Prepping for the Playa in the Age of COVID-19

As of mid-March 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present too many unknown factors for Burning Man Project to be able to determine if we can safely proceed with Black Rock City 2021. Yet, we believe it’s important to continue carefully planning for a potential 2021 event. If the public health situation and cooperating government agencies support the building of Black Rock City in late summer, we’ll be ready to move forward when it’s safe.

As fellow global citizens and supporters of Burning Man culture, we hope you, your crew, and your community stay safe with respect to COVID-19. If you are preparing to return to Black Rock City in 2021, we encourage you to implement a COVID-19 safety plan in each and every step in your journey to bring your art, mutant vehicle, theme camp or other offering to and from the playa.

Whether we meet on the playa or celebrate out in the world this coming August into September, we relish and encourage the opportunity for us to bring friends, communities and our shared culture together. Ours is a culture of collaboration, connection and celebration. The journey to be with others, innovate ideas, and push through uncertainty is worth the work. At the same time, we do not believe shortcutting health and safety protocols is the right path forward.

In the meantime, as we continue to navigate the global pandemic and participants prepare their art, camps, mutant vehicles and selves, please do what you need to do to safely engage with your community.

Last November we gathered a task force of experts to dive into the science around COVID-19 and explore the possibility of returning to Black Rock City in 2021, and beyond if the pandemic affects us beyond this year. We are currently evaluating COVID-19 mitigation measures to help ensure participant and staff safety at the event. To read more about these potential measures, as well as what we currently know and don’t know about returning to the playa this year, read this Burning Man Journal post from February 18.

For further reading, numerous resources are available to support you, your crew, and your community:

  • Many Americans use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website to glean information about COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The World Health Organization’s website is another good resource, particularly if you live outside of the US.
  • We are watching travel restrictions and advisories carefully. Here is where they currently are for the United States. For our international friends, we suggest you check your government requirements for COVID-safe gatherings and travel. We want to lean in towards what we all can do to make it easier to connect across borders as soon as possible.
  • Read Burning Man Project stories during COVID, including work that regional groups, artists, and volunteers from various BRC departments have done this past year.

Please stay safe, everyone. We look forward to collaborating in whatever ways we can to keep the Burn alive.

You can also subscribe to the Jackrabbit Speaks and the Burning Man Journal to stay up to date on the latest Black Rock City 2021 information including COVID-19 updates.