When the Burning Man Project announced plans to take another year off, many rejoiced at the prospect of participating in the annual cultural mecca without rules like those typically imposed by the organization. It turns out Nevada’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has other plans.
In an email sent Monday, June 7th, the BLM announced a series of regulations effective from July 1st-October 31st aimed at preventing a rogue event similar to Burning Man. Among them are no fires, lasers, or exchange of commercial services like waste pumping.
In addition, no Special Recreation Permits will be issued in that period – meaning, no large, organized events on the playa like sound camps or art installations.
“Building of structures is prohibited,” BLM Project Manager Chelsea McKinney wrote in the email. “A structure is defined as construction, placement or organization of parts, pieces, or objects that are not intended for sleeping, cooking, or protection from the elements, such as shade tents.”
“There are currently no restrictions around the Black Rock playa at this time,” wrote a BLM spokesperson in an email response to Selector‘s request for comment. “The area is expecting high visitation over the summer months and to keep our public and staff safe we have discussed a variety of restrictions to do this.”
“Public safety is a priority while managing our resources during what could be a high fire danger year,” the email continued. “The Black Rock Desert is also very remote and emergency services are limited. In some cases response times could be 30 minutes or more, having specific restrictions will keep our visitors educated and know before they go to recreate.”
Burning Man has taken place annually since 1986; in 1991 it relocated from Baker Beach in San Francisco to the Black Rock Desert. The COVID-19 health crisis has called for organizers to cancel both the 2020 and 2021 events. Thousands still traveled to the site of the event last year, and the same is expected of this year’s “Burn Week” from August 29th-September 7th.
The Burning Man Project has not responded to Selector‘s request for comment.