We Will Always Burn the Man

On Saturday night, as we’ve done every year since 1986, we Burned the Man. A small group of people from across several teams produced and shared a livestream, so all could enjoy from around the world.

This annual ritual, this important marker in time, this anchor of our global community and culture, was a gift for all of you. Happy Burn! 

It felt different – Sadly, we weren’t surrounded by 80,000 of our closest friends and hundreds of art cars around the perimeter this year. Instead, our annual ritual took place on Fly Ranch, property owned by Burning Man Project since 2016, purchased with funds solely from 14 dedicated and visionary donors (you can learn about Fly nature walks here, and the ongoing Land Art Generator Initiative design challenge here). In accordance with the State of Nevada’s COVID-19-related directives, the team on the ground was under 35 people (about 25 production and under 10 other staff and volunteers who helped secure the property). Like at any worksite in Nevada during these times, masks were worn and social distancing measures were taken to ensure the best possible health and safety precautions. Our governmental agency partners were aware and supportive of this production, and all necessary permissions were obtained.

It looked different – The effigy was built by a very small number of hands in Northern California over the course of the last few weeks. The full stream is available for you to enjoy here.  One thing stayed the same: As she has done for years, our beloved Cultural Founder started the fire ritual on Monday, with the first flame being lit from the light of the sun, this year from the center of a large labyrinth. Just like in Black Rock City, Crimson tended to the fire all week in preparation for Saturday, and she lit the Man around 9pm. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Burning Man Project (@burningman) on

It WAS different – In fact, a 2020 Burn was only ever going to be different, and that’s ok. We’re navigating the unknown together. 

Who knows what the future holds? Where will we be in a year? What will Burning Man look like in 2021? We don’t know the answers. We do know that we are a community of makers, builders, artists, musicians, philosophers, dreamers, and doers. We think of things others don’t, then we make them happen.

There are many universal truths out there, many social and cultural constants. The global moment we’re in, with so much uncertainty, implored us to go back to basics. The one thing we hold to be true is that…

 

We will ALWAYS Burn the Man. 

And we did.

 

 

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.

75 Comments on “We Will Always Burn the Man

  • DK says:

    Is anyone going to discuss the burn that happened at Fly Ranch on burn night?

    Report comment

    • Megan Miller says:

      This post IS talking about the burn at Fly Ranch. It was produced as a gift from Burning Man Project to the global Burning Man community and was live-streamed.

      Report comment

    • Yours truly says:

      What about the DPW crews that were trying to kick people off playa while the BLM we’re welcoming everyone.

      Radical inclusion = under the radar exclusion

      Burning Man principles are a joke to them!

      We don’t need “the ORG “ to burn ! Revolt! Do not by anymore Burning man tickets ! Be truly radically self reliant and create your own Burn – anytime of the year!

      Report comment

  • DK says:

    Mainly why everyone was told to stay home and yet a select few had their burn at a private event on Fly Ranch. Seems a bit hypocritical.

    Report comment

    • Megan Miller says:

      I can understand why it may seem that way, but the very small group onsite was there to produce an online version of the annual Man Burn ritual that would be accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

      Report comment

      • Nonvitualburner says:

        No it was a private burningman for you select elite!

        Report comment

      • Sallie “Crunch” Prescott says:

        Wow. This is so hypocritical of the BMORG. We’re in a global pandemic, The West is on fire, and some special people got to Burn. You knew it was going to get out.

        Report comment

      • Jen says:

        Are you people serious with this ignorant FOMO you have going on because they didn’t invite 80,000 people to Fly Ranch? Just stop. There are plenty of gripes to be made about Burning Man over the last 20 years, but 35 people burning a man on private property for us all to view on a live stream isn’t one of them. I enjoyed the experience of watching the small, less produced man burn from home, it felt like the olden days of BM. I’m grateful for the gift.

        Report comment

    • Solar Grass says:

      Better a few than none!
      We were all there ANYWAY, right?.
      Thank you for all the efforts to accomplish this, gals and guys!

      Report comment

      • Lauren Carly says:

        No we weren’t! At least a sized people I know could not view it on the Portal. I got in at 7:30 PM PDT and had nothing but 2 hours of high frustration. So did camp mates from bay area, LA and other areas. It was a frustrating disaster f or us.

        Report comment

      • Voo-Doo says:

        NO we weren’t!

        Report comment

      • Sunshine says:

        If you really are about Burning Man, you’d known that this yr it was different. People all over the world were invited to post a video of their own burning man on their website or newsletter. It was even for first time allowing anyone to view it not an elite of people. It was for everyone & anyone this yr!

        Report comment

    • mark says:

      If the burn was in the Black Rock Desert you would have a legitimate complaint but that burn was broadcast from private property. So really not so different than the many many other burns that happened that night. A gift to the community

      Report comment

      • Don says:

        Private property that’s been purchased with burner ticket money over the years. I don’t see how the burning man org survives this year, they’re useless to us and beyond out of touch

        Report comment

    • Wolf Sky says:

      I just hope none of them stopped in Gerlach because my grandma lives there.

      Report comment

    • Swingy says:

      Everyone had their own private burn this year. Just because they were closer to the playa doesn’t make it more real

      Report comment

  • Snow says:

    Many Big Hugs and tons of Appreciation for making this happen!! I was so excited when I realized the Man was going to Burn in the desert! I had a feeling in my heart this might happen! I love how simple it was – just like in the early days! What an exciting way to end our year!

    Everyone was invited to make their own Effigy and safely Burn it in their own safe space, and if they desired, share it for all to see. Well, the Burning Man folks did the same – Naturally! It was wise to not let word get out.

    Many thanks, Crimson Rose, for lighting the Cauldron Flame & keeping it burning all week! Every year my son & I look forward to doing our small part to help keep the Cauldron Fire lit and place wood on the fire when we pass by. And replenish the wood pile if it’s getting low. This is part of our Burning Man ritual we really missed!

    Report comment

  • Rio says:

    So sad my camp family and I couldn’t be there for the first time in 9 years. So happy that my camp family and I were able to gather in a Zoom room and watch the man burn on Fly Ranch and then part of our family got to burning Tiny Man out on the b-b-q grill. See you next year in the dust. Black Hole Literary Society forever!

    Report comment

  • Legs says:

    Thank you to all who made this unusual and extremely different burn happen. I love that you went ahead and built a man for all of us to watch together. I also loved that before the burn you showed us fire dancers, fire spinners and fire eaters from all over the world, and I love how the initial flame was passed from one to another. Wow. So cool. And we basically got to see it all up close from our own homes—all of us of course missing being there in person for the party. It was a beautiful gift. Thank you.

    Report comment

  • Brittt says:

    Thank you

    Hugs and best wishes to all

    Report comment

  • LC says:

    @DK the Playa is public land and open to anyone at anytime. Fly Ranch is private property so what? If you wanted to have experienced a real Burn? Should have head out last week and camped out in the Playa with the rest of the Burners that made the trip when told to stay home. Suck it up!

    Report comment

    • Gloria says:

      Fly ranch should NOT be private property. And it should not cost so much to see the geyser. Sad its in private Burning Man hands now.

      Report comment

      • AAR says:

        Fly Geyser has been private property for years, prior to it being gifted to the Burning Man Project. No one, unless part of the geothermal community and invited in the land, was allowed on that land as a general member of the public with bought tickets.

        Report comment

      • Megan Miller says:

        It doesn’t cost anything to see the geyser now that Burning Man Project owns the land. You can sign up for a nature walk (donations accepted but not required). Learn more here: https://blackrockdesert.org/flygeysernaturewalk/

        Report comment

      • Your truly says:

        What about the DPW crews that were trying to kick people off playa while the BLM we’re welcoming everyone.

        Radical inclusion = under the radar exclusion

        Burning Man principles are a joke to them!

        We don’t need “the ORG “ to burn ! Revolt! Do not by anymore Burning man tickets ! Be truly radically self reliant and create your own Burn – anytime of the year!

        Report comment

  • JDV says:

    Best burn in years. Back to basics. Between this and footage from people camping on the Black Rock Desert, anywhere they wanted to, it gave me hope for the future of the event. Deconstruct it. Break it down. Less is more. No more Instagram backdrops. It truly was better next year.

    Report comment

  • Koosh says:

    As someone who first started attending the event in 2003, long before it was the size it is now, I loved how intimate this burn was – moreso than anything I’d ever seen before. Thanks to everyone who did the work to make this happen.

    Report comment

  • Frosty says:

    Thank You

    While many of us made our own Man to burn at home, this shared event from the Fly Ranch touched my heart and soul.

    I’m certain burners around the world felt the spark you ignited.

    Report comment

  • Kelli hoversten says:

    The ground cloth was not large enough. When their man fell part of him went into the ground not onto the cloth that is supposed to protect the area where things are burned. Bad planning. If this had been on the Playa instead of at Fly Ranch there would have been fines from BLM Rangers for scaring the playa. Bad judgment and poor planning.

    Report comment

    • Sparks says:

      The man burn gets resto every year what would lead you to feel that this would be different. Fire is a wild and unpredictable master somethings will never go as planned. Which means that they must plan every year for the burn scar to escape the burn pad. Why would you think this one is different?

      Report comment

      • Hey Kelli hoversten,

        Please take a moment to do an internet search for the following term:

        “MOOP Map Archive”

        Since you are unfamiliar with the process, MOOP is an acronym that stands for Matter Out Of Place.

        Once you are satisfied that there is a volunteer force of people who leave no trace on the playa, I also suggest you search for the

        “The 10 Principles of Burning Man”

        and look for the Principle titled “Leaving No Trace”

        This should help your understanding of reality a little better.

        Report comment

  • Erik says:

    We had a great burn! With our close friends and our own 9feet effigy of The Man! We shared what BM was all about and figured it doesn’t have to be in Nevada.

    Thank you.

    Erik
    The Netherlands

    Report comment

  • …. to all those seasoned artist/burners , this burn evoked the authentic , nascent stages of Burningman in the early 90’s before the man became a rockstar with followers & egos that came with them! . The open land , the no frills prep , just pure creativity without a big agenda, aside the streaming for all of us to be part of… This year , 2020 was a , TIMELESS , CLASSIC , OLD SCHOOL BURN ! Kudos to ALL , that made this a reality
    …… full circle to the origins of Burningman…. so many great memories, no Burner should feel sad about anything !!!! We all celebrated in our own way….. Famously ,Melissa

    Report comment

  • Fairykinz says:

    Thank you to Crimson Rose for keeping the spiritual transformational connection so deeply a part of thousands of aoula around the world alive. This quiet burn was intensely poignant as the man burned slowly ..connecting us, burners of the world
    Deep gratitude to all who built and helped make this happen.. bless you

    Report comment

  • Magnum says:

    Oh, you built and burned a man on your own private land and are calling it a gift to us? Wow, thanks so much. True leaders would have sacrificed their own enjoyment and stood in solidarity with their followers. I for one am glad I stopped drinking your kool aid years ago.

    I find it rather amusing how an LLC can tell people to stay home, and off federal public land with absolutely no authority to do so. Better yet, telling us to avoid a community (Gerlach) that benefits financially from our presence. If the org was so concerned about their “community” , why didn’t they set up a GoFundMe page for the town, or even Bruno’s? You’re not here for a year so you just turn your back on them? I, and three of my camp mates bought 3 rooms at the hotel, and two meals a day at Bruno’s. Imagine how many will do that next year? That’s how you support your community. Not by marching a bunch of Rangers through the streets.

    I think the org wants to put the squeeze on Gerlach so that afterwards they can say See?!? You need us. You need the money we spend.

    I was out there for the burn. I talked to the gals at Bruno’s. We were more than welcomed. We were genuinely appreciated. And all but a few residents felt the same way.

    I talked to the BLM as well. What I was told is not what the org propaganda machine wants known: We were welcomed with open arms by both the sheriff and BLM. The man who signs the permit for the org was there as well. I was told, and I quote “Not only are you welcome to use and enjoy your federal land, but we hope you open your eyes and realize you do not need the org for this.”

    Let that sink in a minute…

    The reality isnt that the the BLM and the sheriff dislike burners, it’s that they dislike the org. And as far as us showing up and hurting the chances for a permit in future years? Well, that’s false. I was told, and again I quote, “showing up here has no effect on the org securing permits. What *will* cause permitting issues is if the org parades a bunch of logo’ed personnel on playa.”

    We need Marion, the org, and 40k instagram influencers like we need another asshole. This last week proves we are more than capable of having an event on our own. Yes it’s not as polished and pretty, but frankly I liked the ‘90’s burns better, and 2020 was 1991 all over again.

    See you all next year

    #takebacktheburn

    Report comment

    • KoolWhip says:

      Well said, Magnum! I’m all about #takebacktheburn. The Borg Bourgeoise must GO!
      KoolWhip

      Report comment

    • Sally “Crunch” Prescott says:

      Well said.

      Report comment

    • Lenny Bluestone says:

      Magnum, you are absolutely correct.

      The Burning Man Organization’s attempt to discourage individual journeys to the playa this year was all about protecting the Burning Man Brand. Concern over public health was just a front, and a flimsy one at that.

      The massive and at times predatory law enforcement presence at every Burning Man event in the 21st century has been due to the requirement that the Burning Man Organization pay for law enforcement to be there.

      The limited yet very supportive law enforcement presence on the playa this year was due to this year’s non-event being produced by human beings, not an organization.

      Report comment

  • Tom (the Bishop) Andrejko says:

    Thanks for keeping the tradition going ! By doing this you kept the link in tact. I had my own Miniature Man to Burn but after working in the Arizona heat for 9 hours. I fell asleep after dinner and didn’t get to Burn the Man I had. When I seen this it made me feel much better. At least I got to see yours and kept the spirit alive in my Heart for next year. Thanks again from the Bishop always L and 4:30. See you on the Playa.

    Report comment

  • Burning A. Lien says:

    Burning Man is Dead!

    Report comment

  • 77 says:

    I love that the spirit of the burn was invoked. Basic, primal, and a proper tribute to the legend. Wind noise was annoying, and I miss the tribal vibe – no drums, no dancing…and for many not there, pretty much a yawn.

    Report comment

  • Random burner just wanting to go back says:

    Why is everything getting polarized in the US? Sad to see.

    Report comment

  • Andie Grace says:

    The comments calling this a “private shindig” are off base. The only people who were there were the builders, the film crew, and safety crew. No VIP’s, no donors, not even one special guest who wasn’t there to work on it and present the live stream.

    Report comment

    • KoolWhip says:

      Yeah…sorry I don’t believe that. I became suspicious at the end of the video because the sound was edited. Upon closer viewing, you can see random cellphones or headlamps between 10 and 2 o’clock. At 3:10 of the video you can clearly see a crowd past 3 o’clock. This was the least desirable downwind side, so I’d guess there were many more people between 5 & 9 o’clock. Nice try.
      #takebacktheburn

      Report comment

      • Hi KookWhip,

        From what you’ve described, it’s clear that you’ve watched the Zapruder film too many times and “know” that there was a 2nd shooter, and you probably have a firm clear understanding that all UFO films are proof of extraterrestrial alien abductions.

        What is also clear is that you don’t actually understand what you are looking at. The journal accurately depicts the reality of the situation, so let it go.

        Report comment

    • Magnum says:

      Ok then what would you call it? It wasn’t public.

      See, here’s the thing: what did that shindig, party, gathering, assembly, convocation, council, synod, congregation, mob, group, or assemblage cost? Was every aspect of it donated? Marion was effectively pleading for money as they were desperate, and 4 months later they are at their own private property indulging in this over the top ritualistic, theatrical show. It’s like loaning your buddy money so he can pay his rent, and two nights later you see him at the bar.

      Not to mention the utter slap in the face of holding your own private burn, while the masses have to do it virtually. And then habe the audacity to fucking broadcast it! My god, did anyone think this out?

      And while I’m extremely happy to hear an individual stepped up to donate to Gerlach, there still should have been something official from the org.

      But what do I know

      Report comment

      • Just Thinking Out Loud says:

        It always feels kind of creepy to me when folks post super negative comments on these Journal posts… It is like when you break up with someone because they are so wrong for you that it just could not go on being together any longer. But… You keep checking their social media pages and comment on their posts telling anyone who will listen how terrible they are. You make sure you keep checking so you don’t miss a post from them so you can say how terrible they are. Of course, you are only talking to those who are friends with that person so really it just makes you look creepy and bordering on an unstable stalker? It is not like you are changing minds here and those who read these creepy negative posts all of a sudden think, wow this stalker is right, my friend is terrible!

        So… It might be time to move on and find someone or something that is right for you and have a happy life rather than spending more time on something you hate so much?

        Report comment

      • sparkle donkey says:

        It seems that you’re mixing up Burning Man the people and community, you know the ones that actually create the overwhelming amount of the event and Burning Man the company which spends a ridiculous amount of it’s budget on free trips around the world to ‘spread the principles’ while they allocate ~2% of the budget to art.

        There are many many people who love Burning Man and hate BM Org. The longer people have been going the more likely they are to not be fans of the org and the direction the event has been going. Placing well known plug and plays, inviting Grover Norquist, policing folks in Gerlach and on the playa when the event isn’t going. I’ll just assume you’re new around here.

        If last week didn’t make it clear, the event can go on with out the org, the org cannot go on without the event. The event, that mind you is put on by overwhelmingly unpaid volunteers.

        Report comment

      • Playa Chicken says:

        He’s angry because he made sexually charged and degrading comments on an org mailing list, was called on it, promised not to do it again, and then …he did it again. He doesn’t have self control – that much is obvious.

        Report comment

  • SinglePly says:

    Speaking of Radical Inclusion were there any people of color at the burn or only European Americans?

    Report comment

  • Dr Bungee says:

    If being a Burner has taught us anything, it’s that a spark can be ignited in all of us, and when we each contribute our time/creativity/money/energy…we can create a remarkable place. Being together helps, as we feed off each others energy. But it’s not necessary to gather in one large group.

    I spent me 25th burn with some very special people, part of our BM camp. We camped in the smoky Sierras, and hurried home from an awesome lake day, so we could tie some sticks together, and called it a Man. Got it lit right at 9:00. Some other campmates did the same in Melbourne.

    I know many other Burners did the same all over the world. The spirit lies within. Live it each and every day.

    Report comment

  • tony says:

    Theme 2021- Come Hell or High water

    Report comment

  • some_monkeyboy says:

    I loved seeing a small Man burn. I think – from photos I’ve seen prior to the Burn – that it was in the middle of Hualapai Flat, not at Fly Ranch.

    Report comment

  • SinglePly says:

    Hi All!

    Click on my name to link to a Reno Gazette video about Not Burning Man 2020. It features event coordinators Mathew Gilbuena and Vanessa Franking. I thank them for there service to humanity!

    Report comment

  • Yours truly says:

    What about the DPW crews that were trying to kick people off playa while the BLM were welcoming everyone.

    Radical inclusion = under the radar exclusion

    Burning Man principles are a joke to them!

    We don’t need “the ORG “ to burn ! Revolt! Do not by anymore Burning man tickets ! Be truly radically self reliant and create your own Burn – anytime of the year!

    Report comment

    • SinglePly says:

      Wait! What? DPW thugs chased people off the playa while the BLM were welcoming everyone? Will the Burning Man community come to together for healing or does the BOD simply need to shit-can Marian Goodell? Or may be the BOD needs to shit-can the BOD? Okay, how about just shit-can the DPW thugs?

      Radical Inclusion!

      Report comment

  • epicsports says:

    That was an interesting read buddy, thank you so much for the spirit, and the slogan kind of expression that you have shared in the article above.

    Report comment

  • Marlowe Riley says:

    Big deal. Y’all need a shower. We all have a right to perpetuate art.
    DPW rocks.
    Flow with it.

    Report comment

  • playamoth says:

    That pretend BM FB page is really bad for our community where snark is legal tender. Now we have these whiners who know better. Scram and do your own burn somewhere. Don’t use the name though ’cause you guys don’t really belong to the community.

    Report comment

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.