Burning Man agrees to cap attendance but fights back on security
Burning Man has struck a deal with the U.S. Bureau of Land and Management to put a hard limit on the event’s attendance for the next 10 years. The iconic music, arts, and expression festival will now be limited to 80,000 attendees. This agreement comes after the BLM cited expected regional traffic and environmental impacts if the festival continued to grow to its expected 100,000 attendees over the next few years.
Although Burning Man, which begins on August 25, has come to terms with the Bureau of Land and Management on attendance, the festival continues to resist other mounting pressures from the government entity. The bureau has also proposed adding physical and dumpsters barriers to the festival, as well as taxing the event based on its expected environmental impact, however one change that the festival plans to fight back on is the hiring a private security firm to screen attendees for drugs and weapons upon entry.
In a statement to the festival journal, Burning Man organizers explained their stance:
“This mitigation will likely not be implemented for 2019, and we may have the opportunity to prevent it in the future. This proposal from BLM represents a massive shift from Burning Man’s 30-year history running our own operations to BLM running certain Black Rock City operations, without our coordination, and without our control over the costs or implementation. It also subjects a peaceable gathering of people to searches without probable cause other than a desire to attend Burning Man. We’ve submitted our serious concerns to the BLM (see Attachment 2 in Volume 2 of the FEIS) about the significant constitutional, civil rights, environmental, cultural and operational impacts of this proposal. This is one requirement we are prepared to push back on, and we will keep you posted as we better understand the situation and what can be done about it.”
H/T: Burning Man