Burning Man attendance stays well within BLM cap

  • The Man burns on the playa at Burning Man on the Black Rock Desert near Gerlach, Nev. on Friday August 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Andy Barron, Reno Gazette Journal)

RENO, Nev. — The Burning Man festival on the Nevada desert drew crowds well within the maximum attendance cap allowed by federal land managers, a year after its organizers were placed on probation for exceeding the limit.

The peak population of the offbeat art and music festival was 52,385 on Friday, down 1.7 percent from 53,735 a year ago, said Gene Seidlitz, manager of the Bureau of Land Management's Winnemucca Field Office.

The agency established a daily attendance cap of 60,900 for this year's gathering.

The annual celebration of radical self-expression is held over the week leading up to Labor Day on the Black Rock Desert, 110 miles north of Reno.

Last year, BLM officials placed organizers on probation and threatened to pull their license after finding them in non-compliance for exceeding the attendance cap at the 2011 festival.

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