San Francisco's mayor has described as 'absolutely reckless and selfish' a crowd of over 1,000 partygoers who descended on a city beach on Saturday night to unofficially celebrate Burning Man.
London Breed, mayor of the city, said on Sunday that she had closed the parking lot at Ocean Beach to prevent a repeat of Saturday's gathering.
'Last night, over 1,000 people crowded on Ocean Beach to celebrate Burning Man,' she tweeted on Sunday.
'This was absolutely reckless & selfish. You are not celebrating. You are putting people's lives at risk. You are putting our progress at risk. No one is immune from spreading the virus.
'We've heard people may return tonight. Don't do it.'
Ocean Beach, beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, was awash with lights and partygoers
Fliers circulating on Facebook promoted the event, with a series of DJs and bands announced
Local television station KPIX5 broadcast scenes showing DJs and light installations
Fires were lit on Ocean Beach as Californians celebrated the canceled festival
Breed, mayor since July 2018, said that police patrols had been stepped up along the waterfront.
'We will be closing the parking lots at Ocean Beach. Law enforcement will be patrolling.
'We know people love Burning Man & people want to get together this weekend. But we all need to do our part. Stay home, stay safe.'
Burning Man, due to be held this weekend in Nevada, was canceled due to COVID-19, and was celebrated online. Some people have still traveled to the site, with the Bureau of Land Management permitting camping, provided they follow social distancing guidelines.
On social media, people posted photos showing the Baker Beach gathering
One partygoer said it was 'such an honor' to be celebrating Burning Man on Baker Beach
The festival begun in San Francisco in 1986, when artist Larry Harvey and his friend Jerry James knocked together an improvised wooden figure and dragged it down to Baker Beach on the Summer Solstice. They light it up, and a curious crowd gathers to watch it burn.
A small crowd also gathered at Baker Beach on Saturday night.
But the problem, Breed said, was at Ocean Beach, where loud music and flickering colored lights were seen along the water edge and a crowd was seen partying.