Burning Man is looking to expand from about 68,000 participants up to 80,000 and at least 100,000 by 2019. This questions the future of this gathering.
The festival located in Black Rock Desert is up for its 10-year renewals by the Nevada Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In order to be approved, Burning Man must pass an environmental impact analysis by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
With more expected participants, Burning Man is asking for more space, 500 acres that is. With potent on growth an expansion, organizers would expect more art installations, themed camps, and over 1,000 transformed vehicles.
BLM and Burning Man held a meeting this week with locals from surrounding areas of Gerlach, Reno and Lovelock to hear concerns about the growing event.
Karen Boeger, a resident of Reno shared her opinion on the matter: “I’m just concerned because, when I moved here 45 years ago, (the Black Rock Desert) was just the most remote, least visited area. That area was so full of solitude, it was a wilderness with a small ‘w.’”
Gerlach locals shared concerns of traffic and trash issues along Nevada State Route 447 and the local water supply as well. Lovelock residents stressed over limited resources like law enforcement and court services.
Burners are even unsure about the expansion, knowing when something gets bigger, participants and the culture change, although Burning Man has sold out every year since 2011.
Your voice is a key part of the process, so learn more at burningman.org.