The annual Burning Man event has been canceled for the second year in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, this year, Burners can enjoy a virtual reality experience from the comfort of their own home. The virtual festivities will begin on August 22, while the Burn Week Global Live Streams will run from August 29 through September 7.
Virtual Burn: A Virtual Reality Experience
Over the past year, live entertainment and events have become at-home, personal experiences. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing pool of event organizers is leaning on immersive technologies like virtual reality to bring people together. The Burning Man Project is now part of that list.
Although the annual live event has been canceled, Burners around the world can still connect with the community using VR. This year, everyone can do it without the dust and scorching heat of the sun.
No matter where Burners are in the world, they can participate in the events for free from their home. Burners can witness 3D art on immersive playas, participate in performances, and engage in conversations with fellow community members.
There are six licensed worlds of 2021 Virtual Burning Man: BRCvr, Build-A-Burn, Burn Week: Global Live Stream, Dusty Multiverse, BURN2, Infinite Playa, and SparkleVerse. There is also BURN2, which is not a licensed world, but an official virtual Burning Man Regional event running on the SecondLife platform. Another interesting standalone experience is Luminous Lotus Temple, a “multi-sensory, interactive, and artistic immersive destination for connection, community building, and well-being,” according to Simeone Scaramozzino, producer of the Luminous Lotus Temple experience.
BRCvr expands the Burning Man Project to yet another VR experience. Along with its partner, Microsoft AltspaceVR, BRCvr is able to deliver fully immersive Burning Man experiences through a social VR platform. Whether through VR headsets or personal computers, Burners can connect and share conversations over art installations and performances.
Build-A-Burn offers browser-based virtual worlds, which Burners can explore and create for other community members. Dusty Multiverse is a 3D environment that is accessed via VR headsets or mobile devices, while SparkleVerse is a 2D digital playa, with some 3D content, that is accessible from desktop computers and mobile devices.
Another virtual reality experience that Burners can enjoy is The Infinite Playa. This photo-realistic simulation takes attendees to the heart of a virtual social world, full of art, games, music, and performances. It is accessible via PCs and Mac.
Except for Temple and Burn, the virtual experiences will require a Showclix ticket code, which you can get from the Virtual Burn website. Although these experiences are free, some will have optional paid feature upgrades.
Burn Week Global Live Stream in Virtual Reality
Burn Week is a global live stream event, which Burners can experience as part of Virtual Burn. The streams will begin on August 29 and end on September 7.
A free General Admission Pass includes access to all daily live stream events, including the burning of the Man and Temple. Burners can see the Man and Temple go up in flames in a spectacular interactive virtual display. From this virtual space, they will be able to share photos, chat, and create camps.
An Extended Experience Pass covers all of the above. Plus, Burners can visit the broadcasts over and over again for up to 30 days after the event. To celebrate the Virtual Burn, Burners can start video watch parties with their closest community members.
How to Attend Burning Man Virtual Reality Experience
Prior to cancelation, the 2021 Burning Man was scheduled to take place from August 26 to September 3 at Black Rock Desert, Nevada. In a statement, the event organizers stated that they are aiming for Black Rock City 2022.
In the meantime, Burners can enjoy the Virtual Worlds starting on August 22. From August 29 to September 7, they can also participate in live community-created content and witness the Burn Man Live.
You can RSVP to this free event here. After, you will receive a code. You have to enter it in AltspaceVR to gain access to the festival area.
As long as you have a stable internet connection, a virtual reality headset, or a PC, you can participate in the virtual reality experience. Most VR headsets are compatible with the live event, including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Quest 1, and Quest 2.