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Burning Man Proposes Increasing Event Capacity to 100,000 People

Burning Man in Nevada
Jim Rankin/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Burning Man in Black Rock Desert, Nev. 

Nobody could have predicted that a small spiritual gathering of locals in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1986 would have turned into a staple of pop culture that hauls in tens of thousands of people from all over the world. Cue Burning Man, the coveted festival located in the Black Rock Desert that recently had its meeting with Nevada's Bureau of Land Management to potentially increase the event's capacity from 68,000 people to 100,000 in the future.

The proposed scaling in capacity also comes with a handful of other asks: closing off over 500 acres of lands before, during and after the event, increase the number of art pieces from 330 in 2017 to around 400, boosting the number of theme camps from 1,100 in 2017 to 2,000, and hiking up the number of mutant vehicles from 600 since 2009 to about 1,000.

These changes, if they were approved, would affect three communities in particular: Gerlach, Reno and Lovelock. Burning Man organizers and BLM officials met with locals from these communities this week to openly discuss the proposals. Initial concerns from residents ranged from traffic issues, the abundance of trash afterward and the lack of solitude and peace in the area to the festival using the town's water supply and limited resources.

The Nevada BLM plans to issue a rough draft by December 2018 that contains Burning Man's new conditions, and hopes to have a final draft by February 2019.

h/t: Reno Gazette Journal

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