The organization that puts on the annual Burning Man festival has purchased a vast stretch of land in the Nevada desert with the hopes of turning its week-long festival into a year-round destination and expanding its “cultural impact.”
According to the Sacramento Bee, the Burning Man Project shelled out $6.5 million earlier this month for a 3,800-acre parcel of land in the Nevada desert known as Fly Ranch. The paper describes the site — situated just a few miles from the festival’s annual location in Black Rock City — as a “desert oasis,” complete with spring-fed pools and hot springs.
It is not currently clear how the organization plans to use the land. A spokesperson for the group said the Burning Man festival will not be held there, as it is not suited to accommodate the throngs of tens of thousands of people who flock to the site each year.
The organization announced its purchase on its website earlier this month.
“As a year-round site, Fly Ranch has the potential to expand Burning Man Project’s activities and existing programs, as well as amplify Burning Man’s cultural impact into the wider world beyond Black Rock City,” the group said in a public statement.
“Buying the property is the first step on a long journey,” the statement continued. “As stewards of this unique piece of land, our foremost responsibility is to ensure it will be maintained for generations to come. This will require planning and preparation. We have to lay the groundwork first. Then, we’ll spend the next few years exploring the possibilities for Fly Ranch.”
Approximately 70,000 people attended last year’s iteration of Burning Man, including Susan Sarandon, who brought the ashes of her late friend Timothy Leary to the festival. Attendees live in makeshift encampments for a week, participate in a barter economy and can attend seminars and workshops on everything from holistic medicine to sexual expression.
Attendees abide by the festival’s so-called Ten Principles, which include “radical inclusion, decommodification, radical self-expression, communal effort and civic responsibility.”
This year’s Burning Man will be held August 28 and runs through September 5. Attendees will not be able to visit Fly Ranch during this year’s event.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum