Wed, Sep 03, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Burning Man art and music festival makes crowd limit

AP, RENO, Nevada

The Burning Man counterculture festival drew a peak crowd of nearly 66,000 celebrants as it neared an end on Monday in the northern Nevada desert.

The official peak attendance of 65,922 on Friday last week was within the population cap of 68,000 the US Bureau of Land Management imposed on the quirky art and music festival 177km north of Reno, said Gene Seidlitz, manager of the agency’s Winnemucca District.

The number was down from last year’s record peak crowd of 69,613, which resulted in organizers being placed on probation for a second time in three years for violating the limit.

Organizers had been warned that if they were placed on probation a second straight year, the agency might suspend or cancel their permit.

“That [crowd size] is not a problem this year,” Seidlitz said, adding the attendance cap was one of 55 conditions organizers had to comply with.

“We don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t meet all other stipulations,” Burning Man spokesman Jim Graham said.

Overall, the weeklong festival was successful and safe except for the death of a 29-year-old Wyoming woman on Thursday last week who was strucin the Black Rock Desert, Seidlitz said.

Rain early on closed the gate for a day — the longest closure in the event’s history — and dust storms caused occasional whiteout conditions on Friday.

However, the festival’s eclectic artwork, offbeat theme camps, concerts and other entertainment drew praise from participants from around the world.

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