Burning Man in the Age of Coronavirus

Photo credit: Ari Fararooy, Design: Tanner Boeger


  • The Safety Net Fund: Catching Our Creatives During a Pandemic

    Martín Perna was on tour with his band Antibalas and performing in Denver, when he watched as one gig after the other was cancelled. Instead of performing music, he now had to figure out how to function in a global pandemic. “We were in the middle of a tour in the U.S. and had the …Read More
  • Update: Black Rock City in The Multiverse

    Friends, we have a bit of an update for you. What’s up with virtual Black Rock City, you ask? Well, at Burning Man Project we’ve been working behind the scenes to understand how to best meet this moment. In a time of transformation like this one, we see opportunity for the learnings and culture developed …Read More
  • European Leadership Summit 2020 Online: Together No Matter the Distance

    Out of care for the wellbeing of the community, the 2020 European Leadership Summit (ELS) in Tallinn was postponed. Instead of connecting in person on April 2-5, over 230 participants from 29 countries connected online for a mini-summit. By April 4 2020, over three weeks had passed since the Estonian government declared the emergency situation, …Read More
  • Desert Arts 3View: Past, Present, Future of Burning Man Arts

    Pack your favorite pair of multiverse goggles and join us in the Past, Present and Future for our first ever “trispectral” Desert Arts Preview! We are a culture that encourages people to stretch themselves and we are a community that is no stranger to challenge. In fact, we often thrive when there are obstacles and …Read More
  • Biology of a Black Rock City Burner

    Does it hurt right now? Do you feel uncertain, sad or even relieved about not building Black Rock City this year? We share 50% of our genes with a banana (and 97.5% with a mouse), but bananas don’t have the genes I’m gonna talk about here — the ones that create the chemicals to make …Read More
  • South African Burners Join Forces With Local Volunteers to Help Vulnerable During COVID

    Kevin Kgara Rack is a long-standing community member of AfrikaBurn who has devoted his time to the participation and engagement of First Nations’ Peoples at the Regional Event and beyond. Like many Burners in South Africa’s capital, Cape Town, Kevin has become involved in Community Action Networks (CAN), self-organized groups that have been instrumental in …Read More
  • Creating Burning Man Experiences Online — a Grand Unified Theory

    Some of the best experiences I’ve had in quarantine have been art experiences, held over conference call software, which felt very much like Burning Man. They didn’t rely on technical expertise or specialized software. They were just ways that small groups of people — some of whom were old friends, some of whom were complete …Read More
  • Upcoming Global Virtual Events, April 30 – May 5

    In some ways we’re all experiencing the great FOMO: missing out on all the things we love, to stay in with our loved ones — and flatten that damn curve. In other ways, it’s the best time ever to join all the parties, workshops and events you’ve ever dreamed of, all over the world — …Read More
  • Trapped in Paradise, Using Burner Wits at Wits’ End

    Athena Demos went to Panama’s Tribal Gathering Festival in search of the sacred feminine, but a global pandemic would lead her to summon her own hard-won “superpowers” in the remote jungle gathering. Athena, a former Executive Director of Los Angeles League of Arts and an Emeritus L.A. Regional Contact, was working on a pitch for …Read More
  • BRC Multiverse: Create Home Away From Home At Home

    It seems the master of all tricksters has played yet another prank on us all. And if truth be told, it’s an epic one! Now that we are not building Black Rock City 2020, we have a once-in-a-lifetime (we hope) chance to truly fulfil this year’s intended theme: Multiverse, the multiple, neverending number of realities. …Read More
  • Around the World in Seven Virtual Burns

    Faced with the cancellation of their local Burns and ongoing lockdown, Regional Burning Man communities have thrown down the gauntlet to the coronavirus: “No place to Burn? Not on our watch!” Instead, they have embraced the challenge, taken to the intertubes and created a range of virtual Burns. Some are getting wiggy with Zoom, Twitch …Read More
  • On the Front Line With Black Rock City’s Emergency Services Department Volunteers

    Emergency Services Department (ESD) volunteers won’t be saving our butts on playa this year, but many are on the front line protecting, supporting and saving lives during the COVID-19 crisis. Meet some of our ESD long-timers and first-timers as they share a snapshot of themselves, their work, and the way their playa experience has informed …Read More
  • Creating Art Experiences in a Plague World — We Can Do This

    This past week I have attended a virtual quiz show, a virtual tarot reading, a virtual Big Art Event, and skipped out on a virtual sex party, among other things. People are trying anything, because “just hanging out” on group video chats really isn’t doing it. “Two weeks in,” a friend of mine said, “and …Read More
  • Upcoming Global Virtual Events, April 15-21

    The Burnerverse is bubbling over with virtual events — so many it’s hard to do justice to them in one post. We’ve given it a red hot go anyway. For your pajamed or costumed pleasure, we’ve gathered a selection of upcoming events from across time(zones) and space, and made sure there’s a little something for …Read More
  • Trapped in The Multiverse — What Should a Digital Burning Man Be?

    The theme of “Multiverse” has, I think, been changed by the pandemic. Before, the Multiverse was something we aspired to experience. Now we are trapped in it — each of us stuck in our own little worlds, growing more and more distant from each other, unable to reach out. That’s really the theme now. But …Read More
  • The Burning Man Multiverse in 2020

    After much listening, discussion, and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision not to build Black Rock City in 2020. Given the painful reality of COVID-19, one of the greatest global challenges of our lifetimes, we believe this is the right thing to do. Yes, we are heartbroken. We know you are too. In …Read More
  • LAGI 2020 Fly Ranch Deadline Extended

    We hope you are safe and healthy in these uncertain times. The fact is that everything has changed. The existential commitments that define us — to family, friends, career, creative expression, research, play, and exploration — have suddenly been jumbled together, competing for our time in ways that blur together the hours, days, and weeks. …Read More
  • Have We Been Training for This?

    There are so many survival skills from taking part in the “Burning Man Immersion Learning Program” (a.k.a going to Black Rock City), which are coming in handy right now. But there is also a deeper, more important Burning Man training that we need to lean into. Like the ability to look at a situation and …Read More
  • Black Rock City Main Sale Postponed

    Greetings, friends. Last week we shared this official coronavirus update and this related post from our CEO, Marian Goodell. This week, we’re continuing to gather critical information, reach out to our government partners, and seek guidance from experts. As you all know, there’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty right now. Given that reality, we believe …Read More
  • Theme Camp Isolation Experiments: Week One

    Last week I wrote about the way in which we can carry Burning Man culture forward in a time of isolation by finding ways to turn our solitude into theme camps that can be shared. To the extent I learn anything about this process, I’ll be sharing it here. The first two design elements I …Read More
  • Resilience Is Our Middle Name

    The coronavirus outbreak is unlike anything any of us have experienced in our lifetimes, but in a way, Burners seem uniquely prepared for this moment. Aside from possessing current-day staples like air filtration masks and hand sanitizer, we’ve long believed in the Principles of Radical Self-reliance and Communal Effort, meaning we’re quick to look after …Read More
  • Burning Man Project Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Since our initial statement about the coronavirus (COVID-19), the situation has been evolving daily. We have been watching, reading and listening as new information and details emerge. Like all of you, we have been striving to understand what this outbreak means for our communities and our families. We are also thinking deeply about the impact …Read More
  • Ties That Bind, Ties That Burn: Burning Man in the Age of Coronavirus

    Like you, we’ve been watching with alarm and growing dread as the coronavirus has spread around the globe. And this week, it hit home hard for all of us at our San Francisco office, as residents of California were ordered to shelter in place for at least three weeks. It might not surprise you though …Read More
  • Burning Man Culture in a Time of Plague

    I haven’t seen them in over two weeks, but I now have a close friend who has been tested for COVID-19.   The other day a good friend, a different friend, came to visit me at night, traveling to my apartment across a city shutting itself down in the hope that a plague will pass over …Read More