New Plug-n-Plays Coming Up With Their Own Principles

Soho Gardens is the latest ultra-luxe glamping experience at Burning Man. It is very much following the lead of previous sherpa-laden hotel experiences at Burning Man that have been highly promoted to the media, from Directors Chip Conley, Jim Tananbaum, and (ironicallyChris Weitz who is totally against plug-n-plays (see comments).

So, what’s the Soho Gardens twist?

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No maids, no sherpas. No fire. No drama. No ‘razis.

O. M. F. G.

How would one cope? This self-reliance thing is getting a little ridiculous. How are we supposed to rely on ourselves without maids or paparazzis? What’s the point of sherpas if some camps forbid them? Should we chain them to our camps and not let them ever go free range at Burning Man?

Soho Gardens promise to educate their guests in the Principles of Burning Man, but only about 3 of them…after that, there are better principles to focus on. And who’s to say that “Love” and “Green Energy” aren’t better than “Immediacy” and “Radical Self Reliance, anyway”? The principles are just guidelines.

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Wi-Fi is available at limited hours, presumably as a free gift to all Burners.

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They’re pretty specific about who they do, and don’t, want to Radically Include:

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They’re looking at a few more amenities than the BLM’s Blue Pit:

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They’ve figured out how to include Gifting and Radical Inclusion with the requisite VIP Exclusivity: Gift Tickets

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No word yet on how much per head, but we believe there are still slots available.

29 comments on “New Plug-n-Plays Coming Up With Their Own Principles

  1. If I may.

    I do not run or stay in a Plug N Play! The Ashram Galactica, which I started with fellow Burners, is totally run by members, who work and pay a fee in order to provide experiences to the public at large. There has been some confusion since the theme of the Ashram is a hotel. We give out 4 room tents by raffle to the public.

    At first it was kind of funny that people took our theme seriously enough to imagine it as an actual hotel.

    Now it kind of isn’t since I hate Plug N Play. Incidentally the above looks disastrous.


    Chris Weitz
    Head Concierge Emeritus, the Ashram Galactia

    • Thanks Chris. Hotels on the Playa began as a big farce, and you are to be commended for creating it with such style.

      Sadly, the irony now seems lost, since they are a real thing, people are paying 5-figure sums to stay in them, and Larry Harvey makes public statements embracing “concierge culture” at Burning Man.

      I have pointed this out here in the past in the context of the Occidental Oasis, timeshare placement that was sold at the Souk last year…”ironically”. I would not be in the least surprised if this follows the course of Ashram Galactica, where something that was proposed ironically, very soon becomes real and a money-spinner.

      I have added (ironically) to the story to separate you from the previous 2 Burning Man Directors.

      • Thank you — yes — it is a sad thing! I do appreciate the slight rewrite, although I fear it still implies that my camp is plug and play — which would be a disservice of course to my many (and almost exclusively 99%er) campmates… You are of course very welcome to say what you will but my hope would be to avoid guilt by association!

        Anyhow I hope people will come and play (and even plug, if they’re into that kind of thing) at the Grand Hotel this year — 6.45 and E.



        May self-reliance thrive,


    • Hear Hear! I enjoyed the hospitality of The Ashram Galactica, after a hot day of Rangering. It was a pleasure to be gifted something wonderful to eat, and a place to rest for a bit. Totally turned a horrible day into a wonderful one.

      Aug 5, and SOHO has no placement on the map. GOOD. They will be learning a very hard lesson.

  2. Hmmm let’s hope that tower becomes a beacon to all pranksters.
    I wonder what would happen if I tried to go there and mingle. Rhetorical question, will they have camp bouncers?

  3. Wonder if the camp wrist bands will have a chip imbedded in them so that the moat gate rises and lowers accordingly.

    “Everyone welcome.” Yeah, let me know how that works out.

  4. I notice how ‘no sherpas’ is a ‘principle’ but they have a separate staff area and staff yurts. So it appears they have Sherpas but you just can’t bring your own.

  5. Suburbia has arrived at Burning Man…..Gated communities….What’s next? 7 11’s?,
    Ferris wheels? A Disney theme camp? I suppose if the price is right the borg will approve anything.

    Why continue pretending the ten principles mean anything and that there’s a difference between BM and the ‘outside reality’?

    • The next step will be a “Burn Co-op,” that is presuming the Burn Coins(tm) don’t catch on first. The CCamps will cross-recognize other CCamps and their wristbands. Common database wristband bar code scanners a must.

    • “Why continue pretending?” Because by pretending, the BOrg can continue to get gullible burners to gift the event for their amusement, self-gratification, and profit. That’s why.

      The BOrg want to have their own Bohemian Grove, but could not even begin to pay for the event that the burners throw for themselves. The BOrg gets a free ride, and gets paid $20 million for the privilege of saying they are the creators.

      Calling what the BOrg do as the NB burn “Burning Man” is a slap in the face to the burners that have created it. I have done several theme camps, and not once did the BOrg have a positive influence on our participation. The last time we got “placement,” there was a dust storm and the poor BOrg did not know what to do. We set up, just not where we were placed because the BOrg were not there.

      No, all the BOrg can claim rights to is getting the space and dealing with the paperwork. No inspiration from them. Inspiration comes from the other burners.

      Funny, but they don’t seem to want to cover paperwork and their $20 million bureaucracy, and contracting for port-a-potties, in their international “sharing” of their brilliant creation.

      Instead of a study in how to create an event, the BOrg are a case study of how to mismanage and fumble an amazing opportunity that the burners gave them.

  6. After reviewing the site, it’s clear that it’s run by a non-native english speaker. The IP address of the site is from the Netherlands. I might only mean their webguy is dutch, or it could mean they’re running the whole operation from there, which is a recipe for failure.

    Also, Soho Gardens is not placed on the current partial list of theme camps ( ). And going on BMorgs requirement of interaction, I don’t see anything that qualifies this camp as having any, so I doubt they’ll be placed.

    How can they pull any of this off without placement? And if they’re based in the Netherlands… I’d rather burn my money.

  7. Interesting, the camp layout violates the placement team requirement of a firelane for access.

  8. That is an impressive wall of RVs around the camp. Could they be anymore selfish with that massive space? It used to be that you could walk around and actually interact with camps. Most of the fun was happening off the esplanade and not on the deep playa. But now it’s endless walls of RVs, and where there are open spaces they are dark at night because the RV compounds have killed the entire inner-city vibe.

    I wonder if it’s okay to bring a prostitutes to Soho Gardens as long as you just call them girlfriends…

  9. That’s it for me.
    Over the many years I have volunteered – café, Rangers, build teams, MV inspections, supplied, built and burned art and all the while stupidly trying to actually follow and live the 10 so-called principles….
    10 principles are a joke – Self sufficiency? Ha! Radical inclusions – as if…
    BMs success – money – is killing it, and BM is now on the threshold of becoming a simple spectacle for the privileged and we the workers and real participants just amusement for them.
    I am done with it.

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