Burning Man has announced its 2021 theme for this year’s event despite uncertainty if the festival will be able to take place. As festival-goers begin to hope that a return may be possible, due to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, no official decision has been made as to whether it will.
Organizers made the official announcement of the new theme on the Burning Man Journal. This year’s theme is “Terra Incognita,” which translates to “the unknown land.” This is fitting as the world continues to go through a time of uncertainty and isolation.
“This is an invitation to emerge from our collective isolation, to explore the unfamiliar contours of a changed world, and to reimagine ourselves, our community, and our culture in ways that might not have been possible before this period of plague and pause,” said Stuart Mangrum, director of the Philosophical Center of Burning Man Project.
Although organizers have not committed to hosting the 2021 event, they are still making plans for the possibility of moving forward. According to a post made on the Burning Man Journal, they may require future Burners to vaccinate before attending the festival.
The Burning Man Project canceled the Black Rock City event in 2020 due to the start of the current pandemic. According to the Reno Gazette Journal, organizers predict that they will make an official decision about moving forward this year by the end of May.
After a year without Black Rock City we’re all longing to reconnect – for a going home after all that staying home…,” Mangrum said. “Our year apart has afforded us all a chance to step back and reconsider what it is we build and why.”
Organizers are considering the thoughts of fans on a potential return. They ask fans to evaluate what they feel comfortable with after going through the pandemic.
“The embarkation point of our journey is a place of sadness and separation, with millions gone forever and empty places in our lives where loved ones used to be,” Magnum said. “It’s a time of great loss, but also of rare opportunity: a chance to reevaluate, reconnect, and return to our roots, to the values that brought us together in the first place.”
Stay tuned for updates on this year’s Burning Man.