This past weekend Australia hosted the country’s oldest and best bush doof (outdoor dance party): Earthcore. Despite being nearly 10,000 miles away from the Playa, revellers at “Australia’s answer to Burning Man” experienced their very own dust devil. Forget Sharknado: meet Doofnado…
The appearance of this familiar Burning Man elemental spirit, so far from the dust, suggests to me that there is something a bit more magical going on – a higher consciousness manifesting before us, perhaps. A wondrous willy-willy.
I first attended Earthcore in 1997, and Burning man in 1998. It’s interesting to compare and contrast the progression of the two events. Earthcore took a break from big outdoor parties for many years, allowing rival festival Rainbow Serpent to spring up. Now both events happily co-exist on the Australian outdoor party calendar. When Earthcore returned to business, they offered the same thing as in the past: great music, great people, attention to detail in the setup. If I went to Earthcore last weekend, I probably would have seen many of the same people from the 90’s – older, and some now able to rent camper vans – mixed in with a new, younger crowd. People would be doing the same things, in pretty much the same way.
Burning Man, on the other hand, has changed dramatically since 1998. Sure, many of the elements are the same: the dust, the outdoor camping, the porta-potties. Musically, rather than developing and diversifying, Burning Man seemed to become obsessed with dubstep in the Noughties, and more mainstream “progressive” EDM sounds in the current decade. You may hear some of the best music in the world at Burning Man, then again you may not. It’s pot luck. Wanna know who’s playing? BMOrg are fighting tooth and nail to prevent you. Managed to find out from the Burner underground where and when your favorite musician is playing a set? Good luck catching them; welcome to “Playa time”.
At Earthcore, you are guaranteed to hear some of the best music in the world. Got a favorite? Go see them at a specific place and time.
Some would say that this reduces spontaneity; but you can still choose to ignore the lineup if you want. You can still drop acid and give shit to people and have a transformative experience; but you won’t come home with cracked feet coughing for a month, and 10% of attendees don’t need to visit the medical tent.
Despite an official musical lineup, curated by the promoters, the point of the 5-day Earthcore event is still Community. You are in a remote location, camping with others who have also made a pilgrimage to nowhere just to party. A concert is something you attend, then go home at the end of. A festival is something you live in for several days, with thousands of others.
The main difference I see between these two multi-decade events is the mission. The mission of Earthcore is to give their customers a good time, and they succeed in that. The mission of Burning Man has changed over time, it used to be “we create a city together, there are no spectators” – and that was a lot of fun. These days it is “we’re changing the world” and “transform your personality into something else” – marketed not to the Burners who have made Black Rock City internationally renowned, but instead to the new generation: Oprah and Dr Phil viewers looking to deal with grief at the Temple, #blacklivesmatter protestors and Presidential candidates seeing new political indoctrination opportunities, wealthy Wall Street and Silicon Valley donors lording it over their neighbors with sherpas and wristbands and RV compounds, gold digging sparkle ponies looking to meet socially awkward billionaires, and safari tourists looking to cross the Burning Man spectacle off their bucket list.
They fucked with a winning formula – and if you ask BMOrg, they’ll tell you that they’re still winning. More people want to come, at higher prices: winning. If you don’t like it, start your own! That’s their definition and they’re sticking to it. “People have been telling us we’re doing it wrong for thirty years and we’re still doing it, therefore we are obviously doing it right”. This argument can be used to justify the Wars on Terror and Drugs, too. “We’re still in the war, so we must be doing well at it”. The only losers in this picture are the Burners, who gave so much for so long only to find that sucking up to the Ruling Group is what gets rewarded in the non-profit world, not how the community values your contributions.
Earthcore: keep giving the people what they want. Happy people, consistent product, incremental innovation: winning. Something’s not working? Let’s fix it and make it better.
BMOrg: the more we push the Burners out, the more we can charge for tickets sold to the newbies. Sold out? Winning. People unhappy with gate, Will Call, and Exodus lines? Who cares? Jumped the shark? Who cares? Ten Principles? Don’t worry about them, they were only ever meant to be guidelines, not rules. Bring all the sherpas you want, buy them $1000 tickets.
It’s a big world, and there’s plenty of room for lots of different events. Australia can have Earthcore and Rainbow Serpent, surely it can have Burning Seed and Blazing Swan and Modifyre too. Many will tell you that “Burning Man is not a festival so you can’t compare it”. But most Burners can’t go to Burning Man any more. The tickets are sold out in seconds, and yet BMOrg are still chasing new blood. This seems a doomed strategy – the more BMOrg rejects established Burners, the more irrelevant the Nevada event becomes to Burner culture. Perhaps that is just fine for the Ruling Group, who have their sights set on reshaping mainstream culture. Pesky Burners with their silly Principles just get in the way. Soon only BMOrg and their hand-picked minions will be allowed to burn stuff at an official Burn.
What does the future of this “social movement” look like, beyond the Black Rock Desert? Are the Regionals supposed to be all like Burning Man, but not like festivals? What does that actually mean? Temples? Survival without stores? Themes? Philosopher-kings? Is there a global demand for this?
As Burner culture spreads around the world, it encounters pockets of young people who like sex, drugs, and
rock and roll doof. They already do stuff, it’s not like the whole world is sitting around bored waiting for the Burning Man circus to come to town. So what do the Regionals have to offer, compared to well established existing competition? Is it the Ten Principles that are a drawcard, or the music and dancing and fun?
Or…is it the Doofnado? Is there something deeper, more spiritual, more cosmic going on within this movement? If so, then our future is in the hands of the believers – not the church.
[Update 11/30/15 11:45am]
JV in the comments here makes the point that Burning Man is not trying to be Earthcore. I agree, I’m not saying it should be. The question to me is more, if you are going to go to the trouble of putting on a Burner event in your local area, do you want it to be large and successful (like Earthcore and Burning Man) or small and struggling (but pure and true to the Tin Principles). Popular DJs go a long way towards turning the latter into the former. Or maybe the smaller Regionals don’t have enough blowjob workshops yet, or something.
This story has been making news all around the world. It was the BBC‘s “Must See” feature story of the day. It’s in the Daily Mail and the International Business Times. The Doofnado has made a miraculously magically timely appearance, what with the Paris Climate Conference going on and the world looking for some good news stories.
The photographer who took the pictures above, Adi Adar, has some beautiful words on his web site that really gel with the spirit of this story. #PLUR.
One of my absolute joys as a doof photographer is meeting you all along my travels and hearing your stories. From the inspiring, to the magical, to the outright hilarious, the one common theme that comes up in your stories, time and time again, is how doofing has had a *profoundly positive* influence on your life for the better. ❤
As doofing continues to grow, the question however, that inevitably needs to be addressed is: how do we keep the essence… the heart… the soul… the spirit of what doofing is all about, intact, so we can sustainably grow our community and our movement, so we can foster more positive energy, and attract more beautiful souls to join us in our collective journey?
To address this challenge, I am super excited to announce: The Spirit Of Doof! ❤🌈🔊🎶😍👌
Similar to the ‘Humans of New York’ photography project, The Spirit Of Doof aims to use social media to encapsulate both the magic and spirit of doofing, through your stories and photos. ❤ In turn, I hope that you and your stories, will resonate with those new to doofing, and in effect these will become an educational resource to promote the core values, the spirit, of what doofing is all about.
I would be absolutely honoured for you to be part of this grassroots project of social change in some way no matter how large or small. This project isn’t about me… this is about all of us! ❤
So whether you are a doofer, a performer, an artist, a photographer, a DJ or a doof promoter… you all can make a difference. If you are a doofer, and would like to share you story, and promote your values and energy that you bring into the doof movement, please get in touch… If you are a photographer and would love to shoot photography for us, please get in touch…. If you are a doof promoter, and would like The Spirit of Doof to interview people at your doof to promote the core values of what your doof represents, please also get in touch…. The possibilities here are endless, and it all begins with your contribution. ❤
My vision is: I hope The Spirit Of Doof not only makes a difference to attract a beautiful quality of person and energy to the doofs we all love to attend, but to more broadly promote doofing as a social vehicle for elevating human consciousness to society at large, and in turn promote our core values of ‘one love’ and ‘one planet’, beyond our traditional social circles.
I admit this is a huge vision, but it begins by the small individual contributions we all can make…Thanks for taking the time to read this. I can’t wait to read your story. smile emoticon Thanks for embracing The Spirit Of Doof! Love and light ❤ – Ari Adar
“Thanks to all Burners who are innovating in architecture and temporary housing at Burning Man and beyond – the world really needs it.
Philippe Glade’s 2011 book The Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man sold out at 1100 copies, and no more will be produced. But next year he will release a new book, Black Rock City, NV The New Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man – covering the years 2011-2015. If you want to participate in this project, please contact Philippe.”
>Gee, do you think “the world” got enough copies of his first book? Wonder what hoops the Borg might make someone jump through to document this information that “the world really needs.” Maybe the Borg considers this part of their proprietary rights to art on the playa. Perhaps they will be licensing these designs, or just a royalty share of Philippe’s next book? …Clearly they should unleash their annual $4 million lawyers on anyone who might make this information available for free – just because you got it for free that does not mean others should be treated the same. Gotta make some cash on this for it to be a “success.”
To be successful I will gladly make drawings and specifications for our 2006 camp available for $1 million plus a 10% licensing fee…
[office src=”https://onedrive.live.com/embed?cid=CFFFF04CB76D019A&resid=CFFFF04CB76D019A%212018&authkey=ANyn_M1xg5zPotU” width=”320″ height=”240″]
Our understanding is that the copyright to the flag has been abandoned.
^^^ Sorry, posted this in the wrong discussion thread. Should have been here:
I can see why people are analyzing the “formula”. But, formulaic isn’t necessary good. It’s one reason I haven’t been back to burning man. Also one reason I haven’t gone to a regional.
Though a Borg “regional,” Transformus is very well run and is all volunteer, for everything. Among the reasons I did not go this year was that they sell out tickets every year, with a cap of about 3,000 because of the location in the forested NC hills. All of my good Burning Man experiences at the NV burn were when someone could come virtually at the last minute. That allows camp spontaneity that has been lost. I am now in search for another burn that either does not sell out so quick, like Burnt Soup TX, or non-ticketed (free) events like Night Markets and Figment.
This is why a comprehensive listing of all burns, particularly including the non-“regionals,” would be great to have.
As I posted before, this is a dated list that is a start:
Wikipedia had a pretty comprehensive list of regionals, but it was recently eviscerated (while I understand that the entire list wasn’t really Wikipedia kosher, going by Wikipedia rules, it should’ve been cut even further). Here’s the last version before the cuts: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_regional_Burning_Man_events&oldid=681248896
None of the regionals in KS, OK, AR, IA or MO sell out. I think Interfuse might well be the largest regional that doesn’t sell out.
Responding to the update.We could add popular DJs, but we’re not going to draw big(ish) names to play for free like Burning Man does. Pay the talent? That pretty much immediately turns it into a typical rave, and the added population will be ravers who know nothing about burner culture. I get that there’s not much demand for the events I like (150-1000 people at local burns, drawn from a radius where 10+ million people live).
But what I see happening is that festivals are draw elements from burns, but failing to replicate the magic. We’ve had our regional at two of the local venues which host cover band drug fests (changed to the second after the DEA seized the first). Both sets of land owners have been to the Burning Man, but I don’t see that they get it. They obviously like burns, and they try to replicate them at their drug fests. Which apparently means: giving a couple artists free tickets to build sculptures, adding a fire dancer performance, and doing a yoga workshop. That doesn’t cut it.
And then there’s the local DJ/promoter that regularly goes to the biggest local regional. One year, he decided that his rave needed theme camps. While I didn’t go, I gather that no theme camps showed up. I didn’t see much need to bring my free coffee theme camp to an event full of vendors selling food and drink.
Grafting a couple elements of burns onto a typical music festival doesn’t make them into burns. You’re suggesting that grafting a couple big name musical performers onto a burn will make the burn more successful. It will increase the numbers attending, but they won’t know anything about burner culture.
The cover band drug fests usually have some stuff about “leave no trace” in their informational material. It doesn’t work. People leave trash everywhere. They’re not plugged into a culture that takes that shit seriously (I’m sure the venue owners that host us love having us clean up between their trash fests).
It seems like even these shitty festivals that copy a few basic elements of BM without “getting it” draw thousands of people. And meanwhile the regionals that “get it” but “don’t want to be like other festivals” draw hundreds. Sure, Afrikaburn and Midburn – ones that have been promoted by BMOrg comparatively more than others – are about 10,000 and 5,000. After that, though, it drops off substantially. Regionals that have been going more than 10 years, still count their crowds in the hundreds.
What’s the difference? Drugs? Lineup?
JV says “crowd size isn’t the only metric”, and fair enough. Maybe it’s better to have 100 “cool people” than 10,000 ravers having the time of their lives and spreading peace and love.
But if the mission is “changing the world by promoting the Ten Principles”, I think drawing smaller crowds than half-assed shitty events is a #fail.
“Maybe it’s better to have 100 “cool people” than 10,000 ravers having the time of their lives and spreading peace and love.”
“But if the mission is “changing the world by promoting the Ten Principles”, I think drawing smaller crowds than half-assed shitty events is a #fail.”
That shouldn’t be the mission.
What’s the mission then?
You have to assemble your own team.
I believe the BMORG should exist to facilitate the NV burn, to keep it in line with the original spirit as possible, possibly fund art projects on the playa a little more. Full stop. The burn should be a crucible for attendees to be inspired to to what they will in default world. The BMORG should stop trying to bring the burn and/or its principles or spirit to those who don’t attend in NV. Have faith in the community to bring that spirit with them to wherever they go and whatever they do. Stop flying around the world and giving talks and inviting goddamn politicians and what have you to the burn.
In short, the BMORG should follow these words from Larry’s mouth, and nothing more:
“We don’t provide content, we provide context.”
I thought their mission was to commodify, monetize and exploit the natural human interest to see and participate in art. But maybe that’s just me.
I’ll add that I once was in favor of spreading the word to the masses, whether it was punk rock in my teens or Burning Man in my 20s. But every damn time, as soon as the meatheads caught on, the scene was ruined. So for me, size matters not.
I might observe that the burner attendance at the NV burn has been a constant 30,000 over the past 10 years. One man one vote might work in some contexts, but 1,000 people dancing in front of an EDM truck counts as “1” in my book. I am looking for interesting, new creative stuff, and even the best rave counts as “1.” I would rather watch three people give a live performance to Zappa’s Yellow Snow for 5 minutes than 3 hours of a rave.
Please, Burnersxxx, tell us how your last EDM rave was different from the one before, and what you enjoyed that was unique.
It’s a long time since I went to a rave. I just got back from a musical tonight. Big budget Broadway type thing. Last week I went to see a small budget repertory theater type play.
Both were excellent. Both were sold out. Which was more successful? The one that more people went to, that charged more for tickets.
Perhaps the cheaper one, to be “almost as good” as the big budget one, was punching above its weight – and therefore, “better”. I think generally most people would say the play that sold more tickets was more successful.
I hope that you read your comment and can realize that there is no gifting or gratitude or original creativity in a performance of commodified pay-per-view theater. Who is more successful, VW or Ford? Which one has a greater number of MVs registered in BRC? I hope you can see that the problem is not the answer, the problem is the question.
Do you remember my comment thread about all the free arts events that needed funding? http://burners.me/2015/10/27/breaking-theme-announced-turning-man/#comment-128699
Since we never charged people to participate in our theme camp, does that make us a prima-facia failure? If you pay $500 for a sold out prime Broadway show seat, does that make it a success over going to the NV burn? At least in $ paid per minute. (You have to ignore the cost to present each performance, or say that the Borg wins because most of their performance is free?) And must both be better than a free evening at Night Market, or a free day at Figment?
If you drove a Carrera and I drove the same model and paid the same amount, what was different? If you saw a performance of Wicked, can you say you and I saw materially different things? Both are commodified as part of creation, marketing and sales. That’s why no Carrera could ever be compared to a MV, and no performance of Wicked could be compared to the hour I spent at the BRC MST3000 camp.
You have been assimilated into the Borg’s defaultification of the NV burn. You are keeping score the way they do, particularly with the 2016 patronage theme where the most successful art is the art that gets the most money …or perhaps the most money per pound? They have won.
Free art is great, and if you would prefer to go to a free play than a big Broadway production, that’s no problem for me. I would prefer to eat at a Michelin restaurant than a soup kitchen, but that doesn’t mean soup kitchens should be banned.
I have done both types of restaurants in NYC, and am much more satisfied with a place like we had dinner, which may not be as financially successful as Per Se, but is hardly a soup kitchen. I also don’t shop a J.Press anymore. I am only interested in impressing myself.
The public events I cited are hardly “soup kitchens.” And though I can get in anytime for free, I like Free Fridays a MoMA because the crowd is more fun. Your financial success paradigm is hardly what I would expect of a burner.
” I think generally most people would say the play that sold more tickets was more successful.”
Not sure if you’re being purposefully obtuse or you really are that materialistic. Was Burning Man more or less successful when you started going in the 90s, when maybe 20,000 people attended, compared to today when 70,000 people go? I tend to equate success with fulfillment of vision plus alignment of purpose among those involved. Money has fuck-all to do with it. If your metric for success is purely financial, well then we’re talking about two totally different things.
Burning Man is more successful with 70,000 people than it was with 15,000 – but that doesn’t necessarily make it better.
Only using your monetary definition of “successful.”
[suh k-ses-fuh l]
1. achieving or having achieved success.
2. having attained wealth, position, honors, or the like.
3. resulting in or attended with success.
Regionals punch way above their weight for their size. Sometimes they surpass Burning Man; if you want Tesla coil awesomeness, go to Flipside for Arc Attack, not BRC for Dr. Megavolt. We’ve had bigger and more impressive effigies for 300 people than Burning Man had when it was at 4000 people. 50% budget in arts grants vs. 2% probably has something to with it.
And the comment about the plays very spectator driven. As a participant who’s not wealthy, I like that I can do rock-star level stuff at a regional for $100, when it might take $10k to do a project that gets noticed on playa. And since I get more bang for my buck as a participant at a regional, I usually spend more money doing regional stuff than I do for Burning Man (leaving aside tickets and transportation).
“Burning Man is more successful with 70,000 people than it was with 15,000 – but that doesn’t necessarily make it better.”
OK, your working definition of the word “successful” for the purpose of this thread is “financially lucrative.” I think you’re being purposefully obtuse here because you also admit “financially lucrative” doesn’t mean “better,” even though for the rest of us, quality of experience is what we mean by “successful,” and I think you know that.
But back to the idea of adding a DJ car to attract more people to regionals…ah hell, I don’t feel like typing more on this. As always, we agree to disagree.
No, I didn’t say anything about dollars, I was talking about people. Hilarious attempt to put words in my mouth.
Sorry, I misunderstood based on your statement, “I think generally most people would say the play that sold more tickets was more successful.” So it’s not financial success you mean, but a popularity contest. The event/act that draws the most people is the most successful. By that metric, Justin Bieber is more successful than, I don’t know, Tom Petty. And going further, you say that kind of success is something to strive for OVER quality of experience if that quality of experience is drawing small numbers of people. For instance, sprinkling a little DJ booth dust on an event in order for it to draw more people and hence, become more “successful.”
If you want to maintain that the most successful events are the ones that the fewest amount of people go to, that’s your right. But I see it in more conventional terms.
Maybe BMOrg’s goal should be 10,000 regional events, each with a couple of dozen people – but “high quality” people. I think they would achieve more with 3-4 Burning Mans. More tickets, more people, more happiness, more art, more culture, less struggling. By your logic, all those ingredients are terrible and combine to lower the quality of events.
No, JV, you were right. In saying, “No, I didn’t say anything about dollars, I was talking about people. Hilarious attempt to put words in my mouth,” Burnersxxx is just trying to weasel out of it and have it both ways in his comments above.
It starts with: “Both were excellent. Both were sold out. Which was more successful? The one that more people went to, that charged more for tickets.” > So tickets X $/ticket = revenues = success
Then: “I would prefer to eat at a Michelin restaurant than a soup kitchen…” comparing free art events to soup kitchens. Guess which one serves more per day, week or year. You know who else is more “successful” than all the Michelin restaurants in Manhattan? McDonalds, in number served AND revenues. If you use numbers of people served, either beats the high-priced Michelin experience.
And so, the free events, like Night Market and Figment – the soup kitchens, cannot possibly be judged by ticket “sales.” If you want an “attendance” metric, take the total people who came and divide it by the cost to produce the event.
And that cost must include the value of all the volunteers, which makes the NV burn a looser – and a BIGGER loser if you donate more money. What would make it’s attendance more “successful?” Spend less, since the attendance has capped. You know, like 10 years ago.
I would offer that the most successful event is one that reaches the most people at the lowest cost, like Burning Man before the Borg sellout.
However, I would add another factor, much harder to quantify, which is the participation of those who attend. This brings Night Market, Figment, Transformus and others back into the mix against the NV burn. Then you need to divide that by cost to produce. And as the Borg dilute the NV burn with virgins and CCamp lookers, and drive up the cost with all the sherpas and other non-participation overhead.
…the NV burn becomes less and less “successful.”
” I think they would achieve more with 3-4 Burning Mans. More tickets, more people, more happiness, more art, more culture, less struggling. By your logic, all those ingredients are terrible and combine to lower the quality of events.”
> The “more art, more culture” is pure speculation. Absent the participation factor, you can do this, and in fact have them once a month, or once a week. But if you consider the participation metric you can fail to have that critical mass of participants. In fact, if you read the non-shill/non-troll comments on VOBM, you can see that many participants are bailing, readily replaced by the faceless audience at that big-budget Broadway show. Broadway illustrates that with enough PR, and enough production draw (actor, author, sets, costumes), you could fill the audience with comatose people and it would still be “successful.”
The Borg are now seeing how little the NV burn can be and still be “successful.” But be sure to lock your bike.
“If you want to maintain that the most successful events are the ones that the fewest amount of people go to, that’s your right. But I see it in more conventional terms.”
Fair enough. The more people that attend, the more successful an event is, in your mind. I simply disagree. And I don’t automatically think something sucks because lots of people are into it. I love The Police, for, instance, and a shit-ton of other people like them too. But I also don’t automatically link success with popularity. There are little-known things that suck and hugely popular things that are awesome, and vice versa. But in the case of a cultural artifact that began on the fringe, like Burning Man, popularity almost certainly means decline of quality. When a scene is small and populated solely by people who have a common purpose or understanding, even if that manifests in a variety of external ways, and you are part of that, it’s just fucking better, man. As soon as it gets popular enough to attract people who only get interested in things once a critical mass of other people are, it starts to suck. It’s science.
I agree completely, except for your use of the term, “critical mass.” As an old physics major, critical mass means enough that interaction between and within that mass creates and sustains more than the separate parts of that mass. I suggest that “…only get interested in things once a critical mass of other people…” would be better as “…only get interested in things once other people tell them it is interesting…”
“… if the mission is “changing the world by promoting the Ten Principles”, I think drawing smaller crowds than half-assed shitty events is a #fail.”
At a certain size, the event gets defaultified. You get your thieves, rapists and other undesirable people who thrive on the anonymity of large crowds. The higher the number of non-participants, the greater the anonymity and risk.
Yep. It’s why an event like Burning Man has less and less chance of being successful the more people come. It has nothing to do with elitism (well, maybe a little).
Kudos, burnersxxx, on an awesome article in regards of comparing the festivals, in the manner of one festival listens to their Community, and the other festival does not desire to do so. The Borg had an awesome opportunity to utilize the ticket sales to build the Community, but, they decided to replace the Community, doing the bait and switch of remaining in near to total control of the Project, and of the event, in addendum of not listening to the desires of the Burner Community.
My belief is of the first step is of the Project board must change the Project bylaws to permit the awesome Burner Community proper representation within the Project, and remove any of the Borg whom do not desire to labour with the Burner Community in this manner, purposed for the benefit of the Project.
The BLM permit ends after the 2016 burn, and a new permit must be gained from the BLM. My belief is it might be most awesome might the Burning Man festival be two weeks, with near to 60,000 of each week, with wristbands of each week. The first week might be a Community week, with near to all tickets distributed through the Burner Community, and much built within the beginning of the week. The second week might be a party week, with numerous tickets distributed in a random manner. Might this be a plan desired by the Burner Community, in addendum of the people desiring to attend an awesome festival?
By appearances, this is quite the opposite of what might be occurring. The Borg is remaining in near to total control, and Larry purposed the 2016 theme towards ‘is that we’re taking on the money thing directly‘ in the manner of rich ‘enlightened patrons‘ are to pay for the art upon the playa, in the place of the costs of the artists paid from the $30.5 million of ticket sales. Even BMOrg insiders are most pissed in these regards, in addendum of in regards of the
forcedvoluntary resignations in due of this rubbish. The plan, by appearances, is of their Fly Ranch Project – link with homesteads, or similar, bought by their rich mates.
From your update:
“The question to me is more, if you are going to go to the trouble of putting on a Burner event in your local area, do you want it to be large and successful (like Earthcore and Burning Man) or small and struggling (but pure and true to the Tin Principles). Popular DJs go a long way towards turning the latter into the former. Or maybe the smaller Regionals don’t have enough blowjob workshops yet, or something.”
Or maybe Burning Man can only really work in all its glory once a year in the Black Rock Desert. It’s a singular event, and all this energy put forth trying to duplicate it around the world is futile and unimaginative, in my opinion.
They should just buy LIB and Envision.
“Is it the Ten Principles that are a drawcard?” Yes, absolutely, but also not really. Larry’s words aren’t sacred. It can be 11 principles, or condensed down to 7 principles (as one unofficial burn in Ohio did), or 10 principles drawing from the ideas behind Larry’s but not using his words (http://www.goingnowhere.org/en/whatisnowhere/principles).
I’d rather go to an event with amateur performers, put on entirely by volunteers rather than a slickly polished event with professional musicians put on by producers who pocket the profits (yeah BMOrg, but at most of the regionals, the producers buy tickets just like everybody else).
I don’t want to pay $100 to go to a festival where a cover band is the headliner, and the majority of attendees are there for the open air drug market, not the music (are you really there for the music if you think it’s a good idea to drop $100 to see a cover band?)
I want an event, where for the majority of participants, setting up camp doesn’t just meaning throwing up a personal tent, but designing a space that is open to the public.
I don’t want an event where fitting in means dressing in the style of a particular subculture. Burners do have their own specific fashion cliches, but you can dress like a punk, hippie, raver or whatever else takes your fancy.
I don’t care much about themes; they are mostly a crutch for an event that has been burning the same fucking statue for 30 years. I don’t mind having a theme, but they are a lot less important when the effigy changes radically every year (though honestly, I wouldn’t be heartbroken if there weren’t an effigy).
I’m not seeking spirituality, or dubious rhetoric about how a party can change the world. I don’t want a social movement. I want to have fun.
There’s nothing wrong with events that don’t offer the things I’ve listed that I want. I’ve been to other events and had fun. But with so many events in my neck of the woods that do offer exactly what I want, I just don’t have time for much of the other stuff.
I’m not interested in having a entirely volunteer run event with art grants comprising more than 50% of the entire budget seek out the approval of a organization with numerous well paid employees and 2% art grants. If they want to approve us, that’s OK, but we don’t need their trademarks to do what we do.
Regionals aren’t supposed to be like other festivals (and other festivals aren’t all supposed to be like each other). They shouldn’t be like Burning Man either with it’s tiny arts budget and salaried work force.
“You may hear some of the best music in the world at Burning Man, then again you may not. It’s pot luck. Wanna know who’s playing? BMOrg are fighting tooth and nail to prevent you. Managed to find out from the Burner underground where and when your favorite musician is playing a set? Good luck catching them; welcome to ‘Playa time’”.
That’s a feature, not a bug, in my opinion. Also, has this here site has pointed out, the new vigilance around this issue is most likely due to the way Nevada taxes music festivals higher than arts festivals. From my perspective, any annoyance with BMORG’s stance on this would seem to indicate one wants BMORG to pay higher fees.
That said, Earthcore looks like a fun outdoor rave. But as you point out here…
“The mission of Earthcore is to give their customers a good time, and they succeed in that.”
…Burning Man it ain’t. And that’s cool, but again, you seem to wish that Burning Man was more like Earthcore, providing entertainment for the attendees, which to my mind, is the antithesis of Burning Man.
I’m really trying to ask the question about where the Regionals are going. Are they trying to be like the NV Burn? Or do they want to grow into successful local festivals? The theatrical crowd numbers in the hundreds, perhaps you could pull a few thousand. A single art car with 1 DJ pulls more than that…
You can define “successful” as crowd size or with other metrics. If the former, then yeah, go the EDM festival route and compete with a shit ton of almost identical festivals. I have no issue with that, although that sounds boring as shit to me. Something like Night Market (oh no, I’m starting to sounds like Nomad!) which draws maybe a couple hundred people for a few hours is far more interesting and successful to me than a BM-affiliated regional that draws 1000s of people but is basically an EDM festival.
There’s a difference between “struggling” and “flourishing”. The scale of the “flourishing” is not so important to me. Flourishing is fun, struggling sucks. If a business is running well, things just flow, and everyone involved can benefit. I would love to see all the Regional burns – official and unofficial – flourishing, they don’t all need to be as professionally done or successful as Earthcore. BMOrg actually could do a lot more than ranger training to help them, but their model seems to make them get in the way of themselves.
“The theatrical crowd numbers in the hundreds, perhaps you could pull a few thousand. A single art car with 1 DJ pulls more than that…”
That sounds like you’re just referring to crowd size, which is what I was responding to. And also, it seems like you’re saying (well, you are saying) that just sprinkling a little EDM fairy dust on an event will increase the draw. That’s probably true, but what if you don’t want the event to turn into a rave?
But sure, a flourishing event can be small or large. I disagree with you that the BMORG should be doing more to help regionals.
I guess you could have a flourishing event with 100 people. Tickets would have to be priced pretty high, if everyone was bringing art cars and RVs. Anyway, I think we all agree that burns can be good at any size. Hell, maybe I will go set fire to something right now!
To quote a famous saying about the dining room at Monticello, “When Jefferson would hold a dinner party it was usually the greatest concentration of intellect, except when he dined here alone.”
Burnersxxx, you are 100% wrong about tickets, as just about any good Night Market would show. You have ticket revenues on the brain. Ingenuity beats cash every time.