Friends, we have a bit of an update for you. What’s up with virtual Black Rock City, you ask?
Well, at Burning Man Project we’ve been working behind the scenes to understand how to best meet this moment. In a time of transformation like this one, we see opportunity for the learnings and culture developed in the desert to serve a much broader community.
Burning Man has always been what you create it to be — but now we are all getting the opportunity to bring Burning Man into our home communities like never before. Let’s expand the concept of who is a Burner, what it means to burn, and what our community can create together.
In this time of great global change, it is this culture we are so familiar with that is poised to cultivate action. Each year we visit the Black Rock Desert and build a civic experience that mirrors what we want to see in the world. Now it’s up to you to take the blueprint of that experience and engage in ways that uplift and celebrate human potential.
So, what exactly is the multiverse? Where will it be? What does it all mean? Ah, we asked ourselves the same questions when we announced the theme in the fall of 2019, now look where we are!
The beauty of the multiverse is that it reminds us of one of the core tenets of Burner culture: That there are as many ways to burn as there are human beings on the planet. There is no right or wrong way as long as you are living the 10 Principles.
Burning Man will happen this year wherever Burners are living the Burning Man spirit — both in physical space and virtual space. Rather than convening on one virtual platform, we encourage Burners to make and share offerings for each other in person, through existing digital channels and through Kindling, our new portal for live events and content.
Before the end of June we will also recommend several virtual spaces for us to convene, and there will certainly be other Burning Man-inspired spaces that develop on their own. However you navigate the multiverse, we encourage you to explore the many parallel dimensions of Burning Man culture.
For now, start thinking about how you’d like to burn come the end of August. There are no tickets involved, just a willingness to contribute and share what Burning Man means to you. Build week starts now.
Oh, wait, you want more?
So, how come we aren’t creating one, integrated, and ticketed virtual Black Rock City?
For a number of reasons: First and foremost, we are inspired by the idea that this year could be the most radically inclusive Burning Man yet, and we want to make sure that the virtual offerings for Black Rock City are accessible to as many people as possible.
We also want to honor the fact that many Burners are motivated to share their offerings with people beyond those who would have purchased a ticket. We decided this was an exciting opportunity to allow Burning Man culture to expand far and wide, without the limitations of a single platform to pass through.
We also have to be realistic about what kind of experience we ourselves would be able to create, given the scale of other virtual offerings and Burning Man Project’s extreme financial constraints. The outpouring of generosity we’ve received from our community has been heartwarming, but a great deal more support is needed to keep our organization going and enable us to build Black Rock City. Our focus is on getting us all back to the desert in 2021, and we feel that our energy is best spent encouraging Burners to build art and experiences for each other.
Over the next two months, we are excited to support a season of community activation within the Burning Man community. We will be amplifying voices through Kindling as well as through our brand new Burning Man Live podcast, Beyond Burning Man on Medium, the Burning Man Journal, and through Burners Without Borders, Fly Ranch and our sustainability efforts.
As has become our new tradition, on solstice weekend we’re celebrating founder Larry Harvey and the birthday of Burning Man. As we’ve done the past two years we are encouraging your radical self expression and civic engagement from exactly where you are in the world. #thankslarry
Also, don’t miss our global premiere of the new film Larry: A Burning Man Story. June 20 and 21, we’ll be hosting three live screenings of this brand new Larry Harvey documentary in three time zones — enabling you to watch it conveniently wherever you are in the world (or… more than once, if that’s your thing).
Whatever your passion, join us the weekend of June 20 to make things happen in your community. More info on this activation is coming soon.
Most of all, and most practically — like you, we want to go home in 2021. We will be launching a community fundraising effort, and if you’re called to support please donate now!
It’s happening. We’re strapping on our playa gear and getting shit done so that we can return to the Black Rock Desert. Stay tuned, we look forward to sharing more updates soon!
Let’s get to it.
Top photo: Graphic art by Tanner Boeger