Over 80,000 people were expected to gather in Black Rock Desert, Nevada at the beginning of September for the annual Burning Man festival. However, the event has been cancelled for the first time since the inaugural festival in 1986 due to the spread of Covid-19.
In a statement released on Friday, festival organizers from Burning Man said "After much listening, discussion, and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision not to build Black Rock City in 2020. 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. Yes, we are heartbroken. We know you are too. In 2020 we need human connection and Immediacy more than ever. But public health and the well-being of our participants, staff, and neighbors in Nevada are our highest priorities."
However, Burning Man is expected to take place online to align with this year's "Multiverse" theme as the statement continues “we are, however, going to build Black Rock City in The Multiverse. That’s the theme for 2020 so we’re going to lean into it… We look forward to welcoming you to Virtual Black Rock City 2020. We’re not sure how it’s going to come out; it will likely be messy and awkward with mistakes. It will also likely be engaging, connective, and fun."