After a long two years, Burning Man is finally returning. For some of us, not a moment too soon.
The pandemic brought us all a lot of challenges, grief and some growth. It allowed us to slow down and work on ourselves. What it didn’t give us is Burning Man, so— coronavirus be damned—a mob approximated by some to be around 20,000 people descended on the Black Rock Desert without any oversight by the government or Burning Man Project— twice. They didn’t even have porta potties.
What perhaps surprised people most was the sheer success of the undertaking. Without established roadways it didn’t even appear to be a city, but ingress and egress (a process that usually takes half a day if it goes well under the BMP) was a casual, breezy process of about 30 minutes.
The official Burning Man event is now back, so most assumed the unofficial Renegade would no longer need to happen. But it appears nobody told the renegaders that, because they’ve planned their event to be hosted in the week following the real Burning Man, from September 4th to 12th, and it’ll take place only about 20 miles up the road.
Whether to "decompress" ("afterparty" in Burner) or to experience something a little different in the desert, it’s looking like it’ll be the best one yet too. In fact, thousands have already RSVPed.
What most set the Renegade apart was the absence of centralized leadership. Devoid of a single unified voice or spokesperson, it was more like a web of crews in variously sized cuddle-puddles, all heckling each other at the same time.
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Well, until now.
One of the chief instigators of the Renegade Burn who has remained secretive until now has appeared. This person, who under the condition that he be identified only as “John Law,” told us he recruits art cars and theme camps to participate in the renegade. He also manages Facebook events and groups to disseminate information, which he says still grow anywhere from 100 to 200 people a day.
This year, Law even created an Eventbrite page to "sell" free tickets for this year's event.
Burning Man is back, so why are people throwing a "Free Burn" anyway? We weren’t sure if Law was just an internet troll run amok or if he was aiming for something more historic.
"It's 2022, the pandemic is now endemic and Burning Man is back on but tickets are sold out. People are scratching and clawing on social media platforms to get their tickets now, but the ticket is just the start of it," Law tells EDM.com. "There’s the ticket, then the participation measurements by the BORG proctors. Then there's the long gate wait, plus the car searches, plus the 5mph speed limit. You get in. Now you’ve got to wait in another line for an art car license and acceptance letter. Don’t forget your day license, and your night license. The list goes on. It’s endless, so for some of us, after experiencing the renegade—after experiencing FREEDOM—we don’t want to go back."
"If you’re one of us," Law continued, "come join us."
Editor's Note: Black Rock Renegade is not affiliated with Burning Man in any capacity.