Burn­ing Man granted per­mit by US gov’t

The China Post - - ARTS -

The U.S. Bureau of Land Man­age­ment has re­scinded its re­quest for VIP ac­com­mo­da­tions at the Burn­ing Man fes­ti­val and granted the per­mit needed to hold the event in Ne­vada’s Black Rock Desert start­ing Aug. 30.

The fed­eral agency an­nounced Fri­day that it had scrapped a re­quest for fes­ti­val or­ga­niz­ers to build the so-called Blue Pit Com­pound at a cost of US$1 mil­lion. The on-site liv­ing quar­ters for BLM law en­force­ment and of­fi­cials from Washington, D.C., would have in­cluded flush­ing toi­lets, laun­dry wash­ers and dry­ers, hot wa­ter, air con­di­tion­ing, van­ity mir­rors, re­frig­er­a­tors and couches.

“We worked to max­i­mize the ef­fi­ciency of the op­er­a­tion, and it’s es­sen­tially back to where it was last year,” BLM Ne­vada spokesman Steven Clut­ter told the Reno Gazette-Jour­nal.

The ini­tial re­quests from BLM of­fi­cials in­cluded 24-hour ac­cess to ice cream, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments ob­tained by the news­pa­per. BLM Di­rec­tor Neil Kornze has called some of the re­quests “lav­ish” and “out­landish.”

Un­der the new agree­ment, BLM staffers will have the same caterer as the rest of the at­ten­dees and will stay in the town of Ger­lach as they have in the past, although the BLM will still have an on-site com­mand cen­ter where of­fi­cials can co­or­di­nate safety, se­cu­rity and en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­forts.

“We’ve made tremen­dous progress over the past six weeks to agree on com­mon-sense so­lu­tions that meet BLM’s needs and en­sure the health and safety of those sup­port­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Burn­ing Man event,” Burn­ing Man CEO Mar­ian Good­ell said in a state­ment.

The per­mit is­sued Fri­day al­lows Burn­ing Man or­ga­niz­ers to im­me­di­ately start build­ing Black Rock City, the tem­po­rary com­mu­nity that springs up in the desert for the an­nual, week­long arts and coun­ter­cul­ture fes­ti­val. It also caps the size of this year’s nine­day event at 70,000 peo­ple.

Burn­ing Man, which has been held in Ne­vada since 1990, is named for the large ef­figy burned dur­ing the event. Its spe­cial recre­ation per­mit from the BLM is the largest of its kind in the coun­try.

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