Burning Man organizers are disputing the $2.8 million bill handed to them by the Federal Government. The amount is the apparent cost of the 2015 edition of the cross cultural beast of a festival.
The festival has issues with the Bureau of Land Management’s discretion about the details of the expenditures. They claim that the BLM has been unduly over-staffing as well as overcharging without ever explaining the charges properly. Which obviously gives rise to the doubt if the numbers are even close to correct in the first place. “If they can’t explain it, we’re asking for all of it back”- said Ray Allen, lawyer for The Burning Man.
Burning Man’s special recreation permit from BLM is the largest in the country. Reportedly, Burning Man agrees and pays for a cost estimate before the festival and the actual final accounting is submitted to them after they they do a post inspection of the festival site.
In their appeal they stated that the bill given to them by BLM consisted of charges for labor, which made up almost half the bill. The festival said that they have never required a lot of officers as there are more than a 1000 Burning Man volunteers always on ground taking care of things. Notably enough, there has also been a huge decrease and a crackdown on crime during the festival.
On the brighter side, BLM authorities have said that staffing numbers are going to go down drastically for the 2016 edition as communication between both teams has been good.
Hopefully, the case gets cleared and Burning Man has a smooth event like always this year.