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Burning Man organizers sue over new local rules

RENO, Nev. — Organizers of the Burning Man arts festival have filed a federal lawsuit against local officials for imposing an ordinance that could require participants to wear clothing and otherwise tone things down a bit at the event dedicated to radical self-expression.

There's always plenty of nudity at Burning Man, held annually in the northern Nevada desert. Starting in 2013, the local festival ordinance will enable sheriff's deputies to regulate activities they consider to be "obscene, indecent, vulgar, or lewd."

The ordinance also could prohibit children from attending.

Burning Man organizer Black Rock City LLC filed suit in U.S. District Court in Nevada on Thursday. The lawsuit alleges the festival ordinance, which never before has been applied to Burning Man, would bring significant new costs and restrictions to the event.

The rules will change the nature of Burning Man and it's not within the authority of Pershing County to do that, said Marian Goodell, a Black Rock City board member.


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