Concierges At Burning Man: Now Made Official [Updates]

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There was a bit of an uproar last year when we shared that Festivals Concierge Service were making money from Burning Man. Well, it seems they’ve read the rules and done their best to comply with them – and no less than Larry Harvey’s words are being used to pitch their product.

As we predicted, Larry & Co’s response to last year’s Commodification Camp Concerns has been to give a full green light to concierges, commodification camps, Mistresses of Merriment, and anything else the VIPs require.

From Festival Concierge Service:

Burning Man is not a festival like no other, it is a community experience based on 10 principles that serve as guidelines.

The services we offer for Burning Man are intended to assist you in the preparation and organization of your Burn.

We do not offer on-site concierge services.

In any case we sell the Burning Man Experience. It is a unique personal experience, and is made possible only through your participation and understanding of the ten principles.

“Scan Burning Man’s Ten Principles, and you will not find radical equality among them. This is because our city has always been a place where old and young, and rich and poor, can live on common ground. The word for this is fellowship, as in the fellowship of a club or lodge whose members, however diverse, are united by common values and a sense of shared experience. But common ground is not a level playing field, and should not be interpreted as mandating equal living conditions.”

The services, which are all provided by BLM-Licensed Outside Services Contractors, include:

ACCOMMODATIONS
ON-SITE RV SERVICES
TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM BURNING MAN
PLUG AND PLAY CAMP PLACEMENT
MUTANT VEHICLE (ART CAR) PRODUCTION AND RENTAL
SEGWAY AND ELECTRIC SKATEBOARD RENTAL
BIKE AND DECORATION
COSTUME DESIGN AND PERSONNAL SHOPER

[Update 5/21/1 6:09pm PST]
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Take a look at this. Big thanks to Anonymous Burner for sharing this. BMOrg has already known about this for almost 3 weeks, and the site is still up. And why wouldn’t it be? They are conforming to the rules. They only deal with licensed vendors who give the Feds a percentage of their sales.

The trolls have come out for us very swiftly after this post. Did we hit some sort of nerve?
Within an hour of me posting this story, James of San Diego appeared on our web page, saying:
Burners XXX of burners.me spends years talking shit and dishing out hate then gets called out and identified by Danger Ranger. Then BurnersXXX cries and whines cause he can’t take the criticism. Trolls don’t let your mouth write a check your ass can’t cash…Although many long term Eplayans are way bigger assholes and are anonymous.
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For anyone that doesn’t know what he’s talking about, or is open minded enough to judge for themselves the definition of “cries and whines”, you can read my previous response on this matter. There’s no doubt that one thing this commenter is saying is true: the officially sanctioned BMOrg forums on ePlaya suffer from low traffic, and high trolls. It’s not just that trolls are allowed to be there, abusing and bullying others, with support piled on from paid BMOrg employees: some of them think they have so many of the “suck up points” required to game the system, that they feel completely backed by the Org whenever they want to let their personal fancies assault the lives of others.
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When you see someone on the Internet saying “so and so’s a troll”, you should wonder if really it is the person named by the attack – or is it the nay-sayer accusing others of not conforming to their desired way of being.
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If you haven’t read it yet (and even if you have it’s worth a refresher) please check out our post How To Spot An Online Troll. Thanks to Jan Irvin at Gnostic Media for some of the key parts of that article which are his writing and insights.
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Spring is here and troll season has begun once more. The Ministers of Propagandas (of those organizations that employ them) are looking for things to do, victims to cyber-bully, and misinformation to sow…
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Badger then came over to www.burners.me to tell us:
I can’t believe you stooges have fallen for this faux site.
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I can’t believe there are any stooges left who are drinking the Kool Aid so much that they’d think “Larry & Co would never allow private concierges at Burning Man”…when Larry himself writes a lengthy blog post entitled “Concierge Culture” and explaining why wealth divisions have never been a problem and rich people should be allowed to ignore Radical Self Reliance if they can afford to.
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Source: Voices of Burning Man

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PDR agreed with Badger, that Festival Concierge Services is not a real web site.
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These are the same people as last year. They were in touch with us then, and they’re in touch with us now. The New York Times already wrote about it (quoting Burners.Me as a trusted source). The Key Group, private concierge service out of Luxembourg, has a highly desirable existing customer base of Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals. A-list Hollywood stars, princes and princesses, Billionaire’s Row, Mega-Sparkle Ponies, political pundits, the DEA, FBI BLM and other unnamed alphabet agencies, experimental Google technologies, even now frikking cartoon characters…this is Burning Man 2.0. Everyone requires a handler, for their Radical Self Reliance. If you handle yourself, you’re doing it wrong.

bm shark jumping
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Personally I think we should be giving FCS some props for adjusting their pitch to better suit our culture, after last year’s feedback – almost 100 comments and 1000 shares just at this site, not to mention Larry’s loqacious diatribe against Marxism. Isn’t that what we want – we complain, they listen, they remove the things we were complaining about, and from then on they conform to the rules. Is that what we’re trying to achieve? Making Burners conform to rules? Or “teach them a lesson”, is that the purpose of all this?
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I am neither endorsing nor condemning Burning Man concierges. People who’ve never had access to a concierge before probably think it’s something special. Like most VIP sections, it’s really not.
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However, when Larry & Co promote it by writing blog posts justifying it, it’s hard to rail against it very much. Go with the flow, I say…
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This is much more of a problem to me.
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Legitimate Burners lucky enough to win tickets, get them snatched away by the bureaucracy…and yet, the Concierge Commodification Camps seem to have tickets not only for their guests and entourages, but also for the sherpas, Mistresses of Merriment, and other staff.
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Every year, they make it harder and harder for Veteran Burners to get tickets. “Oh it’s a numbers game. It’s supply and demand. There’s no possible way to fix it”. I call Bravo Sierra. Problems can be solved, if there is a desire to. There’s certainly enough brainpower amongst the million-strong online Burner community.

[Update 5/21/15 7:07pm]
Thanks to FIGJAM for sharing this over at ePlaya. The latest from Answer Girl and the full complement of the 2015 Placement Team. There is no such thing as Commodification Camps – all camps are the same, regardless of how much they charge per hotel room or how many sherpas they employ. It’s just a spectrum, and everyone in the spectrum is welcome. Plug-n-plays are welcome, as long as they have an interactive component on offer to other camps. Like popsicles.

The Placement Team is up and running at full complement and the Burning Man Headquarters team is fully operational.We made some changes to our Theme Camp and Placement policies following events in 2014 involving TurnKey camps, and we wanted to inform you of them so you can plan accordingly.Definitions:TurnKey is a category of camps along a spectrum. At one end of the continuum are camps that depend on supported infrastructure to create on playa projects. At the other end are camps providing vacation type experience packages for campmates with no specific requirement for contribution.In 2014 Burning Man placed 12 TurnKey camps all of whom indicated they would offer an interactive aspect to be enjoyed by the entire Burning Man community.For 2015, all Placed Camps (other than infrastructure support camps) will be held to the same standards in order to receive placement, early arrival passes and access to the Directed Group Sale.

Theme Camp Placement Criteria / Standards:

Other than event infrastructure camps, all camps will be held to the same standards of inclusion and participation regardless of how the camp is structured. All Theme Camps requesting placement will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

1. Theme Camps should be visually stimulating, have an inviting design and a plan for bike parking and crowd management.

2. Theme Camps must be interactive. They should include activities, events or services within their camps that must be available to the entire Burning Man community.

3. Theme Camps must be neighbourly. This includes keeping sound within set limits, controlling where camp generators vent exhaust, and easily resolving any boundary disputes that may arise.

4. Theme Camps must have a good previous MOOP record (for returning camps).

5. Theme Camps must follow safety protocols designed by the organization (this includes traffic management on the streets, proper handling of fuels, and any other areas defined by the organization’s production team including alternatives to RV lined streets).

Entering BRC with Early Arrival passes:

Only Theme Camps meeting all of the above criteria and receiving Placement, will be given Early Arrival Passes from the Placement team for entry to BRC for pre-event set up

Post-event evaluation, Theme Camp Standing and access to the Directed Group Sale (DGS):

Post event, all placed Theme Camps will be reviewed on the criteria above, as well as:

1. MOOP score. If a camp receives a yellow or red MOOP score, the Placement team expects the camp to be proactive in addressing the issue.

2. Strain on resources. This refers to whether a camp requires extra BRC infrastructure support, which could include undue communication or interactions with Placement, Rangers, DPW or the playa restoration team. This could also include the processing of negative feedback from other departments. If a Theme Camp attracts negative attention by violating principles and cultural norms, this will similarly strain resources.

If a Theme Camp meets all of the criteria they remain in “good standing” and may be eligible to receive access to the DGS. Exemplary camps are the most likely to be invited to the following year’s DGS.

Good standing is of benefit as it will affect future placement.

Camps not in good standing will be contacted and will be expected to make substantial changes to their submitted camp plans to qualify for future placement of the DGS for the following year.

For most of you, this information is familiar and reflects what you are already doing. For some of you, this information means you are going to need to increase your interactivity and upgrade your public facing spaces to reflect the spirit of radical inclusion.

We are here to support all of you create an amazing and interactive city for everyone at Burning Man to enjoy.

For more information about this and other topics you can watch the Theme Camp Forum. We recorded the March 21 event.

Fuze Meeting link: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/replay_meet … e9/7113130


[Update 5/22/15 10:51am PST]

Thanks to Pooh Bear for bringing this to our attention. BMOrg are openly promoting one of the oldest tourist packages, Green Tortoise, which is about $1000 per head. Many major camps charge much less in dues, I am curious to know how this pricing sits with everyone.

The price of the tour is not so important. It’s nonsense to say “this is great at $1000 because they funded some art and gave people rides on their bus to Gerlach, but it sucks at $16,000 because they funded some art and gave people rides on their art car”. BMOrg have decided “it’s a spectrum” which makes all things welcome. If any Burners thought Commodification Camps would be shut down, I hope now you realize that despite whatever words were said, and however many feedback forms were filled out, that isn’t what actually happened.

The Voices of Burning Man has an official response, from “Burning Man” – yes, the symbol now speaks.

http://blog.burningman.com/2015/05/news/kicking-concierge-caboose-in-black-rock-city/

YMMV on how much actual caboose actually got kicked, and with what level of force.

They’ve said they’re trying to stop it. Even though FCS aren’t actually doing business at Burning Man…what’s next, any TaskRabbit services for Burning Man get banned? No more trunk shows?

We have contacted Festivals Concierge Services yet again, reminding them that they can’t offer “Burning Man concierge services” or use our IP to promote their business. We’re also taking a number of other steps to protect our principles and our stance on this issue:

  • Notifying participants in our Outside Services (OSS) program not to do business or subcontract with concierge companies like FCS or their clients.
  • Revisiting and revising the overall OSS program structure so companies like this can’t exploit the system.
  • Notifying BLM that FCS will not have a contract with Burning Man and should not receive a BLM Special Recreation Permit to operate its concierge business on public land.
  • Coordinating with DMV and Placement to ask Mutant Vehicle operators and theme camp organizers not to provide services or camping to FCS or their clients.
  • Working with our Ticketing Team to prevent FCS staff from acquiring event tickets for resale to their clients.
  • Communicating with YOU, our community, to keep you informed about these activities, and to solicit your help with combating the packaging and sale of our culture now and in the future.

Can anyone explain to me how BMOrg could possibly think the Ticketing Team might be involved with FCS acquiring event tickets for resale? Isn’t the event sold out, there are no more tickets?

The messages seem mixed to me. Concierge culture is OK (says Larry), and then it’s forbidden (says “Burning Man”). Shouldn’t we be focused on bringing more beautiful art into the world, rather than what things can They stop that They were previously promoting a few months back?

[5/22/15 9:35am PST]

Some hilarious commentary from some of the usual crew of haters on the official BM Facebook page, suggesting that we are lying about this story. Well, just click the links people, you can go to the web site yourself. It is very real, despite whatever “caboose kicking” is being talked about, there they are: still in business. With even burningman.org advertising their offering now. That is, if any Burners have any kind of anti-authoritarian, rebellious spirit in them…

And don’t think FCS are the only ones offering this service – they are just facing the wrath of Burnier-Than-Thous because they were brave enough to “stick their heads above the parapet” as Ross Asselstine describes it. They visibly tried to conform to the rules and promote the Ten Principles, after receiving community feedback last year. Most other concierge services aren’t doing anything remotely like that – that we can see, anyway…instead of “great, thank you, we asked you to make some changes and you did that”, they will face attacks from Burnier-Than-Thous and factions within the Org. All in the name of…what, exactly? Are they going to ban First Camp and Board Members Camps from having concierges? Paid staff? Nope, nothing’s changed, just more hot air, diversions, distractions, smokescreens. All part of the carnival, the hucksters, the chumps and suckers and rubes, making the spectacle for the ringmasters.


[Update 5/27/15 2:26am PST]

FCS has updated us with the statement below (emphasis ours).

Despite BMOrg’s claims, they were well aware of FCS, who have been in contact with them and trying to do the right thing for months now. There are many other concierge, catering, and event planning services operating at Burning Man – and it seems like the ones that DIDN’T try to do the right thing in dialog with BMOrg will still be operating on the Playa. Perhaps under the radar, perhaps with a “wink wink nudge nudge” tolerance, or perhaps with official support and free advertising (like the Green Tortoise tourist packages).

If BMOrg really wanted to put an end to concierges at Burning Man, then they shouldn’t have got their founder and philosophical head to write a lengthy blog post accepting and justifying them.

According to FCS, BMOrg may even be breaking some laws by trying to dictate who licensed OSS vendors can and can’t do business with. Isn’t their Vendor License with the Bureau of Land Management? Or is there a second contract also?

From Festivals Concierge Service:

A few days ago Burning Man posted an article on their blog about our company stating that concierge services did not exist at Burning Man and that they will do everything possible to prevent us from working on this event. Which is a total nonsense and in conflict with Larry Harvey‘s post of last December and even with our long discussions with BMorg.

Who will believe that BMorg just discovered that there are some wealthy Burners and they spend their money on services and organisation during the event?

After our last year mistake thus receiving a lot of community feedback, we agreed not to propose any direct on-site services and to only propose services through official Burning Man Outside Service Program suppliers (who refund 3% of their Burning Man business income to Burning Man organisation), and to respect the use of the Burning Man’s IP. April 20, 2015, a Counsel of BMorg even replied, “In the spirit of Radical Self-Expression, please use your own words to explain the Burning Man event to your clients.” Now BMOrg is stating publicly that we never tried to find a way to work with them, which is for the record totally false.

It seems that the Burning Man organization is influenced by opinions emerging from group of Burners who have an distaste for wealthy individuals and refuse changes to « their » event. Although their actions violate the first of the ten principles they claim to defend: Radical Inclusion. As Larry Harvey, Burning Man co-funder wrote recently “Scan Burning Man’s Ten Principles, and you will not find radical equality among them.”

Concierge culture existed at Burning Man early before we started any business there. Larry Harvey even confirmed it himself on his December 3, 2014 post on Voices of Burning Man: “Equality, Inequity, Iniquity : Concierge Culture”. As explain by Marian Goodell (Burning Man CEO) at the Global Leadership Conference, BMorg highly supports this business by its OSS program, and even takes financial advantage of this system. The near to 100 outside services companies who are supporting the Plug and Play camps are a most important part of the new business model of Burning Man, they are not going away, despite most of the Burner’s community dislike of them. The BMOrg personally deals with the outside services companies, towards satisfying the desires of the Concierge Camps, and of the Plug and Play Camps.

After trying to be recognized as a Burning Man Outside Service Program (OSS) official provider, Burning Man organisation finally replied us that they refuse to add concierge services to their program. We have therefore decided to propose a page on our website, clearly explaining that the services we offer for the Burning Man event are only intended to help our clients with preparation and organization, and the we didn’t offer any kind of package of the type BMOrg are trying to describe, or any other kind of unauthorized on-site services.

We are probably the only one type of concierge company who tried to do it in the official way, who tried to conform to the rules, who accepted to participate by paying the OSS contribution, who promoted the ten principles and who do our best to educate our clients to the Burning Man culture. Despite that Burning Man decided to lie and slander us publicly. This attitude is unacceptable.

The plug and play camps are increasingly numerous each year, and they do not relate anymore only to the wealthy Burners. There are some beautiful tunrkey camps starting from $500 for the week, including food, showers and electricity. These camps mostly host a large majority of campers, and RV’s are a minority. Some observers suppose that in a few years the Plug and Play Camps will represent more than 50% of the event, in accordance with the new business model of Burning Man.

Even if it displeases some Burners, the event evolves over time and we clearly are on the way to a Burning Man 2.0 with increasingly Virgins and wealthy Burners: people with annual income up to $150K grew  from 5.8% of the population in 2010 to 10.4% in 2014 and newbies from 21% in 2010 to 39,99% in 2013 (cfr. BRC Census).
http://burningman.org/culture/history/brc-history/afterburn/2014-afterburn-report/brc-2014-census/

This craze causes an obvious shortage of tickets that causes so much hatred from some Burners who have no more access to “their” event.

Also, by saying that they will notifying Outside Services (OSS) applicants and Air Carrier Services (ACS) programs that if they learn that they are doing business or subcontracting with us or our clients, they will deny access to the OSS and ACS programs, BMorg is asking OSS applicants to violate the U.S. Anti-Discrimination Laws and also the first Burning Man principle: Radical Inclusion

About this ticket problem, all our clients are already in possession of their own tickets. FCS does not have the task of verifying networks used by our clients to obtain their tickets. But we still allow doubting the good faith of BMorg when we know that they sells themselves a large amount of tickets to most of the Plug and Play camps.

We will continue to offer our services to help our clients organize and prepare their Burning Man experience. In any case BMorg may not oppose us from doing business outside of the event. We never claim to sell the Burning Man Experience, and even we really do our best to educate our clients to the Burning Man spirit. We also tried to create an art foundation (Art on Playa) to help our clients to sponsor art at Burning Man, but we met so many obstacles when we explained that we request financial transparency on projects that we wanted to support that we finally preferred to suspend this project. It seems that no one wants us to have a look on how they spend OUR money on their project. At least many of our “wealthy clients” continue to financially support art at Burning Man and by their actions, let all the community enjoy their gifts…

61 comments on “Concierges At Burning Man: Now Made Official [Updates]

  1. Pingback: Is This The New New Thing? | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

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    • “We did give a handful of turnkey camps placement last year. We’re never doing that again. Under our new placement policy, all camps who will be given placement and early access have to meet the high standards of being an interactive theme camp. That means, if you don’t meet the theme camp standards, you can’t send in your crew early to set up your fancy camp.” -Jon Mitchell

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    • BTW, it wasn’t me that brought the information about Green Tortoise to the attention of Burnerxxx…it was an article published on the Burning Man blog. Feels like more disinformation brought to you by Burners.me.

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      • Your comment bringing our attention to the Green Tortoise vacation tour package is there below for everyone to see Pooh. 2:42 pm on May 20.

        The placement policy requiring camps to have an interactive component was already there last year, according to Burningman.com in their Oct 14 post “how turnkey camps get placed”

        http://blog.burningman.com/2014/10/building-brc/how-turnkey-camps-get-placed/

        The only misinformation here is coming from you, Pooh. Now why is that?

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        • Another selective response. The org has already said publicly they did not enforce all of their placement rules the last couple of years and that was a mistake. Im simply pointing out the Org is putting all this out there on their own. It’s not like I brought something to your attention that wasn’t front and center on the BM blog. You just can’t help making things sound like a conspiracy.

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          • You’re the one saying conspiracy, not me. BMOrg are saying two conflicting things about Commodification Camps, and doing both things as well. The Green Tortoise is one obvious example. I am putting the information out there as well as my opinion about it, people are free to make up their own minds. I have no reason to doubt the statement from FCS, or Larry for that matter.

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  3. The Green Tortoise getting a pass really does show a level of hypocrisy. That this PnP camp (and that’s what it is, regardless of level of luxury) gets allocated a huge number of tickets too seems indefensible.

    Larry wrote that, “Whenever a select group is allowed special access to tickets, especially when these tickets are in short supply, this can inspire ill feeling. This is doubly so if such a camp is widely perceived to be flouting nearly all of Burning Man’s Ten Principles. This is what has stuck and rankled in the public mind. It is as if these camps have been allowed to parade past the Main Sale ticket queue and insert themselves at the head of the line.”

    I couldn’t have said it better.

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  4. My belief is of kudos are deserved, by the BMOrg, in regards of their response, today, towards the Festivals Concierge Service. Their response was most appropriate, halting theme camps, mutant vehicles, ticketing, their numerous outside service companies, and the BLM, from labouring with Festivals Concierge Service and companies of the same most horrible manner.

    The Project is not solely Larry, the Project is a 501(c)3 public benefit corporation of 17 board members, at present, towards whom he, and Marian, must report, in despite of Larry does not desire to do so. Larry might desire to lead Burning Man towards a part Esalen Institute, of Tedx conferences upon the tin principles, and a part Bohemian Grove, of Concierge Camps and timeshares, partying with his rich mates, in the manner of the prior JT, and ventures, and conflicts of interests, not disclosed towards volunteers and other donors, but, in despite of his positions as President of the Project, and Chief Philosophical Officer, permitting him to propose ventures, and joint ventures, towards the Project board, Larry no longer has final mark upon many items.

    Other members of the BMOrg, and other of the 16 Project board members, by appearance, desire to do the right thing in these manners. But, permitting plug and play camps to sell ‘vacation type experience packages for campmates with no specific requirement for contribution’, while their arses are cleaned by near to 100 outside services companies, is in the opposite of the prior Burning Man, a counter culture crowd sourced party, of where near to all made attempts towards participating in the throwing of the party. Radical self reliance upon paying cash towards others to do your labours, and radical survival upon paying cash for others to provide a RV on the playa, while you spectate, is quite the opposite of the prior Burning Man.

    The difficulties in regards of the advertising of camps whom sell ‘vacation type experience packages for campmates with no specific requirement for contribution’, and, mutant vehicles whom lease for the night, is of they are advertising in the manner of a commodity, and must licence with the BLM, and pay the BLM 3 per cent levy, and the BMOrg priorly stated, within December, they will not permit of this to occur. Advertising, in this manner, is not permitted, any whom might do so, must gain a licence, with the BMOrg, and the BLM, and pay the BLM 3 per cent levy, in the manner of all camps whom sell ‘vacation type experience packages’, in the opposite of solely sharing of costs among mates, must do so.

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    • Thank you, burnersxxx, in regards of posting this article in a free press manner, and persueing this issue. In penning this comment, I was not of the ability to view the Wysk corporate data site, but, the corporatewiki of the Black Rock City, LLC subsidiary corporation of the Project lists Leslie Pritchett, of the Crucible, as a member of the BRC LLC board of directors, but does not list Danger Ranger.

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    • By appearance, the Concierge Camps, the other Plug and Play Camps, and the near to 100 outside service companies whom support the camps are a most important part of the business model of the new Burning Man, they are not going away, in despite of most within the Burner community not desiring of them. Marian, within her talk at the Global Leadership Conference, stated of the Project was hiring 3 people to gain donations towards the Project, 5 people in all. People are solely hired in this manner might it be most profitable to do so. The BMOrg labours, with the outside service companies, towards satisfying the desires of the Concierge Camps, and of the Plug and Play Camps, and the people labouring to gain donations for the Project converse, with the customers of the Concierge Camps, and of the Plug and Play Camps, in regards of ‘matching a donor to an appropriate gifting opportunity’, or whatever Blarney Stone might be the proper term.

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        • Pooh Bear, burnersxxx priorly updated the article with this link, and the link of the Green Tortoise. The links are in blue, any might click upon the links.

          I do not understand the rationale as to why you do not like concierges in the manner of Festival Concierge Services. My belief is your labours for the BMOrg are in the manner I stated within my comment, you laboured for the BMOrg Outside Support Services purposed towards assisting the Plug and Play Camps of radical self reliance upon their cash to gain these numerous services, in addendum of your labours to gain donations, for the Project, from campers of this manner. What might be the difference from your labours for OSS, in the manner that might be termed a concierge, and the labours of Festival Concierge Services, of which they stated within their advertisement, other of they are not under the control of the BMOrg, and of that they made the most hideous error in regards of advertising their services?

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    • In addendum, in regards of the business model of the new Burning Man(TM), this is solely speculation, but, burnersxxx, you priorly queried in regards of the discussions of the BMOrg trip to Washington DC. My belief is, in addendum of making attempts to lower the rubbish amount of cash paid towards the Winnemucca BLM, and gaining adult supervision over the police, is of they discussed future ventures and permits. My belief is of they discussed in regards of Larrys desire of an Esalen Bohemian Grove future, where he might be the Grand Pooh Bah, and, perchance, assimilating a regional, purposed towards throwing a big Burning Man(TM) festival upon BLM land, or upon other land.

      This is solely speculation in regards of the discussions, but the BMOrg, utilizing Chip Kelley, and others whom are most brilliant, learn in regards of the business models of other festivals. In due of the actions of the BMOrg in regards of booting numerous Burners, whom have awesomely participated in the throwing of prior burns, from the playa, purposed towards gaining numerous new customers, of 40 per cent newbies of each year, might they have learned from the business model of Coachella, and of other festivals? Perchance, create a shortage of tickets by selling tickets towards spectators, in place of towards participants, and thus add 1 week, or 2 weeks, upon the festival, selling tickets towards numerous more customers, utilizing the same structures? In addendum, Sturgis, and the Renaissance Pleasure Faires, are of a similar manner. Perchance, might the BMOrg, utilizing wristbands, stating of the first week, of which much might be built within the start of the week, and of the second week, might it be solely a party week? Perchance, it might raise the cash, gained from ticket sales, from $30.5 million, to near to $60 million. This is solely speculation, but, might this be a part of their business model in regards of their new permit of 2017?

      All that is required is of numerous shit upon Burners to assist them in their endeavours.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Personally I think they’re crazy not to do 2 weekends like Coachella and Ultra. Everyone is out there anyway, and the demand is clearly there.

        As for another location, some other time of the year, why wouldn’t the BLM find another piece of land that could earn then $3-10m in fees? Again, the demand is there.

        BMOrg can bad-mouth Further Future all they want, but festivals like this and LIB are so much more professional than the NV burn, let alone the Regionals. The idea that the future is in the Regionals magically “growing up” one day is laughable. BMP could achieve much more of the “promote a message about the arts” that is supposedly their goal with small stages at other festivals, than leaving everything up to whoever puts their hand up to volunteer in whatever place.

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        • Yes, that all makes perfect sense – several different options, all to more effectively spread the “Burning Man message,” whatever/regardless of what that might be. But you are again taking them at their word, or the BMP articles of incorporation. You forget that the current manipulations are all a rouse to gather narcissistic supplies.

          Another location, longer time or added event might remove the “sellout” factor, and the BOrg would lose the exclusive attendance control leverage that has burners, Davos-wannabees and the SF in-crowd sucking up to them. Sure, they already have the full-time and experienced staff and overhead to do this, but it would be counter-productive to their primary NPD goals.

          And certainly promoting their “message” at events not directly under their control, unless doing so elevates themselves over validating others, be-spoils their exclusive handle and control over their magic and the magical thinking their NPD cult demands.

          No, they are desperately afraid of losing control over their private party and the NPD supplies. The last thing they want is the open attendance and creativity of 10 years ago. It would create an even larger contingent of those unruly burners free to do what they want, not what they are told they want.

          Liked by 1 person

        • The BLM is the US government, the employees do not care in regards of $3-10m in fees. They care in regards of raising the number of people whom might be under them, in the usual manner of a bureaucracy. The ministers of the BLM care in regards of changing their reputation of solely leasing land for cattle, mining, and felling numerous trees, leasing land purposed for a festival in the manner of Burning Man might be awesome PR for the BLM, it is not their usual business.

          Yes, might the BMOrg be more interested in regards of spreading the bottoms up, crowd sourced culture of Burning Man, of where any person, or group, might do near to any awesome thing, in place of their interests of top down control over near to all, the BMOrg might be most happy in regards of Burner groups starting their own festivals, in the manner of Further Future, LIB, Desert Hearts, Figment, Flipside, Reno Sculpture Fest, and numerous other festivals. I do not understand of the rationale of why the BMOrg desires to bad-mouth them, or refuse to permit them any publicity upon any social media site assimilated by the Borg.

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    • http://blog.burningman.com/2015/05/news/kicking-concierge-caboose-in-black-rock-city/

      So, if you do a CCamp without kissing the BOrg’s ring, or nether regions, and/or make a “contribution” to the BMP, you will get blocked. But as Burnersxxx pointed out, where are all those fungible tickets coming from? Seems the BOrg’s private party has some discretionary tix floating around. Wonder how that happened… did someone accidentally leave the ticket printer running?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Justifying Green Tortoise as “the exception that proves the rule” (newspeak) is like defining Commodification Camps as “the same as any other camps, everyone is on a spectrum”. That is: these things are being endorsed by the board, not blocked. FCS is a convenient scapegoat, and “look! The Goodyear blimp!” style distraction in the Carnival of Smoke and Mirrors. BMOrg saying “it’s just a spectrum and all are welcome” is really the key message here. Burners should pay attention to that, not the misleading propaganda narrative of “FCS are bad and if we could only punish them, we would be saving our culture”…Larry wrote an essay supporting concierge camps, FFS. What does that do to either promote, or prevent, Commodification Camps at Burning Man?

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      • Bizarrely enough, keeping the good/bad CCamp judgement capricious perfectly fits the NPD BOrg. Rather than objective rules that all can understand, better to keep all in a gray area so that the BOrg can gather followers seeking to garner their favor. The management of the NV burn is by men, not laws, quite intentionally.

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        • It does all make a lot of sense, when viewed through this lens. In this case, the rule makers – and those with their ear – have the power, and the rest scramble to curry favor and establish their place in the pecking order.

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        • It is in the manner of a patronage system, of where the party of power has control over numerous people, and might the people desire to be within the system, they must lick the arses of those of power. It is quite the opposite of the prior Burning Man, of counter culture non-conformists, desiring to throw an awesome party, in a most remote desert, in a crowd sourced bottoms up manner, and not desiring to be told what they might do, and what they might not do, the Burning Man of ‘you might already be a member, you solely do not know it yet’, of people whom are not joiners, they solely desire to do awesome things.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Not sure how to attach a photo here, but Festivals Concierge Service is paying Facebook to push a link to this article. I took a screenshot. What kind of fake company has a marketing budget, then markets this?? I

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    • That would be the type of fake company that the faithful need to rationalize the obvious betrayal of the Tin Principles by the BOrg.

      Or, the type of fake company that is gathering gullible people with a too-late bucket list. You know, like the BOrg.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Green Tortoise has an excellent reputation, maintains the positive relationship between Geirlach and Burning Man, has a history of bring many good participants, and actually predates the 10 principles by 4 years. $1,000 to go to burning man is fairly cheap anyways. All told I spent $2,000 plus the ticket the first year I went.

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      • “I am curious to know how this pricing sits with everyone. The price of the tour is not so important.”

        That’s pretty confusing, but I think I know what you’re getting at. “Turn key” IS a spectrum. At one end are the camps that have paid employees and turn a profit for the organizers, and Green Tortoise is absolutely one of those (however, I’m not totally opposed to anybody turning a profit through on-playa services; porta-potties are necessary). The fact that BMORG has identified precisely 12 “turn key” camps suggests that they know very well that a line can be drawn through the spectrum (although I’m guessing they didn’t count Green Tortoise in those 12).

        “Price of the tour is not important”. Caravancicle provided a much more luxurious experience than Green Tortoise, and apparently may not have turned a profit with their $16k camp dues. Green Tortoise must be turning a substantial profit with their $995 camp dues. If the dues are going back into the camp, the level of service should be considered, and price of the tour isn’t important.

        Green Tortoise is a for-profit company and offers an 11 day tour of California for $575. Various 14 day cross country tour itineraries run $1498. Camp dues for 7 days at Burning Man is $995 (plus $390 for a ticket), which is their most expensive extended trip on a per day basis (and the one with perhaps the lowest daily fuel costs).

        Take GT to Burning Man for $995, and you get transportation from San Francisco, shade, drinking water, and communal food (with a food prep shift required). Playa Bike Repair has $400 dues (http://playabikerepair.com/products/theme-camp-membership, and really not the best example since they require 16 hours of volunteering; I know I’ve seen sound camps with similar amenities and prices that waive volunteering for ~$100 extra in dues). If somebody camps with PBR for $400, instead of GT for $995, they also get showers, a bike, and electricity. PBR doesn’t provide transportation, but you can get from SFO to the playa via Burner Express for $200 (and if you’re going GT, you’ll need to pay a little more to take BART or a taxi to get from the airport to GT’s hostel before you board GT’s bus to Burning Man). GT is a useful service for overseas burners, but it’s overpriced and turning a substantial profit. If I was advising a burner flying in from overseas, I’d encourage them to look into Burner Express+PBR (or similar theme camps) rather than GT. Better amenities, less expensive, more money rolled back into on-playa services.

        Liked by 1 person

        • And I’m not trying to shill for Playa Bike Repair here. I usually camp with another bike repair camp that’s been coming to Burning Man for longer then PBR has existed. We have much lower dues, but don’t have showers or food. PBR is getting a little more on the turn key side of the spectrum than I care for, but they’re better than Green Tortoise or Caravancicle.

          Liked by 1 person

        • “(however, I’m not totally opposed to anybody turning a profit through on-playa services; porta-potties are necessary)”

          To equate P4P CCamps or any non-essential services with necessary sanitary infrastructure is absurd. Epic Fail. Any non-gift activity, any transaction for that matter, must be required for the BLM permit. Selling ice is the most that should be allowed, and again for health reasons. Even selling coffee is wrong. The coffee is a gift at Transformus.

          If you allow any on-playa service that is not required for the BLM permit, you might as well have restaurants, hotels, and charge entry to theme camps. (Just do it with pre-purchased tokens charade.) The problem is that the BOrg has been breaking the Tin Principles in Center Camp for decades, and have lost perspective.

          Simple: your ticket pays for all permit-required services. All else at Burning Man is a gift, not even barter, and no money transactions allowed. All else is something different.

          Liked by 1 person

          • How could the BMorg be breaking the principles for decades when the principles themselves have only been around for a single decade? The principles weren’t commandments sent down by God in olden times, they were written down by a man in 2004 and they were based upon what the burn was up to that point. A burn that included both the green tortoise and a coffee shop.

            Your slippery slope I got a hangnail so I might as well kill myself logical fallacies are downright silly. They sell coffee because there was a need for coffee at center camp and there weren’t enough darkstars or cowboys willing to give it away for free. The selling of coffee fixed an issue just like the paying for the porta potties fixed an issue. The issues weren’t of the same severity, but they were both issues that needed to be addressed.

            Also, while the coffee is a gift at Tfus you can get propane delivered for a fee, if your generator breaks you can have the company send a replacement, and with our lakes we don’t really need the ice sales though I will be buying some.

            I guess this could be because we have eleven principles not tin, but the 13th is still my favorite.

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          • 2004-2010 – better part of one decade, 7 years
            2011-2015 – half of another decade

            12 years total, more than “a” decade, therefore plural, “decades” is appropriate. It’s been happening over 2 decades, just as Burning Man has been happening over 4 – 80’s, 90’s, naughties, and teenies.

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          • “How could the BMorg be breaking the principles for decades when the principles themselves have only been around for a single decade? …they were written down by a man in 2004 and they were based upon what the burn was up to that point…”
            > Which would be decades, since the NV burn had been happening for decades.

            When one identifies principles, one is either drawing from the past, or identifying goals for the future, often both. The explicit tenure of the Tin Principles is not the issue, the issue is the actions of those that identified the principles. If six months ago a politician stated that one of their principles is to take no donations more than $100, and they had done so for decades before, and continued after they made that statement, that they had not followed that principle for decades would still be accurate, even if the statement were only six months old. It speaks to the veracity of the people identifying principles.

            jonnnney, your mixing coffee, ice and porta-potties either identifies you as mentally challenged, or the presumption that the reader is. For one thing, the lake is NOT a substitute for ice. (Do you REALLY believe that, or that the reader would?) Ice and porta-potties are necessary for safe occupancy of a space unequipped to support that many people for general participant health and safety. Coffee is not. If the BOrg decided to sell coffee at center camp because people would not gift it speaks to their failing. There always seemed to be enough coffee at Transformus. The answer is to encourage people to gift coffee in BRC, not to assure room service at Center Camp.

            The maintenance and repair of equipment to support a FREE activity is not at all the same as charging from something that can be gifted.

            Your slippery slope is the one where the BOrg started arrange to sell things that they could not bother to make the effort to get gifted. I need to do a separate post on gifting, but the key point is the sanctioned selling of ANYTHING is an issue. I remember my first burn, and how cool it was that I did not have to carry any money… but then had to go back and get my wallet when I found out about the center camp coffee sales. The BOrg is now skiing down that slippery slope, with high-priced lift tickets for those that can afford the service.

            In fact, the major problem I see is not that the BOrg has not promoted the burner spirit, but that they have run it to ground. “Burning Man” is rapidly devolving into meaning something sadly commercial and exploitative. You can no longer say, “like Burning Man,” without the image of fly-in spectators to see naked hippies in the desert. It is to the point were we need a new term to resurrect the creative, inclusive, gifting and gratitude spirit we had in the high desert more than a decade ago.

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      • But back to the point – you fool. Folks are once again renting the cloth of their crusty playa wear outfits over a web site that’s as fake and farcical as any other amateurish BM spoof. Any actual concierge service making a debut (or return) to the playa is going to be well under the radar of your (or my) financial means with absolutely no reason to advertise.

        I’d ask you to think about that for a minute but it’d probably burn a few circuits up in that sloped skull of yours.

        Liked by 1 person

        • They’re threatening to sue me, so I’m pretty sure it’s not a farce. Call them up, they have offices in 4 countries it’s a very real business. And still in business, Burning Man hasn’t stopped them in any way.

          Welcome back Badger, I love the element you’re injecting into the mix right now. Vaccinate away!

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        • So, Badger, let me get this straight: You think this web page is a hoax, yet the BOrg have seen fit to take issue with the hoax. Is: a) the BORg being fooled?; or, b) are they in a Kabuki Dance charade to fool the faithful?

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  6. How real is FCS? The website looks nice, but the English grammar is poor. Makes me think somebody in Russia just created the website out of thin air.

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    • No, Pooh, they control the camps chosen, placement, and who gets bulk tickets. It is a private party. To pretend it is the old counter-culture crowd-sourced ground-up creative event is purely delusional, or intentional disinformation.

      The Burning Man spirit has moved on. The NV burn just has the old Burning Man facade, with nothing left behind. The Burning Man spirit is recreating itself through the burners and what we have learned from our experience, something Decommodification cannot own, and that the BMP does not know cannot spread. And just as the CCamp participants will never personally experience the Tin Principles, so the BOrg at Center Camp, now just another CCamp, no longer do.

      What we burners have learned and taken to our lives is based on things that you can never get at a CCamp. And it is sad that it has also been lost on the BOrg.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. >Burning Man is not a festival like no other,

    That’s true. But I think they meant that Burning Man is a festival like no other. Or not, I’m not sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This actually looks like concierge services TO burning man not concierge services AT burning man, rich people paying someone to get a flight to the playa, a nice RV, and an appropriate bike doesn’t bother me. That is just a high end version of playa pods and the RV services are already offered by a separate RV servicing company.

    The things that do concern me are the segways, the plug n play placement, the Art Car rentals, and the costume designer.

    I personally don’t like seeing the non-decorated segways riding around; the electric skateboards weren’t too bad though.

    Finding a plug and play camp isn’t as bad as running a plug and play camp, but it is still damaging because it promotes the use and abuse of plug and play camps.

    The costume designer is better than them just giving you random outfits, but I’d rather people pick out their own stuff. I do not mind people buying costumes rather than making them though as long as the wearer found it or had it made for them.

    The Art Car Rental has a lot of conflicting thoughts. It looks like the rental is outside the playa, i.e. people rent the art cars for the whole burn not like a different art car rented each day. I like the idea that people can get back some of their expenses from previous art cars and I’m okay with the idea of a custom made art cars because it still means new interesting art cars, but I worry about them manipulating the art car approval process and I worry about virgins not realizing they are supposed to pick up random people if there is room.

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  9. I guess cash is gifting then,WHATEVER! I think going with what you have makes you search out what you need. With that comes new friends, experiences and much more than money could ever buy. Sad these people buying into this will never really know what Burning Man is all about.

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    • Amen.

      But paying for something is not gifting. Not at all. It is the opposite. If the CCamp took burners at random, and gave them all the same accommodations as the paying customers got, THAT would be a gift. …But the burners I know might enjoy the novelty experience for a few hours, but would then toss the wristband and get back to the burn and their BRC mates.

      Like

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