Months in the making, we present the 2020 Dispatch — a richly illustrated microsite that captures just a handful of the powerful stories that emerged from the wildly creative and resilient global Burning Man community over our most unique year yet. Dive into these pages to read how Burners helped out, co-created art, imagined remarkable virtual adventures, and pulled together to support Burning Man Project.
This unusual year in our history prompted us to create a unique piece. We’ve previously produced Annual Reports, and will now be shifting to the more robust Dispatch format — where you can experience Burners’ rich culture of storytelling come to life.
We hope you draw inspiration from this journey into the recent past. We appreciate you and we look forward to bringing Burning Man culture out into the world with you.
There’s a print version! Order your copy of this beautifully illustrated 30-page keepsake, or gift one to a friend.
Dear Burner (yes, YOU),
Looking back at the year that was, a mix of emotions rises to the surface. There’s grief. And loneliness. And uncertainty. But there’s also awe. And wonder. And heart-bursting pride in the compassion and ingenuity of our wondrous, global community.
We all made it through this dust storm because of YOU — each and every Burner who shares in our vibrant global culture.
Some might say 2020 was the year that wasn’t. In fact, 2020 was so much more.
With the event cycle on hold, everyone at Burning Man Project took this opportunity to make headway on important work. We laid the groundwork for community outreach and support; we advanced our thinking and hard work on Radical Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity initiatives; we accelerated our planning toward an environmentally sustainable Black Rock City. Burners around the world gathered in a myriad of virtual spaces and events; and we supported our global community as you co-created new ways to bring Burner magic and love into the world.
Our event is resilient. Our culture, even more so.
It was absolutely the right decision to pause on co-creating Black Rock City in 2020. As cultural founders, we’ve been part of this event cycle for more years than we care to admit. And we’ve been actively saving Black Rock City for decades — rebuilding from tragedies, floods, financial instability, government stipulations, and of course, losing our friend and founder Larry Harvey.
Every year, Black Rock City continues to rise from the dust, often coming back from the brink of oblivion. Except for 2020. It took a pandemic to bring the Black Rock City production cycle to a halt.
In 2020 our robust cultural engine kept on burning, stronger and brighter than ever. The fuse ignited, its pistons fired, and our mighty community rose up, fueled by empathy, creativity, and love. Together we’re SO much more than our annual event in Black Rock City. We are a global citizenry of doers and dreamers, with the capacity to spark hope in the future of humanity.
Here’s the story of what we accomplished in a year without Black Rock City.
—Crimson Rose, Harley K. Dubois, Marian Goodell, Michael Mikel, and Will Roger
Cover image features Larry Harvey with Co-Founders in Black Rock City, 2013 (Photo by Karen Kuehn; Design and illustration by Tanner Boeger)