Chronicle: Burning Man Now “Mainstream”

The San Francisco Chronicle has written about Burning Man’s non-profit transition. They’re a bit late to the punch, and skip over the fundamental details, but they’re praiseworthy nonetheless, and there seems to be some new information here about BMOrg’s future plans.

photo Frederic Larson, The Chronicle

photo Frederic Larson, The Chronicle

Burning Man, the desert bacchanalia for 68,000, has officially left the counterculture and become part of the mainstream. It is now a certified nonprofit just like the San Francisco Symphony, Ballet and Opera.

…Burning Man became too big for the LLC. A week in the desert extended to spontaneous year-round activities referred to as “the regional network.”

The original LLC could not control or support the burner culture worldwide, so in 2011 the nonprofit Burning Man Project was formed to operate separately but in the same headquarters building as the Burning Man LLC. It has taken another three years to transition the LLC into a subsidiary of the nonprofit Burning Man Project.

This means that both the annual Burning Man and the 40 local events that take place throughout the year on six continents will work together.

From a financial point of view, nonprofit status allows Burning Man to raise money outside of ticket sales, previously the primary source of funding. On an annual basis, 68,000 people pay $190 to $650 per ticket. On top of that, a fundraising goal of $1 million has been set for 2014.

The additional funds that will be raised from donations and foundation grants can be used to commission art created for the regional network.

One new initiative is “Big Art for Small Towns,” which will bring new and existing art from Burning Man to places that might not be in the normal sphere of the event and its culture. The first of these is Fernley, Nev., a small town on Interstate 80 east of Sparks. Nevada-based sculptor Pan Pontoja will create a piece called “Desert Tortoise” that will be installed with community input and partial funding from a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

Burning Man is also getting into the conference game, sponsoring its first in Las Vegas this fall.

Meanwhile, late last year Burning Man moved into new offices on Alabama Street in San Francisco’s Mission District. There are more than 50 full-time employees, and 17 members on the board of directors.

$1 million in fundraising? That’s a lot of scarves - although they’ve more than covered it just in vehicle passes. Now they’re getting into the conference game too, with their first one in Vegas this fall: “Burn-Dex”, perhaps? If anyone knows more about this please share.

Clarification of Decommodification

Burning Man’s recent announcement of a “successful transition” to a non-profit, implied that this transition has now been completed. The Reno Gazette Journal said “completed“, SFist said “fully transitioned“, and the Huffington Post called it “official” and said “the new nonprofit will unify the two entities, solidifying its cultural stronghold”. Burning Man founder Larry Harvey said “the truth is…we’ve surrendered all rights of ownership”.

decommodification a_lack_thereof_thumbWe (and others) raised the question “wait a minute – how does Decommodification, LLC fit into the picture”? This privately held for-profit company is independent of the non-profit Burning Man Project and its wholly owned subsidiary Black Rock City LLC, which operates the festival. Despite controlling the “crown jewels” of Burning Man, its trademarks and other intellectual property, it was not mentioned by BMOrg in their announcement. They also neglected to mention the transfer of the Gerlach properties from Black Rock City LLC to Black Rock City Properties LLC, and the recent formation of yet another private company controlled by the founders, Gerlach Holdings LLC.

The subsequent Internet discussion has prompted Larry Harvey to come forward to share further information about what is actually going on. It seems that, in fact, the transition has not been fully completed, and won’t be for at least three more years, when the transfer becomes subject to a unanimous vote of the six founders:

I will address two lingering perplexities. It has been asked if we intend to reveal the financial records of Black Rock City LLC. The answer is yes; that too will happen at about the same time as the Burning Man Project reveals its information—these two entities will then become a clean well-lighted suite of rooms thrown open for inspection. But I cannot guaranty that even this amount of disclosure will satisfy everyone. Even then, I suppose that some will look for skeletons in closets, or search for sliding walls that might conceal a dungeon.

So let me make one last comment regarding Decommodification LLC, which is viewed by some as a sort of sinister outbuilding that is separate from both the event organization and the Burning Man Project. My fellow founders and I are the sole members of this entity whose chief property is the name “Burning Man”. This too will be transferred to the non-profit in three years time, unless the partners elect “not” to do so by a unanimous vote. This arrangement is designed to force our hand.

The Burning Man event organization has used this trademark power to protect our community’s culture from being exploited. We have done this very diligently over several years (it is a right of ownership that must exercised, or it will perish). Furthermore, we have not relied on licensing this intellectual property as a source of revenue. The reason for this 3-year interval is that even we do not invest blind faith in the new non-profit’s workings, and we want to be perfectly sure that it can be relied upon, in the face of temptations that arise within any organization when dealing with power or money, to pursue the policies that we have practiced.

I want to thank everyone who has participated in this discussion. Regardless of divisions of opinion, it certainly shows that people care. Such discourse will be very helpful when we roll out the entire agreement that governs this transition. It has taken my partners and I four full years, as we’ve confronted stacks of documents written in densely worded legalese, to gain a grasp of what all of this means and how it will function. So I suppose that, when this veritable elephant of information is made public, there will be those who grasp its tail, others who will seize its ears, and still others who will locate a mole on its butt (and then perhaps suspect that the entire creature is cancerous).

This certainly will be a lot to digest, and we plan to develop a very extensive Q & A document that will help interpret it. The issues and concerns that have arisen here, and those that will surface in future discussions focusing on the operation of the Burning Man Project, will help us to create this guide, and whether your initial response is thumbs up, or thumbs down, or somewhere in between, you are all a part of this

This is kind of an important detail to the story! To paraphrase: “we’ve transitioned to a non-profit, except for the actual assets. We put those into new for-profit companies that we control independently. We may transfer them in three years based on a unanimous vote”.

Would they have admitted this without our questioning? Well, they’ve had four full years to, and they haven’t said anything before.

We give Larry and his co-founders the benefit of the doubt that soon we’re going to see a new level of financial transparency from BMOrg, as well as transparency about what their “hundred year plan” is. It would be a shame if Burners had to wait another three years or more to find out what is really going on with the future of our culture.

Decommodification, Incorporated

The Burning Man Project made a long-awaited big announcement this week:

It’s been a long time coming: we’re excited to announce that Burning Man achieved an historic milestone in January with the successful transition of the 24-year-old organization to a non-profit organization! The process has taken nearly three years, and now more than ever we’re positioned to support the global cultivation of art and community based on the 10 Principles.

“After 24 years of tending our garden in the desert, we now have the means to cultivate its culture worldwide,” said founder Larry Harvey. “Sometimes things just pop and this is one of those moments.”

In the late 1990s the founders needed to form a corporation to run the event and opted to create a Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Black Rock City LLC — because it made the best sense at the time. But an LLC is not designed to meet the needs of our growing culture and it wouldn’t survive beyond the founders’ lifetime. Our mission has always been to serve the community, and a non-profit public benefit corporation is the most socially responsible option to ensure and protect the future of Burning Man.

The non-profit Burning Man Project was created in August 2011 and received its 501(c)3 status in May 2012. On December 27, 2013, the Burning Man Project Board of Directors voted to make Black Rock City LLC a subsidiary and is now the sole shareholder of the LLC, which will continue to manage the event in the desert. The transition became official January 1, 2014

The Burning Man Project is now the sole shareholder of Black Rock City, LLC. What is Black Rock City, LLC? A for-profit business that puts on the annual Burning Man event.

Marian Goodell shared her future hopes with the Huffington Post:

“We’ll be taking the momentum people were getting from their experience at Burning Man and working to manifest it in our own communities,” Marian Goodell, who will oversee the new nonprofit, told The Huffington Post. “There are opportunities for people to do what they’ve learned at Burning Man outside Burning Man. We’ll help them tap into each other.”

Goodell said she hopes the larger nonprofit will become a portal that connects regional Burning Man groups around the globe, providing funding for certain projects and receiving funding from others. “We’ll be a philosophical center and a network node, connecting individuals and groups to one another,” she said.

“In our more exciting moments, any one of us who has been to Burning Man thinks it can change the world,” she added. “It brings people hope, and it makes people less afraid of others. It transcends religion and politics. It’s worth it to expose others to what we’ve learned from this cultural experience.”

I’m still struggling to understand how BMOrg, a quarter century into their hundred-year plan, can take this rave and ritual effigy burn and use it to change the world and bring people hope. BMOrg inventing a new vehicle tax? The world didn’t even blink. Taking a UFO to Vegas? Probably not going to be #1 on TripAdvisor any time soon. The Founders, Speaking? Bear giving TEDx talks? Billionaires  handing out pancakes? I mean, I get what Marco Cochrane is trying to do, and I see how the message he wants his art to convey inspires people and transcends religion and politics. That’s how Burners can change the world. Lightning in a Bottle are teaching a message of empowerment through the Lucent Temple of Consciousness. Burning Man has a “Hug Deli”, and camps where you can be water-boarded or tasered. Envision Festival in Costa Rica is showcasing local talent as well as international acts. Burning Man don’t support the music industry in any way, and are still hating on sound camps – 300 Watts and 90 decibels is all you’re allowed in the city. That’s about the same as a lawnmower, why are we driving hundreds of miles away from civilization just to live in Suburbia? Why is nudity good, and music bad?

Larry Harvey added some further insights in the comments on the official blog:

The truth is that the Burning Man Project now employs all but one of the former owners of Black Rock City LLC.

This means we have surrendered all rights of ownership. Formerly, as owners of a private business, my partners and I possessed the unhindered right to do whatever we chose to do with revenues generated by our enterprise, but this is no longer the case. As employees of the new non-profit, we are now subject to federal standards regarding private inurement. And this means, among other things, that we have no right to pocket profits garnered by our former business, which, given the event’s potential for growth, could amount to a great deal of money. Furthermore, any future salaries we receive as employees of the Burning Man Project must be commensurate with compensation received by employees who work for similar non-profits. To put this even more bluntly: if we expect anything further once this transfer is completed, we must sing for our supper; our days as capitalists will be over.

I know there are some persons, who chose to think that we were retiring, but the former owners of Burning Man have never asserted this. The truth, in fact, is that some of us have nearly doubled our workload. We will continue to sit on the executive board that directs the Burning Man event. This alone could be considered to be a full-time occupation. But we will do this as volunteers without compensation, and it is our intention, once the complex task of fully integrating these two operations is completed, to transfer the running of the Burning Man event into the capable hands of those employees we have worked with all these years. But even as we strive to do this, my colleagues and I also intend to serve the Project as leaders of a movement that will carry Burning Man’s culture out into the world— and it is clear to me that this will be as time consuming and as challenging as all that came before it.

burning man design markSo wait – does this mean the Founders have stepped back and given everything to charity? Well, not quite. It sounds nice, and Larry calls it “the truth”, but unfortunately, it ain’t “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

The value in this conglomerate of for-profit and tax-exempt businesses is in its intangible assets. The brands and trademarks, which are key to future licensing revenues. And who owns the IP – the Intellectual Property? Well, that is another company again – a privately held company formed in 2010 called Decommodification, LLC.

Larry Harvey serves as the Managing Member and has interests in other corporate entities including Gerlach Holdings LLCBlack Rock City LLC and two more corporations. Larry’s past corporate affiliations include Burning Man 97, LLCBurning Man 98, LLC .

Harley Dubois is the Managing Member of Decommodification LLC. Harley’s additional corporate interests includeGerlach Holdings LLCBlack Rock City LLC .

The Managing Member of Decommodification LLC is Marian Goodell. . Marian has other corporate interests including Burning Man ProjectGerlach Holdings LLC .

The registered agent for the company is Brooke Oliver. Also known as a statutory or resident agent, the registered agent is responsible for receiving legal notifications regarding court summons, lawsuits, and other legal actions involving the corporate entity.

Larry Harvey, Marian Goodell, and former aerobics instructor Harley Dubois are the public officers of this secretive company, which appears to be totally independent from the Burning Man Project. Black Rock City, LLC pays royalties to Decommodification, LLC to license their trademarks.

From the new ticket terms and conditions:

“I acknowledge that the name “Burning Man” is a trademark owned by Decommodification LLC and licensed to BRC, and that BRC LLC has been given the sole right to license and enforce that trademark, and that all of Burning Man’s logos, trademarks or other intellectual property are owned by Decommodification LLC and licensed to BRC, and I understand that these two organizations control all rights regarding the licensing and reproduction of any imagery recorded at the Event. I agree that I will not use the mark “Burning Man,” the logos of Decommodification LLC or BRC LLC, or the likeness, drawings or representations of the Man or of the Black Rock City map, or any other trademark of Decommodification LLR or BRC”

money burningThis means that control of the Burning Man brand, and the lucrative revenue streams attached to that year round, is even more firmly in the hands of the founders than before. It is a convenient vehicle for them to pull money out of the party, without the Burners and volunteer workers who contribute to it knowing what’s really going on.

Who gets the $150k from Vogue photo shoots? Is this a tax deduction for Vogue? It doesn’t look that way. It looks like that’s “brand licensing”, not “event”, which means they’d be dealing with the brand owners: Decommodification, LLC. Who sends out the IP-related lawsuits? Looks like that’s Decommodification – they’ve already been involved in a Federal Court trademark dispute.

BMOrg say:

The immediate logistical priority is to migrate aspects of the [Black Rock City] LLC operations into the Burning Man Project and rework the internal business processes so they are adaptable to the regulations that govern non-profits. As we will attain success and experience challenges in specific areas we will endeavor to communicate what’s going on as often and as transparently as possible.

The Burning Man Project is a public benefit organization, and our intention is to build the network of connectivity through relationships with individuals, organizations and government entities. We have great ambitions for what we sometimes refer to at HQ as a “100 year plan.” We’re a little over a quarter century into that plan… and our best days are still ahead.

cash cowThe Burning Man Project is a public benefit organization, but Decommodification, LLC is not. It’s a privately held cash cow. Some indication of what “Decommodification” means to the owners can be found in the trademarks they’ve filed:

Decommodification, LLC owns the trademarks “Burning Man”, “Decommodification”, and “Burning Man Brew” – yes, a beer. Ah, the irony!

Here’s a more detailed list of the trademarks they own:

Burning Man Design Mark: Organizing community festivals featuring art exhibits; conducting entertainment exhibitions in the nature of art festivals, entertainment in the nature of art festivals . First used 4/8/1995. Transferred from Michael Mikel.

Burning Man Brew: Beer; Beer, ale, lager, stout and porter; Brewed malt-based alcoholic beverage in the nature of a beer. First used in commerce 8/11/2012. Transferred from Erin Hawn (Washington DC).

Decommodification: Commercial administration and quality control over the exploitation and licensing of intellectual property by others. 

Decommodification, LLC licenses the trademarks to Black Rock City, LLC – a for-profit subsidiary of the Burning Man Project. The licensing terms are not known, in the 2012 Afterburn Report there are 3 expense items that might cover this payment:

BLM and other usage fees

$1,868,033

Fees, Agency permits, royalties, Damages & Losses

$57,075

Tax and Licenses (state and federal, payroll, misc)

$154,994

Note that the Afterburn Reports are not a public set of accounts. It is an unaudited list of expenses, we have to take their word for it that they’re complete and accurate – remember, they “forgot to count” $1.3 million a couple of years back. The Afterburns only apply to the event, and other revenue captured through licensing, royalties, and merchandise is not accounted for at all in these reports.

Bottom line? Non-profits don’t have to pay any tax, but they can’t distribute profits to the owners. However, they can pay license fees to private companies that the owners control. Decommodification, LLC seems to have much less transparency than Black Rock City, LLC ever did, or than the Burning Man Project will be required to have as a registered tax-exempt non-profit. Bait-n-switch indeed.

Dr Devious’s Gypsy Circus and Sideshow Carnival

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll be familiar with the refrain “if you don’t like it, start your own”. It’s a BMOrg “talking point” that their allies like to parrot when they come to our site to blast back at us for posting anything that is critical of the almighty BMOrg. You know, BMOrg, the ones who say “everything’s fine because we’re a non-profit now”, while they run the World’s Biggest Guest List and come up with ticket lotteries, new taxes and scalper opportunities, $150 scarves, and all manner of absurd lawsuits - always, at the expense of the Burner community.

Well, once again, someone has tried to start their own alternative, and once again, BMOrg is trying to shut them down.

Newsflash, people: it is possible to LOVE Burning Man, and NOT LOVE the organization that profits from it. They are two three different things. One, is an annual party put on by us Burners. We bring all the art, art cars, music, drinks, food, and everything else you get given for free. There are “No Spectators”. The other, is a mysterious organization that makes all the money from this, who are prone to making public statements that are not congruent with their public actions. The organization that actually puts on the event is technically Black Rock City, LLC, a subsidiary of the Burning Man Project, a 501(c)3 charitable corporation; but, most of the work actually gets done by another group of Burners who are key to the event, DPW – Burning Man’s Department of Public Works. DPW are primarily volunteers who go to the desert for months to build the city where we put the party on. We mention them to point out to newbies that the people who build the party are not the same as the people who send the lawsuits out, but they’re not part of this discussion, we love those guys and gals, we rely on them, there’ve been no posts critical of DPW at this blog.

The problem with “if you don’t like it, start your own”, is that this friendly non-profit BMOrg corporation that is “trying to spread Burner culture around the world”, will threaten you with legal action at the slightest hint that you actually are spreading Burner culture around the world. Meaning that, in their minds, ALL BURNER CULTURE EVERYWHERE BELONGS TO THEM FOREVER. And they can monetize it however they like, as much as they like, and stop everyone else while they’re at it. This would be OK if they were Microsoft and Oracle, and had spent billions to create proprietary intellectual property that they licensed fairly to a global market. In this case, though, BMOrg are more like Linux. The success and strength of what they’ve created has come from those who’ve contributed to it, and is due to its open source nature, liberal intellectual property licensing, crowd-sourcing, and crowd-funding. Linus doesn’t go around suing people who contribute to his code, he doesn’t try to get forks in the code shut down. Companies like Red Hat have been very successful at monetizing the free, open source Linux, without doing anything to take its value away from anyone else in the world. The $30 million+/year tax free BMOrg juggernaut, allied with Rockefellers and Rothschilds, boasts a considerable team of lawyers –  lawyers who have no problems suing governments, getting laws changed to suit them, or correcting judges in the media. Any little old Burners inspired by Larry Harvey’s speeches that “it was OK just to do things, without worrying about the venue and without worrying about permission, without unduly worrying about the purpose, and to do these things in a spirit of pure self expression that was shared with other folks”, are going to have to figure out a way to stand up to this formidable crew of One-Percenters. 

dr devious gypsy circusWe’ve covered this topic before over the years, especially in these three pieces:

Love It Or Leave It

Do Not Use The Words Burning Man

The Fishy Smell of Corporate Excess

Well, record attendance numbers, a sold out show, and the public statements from the Founders that their non-profit future is as “Catalyst for creative culture in the world”, have done nothing to change a wolf into a sheep. This is still the same greedy, rapacious, litigious beast as ever. Their latest victim? Some Burners in Southern California, who dare to have an event on private land where they burn an effigy. Do they use photos from Burning Man to promote their event? NO. Do they use the words Burning Man or Black Rock City? NO. What’s their crime, then? It appears to be someone writing about the event in a blog, saying that like Burning Man you have to bring your own generators and provisions. How committed are BMOrg to money? So much so, that their representatives change their names to demonstrate where their loyalties lie:

“$teven Ra$pa, Arts Advocate & Community Event Producer, Burning Man”

Mr $teven Raspa, Arts Advocate , would seem to be the same person as $teven Ra$pa, Regional Network Committee, who sent the letter below to the Dr Devious organizers. You need to watch the $’s closely, they’re somewhat slippery, they move around in bizarre ways – a bit like BMOrg themselves.

“Are you the organizer of Dr. Devious’ Gypsy Circus & Sideshow Carnival? If so, it looks great but some concerns have come up I need your help to address. 

At these links and on your ticketing page you are drawing numerous direct associations with Burning Man as a way to affiliate and appeal/market to people and you are using a Man likeness. This combination is an infringement on intellectual property and is leading to confusion about your event being an officially sanctioned event Burning Man is affiliated with and/or something we are organizing. That is how it came to my attention, as my role is supporting official community events by and for the community involving a local regional contact. 

You seem to be burners and so we don’t want to be unnecessarily difficult, but I need to request that you not use the Man likeness and so heavily associate yourselves in your promotions and be clearer about who is organizing this for what purpose and who will gain financially from this event. You are charging for tickets but not fundraising for any art projects or theme camps for Black Rock City that I can tell. 

As burners I would sincerely appreciate your help in being clear about these things and with a couple quick and easy tweaks you can help us preserve our vital trademarks from hostile infringements by non-burners and those who are looking to financially gain from our community–which we must be vigilant about

I must request you remove the image of the man effigy from your promotions and reduce your references to “just like Burning Man” in your marketing. I can help you with what to say to strike the right balance.

If you are supporting a good cause we’d love to be supportive, but we do need your cooperation quickly on this. 

Do you have a moment to speak by phone and can I call you to discuss this further and help you to let burners know they are welcome but not do so in a way that leads to confusion?

If so, what number can I reach you at? I’d love to talk with you and learn more about your goals. 

Alternatively, please call me at the number below. Part of my role is helping out in cases like these. 

Warmly,

$teven Ra$pa Regional Network Committee  Burning Man

https://www.facebook.com/events/1390048944589266/ http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/560670

There’s lots of flowery prose in there trying to soften the blow, which perhaps was ordered from on high via this committee, but there’s no mistaking the message: the iron first of BMOrg inside the lovingly supportive velvet glove of $teven Ra$pa. “Those who are looking to gain financially from our community” is, unquestionably, BMOrg. We don’t deny them their right to make money, good on them for being capitalists in the second richest city in the world’s #1 capitalist country – but their “it’s not enough for us to win, everyone else must fail”, zero-sum game, take no prisoners and burn the villages approach, is 19th Century robber baron thinking that does not gel with the 21st century high tech world that we live in today. Here’s a response from the Dr Devious side:

Are these people on crack? They are under the impression that someone will mistake “Dr. Devious’s Gypsy Circus and Sideshow Carnival” for “Burning Man” ? Not to mention he can’t tell the difference between a Man and a “Pyramid”… Your Burning Man Dollars At Work (this is the exact reason I’m an Ex-Burner). What an insult to the Burning Man Community The Burning Man Thug Organization has become, in my humble opinion…

Perhaps Dr Devious already moved the offending links, because we sure can’t see any. The only things that seem to be even slightly related are:

We are planning a man burn, an effigy burn. This is a radically self reliant and Leave No Trace event. It’s near Red Rock (not Black Rock), Garlock (not Gerlock). “LEAVE NO BURNER BEHIND”

That’s it! Burning Man doesn’t own the town of Gerlach, and as far as I know they don’t own “Gerlock” either. The Black Rock desert was there long before they were, although they do own the trademark “Black Rock City”. Wicker men have been burned for thousands of years, an idea they stole from the Druids, witches, and Bohemian Grove for their event. Leave No Trace is a registered trademark – of the US Department of Agriculture, not BMOrg. Another piece of culture taken by BMOrg then claimed as their own and used to muscle others with. From the blog that mentioned the event, we see a few more words…but really nothing that seems questionable or confusing:

this is a Burner Event, if you come you bring your own Equipment, Power, Etc just like Burning Man, no one is paid to bring there Art, Perform or Set Up a Theme Camps

That is hardly anyone saying “we are Burning Man” or “this is a Burning Man event”. An original picture of their effigy under construction looked like this: dr devious man The final version has “tits and a vagina” – so, clearly not a man of any kind other than metaphorical. Here’s Burning Man’s 2014 effigy: 14_theme_man Other than, both statues are made of wood and are vaguely resemblant of humans, I see no similarities whatsoever. They have some statues with blinky lights…so what? dr devious man lights dr devious man sunset There is some history between BMOrg and these organizers. In the past, they put on a party called “Not Burning Man”, and were told by Burning Man that was too confusing. Couldn’t be more clear, if you ask me! Anyway, the organizers obliged and changed the name.

dr devious rocketsPlenty of big theme camps, lots of Djs, we have a 25′ Pyramid that will have a light show and DJ… We throw burner Events all the time. Every year at the same time we throw a Local burn called “Not-Burning Man” and cost $20, this will be our 4th year. We started with one of the now regional managers Athena Demos, but they started trying to produce their own local burn and on the 3rd year they said we couldn’t use the name Not-Burning Man, because people would conflict the two, so we changed the Event to Burning Love Festival…

Here is the Facebook page for the upcoming Event…

https://www.facebook.com/events/1390048944589266

and here is the Facebook page for last Event “Jingle Burn” that had over 300 people attend. https://www.facebook.com/events/681614688530361/

We just bought this 22 acre piece of Property in Dec so we are just starting out here, after a bad economy made us give up our last spot. But it is such an amazing place, people told us it was just like being back at the BM Playa only better, no cops, no rules other than don’t be a Dick, and cheap, easy to afford tickets, Vendor Fee Free, (we encourage people to come and set up a table and sale anything you want for Free. We Support the Arts and the Artist…

We are 10 miles from town, 5 miles from a Gas station, snack shop, propane market, and 6 Rickey Ricardo Campground for Potable water and a grey/black water dump. 35 miles from a Homedepot, Walmart, Etc.

Type this address into your map…13144 Munsey Road, Cantil California 93519

I typed the address. It’s about 500 miles away from Black Rock City. The idea that this is a threat to Burning Man is preposterous. The idea that anyone could mistake “Dr Devious’s Gypsy Circus and Sideshow Carnival” in March 2014 in the Mojave Desert (Southern California), for Black Rock City, LLC’s event “Burning Man Caravansary” in August 2014 in the Black Rock Desert (Northern Nevada), is ludicrous. So what, then, is really driving BMOrg to act like the biggest bully in the global TAZ playground? The oldest motivators in the book. Greed. Money. Power. We gifted the culture to them, now it’s theirs and only theirs, we can’t have any piece of it. No matter that we created it. No matter that they’re corrupting it, with their endless saturation of mainstream media publications, rambling speeches supposedly representing our culture, ever-present price increases while begging for donations, and their determination to sell tickets and merchandise to newbies in preference to old-timers.

It’s not on. Burning Man, as the world’s biggest and most famous arts festival, should be a beacon of support and encouragement for Burner artists everywhere. Not some kind of EDM/Pagan culture patent troll. We ask Burners, please support Dr Devious’ Gypsy Circus. They’re not making rock videos at Burning Man or selling soundtracks. They’re Burners, wanting to throw their own party. We need more events like this, BMOrg needs to understand that they DID NOT invent burning effigies or raves in the desert. They stole these things off others! Any Burners who want to use an event, should use the words Burning Man as much as they can get away with, use photos that may or may not be of the event, and use satire to make fun of BMOrg. Let’s overwhelm their letter-sender bullies with thousands of these frivolous lawsuits for them to  launch. Then let’s complain to the IRS that the 501(c)3 non-profit created from our self-expression is spending all of its money suing its donors.

Hope to see you all at the Gypsy Circus. It’s Friday March 14- Sunday March 23, at 13144 Munsey Road, Cantil CA 93519. It’s right by the Airplane Graveyard in the Mojave desert, 2 hours from LA, 4 hours from San Diego and Las Vegas, 5 hours from San Francisco and 6 hours from Reno. dr devious flyer 2014

Dr Devious’s Gypsy Circus & SideShow Carnival 2014The World’s Most Amazing Circus Sideshow Carnival ever.http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/560670

Its that time of Year, It’s Summer Time. City Life has just about driven you Mad, and you long for the Serenity of the Desert, but yet you still want to Party your Ass off.. Depressed you can’t go to Bequinox, because you have Pets, or afford the Ticket, etc. or if you just want to come here then go there, you are Welcome to Camp here, and do such! Well, we don’t want you to feel Lonely and UnBurny during the Equinox… So we decided to plan a 7 Day, “LEAVE NO FAMILY BEHIND” Camping Event called “Dr Devious’s Gypsy Circus & Sideshow Carnival”… THIS IS NOT A RAVE!!! SO DONT COME IF THATS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR!!! BRING LOTS OF FIREWOOD!!!! (no plastic or painted parts ie. must be striped of any moop) this is a self-reliant Event, if you come you bring your own Equipment, Power, Etc, no one is paid to bring there Art, Perform or Set Up a Theme Camps all ages 14 and under, are Free. ‘

Circus-Folke $29 after March 1st $39

Non Circus-Folke $39 after March 1st $49 (you need a special code to purchase Circus-folke Tickets)

To get this send an email requesting one to mlook420@gmail.com All Ticket(s) are non-refundable.

For those with RV’s, right up the road is a very inexpensive Water refill, and Grey Water Dump station, at Red Rock State Park Ricardo Campground, please call them for up to date info. ( http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=631)

The Details: Its on 20+ empty acres of private desert land, up Highway 14, but only 2 hours outside LA (instead of 12), near Red Rock (instead of Black Rock), just down the road from Garlock (instead of Gerlock). ** Its just to get a head count of how many are coming so we can get enough Portos. Some Cell Phone and 4G Data services do not work out there, however AT&T seems to work fine. You can Tent, RV, Camper, or sleep in your Vehicle. Radical Self Reliance must be practiced here. Just like any Camping Trip, bring everything you will need. You will need your own H2O as well. And as always, Leave No Trace.

You can come out as early as march 13th, but I’m sure most will arrive on march 14th ….. We will have several nice sound system out there, and various DJs will be spinning a set. If you want to provide some entertainment, please let us know. You are welcome to bring your fire toys, but also bring your fire safety equipment as well. All musical instruments are welcome. (will be posting more info such as performers etc. later on in the month as time slots/spaces are filled) Hey Guys Just So You Know…

We are a VENDOR FEE FREE Event… Come and set up a table, sell your wares, there will be no set-up/Booth Fee of any Kind. We encourage Artist Painters Jewelers, Artisans to Barter, Share or Sale Their… We may set up a Bartertown” area over by the Drumcircle. Sound like something you be interested in Contact Mindy or myself… “Support the Arts, and the Artist.” Our World would be just a little bit duller without you… We are planning a Effigy Burn! On the property there are 2 little Bars (mostly BYOB), Volley Ball, Badminton, a 2 Story Pyramid, 16′ Dome, Desert Golf, Horse Shoes, Darts and 2 private RVs. Oh, and Fun… In the area there are many really cool things to do as well. The Mojave Boneyard or the Airplane junkyard, and Mojave SpacePort are right down the street. There are a few Ghost Towns in the nearby area, one Living, and some awesome yet bizarre manmade Rock Formations. And you are welcome to bring some of your Art out there as well, large or small. Bikes are welcome too, and highly recommended, the desert is a big place.

Yes, Pets are allowed.ONLY IF THERE ARE PET AND HUMAN FRIENDLY THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PET, YOU ARE!!!! Please RSVP the following information: Camp Name or Your Name: Number of people in camp: (not everyone in your camp needs to RSVP. We just need a total head count) Arrival Date: Type of camping: RV, Camper, Tent, Vehicle Approx. footprint size needed: (No one will have assigned camp areas, we just want to make sure there is enough room for everyone. )

IMPORTANT INFO FOR PERFORMERS, ARTISTS, DJS, ART CARS, AND MAJOR THEME CAMPS PLEASE EMAIL ME at mlook420@gmail.com with your name, general info, (ie. phone number, email where u can be contacted) and your ETA. This is a non paid gig, all money made from the event helps establish the ranch for future events..so that we can continue providing a safe place to play! it also covers portos! Don’t forget to include a short summary, pics etc of what you would like to bring to be considered for two comp Tickets. Please note: Theme Camps unfortunately still only get two Tickets..we may be able to provide discounted Tickets.

THERE IS A DEAD LINE OF MARCH 1st TO HAVE THIS INFO TO US AND TO BE CONFIRMED, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU TAKE NOTE OF THIS AND GET YOUR INFO IN PROMPTLY THANK YOU… For Future Info and Pics/Videos of the Event, as well as Questions about the location… join our group https://www.facebook.com/groups/556290801106792/ See you in the Desert,