We don’t know what the next year has up its sleeve, but we do know you are all what keeps Burning Man alive. Our CEO Marian just shared an important update about what’s new with Burning Man Project and Black Rock City. Check out the full video here, and read on for highlights! This is not a GO/NO-GO announcement. We will share an update every Saturday until we make that decision, which we anticipate doing by the end of April.
Where Are We With Black Rock City?
While it’s still too soon to know if we’ll be together on the playa this year, some mitigations currently being talked through are: proof of vaccination, shifting on-the-ground operations (particularly for Gate, DPW, Rangers, and medical teams), handling emergencies, and more. But the go/no-go decision goes beyond the medical and practical factors. “Safe enough to move forward” is not the only consideration at play. Is this summer the right time to build Black Rock City together? What are the cultural and social implications of BRC happening this year? Just because we technically might be able to do the event, it doesn’t mean we necessarily should, or will. You will be kept in the loop over the next few weeks as we gain more clarity. Our intention is to make a go/no-go decision by April 23, or at the latest April 30. Thank you to our COVID-19 Task Force for helping us weigh the pandemic variables.
2021 Honoraria Art Funding
Our nonprofit survived last year because of our community’s generosity: over 21,000 people gave between $10 and $5,000,000 to help keep the lights on and the fire burning. A group of generous donors recently raised funds specifically to support Burning Man art and artists. As a result, we are pleased to announce we’ll be funding this year’s Honoraria art projects, no matter what happens with Black Rock City. Close to $1 million will be granted to 58 art projects in 14 U.S. states (NY, NC, GA, LA, IL, TX, CO, NM, UT, NV, AZ, OR, CA, WA), and eight other countries: Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and Ukraine. The art of Burning Man is global, year-round, and deeply impactful, and it extends well beyond the trash fence on playa. We can’t wait to see how these artists bring their visions to life. If the artists are not able to bring their art to the playa in 2021 or 2022 they will not be penalized or asked to return the grant funds. The art needs to be built and we hope it will be in BRC, but if not, it will be out in the world where Burning Man art should also be! Thank you generous donors.
The online artist storytelling series ArtSpeaks emerged from the digital dust in the spring of 2020. So far, 10 episodes have highlighted stories from 49 different Burning Man artists. ArtSpeaks will be back in the fall for Season 2, but for now you can binge-watch all of Season 1.
Sustainability & LAGI 2020 Fly Ranch
In July 2019, we announced the 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap, and we’ve been plotting how to reach this ambitious goal. The LAGI 2020 Design Challenge partnered with Fly Ranch, the undeveloped 3,800-acre property near Black Rock City — a canvas for sustainability, learning and innovation. We are now down to 10 design finalists who will soon begin bringing their ideas to life. We can’t tackle Burning Man’s sustainable future alone: we hope YOU will get involved. Please join us on April 19 for a call on these topics to learn more about the LAGI Design Challenge. Want to visit Fly Ranch? Donation-based nature walks are open to the public.
Burning Man Hive Labs
Earlier this year, you told us you wanted to do more around sustainability; radical inclusion, diversity and equity (R.I.D.E.); health and safety; and participation. You said you wanted to learn, to have conversations, and to build things with others in the community. Those learnings brought us to this moment. Next week we will begin welcoming the first participants into Burning Man Hive Labs, a facilitated process on Burning Man Hive for Burners to connect, learn and collaborate around shared goals for evolving Black Rock City and Burning Man culture. Want to get on board? Let us know here!
The Virtual Burn
Over 165,000 people participated in the virtual Multiverse during Burn Week in 2020. In 2021, we’re again working with talented creators and technologists in our community to build the Virtual Burn: bigger, more interactive, and radically inclusive. Anyone with an internet connection, from anywhere in the world, will be able to participate. You can get involved and contribute as an artist, developer or volunteer — we want your help to bring virtual Burning Man to life!
Radical Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (R.I.D.E.)
We are working to make all Burning Man spaces (including Black Rock City) more accessible, inclusive, and diverse. Our next big milestone is the multi-year R.I.D.E. Roadmap, to be published soon, which outlines a lot of the exciting work and objectives we have for the next 10 years. Over 500 people attended the first Radical Inclusion + Diversity Town Hall last October. A second virtual town hall is scheduled for April 24 — we hope you can join us!
Announcing an Invitation to the Future!
Many of you have shared that you would like to show your support for Burning Man’s future by securing access to future tickets. We are excited to announce (drumroll!) a new “Invitation to the Future.”
Those who have the financial means can buy a reservation that guarantees access to purchase one regular-priced ticket to the next two Black Rock City events.
In other words, purchasing this reservation ensures you have an opportunity to get a ticket the next two times we can gather on the playa. There are 1000 of these opportunities for $2500 each. We expect these to go quickly. Visit your Burner Profile if you’re ready to go for it. For more detailed information, check out this post or visit tickets.burningman.org.
We Hope to See You Soon
Be sure to tune into the next two upcoming events for deeper dives into the ongoing important work of Burning Man Project and in our community: learn about LAGI and sustainability on April 19, and the second R.I.D.E. virtual town hall on April 24. For Black Rock City updates and information, subscribe to the Burning Man Journal and the Jackrabbit Speaks, and keep an eye on our social channels.
Thank you for being here, and for embodying the spirit of Burning Man during this incredible time. We’ll be seeing you in the virtual (or actual) dust soon!
Cover photo by Leori Gill
Virtual Burning Man image: Helios by Kate Raudenbush from BRCvr 2020
R.I.D.E. Town Hall Design by Deets Shay, Photo by Kate Beale