Burning Man may not require COVID-19 vaccinations after backlash

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Burning Man may not require COVID-19 vaccinations after backlash

The organizers of Burning Man were blasted by festivalgoers after suggesting that proof off COVID-19 vaccines would be required to

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The organizers of Burning Man were blasted by festivalgoers after suggesting that proof off COVID-19 vaccines would be required to attend this year’s festival, which is still up in the air.

On April, 8, Burning Man’s CEO falsely claimed that Nevada requires proof of vaccinations at large events.

After criticism from the counter culture community, Marian Goodell said last weekend she “misspoke,” and walked back the comments.

“We are super aware [of concerns] and thank you for your feedback, and we are weighing the gravity of what that does,” Goodell said in a video message on April 17.

“And we know that [mandatory vaccination] challenges the concepts of radical inclusion, but at this point we kind of look at the ten principals as kind of a body or work, and civic responsibility weighs in there heavily,” Goodell continued.

Burning Man would likely have at least 11,000 fewer people if held in 2021.
Burning Man would likely have at least 11,000 fewer people if held in 2021.
Lacy Atkins/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File

Producers of the off-beat desert festival have said they won’t decide for sure if the Nevada event, popular with tech-bros and hippies alike, will even take place this year, until the end of the month. It was canceled last summer.

The annual event draws an international crowd of more than 80,000 people to the Black Rock Desert, 100 miles north of Reno.

Organizers realize that most people in other countries, and all children, have not had access to vaccines, Goodell conceded.

“Health and safety of our gathering of people is the number one priority, period, straight up. So actually requiring vaccines is the way we’re leading with that health and safety plan,” Goodell said.

If the festival is a go this year, attendance would be capped at 69,000 and is expected to be lower than that, according to the top organizer.

There’s no word how regulations would impact festival mainstays like the Orgy Dome, or art installations like the “Barbie Death Camp and Wine Bistro.”

New York was the first state to implement “COVID passports,” which are required to gain admission to events and businesses.

Like many other events, Burning Man was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like many other events, Burning Man was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scott Sady/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP

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