Very soon there are going to be a lot of disadvantages to not having a COVID-19 vaccine, besides the danger of getting and/or dying from COVID-19. The latest potential downside: You won't be allowed into Burning Man.
Organizers of the annual festival in the Nevada desert haven't yet committed to having Burning Man in 2021. But if it happens, they are officially considering making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory.
The Associated Press is reporting that the Burning Man Project is still mulling the decision about requiring vaccines, and potentially will make it official next week.
In a recent video update on April 10, Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell stated, mistakenly, that Nevada was going to require every attendee to be vaccinated. "It's the logical place to go," she said, and added that organizers would be "looking at vaccine cards" at the gates, and there might also be a COVID testing component. She later retracted that statement, however it sounds like the group may want to go that direction anyway.
Per NBC Bay Area, Goodell said there had been widespread backlash about the comment from longtime Burners, and she added, "We know that [a vaccine requirement] challenges the concept of 'radical inclusion.'"
Already, venues like the Chase Center are opening for sports games and concerts with a requirement that everyone have either a negative COVID test or proof of full vaccination. The state has made it clear that
State health officials in California have also said that there's no estimated date for when large outdoor festivals like Coachella or Outside Lands will be permitted — but that isn't a problem for Burning Man because: Nevada.
But Goodell voiced apprehension about hosting a festival in 2021 at all, due to international travel restrictions and more.
"It's true that by having Black Rock City this year, we would miss so many people from so many places. We recognize that," Goodell said.
Last week, we learned that the Burning Man Project was selling $2,500 "reservations" to buy tickets for the next two festivals — these are guaranteed spots in line, not tickets, and don't include the price of a ticket. That's one way of generating revenue before actually selling any tickets... And Goodell also said that donors had come forward with $1 million in funding for art this year, regardless of whether Burning Man happens in person or not.
Photo: Eelco Botlingk