US Burning Man festival canceled again due to pandemic

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Burning Man, the annual countercultural festival in the southwestern United States, has been canceled for a second year running due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with plans to return in 2022.

The event usually draws tens of thousands of participants to a temporary metropolis of towering art installations and dance parties in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.

"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 said on their website Tuesday.

Burning Man began in 1986, with the burning of a large wooden effigy its central tenet.

It became a multi-day annual event usually held in late August and early September.

Covid-19 is on the back foot in the US, with cases and deaths on a downward trajectory and vaccinated Americans now able to do most things outside without wearing a mask.

"Humanity is experiencing collective trauma that is unprecedented in recent times, and while for some returning to Black Rock City may feel like 'the answer,' there is very real rebuilding and healing that needs to be done before returning full force to the desert," Burning Man organizers said.

"The physical, psychic, and emotional impacts of this pandemic are real and the recovery from this experience will happen at different rates of speed."