BREAKING: Burning Man festival canceled amid coronavirus pandemic

Burning Man festival is canceled for first time ever amid coronavirus pandemic – despite being scheduled for August 30

  • Burning Man festival has been canceled for the first time due to coronavirus  
  • Organizers announced Friday that the arts festival will not take place in 2020
  • The Nevada event usually pulls in about 80,000 people from across the world 
  • Cancelation of the August festival suggests some fear the pandemic and the lockdown rules could continue far longer than officials have said  
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Burning Man festival has been canceled for the first time in its three-decade history because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Organizers announced Friday evening that the arts festival, which is not scheduled to start until August 30, will not take place in the Nevada desert in 2020.

The news came as the US recorded its deadliest day, becoming the first country to mark more than 2,000 deaths in 24 hours and its number of infections topped half a million.   

‘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,’ a statement on the Burning Man Journal read. 

Burning Man festival has been canceled for the first time ever because of the coronavirus pandemic

Burning Man Project CEO Marian Goodell announced the news that the festival is canceled Friday in a video message 

The festival, usually held in the Nevada desert and known for building giant works of art and setting them on fire, will instead be held virtually, Burning Man Project CEO Marian Goodell said in a video post. 

‘I am not here to tell you we are canceling Burning Man. No, Burning Man is a culture, it’s a movement. We are not defined by one aspect of Burning Man, we are defined by what we bring to Burning Man,’ Goodell said. 

‘I am going to tell you that we look forward to inviting you to come to the virtual Burning Man, virtual Black Rock City. 

‘Black Rock City 2020 is in The Multiverse. That is the theme after all.’   

‘Virtual Burning Man’ will still be a paid-for, ticketed event that organizers hope will attract 100,000 participants. 

‘On a virtual playa, there’s no limit to who can participate,’ the organization said in its statement.

A price for the virtual festival has not been confirmed – nor have the details of how the event’s fire-starting practices can be held virtually. 

Members of the Bunny March try to race past members of the Carrot Team to reach the Man at the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in 2017. The Nevada arts festival was due to take place on August 30 to September 7

The USS Nevada, a Mutant Vehicle, carries participants on the Playa during the Burning Man 2015 ‘Carnival of Mirrors’ arts and music festival 

While ticket-holders can get refunds, the event page says that its cancelation will mean ‘substantial staff layoffs, pay reductions, and other belt-tightening measures’ so the organizers ‘hope that you will consider donating all or a portion of your ticket value, and/or making a tax-deductible donation to Burning Man Project’. 

Goodell encouraged fans of the festival who feel ‘compelled by what we’re doing’ to provide this ‘gift’ to the organization.

The infamous event in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert usually pulls in crowds of about 80,000 people each year traveling from all across the US and the world.

The cancelation of the festival suggests some fear the pandemic and the lockdown rules could continue far longer than officials have said. 

Burning Man was scheduled to run from August 30 to September 7 this year. 

White House officials said on Thursday they believe the US economy could start to reopen for normal business in May, despite health experts urging for continued social distancing measures to defeat the coronavirus.    

The infamous event in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert usually pulls in crowds of about 80,000 people each year traveling from all across the US and the world

An organizer is pictured setting up for the 2019 festival. The 2020 event will be held virtually. The price for the virtual event has not been confirmed – nor have the details of how the event’s fire-starting practices can be held virtually

Friday marked a dark day for the US, as 2,028 Americans died from coronavirus in a single day, taking the death toll to almost 19,000. 

The total number of Americans infected skyrocketed past half a million to 505,478, as another 35,579 Americans tested positive. 

The US is on track to become the deadliest nation in the world amid the outbreak, as it rapidly edges closer to Italy’s death toll of 18,849.  

Worldwide, more than 100,000 people have now been killed in the pandemic.  

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