According to the Jackedrabbit, no-one could have predicted the popularity of Burning Man, and a recent Dr-Seuss themed viral video created by a Burner is the main culprit. Yet another excuse that doesn’t make a whole heap of sense, particularly in light of this TV show from years ago.
Now I’m no fan of family sitcoms, however I do recognize the meth-making science teacher from Breaking Bad in this. With a slightly nicer RV! Something tells me this thing which aired on September 30, 2005 would have got way more eyeballs than the YouTube clip.
My understanding is that Malcolm in the Middle was a top rating show; top-rating shows don’t even use pictures of people or snippets of music without obtaining consent in writing in the form of a release. Burning Man are very protective of their trademark, which is for live events involving music. The depiction of a live music and cultural event called “Burning Man” in this show is such a clear infringement of this trademark, that I don’t think it would be possible for the producers of Malcolm in the Middle to create this show without some kind of release or approval from Burning Man.
So why do BMorg point the finger at Burners, instead of in the mirror at themselves? Surely a primetime TV show on a major network, which gets repeated to death around the world from syndication, might have an impact on demand as well?
Malcolm in the Middle’s audience had dropped dramatically by its last season, probably because its viewers grew up. But it was still getting 3 times more viewers per episode than the Burner video. And who knows how many hundreds of millions around the world have seen the episode since it aired, in syndication, DVDs, Netflix, ShowBox etc. Why didn’t this translate into ticket chaos? Since then ticket prices have tripled (which should be a negative factor on demand). Yet we saw no ticket chaos between 2006-2011. So what has changed, other than the introduction of their latest ticket lottery STEP system? Blaming it on a Burner made YouTube video is a bit of a stretch!
Is this episode a glimpse into the future of Burning Man, now that we have 50% newbies and only 25% of Burners with tickets? If so the future looks like Hippies 1 Ravers 0 , plus an infusion of Middle America letting their hair down for the first time since the 60’s.
Anyway, I found the episode most amusing, hope you enjoy it too.
[someone has posted a download link for this episode elsewhere on the Web, for those of you who can’t get Vimeo]