“Nothing For Sale On The Playa”: 2017 Burning Man Vendor List

I had to file a FOIA request to get Burning Man’s vendor list, even though I spoke to the BLM’s Winnemucca office some time ago and they initially told me it would be no problem to provide it. Somehow that got intercepted, just like the arrest statistic information seems to have been. Maybe #Chocotacogate caused a distraction.

Perhaps it is time to stop the charade that Black Rock City is a world where nothing is for sale except ice and coffee. I count 84 different vendors, none of whom appear to be selling those products. In addition we have BMOrg ($4o million), the Feds ($4 million), the State ($3.6 million), the Counties (hundreds of thousands)…and whatever black market activity might be going inside a Utopian pleasure city of 80,000 people…and about $100 million being added to the local economy from all the Burners hitting up the casinos, Wal-Marts, gas stations, CostCos and Whole Foods on the way.

Burners vs Bureaucracy

In the wake of the Santa Rosa fires, many Burners wanted to do whatever they could to help. The shelter situation was dire, with 3000 homes destroyed (5% of the total housing stock) and 100,000 people displaced.

Advanced Shelter Systems of Napa stepped up with SHELTERPODs for first responders.

Burners from Camp Epic raised $30,000 to bring their camp accommodation to Santa Rosa to create Oasis Village. 40-ft shipping containers decked out with power, lighting, insulation, and climate control. They got some land donated from a local weed medical marijuana grower, and shipped the containers out, set them up in a village ready for fire survivors to occupy.

And that’s when The Man stepped in to kill it.


Danger Ranger brought the first shipping container to Burning Man in 1997, a military psyops unit used during the Vietnam War.

Burning Man 2008

Since then, containers have become part of the fabric of Burnitecture.

ian ross container 2012

ekoVillages.com upcycled art container

We contributed several containers to the Burner-founded [free|space] project in SF, earning a commendation letter from the Mayor’s Office. However we were very careful to ensure the containers were not used for residential purposes.

freespace mission2

Thanks to Tim Lipton (pictured) for bringing this sad story to our attention

freespace missionst

ekovillages.com up-cycled art containers at [free|space]

 Read more about the [Free|Space] project here:

Temporary Autonomous Zone: Proof the Model Still Works (2013)


No Gifting for Santa

Shipping containers are heavy, expensive to move, and in many ways impractical forms of shelter. But they are solid enough to withstand windstorms, and much more comfortable for a family than sleeping in a car.

So what was the problem in Santa Rosa? They were fitted out in Nevada, not California. And they didn’t have windows. So the city said “no way”, leaving the Burners with a foul taste in their mouth, swearing to never do anything in California again – and leaving the families who’d lost their homes still sleeping in their cars. “Cars have windows”, said the building inspector.

Communal Effort and Gifting means Burners want to help others. This is why Burners Without Borders was formed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Many Burners went to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake in the same spirit.

More recently, Burners have created a cryptocurrency for disaster relief and are rebuilding Puerto Rico as a crypto-Utopia.

Unfortunately it seems that in Burning Man’s home state of California “Civic Responsibility” is a buzzkill for the other Principles.

The project was initially lauded in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and USA Today. Burners Without Borders promoted the fundraiser. Appeals to previous Burning Man supporters Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown fell on deaf ears.

Here is the full story from the SF Chronicle (hat tip to Tim Lipton from Black Rock City’s Volunteer Response Team for bringing this to our attention).

Screenshot 2018-03-14 14.57.52

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Screenshots from SF Chronicle, Feb 25 2018

Read more:

Exclusive Interview with SHELTERCOIN Founder Christian Weber

Burners Building a Crypto-Utopia in Puerto Rico

2016 Financial Analysis

It’s that time of year again.

Burning Man 2016 Annual Report

Burning Man 2016 IRS Form 990

Burners.Me Previous Financial Coverage: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Some highlights:

  • revenues up to almost $46.2 million, up from $36.9 million in 2015.
  • Revenue less Expenses= $9,242,666
  • Donations received over $8 million (including Fly Ranch mega-donors).
  • salaries up $2 million
  • Cash and receivables: $9.5 million
  • Total assets: $24.4 million
  • Ticketing $873,795


Screenshot 2018-01-18 16.35.21

Even though it is more than a year and a quarter since Burning Man 2016, they still aren’t able to share with us the actual data in their annual report. A lot of it they just took from 2015.

Screenshot 2018-01-18 15.09.09

I can’t make the fancy graphics like them, but I can look on their form and see what “Grants Provided” and “Donations Received” were for 2016, the year this report is supposed to be about.

Grants Provided 2016: $1,518,490
Donations Received 2016:  $8,074,456

Note that for the last couple of years at least, “grants” has included all the cost of the Man, base, and the various structures that now surround the Man base. Donations went up nearly $7 million, total revenue went up about $10 million, while grants went up less than a hundred grand.

The image above makes it look like 5% of the budget goes to Burners Without Borders, and Fly Ranch takes up about 10% of their year-round time and money. Neither of these figures matches the actual numbers.

We commented last year that it seemed a little pathetic that Burners Without Borders, an organization that once held so much promise, donated a mere $4000 across 8 projects. They’ve managed to cut those outrageous costs, donating now $3415, or less than 1/13,000th of Burning Man’s revenue.

Screenshot 2018-01-18 16.40.40

We’re making the world a better place, with $3,415. They spend way more on their European Leadership Conference. I mean, shouldn’t things like that be self-funding, if not actually raising funds?

The only founders still working full time are Marian Goodell (50 hours) and Larry Harvey (40 hours). Harley Dubois must knock off work early, or maybe she takes a longer lunch break – she only puts in 36 hours per week.

Screenshot 2018-01-18 17.46.39

The guy actually running Burning Man, Charlie Dolman, only gets paid slightly more than the many and varied PR and IT staff.

Kudos to the board members who give their time to Burning Man for free.

Legal costs remain astronomical, more than half a million dollars a year. And that’s after Board member Terry Gross gave a generous (for a lawyer) 20% discount on his firm’s fees – although he clawed some of that back with $20k+ in personal payments.

The Artumnal fundraiser appears to have made a loss. They paid $31,904 rent for the use of The Regency Ballroom for an evening.

Burner money paid for a lot of international junkets speaking engagements, including Marian Goodell sharing the stage with the Vatican…which kind of makes sense given the sort of thing we’ve seen from this Satan-praising Pope

Screenshot 2018-01-07 15.49.05

popes throne


popes audience hall snake


This guy is in charge of culture for the Vatican.

Paul Tighe (born 12 February 1958) is an Irish prelate of the Catholic Church. He has been the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture since his appointment on 28 October 2017. He is the highest-ranking Irishman in the Roman Curia


In her talk, Maid Marian says “cellphones don’t work” and “the Internet is left behind”. Isn’t it a cardinal sin to lie in front of a bishop?

They still seem to have no idea what they are going to do with FlySalen. It’s coming up on 2 years now since they bought it. Is there some secret stuff going on out there, which isn’t being shared with the Burner community? Radical Rituals of some sort?

pterodactyl model 1984 (Large)

The biggest individual contributions to Fly Ranch were: $1,750,000 , $1,500,000, $999,965, $500,000. Some big backers there – can we match the name with the money? Elon? Sergey? Guy from Cirque do Soleil? Geomagician Ping Fu got a board seat, so presumably she wrote a pretty big check. Which one of these high rolling Billionaire Burners stiffed them on the $35 wire transfer fee?

They received $171,000 in land and $489,915 in marketable securities – that “donate us your stock options program” looks to have been a lucrative move.

One name that stood out to me on the Donors list was Amanda Sackler. You may have read about her family in Esquire Secretive Family Making Billions From The Opioid Crisis , the New Yorker Family That Built an Empire of Pain or my favorite from Dr Mercola Meet The Sacklers – The Family That’s Killing Millions (Maybe More Than Stalin)

…more than 200,000 killed so far this century, but hey, at least we got a donation.

Congratulations to Marian and team for delivering an excellent financial result. Costs trimmed, sales up. A well oiled and greased machine. How much trickled out into grants, which of course mostly went to the same old same old (shout out to newcomer Plug-n-Play LLC?)

“In 2016, $78,250 was awarded to 17 global projects.”

Screenshot 2018-01-18 17.01.00

Screenshot 2018-01-18 16.37.51



2018 Theme Announced


In 2013 we had aliens. In 2014 it was camels. In 2015, clowns. 2016 was Medici. In 2017 we had temples.

I guess Larry and Stuart were trying to figure out how more people could have a transformational experience, and they came up with…


Robots burning The Man. Or do we burn the robots?

From the Reno Gazette-Journal:

Burning Man announced its 2018 theme on Wednesday, “I, Robot,” a theme inspired by the 1950 collection of short stories published by author Isaac Asimov. The stories tell the fictional history of robots…

“This year’s art theme will focus on the many forms of artificial intelligence that permeate our lives; from the humble algorithm and its subroutines that sift us, sort us and surveil us, to automated forms of labor that supplant us. Are we entering a Golden Age that frees us all from mindless labor? Everything, it seems, depends on HMI, the Human-Machine Interface. In a world increasingly controlled by smart machines, who will be master and who will be the slave?” …

The theme seems appropriate given the increasing reliance Burners have on technology at the week-long event

Read the full story here.

The robots surveil us.

If you wonder what that means, especially in the context of Burning Man, start here.

You can read more of the philosophy of I, Robot at the BJ.

The allure of immortality and god-like powers is as old as god. The Greeks, who more or less invented humanism, had a word for this ― they called it hubris, making it the basis of all tragedy. This enduring fantasy is lately clothed in cyber-togs. It is said that computational power is increasing exponentially, much like the singularity that created the universe, and charts and numbers are employed to predict the point in time at which this supra-intelligence will take over.

This is a millenarian idea, sometimes called the Rapture of the Techies, and like all such schemes, it is essentially a religious concept now dressed in the trappings of science. In this scenario, the future rule of one vast integrated Robot will exceed all human comprehension. This notion also contains an ingenious escape clause, a sort of intellectual insurance policy. When pressed to pinpoint exactly when this event will occur, its acolytes reply that it may have already happened — its advent will elude the grasp of slimy brains. This is a contest between wet intelligence, something that we barely understand that has evolved on earth over a span of billions of years, and dry intelligence, which in its digital form was invented in 1936

[Source: burningman.org]

Burning Man is a contest? I guess they started the themes with Good vs Evil, and now it’s humans vs robots.

burning man fallen robot

Image: Tyler FuQua

I agree with them that the Singularity has already happened, and Google and the NSA are already inside our heads. We live in a Sentient World Simulation, operated by the Deep State. The Defense Department, defending The Man against the humans that might question him with armies of always on, always faithful robots.


will smith segway burning man.jpg

Will Smith loved Burning Man so much they named their theme after him?

will smith burning man mask

As I pointed out in Shadow History Part 3, robots are a specific vision of the Church of Satan (as is the “allure of immortality and god-like powers” that are also part of this theme).

Screenshot 2017-10-19 15.11.19

Will Google and Tesla be debuting new walking robots at Burning Man 2018?

In 2004, the DARPA Grand Challenge was launched: for a car able to navigate through an obstacle course by itself. It was a complete failure. By 2007, half a dozen cars successfully completed the course. In 2014, Tesla announced Auto-Pilot – and self-driving cars hit the mainstream. Tesla expects to have completely self-driving cars by the end of this year.

In 2013, the DARPA Robotics Challenge was for humanoid robots to walk, climb over rubble and stairs, open doors and use tools.

They’ve come a long way since then.

As if all that wasn’t trippy enough, check out this little guy:

So what’s it going to take to bring Androids into everyday life? Burning Man?

People have been fucking machines [NSFW] for quite some time. Now there are robot brothels springing up, and by all accounts doing a cracking trade. So to speak. In Barcelona one all-robot brothel was run out of town by angry human prostitutes.

Will there be sex bots at Robot Heart?

robot heart

People who think there should be less technology at Burning Man should probably just give up at this point. DARPA has to test somewhere!

BMIR Radio Off The Air


Image: Mark Gunderson

Some Burners are disappointed that they can’t get pumped up for the Burn by listening to their favorite radio station, BMIR.

Here’s why:

Screenshot 2017-08-16 12.43.48

Tune in FM 94.5 on the Playa, bmir.org or iHeartRadio

Administrative issues, hmmm? Who is taking control of the Playa airwaves?

BMorg says:

Burning Man Information Radio

BMIR – 94.5 FM (aka Burning Man Information Radio) is the official radio station of Burning Man. Broadcasting on the playa and streaming over the internet (both from Burning Man and year round) at BMIR.org. BMIR broadcasts an eclectic mix of music, playa news, burn information, playa weather reports, interviews with participants and artists, theme camp and event promos and much more.

BMIR starts broadcasting from the playa 24/7 the Wednesday before the gates open to the public. Many people tune in to the internet stream from home while they are doing their last minute packing as well as stream BMIR on their smartphones while they travel to Black Rock City for info on how the city is coming together, updates on playa and traffic conditions and late breaking important information about the event.

It takes a whole lot of people to make a radio station run and there are many roles to be filled both on and off air. We are a highly interactive department with lots of public contact. Previous radio experience is not necessary. What’s important is desire and commitment to our mission of being the guardians of the airwaves for the citizens of Black Rock City.

If you’re interested in joining our team please send an email to BMIRVolunteers@gmail.com. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you see yourself contributing to the team. We look forward to hearing from you!


Looks kind of official to me! Did it get Nationalized by the Org, and is now dysfunctional? Maybe someone with administrative skills can volunteer to this team and we can get the radio turned on again. $40 million. 80,000 people. WE CAN DO IT! Communal Effort. Participation. Immediacy. Radiocal Inclusion. Radiocal Self Reliance. Radiocal Self Expression.