Burning Man Cancels 2020 Event Amid COVID-19 Concerns

by | Apr 11, 2020 | Stories | 0 comments

After more than a month of speculation from enthusiasts worldwide, Burning Man‘s organizers have canceled their 2020 event. The transformative gathering’s unique format hasn’t protected it from the widespread festival cancellations on account of COVID-19 after all.

Organizers had initially responded to the escalating pandemic with a March 4th statement reassuring their community that it would go on as planned. By the 20th the tone of their updates began to better reflect the uncertainty of the times, and by the end of the month they had postponed their main ticket sale.

An April 10th statement confirms what many had already expected. “After much listening, discussion, and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision not to build Black Rock City in 2020,” reads a post to the Burning Man website. “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.

The update went on to say that a digital event will go on in Burning Man’s place. More information on Virtual Black Rock City 2020, as it’s billed, can be found here.

Burning Man has taken place since 1986, having initially been hosted on Baker Beach in San Francisco. Aside from the man burn at the 1990 event being interrupted by the police – which ultimately led the late founder Larry Harvey to relocate to the Black Rock Playa – it has gone on as planned each year. In theory the gathering stands apart from similar music events by requiring its attendees to participate in its annual creation and cleanup, among other tenets known as the 10 principles.

Fortunately for those participating in camp builds who already purchased tickets via the direct group sale, refunds can be requested through each attendee’s Burner profile on the gathering’s official website.

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