Burning Man 2020 cancelled due to COVID-19, replaced by virtual event

Burning Man Festival has cancelled its 2020 edition due to the coronavirus.

It’s the first time in the Nevada event’s 35-year history that it won’t place. Instead, the organisers of the legendary festival will host a virtual equivalent to be streamed online.

“Given the painful reality of COVID-19, one of the greatest global challenges of our lifetimes, we believe this is the right thing to do,” the festival’s organisers announced in a statement shared yesterday (April 10).

“Yes, we are heartbroken. We know you are too. In 2020 we need human connection and Immediacy more than ever. But public health and the well-being of our participants, staff, and neighbours in Nevada are our highest priorities.”

The festival then went on to announce its virtual replacement, saying: “We are, however, going to build Black Rock City in The Multiverse. That’s the theme for 2020 so we’re going to lean into it…We look forward to welcoming you to Virtual Black Rock City 2020.

“We’re not sure how it’s going to come out; it will likely be messy and awkward with mistakes. It will also likely be engaging, connective, and fun.”

Burning Man was set to take place from August 30–September 7 in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

The festival is the latest to be cancelled or postponed due to the continued coronavirus outbreak.

In recent weeks, Glastonbury, BST Hyde Park, All Points East, SXSW and more have all been called off for 2020. Coachella has also been postponed and will now take place in October. Get a full list of every cancelled gig, tour and festival due to the coronavirus here.

A host of virtual festivals have been taking place across the lockdown period – read NME’s investigation into the rise of online gigs during the pandemic.