Every year during the last week of August, tens of thousands of people flock to a scrubby patch of the Nevada desert for Burning Man, a festival that attracts ravers, aging hippies and Silicon Valley billionaires alike. And one group wants them to stay there.
Comedy group Cultivated Wit, recently released a tongue-in-cheek Kickstarter to build a 300-foot-long wall to keep Burners from returning to the Bay Area after the festival. “The week of Burning Man is the only week that the rest of us don’t have to hear about Burning Man,” says the host of the crowdfunding campaign video. “But what if that week could last forever?”
Unfortunately their scheme fell just short of its goal of $7.3 billion dollars, disappointing its 2.7 million backers. Despite enticing rewards like getting to operate a cement mixer for an hour or owning a quarter-mile segment of the wall, the group was unable to meet its goals in time to start construction.
This isn’t the group’s only attempt at crowdfunding a massive infrastructure project. According to their MegaGoGo profile, the group is currently running two other campaigns: one to reroute the Mississippi River to relieve California’s drought and another to build a tunnel spanning the Midwest because “[it’s] boring to drive through.”
However, keeping San Francisco Burner-free may not rest entirely on Cultivated Wit’s shoulders. According to New York Magazine’s Nellie Bowles, several of Burning Man’s founders and organizers have hinted at plans to acquire land near the festival site in the Black Rock Desert to build a permanent community. Several tentative plans have been proposed for a 4,000 acre site complete with hot springs and geysers, along with rumors of involvement from tech darlings like Elon Musk and Sergey Brin. For now, though, non-Burners in the Bay Area will just have to cross their fingers and hope that their neighbors don’t bring swarms of biting bugs back from the playa.