Coronavirus: Burning Man 2021 canceled

GERLACH, Nev. — Organizers confirmed Tuesday that Burning Man festivities for 2021 have been canceled, for the second consecutive year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Although COVID-19-related restrictions have begun easing nationwide, Burning Man organizers said in a statement that “we are still in the pandemic, and the uncertainties that need to be resolved are impossible to resolve in the time we have.”

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The high-profile art and community-focused festival, held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, culminates each year with the torching of a multi-story, wooden sculpture of a human. The nine-day festival, which attracted about 80,000 people each year prior to the pandemic, had been slated to begin Aug. 26.

“We have decided to set our sights on Black Rock City 2022,” organizers wrote Tuesday in the Burning Man Journal.

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Organizers initially planned a 60,000-person event for 2021, according to internal documents obtained by the Reno Gazette-Journal. Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell said the cancelation decision was made with an eye on the organization’s “long game.”

“You have to think of the bigger picture when you make these decisions, the long game, the survival of Black Rock City … It’s really exciting to imagine what will happen in 2022, rather than agonize over how to pull off 2021,” Goodell told the newspaper.

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