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‘Unbelievable’: Burning Man party slammed

Burning Man went virtual for the first time in its 34-year history over the weekend. But despite organisers making great efforts to ensure the annual event could go ahead in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it didn’t prevent people flouting rules in order to party.More than 1000 people attended a private gathering in San…

Burning Man went virtual for the first time in its 34-year history over the weekend.

But despite organisers making great efforts to ensure the annual event could go ahead in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it didn’t prevent people flouting rules in order to party.

More than 1000 people attended a private gathering in San Francisco to celebrate the arts festival, with footage emerging online showing huge crowds disregarding restrictions.

One local resident shared various photos and footage from the crowd after “accidentally running into” the Burning Man celebration.

One clip showed a woman in a white dress dancing for a crowd that had gathered around her as music blared.

“She’s dancing her way to her grave,” one said.

“The freaking stupidity,” another added.

Others branded the party “unbelievable” and “infuriating”.

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In another post, a photo showed a large crowd gathered around an burning effigy, similar to the ceremonial end to the annual event.

The city’s mayor, London Breed, labelled partygoers who flocked to Baker Beach, where the first Burning Man event was held back in 1986, “reckless and selfish”.

The Burning Man community has also slammed the unofficial gathering, with many who viewed the online event from their homes condemning the revellers.

One person who has volunteered at the festival for the last 21 years condemned those who celebrated in big groups, labelling it “selfish and destructive”.

“I’m willing to bet that quite a lot of you who went also shamed people prior for not wearing masks in the default world. Hypocrisy! Just selfish and destructive. You don’t care about our community,” he wrote in a Burning Man Facebook group.

“I guess I always knew, but I never really appreciated, how stupid and selfish some members of our community are until this pandemic hit,” another agreed.

“I heard they totally trashed the beach and left moop (rubbish) everywhere … so sad … where are our principles, burners,” someone else added.

Local reports stated hundreds of others congregated at Black Rock Desert, Nevada, where the festival is usually held, despite the event being cancelled months ago.

The Bureau of Land Management said it would allow participants to stay as long as they followed social distancing guidelines as well as typical camping regulations, the SF Gate reported.

The festival, which usually runs from the last weekend in August through to the first weekend in September, is famed for its wild outfits and X-rated activities.

It attracts as many as 70,000 attendees from around the world and participants agree to follow 10 core values which include embracing radical self-expression, civic responsibility and community efforts.

Continue the conversation @RebekahScanlan | rebekah.scanlan@news.com.au

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