Opulent Temple recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary at Burning Man. They have rocked the Esplanade as one of the major sound camps, with world class DJs, pyrotechnics, lasers and a great crowd. Here’s their self-description from their web site:
Welcome to Opulent Temple, a leading not-for-profit electronic music stage production emerging from Burning Man and based in San Francisco. We operate by volunteer effort and are funded solely by supporter donation in large part through fundraiser events all year round. The trademark DJ booth known as the O-pod is comprised of artfully twisted steel details, designed and welded by the OT resident DJ’s themselves. The stage is illuminated mainly by firelight from DJ controlled flame thrower effects. The sound is raw, unexpected, full-bodied and visceral. The iconic symbol of the Dancing Shiva has been emblazoned at a wide array of events across North America and Europe. What they find at Opulent Temple is a peak experience of sacred dance to world class music.
Unfortunately for us Burners, and for the party in general, Opulent Temple will not be at Burning Man in 2013. They say they are taking a break, which we hope means that they will return in 2014.
As you may have heard this year marks our 10th annual camp at the Burning Man event. After 10 straight years of going big, we’re going to take 2013 off from doing the big camp on the playa and take our toys to other settings. (Right after Burning Man at the Audio Circus festival in Utah, for starters).
This is not unprecedented, Root Society was not there in 2011 but they came back this year.
However the description of this YouTube video suggests that Syd Gris’ last sunrise set was closing the book after 10 great years at Burning Man.
Earlier in the year, Opulent Temple was badly affected by the ticket fiasco. Not sure if the rumors we’ve been hearing about BMOrg’s desire to repeat the lottery system again next year have had any impact on their decision to stay away. Here’s what Syd Gris had to say on that at the time:
“Like most camps, only about 25% of our returning members got tickets in the lottery. Even before the announcement regarding the 10,000 [tickets] set aside for theme camps, etc, we never doubted we’d be there. 2012 makes our 10th camp in a row, so we’re set on making it special. I don’t know yet what they’ve allotted us to buy, but I’m confident it will work out. I am concerned about tickets for artists who want to play our stage, but we’ll see how it pans out.
Opulent Temple has played some great music over the years. This year, Opulent Temple brought out Carl Cox, Christopher Lawrence, Stanton Warriors, and many other famous international acts. This might not mean much to the hippies, but it’s a big deal to the ravers.
We can still catch Opulent Temple at other events. Syd Gris spoke out earlier this year about how San Francisco city’s “War on Fun” was going on as strongly in 2012 as it was in 2006.
Opel event producer Syd Gris has plenty of grievances he plans to address on Monday. Gris, who will be speaking on the panel for the first time, said what the Guardian coined as the “War on Fun” in 2006 wages on in 2012.
Gris plans to bring up June’s Opulent Temple Massive on Treasure Island, which was designed to be for visitor aged 18 and over, but the San Francisco Police Department captain that oversaw the event insisted it only allow in those of drinking age, “despite ample precedence of events in the city being 18 and over.”
“For them to deny us the ability to do something that happens all the time in the city just because one captain didn’t like it was unfair and had a huge economic impact,” Gris said. “It’s a great example of what’s wrong with how certain things work in the city. Arbitrary decisions that are inconsistent, unfair, and have a deleterious impact on an event producer can be made by small groups of people.”
His was not a stand alone experience, but part of a broader, Gris said. The mellow Fillmore Jazz Festival had to have beer gardens for the first time this year, Power to the Peaceful was cancelled last September, as was LovEvolution this year after the SFPD places onerous restrictions on it.
“I am certainly glad that the conversation is happening with people that need to be hearing about it,” Gris said of the Summit. “Will a real change come out of it? I’m not optimistic but I certainly hope so.”
Burning Man’s ticket system is already responsible for attendance being less than last year, despite a population cap increase and 10,000 extra tickets being approved in a special permit from the Bureau of Land Management. The already shrinking event has now also lost one of its major drawcards.
Syd, Opel Productions, and the whole Opulent Temple crew, thank you so much for everything you have given us over 10 years in Burning Man. Please come back once you’ve had a break!