BRC 2021: Look, We Just Don’t Know Yet

Are YOU waiting with bated breath for news? Will we, or will we not, be in a position to co-create Black Rock City in 2021? We want to know too! A lot is resting on this decision, and it’s simply too early to make the call. As of today, the COVID-19 pandemic still presents too many unknowns.

Nevertheless, we are cautiously, carefully, and mindfully planning for a potential 2021 event. As an organization we have decades of experience weighing risks and managing uncertainty. And so we’re gathering our ducks, beginning to put them in something that resembles a row, and getting key processes in motion in the event that public health experts and government agencies tell us it’s possible to produce Black Rock City.

What We Know

No matter what happens, we can count on each other — all the humans in our endlessly inventive global community — to support one another. We’re Burners; this is what we do.

And we know what we heard from the 30,000 of you who engaged with the survey we sent out in January. Thank you for your thoughts and insights! We learned that 66% of respondents are likely to want to participate in Black Rock City if the public health situation allows. Three quarters of respondents said they were happy to comply with COVID-19 mitigation measures, such as testing and proof of vaccination. You shared our concern about the safety of neighboring Nevada communities and told us vaccination doesn’t stop you from worrying about COVID-19 transmission.

We asked: If the public health situation has sufficiently improved and we are able to produce the Black Rock City event in 2021 in a responsible and safe way that satisfies all federal, state and local government requirements, how likely is it that you will choose to participate?

Data is exciting and sexy, we know. But most of you are not here for the numbers. You want all the details — safety precautions, ticket updates, participation form opening dates, and news on how you can participate. Read on, we’re sharing as much information as we can, as early as possible.

Go/No-go Decision?  

Building Black Rock City is a massively complex endeavor that requires us to sync hundreds of thousands of moving parts. This process involves YOU, your camp leads, mutant vehicle teams, participants, staff, volunteers, art crews, and beyond. We need to set some of these key processes in motion now to ensure that if we get the go-ahead, we will be ready to move.

To contain our exposure and risk, we are limiting this advance work to what is absolutely essential, while putting off what we can until as late as possible. A lot can still change in the next few months, and we don’t know what impact the new COVID-19 variants will have. Together with the State of Nevada and epidemiology experts, we’re watching the landscape very carefully. We expect that we’ll have most of what we need to confidently make a decision no later than the end of May. Of course it’s also possible that the situation will look positive enough in May for us to announce the event, only to have subsequent developments force us to cancel it. We hope that won’t be the case. Whatever happens, we will be open and transparent about what we are thinking as we move through each of these stages.

Science-based Approach to Health and Safety

Public health specialists have come a long way in their understanding of this virus, but it’s too early to know with certainty where the world will be in terms of COVID-19 cases, vaccinations, and variants by summer.

We’re watching, listening, and learning more every week. Our COVID-19 Task Force and Government Affairs Department are working closely with Black Rock City Operations teams, the state of Nevada, public health officials, epidemiologists, and technology companies to create protocols that ensure the highest level of safety possible. Learn more about the work of our COVID-19 Task Force in this Journal post.

Some of the measures we’re evaluating for Black Rock City include proof of vaccination, rapid onsite testing, antibody verification, and negative test verification. Nothing has been decided yet, but some combination of the above is likely to be required to return to BRC in 2021. As indicated below, between 54% and 71% of respondents said they would be willing to comply with one or more of these COVID-19 mitigation measures, while 8.7% said they were not willing. Duly noted. This might not be your year.

Participate in Shaping the Future of Black Rock City and Burning Man Culture

Building Black Rock City 2021 will introduce new challenges and opportunities. In the coming weeks we’ll be inviting you to bring your ideas and energy, to engage in conversations and collaborate with each other around three areas: Health and Safety; Sustainability; and Radical Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (R.I.D.E.). If you’re interested in participating, or hearing more directly, let us know. Updates will be posted to all the usual Burning Man Project channels when available.

Smaller, Leaner Black Rock City

We do know this: if we are able to bring Burning Man back to Black Rock City this year, we will have less lead-up time than in previous years, and the city itself will look and feel different. Burn Week dates will be the same, August 29 to September 6, 2021, but Black Rock City will likely have a smaller population; how much smaller will depend on variables that are beyond our control.

Changes to the landscape of Black Rock City do not diminish the nature and impact of our shared experience. If anything, it’s a call for YOU to amplify its effect, to bring it back into the world, and continue burning wherever you are. Black Rock City may be our north star, but Burning Man is everywhere, all the time. We need Burner magic, muscle, and imagination today, more than ever. 

The world is vastly different now than it was a year ago. We’ve all been affected by the pandemic, and many of us have suffered real hardship. We may have fewer resources, or smaller crews. It will be more difficult for all of us to gather, plan, and build. Can we de-emphasize the big lift this year, and lighten up on the pressure to bring large-scale, high-cost infrastructure to Black Rock City?

We’d like to hope that Black Rock City 2021 will be an opportunity for healing and rebuilding, rather than a hectic, heroic effort. We want to honor and recognize this shift by placing health and safety, environmental sustainability, and Radical Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at the heart of everything we create together.

More Information on Tickets in the Spring

We know tickets are top of mind, and that for many, ticket announcements kick off your Burn season. We don’t have any substantive information to share yet. Here’s what we know: we are committed to ensuring a diverse and engaged citizenry, and we’re exploring ways to infuse more mission-driven opportunity into our ticketing process. 

If we do move forward with Black Rock City in 2021, registration could start in April for ticket sales in May or later. As always, subscribe to the Jackrabbit Speaks, and keep an eye on the Burning Man Journal for updates on tickets, COVID-19 protocols, and ways to engage with the global Burning Man community.

Missing these moments… Photo by Susan Becker

Participation Forms to Open Later Than Usual

New timeframes enable us all to start planning without committing too much too soon. We understand that plans may change over the course of spring and summer, so we’ve pushed back the opening and deadlines of Black Rock City participation forms. Instead of typically opening in February, the Art Installation Questionnaire and DMV Application will open mid-March, and the Camp Placement Questionnaire in early May. 

As always, forms will be accessible via your Burner Profile. Keep a keen eye on all our channels; we will announce questionnaires and deadlines as they arise. Whether you’re launching a new camp, or you’re a seasoned theme camp organizer, subscribe to and watch the Placement Newsletter for fresh information on the 2021 Placement process.

Expect Burners to Rise to the Occasion

We’re no strangers to uncertainty. From government challenges to water on the playa, those who have built Black Rock City year after year have wrangled more threats to our desert city than we may care to admit. Every time, we learn, we pivot, and we manage the reality. We become more resilient, our collective toolkit for managing adversity gets broader, and our culture grows stronger.

Know this: all over the world, Burners are building generous and impossible things that ignite hope and spark wonder. Even when we’re unable to gather in person, the culture continues to grow, thrive, and reinvent itself year after year. As a community, we’ve provided logistical support in places hit hard by COVID-19. Members of our Emergency Services Department continue to work on the front lines of the pandemic. And our endlessly inventive global community has devised playful new ways to safely gather, celebrate, and do good.

Look no further than the burst of wild creativity that brought the 2020 Burning Man Multiverse to life. Tens of thousands of Burners around the world, many new to the culture, transcended the boundaries of time and space to redefine what it means to co-experience and co-create. And they continue to do so. Throughout this year, BRCvr and Co-Reality Collective (the folks behind SparkleVerse) have hosted wondrous spaces that invite one and all to gather and burn — join their mailing lists to learn about upcoming events. Yes! BRCvr, SparkleVerse, and several other 2020 Universes will once again illuminate the virtual dust during Burn Week 2021. 

And finally, know this: whether or not we build Black Rock City this year, Burners will continue to embark on adventures of exploration into uncharted territory. We will continue to change the world, well beyond the confines of Black Rock City. And we will do it together. We’ve got this.


Cover image of The Monaco, 2017 (Photo by Mark Hammon)

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.

253 Comments on “BRC 2021: Look, We Just Don’t Know Yet

  • Captain says:

    Points for the rare, proper spelling of “bated”. :)

    Thanks for the update!

    Captain

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    • Will Chase says:

      That was my first thought too, TBH. LOL

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    • Marlena says:

      I got excited too!

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    • Yes Man says:

      This is pinned as the first comment!?! Here’s the deal. If they do an official Burn then a few get selected to go, most don’t. If they don’t then it will be like FreeBurn 2020, which was super cool. So what do you really want?

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    • LOUIE JUAREZ says:

      I have my to shots and my vaccination card. What I want to know is it ok to take a photo of the card on my cell phone to show it when I get to bm or do I need to bring the card with me. Please let me know what you think. Thank You, Louie

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      • Gerflash says:

        Louie Juarez – Seems to me anyone with a reasonable facsimile of a vaccination card (e.g., zerox or iPhone) should be just fine. For those who haven’t been able to get theirs yet AND for those who don’t want one at all, I’d say, let them in at their own risk; everyone else has been vaccinated, right? And the vaccination better work(!) or we’ve been just pissing in the wind for nearly a year! Like, what does it mean to have three “successful” vaccination brands, none of which might actually work?! Jeez! And there’s yet another possibility: some folks have chosen to not get a vaccination, but are using Zinc and an ionophore so the zinc can get into their cells which keeps the Covid bugs out of their cells. (Two Ionophores: Quercetin and Hydroxychloroquine).

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    • Captain B says:

      Terrific update BMORG ! It’s now clear BMORG wants BRC 2021, so its up to the State. FYI, Nevada has zero limits on outdoor dining, and 50% capacity in March for casinos. Entertainment is Nevada’s economic engine, (convention et al). Radical inclusion…permit any burners without covid fears to attend. Potential for a super spreader event ??? It’s only Americans paranoid about vaccinations side effects that need to worry. Answer, quarantine and permit the rest of us to maintain the Burning Man Miracle.

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    • Hiya on the Playa says:

      The proper use of “bated” has severely abated.

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      • David says:

        Nice work turning a fun event that frees the spirit into an exclusive political & health debate. I am allergic to vaccines , so people who vaxed to “protect” people like me, if you can’t let people like me take our own risks, then you didn’t do it for others. I have contributed to the production of many fine music festivals, but this year’s event sounds epically lame and I will find somewhere else to dance and perform where I am not treated like a number, or like I have cooties. To those who attend, I hope you won’t spend your good time hating on others who aren’t exactly like you. Aloha!

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    • Driver says:

      Although it could be “baited” if someone’s breath smells fishy

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  • SinglePly says:

    How about staffing COVID sniffing dogs at the gate in addition to the illegal drugs and weapons sniffing dogs? Going to need a pretty large COVID quarantine and illegal drugs and weapons holding area for the sick and detained. Locate the Zendo Project in the middle of the holding area. And, as Larry Harvey would say, “I want to see what happens just like everybody!”

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  • Luxaeterna says:

    Much thanks for this (even if it’s still a little ambiguous). Burners throughout the known (and unknown) universe are standing by, preparing, building, dreaming, and ready to help.

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  • Oberon says:

    GIVE US THE THEME!! MOAR THEME NOW!!!

    Even virtually, “The Multiverse” was a theme we could plan for! Want to keep burners interested? Give us something to rally around (even if it ends up being virtual again)!

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    • Alchemy Griffin says:

      Yes! I agree..I hope and pray it will be a theme very VERY FAR from the taint of Covid or healing from the Covid or anything remotele focused upon a topic that WE ALL need to leave at home at the default along with Styrofoam ice coolers..dogs..watermellon..non biodegradable glitter..and expectations . It will surely suck enough to go to Orgydome and attempt to make out with the sufficating moopmustery of the white and blue particle masks …at least the rubbergloves will still ROCK.
      But please..hand sani is NOT a reasonable lubricant.

      Hey THEME MAKERS …YOOOOOHOOOO!??
      How about this years theme be
      Storybooks and Fairytales??
      Omg!! THat would be Magnificent

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      • Galen says:

        Orgy Dome was one of the first camps to make a public statement that they were not going to be on playa for 2021. Then Thunderdome followed suit. Definitely going to be a different burn if it happens.

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      • Lazlo says:

        For clarification, Orgy Dome (actual camp name “…and then there’s only LOVE”) announced that we will not be bringing the Orgy Dome this year, but assuming reasonable Covid progress and mediation steps are taken, we may still come as a (smaller) camp and provide one or more different interactive offerings. We are deep in discussion as to what those offerings might be (socially distanced classes, games, etc.) but if there is a Burn (and we hope there will be) many of us plan on going.

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      • Ice says:

        I got a theme for ya… “Nothing biodegrades here… leave ALL your glitter at home”

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      • Bea Intha Moment says:

        Theme: “Foresight is 2021”

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      • Cynthia Diane McMichael says:

        That’s a great idea! The theme should NOT be associated with Political themes, i.e. covid, etc.

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    • Oink says:

      I feel as though the theme of Multiverse could work repeatedly until we are able to return to the playa. Every year off-playa is part of the multiverse,

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      • Robert X. Planet says:

        Here’s the theme: How about simply “Burning Man 20/21: The Multiverse Expands!” Last year, many people had been hard at work on big, expensive “Multiverse”-specific art projects that never actually got built (like the Temple, to name one really large example), and lots of other pieces may stand partially built in somebody’s back yard today, waiting to see whether they can be adapted to fit whatever the new theme may turn out to be.
        Writing this year as “20/21,” with a SLASH in the middle, is a clever way of making it seem as if “The Multiverse” was actually a TWO-YEAR PROJECT all along! That way, everyone who was planning something that never got built can go ahead and finish it (rather than start from scratch designing some completely new thing that–let’s face it–may end up also getting cancelled if we’re unlucky and things go south again!).
        Besides, since any completely new theme, suddenly announced, would face a severely truncated planning window, why add even more stress?
        What I’m pointing out is that a lot of theme-specific work has likely already been done; why not use it? Again, the theme is: “Burning Man 20/21: The Multiverse Expands!”
        You’re welcome.
        Much Love Always–Robert X. Planet
        Camp Leader
        Elvis Wedding Chapel & Gardens of Possibility

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  • Great Grey says:

    Thanks for the update. Since we will continue to be in go-no go for several months..I was hoping to at least have had the theme announced to help my design plans. I guess we will have to wait for that too….

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  • Michael says:

    Wouldn’t “proof of vaccination” solve the problem? Yes, they’ll be those who can’t get the vaccine because of health reasons or moral beliefs, and there’s no proof standards yet, but by August the majority will have gotten the shot and there should be a proof system.

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    • Bigly says:

      We don’t know for sure that vaccines work against the new variants. But for sure 100% vaccinated attendees would mitigate A LOT.

      Rapid testing for everyone at the door would certainly mitigate a lot too.

      Antibody testing isnt reliable as far as i know.

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      • Charles Tucker says:

        Getting in the gate is a time consuming process, adding rapid testing, with a 30 minute hold time while the test is read, will be a problem. Letting people go after a test without it being read is a bigger problem since “authorities” will never be able to find a specific burner once let loose on the plya. Better proof of a test within 4 days of arrival, which is not a certainty, but with proof of vaccination it will be as good as we can get.

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      • oh kay says:

        My son is in Bio – tech and they have an antigen test that they are working on that works in 4-5 minutes. Like a pregnancy test. It is FDA approved…we could have a huge triage / testing area somewhere before we get on to Gerlach? It should tell you whether or not you HAVE it or are CARRYING it.

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      • Bleurose51 says:

        This is in response to “oh Kay”. If they are still “working on” the antigen test, how can it be FDA approved? Usually that only happens AFTER they have finished working on it and after they have extensively tested it.

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      • Cynthia Diane McMichael says:

        As a nurse who’s been performing rapid testing since 4/2020, these tests have been proven unreliable. In Mass, we perform Rapid and NAAT simultaneously. Rapid can return negative, NAAT positive (on a patient who never had prior covid history). Checking temperature allows us to further inquire about other symptoms to assess further, but a temperature does not indicate COVID-19. Furthermore, during the prodromal phase, there are no symptoms; yet that person can be infected.
        Many people have covid and no temperature.
        Do what’s required by the Nevada government, but don’t overdo it. We’re in the desert not in a closed system with circulating HVAC with the highest risk of spread. :)

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    • Mansoon says:

      Well, any “vaccination proof” idea had no system set up in advance, so there’s endless ways people might have been vaccinated that have holes can’t be verified. In trials, the military, the VA, via one of the 2,800 local health departments in the US alone (never mind internationally, which could be in any number of languages), an extra dose a pharmacist didn’t want to go to waste at the end of the day, some people literally got vaccinated while stuck in a snowstorm, etc. And that’s not even dealing with the antibody-from-infection question.
      That would mean verification via an encrypted link that could easily drop verification bits in the middle of nowhere to an international database that doesn’t exist using data protocols and verifications that don’t exist and would take many months to built and test and the cooperation of authorities worldwide that should have started a year ago.
      And there’s a million other complications. Like with the flu (which can be deadly as hell when it encounters a naïve population, so don’t think I’m minimizing it), if we reach a point of herd immunity, we don’t really NEED to ask. After a certain point, vaccination proof is unnecessary for regular functioning, re: the many other communicable disease that kill millions worldwide every year. According to everything I’ve seen and every health official who is in a position to make a reasonable assessment, looks like we’re headed to a sustainable level very quickly. Fingers crossed.
      Let’s hope that the GIANT headache and logistical nightmare this would create is unneeded. TBA

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      • Magic says:

        I totally agree with your concerns over this type of thing. I’m also very sad to see that the response of the org to those of us who do not believe in forced medical procedures or examinations is to simply say don’t bother to come this year. So much for radical inclusion, unless of course they only mean inclusion of those who agree in lockstep with everything they say. Obviously it’s not my year this year. Probably never will be again.

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      • Sweet Alice says:

        Medical professional since 1986.
        Burner since 2009.

        The fact that there are burners on this forum who still think they have a right to spread the virus around and kill others because they don’t want “forced medical procedures” or the government telling them what to do makes me wonder if the event will turn into a super spreader. You don’t have the right to kill my grandmother because you want to go to the burn without proof of vaccination. So, yeah, try hanging out in an ICU throughout 2020 and see what is really happening. Likely best if the burn does not happen in 2021. Once a cluster of positives happens in a camp it’ll hit the news big time. And people may die as a result. But those who spread the virus won’t even know their behavior and choices caused a death down the road.

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    • Richard B Jones says:

      Just a note here. The annual Sturgis MC week-long rally took place in South Dakota with close to 500,000 participants during the middle of the pandemic, with no social distancing nor mask mandates. The state of South Dakota has attributed 124 Covid cases in the state to the rally. The Associated Press reported that at least 290 people in 12 states who attended the rally have also tested positive. Taken together, that’s an infection rate of 0.09%. My point is possibilities are not the same as probabilities and it’s been shown the probabilities of problems due to Covid are extremely small. The biggest problem is complying with the fear-based regulatory requirements to get permission to have the event. It’s a cynical game. Play the game enough to have the event and people will come or not. I always thought BM was about personal responsibility not about PC group think.

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    • Pixie says:

      In addition, certificates of health free of STD (after all, burners cannot be counted on being responsible, right?), certificates of no other disease such as TB (highly transmissible), Ebola, MERS, etc. etc….
      If you require a flu/SARS shot to go to Burning man, the freedom of choice ended there.

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      • Trace says:

        CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY!!!
        One of the 10… Remember???
        Kinda like masks, seat belts et cetera…

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      • KEVIN KRAUS says:

        It gets worse. When you arrive at Burning Man they make you park your car and won’t let you drive on the playa. Can’t crap out there either when you gotta go bad. The Man’s rules are way out of control.

        And now we can’t unwittingly infect others??

        Yeah, some freedumb that is.

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    • m says:

      The majority in the US may be vaccinated, but what about international burners?

      Have fun at your Silicone Valley Google Festival.

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    • Alpha says:

      Just have divergent lines for vaccinated & non. Non go to D-Lot & await testing.

      – My only question….Do Gate or Greeters perform the anal swabbing? I think Greeters would be more gentle.

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  • WMK says:

    Even with vaccinations, some people can still become ill (vaccine helps shorten the duration and lessen the impact) and the virus will still have the ability to spread. Burning Man is not exactly a textbook on solid sanitation practices. I honestly think that Death Guild has the right idea on BM this year.

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    • Ken Eucker says:

      Ditto about the Death Guild.

      Vaccines won’t keep people from getting COVID. The vaccines will help in preventing deaths, but they won’t guarantee that either.

      Vaccines for entry, sadly, is not good enough for 2021.

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      • Robyn McClintock says:

        The danger of vaccine proof is a false notion of security. Then relaxing social distancing standards due to thinkingo e has this covered. Over 2thousand variants, CDC gives co cernabout 3 of those. So by August there could be so many variants that the spring Covid shots are not going to protect. Fauci says keep an eye open for the booster shot announcements. People come to burn from around the globe, are we protected?
        Many questions!!

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      • Tee says:

        You are incorrect. Vaccines prevent serious illness and death from Covid.

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      • Marcus Welby says:

        The vaccine produces a protein that encapsulates the virus preventing it from penetrating your cell walls & multiplying. It doesn’t prevent you from getting the virus. It just renders the virus already in your body ineffective. The CDC just released relaxed precautions for people vaccinated for over 2 weeks. But unvaccinated people are still at some risk from those who got their shots. If everyone at the burn was completely vaccinated then I’d say the event is low risk for the variants we currently have.

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    • Kaiju says:

      100% this. While I trust the best intentions and efforts of BMorg, there are way too many variables and things that cannot be controlled (like, uh, Burners). I’ll be waiting for herd immunity and more solid vaccination efficacy data regarding variants.

      Tbh I don’t tend toward a ton of personal contact with strangers at the burn, but this is an ethical choice as much as a practical one for me.

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    • Mansoon says:

      That makes no logical sense. So far, barring new data from new variants (not including those already having vaccines being adapted to), the vaccines seem to be 100 percent in preventing deaths, so it’s not even truthful. But, following this logic, you could NEVER have any events anyplace ever again. Hell, yearly flu death figures in the US alone were up to 60k and we still had events aplenty, even with vaccines that were only about 45 percent effective.
      I think the Death Guild was dead wrong on this.. their letter didn’t address the science, trend lines 7-8 months later, and talked about protecting people who had already starting being vaccinated a month before, had specifically reopened themselves to contact 2 months before THAT, never asked others to speak for them, and have their own press releases, stories in the newspaper and on TV, web page, Facebook and Twitter pages, so they would for damn sure tell people if they didn’t want outsiders to pass through on their way to BM 6 months from now.
      And I don’t know why, if it were deemed OK by the health authorities, that the Death Guild would think that THEY had the real dope on the real danger to the people in the area, what they need and want, but the tribe, the locals, the local health authorities all somehow would be clueless, were it not for THEIR wisdom. Hell, NONE of them seemed to have considered that covid rates in the area following the two events involving thousands in the summer DIDN’T go up until months later, late October (thus, not as a result) or accelerating vaccinations, or even natural immunity from prior exposure, which could be as high as 125 million or more and climbing. They should prob do what the org seems to be doing: ask epidemiologists, not make half-assed unscientific assumptions about science.
      If you run a camp where people regularly bounce around in a dangerous fashion so they can get hit in the head, those are not the descriptors I’d assign to the wisest people with the best long-term thinking and analysis.

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      • Whimsy says:

        The vaccine prevents death in the person who is vaccinated. It does NOT prevent them from being a carrier and infecting *others.* That’s kind of important.

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      • Mansoon says:

        Whimsy, respectfully. that’s ridiculous. Herd immunity wouldn’t work if transmission weren’t so greatly reduced that it’s no longer a societal worry. There’d be no “Get to 75 percent and we should be OK” talk. There’s a big difference between “We haven’t had enough time to compile proof YET ” and, “We’re just guessing as of TODAY, but this is the way it’s been with ALL communicable respiratory viruses in the history of all humankind and we’ve looked at the physical structure, since we’ve been studying other coronaviruses for decades before this.”
        The amount of virus that your system allows to replicate matters, and a vaccine that keep you from dying or being seriously ill also keeps you from spreading because you produce much fewer viral particles (tiny amounts apparently aren’t enough), and anyone you encounter who’s been vaccinated is prevented from being seriously ill or dying, That’s why pre- and asymptomatics are such bad spreaders.
        They actually HAVE new studies to back this up (www.google.com, you can find the rest), so it’s more than KINDA important that people actually THINK about this before assuming the ridiculous.

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  • Ziggi says:

    I can pick apart” We are committed to ensuring a diverse and engaged citizenry, and we’re exploring ways to infuse more mission-driven opportunity into our ticketing process,” but I’m really curious as to how that will play out.

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  • Miller says:

    I’ve been isolated for 9 months, and I think I finally caught Covid from my cat. She goes out at night and 2 days ago she sat on my chest and sneezed right into my face. Anyone want to adopt a cat?

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  • Joe Buchman says:

    I believe we will build Black Rock City this year – either online, or on playa, or some combination of both, yes? Each is wonderful, each is different, BOTH are better than either alone. I’ll be there, somewhere, just not sure where yet, or when the options and combinations of options will be fully evident. And loving the uncertainty. Gives Burning Man an edge. :)

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  • BRD says:

    “Three quarters of respondents said they were happy to comply with COVID-19 mitigation measures, such as testing and proof of vaccination.”

    Shouldn’t 25% of the population saying they wouldn’t comply with safety measures be enough for us to cancel?

    Give us 2022 theme and let’s get a leg up on next year!

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    • Jangamank says:

      This!! Just scrap 2021, fundraise, and lets put all our energy to 2022. The playa just wont be the same with rules, restrictions, concerns, and splitting ideologies in the health and welfare of all.

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      • Jimmy says:

        Makes sense to wait till 2022. Trying to pull off a safe happening with less time and too many unknowns make it less than practical to have Burning Man on the playa this year.

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    • ChillPhill says:

      Are you saying 25% of the population should dictate their desires to 75% of the population? We still live in a democracy, I hope

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      • Mark McCormack says:

        On the U.S, Less than 5% are dictating and getting what the want right now. Just look back over the last year and see what damage less than 5% of the population has done across the U.S.

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  • Chris says:

    I appreciate the update even if it not a solid Go or No Go. Thanks for not jumping to a no. There are enough vaccines to be safe for it this year. Those that are concerned stay home. The rest of us can proceed with adequate precautions. It will be improved conditions by August for sure.

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  • ChangedMyMind says:

    I was one of those 3/4 of respondents who said they would be happy to adhere to testing and vaccine requirements just so we can build the city this year, but after reading Death Guild’s (and others’) posts about why they, as whole camps, won’t be attending, I think you, the ORG (is anyone reading this???) needs to realize that — nevermind the burden you are putting on GP&E of monitoring the situation, and the fact that people will lie about their status — so very many facets of CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY make it clear that it would simply be IRRESPONSIBLE to have an event in the desert this year. PLEASE just cancel it, and let’s focus on 2022.

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  • Pinstripes says:

    Please– just don’t. Plan for a big return in 2022. 2021 is still just so much of an unknown that I can’t even imagine the org getting license to put on the event. Even at current rates, many of the healthy adults who would want to come won’t be getting a vaccine until July or August at the earliest– and it takes more than one or two months of planning to properly Burn.

    Just don’t.

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    • Pinstripes says:

      Additionally, I should add: I responded to the poll. There were no good, “PLEASE DON’T DO THIS” options in any of the poll questions. In a very real way, the polls felt structured to manufacture consent.

      Again, just don’t. Please. I’ve been a Burner since ’09, I’ve been with theme camps large and small, and I volunteer with the org. While I want to get back out into the dust, not under these conditions.

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    • S.A.G. says:

      How about you stay home and those of us who need this after a traumatic year go to BRC if it happens and we go to another venue if it doesn’t?

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      • Fnord says:

        How about not choosing your privileged desires over those who would be called upon to build it and clean it up in even more extreme situation than normal, many who volunteer and get no recourse if they were to contract Covid. All the departments run on volunteers. How about the artists paying out of pocket to build something only to be told last minute BRC can’t happen. How about considering the Impact on the neighboring city and it’s resources. Ugh. So many selfish people. This isn’t what BM is about.

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      • Saulius Jarasunas says:

        The attitude, just wow…
        BM is not all about you. It is a community first and foremost. Community comes first, and if it cannot be done safely, with a bunch of people skirting the guidelines, then it shouldn’t be done. If it is not done right, and it has a big negative impact to the communities nearby, it could be shut down permanently. So be careful what you wish for.

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    • bleurose51 says:

      “It takes more than one or two months of planning to PROPERLY burn”? (emphasis added)

      REALLY? We are now being judged as to what is “proper burning”? That is pretty frickin’ ludicrous, IMHO. For an even that is theoretically radically inclusive, “proper burning” can mean just about anything from spending 11 months after the previous event to building art car/theme camp infrastructure/etc to packing up a week before with minimal clothing, a sleeping bag, a few gallons of water and a knapsack of decent rations and heading out to have a great party on the playa relying on luck to get extra food if needed (but you have enough so you won’t starve if nothing positive in that regard happens). I have burned in both realms, once buying a trailing, decorating it over many months, packing in a large set of provisions and camping equipment, and having a truly “camp” experience, and deciding at the last minute that I could actually go and heading out with nothing but a minimal carload of sstuff that I threw together in a few hours. I would consider BOTH experiences “proper burning” at least for me. If we are going to judge and impose rules on others’ burning experiences, we are refuting one of the essentials of burning man.

      All that said, I agree that this year should probably be cancelled. But whatever the org does, its still up to each individual to decide for themselves what they are going to do. Make that decision based on what’s best for YOU (and your community), not on what some idiot says you “should” do.

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      • ifellfromthesky says:

        Hi, there are people who start setting up B Man in April, 1/2 the DPW gets out here in May-June getting a much needed head start on things, a lot of things..We need to know NOW what is happening for 2021

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  • Skyler Dog says:

    This seems all to boil down to … do you feel the glass is half empty or half full ? I understand the half empty folks … however you are all welcome to stay home .. we are all at choice
    We also all take risks every day in our lives. Some folks feel the risk of the vaccine is too much vs the Virus ..
    I don’ happen to see it that way, but once again.. your choice.
    I am perfectly happy with a scaled down event. Please don’t other folks take away our choices.

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    • Ethan says:

      And as a healthcare worker I kindly ask you to stop taking so many risks. Thanks!

      I get it that burner culture is very egocentric, but if you could not kill people while I’m out there trying to save them it would be fantastic.

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      • Magpie says:

        This is what I don’t get! My burner friends can be jerks sometimes, but none of them want to be in any way responsible for someone getting COVID. Our mental health needs can’t supersede other people’s life or death needs.

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    • DENNIS says:

      Yep this kind of person who only thinks about themselves is exactly why I can’t go to burning Man this year. No intelligent person spends a year trying to protect their family and then throws it all away because ‘you just have to live your life man.’ and just like death guild predicted if burning Man decides to go ahead it’s going to give a lot of other festivals ammunition to say that they can do their event safely which of course they can’t. It’s a death spiral of badness and there’s just no reason for it. ask me to give the org money again this year to keep it alive and I will do that getting nothing in return except the chance to come back to burning Man in 2022.

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      • Queen Savage says:

        Let’s not forget the people who actually Need the vaccine due to other health issues and possibly can’t afford it for obvious reasons. It’s poor firm to have a bunch of healthy people clogging the system so they can get proof of being vaccinated and go to )’(
        Let’s “Just don’t” this year and let those who need vaccines get them.

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      • Maggie says:

        Wow, these accusatory comments are so un-Burnerly.
        Peace people.

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  • Mostly harmless says:

    Either way I bought land down the road so everyone can come hang at my place after…..

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  • A.J. Jennings says:

    Sell tickets for a 2022 event to help get you through another year.

    A 2021 event is just not a good idea.

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  • Jan Nichols says:

    I took the survey, and while I will go if we have it 2021, I think we should hold off another year. Just too soon to know how this virus will go down. I think its is a good idea to sell 2022 tickets so the money will help hold BRC over for another year. Thanks for the update and I can only imagine how hard this decision must be.

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    • bleurose51 says:

      I would bet that using ticket money obtained for a 2022 event would create some serious financial accounting issues if it was used for current expenses. It would also mean they might then not have the money to actually pay for a 2022 event. This kind of “semi-ponzi” scheme (not REALLY ponzi but it sort of looks like it) is usually a bad idea.

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  • David says:

    I’ll be damned if I spend another Labor Day weekend at home while my wife hitting, anti-vaxxer brother grunts approval at the kickoff of another full football season from his couch. I’m going to the playa come hell or high water! Neither of which I’ll have to endure, thanks to the prognosticating powers of my magic Ouija board Steve, who made for me the following crazy predictions:

    – Within the month of May, US vaccine supply will outpace demand. Anyone who wants a vaccine in the US can get one, and tens of millions of unused doses will be discarded.
    – The vaccines will show excellent efficacy against all SarsCov2 variants.
    – By August, case rate and death rate will be negligible, and those few cases will be primarily consigned to those who refused the vaccine.
    – Foreseeing this in April, the Org will cautiously declare the Burn is on, require proof of vaccination and onsite rapid testing, and pointlessly restrict sale to 30,000 tickets in May, which will sell out immediately
    – The BLM will grant the permit at 50,000, and will not lower the fee, but will delay their proposed restrictions
    – In July, the Org will issue another 20,000 tickets which will also sell out
    – Shortly before the event, the Org will remove the proof of vaccination and onsite testing requirements
    – The event will have no honoraria art pieces. It will have far fewer art pieces than usual, and several recycled pieces. There will be fewer theme camps. However, mutant vehicles will be robust in number.
    – The 50,000 attendees will jubilantly declare that it was the Best. Burn. Evar, having returned to some of its earlier roots in spirit.
    – There will be no reported evidence of virus spread at the event
    – Afterward, the Org will declare it was a great triumph over adversity, even though Steve predicts that it’ll all be fairly easy, with any adversity self-imposed.
    – SarsCov2 will eventually become endemic and benign
    – The Org will survive, as will Burning Man, which will return to its pre-Covid trajectory of evolution

    Steve is accurate enough to have granted me great fortune in business and investing. Marian, I give you my word that I will buy two non-refundable $1200 presale tickets as soon as you issue them. Though Steve says you won’t sell such tickets. So I’ll wait for the May sale and hope I get lucky before they sell out. Thank you for all your good work! And please do consider the normal higher price pre-sale tickets.

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    • Ted says:

      I expect this is pretty much how it will play out. So much doom and gloom assumes no growth in vaccine distribution. Or concerns of a new particularly problematic variant that the vaccine isn’t effective against. In those cases, then yes, maybe we shouldn’t do 2021.

      But assuming rollout does ramp up, people will be no less safe in BRC than their home towns which will have restrictions fully lifted despite lack of herd immunity because there would be too much pressure not to. Except thanks to the dust, more people will still be wearing masks in BRC.

      That said, this does dampen the ability to do a lot of pre-work, so it’s reasonable to expect not so much big art or bigger projects in general. So it will certainly be a very different experience compared to recent years.

      And maybe there will be some coronavirus spread, but again, no more than in your local downtown. It is important to seriously consider the impact of could have on healthcare, and I don’t believe the event will cause any additional load on the healthcare system. (Beyond the extra load it incurs normally) If things pan out differently, and it would incur increased coronavirus health care load (vs staying home), then yes, cancel it, even if that’s after tickets are sold nonrefundably.

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    • DOOBS says:

      Can I be friends with Steve?

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  • scott says:

    The percentage of people willing to go to BM2021 will significantly increase once vaccinations start becoming available everywhere. With nearly 2 million vaccinations every day, ramping up to 3 million every day, and real soon now available at Walmarts, CVS, and Safeway, people will feel it very likely that anyone who want to go to BM2021 will be able to get their vaccinations in plenty of time. I would not be surprised at all if BM2021could sell out or reach 90%+ of capacity. People will realize this could be the first year in many years that anyone who wants to go can get a ticket without the lottery aggravation. I predict that getting a QR Digital Vaccination Passport with be an ordinary thing. I expect places like Disneyland, movie theatres, plays, symphony concerts will require QR codes for entrance.

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    • Juna says:

      You don’t think people are going to push back on digital vaccine passports? Just wait and see… Nobody wants this system of control.

      Report comment

      • Random medical thinker guy says:

        I can respect that some people don’t. However, it seems like it would up to private vendors and organizations if they want to request/mandate such a passport be displayed and scanned from your phone. Which I get is an intrusion–but so is having an asymptomatic COVID spreading person in a closed atmosphere situation. Not sure what the answer is in balancing everything but—I think private companies and orgs will have to think about why they WOULDN’T request these very carefully. Frankly, the tipping point would probably be the insurance companies–if they say: you will or we won’t sell you insurance—that would pretty much seal it.

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      • Juna says:

        “why they WOULDN’T request these” ?
        Answer: for the same reasons that they never requested any medical passport before Covid. It’s not like Covid is x folds more deadly than other endemic respiratory viruses. In addition, people have the right of their medical information to remain private. Insurance? Maybe it’s time to have a community-funded insurance fund. Seems more aligned with the spirit of Burning Man rather than the techno-dystopian digital medical passport you refer to.

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      • Robin says:

        Rather than a “system of control” I’d call it a system of public safety. I wouldn’t want to attend the event with someone who refuses to make the rest of their community feel safe before attending.

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  • Juna says:

    What’s rational to require proof of vaccination? There is no evidence that the unvaccinated represent a higher risk to others than the vaccinated. Those who decide to take care of their health by other means than the vaccine shouldn’t be discriminated against. It would seem contrary to the spirit of Burning Man.

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    • DENNIS says:

      These vaccinations are proven to not only prevent the spread of the virus from person to person, but to lessen overt symptoms even if you do get it. So uhh, yeah, the vaccine will help. alot.

      but you’re right that there’s no good system for determining whether someone is actually ‘safe’ or not. even onsite testing.

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    • ladybee says:

      What???? of course the vaccinated are a much lower risk to others; you are 95% immune to getting Covid- so it’s unlikely you’d get it an unknowingly pass it on. as for those who use “other means” to protect their health – what exactly are those other means? the only thing that will protect you is the vaccine; if you don’t want to get it, dont’ go to the playa. It’s not “discrimination” it’s common sense public health procedure.

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      • bleurose51 says:

        “Other methods”… LOL… this is like comparing people who use the rhythm method of birth control to people who use oral contraceptives, or better, implants. Vaccines are the best protection anyone has against dying from Covid. Sure, wearing a mask helps some. Locking yourself in your house helps. Probably drinking bleach helps too. But the vaccine is far superior to all the other so-called treatments/methods out there.

        Get the frickin’ shot, people, its no big deal.

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    • Juna says:

      DENNIS, ladybee:
      Unfortunately, your information is false. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that the vaccinated are less likely to transmit the SarS-CoV-2 to others than the unvaccinated. If you have proof of the contrary please share your sources here (the burden of proof is on you). What the studies made by the manufacturers show is that the vaccinated are less likely to have moderate to severe symptoms. However, that’s not the whole story, and many elements of study design should make us skeptical of bold marketing claims such as “the vaccines are 95% effective”. It’s certainly not a 95% reduction in Infection Fatality Rate. The best alternative to getting the vaccine is to maintain a strong immune system. In addition to having a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition, there are complements that have shown to be correlated with a lower IFR. Because the clinical trials for the vaccines are still ongoing, requiring proof of vaccination to attend Burning Man would equal to requiring to enter a clinical trial to attend Burning Man. This doesn’t seem very ethical…

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      • Captain Ping says:

        Oh god, are we REALLY going to have anti-vax foolishness here? Cute of you to claim that the burden of proof is on everyone but yourself. Perhaps there aren’t fully-controlled studies of the effect of vaccines on transmissibility. (Guess the manufacturers have been focusing on other things, like ramping-up production. Go figure!)

        But think of in common-sensically: If a person is less likely to get a disease, by whatever means, then he/she is less likely to spread it. Even if he/she is exposed to the virus and has it in his/her respiratory tract for a while, it’s not going to spread much if it is soon killed by the immune system.

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      • JD says:

        And you are a great example of why we should not have the burn and why proof of vaccination should be a thing for a long time.

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      • Juna says:

        Captain Ping, JD:
        Not all vaccines prevent the transmission of viruses. This is well known. The Covid vaccines haven’t been tested for this endpoint and unless proven otherwise we shouldn’t expect that they prevent the transmission. That’s is just common scientific sense. The category of antibodies targeted by the mRNA vaccines isn’t even the one that blocks the virus in the upper respiratory tract, so yes transmission by the vaccinated is actually likely. Please, keep your derogatory qualifiers for someone else, you’re targeting the wrong person here.

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      • Tony says:

        Juna, it’s you who is trying dispute the “real scientific data ” that has already been released.

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      • Juna says:

        Tony, I read the scientific data related to The Covid vaccines. It doesn’t show any evidence that they prevent the transmission of the virus. I would be curious to know to which scientific data you are referring to here…

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      • Z says:

        Juna,
        Here are a couple early results…

        Pfizer:
        https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid-19-pfizer-vaccine-may-reduce-transmission

        AstraZeneca:
        https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/feb/02/single-dose-of-astrazeneca-vaccine-could-cut-transmission-by-67

        They are just starting to get clinical results back, and the results are trending positive, that vaccines are reducing asymptomatic infections and transmission. Any lack of data showing reduction in transmission isn’t because it’s not true, but because it’s harder to properly collect data:

        https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00450-z

        Until then, we can’t count on vaccines eliminating transmission; the risk letting our guard down prematurely is too high. But that doesn’t mean vaccines don’t help, and let’s hope we learn more soon.

        By the way, vaccines don’t need to completely halt transmission to significantly curb the pandemic. All we need to do is get the reproduction factor below 1:

        https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/vaccines-need-not-completely-stop-covid-transmission-to-curb-the-pandemic1/

        Hope that helps…
        Z

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      • ladybee says:

        FRom today’s NYTImes: “”The evidence so far suggests that a full dose of the vaccine — with the appropriate waiting period after the second shot — effectively eliminates the risk of Covid-19 death, nearly eliminates the risk of hospitalization and drastically reduces a person’s ability to infect somebody else. All of that is also true about the virus’s new variants.”

        and https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/01/briefing/vaccination-myanmar-coup-rochester-police.html?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20210218&instance_id=27279&nl=the-morning&regi_id=33198076&segment_id=51953&te=1&user_id=73ef804c61fbfd6e97b4ab1936d6c06f

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      • Juna says:

        Z, thanks for sharing these links (lucky you can share links because when I tried to share links my posts got removed). The Israeli study hasn’t been peer reviewed yet but as far as I can tell we can’t definitely conclude that the vaccines would prevent transmission (the study mentions that the difference in viral load is small). Moreover, the design of the study isn’t comparing vaccinated vs unvaccinated so although it’s a good start, the conclusions are far from being definitive and we should wait for more studies. This is a similar situation that for initial studies gauging the efficacy of HCQ + AZ (the first study showed a reduction in viral load but with a design that was calling for more studies). The same applies to assessing potential long-term adverse effects of the vaccines. Once again, it would be unethical for an event organizer to require attendees to get vaccinated while those haven’t completed their clinical trials.

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      • Juna says:

        Z, thanks for sharing these links. The Israeli study hasn’t been peer reviewed yet but as far as I can tell we can’t definitely conclude that the vaccines would prevent transmission (the study mentions that the difference in viral load is small). Moreover, the design of the study isn’t comparing vaccinated vs unvaccinated so although it’s a good start, the conclusions are far from being definitive and we should wait for more studies. This is a similar situation that for initial studies gauging the efficacy of HCQ + AZ (the first study showed a reduction in viral load but with a design that was calling for more studies). The same applies to assessing potential long-term adverse effects of the vaccines. Once again, it would be unethical for an event organizer to require attendees to get vaccinated while those haven’t completed their clinical trials.

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    • Tony says:

      Wow, really ??? . While I respect everyone’s person views and individuality – yours are simply not based on facts.

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      • Quickwit says:

        There is NO evidence that the vaccines prevent transmission. Sincerely, a person who will be vaccinated as soon as eligible and still won’t go to the playa this year if the Borg makes the inane and wholly irresponsible decision to hold it

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      • Sweet Alice says:

        JUNA –
        With all due respect, what you are saying is way off base and dangerous. I know medicine and work in the Covid world every day. Anti-vax rhetoric will only spread more virus, cause more death and suffering and delay our return to normalcy. Have you read about what happened in Sweden? They have had 10 times more death than their neighboring counties. So much for relying on the immune system against Covid.
        A healthy immune system is great, but doesn’t stop this virus from killing (not to mention long term disability post-Covid). It’s a novel virus, and therefore highly dangerous when unleashed on humans, despite good nutrition.

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    • Juna says:

      Z, thanks for sharing these links. The study hasn’t been peer reviewed yet but as far as I can tell we can’t definitely conclude that the vaccines would prevent transmission (the study mentions that the difference in viral load is small). Moreover, the design of the study isn’t comparing vaccinated vs unvaccinated so although it’s a good start, the conclusions are far from being definitive and we should wait for more studies. This is a similar situation that for initial studies gauging the efficacy of some therapeutics in which initial studies showed a reduction in viral load but with a design that was calling for more studies. The same applies to assessing potential long-term adverse effects of the vaccines. Once again, I would be surprised if an event organizer requires attendees to get vaccinated with vaccines that are still in their clinical trial phases.

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  • Nips says:

    Please don’t. I want it to happen just as much as anyone else, but this year is not the time. Rapid testing isn’t 100% accurate. There’s already a percentage who have stated they won’t take a vaccine or take any other safety measures. This doesn’t just impact burners, it also impacts residents all along the roads to BRC and healthcare workers.

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    • Juna says:

      There is no reason to panic. In the end, Covid isn’t magnitudes worse than a bad flu. There are a lot of practices going on at Burning Man that are potentially more harmful. With this reasoning, we should just cancel Burning Man forever. If you don’t like it, just don’t attend.

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      • Dennis says:

        Covid-19 is, in fact, magnitudes worse than a normal flu for some people, and we don’t know who those people are in advance. Want proof? There was no ‘regular’ flu season this winter. as in, nearly zero. Why? because of the masking and distancing and hand washing. Yet Covid-19 kept on going gangbusters through all of that.

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      • Juna says:

        In response to Dennis:
        I maintained my point that Covid isn’t magnitudes worse than a bad flu. I have the data to back my claim. Covid IFR is around 0.26% according to CDC data and there has been no excess death in Europe for the less of 75 years old in 2020 as opposed to recent years. In fact, there has been a higher excess deaths in 2017 than in 2020 in Europe. It’s true that Covid kills the elderly at a higher rate but it kills the youth at a lower rate. Not to say that Covid shouldn’t be taken seriously but it’s certainly not justifying to change the entire fabric of the society unless you think that this should also be done for every virus with an IFR in a similar range to one of a bad Flu season. Social distancing and masking would stop Coronavirus transmissions but not Flu transmission which are two respiratory viruses with a similar mode of transmission? This is just magical thinking.

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      • The Pants says:

        I gotta chime in here. 2019-2020 flu season killed 24,000-62,000 people in the US. Let’s use the BIG number. 62,000 dead from the flu. The flu season is only half the year, so let’s double it. 124,000 killed by the flu in the US if the flu raged year-round.

        We’ve been in COVID-19 for a year now. Over 500,000 people have died from COVID in the US. That’s FOUR times as many people.

        Four times might not seem bad, but let’s not forget that during a typical flu season, Americans basically do nothing at all to avoid the flu other than take a shot. They don’t wash their hands more, cover their mouth and nose when they cough, they certainly don’t wear a mask in public. People are doing most if not all of that now, and they’re still dying at least four times as much as from the flu.

        But no, it’s really no worse than the flu.

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      • Mansoon says:

        I also gotta chime in here, though it might pull “The Pants” down.
        If you want to use actual numbers for a head-to-head comparison in a situation when these viruses are encountered, you logically would include the fact that the flu in the US only reaches about 7 percent of the U.S pop. and kills much more evenly across age groups So, to use YOUR numbers, to get to 100 percent of the US (potentially) means more than 800,000.
        Don’t forget: the 62k you quote is WITH vaccines, specific medical treatments stemming back more than 100 years AND people having acquired resistance or immunity from previous years.
        There’s always some caveats and variables in any comparison, but if you want a better one, the 1918 flu pandemic killed between 50 and 100 million worldwide in 2 years, In a world with no commercial aviation, little easy automotive travel and only 1.8 billion pop (about 1/4th what it is now). It was 675k in the US, so, if you weight for pop. differences then/today, that’d be approx 2.7 million.
        Comparison are always difficult without a control group, of course, but, consider this. So far, WORLDWIDE, we’ve lost only about 2.66 million. Every one a loss, but not like you could project for the flu from 1918. Some avian flus have mortality rates of about 50 percent, possibly higher.
        You say that most Americans do “nothing more than get a shot.” Well, not only do we have/do all the stuff mentioned earlier, in 2019 it was about 52 percent of the US who got a shot, so more than 170m. Even with that and EVERY precaution we’ve taken to protect against transmissible diseases in the last year, still more than 8.900 people died in the U.S. this last year. WHO in 2017 said up to 650 000 people die of respiratory diseases linked to seasonal flu each year, and that’s with safeguards and vaccines, like we’re trying to put in place for Covid.
        I think what I see with this idea of “not as deadly or more” debate is the idea of the flu when H1N1 was a novel virus, and Covid as novel, and your statistical chances of severe illness and death if you encounter them with no immunities.
        If we want to see how deadly a thing is, fair comparisons are probably best, since you don’t compare a wolf trapped in your house and a domesticated pet like your dog. More like dog-to-dog comparisons. And I’m betting that, a year or 2 from now, when we’re in a “vaccines and immunities” phase as we are now with the flu, well, flu comes out top dog.

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  • Playaguerat says:

    Whether or not burners are willing to risk their own health and the health of everyone they encounter because they want to party is kind of irrelevant. The question is whether the BLM and Nevada government will allow an event of this magnitude in August 2021, which is not something that is covered in this article.

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    • Mansoon says:

      Well, if I just wanted to party, there’s HELLA easier and cheaper ways than gather stuff to gift all year, shelling out 10 to 100 times what I would to go to clubs around home in the same period of time (my roomies works at a club, so I often get in there for free), carry 200 pounds of stuff around, work at camp more than I party, endure blazing hot days and shivering cold nights and playa dust that does NOT agree with my skin and nails, irritating amounts of noise, stay for days after to pack up in the heat and the cold, stay sometimes for days after to pack up even in the dust storms, sometimes for camps that aren’t even my own, and maybe spend another few days to a week packing away camp stuff. Rather than driving 5 to 15 minutes to a dozen places around here and not even paying for parking.
      But I think the BLM spoke loud and clear when it allowed King of the Hammers back at the start of Feb and has put up a date for commercial vendors to apply for the 2021 event, and Nevada is VERY much a “you pays yer money, you takes yer chances” state. The idea that this would be a superspreader event seems to ignore vaccination timelines and probabilities and the number of infected and recovered. And we all wouldn’t even be talking about it if it was a definite no.

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  • The FNP says:

    When did we jettison Civic Responsibility and Communal Effort? This post and the survey are both written with a huge bias toward holding the event and manufacturing a consent bandwagon. The survey had no options for “BRC 2021 is a terrible plan”. It also didn’t have any options for “I’m going to show up on playa and cough on everyone, even if there isn’t an official event”. It also didn’t ask about masks at all. So how many of those 66% refuse to be vaccinated, test negative, AND wear a mask when around others? We don’t know. Which is ridiculous, especially given the numbers of burners who have special playa masks.

    Even your own numbers don’t add up. 30,000 people supposedly interacted with the survey (by clicking the link in their email?) but according to the first chart, only 21,915 actually answered the “how likely” question on the first page of the survey. So a question that starts with 3 huge IFs, only managed to get 14,392 people to be above a “meh” (shrug)

    Sure, that’s 2/3 of respondents, but let’s be real, this is Burning Man. Unless you live in San Francisco or Reno or are rich, wanting to go is not the same thing as actually able to go — even if public health improves, safety is assured, and government requirements are met.

    These charts are really hard to read, almost like y’all were trying to obscure the data. Chart #2 has some unknown percent for several options, from antibody verification at 54% affirmative to negative test verification at 71% affirmative. And yes, more people would be ok with being tested than vaccinated, but only 71% is ok with being tested.

    Wait! That means that 29% of respondents refuse to show a negative test. 29%, not the 8.7% mentioned as “not willing”. And those tests, unlike vaccines, are currently available at the local CVS and Walgreens to anyone who wants one and can walk in the door today. I’d love to know how many of those roughly 6,350 people who refuse to be tested before they drive through and infect Gerlach are in the 11,037 who are “highly likely” to participate.

    There were 35 questions in the survey, only 2 are mentioned. The bias in the survey and this post worries me and implies that the decision to hold the event NO MATTER THE COST has already been made. Please, don’t hold Sturgis Man 2021.

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    • Juna says:

      Chill out. You’re afraid of getting Covid at Burning Man? Just don’t attend. Let those who want to attend do so.

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      • Salt says:

        Looks like you volunteered to help build, run, and clean it up! Sweet. Thanks! Lots of the normal volunteers probably can’t make it this year or afford to go and get sick while trying to create this special experience for people who refuse to care about anybody else. Thanks for helping create what you want to see in the world. Bring your friends, you’ll need help.

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  • Dark Gnome says:

    Just do the right thing and wait until 2022. It is unfeasible, illogical, and unethical to attempt to pull off an event this year.

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  • Joe says:

    I need my middle class yuppie party so I can pretend to be an anarchist for a week. Fuck the Covid! I got costumes to wear. I’m going no matter what. My friends need my insta pics and they’re starting to think I’m a normie like them.

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  • jan X says:

    So Orgy Dome and Death Guild cancelled 2021 plans. Look to these camps for decisive and principled leadership.

    Report comment

    • Bdub says:

      Right in this thread orgy dome pointed out that even though they won’t bring the orgy dome, they will consider attending as a camp and offering other gifts.

      Report comment

  • Gio says:

    Let’s just do it virtually, Altspace VR is chill.

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  • Tom (the Bishop) Andrejko says:

    Show us your Papers. Now that rings a bell. Let’s see I think that all started around 1937 , 1939 !!!! The vaccination is not mandatory. And I won’t be getting one. If I have to show my papers just to get into an public event . I won’t be going.

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  • Rave Dave says:

    Adaption, Inclusion, Equity
    The org has had 12 months since covid began to adapt to covid and so far the holding onto a past template has shown an unwillingness to do what every person, business and community has been doing which is adapt by letting go of a past routine and embracing a new plan that co-exist with covid. BRC with high population density is “Not” adapting to the risks of covid spread. The planning of any mass gathering with masses tightly grouped is just not safely possibly in 2021. Adapting to a new model could make for a more safer burn but that model may not include the hosting of the masses but hosting of just the art experiences only. The org could host circles of art and fire across the playa like crop circles formations and let the people camp and use the open public BLM lands spread out safely as they see fit. The hosting of a fenced in city is not the model of adaption but by allowing the people to come and use the playa socially responsible as each group can maintain comfortable distance yet still share the experience of being on Black Rock together. This allows inclusion and equity for all to join the gathering, allows the org to only manage the attendance within these circles of art and experience with the use of festival ticket apps which could include the vaccine proof as a component. Like BRC when we gather for burns a perimeter is set up where art cars and machines stay out and people have the option of coming in closer. This also allows the greater community to interact in an open free method of planning and independent coordination without applications, forms, entry lines, perimeter patrols, law enforcement harassment, federal registry and the responsibility of each person and group to maintain their own self sufficient presence. Hosting the art and not the people is the safe covid model of adaption, equity and inclusion which would allow the greater burn community to gather on Black Rock for an annual intentional celebration ritual. Playa for the people burn down the past time to rebuild a new future.

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    • Roy says:

      This wall of text killed me harder than 2 covids.

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      • Donn says:

        I would be happy to wear a mask all the time, as it would mitigate the playa dust. I will even submit to a negative test or anti-body test. But to mandate a rushed, experimental vaccine that has already caused many people adverse reactions, is wrong and unethical. There are many burners who are holistically health conscious and are most likely using plenty of vitamin C for example, to boost immune system and stay healthy. They, like me, may not want to take a vaccine and risk their short term or long term health with a shot that will alter their DNA with mRNA that sends signals to cells to create a foreign protein that the body will attack. They may just want to show prove they are healthy and negative and then wear a mask. That would be the best way to proceed in my opinion. I hope this happens this way.

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      • Java says:

        Well, Donn, I have good news! The vaccine doesn’t change your DNA, so you’re good to get it.

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  • Jahzilla says:

    As a native Nevadan, artist, volunteer, and scientist; if BM happens in 2021 I will actively oppose efforts to continue the event in northern Nevada. There is a time and place for everything. Watching mutant vehicles and the parade of RVs driving through Reno, Sparks, Wadsworth, and Nixon will inflame those who have spent much of this year working to reduce the spread of the virus in these communities. The argument is moot that “if you don’t want to take the risk this year to just stay home.” In this case, you are welcome to come, but do not utilize resources or support from the surrounding communities for your event. I say this not in spite, but out of experience watching the event happen here the majority of my life. This is just not possible for BRC.

    Now with that said, all are welcome to come enjoy the Great Basin anytime of year in congregations less than the tens of thousands. There is no better way to be socially distanced than to be the only person in a whole valley or mountain range. Trade your art cars and dance parties this year for watching herds of antelope and stars. Learn about the rich history and geology of the area. Burning Man is rooted in this place, and this place is rooted in Burning Man. Expand your minds to other possibilities beyond reproducing the same thing because that’s what we have done in the past. BRC, true BRC, is a state of mind…. Innovation and growth necessitates change. Evolution is produced from mutations.

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  • Kat Thatcher says:

    GREAT JOB BM ORG, well conducted survey & well written letter! So hoping to see you in the dust but will donate toward 2022 if not!! THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL YOU DO!

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  • Assuming vaccination stays on track, I don’t see the problem with holding the event this year. I’d assume that by July or so, most of the US population will be vaccinated and we’ll have effective border measures to quarantine unvaccinated foreign visitors. If that doesn’t happen, of course, then Burning Man shouldn’t happen either.

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  • Fifi Oh says:

    Show your integrity now and renew your commitment to our global communities, holding this event in 2021 is just wrong; wait for 2022.
    This is bigger than all of us.

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  • tony says:

    One year without Burning is one thing, but two… People find other interests, they move on and alas, forget much of the magic. How many years will it take to recover from Second year off…….. if it can.

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    • MakeBurningManGreatAgain2021 says:

      Exactly… sounds like the perfect way to filter out the plug n plays and sparkle ponies and get back to the ROOTS!

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      • Tony says:

        To late for that either way. Life is short, it’s time to take ownership of your own health. If you’re not ready to get off the porch and run with the big boys then don’t. Nobody likes the Tool that’s trying to control everyone .

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  • Yes Man says:

    If you they do host BM 2021 some will get tickets, most will not. If they do not, then it will be like FreeBurn 2020, and anyone can go. So… what do you really want?

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  • yung buck says:

    a MORE exclusive Burningman?! this is not the way, Larry!

    While the survey was geared towards positive responses… Can’t believe 75% of burners would comply with a vaccination “proof” — most compliant group of free thinkers I ever saw that just wanted to par-tay!

    In my internet opinion the “burn” should be a 4 week long free for all leading up to Labor day weekend. Org provides portos and a man – – ALL other honorariums go toward regionals – bolstering that effort and allowing “sick high brow art” to permeate more local communities…. just not us fortunate ones to be dustier than tho for 1.5 -2 weeks a year!

    FREE THE BIG BURN — lets see some RADical inclusion!

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  • Some Seeing Eye says:

    Thank you for a detailed update, and for requesting the creative participation of the community. In expansive times, the Man budget increased. We can’t go back to the hay bale days because of moop, but a modest old school Man would be fine with me.

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  • Dr Fauci. says:

    A lot of people forget- but the facts haven’t changed:

    50% of all infections are happening asymptomatically. (and we have to assume that vaccinated people can still transmit).

    We still have wide spread community borne transmission. Defined as case count > 1 / 1,00k population.

    we have to assume we are all infectious because we don’t have ubiquitous testing.

    New variants are 50% more infectious. that means our problem is 50% more serious.

    this pandemic isn’t over or under control until case count is < 1 /100k pop.

    hunker down, wear a mask, don't travel unless it is essential. AND DON'T HAVE A 2021 EVENT.

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  • We’ve all had to reboot, pivot, scale down and honestly, that’s been a good thing. I don’t take anything for granted anymore and a smaller and more focused community of caring folks who are participatory and creative is good thing. Thank you folks at Burning Man and your efforts to keep the flame burning brightly.

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  • MrMilbe says:

    No matter what decision BM org makes, there will be a lot more ppl out there this year that last. Making it another Free Burn sounds like fun but is propably getting problematic in terms of moop with others than just hard-core burners showing up.
    My personal priority is on environmental protection. I don’t think the planet cares if a couple more million of our invasive and overpopulated species dissappear dueto covid. Actually the more the better. Unfortunately I don’t think the conditions at BM would do any magic in that direction, the dry hot playa dust is the least favorable environment for a virus.
    So at least try to make sure the plaja doesn’t get completely fucked up this year. Totally yes, do an organized Burn!

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  • MakersTeleMark says:

    3 letters glaringly missing from this “update”:

    BLM

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  • Bosco says:

    Burner since 2007.
    Don’t do it.
    Let the people that want to burn, go out and renegade like last year.
    Put all the energy into 2022 and the fundraising and preparation for that event.
    Be a leader for people who don’t know any better…otherwise you’re just like any other money driven festival.
    people over profits
    integrity over income

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    • Mansoon says:

      Wait a minute. If you think they SHOULDN’T do it because it would endanger people, they why are you encouraging a “renegade,” (eyeroll emoji) which would have even LESS ability to care for people and less integrity? Even less contact tracing?
      Ohhh, I see, you’re trying to pump out some jingoistic phrases that pretend to have a moral basis, but are really just… b.s. Man, I was almost (cough, *never*) fooled

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  • LynnfinityAndBeyond says:

    As an ER Nurse of 30 years with Triage/Sepsis expertise,I commit to attending if Burningman happens, in a totally different capacity than usual. Being able to diagnose people who are obviously symptomatic and have active CoV19,yet test negative, is a slippery slope my lovely Burner friends. I have correctly identified more people than I can count who had the disease due to their presenting symptoms as vague as “feeling really tired” or “my coffee doesn’t taste good” yet tested negative on the first go, and tested positive on the second go within a day or three to the same/or a different testing procedure. I am extremely well versed on this subject, being that it was the central focus over the past year+ while working in a 64 bed Emergency Room in L.A. So the bottom line here is, if we are truly considering the possibility of the Burn happening this year,we need to start planning NOW for providing highly trained medical practitioners with advanced testing technology, isolation areas with negative airflow, helicopters on standby, and then a Rapic Evacuation Plan that I have no doubt the government would love to impose after the first cases appear. The upside is that we will contribute to the worldwide herd immunity. Just my opinion

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  • Jorge says:

    It’s time we get back to (un)normal. I’m all in. Life must go on.

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  • Ginger says:

    “We’d like to hope that Black Rock City 2021 will be an opportunity for healing and rebuilding, rather than a hectic, heroic effort.”

    However the 2021 Burn materializes, for me it will be worth every ounce of planning and participation. It will be a unique and historic Burn and I’m excited to see what happens! Maybe more emphasis on human magic and less emphasis on mechanical wizardry will make the event more accessible and less elitist.

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  • JohnnyJet says:

    Regionals? – all Regionals during Burning Week – the org can do all kinds of political games with the total population of Burn Week. Social Distance will be easier with the main event with a smaller population. – The anti-vaxxing burners can have their own regional, and we can track the results of that ‘death cult’. – AEZ will have to be re-structured, it has the highest density of any camp or village in the city (is AEZ an experiment to see how dense the city can be and still have a good MOOP report?) – I’ld love to go to a regional rather than the main event given the circumstances.

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    • johnnyjet says:

      Furthermore – I’m terrible at thinking of the right answer afterwards) -if The Burn is just a party, your privilege is more important than other people’s lives. – If the Burn is community, then your citizenship is about your responsibility to your fellow Burners to keep them alive. – and a silly group dance can wait for another year.

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  • roberto dobbisano says:

    DAMN THE TORPEDOS

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  • Dogknee says:

    All about Covid,

    Something to consider is how do we mitigate the SuperSpreader event known as the PortoPotties? For those that rely on them this could be a real hot bed for the virus. I hate to see what some burners might resort to in an effort to avoid the Porto’s. More land mines on playa? Yuck.

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  • Mindy Reed says:

    Thanks for the update – totally hoping to come home this year. It’s been way too long already

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  • David says:

    What I’m wondering is what kind of proof of vaccination will be needed and how will someone get it and how easily it can be faked. I’m getting my second shot next week and as far as I know they won’t be handing out anything that states that you have been vaccinated.

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    • Gerri Rigg says:

      I got my first shot yesterday and they gave me a vaccination card, I think that’s the proof besides in the health depts data bank.

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    • Starman says:

      You should have received a vaccination card which also is a reminder with the date and time of your second shot.
      I received mine with my first round and was told ‘do not lose this card.’
      As a globe trotter, the card is as precious as my passport.

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    • The Pants says:

      It’s very strange that you got your first shot and they didn’t give you a vaccination card. It’s part of getting the shot. Even if you were a “+1” in a car who got an extra shot, you would have gotten a vaccination card.

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  • Dr Bungee says:

    In the last decade or so we’ve seen the rise of the regionals. This has happened to help spread the burner culture worldwide, but also allowed many people who can’t make the trek out to BRC, to experience the magic. The regionals are by definition smaller and more intimate then TTITD, kind of what it used to be like in the olden times. How about we hold regionals all over the world that same week? Like last years virtual burn, but also with real human contact, but on a much smaller more intimate scale than doing a full burn on the playa. Maybe BRC is a west coast regional with 20,000 burners. No giant honorarium art pieces, just what folks can put together in their back yards. No huge sound camps with name brand DJ’s. Lot’s of small scale friendly camps. Drum circles with freestyle dancing. Reasonable ticket prices. You know, like in the olden days. Having multiple burns simultaneously worldwide. As an added bonus, we document all the love and craziness, and sell the documentary to Netflix to fund the BORG till the 2022 burn!

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    • Mansoon says:

      Well, to my knowledge, the regionals started in 1997. So it’s more than just the last decade, and they’ve always had plenty of other options for people who don’t like the craziness of the desert. As far I know, there’s more than a hundred of those events and some of the others occur in very close proximity to the desert event. You can even hold other events out there simultaneously; they just have to be in the other 87% of the empty 200 square miles. There’s even Juplaya, which is just a few months before. Go, enjoy! Don’t think there’s much “Bungeeing,” though ;)

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  • Jahzilla says:

    I think the key point here is not whether everyone is vaccinated by that time, but the timing itself. No matter how you look at it, there will be a lot of uncertainty about how the vaccine will play out through the end of the year. I can’t imagine that those who live close to where the event will be happening (Reno, Sparks, and, most importantly, the Pyramid Tribe) will approve of having the masses from many different places converge on their area for any kind of event. Especially Burning Man. Wadsworth and most of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe were fully isolated and did not allow outside access for a long period during the pandemic due to the inherent health risks for their community (see recent RGJ article attached below discussing the impact of COVID on the Tribe). Lots of Native American communities, from Alaska through the lower 48, have been on high alert when the pandemic hit as they remember how the pandemic of 1918 decimated Native populations (see Washington Post story below). Additionally, Native Americans are more prone to COVID incidence and mortality (see CDC article link below).

    So this boils down to the fundamental question- Is it acceptable to hold a non-essential event with access through Tribal land that is attended predominately by upper-middle-class white people during a pandemic that may cause a spike in infections and deaths of local Native Americans? No. I think this would be a permanent stain on the event and would be far harder to recover from than simply delaying the event by another year.

    So, just wait a year, and perhaps put resources into building amazing art and helping the Tribes during this difficult time. Making friends and doing the right thing today will only help the event grow in the future and build support in the local communities!

    1) RGJ article on how the Tribe has been coping during the pandemic- https://www.rgj.com/story/news/2020/12/29/pyramid-lake-paiute-tribe-new-chairwoman-janet-davis/4081229001/

    2) Toll of the 1918 pandemic on Native Americans- https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2020/09/28/1918-flu-native-americans-coronavirus/

    3) CDC article on COVID 19 and Native Americans- https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6949a3.htm

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    • Mansoon says:

      To be honest, I think this is some virtue-signaling posturing to try to make the Org look like “uncaring colonizers!” and have the poster speak up on behalf of the tribes and locals, when the tribes are perfectly capable of speaking up for and taking measures to protect themselves.
      Ironically, I believe the poster proved my point with their own pays. The tribe cut off access when it didn’t feel safe, and then restored access when it did. Months ago, AND they’ve had two large events out there since on the playa during the summer, and there weren’t spikes in local covid cases until months later, clearly hard to blame, unless you ignore the science.
      In fact, one of the things the poster pointed out has another story about how the tribe has been getting vaccinated since before the beginning of the year. The process of vaccination in Native communities has many local activists completely aware of the history, and doing whatever they can to make sure it doesn’t happen this time.
      As a side note, that is the exact link I posted in an FB group. But I noticed they didn’t post the other link I found seconds later that shows vaccinations had already started as of Dec. 30, nearly from 8 weeks ago. Even if they didn’t see my original post, the other story showed up in the Google search right under that, and was more current and more informative about the tribe having started already, buuuuut that would undercut their own argument. Especially the parts where they actively encourage people to visit, or where infection and illness numbers are falling or Washoe County is at zero new deaths.
      https://www.ktvn.com/story/43113517/pyramid-lake-paiute-tribe-starts-distributing-covid19-vaccine
      https://www.facebook.com/PyramidLakePaiuteTribe/
      http://www.plpt.nsn.us/
      https://pyramidlake.us/
      https://pyramidlake.us/
      https://covid19washoe.com/all-press-releases/
      It just tries to make it seem as if this is yet another case where outside people are making decisions on behalf of the tribe and the locals when it is seemingly THIS person who really speaking on behalf of them. No one is in the same situation they were a year ago at this time, and no one has any reason to expect that the pandemic will be in the same situation six months from now, but that seems to be the idea here.
      And it’s also ridiculous premise that the tribe’s position, given a year+ of vast changes, would be the same in August and September 2021 as it is as it was in March, July or November 2020. Although, November 2020 is when they opened themselves back up to having people come fish and camp in the area and stay multiple days. 3 months and counting.
      Makes it seem as if the tribe or anyone else in the area might have have no idea how to protect themselves, the value of vaccinations, would have no one who’s been exposed and had antibodies and would NOT be able to express their own feelings. As if, after 30 years in the area — the Org having many contacts with them, tickets for tribe members that I’ve seen at Burns, many things directly or indirectly that allow locals to benefit, including the Paiutes getting a $100k contract to clear abandoned vehicles off the side of the road — they would simply be clueless about how to contact the leaders of the tribe or disinterested in having them weigh in.
      In my community, as person of color, we even had various disparaging expressions for people trying to sail in and save us, based on the precept that we couldn’t POSSIBLY know enough to save ourselves. People who place themselves in the position of “these poor, backwards communities; I SHALL speak for them,” rather than saying others speak for themselves. I’ve been an adult for many decades, and I wouldn’t want even my father speaking up for me and my choices, much less some outsider. I’m honestly annoyed at when even my elected officials do it and they want to remove my choices without asking, but at least there’s SOME chance I could have had some influence on them. But, notably, this person isn’t quoting their elected officials saying to not come 6 months from now.
      As a person of color, it always annoyed me whenever I would see others come sailing in, pretending as if they were speaking on my behalf instead of letting me do it. This is actually a common complaint by many of the poor and disenfranchised. I grew up poor, and as a reporter and editor, covered poor places where getting a stop sign was big news. And it seems like it was always people saying exactly the same sort of thing again and again: “You poor things. You can’t be adult enough to make decisions on your own, so let me just go ahead and speak to others and remove that choice from you before you can even make it.”
      If it’s some era when you would never be allowed to speak for yourself, and you need a stand-in to do it for you, that’s one thing. When people have been kept in a state of infantile submission when it comes to their rights and incur great harm if they speak or act for themselves.
      However, I don’t believe that’s the case with the tribe and the locals. I don’t think of the members of the local community as children. But maybe this poster does.
      It’s actually the height of an insult to the community and those who fought so long and hard for change to equate what happened in 1918 to what’s happening now. If you talk to me about the Tuskegee Airmen syphilis experiments, and use that to imply there shouldn’t be vaccine trials in 2020-21 that include Black people making an informed choice to volunteer, my response is, “No thanks for your NOThelp.”
      Things are vastly different 103 years later, but if you pretend as if they are the same, it wipes out all those gains and work of the people who sacrificed so much to get them. It’s, in my opinion, even an insult to people who might get suckered by it. I hope it’s out of ignorance and not a more sinister motive, to reference wrongs from the past to work against what actually might be in the tribe’s interest in the future. They might actually be in serious need of the income stream that the Burn and other visitors bring in, and really be hurting if they have to wait a whole other year for that income and might, with vaccinations and such, being no more danger than they were before the pandemic started.
      The tribe has press releases, news stories, web pages, a Facebook page AND a Twitter feed to tell people what they want. They block off roads or have border checks when they don’t want people to come and people just have to find a different way around. And they stopped doing that quite awhile back and opened up their stores to non-locals.
      The poster doesn’t reference “here is where you can go to see what the tribe and other locals want! Let’s see how they make up their own minds.” Or “see how they’ve been behaving lately.” Because, lately they’ve been acting as if they expect people in the area during the summer. (See the links posted above. And kept checking for updates). Definitely undercuts the poster’s arguments about what they would want 6 months from now.
      It could be from simple benign blindness to the idea of others making their own choices, “strike a righteous pose!” But I’ve also seen this sort of behavior trotted out when people had their own agendas, and they tried to pretend as they were acting in the interest of others. Because if you let others speak for themselves, they may not agree with you or do what you want. And you lose ability to apply pressure using other people’s moral authority.
      I’ve seen this a few times on this page, and sometimes it seems as if it might be from pretenders, trying to tap into moral authority. This post might even prompt that as a next ploy, with people who seem to have a lack of knowledge of the history, interaction with the locals that the org has had for decades, even the rapidly dropping numbers of cases. Claiming a mix of false facts or carefully curated “truths.” Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

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      • SinglePly says:

        Paragraphs, please.

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      • Mansoon says:

        SinglePly, there actually ARE (unless you think 90 percent of a line being empty is an accident. They’re CLEARLY visible in most cases ). I almost always use paragraphs with a 6-space indent; it looks like the formatting protocols they use strip them out. Old, but reliable, protocols

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  • Kelly says:

    I know I have antibodies, had the virus back in March 2020. Still waiting for the vaccine, I work in healthcare, not in a clinical setting. For me, I just don’t think I will be able to afford it.
    Other than that, more concerned with the new variants and how the vaccine will or will not protect protect against that. The international travel is apart of that.
    This is a very hard decision.

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  • Starman says:

    If )'( 2021, the Porta Potties will be tools of mass COVID infection.
    IMHO

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    • Mansoon says:

      The math and the science don’t support that. Not only in 6 months from now, after 8 months of vaccinations and a 18 months+ of infections that produce antibodies and antibody memory in your immune system. Active cases in just the US and what percentage of those who would be well enough to travel. What percentage is that of the US pop? (an abnormally large percentage of those are in Nursing homes and care facilities, so it’s even lower than otherwise). How does that extrapolate into the average Burner pop? What’s the window of infection, espec considering UV, high temps and low humidity are very bad for viral longevity? How many portos are there, and, so, what are the odds of running into a covid-infected person during the window of virus viability? How likely is contact transmission in that case, espe since they clean them multiple times a day, and a significant people use RV toilet or pee bottles a few times. And let’s not forget the gigantic difference in negative medical outcomes for the very young versus the old with comorbidities.
      I actually did a rough calculation of all these factors and more, on the other recent post about this, so I KNOW anyone looking at this can find the available stats to make guesses based on facts. Would be nice to expect anyone speaking on this idea to have done at least some research to try to arrive at an answer based on the science, rather than “a feeling.” I’m suuuure all those people with this opinion have done some calculations to back it up, haven’t they? Hey, where’s your homework? Beuller? Beuller? Beuller?

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      • johnnyjet says:

        and pull the doors off of all of the porta-potties for max UV exposure.

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      • Mansoon says:

        Well, CDC says it doesn’t all that long in the normal environment anyway, and they are cleaned multiple times a day etc and if you as actually did your homework, johnnyjet, you’re realize how long the odds actually are. Sorry. Failing grade, detention, summer school AND no parade or ride in a Porsche for you. Look’s like you’re going to miss the Burn either way ;) .

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      • johnnyjet says:

        apparently you never saw any of my performances on the spoken word stage of variety of tidbits of BM History in totally twisted way – I did a number of pieces on porta- potties.

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  • Donut Jimmy says:

    By the above collected logic there should be no BM in 2021, because two groups need to stay home.

    1) The group of people who do not believe in safety protocols and won’t follow them.

    2) The group that believes in safety protocols, to protect them from the people in the first group.
    Let’s hear it for BRC 2022.

    If held this year, I might attend. I am, relatively, local. But I will have to be confident in both the BM policies, and the likely behavior of attending burners. I am more worried about the latter now that I have read these comments.

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    • Mansoon says:

      IMHO, that is the reverse of logic.
      First, waiting for all people to embrace safety protocol will never happen. That makes it seem like anyone waiting for that has never even READ about Burning Man. 100 percent compliance isn’t logical, so fails on that basis right away.
      Also, What are safety protocols for? To keep you safer than otherwise when conditions are uncertain or dangerous. People who choose to embrace them deserve to have their choices not limited by people who wont. “I feel the need to protect myself. That means I’m aware of and responsive to risk. If you are not, you made your choice but that shouldn’t completely wipe out mine.”
      If people aren’t willing to comply there, there’s nothing stopping them from being unsafe anywhere. There’s no guarantee that the Org would be exposing the world to more cases in the desert, but they’d be well protected at home, since at least half of community transmission seems to be happening at home. By contrast, the 2 unofficial events in the desert last summer seem to not have caused any noticeable community transmission at all.
      And conditions should likely be not noticeably more dangerous or uncertain than usual, with the way things are going.
      Plus, safety protocols include things like vaccinations, which more than 60 million doses have been given out so far and we have a week to go in Feb. If people are already protected, they can be around the unprotected who have chosen their path.
      We’re back down to where we were in mid-July and dropping fast. In about 7 weeks, we have dropped as much as we went up in the six months before early Jan. This is why soooo many of the people who watch this sort of a thing for a living are predicting us off of lockdown well before Burn time.
      If you’re going to wait until you have a population that 100 percent will follow safety protocols, you need to build a time machine, go back, make sure this event NEVER happens in the first place, and also fundamentally change human nature while you’re at it.

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  • leopard_spum says:

    Radical Inclusion is already one of the ten principles. We don’t need “equity” ideology infused into Burning Man. No one is actively discouraging people of colour or LGBT from attending. Can we please just get real? They chose to attend or not. They have no obligation to be interested, either!

    I disavow ideology! ANY type!

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  • Papa G says:

    A lot opinions out there. My hope is that BM will proceed in 2021. I’m in favor of having a vaccination as a requirement. I realize documents can be forged and probably will. Most people will be in a group. Would you allow your group to be at risk? Having a vaccine or at least a negative test is just a part of traveling in today’s world. I also noticed that everybody is thinking that going or not is their choice. I have tried for 10 years to buy a ticket. Only in 2017 was I successful in the STEP. 2018 + 2019 I acquired Tickets with help from friends. With little time to prepare I was not a participant only a spectator. I will participate if I am lucky enough to get a ticket.
    Joy To the Crescent World, Papa

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  • F P says:

    I would love to go – but thinking maybe not if it’s not as big and beautiful as it should be – I have been essential since the beginning – no issues here – wife caught it- down for 2 weeks – me nothing living in same house – sleeping in same bed – she says I am a cockroach and can’t get sick – I get tested everyweek- nothing – soooooo – I’m cool with having time in the dust this year – I just want it to be amazing again.

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  • G Khan says:

    The show must go on!

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  • Jessalyn says:

    Me and thousands of others like me will still be out on playa that week just like we were in 2020. Might as well take our money.

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  • Double-A says:

    Imagine the logistics nightmare of quick tests at Gate and someone tests POSITIVE. Now, what? Does that person who just tested POSITIVE go home? Do you think someone being told they are COVID POSITIVE is just going to be a decent person and give up all their planning and packing and just go home? Looking at some
    of the absofuckinglutely unreasonable and scientifically unfounded responses on this comment thread, can we trust a fragile process of COVID testing at Gate or Greeters? Is it really THAT worth it to be the reason someone gets COVID just because you couldn’t wait another year? What if one person in an RV tests POSITIVE but everyone else tests NEGATIVE? Now what do they do? Is it goes on this year and becoms super-spreader event how will that affect the long-term for BRC?

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  • Matk says:

    SAFETY THIRD !!

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  • Blue-Green says:

    I thought the org was crying about not having enough money to survive. How now is everything magically ok to put on an event if COVID doesn’t prevent it, which it will… . .smh

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    • Mama says:

      We all saw the fundraising and community support that made it possible to survive until this moment. Where ya been?

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      • Mansoon says:

        Blue-Green’s just pretending that that the reason for all the fundraising was to get us to the point where we have a good shot for an event this year. Nothing’s certain either way, but, without it, there’d be ZERO chance. Anyone who cares to think know this. Maybe the event he went to had art that said (DIS)BELIEVE.

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  • karine porto says:

    I FEEL THE SAME, THE CULTURE CONCENTRATES AND EXPANDS, WITHIN US THAT WE LIVE BRC LIVES NEW POSSIBILITIES OF WAYS TO HUMANITY

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  • Would love to help you folks with Plastic Recycling and Food Waste Management. I have been blessed to be part of Star Star Roadhouse and will continue to be for many moons. But My career is recycling and solving the issues of lifeforms and would love to help you folks in 2021 with waste management.

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  • Sesame Toast says:

    For me, the question should not be about whether to hold the event or not*, but whether the BMORG has used this unfortunate but timely opportunity to reimagine Burning Man for the future. Between 2015-2020 (pre-Covid), there was much talk about cultural direction setting, challenges with the BLM, advancing the Burning Man ethos beyond BRC, environmental impacts, tickets/placement/PnP/population size/demographics, etc. Some were saying that perhaps BM should take a year off to rethink/restructure/reimagine Burning Man for the future. The pandemic provided that opportunity, but most of that time seems to have been spent focusing first on the Multiverse and saving the BMORG from financial ruin, and then on simply returning to what was at best becoming unsustainable. While there are many that think everything should and will just go back to the way things were pre-Covid, has there been a concerted effort to think about how to build back better for a more sustainable future for the event itself (BRC), for its culture and network beyond BRC, and for BMORG’s financial bottom line (and, how to diversify its funding base – something all successful nonprofits must do to survive)? If not, we are headed into a second year of time wasted.
    *I vote for NOT. My opinion on that aligns with the statements that Death Guild so superbly outlined.

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  • justin kohn says:

    Wow. i thought when you buy a ticket, you agree to take full responsibility for your health, safety and well being. what has changed? So now we have the covid cops all over us? demanding us to get an experimental jab and tests/track/trace before we can participate? wtf happened to the Burn??

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  • Magnum says:

    The bigger issue will be if the org has enough capital to run a 2022 event.

    The 2020 free burn showed many of us that we do not need the org to have an event. Granted it won’t be “Coachella North” as we love and loath it, but having attended 2020, I can tell you first hand you won’t miss the old burn.

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    • Robert X. Planet says:

      The “2020 free burn?” Gosh, Magnum, I wonder how many people got sick? And how many died? Have you got any final figures on that? Perhaps, if the “free burn” was totally unregulated, it didn’t have any way to keep track of anyone, so maybe we have no way of knowing? Maybe we never will? (I’m just guessing, because I stayed home.) But I can’t help wondering: How many people are dead today because they chose to attend the “2020 free burn?” One thing is certain; THEY most certainly “won’t miss the old burn.”
      But now I’ve been vaccinated, and look forward to 2021 and a safe, BMORG-regulated burn this summer. I hope you’ll be there!

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    • Alexistential says:

      At this point – I prefer the Free Burn. Cancel the organized event.

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      • Mansoon says:

        Well, I was actually interested in this question, since there were gatherings over Labor Day and a little later and July , but I could find NO reference by any public health official in NV or CA citing it as a source of a superspreader event. These are the people paid to contact-trace exactly this back, of course, and raise the alarm if it becomes apparent any gathering was a problem, and I could find nothing.
        So, I looked at the timelines for reported cases in NV and CA. Gerlach, Lovelock, Washoe, Clarke and the SF and LA areas (you can just google that info) and I could find nothing unusual for those timeframes. Cases in those areas completely followed the state and nation trends in the weeks afterwards: Not only didn’t spike after “Un Burn,”, but still continued a downward trend for about 2 months until around just after Halloween, and if you looked at the data from those areas, you’d never know there was any gathering.
        I think having an organization there is much better, and there’s apparently tons of others who feel the same, from what I could see on social media from those who were there, but it looks like an open desert with blowing wind, humidity that can sometimes be 5 percent and sunlight that’s nearly deadly to humans isn’t a good place for viral transmission in either case.

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  • dr. change says:

    When has anything ever gone back to the way it was before…

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  • Leo smith says:

    I guess like Sturgis or Daytona Bike Week, the 2021 Burn (if it happens) will be a reenactment of the Darwin Awards. I miss this event, but out of common sense and caution, If a given the opportunity to attend, I will sit this year out and wait for 2022. Good luck to all of you should the burn take place this year.

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    • Mansoon says:

      Well, those events were much bigger in a smaller space, with indoor venues without high winds and blowing dust and other factors the CDC says reduce viral lifespan and pre -“almost everyone should be vaccinated.” Oh, and a different crowd, since a lot of Burners wore face covering before this. But, there will be PEOPLE at all events, so thanks for pointing that out, Capt. “Genus” (cue eyeroll)

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  • Frankly says:

    I agree with Justin …
    “Wow. i thought when you buy a ticket, you agree to take full responsibility for your health, safety and well being. what has changed ? ”

    Rules for Burningman 2021
    Take full responsibility for your health, safety and well being.

    No proof of shot or test required …
    because you are taking full responsibility for your health, safety and well being.

    Besides, here is what our fearless (witless) leaders in the government tell us …

    12 important questions and answers before considering getting vaccinated:

    ● If I get vaccinated can I stop wearing a mask(s) ?

    Government: “NO”

    ● If I get vaccinated will the restaurants, bars, schools, fitness clubs, hair salons, etc. reopen and will people be able to get back to work like normal ?

    Government: “NO”

    ● If I get vaccinated will I be resistant to Covid ?

    Government: “Maybe. We don’t know exactly, but probably not.”

    ● If I get vaccinated, at least I won’t be contagious to others – right ?

    Government: “NO. the vaccine doesn’t stop transmission.”

    ● If I get vaccinated, how long will the vaccine last ?

    Government: “No one knows. All Covid “vaccines” are still in the experimental stage.”

    ● If I get vaccinated, can I stop social distancing ?

    Government: “NO”

    ● If my parents, grandparents and myself all get vaccinated can we hug each other again ?

    Government: “NO”

    ● So what’s the benefit of getting vaccinated ?

    Government: “Hoping that the virus won’t kill you.”

    ● Are you sure the vaccine won’t injure or kill me ?

    Government: “NO”

    ● If statistically the virus won’t kill me (99.97% survival rate), why should I get vaccinated ?

    Government: “To protect others.”

    ● So if I get vaccinated, I can protect 100% of people I come in contact with ?

    Government: “NO”

    ● If I experience a severe adverse reaction, long-term effects (still unknown) or die from the vaccine will I (or my family) be compensated from the vaccine manufacture or the Government?

    Government: “NO – the government and vaccine manufacturer’s have 100% zero liability regarding this experimental drug”

    So to summarize, the Covid19 “vaccine”…

    • Does not provide immunity

    • Does not eliminate the virus

    • Does not prevent death

    • Does not guarantee you won’t get it

    • Does not stop you from passing it on to others

    • Does not eliminate the need for travel bans

    • Does not eliminate the need for business closures

    • Does not eliminate the need for lockdowns !!!

    So the best policy for Burninman is to open like Texas, Florida, and other states …

    No proof of shot or test required …
    because you are taking full responsibility for your health, safety and well being.

    Wear a mask when it’s dusty …

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    • Mansoon says:

      Wow. I am sold … on the fact that anyone who doesn’t have access to Google, news, radio and TV might actually believe this. Wrong stats, misleads

      ● If I believe all these stats that are wrong, misapplied, misunderstood, mis-leads, will I understand things better?
      Rationality: “NO”

      So, to summarize, this information about the Covid19 “vaccine(s)” (Why is this in quotes? No “good reason”)…
      • Inaccurate on immunity
      • Misleads about eliminating the virus
      • Completely wrong about preventing death
      • Pretends like universal guarantees exist in medical science
      • Does not tell you how less likely you are to pass it on to others
      • Pretends like travel bans aren’t an evolving situation
      • Ignores how it helps reopen more and more businesses
      • Doesn’t tell you how falling infection and deaths, a good bit from vaccinations, eliminate the need for lockdowns !!!

      I’m HOPING there’ll be no need for proof of shot or test required, since prematurely open places like Texas, Florida, etc. are definitely speeding us over the herd-immunity goal line in the worst possible way and these present possible expensive nightmares for the Org. But, I’m reserving judgment and keeping the actual facts in mind, in case I have to adapt.

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  • Phoenix says:

    You know, I took the survey and was all psyched to potentially go, then I heard two really legit reasons not to go;
    1) The populations who are the most vulnerable are the low income, and too often the groups that offer diversity to our country. If we get the celebration going, we are inherently excluding them and the diversity they offer.
    2) We are meant to be the examples for mankind. By encouraging this celebration, even with all the cautions, are we really supporting the planet being as safe as it could be?
    So I am really leaning much more towards saying it should not take place. Stuff to consider.

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  • Cap'n Jonny/ Wrecking Ball says:

    I would liketo have a burn this year for just the folks who already have a guaranteed ticket due to past volunteering. To help keep the dream alive all participants would pay full price for their tickets, with their status carried on to next year. If you qualified for a free ticket this year and you come as a paying guest , next year you would still get your free ticket. Each participant would be allowed to bring one additional paying guest, paying full fare as a one time thing. No sponsorship money from the org for art. If you want to bring something fine, but no cash stipends. Let’s make this year about community, not circus. A thank you to all the thousands of folks who give their time to make this happen. Lets keep it simple and cheap so the org can save up for a real blow out next year.

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  • Johnny Fire Fly says:

    Now convinced that BM 2021 will NOT happen, unfortunately.

    With the Tokyo Olympic Games officially announcing that no international visitors will be allowed, along with the current mess in Europe I just cannot see this happening. So disappointed…

    Can’t blame the org, they are put in this terrible position through no fault of their own. A half-ass burn with tons of safety measures, limited attendance and no worldwide inclusion just wouldn’t be the same.

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    • Mansoon says:

      That makes no sense. Completely different country, doing things a completely different way, on a completely different timeline.
      I’ve actually lived and worked there, gotten medical care there , and I would NEVER use their behavior to inform even choices here. They used to be so xenophobic they used to boil Christian missionaries in natural hot springs (I’ve been to the park with the plaque. Sung Christmas carols in a church nearby, which is how I know the story) and had to be opened up to the outside world at the point of Adm. Perry’s warships.
      As far as I could tell, in times of crisis, it’s a very safe assumption that they would pursue a course of closing to outsiders. It’s hard to go against a strategy that was seen as successful for thousands of years, even if you have to take things slow.
      A culture that has the largest percentage of older adults in the world and where you can spend 7 years just learning to work the leg in a puppet while others work other parts is NOT a culture whose behavior applies to one who put the “panic” in “pandemic.”
      Your disappointment reads as “faux” (be ye friend or foe? Methinks I know you’re all “faux” and a “no” from the go), as does your idea that the Burn HAS to include ANY “normal” percent of international Burners, especially if it will be maybe a “limited” 65k, which eliminates that approx. percentage who wasn’t going to be there, anyway.
      Although, it’s always been known that you could easily sell 200k tickets, if it were allowed and we live in the third-most-populous country in the world. The Org could prob get 15k more tickets without ever crossing the Bay.
      Fly away, Mr. Fire Fly. I don’t think you shed any light here.

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  • pegleg_pete says:

    Reading through this entire thread I am undecided between being amused or being horrified at the entitlement, the narcissism, the zealotry, the perverting of data and statistics, and the cluelessness. A few do get a whiff of the potential of danger. Danger to BMOrg’s reputation, danger to the ability to get permission to do BM in the future, danger to BMOrg’s already precarious financial situation. The waivers of liability in the context of a pandemic may not withstand the efforts of a determined legal firm. Especially a class action lawsuit going after a highly visible and often controversial target. It seems that quite a few of you are desperate to wake from the dream for a week, and I don’t blame you for wanting that, it’s been a very long strange trip. BMOrg does have to be able to function in the mundane world in order to be able to recreate the world you are desperate to visit. So, yeah. The Earth isn’t going to stop orbiting the Sun just because another calendar cycle happened and you again didn’t get to collect your participation trophy. BMOrg is in enough agony, maybe a some compassion is in order.

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    • Nik says:

      BMOrg is definitely going through a painful, very painful process of awakening, as we all are collectively.

      We were thinking the world was a certain way and are now faced with increasing evidence to the contrary – every day we say no to the mountain of evidence building up, sweep it under the carpet, ignore it – the mountain grows bigger.

      It becomes more and more painful to stick with the media and politicians – and I get it. Everyone knows the media is lying and everyone knows politicians are corrupt. We don’t need to debate that – it’s known.

      Some people are able to then go and throw the entire system under the bus, turn around, and leave.

      But many are unable to do that because even though they know about lies and corruption, and see all the plot holes like when watching a B movie from the 80ies, actually letting go of the entire system would also mean letting go of the world they know, and the person they know themselves to be. This is a great awakening, and it feels like death. The death of ego feels like real death.

      That’s what we’re all going through right now. Everything is not as we thought it was. Clinging on to the crumbling castle is excruciatingly painful and may result in death.

      BMOrg needs to function in a normal planet – the normal planet is gone and it will never return.

      We will build something new and unbelievable here- we will build the paradise we know is possible when good humans cooperate in unity and love. It’s literally impossible to imagine, we never experienced this before. I have many ideas but even my greatest ideas pale in the face of the divine that is coming.

      Burning man has shown me how to live in synchronicity – it is a blueprint for our paradise. Not a blueprint but an inspiration to create something even better. All burners know the feeling after the burn – why isn’t the world like the burn??

      Well – it is if we make it. And now, we get to build it.

      I know burning man is this 1 week event, totally unsustainable and built on basically wal-mart – but there are many aspects to it that will be part of our new society.

      True synchronicity based work – everyone does what they love, and everything gets done
      No money – see above, money not needed, as you get everything you want, when you want it, the playa provides.
      Abundance – this planet is abundant and we have all the technology and knowledge we need to live in harmony with nature in ways not only equal but far more comfortable than we ever knew

      And so on the list goes on.

      Burning Man itself was the inspiration for much. Now the time has come to make a decision – go left or right. Everyone I am sure will make their best decision for their timeline. Nothing will ever be the same, and this is a good thing.

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  • Nik says:

    I have a suggestion in the spirit of Burning Man: It’s called radical self responsibility!

    This means: YOU are responsible for yourself! No one else is! No one! Not the government. Not the WHO. Not Pfitzer. Not your doctor, paid by Pfitzer.

    People have different opinions on this world situation. Some think there’s a virus out there killing millions. They are scared. Others think there’s a hoax of unbelievable truly before 2020 unthinkable proportions going on, pointing to overall death rates being the same as all other years, which seems far from what one could call a pandemic.

    Radical inclusion and radical self responsibility in this situation dictates that:

    Who wants to come, comes.

    Who is afraid of a virus, stays safe at home.

    Everyone is welcome to come – this is radical inclusion. No requirements, other than being human.

    Everyone is welcome to stay home if they are scared. This is radical self responsibility.

    It’s not and never was Burning Man’s job to “keep everyone safe” and it is not and never was Burning Man’s job to tell people what to think – in this case, that they must agree to the mainstream media narrative.

    If you believe the mainstream media narrative, I have no idea why you would even remotely consider going out the house, let alone to burning man!! Why? If there’s a deadly pandemic, I am staying the hell home! I miss the parties but not worth my life!

    But if you believe the alternate narrative, I have no idea why you would put up with useless and dangerous rules and orders put in place by the first group. Why? I do what I wish, and what I believe is best for me, you do you. Why would that be a problem. At all?!

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  • Gerlach Local says:

    If there is a proof of vaccination requirement and on-site testing required for participants to enter then there will obviously be many people turned away at the gate. What is the plan for dealing with these people? Where are they going to go? How do you plan to protect the surrounding towns and communities?

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  • now ex-burner says:

    I thought personal responsibility came first and safety came third? Well, this was fun while it lasted. I’ll see some of you at the next informal gathering that has nothing to do with any of this.

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  • Karen says:

    These Anti-vaxxers are reckless with everyone’s safety. They are selfish and will try to fake their vaccination cards. That’s why we need the vaccine passport in the form of a personal chip implant. It’s the only way to know who is safe.

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