Get Your Burning Man Merchandise

Image: Nathan Proudlove/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Image: Nathan Proudlove/Flickr (Creative Commons)

[Update 12/7/14 10:35am]

This post has been restored because some are trying to tie it into the online smear campaign against me.

It’s back here now because readers should able to see for themselves how “terrible” it is, since I am being accused of all kinds of nasty things simply for posting something that a Burner asked me to, and editing it when another Burner asked me to. It also shows the difference between Burners.Me, which respects requests from our audience, and, which will not remove even personal details when asked to, and has no problems with its directors spreading outright lies about people. Nothing in this post is a lie, and if the email had said “this offer is for center camp volunteers only”, I would not have posted it. Instead it says that volunteers can purchase hoodies for others (maximum 2 per person).

For the record: I totally support volunteer departments having their own merchandise. I also totally support art projects, art cars, and theme camps having their own merchandise. I think this raises the much bigger issue of “Selective Rule Enforcement”, which you can read more detail about here.

Why would it be so bad if Burners could buy a Burning Man hoodie? Sure, if they had a merch tent at the event, that would be against the rules Principles, but aren’t any transactions outside of Burning Man allowed?



Thanks to Anonymous Burner for sending us this tip.

Want some cool official Burning Man merch? Only $25, but you have to order by December 9. Don’t tell ’em I sent you!

______________________________________________________________Hello Dusty Friends!!It’s Chi Chi, your friendly swaganatior here, writing to inform you of the status of your amazing Hoodie orders…There is still one week left that you could order a beautiful 2014 Hoodie. All you wonder people who have already ordered through the orginal email thank you and your orders will be out soon. Also, if you order a Hoodie and did not have the time to pick it up on playa I will be sending them out this week!!If you have not already seen it, This Hoodie is Teal on Black with the year 2014 printed in the center of the graphic, also all sizes are mens, And let me tell you these Hoodies are totally COOL. There is a limit of two hoodies per person.And Guess what… They are only $25.00… OMG THAT IS SO CHEAP!!! (that includes shipping, unless shipping to somewhere like Europe, then I will have to get you a special price.)But you only have ONE WEEK to order, YES you heard correctly ONE WEEK.  We will try to have all Hoodies sent out by the holidays!!All Orders Must be in by Tuesday the 9th of December. All Orders must be paid to Paypal Account [snip]

Step one
follow the link to
and sign on or open a paypal account

Step two
go to pay a friend and type in [snip]

If you are paying with a credit or debit card the price is $24 (plus a 1 dollar service fee)
If you are paying with a Paypal balance account or linked bank account the price is $25Step three
Follow this link and fill in the information asked for including you Paypal transaction ID number (the number you receive in the email from Paypal), size you desire,first name, last name, playa name, email, and shipping address. Also for each Hoodie ordered please fill out a separate form.All Orders Must be in by Tuesday 9th of December. All Orders must be paid to Paypal Account [snip]


[Update 12/5/14 6:51pm]

Glynda from Center Camp has contacted us to say that yes, they are selling Burning Man merchandise, but no, regular Burners can’t buy it.

I’m the Volunteer Coordinator for the Coffee Shop at the Center Camp Cafe and I’d like to let you know that this hoodie offer is only available to verified active Center Camp Cafe volunteers and not the general public.

[Update 12/5/14 7:42pm]

What does “active” mean? What about the paid Center Camp Cafe workers? Can they buy it? I repeatedly asked her these questions, Glynda refused to answer them. But, I removed the links to this offer as per her request. When asked to modify statements on my site by a member of the Burner community, I do it. Which is more than I can say for BMOrg…

Screenshot 2014-12-05 19.38.09

Not even if it’s outright lies from one of their Board of Directors. It seems Burners.Me must be factual – yet still gets accused of misinformation – while routinely spouts misinformation, and refuses to correct errors even when asked to. Welcome to the topsy turvy world of the Burning Man Project. Is this what they mean by “making the world a better place?”

[Update 12/6/14 7:38am]

I was sent an offer to buy Burning Man hoodies, which ran out on Dec 9. I promoted the offer here. It did not say “Center Camp only”. Then I was contacted by Glynda, who initially simply clarified that the offer was only for volunteers. I updated the story, as you can see above.

Then Glynda contacted me again, and asked me to remove the links to the PayPal email address. I did that too, and asked her a couple of questions. I never said Center Camp was bad for selling these hoodies. The email I was sent didn’t say “this offer is not available to the public”, and when I received that information, I updated the post. This is a blog, it can change as information comes in – it’s not a Vanity Fair article.

Later in the day, Crystal contacted me and asked why I had put her email address in the post – did I have something against her? I explained that no, I was just trying to promote the offer I got sent. It seemed like a good idea that Burners could get a Burning Man hoodie before Christmas. She was rather upset, so I apologized. At the same time, from the comments to this post, it seems many were finding it hard to keep track of what was going on, and why it was even there if they couldn’t buy hoodies. So I just took the post down, even though I think it highlights some bigger issues.

Now my deletion of the post is being used against me, in online attacks that I will address later today. So I’ve restored it so people can see what’s so “terrible” about this. Sorry Crystal.

I think two issues are highlighted here:

1. Burners.Me responding to our community, when asked by Burners to do something, we do it. Meanwhile, BMOrg Directors spreading total lies, and when asked to correct the lies, saying “we don’t have any policies requiring truth”

2. Selling merchandise. Why would it be so bad if Burners could buy hoodies? Wouldn’t that “help spread Burner culture around the world” – the entire justification behind the Burning Man Project being tax-exempt?

Why can’t artists, art cars, and theme camps sell merchandise to raise funds to bring their projects to the burn? How does that hurt Burning Man’s culture? We’ve covered that previously in these posts:

The Fishy Smell of Corporate Excess

Do Not Use The Words Burning Man

Art Versus Money

Is BMP really trying to spread Burner culture far and wide? Or is this more about control, royalty streams to the founders through their secretive private company, and tax minimization?


24 comments on “Get Your Burning Man Merchandise

  1. This post isn’t helping your cause. In my opinion, it falls into the conspiracy theory/mountains-out-of-molehills area I’ve seen you dip into occasionally on the blog, which is the part I overlook based on the rest of your writing, which I think does a service to the Burner community.

    • Thanks for your feedback. I did delete it, but then that was held up on Reddit as evidence of conspiracy, so I felt the need to reinstate it. What’s your position? Should artists, theme camps, and art cars be able to sell Burning Man hoodies to raise money to get to the Playa?

      • I think they should be allowed to via email or private online groups. I honestly don’t want to see a bunch of Burning Man swag for sale all over the internet. It’s kind of like the corporate logos thing on the playa. We all know we had to spend money to get out there, I just don’t want to see any advertising for one damn week out of the year, nor do I want to see merch tied to the event being hawked all over the place.

        As for artists, I think they should be allowed to use their playa art in their portfolios and mention Burning Man. Absolutely.


    My favorite Burning Man swag is my HOT PiNK 50K Black Rock City Ultramarathon shirt….. I got it after RUNNiNG 50 FUCKiNG K on a lovely Wednesday morning with other 200 runners during the week of the Burn on Playa……… who do you think would wear such shirts??? Just those 200 of us with sweat and blisters on our feet… and the few Burners that help out at the Ultramarathon!!

    Likewise, the hoodies, shirts, patches, etc… that you talk about in this article are swag for those who work setting up, run, maintain and break down the specific department that we CHOOSE to help out with- to the benefit of MANY MANY BURNERS!!!

    I also make 108 FREE HUGS shirts that I GIFT during the Burn week with 7 virgins that I recruit so they can learnt first hand about GIFTing while helping me GIFT my shirts…. and of course they get a shirt too!

    What’s your favorite color BURNERSXXX, I will GIFT you one of my FREE HUGS Swag, but the HOT PiNK 50K shirt, along with those of the Cafe, Gate, DPW, they gotta be earnt!! Love, BUENA CHiCA

    • I think it’s great that there’s special swag for volunteers. I’m not complaining about that or trying to stop it. My question is, how would it ruin Burning Man if Burners could buy hoodies? Why shouldn’t any camp be able to sell their own, custom, Burning Man swag?

  3. I think you are going out of your way to misunderstand the intent of the email you leaked.
    The hoodies are in no way being sold for profit or fundraising.

    As” Seriously” stated above, they were for the crew, the majority of whom are unpaid volunteers, that worked in 2014 as a memento of their work that year and as a way to identify themselves as a member of that crew. They were sold at cost.

    The person that generously took on the huge task to get them ordered, take orders from crew members and haul 100 ‘s of them out to playa is also a volunteer. And now, thanks to your post, you made a difficult job even harder. She was trying to do something nice for the folks that worked on the crew that didn’t have the opportunity to order in advance. Good for you.

    You complain like it’s some sort of conspiracy but your post screams of entitlement.
    You want a crew hoodie? Go work on a crew.

  4. Are you seriously trying to make this a conspiracy? Okay dude.

    Newsflash: those volunteer orgs that work for the org? DPW? Gate? Greeters? Center Camp? The big ones that do some kind of function for the city? DMV? Other ones like that? The folks who run those crews, despite popular belief, aren’t rich socialites. They are burners, regular folk, who band together with the entire crew and go in to make schwag like patches, t-shirts, etc. The BMORG Doesn’t give a single cent to volunteer crews to make shirts, hoodies, patches, stickers, etc.

    Ever notice how those crews have things like t-shirts, hoodies, etc? Schwag, in general? We band together with each other and buy them. And sometimes, we order too many, but that lets people who are new to the crew who joined midweek or who didn’t get a chance to purchase schwag back in July pre-event, to get the schwag they put in work for. The anonymous burner who forwarded this to you most likely worked a center camp shift or three, got on their email list, and was offered the chance to buy the hoodies post-event.

    This is an entirely innocent and regular thing that has been going on for years. OF COURSE the crews that work their ass off don’t sell their gear to the general public. Why should Joe Burner who doesn’t put in one minute of Gate/DPW/Greeter/DMV/Cafe/Ranger/ETC Work get a Shirt that screams “I Work for XXX?” Have you ever looked at a ranger and seen their khakis? Gate in their black? DPW in their patches? They don’t get those blessed upon them by the org. hardworking folks band together, buy them, and sell them, AT COST, to the crew who worked for it. Nobody is making money here. In all real honesty, we lose money because we order too much or people decide to back out on your orders.

    Glynda refused to answer you because you’re being a crazy hypocritical asshole, but here are your answers:

    ACTIVE – It means you worked the year that the schwag is for. someone who only works gate 2015 won’t have access to gate 2014 gear. Someone who works center camp cafe (Paid or unpaid) in 2014 gets access to 2014 gear. active means you worked that year. If I work center camp in 2011, skip 2012, and then come back in 2013, that means that I could probably get any leftover 2011 or 2013 stuff. Is that clear enough, or am I a part of the conspiracy too?

    No, the general public CANNOT buy these things. Yes, these things cost money to buy, because it costs money to make these things. No, nobody at all makes money off of this, and if there is any profit, it’s fed directly back to the volunteer organization. The BMORG doesn’t go around buying patches and shirts for folks. we make them. we sell them to our own crews so we can cover the costs. and, for example, my own crew has bled money every single fucking year because we always make too much shit, and no, we aren’t going to sell these to the general public, because unless you stood out in the dust doing the work we do, you don’t get to rock our colors. Thats how it is. Its kinda like how I doubt I will ever get a shirt that says “Robot Heart Safety Crew” because I don’t work for the robot heart safety crew, or I wont get a hoodie or patch that I worked Temple Burn Perimeter, because I didn’t work temple burn perimeter.

    This has been going on since, what, the early 90s…? Have you never noticed how volunteer crews rock their own colors?

    A complete and total non-story, is what you have here, but you’ve attempted to sensationalize it into something. calm down.

    • Rabble Rabble.Totally missing the point. There has been/always will be commerce, trades, gifts, barter and bets. Thats how EVERY camp gets there.Your American Dollars are good and legal right up to The Gate, after that your phone doesn’t work anymore, you lock your wallet and your money in your car, all the pictures that get taken are from a random disposable camera that you find and then give away, and have Way Too Much Fun for a week to even care about any of that stupid…

      …at least thats how it used to be.

      But if you’re happy scanning bar-codes to get on the T-shirt monopoly e-mail list that breaks its own rules? well…I guess Larry is the guy to talk to. Get in line.

  5. Youre reaching too far here for a story. Its not like center camp cafe is making a profit from a $25 friggin hoodie. That cost all goes to the shirt maker. $25 IS cheap!

      • If the BMOrg wanted to sell hoodies to the general public, it could sell hoodies to the general public. It does not, because that is not a variety of commodification it’s interested in – whether because it’s too blatant and obvious or for another reason.

        Even if the BMOrg did sell Burning Man hoodies to the public, the departments would continue limiting their shwag to their own volunteers.

  6. Um, I’m sorry – are you just trying to be butthurt about a comment beef you have with BMOrg (in which case, maybe just speak to that)? Or are you trying to say somehow that Glynda or ChiChi is responsible for spouting lies? You’re post seems pretty random. “Look, they’re selling shirts to a select few! I put up private information and they asked me to take it down, so I did! But see how I made this other comment (which I wont share) and they said they wont take a post down?” …surely I’m not the only one failing to see any connection here.

    Shocker, a burningman group (in this case a bunch of volunteers) decided to make a symbol their peeps could wear and charge people who want to buy it…but you have to be a member of that group. I’ve NEVER heard of ANY group doing that before…

      • Ah, gotcha. So click baiting. Next time you’d be better serving your cause by sticking to your original beef rather than stirring up shit to point to that injustice. If you don’t have a problem with the camp stuff, don’t post it. Instead focus on your cause and highlighting when a situation exactly mirrors yours, thus the sense then in connecting the two.

        • I was promoting their merchandise sale! They shut me down, that’s why there’s two updates to the post.

          This is a blog, not Vanity Fair. It’s all happening on the Interwebz, in real time.

          Did you even read the link I posted?

          Click bait is kind of meaningless on a free site. The point is to read the content, not ads.

          • I did read your other article, which is why I’m so disappointed you made the weak stretch, since frankly you might actually have a point but now it’s been lost in this whiny, confusing other post. Click baiting here refers to the fact that you’re taking a fairly random story – someone selling sweatshirts to volunteers – and somehow stretching it to a ‘damn the man’ conspiracy even though it seems pretty clear neither Chi Chi nor Glynda have anything to do with your actual beef. Also, if you recall I’m one of the first commenters, I’ve been following your post and from the get go you weren’t advertising the cheap merch you can get (I mean, c’mon, in your copied email from Chi Chi it clearly is an email to a group she’s already been working with, and if you clicked the link before she shut it down it had questions like ‘what was your volunteer position’ in it) – you were using it to point out how the BMOrg lies and doesnt follow its policies (thus my initial confusion since the topics dont line up at all).

            At least be honest. You clearly have a beef with BMOrg (I mean, you mention it how many times as being deceitful, ‘selective rule enforcement’,etc), you even wrote how Glynda was ‘refusing’ to answer your questions (yet…looks like she provided you the info you wanted what, less than a day later? So…she was busy, not refusing). It’s kinda obvious you’re using this hoodie as an example of BMOrg being ok with selling merch (even though its not connected to this hoodie sale) and yet not allowing other groups to sell to general public (even though, again, the hoodie sale is private to members, and would be one of the groups you’re suggesting should be allowed to sell anyways).

            Here is apparently the point you wanted to make:
            I think two issues are highlighted here:

            1. Burners.Me responding to our community, when asked by Burners to do something, we do it. Meanwhile, BMOrg Directors spreading total lies, and when asked to correct the lies, saying “we don’t have any policies requiring truth”

            2. Selling merchandise. Why would it be so bad if Burners could buy hoodies? Wouldn’t that “help spread Burner culture around the world” – the entire justification behind the Burning Man Project being tax-exempt?
            The first point (i took down a hoodie post that revealed private info but BMOrg…doesnt take down private info?) seems…well, like what, you want a cookie? Shouldn’t we always follow the rule of not posting private info, regardless if the ‘Man’ does or doesnt? Your point would be better served in a post highlighting the ways BMOrg clearly does not take down private info or respect its own policies…which is not this post. So much so, you have to continually be clarifying to responders why they’re even being mentioned.

            The second point might make for an interesting topic of discussion, but again, that’s not what you’re doing here. You haven’t said “hey guys, here’s an example of someone selling hoodies for a profit to make their camp work” (doesnt sound like it’s the case but hey, i’ll give you the benefit of the doubt) and then went on to describe the various ways selling merchandise could be seen in a wonderful, enriching light to add to the burningman community, if only BMOrg would see the light. I believe this is the point you would like to make, but it is not the point you have made – thus why we arent sitting here in the comments section talking about whether or not merchandise sales should be allowed.

            I think I’m just really annoyed at how weak your debate is. You might actually have a point, but at this point the only way youre going to make it is by scraping this post entirely and making a new post that actually focuses on the points you were trying to make (as of the morning update today)

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