“Burning Man now wants to see how it can shape the world it is part of instead of just reacting to that world.” – J. Duane Hoover
The past 14 months have been a turbulent journey of evolution and change for every human on this planet. We have had to adapt to the twists and turns of a global crisis, complex public health information, and the growing hope that we can start rebuilding our lives together soon.
All of us at Burning Man Project have been busy projecting all the possible scenarios that would allow us to bring our desert city back to life in 2021. The variables are many, and our capacity to overcome challenges is high. It’s what we do.
But, although here in the United States we may be feeling the weight lifting and the light at the end of the tunnel brightening, we are still in the pandemic, and the uncertainties that need to be resolved are impossible to resolve in the time we have.
We have decided to set our sights on Black Rock City 2022.
This is not a decision that weighs on just one specific issue; rather, it’s a combination of problems that in an ever-changing world resist certainty to move forward.
Humanity is experiencing collective trauma that is unprecedented in recent times, and while for some returning to Black Rock City may feel like “the answer,” there is very real rebuilding and healing that needs to be done before returning full force to the desert. The physical, psychic, and emotional impacts of this pandemic are real and the recovery from this experience will happen at different rates of speed. This is the time to gather with our friends, crews, families and communities.
We have the time now to imagine what we can bring to Black Rock City 2022 that will really make a difference. What would it look like if Burning Man culture shaped the future?
How do you want to bring the best of what you have to give to the next gathering in the desert?
How bold can you go?
Burning Man is Wherever (and Whomever) YOU Are
Many of us yearn to return to that dusty place to rekindle our imaginations, our sense of place, our sense of self, and above all, our sense of belonging. But we’ll let you in on a secret: Burning Man is not canceled. Burning Man is happening right NOW, all around you. “Going to Burning Man” simply means tapping into the 10 Principles and creating experiences and opportunities and connection at the local level.
Not sure where to start? We’re preparing a handy (if irreverent) Cultural Survival Guide to help you bring your Burner gatherings to any place on the planet this summer. We’ll share that and a few fun items to take with you in a few weeks.
In the meantime, you can connect with Burning Man culture by:
- Gathering with your friends, crew or community.
- Connecting with your Regional community, participating in a virtual or in-person Regional event, finding your local Burners Without Borders chapter, helping out your neighbors.
- Supporting the fully funded 2021 Honoraria artists to build their art wherever they are on the planet— from Moscow to Guadalajara, Manila to Brooklyn. Find out if Burning Man art is being built in your backyard! And then help it show up in your community or out in the world.
- Planning a Burn Night celebration! “BURN WEEK: Global Live Stream” invites you and your crew to live stream your Burn Night around the globe on Saturday, September 4, 2021. Start organizing now!
- Participate in Virtual Burning Man August 21 to September 5, 2021. Share your event, performance, workshop, theme camp, mutant vehicle… or jump in and contribute your mad skills. Here’s how to get involved in Virtual Burning Man!
- Log into your Burner Profile to tell us about the impact-driven projects and initiatives you’re creating out there in the world. Your information will help us map the future!
- Roll up your sleeves and join us in Burning Man Hive Labs. Connect with others and discuss Burning Man’s evolving culture around sustainability; Radical Inclusion, diversity, and equity; health and safety; and participation.
- Jump over here to see all the ways you can participate NOW.
Yes, There Still Will Be Visitors in the Black Rock Desert
Some of you will choose to gather, co-create and celebrate Burning Man culture on the playa this year. The Bureau of Land Management says at this time public lands will remain open to the public. Anyone choosing to camp on the playa this year will need to be entirely self-sufficient. For 35 years, since long before the current organization existed, Burners have looked after themselves and each other. If you do head out there, we wrote an invaluable summary piece to highlight “How To Do It Right!” Go there and breathe this stuff into your pores. To preserve our future in the Black Rock Desert, please recreate responsibly, support local businesses, read this important “know before you go” info, and remember to always Leave No Trace! Pull out your old Survival Guide or check out the last one online. The “required” lists of what to take were designed from early years on the playa. If you go this year, you’ll need to be prepared. Consider visiting at other times of the year beyond Burn Week (local communities will benefit from a more dispersed flow of people), and be mindful of how you engage with this awe-inspiring natural ecosystem we all love. Again, if you do plan to go, learn How To Do It Right in this post.
2022 is Our Badass New North Star
We’re only gaining a few months, really. But with that time off, playa projects will gain considerable steam. With this momentum, it’s exciting to imagine what Black Rock City 2022 can become once the world truly moves on from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are ALL gearing up for a glorious return to Black Rock City in 2022, and have already started the application process with the Bureau of Land Management for our permit. With another year of re-evaluating our systems and concerted planning, together we will co-create the most diverse, inclusive, and environmentally sustainable iteration of Black Rock City yet. Join us in designing the future of Burning Man! The Great Unknown is our open playa, an opportunity to imagine new and better things, and yes — to build the FUTURE.
We’ve made it this far as a direct result of the generous 22,000 people who contributed to get us to the next Black Rock City. Your support is the driving force toward ensuring the community can build our magical dusty city next year when it’s safe and feasible to do so. We feel the love and we can’t wait to see you in the dust.
Immediacy in the Great Unknown
The COVID-19 pandemic has separated us from our world, our friends and our family. It has sent us all on a search for our inner selves, our meaning and participation in society. Immediacy, perhaps our most important value, is where we overcome the barriers that stand between us, our inner selves, society and a natural world exceeding human powers. This year, Burners will experience Immediacy like no other year.
Wherever you are this year, in 2021, we Burn together. We will always burn the Man.
Oh, if you’re STILL here wanting a little MORE info….There is that FAQ we wrote.
Ok, here ya go. Now, let’s prototype a new world!
Cover image and theme graphic design by D.A. of Black Rock and Tanner Boeger