Burning Man

Burning Man cancelled, Virtual Festival to take place instead

The organizers of Burning Man have announced that this year’s festival has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and instead, a virtual festival will be staged for the 80,000 people who were due to gather in the Nevada desert at the tail-end of this summer. A dream event for sellers of sun lotion, Burning Man’s USP has long been the ability to throw a huge amount of party goers into a boiling hot open space with no shade and see how they endure the event and unbearable heat, which has been held traditionally every year, for the past three decades.

“On a virtual playa, there’s no limit to who can participate,” the festival said. “Yes, we are heartbroken. We know you are too,” the group said in a statement, but cited concerns over “public health and the well-being of our participants, staff, and neighbours in Nevada.”

The cancellation of the giant art and music event will require “substantial staff layoffs, pay reductions, and other belt-tightening measures”, the Burning Man organisation announced on its website. It is also likely to have a serious economic impact on the state of Nevada, where Burning Man is held each year in the remote Black Rock Desert.

Burning Man is the latest in a series of cancellations of major events scheduled for the summer and fall, from the summer Olympics in Japan to the Glastonbury Music Festival in England. For buyers who purchased tickets early, Burning Man will offer refunds of its $475 tickets and $140 vehicle passes to the weeklong event. But the organisation is asking ticket buyers to donate the funds to the organisation if they are able to afford to do so, to help them survive into the next year.



Image Credit: Viaggio Routard via Flickr

(BA Hons Journalism), 30, London. NCTJ-accredited journalist and dance music lover specialising in interviews, features, editorial work, and reviews. www.journojake.com

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