Nevada's Burning Man has had its battles over permits, fees and capacity. So far it seems to be winning.
L.A.'s favorite desert party has been approved by federal authorities for four more years, contingent on a few terms. Not only that, it has a new, government-approved capacity that organizers once only dreamed of:
Nearly 70,000 people.
Wow. That's a lot of stinky ravers on the playa. What started out as a communal gathering of the psychedelically inclined has become a major music festival, if you want to see it that way:
Electric Daisy Carnival each June in Las Vegas, featuring the world's top DJs, boasts about 100,000 people on each of three days, making it one of the largest concerts in North America.
Anyway, the Bureau of Land Management (the fest is held on federal turf) says the ravers can use it, with a capacity of 68,000, so long as organizers adhere to rules governing "set-up, signage, security, public safety, resource management, debris removal, fee calculation and payment, and event take-down and clean-up."
BLM area district manager Gene Seidlitz:
Our priorities in managing this permit continue to be the protection and conservation of natural and cultural resources, as well as the safety for all participants and staffs. I feel confident the permit addresses these priorities.
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Burning Man has been held in late summer since 1990. This year it takes place Aug. 26 to Sept. 2. Info.
[Added at 2:39 p.m.]: Burning Man sent the Weekly this statement.
Black Rock City is pleased that the BLM has awarded us a 4-year permit. We are working to grow Black Rock City safely and sustainably and look forward to a great event this year.