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Burning Man, 2000trees latest festivals to cancel 2021 editions

Nevada’s Burning Man Festival and 2000trees Festival in the UK are the two latest events to cancel their 2021 editions over ongoing uncertainty due to COVID-19.

Organisers of the annual counter-culture festival in the Black Rock Desert announced they are cancelling this summer’s event for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.

Burning Man chief executive Marian Goodell said the “difficult decision” is “based on the best information available to us.”

She said: “We know the need for community has never been stronger. And building community is what Burners do best. We also recognise the pandemic is not over. We have decided to focus our energy on building Black Rock City 2022.

“Although here in the United States we may be feeling the weight lifting and the light at the end of the tunnel brightening, we are still in the pandemic, and the uncertainties that need to be resolved are impossible to resolve in the time we have.”

Burning Man, which was scheduled to take place from August 26 to September 3, draws as many as 80,000 people each year, but had planned on capping attendance at about 69,000 this year.

Meanwhile, the Cotswolds festival 2000trees has been pushed back to 2022, citing problems with international acts travelling to the UK and a lack of Government-backed cancellation insurance as the main factors.

The festival said in a statement: “Up until a week ago we were still furiously working behind the scenes to try to make the festival happen. We really wanted (and needed) a party just as much as you this year. But after losing these bands, it’s clear that we are unable to give you the award-winning Trees experience that you know and love this year.

“Hundreds of festivals have been asking for months for a Government-backed insurance policy allowing us to confidently host events this year. We were hopeful that this insurance would be in place by now. Although they’ve provided a similar scheme for film and TV, the Government have completely let the live music industry down by refusing to back a simple insurance policy.”

2000trees Festival will now take place from July 6-10, 2022, with the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Dinosaur Pile-Up and Laura Jane Grace being confirmed for next year’s event.

Organisers said all 2021 tickets will automatically roll over to next year’s event, urging fans to hold onto their tickets, “so we can keep paying our staff and secure the long-term survival of 2000trees.”

The news follows Boomtown Fair’s announcement last week to cancel its 2021 edition as a result of the pressures of planning a major event without COVID-19 specific cancellation insurance.

Image: Bureau of Land Management / CC BY 2.0 / Edited for size