An unofficial Burning Man is happening in the middle of the desert without any medical services, private jets, or professionally serviced bathrooms

·3 min read
black rock desert nevada
"Welcome to the non-event, event that is happening in place of that. one event who is trademarked and we can't mention its name," Renegade Man's Eventbrite page reads. Scott Smith/Getty Images
  • COVID-19 canceled Burning Man two years in a row. Now, a rogue gathering is being held in its place.

  • Without medical services, private jets, or bathrooms, "Renegade Man" attendees are on their own.

  • Some think this will bring the festival back to its roots. Others worry about safety hazards.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Initially created as a desert rendezvous for free spirits and bohemians, Burning Man has grown into one of the world's most famous festivals.

The week-long event held in Nevada's Black Rock Desert attracts tens of thousands of attendees each year. Silicon Valley elite and Instagram influencers quickly joined the party, leading to private jets replacing caravans and luxury camps charging up to $100,000.

COVID-19 canceled Burning Man both this year and last year, but that hasn't stopped thousands of revelers from planning an unofficial event some are calling "Renegade Man" or "Plan B," Vice first reported.

Without medical teams, emergency officials, or professionally serviced bathrooms, those who choose to attend the rogue gathering will be on their own in the desert.

Facebook groups dedicated to this August's meet-up discuss how attendees will go to the bathroom and properly dispose of human waste. Other concerns range from assault and theft to being hit by high-speed vehicles.

"The playa is, and should remain, a dangerous place. Keep your safety and the safety of those around you in mind," one prospective attendee wrote. "This really is the Vacant Heart of the Wild West, you assume the risk of serious injury or death by attending this event."

Burning Man
Last year, an estimated 5,000 people flocked to the Black Rock Desert despite Burning Man's official cancelation - even more are expected to show up this August. Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Chelsea McKinney, a Burning Man project manager at the Bureau of Land Management sent an email outlining "temporary restrictions" to artists and event organizers, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported in June.

The email shared across social media said that the Bureau of Land Management will not be issuing any special recreation permits this year, meaning that aircraft, large-scale art, and bonfires will not be legally permitted in the park.

Last year, an estimated 5,000 people flocked to the Black Rock Desert despite Burning Man's official cancelation - even more are expected to show up this August. However, with high-end amenities and private jets banished, burners can expect fewer celebrities and big-tech millionaires in attendance.

"With less organization, assume it's everyone for themselves. Show up, do your thing," one Reddit user wrote. "You'll need to be even MORE self-reliant because you can't count on things like bathrooms or pump services being provided. Assume you're totally 100% on your own."

The Burning Man Project and the Bureau of Land Management did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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