Judge Vetoes Police, Allows Israel’s ‘Burning Man’ But Limits Nudity To Closed Areas


After several days in which police refused to give a permit to hold Midburn, Israel’s version of the “Burning Man” festival, a Beersheba Court ruled that police must approve a permit, and required that organizers adhere to some of the police demands.

The Temple of Grace burns on the last day of the Burning Man 2014 “Caravansary” arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. – Photo: REUTERS

The demands include that nudity only be allowed in closed off areas not accessible to minors, that glass bottles not be allowed inside, that motorized vehicles including bikes not be allowed, and that CCTV cameras be posted, though with the stipulation that they not be placed where they can film inside private areas.

The court also allowed the entry of vehicles for disabled people, as well as a controlled number of RVs.

In a statement on Sunday, festival organizers said police demanded that they ban the entry of vehicles for disabled people and that they post CCTV cameras that they say would also be able to film within tents where participants would be sleeping.

Organizers said Sunday that cancellation of the event, scheduled for May 20-24 in the desert in Ramat HaNegev, will cause economic damage to residents of southern Israel struggling since the summer’s war and also that Israel will miss out on “a popular cultural and artistic event that shows a beautiful face of Israel and serves as an important hasbara tool.”

Organizers said they expect 6,000 to take part in the festival, including hundreds of tourists from 48 countries.

The first Midburn was held in June 2014 in southern Israel and was attended by some 3,000 people. It’s considered a “regional Burning Man”, based on the festival which for decades has brought thousands of people to the Nevada desert for days of art installations, raves, and various forms of “radical self-expression”, including over 65,000 at 2014’s Burning Man.

Like at Burning Man, at Midburn  cash transactions are not allowed and the event is non-profit. Midburn 2015 is sold out, and the around 6,000 participants bought tickets ranging in price from NIS 480 for early purchase to NIS 580 for tickets bought closer to the festival.


View original The Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Culture/Judge-gives-go-ahead-Israels-version-of-Burning-Man-but-demands-control-of-nakedness-403406