A woman was killed at Burning Man just after midnight the morning of August 28th.
According to Burning Man spokesman Jim Graham, Alicia Louise Cipicchio, a 29-year-old resident of Jackson, Wyoming, suffered fatal injuries early Thursday morning after falling under a large vehicle at the annual Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada near the Center Camp at the festival.
It is not known whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident but Burning Man organizers are continuing to work with law enforcement to investigate the accident.
This is an unfortunate event but not completely uncommon as deaths do happen at Burning Man due to the location of the festival.
Humboldt General Hospital is more than 120 miles from Black Rock City, but travel time is more than 6 hours because of the roads. The shortest travel time also adds 100 miles to the trip, and while the hospital has a helipad for air transport, dispatching and getting there still takes time.
Burners should be aware that medical care beyond what volunteer doctors and health-care workers provide can be tough to get quickly and that while the most recent death before today was in 2007 when an attendee fell under a trailer, the risk Burners take when migrating to Black Rock City is very high.
Our thoughts go out to the family, friends and camp mates of the victim.
It’s that time of the year again. In honor of the Burning Man festival beginning today in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, we’d like to answer a few common questions about this special event.
What is Burning Man and where does it take place? Burning Man has been around for over 25 years is now one of the most famous art and music festivals in the world. The event takes place in a temporary city called Black Rock City (or The Playa as it is otherwise known) that is built in a barren stretch of desert and comprised of various self-sustaining camps or villages.
When does Burning Man take place? Burning Man begins the week prior to Labor Day and runs through the Labor Day weekend. In 2014, the Burning Man dates are Monday, August 25th to Monday, September 1st. How big is the festival? In 2013, nearly 70,000 people traveled into Nevada for the event and it brought an estimated $55 million in economic impact to Northern Nevada, up from $44 million in 2012. Is it just a bunch of hippies hanging out in the desert? No. Tech moguls, socialites, heirs and heiresses, and Hollywood starlets have all been attendees of Burning Man.
How do people get around on The Playa? Due to the delicate nature of the Black Rock Desert as well as the dust levels, burners are asked to only use their vehicles to reach their campsite and either walk or use bicycles to get around following their arrival.
What’s the deal with the 10 Principles of Burning Man? The 10 Principles of Burning Man were written by Burning Man Founder, Larry Harvey, in 2004 and were crafted not as strict rules of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community’s spirit and culture as it developed since the event’s founding. The 10 Principles of Burning Man are as follows:
1) Radical Inclusion Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community. 2) Gifting Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value. 3) Decommodification In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience. 4) Radical Self-reliance Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources. 5) Radical Self-expression Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient. 6) Communal Effort Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction. 7) Civic Responsibility We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws. 8) Leaving No Trace Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them. 9) Participation Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart. 10) Immediacy Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.
Are you or someone you know attending Burning Man this year? Tweet Us at @InsuringEvents