Prepping for the Playa in the Age of COVID-19

The health and safety of our community is our number one priority. As we enter the new year, the world is still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We acknowledge that there are still many unknowns about planning, living and working in Black Rock City, but we are monitoring developments that give us hope for a safe return to our event in the Black Rock Desert in 2022. 

We are developing a plan (with help and guidance from our COVID-19 Task Force) to protect public safety as we continue to live with COVID-19. It’s too soon to determine if participation in BRC will require proof of vaccination, but you will know more as soon as we do. 

As fellow global citizens and supporters of Burning Man culture, we hope you and yours stay safe with respect to COVID-19. If you are preparing to return to Black Rock City, 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. 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.

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 2022 information including COVID-19 updates.

COVID-19 Task Force

The world has changed dramatically since the last time we gathered together in the Nevada desert. Vigilantly guarding the health and safety of our event now, like never before, will directly affect the well-being of every member of our global community (as well as those we may come into contact with before and after the event) — participants, artists, staff, volunteers, founders, and visitors alike. COVID-19 is a vicious pathogen that cuts across every demographic, regardless of age, gender, orientation, race, income level, nationality, or faith.

As of this writing, COVID-19 has infected over 95,000,000 people globally (24,000,000 in the U.S. alone) according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center, and killed over 2,000,000 people worldwide (more than 400,000 in the U.S.). This pandemic is — to use a word that became all-too-familiar to us in 2020 — unprecedented.

So, how do we proceed?


Simply put: together, and with great care. We have gathered the best experts in science, medicine, and public health policy and followed their advice. We created a COVID-19 Task Force composed of experts in epidemiology, pre-hospital care and transport, hospital care and treatment, and public health. As is typical of our amazing community, members of this COVID-19 Task Force are also Burners and members of our Emergency Services Department (ESD), so they already know all about us, our event, and our culture.

The mission of this Task Force is to review the latest science, medicine, and policy to make the best and safest recommendations to Burning Man Project about building Black Rock City in 2021 and beyond. It’s a mighty task, for sure, and this team is up to the challenge.

Listed below are the members of our COVID-19 Task Force, along with their educational credentials, professional background, and on-playa experience.

Meet the Task Force