Burning Man canceled for second year in a row over coronavirus concerns

Burning Man organizers were considering requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination, but abandoned that plan

Burning Man, the annual desert festival that attracts tens of thousands from all over the world, is canceled for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic

"Although here in the United States we may be feeling the weight lifting and the light at the end of the tunnel brightening, we are still in the pandemic, and the uncertainties that need to be resolved are impossible to resolve in the time we have," organizers wrote on the festival's website.

"We have decided to set our sights on Black Rock City 2022."

Burning Man was canceled for the second year in a row due to ongoing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Burning Man was canceled for the second year in a row due to ongoing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. (REUTERS/Jim Urquhart)

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The enigmatic festival had been bringing artists, musicians and revelers from around the globe to the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada since 1986, until the pandemic forced organizers to call off the annual event last year. 

It has gained increased interest in recent years with all stripes of people attending, including entrepreneurs like Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin; musicians like Katy Perry and Sean "Diddy" Combs; billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio; and actors, such as Scott Eastwood and Will Smith. 

Burning Man organizers will still host a virtual festival. More than 165,000 people tuned in online to 2020's virtual Burning Man, according to organizers. 

Burning Man organizers will still host a virtual festival. More than 165,000 people tuned in online to 2020's virtual Burning Man, according to organizers.  (REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

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Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell said earlier this month that organizers were considering requiring proof of vaccination to attend the festival, but were aware of concerns that mandating vaccines "challenges the concept of 'radical inclusion.’"

Organizers said they are still hosting a virtual Burning Man that will "invite anybody with an internet connection, anywhere in the world, to contribute to the creativity, community and culture we so enjoy."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.