Burning Man ticket sales: the latest casualty of COVID-19
And just like that, COVID-19 strikes again. Amid the uncertainty surrounding the epidemic, Burning Man has announced that they will be postponing ticket sales to the 2020 instalment of the festival, set to take place from August 30th to September 7th. Whilst the festival isn’t cancelled yet, the ticket sales, which was set to go live on April 8th, will now be postponed until a decision regarding the future of the festival can be made.
The organisers of Burning Man, also known as Black Rock City, have released an official statement on their website:
“One of the biggest questions is whether we’ll be able to build and experience Black Rock City 2020. In the current climate of uncertainty it is simply too soon to tell. There are some indications that the virus may peak in the next couple of months and then begin to subside, while others believe the pandemic could have a much longer timeline. Some large-scale events are being rescheduled from spring until fall. Black Rock City is still five months away, and a lot can happen between now and then. So much is beyond our powers to predict or control.”
As the festival is still in jeopardy, no alternate date has been set for the 20,000 tickets that were set to go on sale April 8 as part of the ‘main sale’. 4,000 tickets to the ‘FOMO’ pre-sale, priced at $1,400, have already been sold, which leaves organisers in an awkward position in regard to refunds, if the festival is indeed cancelled. In another official statement, released on March 30, they address these potential refunds, stating:
“We are exploring every possible option for offering refunds if the 2020 event is canceled. Our terms and conditions state that tickets are non-refundable “for any reason,” but we recognize how unusual this situation is, and are sensitive to the financial insecurity many in our community are facing… Issuing refunds would be challenging for our nonprofit, but we are examining all possible scenarios that would enable all of us to weather this storm.”
The announcement gives some hope for ticket-holders, although the chances of a refund are seemingly slim, due to the shear magnitude of monetary loss the festival would be subject to if a cancellation was required.
With the whole world in a state of uncertainty due to coronavirus, festivals are dropping left, right, and centre. Burning Man 2020 is hanging on, but by a thread. We wish the best for Burning Man and its organisers, and hope that the festival, and the industry as a whole, can pull through soon.