Burning Man now reminds me a lot of applying for college.  Legacies who have connections, they get in.  And if Plug and Play camps want to exist, they have to pay more (because they drain more resources, presumably, and tax the Playa).  There are still some low-income tickets (think, scholarships) and there are grants (think athletic scholarships).  There is clearly affirmative action (theme camps).  I am surprised that, at this point, there isn’t an essay.  Maybe a standardized test, like can you fix a flat tire, or spot an undercover cop.  Most great events, like great schools, the supply of spaces is exceeded by the demand to get in to them.

Admissions departments in the prestigious colleges do a pretty good job of “building a class.”  Maybe that’s what the future of Burning man should hold: transparency that all must apply, and then all will be considered if their applications are in order, and then of course through the Black Box will come the word that you have been admitted.

I don’t know–but it seems to me that BM is in real danger going forward of becoming like a museum, albeit with a lot of new art and art cars in the show.  But in terms of the people, I will be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t feel like a lot of wealthy spectators having a great party and not contributing as much, but they will have cool outfits and paint their faces and cheer loudly (great fans!) and then there will be those few who do a lot of hard work to put shit up and get shit done and get it on, and then pack it out and leave no trace.  Go Burning Man!

I got a big fear that they have “pooched the kitty” and while this year will remain strong, the future could be quite dim


One comment on “Admitted

  1. Thanks Toburn. This “selective party” approach is not that different from college admissions, or nightclub admissions for that matter. It might be elitist, but let’s face it, Burning Man IS elitist – not everyone can afford to be “self-reliant” for a week in the middle of the desert.

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