Previously, we’ve reported on Burning Man’s ticket lottery and how the ever-growing festival is running out of room for all who desire its experience of freedom and community. Though a ticket exchange site has been set up, it appears there will be even more regulations placed on participation in the event, as it is now under scrutiny for exceeding the number of people allowed to attend.
As the AP reports, the Bureau of Land Management has placed Black Rock City LLC on probation for exceeding the crowd cap of 50,000 people and instead having over 53,000 on both September 2nd and 3rd last year.
This is the first time Burning Man’s been placed on probation since changing venues from SF to the Nevada desert in 1990. However, if the probation extends to two years Burning Man’s future may be in jeopardy. BLM may suspend or cancel Burning Man’s permit and/or deny future permit applications if the notice of noncompliance decision is again placed on Black Rock City LLC after this year’s festivities.
Says manager of BLM’s Winnemucca Field Office Gene Seidlitz to the AP, “It’s a huge liability for BLM to ensure we have enough staff in place to do monitoring and logistical support, and for law enforcement to handle that number of participants so it’s safe and secure and everyone can enjoy it.”
Providing adequate services are dependent on the crowd cap, as officials plan for law enforcement, sanitation, and more based on that number.
As Burning Man looks towards the future, BLM is set to take an environmental assessment on the effect of slowly increasing the population cap to 70,000 people per day over the next five years. A decision on that matter may be seen as early as June.