Burning Man Permitting Beef Settled

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed June 5 a law that will streamline the permitting process for events like Burning Man held on federal lands in the wake of an April 26 lawsuit filed by the festival’s organizers claiming alleged unconstitutional fee increases.

“This is a huge victory for the Burning Man event,” Raymond Allen, Black Rock City, LLC government affairs rep, told Burningman.com “The law ensures local permitting requirements won’t infringe upon the First Amendment rights of Burning Man participants.”

AB374, which goes into effect July 1, gives counties the right to opt out of state permitting requirements for events like Burning Man that are held on federal land and already go through a strict federal permitting process.

Pershing County commissioners are said to have already approved a resolution to permanently exempt Burning Man from county permit requirements, according to the website.

Black Rock City LLC, the nonprofit that hosts the week-long festival at Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, sued Pershing County last August for allegedly using an outdated ordinance to single out the annual art and music event and increase it’s costs to the county from about $180,000 in 2011 to more than $600,000 this year, which could have made it too pricey to keep the event there.