‘Burning Man’ Festival Cancelled Again, Goes Virtual For a Second Year
“There are simply too many points of uncertainty for us to move forward with confidence right now,” explains a FAQ addressing this year’s cancellation for the annual Burning Man festival.

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“The physical, psychic, and emotional impacts of this pandemic are real and the recovery from this experience will happen at different rates of speed,” organizers said in an announcement. “This is the time to gather with our friends, crews, families and communities…” They also argued that in an abstract sense, “Burning Man is happening right NOW, all around you,” urging people to create experiences, opportunities and connection at the local level. (Their suggestions include planning to join a mass “Burn Night” livestreaming event on September 4, or preparing for “Virtual Burning Man” from August 21 to September 5, 2021.)

Last year’s virtual event drew 165,000 participants, reports NPR, adding that this year’s cancellation of a mass real-world gathering “has put many people in the event’s host community at ease.”
Wary of a trend of rising coronavirus cases in some parts of the region, Washoe County’s district health officer Kevin Dick said “the right call was made,” in order to lower the risk of spreading infection.

And SFist also notes the festival’s “Invitation to the Future” program “where $2,500 buys you a reservation to buy tickets whenever they do announce the event — but that $2,500 does not get you a ticket.”

“This is a reservation that will guarantee someone the ability to purchase a regular priced ticket for the next two editions of Black Rock City,” the Burning Man Project communications team says in an email to SFist…

Per the fine print of this arrangement, there will be only 1,000 of these $2,500 reservations that are essentially tickets to buy tickets… “It’s going very well!,” Burning Man’s communications team tells us. “We’re so grateful for our generous community. As of this writing, we have only a few hundred left….”

Burning Man has to get creative, and maybe perks for big spenders is an acceptable one-time trade-off to ensure its ongoing solvency. The project has gone nearly two years since its last infusion of direct ticket revenue, and the permits and attorney fees necessary to pull off this event on federal land have not gotten any cheaper despite the pandemic.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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