It has already been a difficult year for the historic Burning Man, and the addition of the Coronavirus pandemic is proving itself a force to be reckoned. As the weeks of social distancing grow, festival season is being pushed further and farther back. In fact, many experts are beginning to speculate the outbreak could last well beyond summer. Currently scheduled to take place August 30 through September 7 in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, the ten-day utopian pop-up project hasn’t canceled or postponed just yet. However, organizers are wary of the virus’ threat to this timeline and are moving forward as the situation develops.
“We’re continuing to gather critical information, reach out to our government partners, and seek guidance from experts. As you all know, there’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty right now,” according to the event’s official blog, Burning Man Journal. “Given that reality, we believe the prudent next step is to postpone our upcoming ticket sale.”
Registration for the main sale was set to begin April 1, with general on-sale beginning on April 8. Currently, there has not been a new date announced. Unfortunately, the possibility of cancellation also looms on the horizon, since even though the pandemic may pass by then it is proving difficult to organize the building of Black Rock City during times of social distancing. As a result, fans are worried about refunds if the worst comes to pass. Burning Man, though, not only seems aware of many people’s financial problems, but is exploring refund options in an attempt to lessen the potential blow.
“Our terms and conditions state that tickets are non-refundable “for any reason,” but we recognize how unusual this situation is, and are sensitive to the financial insecurity many in our community are facing,” organizers continue. “Issuing refunds would be challenging for our nonprofit, but we are examining all possible scenarios that would enable all of us to weather this storm.”
In spite of the unfortunate news, the creators urge fans to stay home, follow CDC guidelines, and remain empathetic and creative during this ordeal. “This new challenge requires us to work together to solve formidable problems. Burners are good at that,” the CEO writes. The hope in her words is inspiring, and a reminder to fans that they will be back on the Playa in no time.
H/T: Burning Man Journal. Featured photo: Aaron Huey/Getty Images.