatives to fight the Pandemic and the impact to the environment was the creation of the Joint Task Force, through which the Department of the Interior is committed to giving all resources required to stop people from entering the reservations if the decision made to continue the event.

    As such, the Criminal Interdiction Operation has been focused on highways known for being routes into and through Indian Country. This collaboration focused efforts on conducting high visibility enforcement operations with specialized interdiction teams. The following is an overview of the BIA enforcement plan for the Burning Man event closure:

    The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Enforcement (DOE) has formed a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Nevada Division of Investigations and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Police Department (PLPD).

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    • drama says:

      makes sense, Influencers and Finance Bros made Burning Man a festival of vanity. Miriam treats herself as a goddess and that cascades down to BM Org. time for radical change and the time is now

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      • Danger Changer says:

        Yes.

        I’d like to see this event morph once again, and if cancelling it for a year helps the “bros” and bucketlisters to move on, great! I know, I know “it was better last year”, but deep down we all know that some of the trends were not for the better. Lack of self-reliance and LNT have been abysmal.

        The residents of the black rock desert have the right to be concerned. The past decade new “participants” (and I quote that VERY loosely” have been very sloppy on exodus, leaving garbage all along the highways and leaving their shit at the event.

        Could this spell the end of Burning Man as we know it? Maybe….. But at the same time, it could also serve as an opportunity for some catharsis, maybe re-prioritize what’s important to us about the event and maybe think about how we the people of black rock city can return to the city rested, ready to participate, ready to be more self-reliant, and be better stewards to the black rock area.

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    • Alex Jones says:

      You have no idea what you’re talking about and represent no one. The highways are state property , easements and open to the public. If you think reservations are in reality sovereign states like foreign nations, and you want to pull weapons, arrest citizens, and interfere with the first amendment right to free assembly, your play revolution civil war will be quickly quashed. Also tribal police have zero jurisdiction or authority over non tribal members. and there about one BIA agent for all Pershing and washoe counties. you’re welcome.

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  • it was better next year anyway…

    come and pull up a virtual chair around the burn barrel with the rest of us in Camp Envy…

    with consent, I hope to someday give dusty hugs to you all…

    #thankslarry

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  • Marian and all involved in making this decision:

    As the overwhelming majority of commenters here and I’m sure across the Community, I support your decision 100% .

    Those of us on the Regenesis Reno team have been experiencing the Virus as a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform Mainstream World.

    Thanks again to all who’ve co-created BRC over decades.

    Many, many of us are passionate about VBRC and beyond.

    We are the people we’ve been waiting for.

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  • luke says:

    The only thing to fear is fear itself. 99% of us can’t stop living because 1% might die, the logic is backwards. I understand your hearts and wanting to help people but this is a step in the wrong direction

    Report comment

    • Fox says:

      You have just enough tread on your tires to stay in control in good weather on a curvy road along the Sonoma Coast, at the posted speed limit and warning signs, which always assume perfect driving conditions regarding weather and visibility. You don’t know the exact state of your tires, because you haven’t checked them regularly. While on that road you encounter bad weather; rain and wind, and night has fallen. Up ahead is an outside hairpin curve, and beyond you see an old vehicle stopped on the side with its flashers on. What you don’t see is that the vehicle blew a pan gasket and spilled most of its oil right in that curve. We would know that in a few hours, after a highway crew has checked the road, but not at this time. Given your statement, proceed through the curve following the speed limit, noting the curve warning ahead. You recognize that taking your foot off the gas might slow you down a bit, but you don’t see the need to hinder your progress, “it’s just an old clunker on the side of the road, for Pete’s sake.” What could possibly go wrong?

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  • Since I’ve been accused of ruining Burning Man since 1992 when I brought the first sound camp to Burning Man I’m glad the pressure is off. Now we can say COVID ruined Burning Man. Now is the time when we take what we’ve learned, the principles and create positive change locally where we live.

    I know we will persevere. There’s a fork in the road after the virus peaks. One fork takes us down a path where big business and the government try reestablish everything as it was before the crisis. They’ll hope you quietly go back to work, if there is work for you. Some countries will push harder to cut your wages and benefits than others but conventional wisdom says you cannot pump millions or billions of dollars into the economy without a workforce generating revenue.

    I reject that thinking. Some very basic things in society are deeply neglected and ignored for many years. We have societal issues like homelessness and addiction. We say those people have “fallen through the cracks”. As I see it hundreds of thousands of people are laid off or their businesses simply evaporated. Who decides how big the crack is and under what terms we let people slip though it? The simple way to state it is, Why do we as civilized nations even accept the fact there is a crack.

    We can do better. We are in a unique position to create meaningful, logical, and in the long term more affordable. This opportunity may not come for another couple of generations. What I propose is let’s not proceed as business as usual. out reject poor planning and incompetence. Maintaining a supply chain will break down every single time without plans and procedures. The time for blame will comeThe hard truth about this moment is, our leaders neglected to plan for this. Scientists knew it was coming unfortunately the politicians in some countries chose to gut the supply chain so they could slash the budget and even flat out not have any project management. So, they saved a few bucks then but now look at the amounts being spent.

    I for one am outraged that both the USA and Canada can print up millions and billions to inject into the economy yet neither country can provide PPE equipment to our front line people who are risking their lives every day. That these same governments can’t find a way to keep toilet paper on the shelves.

    We are living in an uncertain and worrying time. For so many reasons.

    I accept and acknowledge that no level of planning and preparation could stop COVID-19 in its tracks. As the saying goes “sh*t happens”. A virus today and possibly an asteroid next year. Care for yourselves and your families. Then burn the man down in 2021.

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    • David says:

      Ban toilet paper! Save the trees! Use water, like millions of people in Asia. It’s much more hygienic, in my opinion, even if there might be a psychological barrier for a lot of Western people to get through.

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  • Danielle says:

    I heard last year was the last good year.

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  • Alex says:

    Well, I totally understand the storm, the fact of very little choice right now, etc.

    But Virtual Black Rock City 2020… What the hell is this? Why do we deserve this hypocrisy of the online substitutes? Perhaps I am wrong but I believe just nothing is better than Black Mirror alive. Particularly given we already live in it. I truly do not understand. Sorry if I am shallow here.

    Many thanks to those involved in the co-creation of BRC! Stay well all.

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  • Bart says:

    I understand this decision. Covid/Corona is neither a joke nor a hoax, should be taken very seriously. BRC is not just that 10 days in august, people are already preparing art/installations right now. So even when the world would be virus free in august, would we want to take the risks in gathering now?

    Maybe we just should be glad that the cancellation also means that the 5G Beam Experiments in the Black Rock Desert are cancelled, too.

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  • GFURSF says:

    2020 will be forever known as ‘the year of fear’ when they cancelled burning man due to an invisible boogeyman.

    as long as there is no 5g out there, y’all be fine.

    and finally:

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    Benjamin Franklin

    May you all burn in hell.

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    • Alex says:

      Fun fact: the same logic used to argue that 5G is causing the coronavirus can also be used to argue that it’s caused by reading Martha Stewart Living, by having a pet dog, or by the presence of plastic wrap. The maps are population heatmaps. All it’s really showing is that they both correlate with population density.

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      • Badger says:

        Exactly. Correlation does not imply causation.

        That doesn’t matter to the tin hats though. The one thing that most – if not all – conspiracists have going for them is that they always feel that they have the prerogative to ask the question(s) without ever making an effort to provide a cogent answer.

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    • Peace says:

      Your playa name is officially “Mayor from Jaws”

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  • Kenneth Hellem says:

    Burning Man is a community, where we among other things collaborate on creating an event in a desert. This year for safety reasons there will not be an event in the desert. While I was really looking forward to coming home, this is not the end of the world my dusty friends. Burning Man lives on <3

    The man burns in 515 days )'(

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  • Phillip K says:

    Heroes or villains? This hurts and stings but the right decision. Donating my ticket money and about to be unemployed. All good. Will survive. Still so many unknowns and not the time to take a chance and potentially keep this coronavirus spreading. WE are burners. WE will burn again. Bring US home.

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  • Thanks for organising this event; it will be the first time we will be able to participate; it has been a long dream to do that. We will join in with our ‘Burning Belgian’ camp! Let’s focus on what we can do instead of what will be different; this is going to be epic! Hope the ticket price will be affordable; and we will organise the global launch of ‘burning sky lanterns’. Let’s burn the globe!

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  • iwo says:

    How much Marian is going to cut off her 1m USD salary??

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  • Pwny says:

    I would pay $25 to receive a lovely paper ticket to the digital Multiverse event to help raise funds. Could BM offer printed keepsakes on a sliding scale?

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  • Stefan Weil says:

    The Multiverse. Right Now is the Time to enter the ,Cyberspace‘ with something great, something magic, something outstanding, something spiritual. Beyond Reality. A Trip. Learning from the VR Version of Ayahuasca, learning from Fortnite, League of Legends and Minecraft. A next level of Second Life. Dive deep into the endless possibilities of the virtual black rocks. Before we return to the real Black Rock Dessert again. In 2021. Human After All.

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  • Marco says:

    I’m just sad. Some people will express this feeling with a negative comment, some with a positive comment. No reaction would probably mean you’re dead inside. Any form of expression is welcome to be able to move on. This will be a long wait. See you next year at the Burn. Stay safe.

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  • Magnificent Cunt says:

    In response to the org and Marian’s video.. cuz what the actual mother of fuck?!?!

    How a 10million dollar savings is not enough to cover the org until ticket sales in 9 to 10 months is beyond my comprehension.

    The org is not incurring full event costs anymore at 45mil…and force majeure moves are being pulled left and right I am sure.

    Does anyone know how much Marian and some folx get paid out of curiosity?

    In comparison to everyone else at the org as well?

    Has anyone actually looked at the 990?

    Let me pull some basic numbers for you all.

    The org clears an average of 3mil a year.

    CLEARS – after all expenses and as a non-profit!

    Do you know what the federal tax liability on that is as a non-profit? FUCKING ZERO.

    Harley and Marian clear over 200k and 250k respectively per year in just salaries without other expenses figured in.

    The org has 30million in assets with barely any liabilities on its balance sheet.. and that’s from the 2018 990 and doesn’t take into account any raises or acquisitions over the last 2 years.

    And they are gonna put out this video asking for money?!?!?!

    ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?!?!

    WHILE THE MAJORITY OF THEIR HIGHER PAID BRC STAFF HAS LOST ALMOST 30K OF THEIR SHITTY UNDERPAID WITH NO BENEFITS INCOME FOR THE YEAR?!?! No promises to assist their freelance staff? No promises to assist their annual staff at even 75% salaries?

    Like every other fucking civilised country and business in the ‘western’ world is doing during this crisis to help their staff.

    With that balance sheet and that income the org can easily manage a loan for liquidity- if they EVEN needed to because 10million in the coffers – to help assist their ‘community’ of employees and freelancers… then again… it seems like ‘community’ only matters when the org wants money.

    Virtual fucking Burning Man… 10 bucks says it’s the fucking council of elron on baker beach burning an effigy like it’s the first time with some bullshit marketing like NOW MORE THAN EVER WE NEED TO REMEMBER WHERE THIS ALL STARTED… watch along world at the special snowflakes while you spray glitter yourselves in your actual REAL home while people in the country that used to be the United States starve and die.

    Yeah not drinking that one Jim Jones… sorry not sorry. This is some megachurch maneuvering buuuuuullshit asking people for money.

    /endmotherfuckingrant

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    • Guywhofliesprivateplanetobrc says:

      Shoot the fucking messenger. Too much thoughtless truth. Really bad timing when people are already being force fed reality. Did you even think how we might feel about this? We’re entitled to our feelings therefore our feelings make us entitled. You need to mix with more koolaid sweetness if you expect us to drink.

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    • WhatTheHeck says:

      It’s exactly a mega church, well said. Marian got over 290K from tickets in 2018, and other people got a lot, too. They have 10M extra cash fund (profit from a participant driven/built event) but where did it go, how is it being used. They got a fancy private ranch (bought with profit from a participant driven/built event). Those participants are now unemployed, suffering, and they are asked to give more. Things gotta change.

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      • Randall Smith says:

        The event & admin staff are joining 17 million people in the USA unemployed in the last 3 weeks. They’ll get unemployment benefits. Sorry, but we’re all in this mess together.

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  • Reginald Pollard says:

    I totally understand the decision made to cancel this year’s event and look forward to being part of BM 2021.

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  • Nexus (he/him/his) says:

    Thank you, Marian, and the rest of the BMorg team. I can’t even imagine all the discussion and considerations and the multiverse of possibilities that you had to consider and prepare for as a result of the decision you all had to make.

    And it seems like if some people thought you waited too long and others not long enough, then you probably made the call at just the right time. Regardless, I’m looking forward to moving forward and figuring out whatever the next year brings in this time of physical distancing.

    With much love from DC!

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  • good old boy says:

    Gerlach doesn’t like you. There’s only a couple hundred people there, but they’re well armed & bored. Please don’t make any pilgrimages anywhere near BRC this year. They’re good inland folks that put up with your coastal shit every year. They have earned a well deserved break & have a low R0 as long as you stf away.

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    • SBirder says:

      Ditto for Nixon and other remote places in the US. These areas don’t have the medical resources to handle an outbreak brought by tourists, major hospitals are far away. The audacity of some people saying they will go anyway, in July or August – they think their party is more important than lives and communities. They need to find something else to do.

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  • Alice says:

    It’s a dandelion going to seed. Fuck the haters – this was necessary sooner or later. I wanted to go this years but found out a couple of months ago that it wasn’t in the cards. Looking forward to whatever virtual event y’all put together. I might be able to attend the burn after all

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  • Joe Mama says:

    Well anger is one of the stages of grief , but ultimately it is followed by acceptance and hope. Now more than ever is a time to reflect on what we have, not what we don’t have. It is a time to unite and do what we can to help another. That offering is different for all of us, but we all have something to offer. It sounds like they are working on something special and their will still be a gathering. This is a time for perseverance. I hope each camp raises additional funds to assist with BRM. Those who can help financially should and those who cannot should help support BM in other ways. There is a lot more resources that goes into getting there than just getting a ticket. If by August, this is truly over, I would imagine there will be parties all over the world to participate in the virtual BM experience. Hippies Unite! The World is watching.

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  • MplsAl says:

    “60% of the work we do is dedicated to the year-round cultural programs.” What does “60% of the work” mean? 60% of the org’s expenditures?

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  • Cristina B says:

    Thank you for making the right decision. With all the discussions of the last years, over the commodification of Burning Man via turnkey camps/participants, – what better opportunity but tk take this time and reflect on how an inclusive culture can thrive on quality over quantity? I love you all and hope to see you with renewed positive vibes.

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  • Dan Baker says:

    One big upside of this, is, fortune willing, is the Trump debacle may be a thing of the past next year and the polyester liars, thieves, hacks, fools and scum he has appointed to the Interior Department/BLM will go back to running phone scams and selling fake car warranties. Should make a big difference, as the US President appoints over 10K management positions in the US Government, all the way down to the G13 Level.

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  • Phoenix says:

    I’m kind of surprised there is no talk of charging for this upcoming online Burning Man. Whether it’s a subscription or just access code etc, I’m SURE tons of people will want to join in. I mean, consider how many want tickets and don’t get them? SURELY we’ll have well over $100k people who will want to join the online BM. Charge them each $100 and that’s $10million right there. But that’s a price that I’m SURE would bring in many more people. You can authorize (and control) BM paraphernalia for gazillions, and you can allow people to add personal information (like their website address) to the degree you want. Let’s say I had a workshop online through this BM online event. It’s free to all who bought the online access, but then it’s just Phoenix teaching. I would pay $50 just to put my website near my name so people could later contact me if they wanted. You have crazy possibilities for revenue opportunities, with you controlling the means and really, how much more money you make. I mean, is money really an issue here? You’re making it sound like we need to donate to keep you going. I just don’t think that’s as necessary as you’re making it out to be.

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  • Turkey Lurkey says:

    You know the for-profit Glastonbury festival (in England) takes every fourth year off in order to allow the land to lie fallow and recharge (because it’s a giant dairy farm). Doing so doesn’t seem to have hurt them any and Glasto has been going on hella longer than Burning Man.

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  • Marie says:

    Woohoo I can participate now! I gave birth last year in November so taking part again this year was not an option but now it will be. Also this is a chance for all the people who cannot travel to BRC for whatever reason to take part – there is always an upside to a downside!

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  • SinglePly says:

    “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

    – Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020

    “We have contained this, I won’t say airtight, but it’s close to airtight.”

    – Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC February 25, 2020

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that coronavirus would “disappear,” but noted the spread of the virus may worsen before improving. “It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear,” Trump said at a reception in the White House Cabinet Room. Trump added that “from our shores, you know, it could get worse before it gets better. Could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens. Nobody really knows.” Trump also said that “the 15 [people being diagnosed with Coronavirus on U.S. soil] will soon be down to three, four.”

    – Donald J. Trump February 26, 2020

    ““We’re doing very well,” Trump insisted. “But it’s an unforeseen problem. What a problem. Came out of nowhere, but we’re taking care of it.”

    – Donald J. Trump March 6, 2020

    “No, I don’t take responsibility” For Botched Coronavirus Testing Rollout

    – Donald J. Trump March 13, 2020

    “And so, if we could hold that down, as we’re saying, to 100,000 [deaths] – it’s a horrible number, maybe even less, but to 100,000, so we have between 100 [thousand] and 200,000 – we altogether have done a very good job.”

    – Donald J. Trump March 29, 2020

    Trump went on to reject the idea of nationwide testing, “We want to have it and we’re going see if we visit. Do you need it? No. Is it nice thing to have? Yes. We’re talking 325 million people, and that’s not going to happen, as you can imagine. It would never happen with anyone else either. Other countries do it, but they do it in a limited form. We’ll probably be the leader of the pack.”

    – Donald J. Trump April 9, 2020

    As of April 11, 2020, the U.S.A. has 503,594 known coronavirus cases, 18,860 patients have died, and less than 1% of the population has been tested.

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  • Scott Hess says:

    Its a tough call in strange times. Thank you Marian- and BMorg for guiding this amazing event/community to- and through this moment.

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  • Evil Pippi says:

    Dear Marian & Crew- While I know it was a very complicated decision to make, damn glad you did it and as soon as you could. Burning Man has served to be a bootcamp for surviving during this pandemic, so I am grateful for all the experience gained from going out in the dust which has helped prepare me and my immediate community to deal with COVID-19.

    Happy to donate 50% back from the DGS tickets I bought. A physical, arty cool ticket like object in return to mark this incredible year (with stickers, too!?!) would be a wonderful way to commemorate this weird year.

    And an online experience to unify us all globally on Burn Night would be yet another fascinating experiment. Seeing what Questlove and DJ D-Nice are doing online during COVID with mixing music across genres, taking requests in real time and engaging with people tuning in all over the world might inspire how we celebrate BM online. And since Zuck and the Google boys have gone to the event, I know you have the connections to pull this shit off!

    Mostly mourning how this impacts the artists who bring the city to life and help us connect so deeply with strangers we meet out there. May they find other avenues to express themselves and come back with more creative energy when we can gather IRL again.

    Big respect-
    Evil Pippi

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  • Grey says:

    This is absolutely, positively, hands-down, thumbs-up, the RIGHT DECISION.

    BMorg, I salute you for making a tough decision. No doubt this will create some serious wreckage in the financials, but this decision sets aside such short-term pain for the long-term health and welfare of the entire Burningman community.

    This is what true leadership looks like. This is true love for our community manifest.

    Well done, Team. Well done indeed!

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  • Brent says:

    Right decision!

    Now we all need to pull together to ensure that BMorg is able survive the financial difficulties that this is going to cause, and that the team is able to weather this setback.

    Our community needs to step up to this challenge in whatever way each of us can, including through donating their ticket value or other donation.

    Some of the early comments mentioned the fireball — that or similar could be a symbol of that support (and a motivation for people to step up) — imagine a fireball necklace at BM 2021!

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  • ifellfromthesky says:

    Physical BRC is done, the Virtual Playa will work…All to well
    Get $100 bux from 1,000,000+ folks to sit in front of a computer?…Brilliant!!!
    That is alot of money that will not go to Nevada,BLM,DPW and such..
    3 months of Coding, bam!!! Virtual Playa, No shipping containers/living spaces to build/rent, no DPW to babysit, no trash fence to put up, No Playa Restoration/Highway cleanup, No State or Federal officials to deal with whatsoever, no lots of expensive pain in the ass shit…
    Just brilliant.

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  • Gayle Curtiss says:

    The virtual playa is already here, and has been in existence for many years. https://www.burn2.org

    We are a sanctioned region of Burning Man. Come and join us; create, participate, and find community with other liked minded 10P folk. There are many people willing to help you navigate Second Life if you need it.

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  • Ed Brown says:

    The animals who normally inhabit the desert biome of the Blackrock will be relieved at your absence. I have long wished that Burning Man could become a zero carbon pollution event, and maybe this is the beginning needed. Despite your efforts to clean up after, the playa has been accumulating remnants of the events, and I have seen items blown many miles into the surround desert to pollute where they are trapped in sage or rabbit brush. Burn on in the multiverse, but please let the desert be – it is a fragile ecosystem that you don’t seem to understand or respect.

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  • WhatTheHeck says:

    Most DJs are having live sets every week on multiple platforms. So many live web events every day now, all kinds. Stay home, enjoy. Get creative, embrace new ways to engage w others and experience things.

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  • Evan says:

    I have to say something that I hope will be read in the most careful and caring ways. This is not meant to cause any fear or further pain.

    First, I should be up front about something. I haven’t been to a main burn. I was supposed to go last year but had to sell my ticket as my dad died the week before and I couldn’t leave my mother at that moment. I have been to smaller regional burns. It is profoundly disappointing to me that this year it is not happening…. but this isn’t normal disappointment.

    We are in the middle of a civilization pausing moment with this. And all the experts are saying that this is going to be with us for a while as we learn to adapt and find medicine that will help with the next outbreak (and the one after that). What ever we create this year, and I am using “we” intentionally, is going to be the most important burning man events in it’s history because it needs to created around this. We have to come together without actually building a black rock city. It seems to me that this kind of reality that we are facing is exactly what the ethos has been about facing. How can we build community from this? So whatever the multiverse looks like this year its going to be an important blueprint for us. This is the future. Local communities will still be important, but this was never going to be sustainable anyway to keep building bigger and bigger every year.

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  • Drama Llama says:

    Hey whiners and the rest of you dirt worshippers, there’s always the Rainbow Festival this year.

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  • Sparky says:

    The Playa provides, see you in 16 months!

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  • Orville Wrong says:

    Is Marian wearing pants? Not joking – Check out the very last second of that video.

    That’s how you work from home like a boss.

    Thank you for making this difficult decision. You have my donation because you laid out the challenge and options so clearly.

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  • Bob says:

    Thanks to hysteria without evidence that virus would be prevalent in August the org is destroyed and Nixon and Gerlach will be more financially ruined them Empire is now. The Empire store will close. Reno will be slightly less devastated. Washoe and Pershing counties are bankrupt. Congratulations. Hopefully everyone like Bird who lobbied for the event to stop won’t get a refund and won’t get a ticket next year, if there is a next year.

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    • SBirder says:

      The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe doesnt want you on their land or passing through their town. They were working to make sure no one could stop when passing through on the highway. They aren’t issuing permits to their land. They are in a state of emergency, and only have one clinic. The devastating impacts of an outbreak would be worse than you not buying gas. Beyond the virus, I’m pretty sure they are sick of burners in general.
      Also, haven’t you read the comments from Gerlach folks? It’s a ditto.

      Report comment

  • Mike Dodson says:

    Why not offer people who have already purchased tickets and not seeking a refund a priority or guaranteed ticket purchase for 2021?

    Report comment

    • Leah D says:

      Doesn’t anybody read the posts in these forums?
      There’s not going to be a 2021 Burning Man at Black Rock! Maybe a different location but it definitely ain’t happening there. The reservations and the Tribal leaders are fed up and done.

      Report comment

      • Bob says:

        Reservations have zero control of blm land and like the kickbacks from cops pulling over burners

        Report comment

      • George Crowfoot says:

        Bob
        You got a problem against Natives and their rights and or concerns? I noticed you’ve always had something to say when the Native topic comes forth during these discussions. Let me tell you something….I’m a Native living in South Dakota and we are also in favor and support the closure of this gathering. Take it somewhere else and let the Desert heal and the people live free and safe from this virus.

        By the way:
        Moving forward the Burning Man Event held at Black Rock will be cancelled indefinitely.

        The Pyramid Lake Tribal Council as the governing body of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe is charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the peace and safety of the residents of the Reservation as well as the environmental impact caused by this event.

        Be advised the Tribal Council, in order to protect the general welfare of the residents and the resources of the reservation, approved the Bureau of Indian Affairs request to carry out a joint interdiction operation to shutdown the Burning Man Event held at Black Rock indefinitely.

        One of the new initiatives to fight the Pandemic and the impact to the environment was the creation of the Joint Task Force, through which the Department of the Interior is committed to giving all resources required to stop people from entering the reservations if the decision made to continue the event.

        As such, the Criminal Interdiction Operation has been focused on highways known for being routes into and through Indian Country. This collaboration focused efforts on conducting high visibility enforcement operations with specialized interdiction teams. The following is an overview of the BIA enforcement plan for the Burning Man event closure:

        The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Enforcement (DOE) has formed a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Nevada Division of Investigations and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Police Department (PLPD).

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      • Joe Mayes says:

        WOW! Last year I went to the last Burning Man! 10 fun years.

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    • InJones says:

      2021 will be a lot more money. That’s if there is still a burning man left

      Report comment

      • Les says:

        George is thousands of miles away and knows nothing about the politics. Burning man has zero to do with native Americans. Other then they get free tickets , donations from burning man org and a massive money spend from burning man customer attendees. Nevada County road 447 and any other public gov road won’t be closed. It’s got an easement thru the res. Traffic is free to use the road. Just like every other US res. If the locals roadblock it,Nevada state troopers and deputies will Un block it. If the locals use force the national guard will deploy. Is that what you want? Native Indian reservations are legally between a county and a US state. Con to pop myth they aren’t foreign countries.
        They can’t close anything outside their property. They cannot enforce anything outside the res. Tribal police have no authority on non tribe members. Much as some people might want to extort and blackmail visitors and travelers. The black rock desert is very far away from any Indian reservations. The people of Gerlach have a lot more say. And they don’t control Fed land either.

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  • John Lennon says:

    2021 Burning man prices will be $1000 or more. Due to “financial hardship.” Why do you think they won’t roll over the tickets to next year.?

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  • KoolWhip says:

    Wow Marian,
    Where’s your gratitude for everyone who volunteers uncountable hours to make your profitable little event possible? Where’s your
    compassion for burners who’ve lost lives and loved ones to the pandemic? I’m nauseated by the smug grin on your face as you blow sunshine up our kilts about what Burning man is about. My nausea gave way only to shock as you immediately got to the bottom line. I’m truly repulsed by your focus on the cash and the way you’re manipulating people to continue funding your lifestyle and your philanthropic interests. As a 23 year veteran burner, it’s my humble opinion that it’s time for you to step down. You’ve had a good run, but Burning Man is beyond you, your capabilities and your transparent self-interest. Otherwise, RIP Black Rock City.
    KoolWhip

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  • Toby Detroit says:

    Well, I think we can put the speculation to rest finally… Burning Man was better 10 years ago.
    Stay healthy, donate what you can, and Detroit:(Black) Rock City will be bringing it TWICE as hard in 2021! It’s an extra year for all the camps to pull out the stops… Prepare for BM 2.0-21!

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  • Cindy Bunny says:

    We can finally take the BMorg out of Burning Man. It’s going to be like the old days again. I just hope those Indians are wearing masks because I don’t want their Indian AIDS or smallpox. We’re going to rage!

    Report comment

    • SBirder says:

      I think it’s great how you capture everything wrong with burners. You yourself make the argument why you shouldn’t be allowed outside your own home.

      Report comment

    • Sherri Songbird says:

      Typical Wasi’chu…..
      We will do everything In our power to keep you disrespectful animals off our land. We gave you a chance and you abused and took advantage of our generosity. Stay off our land and don’t come back to Black Rock. Find another location to pollute and carry on your destructiveness!

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      • Cindy Bunny says:

        Hey Sitting Bull, our money is the same color. We’ll still buy your tacos but keep it clean. Next time don’t sell all your land for half a pack of cigarettes and wagon wheel. It’s OUR land now and we going to party!

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    • HeartyRotini says:

      Finds genocide of Native Americans and epidemics funny.. anything to add about nazis while you are at it? No, wait, keep it to yourself…

      Report comment

    • HeartyRotini says:

      People sure are learning a lot about how to make the world a better place, huh? Guess it really wasn’t about that after all. Glitter and thumping music trumps decency every time, hm.

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  • Dr Bungee says:

    It’s 1:30 AM on Easter Sunday, and I’m awake thinking about my religon, and how we can resurrect the man. How about we increase the event to 2 weeks. That way, once we are all on playa, we can stay “home” with our family for the 14 day quaranteen period.

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    • Terri Strongwill says:

      You people just don’t get it…..
      Has all the Burning Man experiences fried your brain’s!!!!

      We don’t want you here. Stay home. The tribes have spoken. Take your money hungry, commercialized, polluted, disease infested event back to the pits of rubbishy where you can effectively play out your fantasies!

      Report comment

      • Cindy Bunny says:

        Somebody didn’t get a chocolate Easter egg today… I’m sure it’s nothing a bottle of whiskey before noon won’t fix. Settle down, Sleeps with Donkeys.

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      • SBirder says:

        Some people do feel for the tribal and non-tribal residents. Glad to hear that the PLPT and BIA are working with the sheriff to ensure people won’t be able to stop if travelling on the highway And Gerlach residents and other locals have been happy to mention they are armed and won’t take kindly to visitors. If they get there, hoping any wayward morons get their cars stuck on the playa and can’t get help. And nowhere willing to sell them gas, so…

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      • ifellfromthesky says:

        There are still some out of town DPW crew members in Gerlach scurrying around in Burning Man owned fleet vehicles and arranging little rendezvous on the radio, WTF are they working on, why are they still here?

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      • DPW Recto says:

        DPW is still there to keep an eye on the movement of Native Americans. The party is still going to happen (on the DL) and the Native Americans are threatening road blocks. They’re trying to shut down Burning Man for good so they can have their own festival on the playa during the same week.

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    • Jasper says:

      >happy to mention they are armed and won’t take kindly to visitors
      Ah, the implied use of deadly force to deter hippies from camping… We’re all really scared and like in the old days, armed. Those hillbilly desert rats wouldn’t stand a chance.

      Report comment

      • SBirder says:

        Why don’t you respect their communities and wishes to be left alone? What’s with the bully mindset of BM to steamroll over the world? You can’t disguise your true nature. Transcendent, for sure.

        Report comment

      • SBirder says:

        Also noticed you couldn’t be bothered to call out the racism of fellow burners (the anti- Native American BS, see above). Gee, wonder why not…

        Report comment

      • Jasper says:

        It’s called, Progress. We are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world. These are great days we’re living in, bros. We’re Jolly Green Giants walking the Earth with guns.

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      • SBirder says:

        Also I’m sure the county sheriffs, BLM, BIA, and state authorities will be happy to get *your* threats documented. Thank you for working to ensure you “bros” won’t get another permit. Your doing the work of those who oppose your BS. That’s smart. Thank you for the help.

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      • Jasper says:

        Guns are legal.

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      • Jeckel says:

        Birder has gone full psycho and is threatening violence. Gerlach has made millions over the last thirty years. They love our money and won’t do anything to kill the golden goose. Bruno’s alone makes $10,000 per day from May to September . And the local cops plus troopers plus BLM make their whole annual budget just stealing money from Burners for the week . That’s how they buy boats, second homes , OFF road toys and double their income$ through overtime. They pretend to need probable cause and reasonable suspicion. Drive smart and safe!

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  • W.R.P says:

    SBirder,
    This just goes to show you and all about the new generation and mentality for Burning Man. Complete disrespect and disregard to the true intention of this gathering. Burning Man has lost its place and unfortunately it is truly evident in the comments put forth. These are the individuals who are stopping all over Black Rock like a plague. If you can disregard Native Americans and their concerns, you have no right to call yourself a Burner. I am ashamed and embarrassed for all true burners that were true to the cause. This is a disgrace! The tribes and local residents have rights! Adhere to their concerns and let’s move on. Larry Harvey Is turning over in his grave right now. This is not what he envisioned.

    To the residents of Black Rock. We are all not the same. The people on here that want to continue holding this gathering at Black Rock are not true Burners. My apologies and deepest condolences to hurt and betrayal you have endured. I will join you with this cause to remove Burning Man from this location. As it hurts and I will miss it deeply, it the righteous decision to make. Feel free to contact me via email for support. We have 1 on the biggest camps at this gathering. I don’t feel comfortable mentioning our site and or location due to backlash. But our decision to pull away will be truly significant and felt within the Burning Man community.

    Looking forward to assisting in this movement!

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    • Coco says:

      Stop with your lies!!

      Report comment

    • SBirder says:

      Why are you calling me out personally? I’m not the one repeatedly posting anti-Native American remarks. I’ve been trying to stand up for the local tribal residents and non-tribal residents, and have been met with slurs from burners. Newsflash: I have attended in the past. I’m never going again because of what I saw, heard. The event/cult hasn’t lead to any transcendence, it’s bred contempt for the local communities, spread hatred not inclusion (again the anti-Native American remarks above from burners), and instilled a very exclusive self-aggrandizing mindset amongst burners. It’s great that burners freely advertise this real ugliness, for all to see. Fortunately the event is rotting from within. Good riddance.
      I’ve donated in the past (items) to the local Paiute Tribe, and I plan to do so again because of the racist and ignorant hatred spouted here by burners. (To those calling me anti-Native American slurs, I’m white. It’s apparently shocking to burners that I’m white yet stand up for Native Americans. Like how does that happen, you must think.)
      Again, good riddance to BM.

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    • SBirder says:

      And to the DPW (DPW Recto) saying they “are there to keep an eye on the movement of Native Americans”… I’ve met DPW members… kindly take your misplaced self-appointed ownership elsewhere. Find another use, for it is not for “keeping an eye on Native Americans”. What do you think this is, Sand Creek, Wounded Knee? Whites have shown what they mean by “keeping an eye on Native Americans”.

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    • Nutter says:

      There are no residents of the black rock desert. Black rock city is the temp town made up of burners. There’s one tiny year round village nearby. The entire population of Pershing and washoe counties plus all reservations therein equal one apartment building. That’s folks spread out over 1000 square miles . They don’t ask permission to travel or visit anywhere like my town. Maybe need a passport to leave your county?

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  • Dennis says:

    Hey is this one of those burning man jokes ?I’m sure someones going to say “just kidding” “April fools!”Hoax!!

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  • ifellfromthesky says:

    The upside?
    The smug snotty shitbags and pervs and venture cap bros and DPW de-humanizing upper management egotistical megalomaniacs and Frat-asshats and FemNazis and dirty old men and shirt-cockers that use BRC as a platform for their scat spreading will be grounded…

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    • Phil says:

      Don’t forget the tatted-up, post-wall school teachers on spirit quests with electrical tape on their sagging tits.

      Report comment

      • ifellfromthesky says:

        or the ex-Punk Rock-a-Billy/Metal head giving late 40’s DPW MILF trying to stay relevant by sitting on 28 YO gypsy/deadhead faces…

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      • Phil says:

        And the angsty teenybopper escapee from Kids’ Camp, hellbent on becoming a woman on the back of some DPW MadMax-wannabe ’87 pickup, while mommy & daddy calls in an Amber Alert because their angel wasn’t at camp for story time.

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  • James Runner says:

    I say limit the Burning Man entry population head count to 20K max 30k instead of the 70k that’s been accounted for since 2018. I believe by limiting the headcount and raising the premium for entry woul eliminate a lot of the stragglers. Since the ticket prices would be at a premium it would give the Burning man Representatives more leg room to fill the officials pockets with money to shut up and keep this event going.

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  • C. Fox says:

    I donated last year to support BMO but was unsuccessful at getting a prized ticket to the 2019 Burn so I took my chances this year & went for it at the FOMO sale & finally got my ticket to my 1st Burn!!! Sad indeed about not meeting all of you but completely understand the difficult decisions that had to be considered & made. Like someone asked earlier, I would like to know if it’s possible to receive the beautiful ticket & survival guide booklet(s) as a souvenir?(Of course I’m aware that they cost money, so I only mean if it is not at more cost or loss to BMO) If I never get to attend in the future I would always have the evidence of actually being successful at capturing one of these cherished tickets! Take care everyone!

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  • Frankie says:

    A stimulus for the soon to be heavily impacted DPW of Gerlach would be pretty cool, juss sayin’,since they moved here to invest in the cause and a better idea of life…
    Frankie…

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  • Toni Nadratowski says:

    Can I offer this suggestion? Before actually posting a comment, take three long slow deep breaths with the intention of releasing any negative emotions. Then see if you still want to send your comment. Also, ask yourself if is kind and adds value to the discussion. Let’s be nice to each other!

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  • Pete says:

    I’m am very sorry, but there is NO WAY any “virtual experience” can replace a physical experience.

    The Internet is the ANTITHESIS of The Playa.

    Anyway, what you are calling “the multiverse” is NOT really “the multiverse”. It is just a lifeless electronic containment zone.

    Just skip a year and save money.

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  • Phil says:

    Woohoo! Finally I get to experience Burning Man, well, virtual Burning Man! So, if you’ve been looking for that pandemic silver lining, this is it! See y’all on the virtual Playa and stay positive and safe!

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  • Wiseguy says:

    BTW since it’s the theme, maybe we should be using the term multiverse correctly. The event is always happening in the multiverse. Canceling the event in this universe doesn’t change that fact, but we cannot attend the event in the multiverse, other versions of ourselves will do that. In this universe we can attend online. Online isn’t the multiverse. I sound like a nerd troll, but I just have too much time on my hand.

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  • Jay Stark says:

    I really can’t believe this….this is not the independent group of people that give the middle finger to oppressive governments.
    So ashamed for this new BM group….

    Report comment

    • Hell Boy says:

      Most Burners are cubicle-dwelling worker bees who pretend to be Mad Max for one week a year. They don’t give the finger to anyone, not even their girlfriends.

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  • UVidin’ says:

    before touching ‘post comment’ please consider a more apparently focused perspective on gratitude – apparently your not in a fight for your apparent survival, hence your posting comments – at this moment apparently you still have it all – the ‘world’ by the tail – all things possible and all that shit – )'(‘s base DNA is about being creative – be ‘that’ and use the apparent feeling of being out of your comfort zone to your apparent advantage – unconstrict/be still/create/repeat – even though it feels as though we have apparently chosen to condition ourselves to live/party/love/create ‘over the top’ in Aug/Sept….blossoming each year in tons of different creative ways – angst still apparently happens…use it wisely!

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  • Rebekah says:

    What about using a platform like second life as the venue for burning man. It’s a place that supports creativity, live virtual performances, connecting and meeting new people, dressing up/or down your own special avatar, art installations, virtual commerce. It’s creation is largely the result of creative individuals building and contributing to this vast 3D virtual world. It can be a bit of a learning curve, but could be worth the effort. This can be the opportunity to re-invent and expand in the most unexpected ways.

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  • Hello Burning Man Community! I have a question for the artist! I just finished my thesis installation for Mississippi State University, and it 100% fits into the idea of a multiverse! Therefore my teachers have encouraged me to submit my work into this community!! I’m so excited that my work even fits with you guys. (considering I’ve only dreamed about attending Burning man)
    With that being said do I submit my work through the normal ways? As explained on the website? I was just wondering if there will be different forms for the virtual site!

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  • All Good (Ganesh Camp) says:

    How about offering DGS buyers the option of rolling tickets over to 2021? That’s BRC’s core supporters. If half did, that would give the BORG $9 million to help get through this year’s storm and keep the core committed.

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  • tom rusing says:

    Good Morning. I know it was a difficult decision but I am very disappointed in the decision to cancel the event. I am a physician and have been following the events closely. While I know there were many factors to consider in the decision that I may not be aware of, from a medical standpoint it seems to have been premature. The curve of the spread is improving and estimates of the extent of the disease are being revised downward to a significant degree. Burning Man is probably the ideal event to take place as we recover from this “stress”. It offers opportunities for mourning for those we have lost, a rebirth of attitudes and appreciation of life, celebration of all we have to be grateful for. and reaffirmation of the principles of Burning Man.It reenforces how small the world is and how closely connected we all are. It would be a unique and special event in Burning Man history. One with special significance for all of us. Burning man should be adaptable and morph into a form that is appropriate to the situation. A form that that allows the event to take place at BRC while maintaining enhanced safety and adapting to the changing situation. Yes there are challenges but that’s what we are about. I am therefore asking you to reassess your decision, be flexible, do not underestimate our ability to adapt quickly. We are up to the challenge. Thank You Tom Rusing

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    • Poumbo says:

      The teams who are building Black Rock have to start NOW to build the city. It’s not something that pop’s out of the ground mid-august in august. Even if events are allowed in august there is no way to catch up with the delayed planning. Lot of camps and arts are missing fundraising money. This needs lot of preparation, organization and work on site.

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      • Jagoff says:

        If they were quick the build would take a month. And event could be pushed to September with build starting in July. Nevada will be back up and running before July. Also could limit ticket sales to 2000 levels – 25,000, and enforce social distancing.
        No rational reason to cancel. Stupid decision.

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      • Mansoon Black says:

        i don’t understand this objection (by another commentor). It typically doesn’t start “NOW.” It’s usually, in the 12 years I’ve been paying attention, July or late June when they put down the Golden Spike. So, 2+ months from now. There are developments every day on this and things already reopening, especially people doing construction. I find it very difficult to believe the situation won’t be very, very different then.

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  • Sonata says:

    Why not to open a donation fund and email all the burners asking for help? I am sure that everybody will gladly and enthusiastically pitch in whatever they can to support BM in these hard times. Ticket sale for the virtual BM and a donation which should be open until the sale event.
    Personally I don’t approve the donation of the whole, or a portion of my ticket, because BM should be ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE , it should not rest on the shoulders of a small group of people. All of us burners are in this together and all of us can pull it off together. We can do it. Together. For all of us.

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    • Janet says:

      My children held a bake sale to send the profits to the BMorg in these hard times. They were arrested by the police and fined $1,000 each. I can’t afford to bail them out of juvenile hall and child protective services have been calling me. But the important thing is that we tried. Nevada should increase state taxes to cover BMorg’s losses.

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  • Seven says:

    I began going to Burning Man in 2011 and this would have been my eighth Burn. Nearly every year some wit would post something about the event being canceled this year and some newbies would freak out and the rest of us would laugh. Guess we’re not laughing now, are we? What a year 2020 has turned out to be!

    Thank you for making the hard and right decision. Here’s to making 2021 the best ever.

    https://medium.com/the-partnered-pen/this-year-no-one-goes-home-52bb10db7d48?source=friends_link&sk=a72c99b7368da7740d5af47d2104daa5

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  • Babsie says:

    Coming from a 20 year veteran here, in fact 2020 was going to be my 20th…I believe BM should take this opportunity to bow out gracefully, quit while you’re ahead, end it on top! BM is only getting worse. The BLM is getting more demanding. They want to implement things that make no sense, that we know won’t work. It only gets uglier and uglier out there. Black Rock City can not exist forever. We all know this. Why not use this time to figure another way. Otherwise what does the future look like…a bunch of ridiculous BLM regulations, fucking $1000 tickets and more and more $$$ for the non-profit!? Perfect opportunity BMorg. Take it!

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    • trout says:

      Why not just make RV’s “permit only” based on needs. What’s the point of having Burning Man in such a harsh environment if a bunch of rich people can just pay to pretend they’re still back home in their decadence.
      This would reduce the total numbers (by a lot), enhance the environment of the place, and give availability back to the artists and hippies that are no longer welcome or cant afford to go the very festival they helped create. IT’s such a simple solution. You’ve been there long enough to see that it has changed. RV’s weren’t the problem but now it’s just overrun with people who would never go or ever survive out there on their own if they had to make even a minimum effort be self reliant. It’s a shame. Maybe it is just over. But I think that would have been a simple solution without being unfair.

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  • Dusk Rider says:

    I cannot believe that people are thanking and praising the BMORG for making the “tough decision” to cancel.
    This was a no-brainer call. Name one other major event scheduled for the summer that didn’t announce a cancellation or postponement weeks ago!
    No, the illustrious Burning Man Project allowed the big bucks FOMO sale to go ahead, no doubt hoping that folks would “donate all that $$” once the inevitable cancellation call was made.
    What horse shit.
    Wake up BRC community, the warm and fuzzy in Dust we Trust vibe has been hijacked by a BMP leadership and governance board that are more concerned with using the Burning Man brand to promote their own agenda, than making sure BRC survives and thrives.
    Praise them? Hell no! Instead, demand that they give us a full explanation about why they’re crying poverty when they are misappropriating and squandering our treasure, and trampling on our good will and our loyalty to our beloved BRC home.
    Ask them why that don’t just STOP wasting money on projects the BRC community never asked them to undertake and doesn’t want!
    How about addressing THAT in your next promotional video Maid Marion!

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  • Pegleg Peter says:

    BM has gotten too large, too expensive, too invasive, too cliche’, too bucket-listy. Like so many a counter-culture gathering, it has been corrupted by the scenesters, hucksters and narcissists. A year break to regroup and reconsider is not a bad thing.

    BRC should be left to history.
    The desert ecology is very fragile, and for a self-proclaimed LNT event, the devastation to the land is unforgivable. We’re smarter and more respectful than this. A few hundred folks for a day or two, maybe ok. 70,000+ for a week+? That’s an invasion.

    I’m not so sold on the virtual event – I could always set my iPad on fire, but maybe next year schedule several regionals in the same time frame or as overlapping events and interconnect those? Span multiple time zones and multiple continents? What kind of magic could that make?

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  • Mark McCormack says:

    What about STEP the tickets that you have already sold for people that need to get their money on tickets they purchased,and people that would like to get a ticket now and not have to wait until next year and meas with all of the sales process.

    How about selling 2021 now at double this years price to cover this years cost and next years cost. There is your money you need to sustain. You have reduced “ticket sales” cost to bmorg operations by 50% this gives you flexability in negotiating with vendors, blm etc. Who need money now. It also give out of towners to to get their cost / expenses etc in line as well

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  • Rosebud says:

    You really have to question your participation in something where admission to that thing makes you feel like you’re begging and pleading to be let in, where the cost would drive the average person into debt. And that it is difficult to quantify and qualify the advantages of that thing to you personally, to the point where you can’t even clearly answer to yourself, “Is it worth it?”.

    Report comment

    • SBirder says:

      It will certainly be worth it if you keep your lame ass home.

      Report comment

      • Wizard says:

        Rosebud, under normal circumstances the cost of a ticket wouldn’t bankrupt someone. The world has changed dramatically since the Directed Group Sale, however, and many people are now facing dire financial straights.

        The only thing I question right now is your ability to empathize with other people.

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  • Jane Stebbins says:

    If the BLM demands are insurmountable, does BRC have ideas about where it would relocate? Where might some of those places be? Would they involve smaller events due to the sheer size of the current Thing out in the Desert?

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  • wizard says:

    Just to add another voice to the chorus — you guys have hit exactly the correct note, and I’m proud of you all for that. I was worried that the situation would result in a tone-deaf response from the ORG, and I stand gloriously corrected.

    I will be asking for a refund for my DGS tickets, but I will also be making a donation.

    Hunker down, stay well, stay safe.

    Dusty (socially distant) hugs

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  • rio says:

    Why don’t you build in a virtual world which already exists, to save all the dev work? Decentraland, Somnium Space r CryptoVoxels would all be good choices.

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  • RudRand says:

    This is devastating but is the only decision to come too. I can imagine that each tabletop exercise ended in a bad outcome.

    I know that they told us that there was no magical insurance that would bail them out. At first, it makes sense but when I look at this more closely it becomes absurd to think they didn’t have this in place. As someone who is in charge of my business’s insurance it’s critical to understand and take it seriously. I’m assuming most people just check the boxes and maybe they did this as well rather than truly read the fine print on their insurance policy.

    If 90% of income comes from this event then why didn’t you insure the hell out of that! It shows poor management in my opinion. One could say that they chose to accept that risk and they very well could have. BUT you can’t accept a risk that will ultimately destroy the company. Management should have done a better job.

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  • Jagoff says:

    RudRand can insurers get out of paying using the force majuere or act of god clauses ? Also I think bmorg would have had to wait for blm gov to cancel permit. If you voluntarily cancel doesn’t that negate a claim?

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  • Concerned Burner says:

    I agree the event should be cancelled. Wise decision. I don’t agree with 60% of ticket sales being spent on year round activities to “spread the word” They officially said “With your support, we will continue investing in key programs like … Fly Ranch… and our Philosophical Center. We will continue with projects already in motion … deploying educational leadership content. We also have exciting new projects on the horizon, including publishing a book and launching a cultural magazine.” While I believe that Burners Without Borders is worthwhile, the rest can certainly be put on hold (permanently in my opinion).
    Looking at their staff list, it is no wonder that salaries take up so much of their costs. For just the San Francisco office, they have 2 year round Facilities Managers (why?), 2 People Partners, a Director of People Operations, a People Operations Coordinator, an Office Operations Manager, Office Hospitality, Office and Training Manager, an Education Program Manager, an Education Project Manager and a Director of Education.
    The Technology Team consists of 2 PHP Developers, a UX Design Manager, a User Success Manager, Salesforce Administrator/Project Manager, Salesforce Administrator, Salesforce Administrator, Human/Cyborg Relations, Digital Community Manager, Web Designer/Developer, Web Developer, Senior Technical Product Manager, Technical Product Manager, Technology Project Manager, Technology Logistics Project Manager, Assistant Technology Operations Manager, Technology Support Associate, Technology Support Assistant, Technology Administrative Coordinator, Interim Chief Technology Officer, Nevada Tech Support and they are hiring for a Chief Technology Officer, Associate Director of Software Engineering and an Associate Director of Product & Design.
    They also have a Director of Creative Initiatives, a Playa Restoration GPS Administrator, a Civic Arts Coordinator and a Global Innovation something or other as well as several Project Managers. Maybe some spending cuts are needed

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    • Dr Bungee says:

      Yes, the burnocracy has certainly grown over the years. Although most burners believe in the culture, and do what we can to live up to it’s ideals, we certainly did not sign up for this.

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  • K Korpi (Ignatz) says:

    This year’s event will be missed. No doubt, many creative artists whose artcars, unique realms, entertainment and creativity were in planning or in the process of being built will feel crushing disappointment. If they rented tools, construction space, bought materials, and planned to move onto the play in August, there remains the problem of what to do with nearly finished product when space rental comes up for the next 16 months. Salvage and trips to the junkyard are more painful than criticism from thoughtless trolls. It isn’t just BMORG, it’s the on-playa productions and the creativity of imagination brought to life.

    I hope the setback of postponing isn’t weathered as severely as the nation of florists and growers whose stock withered and dried, whose sentiments were never expressed and retail space awaits new lessees. I’d hope for those who were building that they complete the work, produce videos of final product and somehow showcase previews through that virtual experience BMORG has proposed as BRC’s 2020 survivor.

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  • Captain Ping says:

    To me, the DGS/FOMO refund process doesn’t make sense. By making the refunds separate transactions, the org is forcing everyone who purchased a pair of DGS tickets to lose $89. $24 of this is to the ticket vendor (who’s not going to be mailing tickets), and $65 to the credit card companies. If the purchase transactions were simply reversed, these fees would be reversed too. The combined community of the org and the burner would be $89 richer at a time when such an amount makes a difference!

    Then after the refunds are made, the burners who choose to can make fully-effective, charitable contributions. :-)

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  • Anthony Thomas says:

    Please be clear about how much money is needed, donation wise, after any potential ticket donations clear and the community can help with more donations.

    Just give us a number when you can.

    At this time, it’s not clear how much is needed so it’s hard to evaluate how much a person might want to contribute.

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  • Jana says:

    So….. how about those refunds? Can we get an update on how the ORGS magic ticket refund tool is coming along? Is this a 1 month adventure? 6 month adventure?

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  • Launa says:

    I had started building a 25ft surrealist sculpture for this years Multiverse, having received an honoraria. Receiving a BM art grant was for a brief moment, the most wonderful thing to happen to me as an artist. I was truly looking forward to creating something big and wild and colorful for this community I’ve grown to love. March was anxiety-town, wondering what would happen, and if I should proceed… then feeling heartbroken that it wouldn’t happen, but also afraid that it might still happen with no resources or security in feeling safe to truly burn. I couldn’t imagine driving into the gate without a hug from a dusty greeter. A wave of relief washed over me when it was cancelled. Sadly. I can now focus on making this come to life for 2021, and embrace you all deeper than ever… I’ll miss you all this year, and hope to see you next year with a big ass surrealist sculpture for you to enjoy.

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  • Big Dog says:

    We heard today that sunlight and low humidity kills the Covid-19 virus. The playa is such a perfect environment for a mass cleansing, I think it is a great idea to go forward with Black Rock City.

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    • NH says:

      That’s the only thing that makes sense

      To be mirror another comment – who put the BMOrg in charge, anyway? They’re clearly not competent to lead.

      Let’s just go.

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  • Mansoon Black says:

    This seems to me foolishly premature and will have many unintended consequences.
    Of course, I want to stay safe, show love by not endangering others more than reasonable (just being alive in a modern society has, for others, potential negative consequence. Pollution alone kills an estimated 8 million people every year. Think about that the next time you buy anything, use anything manufactured or just use electricity) and flatten the curve, but most of the various projections about it don’t make it seem like this cancellation will help hardly at all. I know it initially makes me seem like an uncaring ass, and I’ll lay out my reasons later, but I think the math just doesn’t say it. I really hope they reconsider or my math is wrong.
    First of all, the death rate is based on known infections. But a vast majority of people infected have mild or no symptoms and can really walk around, shedding, for weeks. There are still woefully small amounts of tests in many places and, to get a real sense of the danger you’re putting people in, you need very good numbers, nearly total, not the current small, statistical sample, because we don’t know enough to make a statistical guess where were earlier this month.
    Some people are attempting to find out. The German government, known for being methodical (ahem), is going to have their police just knock on doors and ask to test people because only testing the known and suspected sick for something like this gives you very incomplete picture.
    If very many people don’t get sick enough for you to think to test them, the death rate could be more on par with very bad, but regular, ordinary flu, albeit a flu with no vaccine, with the levels of testing we’ve done so far. Something like this, you could never test everyone enough to really judge right at the start.
    There’s a recent Stanford study that suggests the real infection rate might be 50-85 prevent higher than we think. NY state’s suggest possibly 10 times. That makes the real death rate correspondingly lower. Even if these are somewhat off, it shows the very real likelihood that it’s not quite as deadly as we think and things as already far past saving by a shutdown of one tiny event, on a global scale, many months from now.
    All this stuff were doing is flattening the curve now so we DON’T have an Aug, Sept. with so many dead behind us and awaiting many more. Almost all projections for the peak of this thing have most of the damage done by then and for the sad and terrible rates to be way down at the bottom of the graph in August.
    There’s isolation, there’s trying to find a vaccine, which China is already in the second round of testing for and Bill Gates and no doubt others are already building a factory to mass-produce. There’s some recent antibody plasma trials at Johns Hopkins, other places that are mass-collecting already even from stars like Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, ones that have had results that range from very good to astounding, basically cured the next day. And with these treatments, if they work, 1 person can basically cure 3. Or even inoculate them better than any vaccine.
    There’s all kinds of companies and private citizens all over the planet kicking into extra-high gear, testing medicines, producing all kinds of things that help, even companies that used to make pistons for cars making pistons for ventilators, doctors coming out of retirement or being rushed through med school to run ventilators, etc.
    All these things have some serious effects on projections by Burn time. There’s going to be a lot of tragedy beforehand, but almost for sure not the same level of danger by then. Fingers crossed until we actually KNOW.
    Don’t forget, we never lived in a zero-risk world. We don’t stop all economies until we fix deaths from pollution, cars, guns, other infectious diseases. If you ever had the flu, even as a kid, you could have easily passed it to someone and started a chain that eventually killed someone and that, along the way, made hundreds sick. 60k a year people die from just the flu in the U.S. as the result of living in a society with you, me, everyone. We don’t stop ALL gatherings as a result.
    And the risk isn’t the same for all groups. This might as well be wildfire in a nursing home, it can be so deadly. Which is terrible, but those are not exactly a high percentage of people in Black Rock City. Kids without underlying medical conditions might as well be practically immune in comparison; the regular flu killed more kids 0-9 before this all started in just the U.S. than this has worldwide. Smoking or vaping or drinking really ups your risk, so does being male, but Tom Hanks is 63 and got through it better than his wife, he says.
    Even without being female, a not-senior-citizen who spent a couple of months “getting into Burn shape” and doesn’t smoke or vape or have diabetes might be one of the estimated 95+% who will see few or NO symptoms.
    And, with all projections so far, BM will be no more or less of a hotspot than the entire planet by then. If you cancel it, you have to cancel all school for 2020-21, many jobs, all fall sports at every level, concerts, movies, TV and movie production that involves more than a few people who don’t live together or where Zoom just don’t work (all the streaming services could start running out of new content soon. Chew on that, Netflickers. Some series already can’t finish our start seasons), churches, mass transit, etc. The effects go on and on. About half of lower-income Americans have reported a household wage or job loss already.
    The buses in my city alone have about as many people on them in a day as ALL Black Rock City the entire time. If you allow any of other things with large numbers, BM has the same approximate level of risk. They’ll be happening and BM won’t. And BM as a hotspot will matter less than an individual gnat in a very hot swamp.
    And, also don’t forget, economies are very real, not just some abstract concept. If it crashes into a Great Depression worldwide, many of the sick and vulnerable will lose a lot, suffer and some will die if we don’t pull out of this nosedive before it gets too bad. For this reason, some economies have never shut all the way down and there’s already a heavy push to start opening things up again, protests and government plans, even if it’s very likely premature.
    There’s no way people in this country and many others would be willing to sequester until after September. The Dutch are already planning to let their youngest children go back to school in May, weeks away because their statistics for cases with kids are zero. Germany has already let small shops reopen. Some states here have already begin reopening or are planning to. Sweden always kept some clubs and such open. A few countries already want to screen for antibodies and let those people, likely immune, be free to come and go.
    Even in the US, the future economic cost of a long shutdown could reach many millions and cost the lives and the effects could last a generation. We’re already seeing some permanent business losses, owners with dreams destroyed. A crisis like this could spur some change OR actually defeat any pushes for progress, and people without hope commit more crimes, use more dangerous drugs, destroy relationships more readily. Chaos and despair does that — ask people in any terrible place.
    The estimated yearly death toll of various forms of despair in this country when things were “good” was about 150k. A Make America (have a) Great Depression economy could send those numbers as high as if we never did anything in the first place, and that’s just in the first year.
    One of the reasons the government is throwing trillions at us is so that we won’t panic, so we can see hope, so we can actually support all kinds of people in this country. Help support their lives and ours.
    Like the hundreds of thousands of people and businesses that the Burns supports. The tons of artists and their crew, material suppliers, family members and connected business that are totally screwed by this cancellation. From people who make costumes to hairdressers who dred hair in preparation to people who make LEDs and there people who supply them, to clerks at the hotels in Reno to the Paiutes who usually barely scrape by, and, since the pandemic is hitting Native communities 10 times harder than most, this will deprive them of possibly the largest part of their yearly income. Who knows if this might not spell the end for Gerlach or their school district, propped up by profits from BM ice sales (I’m told)?
    All those people supporting that $500k contract for the porta potties, people selling food and costumes and lights on the road into the event, people at Home Depots along the way.— can’t calculate the real impact. I myself might spend about $1200, end to end, since I fly. That’s probably on the very low end, since art cars like the Mayan Warrior cost a million dollars and the DJ talent on it might cost the people behind the camp tens of thousands. Someone paid to make that happen for a lot of big names, whether that’s with an airplane ticket or even much more, and that money isn’t going into the local or wider economy if you’d doesn’t happen.
    Using donations to replace all that lost income for so many people and businesses and even the taxes they pay (that make rescue possible at all) is like trying to kill a monster by shooting at it with paintballs. It’s about that effective. You might feel better but it’ll never do more than give it pause.
    I live with 2 people who works at two of the most beloved clubs in town. In the last month, one club got enough donations to give the staff just over $250 each, and that’s likely it for the foreseeable future for one of them, since his unemployment still hasn’t come in. The other roomie at the other club is “off the books” and still hasn’t seen a dime. And, “kindness of strangers” aside, this donations at the first place nowhere near enough to replace if people are coming in, seeing shows, buying things. They don’t make heaps of money normally, and this is a tiny fraction of that.
    Donations show you care, but the real cure that will keep lives and livelihoods from dying is just business as usual, not canceling things well before there’s clearly no choice.
    If you told me all connected money spent worked out to $10k per Burner, 75k people possibly this year, if you count everything from the ticket to wood and screws bought as part of some camp structure, crews and cranes to put up the temple to the cost of having people out there taking away every tiny piece months after, little candy bought to give as gifts, I’d wonder if your math was maybe a little low. It probably has at least that much monetary effect that will be lost right at the specific time that it might be the most caring thing you could do. I may give someone down on their luck $20 once or twice, but I don’t hand out money like I do when I need or want a product or service.
    Whether you’re talking about a cool playa gift you bought from your friend, a fake fur, sunglasses and water from Walmart, gas and snacks coming through Montana coming down from Canada, relaxing at a hot springs afterwards before flying back to Sydney, deciding to go to an impromptu trip to Yellowstone afterwards before going back to China (these are real-life examples I’ve had or encountered in just a few of my Burns), these are very real economic losses that will be much needed in a world recovery that the Burn community WON’T be participating in as group. You can’t change the world if you bail on it when it needs you most. You can talk about lofty ideals, but if you don’t have real-life action of how different things could be, how you can help and inspire, they’re just words on a screen.
    There are people who will lose their entire livelihoods over this. I’m told a good part of the BM revenue stream involves helping get the art there licensed, part of the trade-off for them funding half and letting the artists raise the other half themselves. After the art leaves there, it might go to festivals, parks, schools, etc. If that doesn’t happen, there could be serious financial ramifications. Including artists having to return funds for art they’ve been making for months, and is only partially completed, for something in late August that it’s already decided in early April won’t happen.
    And, let’s not forget something like the camps and the art cars. The camps and villages may have elaborate structures that need to be stored and fixed between Burns, and those storage units can cost a lot. Believe me, I know. Without annual dues money, it could be worse than bad for some.
    Camps might have to refund dues already paid and lose or just abandon lots of infrastructure. This includes art cars, since some of them have to be stored nearby, since you might not want to drive them from, say, NY or even Cali every year. Some of the thousand Mutant Vehicles built to lumber across the playa might be lost or abandoned for this simple reason alone. An overly hasty decision.
    This is famously a “safety third” event. With something like this, you definitely have to think of others, but if it was a “safety only” event, it wouldn’t be worth having. Even if you were alone underground in a sanitized bunker, there could still be an earthquake or you could slip and hit your head on a sharp corner. Or the workers who helped build that bunker could die of lead poisoning. Even if we all lived alone in the woods, billions of individual campfires would choke the planet and might cause massive fires. But there wouldn’t be billions, because lifespans only started to take off after electricity and clean water (which needs electricity) became widespread and the progress it brought started to pay off. All we can hope is that good from how we live our lives outweighs the bad.
    With the numbers growing by leaps and bounds, some companies already beginning the collection of antibody plasma because there are now so many recovered, the risk is changing all the time and so is our understanding of it. The massive numbers of survivors should greatly reduce the ability of this thing to spread afterwards. From people like Bill Gates on down, they’re already talking about this as something that we can do now that works. With numbers from New York l making it seem like 14 percent of the population might already be infected, that could be 40-50 million already exposed before we even hit May. By September, how many will we really be saving? Will we all be in our houses if it was NOT saving more lives than the alternative? With those rates, we could already have enough herd immunity that canceling night save few or none.
    People are wearing masks at a rate undreamt of even 3-4 weeks ago. Handshakes might as well be the dodo bird. There are 100+ vaccines in developments and many more treatment with existing medicines being tried, everything under the sun, all at once, with a potential pool of test subject of million that span the planet. Developments are happening at insanity speed and the emergency breaks will barely be touched. Those many, many things likely will have a very noticeable effect on how this goes.
    I’m merely saying that we don’t really know how things will play out in the future. If this were Y2K, this would be like canceling a giant event in late March/April 2000 based on what we thought might happen a little after we started scrambling to fix the problem. Not in terms of tragic deaths, of course, but in our ability now to know that far in the future. It can be terrible if we don’t do anything, but the whole planet is trying to do any and everything.
    And if the BMorg waits on for a final, FINAL decision, they might have some better idea. Warn people, let them make contingencies, decide whether or not to cancel around the time you were going to drive the golden spike in, sure. People who can’t go or don’t feel safe will cancel themselves, simple as that. The natural arc of a participatory community.
    If they’re right, I’d damn sure rather it was called it off and have a refund AFTER they gave it a good try, rather than bailing the first time it looked a little grim. If that was the lesson I learned from being a Burner, I would have gone home crying after trying to catch a rideshare in and getting turned down a few times at the Reno airport in 2008.
    And, if they’re wrong, the consequence is something like when the rest of the world is returning to normal, mourning and celebrating, the place that claims it tries to be the epitome of all that — and a social experiment in doing things better — won’t exist, just because of waiting a few weeks, which is what we’re all having to do anyway. #PauseDontCancelBurningMan

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    • Nikolaus Heger says:

      Wow – thinking about all those who will be devastated financially by this decision makes me even sadder.

      Mainstream media is slowly ramping up now calling out the “plandemic” – which they have perpetuated.

      California Doctors Erickson and co. have released the date from their own clinic and using data from the CDC have estimated Covid infection rates of 20% + in the population, meaning case fatality rate is below 0.03% or comparable to seasonal flu. This is all coming out. But honestly anyone doing research and staying away from mainstream media could find this out when it started.

      The test used was not “tested” itself – meaning it did not pass any of Koch’s postulates to even count as an infectious disease. This is public information and was known since early February! It’s why I never bought into it – if you have absolutely no clue what you’re testing the results don’t really matter – they’re not going to have any significant information in them. Because the premise is all off.

      At the same time the man who received a nobel prize for this sort of RNA proof testing that was done publicly stated to never use this test to diagnose a disease – knowing full well that there’s an 80% false positive rate in this because many people test positive for a string of RNA but that doesn’t mean they’re sick. It only means they have a piece of RNA in their blood.

      And so on.

      But even without this easily obtainable and public knowledge – which does not involve conspiracy theories of any kind, it’s just boring old science, using mainstream definitions of science – even without that, some common sense should have prevailed.

      Alas… RIP.

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  • ladybird says:

    I would like to start a poetry based theme camp for Virtual BRC. If any poets out there or writers of another stripe (creative writing, interactive fiction) are interested, please click my name and contact me. Thank you.

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  • Plymouth Pilgrim says:

    Please stop posturing and buying time with the money that we need to survive during this crisis. There is no reason that you can not have the refund portal up and running by now. Don’t spend my money defending the class action lawsuits that attorneys are pushing. Give me the opportunity to decide how much I can afford to lose. Don’t make that decision for me . Please start the refunds!

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  • Helix says:

    We need your help.

    I don’t mean the general Burning Man community, I mean the Org’s help.

    Our camp is made up of a lot of generous, though certainly not affluent people. They want to help and I’m trying to motivate them as a TCO but I feel as if things are a little anemic on the side of the Org.

    I attended the live call a week and a half ago. I hastily scheduled a meeting with camp leads and sent out emails and communications to camp members past and present. But something is nagging me, it’s nagging a lot of us.

    I believe you when you say the financial situation is dire, but help us help you.

    The live call was scheduled just days prior, I imagine you’ve known the situation for some time, it would help us to know with more lead time.

    If you want the general community to come together and help, as you said on the call, ask for it. Don’t just ask us to ask for you (though we are), don’t bury it in a journal post. Send an email out to everyone asking them to chip in. NOW. It’s hard to convince people who are already reeling from this pandemic to pitch in when the organization you’re pushing for won’t ask them directly. We’re willing to help in every way we can, but it’s easier for us to say, “hey, did you see that email about the Burning Man Project, yeah we should all band together and help” instead of advocating 100% in the Project’s stead.

    Like I said, help us help you. Put the word out so that we may rally behind it. Don’t ask us to have our DGS participants shoulder the load and any guilt if we collectively come up short. Remind the whole community, past and present, that their donations are needed now. It would resonate a lot more if our voices were collective, not just us parroting what we heard on a call meant just for TCOs.

    P.S. I love you all tremendously. Sorry if my tone is a little stern, I just don’t want to see this community put under any more stress.

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  • Cheri says:

    Please advise when we are getting refunds for our tickets. It is not rocket science you simply process the refunds now.

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  • I was asked by my camp to purchase DGS tickets this year even though it was unclear I would be able to attend. Even though it was a financial stretch for me I did so willingly because they expected me to sell at least one ticket to someone else from the camp, and, who ever had trouble selling a burning man ticket?

    I work in the events industry and my income went away before anyone else even thought this would impact them. I have no idea when corporate conferences will start up again but it won’t be soon.

    I was also at the first burn on the playa and many others since, some experiences were better than others but all have been unique. I knew Larry Harvey personally and being able to reconnect with him in 2016 was a true blessing.

    As a former non-profit board member I am aware of the issues around funding, but burning man has to be one of the most profitable non-profits ever.

    The people of the DGS sale aren’t just “burners” they’re all the folks who actually make the magic happen. The BORG just provides a platform, burning man is built by volunteers who give significant amounts of time, effort and money so strangers can enjoy the fruits of their labor. Without the DGS and early entry people, burning man would be a bunch of porta-potties surrounded by a trash fence.

    Many are artists without a steady income, others can only participate because they are part of a group (not the BORG) that helps them come to the playa and participate. We are not the closed off “turn key” camps who’s occupants could easily “donate” twice what the BORG is asking from us.

    I personally do need the $1234 I paid for two tickets and a vehicle pass. Maybe others do not and certainly there are many who need the money more than I do.

    I got an email on April 16 saying that the BORG would have a refund tool available this week. I certainly hope that is true because I fear that if they fail to take care of the people who actually create the event there won’t be anything for them to support going forward.

    No Spectators

    John Matthews

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  • Nikolaus Heger says:

    Make no mistake – this simply means one thing: Burning Man is dead. Officially dead.

    This is due to a number of mistakes being made – but mostly it is due to a lack of integrity in the leadership. A lack of backbone. A lack of critical thinking skills. Probably too much vaccines and fluoride in their bodies, closing off the visionary gland.

    Maybe you can turn into a second Coachella? Sell sparkle pony gear at the entrance?

    But I want to offer some more constructive criticism too, even though I personally believe it is too late. This is a time when the mettle of men (and women) is tested. BMOrg was tested, and has failed quite spectacularly, caving at the first signs of trouble, far over the horizon.

    Caving at the spectre of a disease; running away from the shadow of a mouse, made large by a media spotlight shone on it from close up.

    So here’s some criticism:

    – No pandemic has ever lasted 4 moths, by the time this was posted China had already recovered, proving that it’s only taking about 2 months

    – Simultaneously all the data was released about 80% false positive tests, stuffing the covid numbers in the west, actual fatality rates miniscule, it was just the flu- even Trump figured it out, how did BMORg fail so badly? Outdone by orange man? How?

    – Burning Man needs only two things – a location and a date, the rest is nice, but not necessary for the festival. Big art, big names, big prep – all not needed.

    – “As we all know, the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to wreak havoc around the world. At this point the likelihood of 80,000 people being able to gather safely this summer is extremely low. ” absolute bullshit. This fairy tale was BS from the beginning and everyone woke enough to use two hands and type into google could find out about it in less than 2 hours of research. But if you’re glued to CNN 24/7 you won’t find out – so I guess thats what BMORg was doing.

    – This was an utterly spineless, fear based, mass media nonsense based decision. Burning Man cannot thrive with people at the helm who believe the BS in the mass media. It’s impossible. There is no integrity, no soul, no nothing. It’s dead up there.

    Shame on you for killing burning man!

    I will grieve for my festival – remembering it as having been destroyed by cowardly leadership

    If there was ONE opportunity in this century to show your true colors this was it. I get it, it was confusing, fear demons were being painted on the wall by your politicians and media, and fear activated the lizard brain of self preservation, confusing your thinking. But really, when have politicians ever told the truth? When has media? Why do you suddenly beliieve them when any other time you’d say they’re lying?

    This was a test of merit and you have failed. I will not forget all the amazing times at Burning Man – but its era is over, strangely just at a time when its utopian principles are going to be put into practice and real life for the first time in human history.

    When utopia becomes reality – perhaps then the utopia is no longer needed.

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    • Rex says:

      Burning Man happened before its incorporation. The company is not necessary for BM to happen. People will go out to the playa over Labor Day Week and that will be Burning Man 2020. Oh, but the Indians and oh, but the police will stop you… It’s going to happen anyway.

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      • john Matthews says:

        I was actually there for the first five burns on the playa.

        I can tell you a few things from my experience.

        1. The cops will show up.
        2. The playa is much harsher without all the other campers to dampen the wind effects.
        3. Locals will come out and cause trouble.
        4. YOU will be responsible for everything, no porta potties or ice delivery.
        5. Without organization (it was organized even back then by the Cacophony Society) you will be personally liable for anything that happens. If you think getting a bad placement because of the MOOP map is bad try paying the $10,000 fine they will hand you for pooping out there.

        john

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    • Mr. Not Blinky says:

      Dude, wear your MAGA hat and own it. Maybe the Clorox chewables promoted by your leader will help.
      For those people who don’t breathe Fox News or QAnon or 4chan conspiracy theory – this guy is an example of that.

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  • Mansoon Black says:

    #PauseDontCancelBurningMan. One of the first things I learned as a Burner was to be persistent and adaptable. The org needs to reconsider to love up to its own lessons. Hope grows day by day. If you don’t believe me or Bill Gates or other people who’ve been talking about this for weeks, just a simple search for Covid antibodies showed up THIS: https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/donate-covid-19-plasma.
    Apparently, the FDA, Red Cross, multiple companies and almost every blood bank in the country are looking for donors with Covid antibodies, because they think it can be treatment on a large scale starting very close to NOW. They’ve already been doing it in small doses, and the sad benefit of so many victims so far is that there’s lots of antibodies already. Would work even in the desert.
    Also, https://nypost.com/2020/04/28/oxford-developed-vaccine-protects-monkeys-from-covid-19/. They think they could have something ready by September, and this is Oxford, known for being thoughtful and conservative. Typically, a 1st-round trial might have 10 people and something like 100 in the second. So, considering the situation and I heard that one Chinese trial had 100 in the first and 500 in a second phase that started some weeks ago, and with 100 other efforts around the world, I felt room the start that things would be moving at Insanity speed. Oxford’s trial might have 6,000 in its first human trials.
    And you can cut trials short if the need is desperate enough and this certainly qualifies. They might be being conservative with that projection right now, because a matter of weeks could save hundreds of millions, like, how a restaurant might tell you your food will be delivered in 45 minutes, and it’s almost always much shorter than that. And these stakes are far higher. In the face of these relatively small stakes, I was and still am pushing to not be hasty and wait to adapt to the situation.
    And there’s the news about Remdesivir that Fauci was talking about just yesterday. Seems to have some strong effectiveness and points to the fact that there are possible drugs to be created or used.
    And there’s even a study backing something I’d suspected, that sunlight and heat seem to kill the virus. I mean, it’s not like the semi-poisionous Black Rock Desert has enough heat to make burn your skin if you touch exposed metal or direct sunlight to jack a solar array up to Max capacity or give a dark-skinned Black man from the South his first sunburn ever, a complete surprise, or anything. Oh, wait, I can testify to both those. Seems like if there’s anywhere that could naturally sterilize this kind of virus at a high rate, it would be here, and any place that should learn lessons about not giving up right away….
    #PauseDontCancelBurningMan

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  • FlatBluebirb says:

    Appalled at the SELFISHNESS of those saying they will be COLONIZING the Piaute tribal lands without approval of the local communities. Guess y’all haven’t heard about how tribal nations are being harder hit with far more cases than average American cities. Or how their access to medical and even simple grocery can often lie more than an hour car ride away, which might be easy for you but for once in your life, imagine it from the perspective of someone who doesn’t have reliable transportation or even broadband. But noooo I NEED my festival. Your privilege is showing as well as your lack of empathy for those at risk as well as your lack of creativity by opting out of being a part of what will be a transformation of the organization altogether. For those of you comparing this to the regular flu: death toll higher in three months than the entire year of 2019. For those of you saying trump was right: enjoy your bleach drip and your sunshine enema. For those of you comparing the burning man ORGANIZATION with a COMPANY I think you missed something. If you have issues in admin finances, bring it up with them. demand an audit or do something useful other than commenting to complain about something you hold no active part in. Proud of those who are taking it seriously. Yes obviously the media representation is often sensationalist, but the closest model we have for what is happening was the Spanish Flu, and now with billions more on the planet worldwide, it doesn’t help us at all other than to know that it IS serious. So to all the lameass no nothings out there, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, to those empathetic, optimistic and creative people: you’re cool. IM OUT. See y’all in the virtual multiverse.

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    • Cluster says:

      Black rock desert is not Indian land and fuck you.

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    • grossepieuvre says:

      ok Piaute Supremacist

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    • Mansoon Black says:

      That is a good point, that it’s not on official Paiute land. A better point is that if Native tribes are already being hit hard, there’s no way an event happening 3-4 months away will expose them to something they won’t have been exposed to for 6 months or protect them from a virus that will NEVER go away, and, the little interaction there is brings money to a desperately poor area, which will also have endured heavy losses in terms of lives and money. They get free tickets, that they can either use or sell, the BMorg pays them money that goes into the community and provides jobs, resources, more money from tourists coming and going. Hard to know about the future but it still looks like most things will be open by then, there will be treatments, even a predicted vaccine by then (there’s more than a hundred efforts underway and Oxford is going to start a trial with 5000 participants before the end of the month, after they get back results from the 1,100 in the first round they’re already doing. Normal first-round is often 10). Things could be pretty normal by then but being hasty and stubborn might mean they cancel something that would be fine to happen. IMHO, if the org isn’t patient or determined (2 things the desert reminds ME of, personally) it will be a lose, lose for both sides. #PauseDontCancelBurningMan

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    • Mansoon Black says:

      #pausedontcancelburningman.
      I still think there’s time for them to reconsider, given all that we now know. Actual case-fatality rates might be under .5 percent –according to multiple studies that show the virus could be 10 times more widespread than we think — and those studies include many people in nursing homes, which can be 80-90 percent of fatalities. An incredibly huge portion of Burners (sarcasm), no doubt. Who also skew healthier and thinner than the general pop (#truth) who are also huge mask wearers, going to a place with the highest solar radiation of any place I’ve ever even visited (and I grew up in a state with palm trees), high winds that blow down tents and would disperse particles over miles, (lessening your chance of a viral load that would be deadly) plenty of dust that not only blocks airborne particle transmission, but any surface you touch is covered in a layer of dust that constantly shifts and replenishes. When China studied this issue, they found 1 case in 7,300 of virus transmission that was outdoors. And I bet you it wasn’t any place like the Black Rock Desert.
      You go to most places in any neighborhood, city or town, and it seems your risk is a literal 1,000 times greater of transmission and growing every day, since many places are already off lockown. If there’s no lockdowns left by Burn time, who are they saving from a place that’s probably actually safer than where most people already live?

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  • john matthews says:

    So, this is going away from the whole reason I posted in the first place.

    I would like the Borg to respond to those of us who have been promised a refund.

    Rent is due tomorrow.

    John

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  • John Matthews says:

    Thank you

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  • Kipopa says:

    The link to get a refund is up and working. The catch – you have to pay an additional 2.7% for “credit card processing” to get your refund. So a DGS purchase of two tickets and a vehicle pass = approximately $76.00 in new fees.

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  • Johny appleseed says:

    If you sell some tickets for 2021 well in advance, would the interest on ticket sales help at all?

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    • Mansoon Black says:

      There IS the question of whether the organization will even be around next year.

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      • Stacy says:

        $2.5 million/month is what they need. I was going to donate to PumpAid but making sure BM happens and that the staff can still fly Business Class is more important. My daughter is also helping by holding a bake sale to raise money. I found 78 cents under the couch cushions that I’m going to put in the mail. We are all in this together. These are uncertain times. I have cardboard I can recycle.

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  • John Matthews says:

    So, it’s been a week and no communication regarding my refund except the email response when I filed my claim. Has anyone else heard from the borg?

    John

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  • OMG, looks like everyone ever to attend a Burning Man event is commenting. Good for them, positive and negative. The reality is that a deadly pathogen is running amuck among us, and is not going away, certainly not by August, and maybe no vaccine by next year, either. It’s rather caviler to dismiss deaths as irrelevant or minor, until it hits your family, or yourself. So 78K deaths in the US to date, are 78K dead people, leaving behind family, and friends. Until or unless the virus is contained, BM staff did the right thing by cancelling 2020.
    Now, how about some info on what the federal BLM staff is up to, and making problems for the BM event. What’s their issues?
    From experience, the federal government staff can and will create problems, or prohibit something, often on flimsy, or even personal preferences. They are often committed prudes and self-appointed religious zealots, and seen nothing wrong with applying their personal beliefs on everyone else. What, naked people running around? An orgy tent? A religious temple? No dress code? Shut it all down. A single complaint is often used to justify prohibitions or cancellations. For examples, see NPS restrictions on National Seashore nude beaches.
    Commenters suggesting the BM staff find and buy their own land is practical, and if the event really wants to continue, is the only ultimate solution to dealing with an increasingly hostile bureaucracy, and locals.
    Lastly, as an organization grows, its management increases exponentially, and so does their overhead. It’s not surprising that BMorg needs funds to carry on in the absence of its annual infusion of fees. So be generous if you really want to see BM continue, return, and flourish.

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  • Sandy Floren says:

    Unbelievably weak leadership. Lemmings. Supporting the BS coming from the government when any other time you would be militating against it. I’m ashamed to be a Burner–and certainly can’t support the event in the future. I’ll find another tribe of artists and collaborators who don’t cave to the fake news and control.

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  • Timothy Lee says:

    Dear Sirs:

    I submitted for my DGS ticket refund via my Burner profile in April. Is there a timeline when the Org will issue DGS ticket refunds? Will the refund dates be posted on the Jack Rabbit Speak?

    Thank You,

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  • chase says:

    BM is finished because of spineless people around the world who simply follow orders without question.Half of you think your right and the other half think your wrong ….one of you is right while the other one is ignorant, naive, brain washed useless breathers who unwittingly support the abuse, torture murder then consumption of precious infants for their Adrenochrome by vile evil monsters.
    Covid 19 facts: The virus can only travel within a 6′ foot radius but not 6’1″ or more. It can live on all surfaces, except anything that comes from Amazon, UPS, USPS, or any other delivery service. It does not live at Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Gas stations, Liquor stores, Abortion clinics, Tobacco stores or any Grocery store. It is only deadly in designated Non-Essential areas such as the Constitution, Bars, Restaurants, Theaters, Sports arenas, small businesses, Hair and Nail salons, the Beach, Parks, Playgrounds, Wilderness areas, National forest and Churches. It can not live on your food as long as you get it to go. Covid19 is powerless with groups of 10 and under but will ravage groups of 11 or more. It cannot pass through your mask, unless you wear it and breathe through it. Stay tuned for constant changes to the virus’s properties in order to maintain Fear, pass more Draconian laws and continue Destroying the Constitution along with the World economies.
    peace & love folks

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  • Kerri says:

    Hi there!

    While I’m pretty bummed about my first BurningMan being cancelled, I’ve put a lot of devotion over the past three years in becoming a part of the community! I was wondering if low income ticket applications that were submitted for BM2020 tix, will be rolled over into the low income applications next year for BM2021, if able to provide additional financial income statements/proof for 2020?

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