The last couple of days have been pretty bad for Burning Man's network of regional burns. First, Apogaea, Colorado's regional burn, ran into troubles when, according to user jdosser on reddit, the owner of the land it was to be held on in June in Park County bowed to neighbor pressure and effectively cancelled the event. They're reportedly looking for an alternative site now. There are 2200 unhappy Colorado burners potentially missing out on their regional. Best of luck to them!
"Dear Friends, As a community we are passing through some muddy waters, waters that have an effect on the event and on our future.
In the same vein as our previous Facebook post, we would like to be as transparent about the issues at hand as we possibly can be.
Throughout this journey, we have been aware that Midburn is a massive undertaking which thousands of people spend tons of time working on. An entire community with drive to come together, to express, and to create art in the heart of the desert.
6000 people. 400 participants from abroad. 68 Art installations that community members are have been working on for months. 87 Theme Camps.
In June of 2014 the first official Midburn event was held in which 3,000 people took part. The event was a spectacular success both in terms of the number of people who arrived as well as the level of safety and security at the event. The event ended with 0 reported police incidents, and what's more, during the event the police expressed of their own accord how impressed they were with the awareness, respectfulness and generosity of the participants.
We began the process of obtaining an event license from the Israeli Police 4 months ago.
Over a month ago we filed a document expressing our concerns regarding the licensing conditions set out by the police. Discussions were held in various forums with the police and the more we insisted on clear explanations of said requirements the more we were faced with new, stricter requirements and no explanation what so ever.
From then on, all of our requests for further meetings were met with a negative reply.
We couldn't have imagined that we would ever find ourselves in such a situation, but on Wednesday the police announced officially that they will not be approving our event license.
That same day we turned to a lawyer specializing in these types of situations, and enlisted his service. Already the next morning we received a court order to cease all of our construction work and immediately announced it to all participants. At that very moment, hundreds of volunteers working to build and to create everything from Art, to Theme Camps, to an infirmary, Center Camp and city infrastructure - stopped everything.
In parallel, we filed a request to lift the courts' cease and desist order, but the request was denied. In addition, we are filing several request with the district court and the regional court to lift the cease and desist work order. This evening (Saturday) we will be filing an additional "rush" request with the courts in order to ensure that our requests will make it to the desks of the courts tomorrow morning.
As a community in which "Civic Responsibility" is one of our strongest values, we will respect the law, and hope that the situation will change after the court hearing. However, at the moment, we have closed the city. Theme Camps, artists, community members, we are requesting that you do not arrive. We need your cooperation.
We believe that it is possible to close these gaps through proper communication and this is why we are seeking out the most direct communication channels with the chief district officer of the Negev who has been declining to meet with us from the beginning of the process.
We all hope that the situation will be solved within the next couple of days.
If you think that you might be able to help, if you have any way you might be able to contribute, please send us an email.
Midburn has already begun. The way home isn't simple or easy, but if we all come together and go forward together, We'll make it."
There's another statement on their Facebook page that reads:
As you read this, hundreds of members of the Midburn community are in the desert of Sde Boker, ready to work toward the same goal: building our temporary city. Despite the inertia, we are currently pausing all construction and its essential we explain why.
Our community works according to 10 principles that expand our ability to create and maintain our magical event. One of those principles is "Civic Responsibility" - reminding us that each and everyone of us is responsible for upholding the laws of the state of Israel, the law of the land.
The Israeli police requested at this time that we pause all building of our city until Sunday; this includes art installations, theme camps, and city infrastructure. So that's what we're doing. In parallel, together with the authorities, we are trying to find a way.
Midburn is unique and extremely different in character from any event the authorities know. We are a community that does things differently. It's natural that misunderstandings may arise. On Sunday morning we have scheduled a meeting with the authorities and we hope we will be able to close gaps is understanding.
Our dear community, we are asking all friends, volunteers, camps and artists who were planning to arrive this weekend to wait and delay their arrival until the mist clears. Yes, this messes up lots of plans. Everyone's. It's frustrating and it takes a toll on our time and resources. But its at these moments exactly that we are measured on our ability to function as a community and support one another. This is exactly what were taking about every time we use the word "community".
Now, together, we will wait patiently as a community, we will assist one another and close the gaps of misunderstanding in order to make Midburn happen.
We will update you here the moment we have new information. Sincerely with love, understanding and support."
My burning heart goes out to everyone affected in Colorado, Israel, and elsewhere. To have the rug yanked out from under you so close to both events, after all the work that goes into putting on a regional burn, must be incredibly, depressingly frustrating.