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Burning Man is facing a big problem just months before its 2019 edition. The festival’s request for growth of up to 100,000 attendees was just denied. Annually, they’ve been hosting an increasing audience of up to a whopping 80,000. But this year marks the first time they expect about 20,000 more might show up.The Bureau of Land Management denied the request on the grounds of extra law enforcement needed to facilitate the festival. “The city of Reno, Nevada Department of Transportation, Nevada Highway Patrol as well as the Bureau of Land Management could not support the growth, particularly because there are other events going on during Labor Day. One-third of BLM law enforcement officers nationwide are required to patrol the event at the current size, but one half would be required if it grew to 100,000.” shared Rudy Evenson, a spokesperson of the federal agency.

Both Burning Man and BLM had been in conflict with each other these past few months. First, the agency is planning to implement mandatory drug screenings at the event. Though they might get a third-party private security firm to conduct them, they’re still planning to have them on the entrances to the venue. Evenson told the Reno Gazette-Journal that they’re looking to fully implement this next year.

Furthermore, the agency has yet to approve the festival’s permit to hold its annual event on the Black Rock City site for another decade. The Nevadan site has been Burning Man’s home since 1990. However, since they denied the request for growth, there’s now a bigger chance they might deny this permit too. The agency has yet to comment on this issue.Burning Man 2019 will run from August 25, 2019, until September 2, 2019.

Image Credits:

  1. Burning Man Request Denied Featured Image – Business Insider
  2. People at Burning Man – NME.com
  3. Night Burning Man – New York Post.com