FCS Tries to Make Amends with Free Camp Placement Service

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In the past couple of years there have been some mixed messages from BMOrg about Commodification Camps. On the one hand, Larry Harvey writes a big post saying “concierges are here to stay!”, and creates a theme based on rich patronage of the arts. On the other hand, the BJ says “concierges are banned!”, and singles out one organization in particular: Festivals Concierge Service.

They have just released a statement to the Burner community. emphasis ours

A Message to the Burning Man community

 

Dear Friends,

Dear Burners,

As the CEO of FCS – and a committed member of the BM community – I feel compelled to make a statement to the Burner community.

While I fully understand and support Burning Man’s discontent with plug-and-play camps and commodification, I feel there is a misconception about what we do (and do not do) for our clients at Burning Man. Further, I feel we have been unfairly singled out as a poster child for BM support services, as there are a number of other companies providing assistance to both participants and camps on the playa.

With FCS, our primary intention is to help shift the consciousness of our first-time Burner clients. We encourage them to truly embody the culture and spirit of Burning Man. We guide them through the philosophy of Burning Man, with particular focus on the 10 principles and the need to protect and foster the community. We do this because we are passionate and committed Burners ourselves, and we have seen the positive and life changing influence Burning Man can have on our clients; many leave the week with a profound shift in consciousness and seek more community experiences and opportunities to make positive change in the world. Many of the clients we help get to Burning Man return each year and we continue to assist them in their logistics and preparation for their Burn.

 

We have never – and will never – offer an all-inclusive Burning Man experience.

We have only facilitated travel and logistics for our clients. That’s it.

FCS offers:

 

  1. GUEST CAMP PLACEMENT

 

We help our clients to have the best possible Burning Man experience – and placement in the right camp is critical to this, as any experienced burner can attest.

We will now offer assistance with camp placement as a gift to the community; not just to our clients but also for any other Burner who may need this help.

No fee is charged for this service.

  1. ON-SITE SERVICES

 

We do not offer any on-site services. We do not hire Sherpas for our clients.

Services related to RVs and trailers are provided by our suppliers directly or by the camps. We contract only Burning Man Outside Services Program (OSS) selected partners, and our providers pay the various BLM and Burning Man taxes. This is common practice across Black Rock City.

  1. OFF-SITE SERVICES

 

All services that we provide prior to and post the event (e.g. costumes, transport, accommodation) cannot be considered as contributing to the commodification of Burning Man as they are provided outside of Black Rock City and are part of the overall experience for all burners.

Further, we deeply encourage our clients to limit those services to the basics necessity to survive on the Playa.

  1. TICKETS

 

We will no longer buy tickets on behalf of our clients.

We continue to encourage them to buy through the pre-sales and other BM tickets releases. We are not a ticket broker.

  1. ART SUPPORT

 

We encourage our clients to contribute to the community by directly assisting or building an art project or though sponsoring a project with financial contributions.

We guide our clients through this process and connect them with the projects that best fit their interests and budget.

  1. GIFTING

 

Gifting on the playa is an essential part of the culture at Burning Man. When working with our first-time Burners to encourage them to use their creativity to find their own personal gifts and embrace the spirit of unconditional gifting throughout the week – and hopefully this continues long after BM.

With love,

Antoine Sepulchre

CEO / Founder

Burners on Reddit weren’t exactly jumping on the offer.

What should we do with members of the community who acknowledge the error of their ways, amend them and try to gift something decent as an apology? Should we publicly shame them, hate them, persecute them – all in the name of Radical Inclusion? Or should we accept the apology, and move on with having a good time?

Here’s the email that BRC Boss Charlie Dolman sent to theme camp organizers and mutant vehicle owners:

From: Placement 
Date: Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 3:28 PM
Subject: Festivals Concierge Services (FCS) & Burning Man 2016

Dear Theme Camp/Mutant Vehicle producers –

Last year, a company called Festivals Concierge Services (FCS) advertised concierge camping and travel package services at the Burning Man event. We informed FCS it was not permitted to operate at our event and published a blog post (http://journal.burningman.org/2015/05/philosophical-center/tenprinciples/kicking-concierge-caboose-in-black-rock-city) to notify participants. Although FCS denied it would be providing services, its CEO (Antoine Sepulchre) and another employee (Florence Defort) were found to be doing exactly that, which led to their citation by BLM and eviction from the 2015 Burning Man event for unpermitted commercial activities. We also learned FCS made deals with a small number theme camps to host FCS clients for a price.

Although we have already informed FCS it will not be permitted to provide services to Black Rock City in 2016, we understand the company has begun marketing Burning Man travel packages again and contacting air carriers and OSS vendors. The FCS website claims the company “collaborates with Burning Man Outside Services Program selected partners.” We have let established OSS providers know that providing services to concierge companies like FCS will subject their OSS contracts to cancellation, as these companies directly circumvent the principles underlying the OSS program.

If you, or your OSS provider, are contacted by any representative of FCS or anyone identifying themselves as an FCS client, we ask that you please let us know. In keeping with Burning Man’s Ten Principles, we do not want theme camps or mutant vehicle owners to support concierge camping or travel package services. That includes hosting FCS clients or providing services like access to mutant vehicles. Collaborating with FCS could certainly compromise your good standing with Burning Man, including access to directed group tickets, placement, and mutant vehicle licensing.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have regarding the policy outlined in this message. We can be reached by email at 

Sincerely,

Charlie Dolman
Event Operations Director
Burning Man

If you want to ban concierges, then ban concierges. Singling out one company, and turning a blind eye to the dozens of others, is not Civic Responsibility.

Here’s Larry’s big post on Concierge Culture.

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.

This issue of equality almost amounts to a straw man. I do not believe that most people would want to live in a city that is the equivalent of a Marxist State, a place in which the prying eyes of envious neighbors are forever trained upon one.

Here’s the current BJ series on how the correct model for the arts is wealthy patrons like in the days of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Here’s how a corporation is selling an all-inclusive Burning Man package tour experience, which is the exception that proves the rule.

BMOrg are trying to expand the airport, with bigger planes bringing in an additional 1000 passengers per day.

We want wealthy patrons, paying $1299 per ticket…but they can’t bring sherpas or pay people off-Playa to shop and pack for them? Or they can – as long as they have sufficient Borg points that the rules no longer apply?

 

16 comments on “FCS Tries to Make Amends with Free Camp Placement Service

  1. Good news from http://www.genesmart.com about Larry’s very approved and very unequal CCamp tourists: they may be missing out on more benefits than you realize that the rest of us peasants acccrue…

    “As the body and immune system are challenged with small assaults, the immune system develops tolerance and we stop responding to inoffensive agents in an exaggerated manner. With our overly clean lifestyles these days, our bodies no longer have a chance to build up tolerance early in life like they did in decades past. As a result, our immune systems have shifted toward overblown responses to nonhazardous things like allergens (such as pollens). As a consequence, we develop full-blown allergies, hay fever, and asthma to these otherwise harmless agents.”…

    “Over the next decade, Dr. Strachan’s hygiene hypothesis remained of interest to other scientists and immunologists, who further examined the potential links between over-cleanliness and allergies and other diseases, even including multiple sclerosis and autoimmune conditions. Further research even broadened the scope of causative factors to include better sanitation practices, antibiotic use, vaccinations, birth practices, and even the growing migration from rural (dirty) to suburban/urban (less dirty) locations.

    A follow-up study by Dr. Strachan in 2000 implicated yet another factor in the rise in allergic disease—better socioeconomic status. He noted a higher prevalence of hay fever and eczema in affluent families compared to poorer families.(2)

    It makes sense…families with more money are able to live in a cleaner environment, are more able and apt to practice personal hygiene, and have greater access to medicines, antibiotics, and vaccinations compared to families with less money.

    Simply put, many researchers believe—and studies have confirmed—that many of the things we do to keep ourselves clean in an effort to stay healthy and disease free, may actually be backfiring.(3)”

    2) Strachan DP. Thorax. 2000 Aug;55 Suppl 1:S2-10.
    3) Bloomfield SF, et al. Clin Exp Allergy. 2006 Apr;36(4):402-25.

    So… enjoy your wristbands, CCampers!

    Like

  2. Truth is, it’s Larry’s camp. He founded it, he grew it, and he can do whatever the fuck he wants to do with it. Why waste all this time and a whole stupid fucking website discussing it. If you don’t like it, don’t go. Move on with your lives. You’ll be much happier. My first and last comment.

    Like

    • Larry stated numerous times of that for Black Rock City to be a real city, it needed a central meeting place, a government, and a newspaper to report upon the government in a U.S. first amendment manner, and of they stepped forward to be the tasked government. Thank you, burnersxxx, for doing the newspaper.

      At present, the Burning Man Project is controlled by a sixteen person board of directors, and Larry is employed by them. My belief is Larry is most deserving of being fired, from his positions of Chief Philosophical Officer, and of President, and of upon the Black Rock City LLC board of directors, in due of he refuses to listen to the directions of the members of the Project board, stating of the board must stay out of what he is the belief to be his business. My belief is of Larrys theme of 2016 of artists licking the arses of his rich Patrons mates, for a tad of their cash to pay the costs of the art, in the place of Black Rock City LLC paying for the costs of the artists from their bloody $38 million gained in due of ticket sales, fees, and payments for taxes, is most unburnerly, and is most appalling. In addendum of my belief is it most appalling, of Larry, and his mates, refusing to permit the awesome Burner community, whom throws the Burning Man event, proper representation within the bylaws of the Project, and in due of their refusing to disclose of the details of their massive conflicts of interests in regards of the cash they are to gain within 2018 for the Burning Man(tm) trademarks, and other IP, in the manner of images of the art.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Many of us, like me, HAVE moved on as far as our at-burn participation. (When you do a theme camp at Transformus the BoD sends you a nice signed thank-you card!) However, some of us feel an obligation to our fellow burners that are still in denial about the NV burn, and participate here.

      To tell the truth, I don’t believe I really knew who “Larry” was when I was going to Burning Man at the NV burn. He has only surfaced in my consciousness when the Borg mis-managed the sellout and the culture. I can’t get tickets like I used to, and other campmates who have gone since have cited bike theft as the officially-accepted norm (“Lock you bike”).

      Larry is NOT the reason I went to Burning Man – it was the personal invitation of other burners (“You should come!”). It was the burners and burner culture that made me return. As Larry has surfaced as a focal point of the Borg mis-management, he has been found to the the source of the problem.

      He and the Borg are desperately trying to maintain control over the “regionals” since they know that they, in fact, are NOT necessary for the Burning Man experience. Their $20+ million annual outreach overhead to “spread the spirit” is spreading the wrong message; there are so many opportunities they could have taken to refine and improve such events instead of controlling and degrading them. The right message can be found at Bring to Light, Figment, Night Market, and MANY other burn-type art events.

      Larry and the Borg are a failed organization, but people like you are still in denial. We just need for those who can pay attention to go to other burn events, and better inform them of the other opportunities. They represent a variety of experiences, creativity and diversity that the Borg are trying to suppress.

      I hope you and all the others who cannot see the reality follow the Borg dictates and go to the NV burn. Like flypaper, it will keep you away from the good events. You will keep the CCamp tourists entertained as they get their ersatz “transformation” experience from the comfort of their comfortable pre-built BRC accommodations. Not my Burning Man. Not at all.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bman was started by multiple people, not just crazy Larry, as a community. Not to mention bman used to be created by its citizens, for all of its citizens. Thats* what made it geeat. Back in the day. It’s some grotesque malformed charade of it’s former self now.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. “Scan Burning Man’s Ten Principles, and you will not find radical equality among them.”

    But if I read them here is what I find as they apply to CCamps:

    1. Participation. Sure, the campers can participate if they choose and make the extra effort, but it is harder when you are sequestered and differentiated, pure and simple. These commodified campers are set up in a tourist role they would have to break out of.

    2. Decommodification. Well, they are doing just the opposite, treating the NV burn like pork bellies to be bought, normalized, standardized, and sold.

    3. Inclusion. Again, the opposite: their camps *Exclude* outsiders.

    4. Self-Expression. Can’t do that if you fly in and have everything prepared for you as a standard commodity. If you were really motivated, you could do it, but it would be a challenge given the tourist role set up.

    5. Self-Reliance. Again, the opposite: they completely rely only on their money to buy others to rely on.

    6. Giving. Nothing of themselves. Maybe manufactured commodity trinkets included in their commodified playa package.

    7. Communal Effort. Again, the opposite. These people could be in a coma and still come if they had the cash. The only communal effort is what others have bought together with their money.

    8. Civic Responsibility. Given their trampling on the Tin Principles™, they are only responsible through buying what they get. Excluding or treating ousiders as second-class people is wrong; in our theme camp they are always treated as valued guests.

    9. Leave No Trace. Only by paying others to clean up after them.

    10. Immediacy. Again, zero. They have everything pre-planned.

    Ten for 10. Good work!

    https://burners.me/2014/09/14/commodification-camps-and-the-tin-principles/

    Like

    • BTW, you might want to re-write the Tin Principles™ or your BMP bylaws. Spending tens of millions of dollars a year to “spread the spirit” in your bylaws would not look good in court or an audit.

      Hope you are supporting Ted Cruz in hopes of abolishing the IRS. I don’t think The Bern is going to be too happy with your Form 990. If you get him, or The Donald, you should hope that they don’t continue that White House petition thing – you might get some attention that you don’t like.

      Like

  4. “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.”

    I suppose it all works out, as long as we can all pony up for the club or lodge membership dues.

    Gee, Larry, I was going to Burning Man for the wrong reason! Silly me. I wanted to live to discover future possibilites….

    You know, like Roddenberry envisioned. But I see now: you are living in the past, hand-picked Piazza and all.

    I’ll leave the Dickens world to you and your fellowship of a club or lodge whose members, however diverse, are united by common values and a sense of shared experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know what, Larry…. it is sad that the default world trappings and differentiation mean so much to you that you cannot give them up for a week. That is one of the cool things to me for going to a burn. You are missing out on a lot in life.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The first Trek clip truly illustrates the situation, where non-monetary, non-fungible, self-actualized people are at risk of being assimilated by the Borg, taking away all that makes them individuals to serve the dictates of the organization.

      Like

  5. welcome to the New World Order. This is how things work. BMs 11 “Principles” are a moving target. They will enforce them selectively.

    I suspect there is more to this story as in FCS was trying to circumvent paying BM to do this as all the other concierge camps probably do. BM is a mafia. If you are “in” the rules and laws do not apply to you.

    The problem is people thinking BM has ANY integrity at all. They use the facade of integrity to promote the event. Its unfortunate.

    Liked by 1 person

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