Reno Burners Struggling with Connection, Finding Artistic Outlets Amid COVID-19

An avid burner herself, Jayme Souza, looks into Reno’s Burning Man subculture and how some members have struggled to find outlets for art and creativity as well as connection with others during the ongoing pandemic.

Reynolds Sandbox
Feb 17 · 3 min read
Burning Man’s 2020 ticket stub sent out to those who purchased tickets prior to the cancellation of last year’s event. Photo Credit: Jayme Souza

Missing the Collaboration

Niki Newbold and Nick Parkey are two friends, as well as fellow burners and campmates.

“It’s really affecting everyone’s ability to get together and Burning Man’s built on large art and collaboration and it’s taken away that ability to have that spark, and that fire that’s ignites between people with being more distant. You know, it’s not just the art, it’s not just the party, it’s the community, it’s all about togetherness, and all of this makes it a lot harder to access that.”

One wall in Niki’s home dedicated is to Burning Man, including tickets, stickers, gifts and other trinkets collected during previous editions. Photo Credit: Jayme Souza

Lacking the Usual Recharge

Despite only going to Burning Man once in 2019, Nick Parkey has been a part of the Burning Man music scene personally and worked in Reno’s music and event industry for the past ten years.

The Ten Principles of Burning Man, many of which are brought back home by the Reno Burning Man community.

Uncertainties About the Next Edition

This lack of connection and expression has been something the Burning Man community in Reno has been dealing with for almost a year now, with no clear end in sight. Mid-February is typically the time that burners update their profiles on burningman.org and register for ticket sales that begin in early April, but this year it’s unsure if the event will even happen at all.

Reporting by Jayme Souza for the Reynolds Sandbox

The Reynolds Sandbox

The Reynolds Sandbox showcases innovative and engaging…

The Reynolds Sandbox

The Reynolds Sandbox showcases innovative and engaging storytelling by students with the Reynolds Media Lab.

Reynolds Sandbox

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Showcasing innovative and engaging multimedia storytelling by students with the Reynolds Media Lab in Reno.

The Reynolds Sandbox

The Reynolds Sandbox showcases innovative and engaging storytelling by students with the Reynolds Media Lab.

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