Burning Man attendee Shane Billingham, 33, had a deadly concentration of carbon monoxide in this bloodstream, according to his autopsy report. The amount of toxic gas in his system “would be considered poisonous to human life”. Toxicology reports stated that various controlled substances in his body expedited the carbon monoxide poisoning. The noxious gas likely omitted from a generator in the campsite.

Shane Billingham was staying at the Beats Boutique campsite. Friends found him in his vehicle and attempted CPR. Once emergency personnel arrived, Billingham was sadly pronounced dead. The lead of the Beats Boutique camp Steve MacWithey emotionally told the Reno-Gazette Journal that Billingham was “one of the best people I’ve ever known.” He also shared that his friend was a hard worker, a lover of sustainable farming and someone who could always be counted on.

This unfortunate death is in addition to a fatal car crash, as well as a plane crash that left two people seriously injured.

The Future of Burning Man

The tragedies do not bode well for Burning Man. Its organizers are fighting to receive a permit to host the festival for the next 10 years in the desert. In order to obtain this permit, the Nevada Bureau of Land Management (NBLM) must analyze the environmental, economic and social impacts the event has on the surrounding areas. One proposition from the NBLM is to set up a 10-mile concrete barrier to “enhance site security, define the event site, and prevent windblown trash from leaving the site”. However, festival organizers believe this wall is in “direct conflict with the community’s core principles”.

Stay tuned for more updates on Burning Man.