By Matt Agorist (via The Free Thought Project)
Over the years, the Burning Man Festival has become one of the most popular events and party destinations in the US and has drawn tens of thousands of people in recent years. Unfortunately, this celebration of love and harmony is an enemy to the rigid bureaucracy and control freaks in the state. in 2018, TFTP reported how law enforcement attempted to turn the event into a police state function with random vehicle searches and checkpoints. Then in 2019, the Bureau of Land Management implemented drug screening checkpoints at all entrances to see if people are showing up with drugs in their systems. That was then, this is now.
If you plan on attending Burning Man 2021, you’ll need to be vaccinated. Not only is this move an affront on the sanctity of one’s body but it also flies in the face of science as the entire festival is held outdoors.
Though researchers say infections can happen outdoors, the chances of catching COVID-19 outside are massively reduced. Fresh air disperses and dilutes the virus.
It also helps to evaporate the liquid droplets in which it is carried. And, on top of that, ultraviolet light from the Sun kills any virus that’s out in the open.
Nevertheless, proof of COVID vaccination will be a requirement for attending the massive outdoor festival.
Despite not knowing if Burning Man 2021 will actually happen, the state has already made up their mind on one thing — mandatory vaccination. Attendees will likely need to show proof of vaccination in the form of a vaccination card, Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell said. Why? Because the state is requiring it.
As the Reno Gazette Journal reports, there are mixed reactions when it comes to requiring vaccinations to attend events:
Many people expressed relief that vaccination would be required, though some criticized the organization, questioning the legality of the requirement and whether it would make the event more inaccessible to low income participants.
It’s not been easy trying to plan for a desert arts metropolis amid a pandemic, Goodell said. Potential participants from all over the world have varying levels of access to vaccines and the organization would be faced with rethinking some of the infrastructure at this year’s event.
Requiring proof of vaccination would likely deter a large portion of attendees and this could prove to be detrimental to Burning Man’s survival as their “break even” point is around 60,000 attendees.
Should the event move forward, between 55,000 and 60,000 people are expected to attend, according to Goodell. She estimated the San Francisco-based nonprofit could not “break even” financially without at least 60,000 people, according to internal government documents obtained last month by the Reno Gazette Journal.
It is also important to point out the fact that hundreds of fully vaccinated people in cities across the country are testing positive for the coronavirus, weeks after receiving the shots. Many of these folks are being hospitalized as a result of the infection.
In El Paso, Texas, 752 people tested positive after being fully vaccinated. In Houston, that number is 142. Hundreds more in Michigan have been reported, as well as Minnesota, California, Washington, Arkansas, and others.
This plan at Burning Man is a similar move taken by Ticketmaster last year when the concert ticket giant announced the controversial plan to make concertgoers prove they have received the vaccine before attending a show.
While this is certainly a controversial issue, the idea of a private company asking for your compliance to voluntarily participate in their event is not immoral, as you are not being forced to attend. However, after news broke of Ticketmaster’s screening protocol and they received massive public backlash, the company released a statementclarifying their screening requirements, noting that there is absolutely no requirement from Ticketmaster mandating vaccines/testing for future events.
That being said, however, at Burning Man, it is the state who is saying it, not the event orchestrators. And as frequent readers of the Free Thought Project know, the state need not appease their customers, because their customers have no choice.