The gate to enter Burning Man was officially closed Friday morning because the population had reached its limit of 68,000, a representative from the Pershing County Sheriff told the Black Rock Beacon, a daily newspaper at Burning Man.
“New attendees were only being admitted when a Burner left. As of Friday morning there were 190 vehicles waiting to enter BRC,” according to the Saturday edition of the Black Rock Beacon.
The organizers of Burning Man (BMORG) are "expecting 11-12 hour delays at Exodus,” which is usually the time from Saturday night after the Man burns to Monday night, the paper said.
The Man is scheduled to burn Saturday night around 9:30 p.m. For the first time, a live video stream of the event will be online and include shots from the Man’s perspective, with four (we’ve been told) cameras mounted in the Man.
The weather has been as close to perfect as you can ask for, with mild days and warmer than usual nights with no warm layers needed yet this year.
Thursday night the Circle of Regional Effigies (C.O.R.E. Project) kicked off the weekend of art burning, as 24 projects from all over the world were set ablaze at 9 p.m.
Friday night the Cradle of Mir, a large wooden structure surrounding a 1/3 wooden scale replica of the Mir Space Station, from Moscow, Russia burned before a number of other pieces were transformed into a pile of ash through the night.
Midnight church burnings seem to be a thing this year, with Rebekah Waites’ Church Trap, from Los Angeles, going up in flames Friday night at the stroke of midnight, followed by Petaluma’s Mike Garlington’s Photochapel set to burn Saturday night at midnight.
“I always wanted to burn a church and not go to jail,” Garlington said as part of his inspiration and excitement about his piece this year, a favorite of many.
So far no whiteout dust storms this year and despite more than 10,000 people here than ever before, Black Rock City is basically the same as it ever was.