Burning Man 2021 Canceled Due to Coronavirus

"It's too important to do half-assed, so we're doubling down on next year"

Burning Man
Burning Man, photo via Bry Ulrick / Unsplash

For the second straight year, Burning Man has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell made the announcement on Tuesday, saying they will “double down” on the event in 2022.

Burning Man was originally scheduled for August 26th through September 3rd in Black Rock City, Nevada. Goodell issued the following statement during a live video announcement:

“For 2021, we know the need for community has never been stronger, and building community is what Burners do best. We also recognize the pandemic is not over. We’ve heard your feedback, and we’re really grateful for all of the work you have been doing to prepare for Black Rock City. So much, from so many. 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.”

In a subsequent blog post, Burning Man organizers further acknowledged that “although here in the United States we may be feeling the weight lifting and the light at the end of the tunnel brightening, we are still in the pandemic, and the uncertainties that need to be resolved are impossible to resolve in the time we have.”

Instead, for the second year in a row, there will be a virtual Burning Man, taking place from August 21st to September 5th. It promises to build out “bigger, richer, and more interactive environments to play, collaborate, celebrate, and participate in meaningful” virtual experiences. Learn more about the event at the official Virtual Burn website.

Organizers also encouraged the fostering of regional community, as well as supporting Burners Without Burners and worldwide art projects funded by Burning Man.

Prior to the announcement, the festival organizers had reportedly considered requiring attendees prove they had been vaccinated for COVID-19.