Government Sticks It to the Burning Man With $2.8 Million Bill for Land Use

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Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Burning Man is supposed to be a place where freedom reigns supreme, a place where people practice communal living in tents, expressing their true selves through various forms of undress, drug use, rolling around in dust storms, and trippy art installations. Unfortunately, the use of land isn’t as free as the ’tude. Just over a month before the 2016 edition of the nine-day festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, the festival’s lawyers are disputing the $2.8 million bill the government charged the organizers for last year's use of the national-conservation area. According to the AP, the festival takes umbrage with the price tag, claiming that the Bureau of Land Management hasn’t fully explained the tab."If they can't explain all of it, then we're asking for all of it back," said Burning Man lawyer Ray Allen. And really, BOLM (an acronym we may have just made up), you should be ashamed of yourself, charging a small sold-out festival of tens of thousands of people, many of whom are tech zillionaires arriving on private jets, that last year made over $30 million in revenue, for use of your precious, protected desert.