Burning Man, the annual music and arts festival which takes place in the Nevada desert, has announced it will be going virtual in 2020.

Organisers of the event announced that Burning Man will not be able to go ahead as usual due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, a virtual event will be held on the events scheduled dates, 30 August – 7 September.

The event will take place in Virtual Black Rock City – an online version of the 60,000 capacity temporary city which is constructed every year in Nevada to celebrate the festival. The event will be ticketed, and will feature a number of workshops, online gatherings and more.

In a statement on the Burning Man website, organisers said they had also had to make a number of layoffs in order to ensure the survival of the Burning Man Project, which oversees the festival and other initiatives.

The statement commented: “Ensuring our organization stays operational into next year’s event season will require substantial staff layoffs, pay reductions, and other belt-tightening measures. Burning Man Project’s survival is going to depend on ingenuity and generosity. Luckily, our community is rich in both.”

The theme for 2020’s Burning Man is ‘The Multiverse’, and organisers are leaning into this as the event goes digital.

Burning Man Project CEO Marian Goodell released a video statement on the festival’s website. In it, she said: “Burning Man is a movement. We’re not defined by one aspect of Burning Man – we are defined by what we bring to it. Burning Man is 100 community events around the world, on six continents.

“We look forward to inviting you to virtual Black Rock City. Black Rock City 2020 is in the multiverse – that is the theme, after all.”