HomeIsland LifeMiami’s Version of “Burning Man” Expected To Draw 5,000 to Virginia Key

Miami’s Version of “Burning Man” Expected To Draw 5,000 to Virginia Key

Officials say they are expecting as many as 5,000 people to attend this week’s “Love Burn” on Virginia Key, an annual event that’s billed as a regional extension of the Burning Man festival in Nevada. The goal is to “expand the limits of imagination,” according to the organization’s web site, with a theme of “Magnificent Mythical Menagerie.” 

Key Biscayne officials are meeting with organizers Tuesday, saying they only recently received notice of the annual event, which took a hiatus during the pandemic. Reports of some RVs spotted on Village streets appeared to have been some attendees waiting for their spots at the event to open, officials said. 

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Crews have been setting up at the Historic Beach Park for days, with a gate opening set for Thursday. Campers will leave on Valentines’ Day. 

Organizers say the camping event celebrates the “gifting” economy, with no vendors on site. Featured will be dozens of expressive “theme camps” that range from poetry to music to dance to some sexually-oriented content. Participants vow to adhere to a “leave no trace” commitment and there will be no vending on site. 

Some of the camp and event descriptions ranged from “On the Spot Poems” to a “Water Ceremony” to “Anatomy of a Spanking.” Art projects include items like a “Cosmic Pickle,” built from an Airstream trailer, to an “Effigy Muncher” which is described as a “fiery contraption” that will consume “sacrifices” on what is termed “burn night.” 

Village Manager Steve Williamson said the main concern is traffic. “What they choose to do there is up to them.” He said Village police informed campers that overnight camping in the Village is not permitted. 

Guy Forchion, the executive director of the Historic Virginia Key Beach Trust, said he expects participants from nearly every U.S. state. And while there is music, there is no main stage for performances. 

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Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.

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