San Francisco City Hall catches Burning Man fever 

A couple of “virgins” from City Hall will go forth into the desert next week for their first Burning Man experience — and yes, they have scored coveted tickets.

Supervisors Jane Kim and David Chiu will be flown by private jet to the Nevada desert and stay for just 24 hours at the weeklong festival. And neither has a clue what they will be donning for the costume-clad party.

“I haven’t figured out what to wear, but I can assure that I will be leaving my City Hall suits at home,” Chiu said.

Kim said she still had a week to figure out her burner fashion statement.

“I definitely want to be a participant, not just a spectator,” she said.

For the first time in its 25-year history, the annual arts and music festival that began humbly on San Francisco’s Baker Beach has sold out of tickets. As part of its expansion in San Francisco, festival organizers have been working behind the scenes to have prominent city leaders attend Burning Man.

Mayor Ed Lee and supervisors John Avalos and Malia Cohen had been courted for the trip but declined.

Supervisor Eric Mar, whose first trip was in 2010, is going this year, but not with his colleagues.

Chiu, who is running for mayor, said he was “excited” about the opportunity. He noted that the event’s San Francisco roots were a main driver in his decision and that the experience would be a learning opportunity.

“For several years I have wanted to visit Black Rock Desert to learn about how Burning Man is building a 21st-century community, creating art and fostering sustainability,” he said.

Black Rock City LLC recently moved its headquarters to the mid-Market area, which is in Kim’s district. The organization recently announced it will be phased out and replaced by a nonprofit called the Burning Man Project.

The organization has already done much for the residents of her district by sponsoring public artworks, Kim said. She said she wanted to make a trip to the actual event to see what it was all about.

The two supervisors will be taking their City Hall aides, Sunny Angulo and Dan Nguyen-Tan, along as well.

Correction: Dan Nguyen-Tan and Sunny Angulo, who are accompanying two supervisors to Burning Man are not City Hall aides as the article originally stated. Angulo is a former aide to Supervisor Jane Kim and Nguyen-Tan is a friend of both Kim and Board President David Chiu.

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