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Burning Man canceled for second year due to pandemic

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Organizers announced on Tuesday that Burning Man, the annual festival focused on art, community, self-reliance and self-expression held in the Black Rock Desert, would be canceled for the second year in a row due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell said in a video posted on the festival’s website that organizers “recognize that the pandemic is not over.”

“We’ve heard your feedback, and we are really grateful for all of the work that you have been doing to prepare for Black Rock City,” Goodell said, referring to the temporary community that is built every year for the event.

“But we’ve made a difficult decision based on the best information available to us. We’ve decided to focus our energy on building Black Rock City 2022. It’s too important to do half-assed. So we’re doubling down on next year,” she added.

As recently as last week, it appeared that organizers would attempt to host Burning Man this year but require attendees to be vaccinated. Goodell said at the time that Burning Man organizers had submitted their own health and safety guidelines to state and local authorities.

She acknowledged in Tuesday’s video that regular attendees would likely be disappointed and suggested that “Burners” find ways to celebrate in the festival’s spirit in their own ways, adding that Burning Man would take place online this year. 

“Let’s imagine how we can bring this culture out into the world at a time when the Burning Man culture is needed more than ever,” Goodell said. “This is an important inflection point.”

Tags Black Rock Desert Burning Man Coronavirus coronavirus pandemic Counterculture Marian Goodell

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