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If you’ve always wanted to go to Burning Man, this year’s festival may be your best chance as this year’s Burning Man will (mostly) be a virtual experience due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While longtime attendees will certainly miss the community vibes of going to Burning Man in person, hopefully the free social VR experience “BCRvr” (Black Rock City VR) can capture some of the magic. BCRvr will host “Hundreds of worlds and art installations, performances and hundreds of hours of events that encourage conversation, radical self-expression and connection” during this year’s “Virtual Burn Week” from August 29th to September 7th.

BCRvr is accessed through the AltspaceVR app, so you’ll need to do this from the AltspaceVR website, the Windows Store, steam, or the Oculus store if you want to participate. There is also a Beta version available for Mac.

Note that a VR headset is not required to run AltspaceVR or to attend the BCRvr events. You can run the app from your computer using your keyboard and mouse. If you plan to take part in VR, AltspaceVR supports the headsets HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest 1 and Quest 2 as well as “Windows Mixed Reality-enabled platforms”.

How to participate in BCRvr 2021 for free

  1. Download the AltspaceVR app. A VR headset is also optional here.
  2. Run the app and create your AltspaceVR account and avatar.
  3. RSVP for BCRvr here before Virtual Burn Week. You will receive a code by email with which you can access the BRCvr festival menu in AltspaceVR.
  4. Once Virtual Burn Week is live, go to the BCRvr hub in AltspaceVR and join with the RSVP code. Once inside, you will have access to all of the different events that take place during the festival.

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If you run into problems, check the official BCRvr onboarding guide for troubleshooting tips.

Other ways to attend Burning Man 2021

In addition to BCVvr in AltspaceVR, there will also be many other free online activities such as workshops, forum discussions, digital art installations, and live streams that don’t require apps or VR headsets. You can check that out Burning Man 2021 website For more information.

Burning Man isn’t just a collection of digital events this year. Personal art installations are happening all over the world, and some intrepid burners are planning to visit the physical block of Rock City later this year. The official Burning Man has guidelines when visiting Black Rock City to ensure that everyone attending the (unofficial) gathering is safe, respectful and does not endanger future Burning Man festivals.