For the second year in a row, the ever-popular Burning Man desert extravaganza was canceled due to the pandemic. But that didn’t stop a group of renegade Burners from creating their own unofficial gathering in September on the Black Rock Desert playa in Northern Nevada, or another group from creating another event a month later in the Mojave Desert called the Everywhen Project.
As to the former, it spring from a Facebook group called Black Rock Plan B, and it established a Google map that allowed Burners to mark the spot where they desired to camp. Advice was provided for the many first-timers who either had previously been unable to get tickets to the real thing due to demand or price. But without Burning Man’s traditional multimillion-dollar formal organization—affectionately and only slightly cleverly known as The Org—providing the infrastructure, anyone attending Plan B was expected to be totally self-sufficient. For example, The Org provides plenty of portable toilets for the 80,000 attendees. At Plan B, Burners had to figure out their own solution.
We decided to go and outside of that interesting development, if you had been with us on the playa, you’d have never known you weren’t at the real Burning Man. Although the big, exotic high-dollar Mutant Vehicles were missing, there were plenty of low-cost art cars thrown together by those on a budget. Many of these vehicles wouldn’t have passed muster with the regular Burning Man DMV (Department of Mutant Vehicles), but cars like the beautiful translucent tiger built on a Polaris Razr UTV wowed everyone and was certainly up to Org standards.
There was zero charge to attend Plan B as it took place on public land, and close to 20,000 people showed up for what was an amazing experience. Many regular Burners said it was the best ever, and even the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rangers were super friendly and enjoyed the work, as there were very few incidents. It’s worth noting that the BLM, which is in charge of federal lands such as Black Rock, laid out several extra rules but none of them really spoiled the atmosphere. Ironically, they couldn’t enforce speed, as there is no legal speed limit on the playa—which is why it’s been the site of many land-speed record attempts. But overall, those who desired to go really fast did so miles away from the actual campsites.
The inaugural Everywhen Project took place at a deserted Mojave Desert site near California City and Hyundai’s California Proving Ground test center. It was an organized event with a charge to attend; proceeds went to art creators. As a result, there was a more structured environment—and portable toilets. Although much smaller than Plan B, it also attracted several art cars and Mutant Vehicles. Now, enjoy the vehicular sights from both Plan B and Everywhen in our photo gallery!
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