The non-profit behind Burning Man just purchased a $6.5 million, 3,800-acre piece of land 21 miles north of Gerlach, Nevada. Located near the site of the annual temporary Black Rock City, the land, according to The Burning Man Journal, was purchased with the goal of setting up a year-round community that would apply the Burning Man ethos and attempt to expand the organization's cultural reach. Fly Ranch, as the land is called, might also just so happen to be a rad place to year-round party.
"As a year-round site, Fly Ranch has the potential to expand Burning Man Project’s activities and existing programs, as well as amplify Burning Man’s cultural impact into the wider world beyond Black Rock City," the Journal explains. "Fly Ranch opens the door to new possibilities, new cultural experiments, and art and innovation projects on a scale never before envisioned."
You may be confused as to what, exactly, that means — but that's OK, because so are the people who bought it. "We’re a long way from defining exactly what will happen at Fly Ranch," the Journal reads, "but it’s not too early to begin dreaming of the potential."
In a Frequently Asked Questions section of the announcement, the organization makes it clear that this land was not purchased with ticket dollars — rather, with private donations. Oh, also, they want all the Burners out there to know that they will be allowed to visit — but just not yet. "Do not try to visit Fly Ranch during Burning Man 2016," the announcement page reads. "Seriously. Access will not be permitted."
"In the interest of personal safety, environmental protection, and liability, please stay in Black Rock City," the Journal continues, really making sure you got the message. "We’re just not there yet, folks."
Which, considering how beautiful the land looks in the below embedded video, the message probably did bear repeating.
This announcement also explicitly squashes the rumor that Burning Man might relocate to Utah in response to moves by the Nevada state legislature to hit the non-profit with additional taxes.
The purchase of Fly Ranch has reportedly been in the works for some time, with New York Magazine last year writing that the festival's founders had for years made efforts to purchase the land.
"For the long-term survival of the culture, we are going to need a physical space," said co-founder Marian Goodell on the Positive Head podcast last year. "We will, as time goes by, find it hard to only be in the Black Rock Desert. We may need to find a place that would allow for infrastructure."
"I’m certain that’s in our future,” Goodell added.
So, for all you hoping that the Burners of the world might go into the desert and never come back, you may eventually get your wish. Either way, any way you slice it, Burning Man just got a whole lot bigger.