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Hundreds of dedicated Burners reportedly came to socialize in the Black Rock Desert despite Burning Man’s cancelation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Burning Man, which billed itself was “virtual only” this year, was a decidedly more in-person affair for some insistent fans. Local TV stations report that hundreds of people are camping at the usual Burning Man site in the Nevada desert. When a News 4 crew went to check out the scene, they saw RVs, campers and some art cars spread out across the empty desert.
“People made the decision to come here during a global pandemic,” an event spokesperson told News 4. “So we decided to keep people’s camps 200 feet away from one another and to advise wearing masks when meeting others. If people feel safe, then they should make others feel safe.”
Attendees told local TV that they are wearing masks whenever they go into local towns or interact with others at close range.
The Bureau of Land Management, which oversees Black Rock Desert, is aware of the campers, but as long as they adhere to social-distancing rules and follow the usual camping regulations, they aren’t in any trouble. The campers said they plan to leave at the end of Labor Day weekend.
“When you come out to the playa, it’s home,” a Burner named Peter told KTVN. “I think you could be who you really want to be on the playa.”
Burning Man draws 80,000 fans annually.