Burning Man 2020 canceled: Virtual 'multiverse' online event planned

For the first time in its history, the Burning Man festival has been canceled. The decision to skip the event this year was made in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the risks associated with people congregating in a large group. As with other canceled projects this year, the organizers will hold an online event in its place, though details on the 'multiverse' plan are still trickling in.

Burning Man typically takes place at the temporary Black Rock City in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. This year, the event will take place on the Internet, according to an announcement from the event's organizers on Friday. The team described the decision as 'difficult,' saying that it was made after 'much listening, discussion, and careful consideration.'

The Burning Man event for 2020 was themed as "The Multiverse," and that theme will remain for the online version, according to the organizers. The team says that they're not quite sure how their virtual event will work out, warning that it will probably 'be messy and awkward with mistakes.' It'll happen despite that risk.

If you're one of the many people who already purchased a ticket for the (real-life) event, the Burning Man Project says you can get a full refund, though it encourages customers who are able to donate the money to let the organization keep it. These funds will be used to help sustain the community over the next year until the 2021 event.

Ultimately, the organizers hope the online event will draw in 100,000 people, though it's yet to be seen how this will play out. This virtual event will require tickets, but additional information on that — namely the cost — hasn't yet been revealed. The real-life version of Burning Man had been scheduled to start in August, so there's some time left to work out the finer details.