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By now, you should have heard that Burning Man won’t be taking place this year. In the age of COVID-19, events like that with 80,000+ people are impossible to hold safely. But just because a large music festival can’t happen in Black Rock Desert, doesn’t mean that it can’t happen in the virtual world.
There will be a Virtual Black Rock City 2020. What form it will take, or how it will come off, nobody knows yet. It could be a success or one heck of a flop. But the real worry for Burning Man isn’t if this year’s edition can be a success. The real worry is if this year will be its last.
Of course, the Burning Man Project is putting a brave face on, like many organizations, and like many of us. But this pandemic has changed the game for many businesses. Things will not go back to normal for at least 2 years or more. This pandemic is changing and will continue the change the psyche of the live-event loving public. And even when things to go back to normal, who is to say that people will be eager to return to the world of live events.
What sucks is that Burning Man gets 90% of their revenue from ticket sales. The event mainly funds their programs throughout the year. Which means that even an online event cannot be free if the event is to survive beyond this year’s edition.
But what really sucks, is the lost of influence. The lost of Silicon Valley corporate executives and other high-profile individuals whose presence made Burning Man the place tens of thousands wanted to be. The experience of going to an event in the desert became an international allure.
In a world where people are going to be turning away from being together for the foreseeable future, even large events like Burning Man may be threatened.
When the world changes around you,
Chilling with loved ones is precious.
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