BMorg Finally Wakes Up To Culture Disaster: Is It Too Late?

Image: Business Insider, 2015

Ticket prices have gone up to $1400.

To distract us from that, there’s a huge blog post by Burning Man’s CEO Marian Goodell Cultural Course Correcting saying that after listening to several thousand people’s responses to a survey, they’ve learned that some Burners have concerns that Principles like “Radical Self Reliance” seem to be getting left by the wayside as the event catapults to celebrity superstardom.

As CEO of the nonprofit Burning Man Project, I do a lot of listening. People enthusiastically share their Burning Man experiences, ideas, and concerns with me. Lately, participants have been talking about some alarming changes in the culture of Burning Man in Black Rock City, and their speculation as to who and what is causing them…

After Black Rock City 2018, our Communications Team compiled examples of commodification and exploitation of Black Rock City and Burning Man culture. The report is 55 pages long. We’ve been observing some troubling trends for a few years, but this report stunned me.  

We have been sounding the culture alarm here for 7 years now, and so have many other Burners. Finally that message has filtered its way through the self-absorbed BMorg holocracy to the people at the top.

The solution? Keep VIP tickets, but increase their price even further, to $1400. Reduce the number of low-income tickets. Only offer 23,000 tickets (less than 1 in 3) to the general public, while beefing up the Directed Group Sale World’s Biggest Guest List to more than half the total tickets.

Here’s the 2019 ticket distribution.

Even with the price increase and all taxes and fees, it doesn’t get up to last year’s event revenue. Seems to be millions of dollars of stuff that’s not ice or coffee being sold out there, either that or thousands more tickets.

Note that every number is “approximately” and they have now admitted they oversell the festival by perhaps 7,000 tickets a year. So how “approximate” the limitation of 4000 VIP tickets is may never be known: seriously, the government is redacting that information in response to FOIA requests. How many VIP tickets Burning Man sells is a state secret…ponder that.

The camp “Humano” was named and shamed as having too much money and too many women who were both good looking and bored looking at the same time. Tickets to their hotel rooms were going for up to $100,000, and allegedly came with entertainment.

They had the classic “fortress camp” layout, that would have stood out like a sore thumb at Burning Man 1998.

Read the full story at Mashable

A lengthy Reddit thread devoted to Humano features various camp neighbors accusing them of “ruining multiple blocks” with MOOP and leaving trailers in areas zoned for other camps. There are also allegations that Humano’s packages were priced to include the companionship of multiple female models

Mashable was also shown unmet requests for refunds from Humano attendees who paid upwards of $130,000 for a stay in a luxury RV and didn’t get what they bargained for. 

And all this may be just the tip of the iceberg of bad camps. “There are a dozen other camps that have been sent warnings,” Goodell wrote. 


[Source: Mashable]

Burning Man Board members Jim Tananbaum and Chip Conley have previously attracted scrutiny and criticism for their opulent, exclusive, multi-million dollar luxury camps.

See this inside look at a Fancy Camp from 2015.

The #HumanoTheTribe Instagram hashtag sure has some purdy ladies. Maybe banning them is not such a smart idea. If these Instagram models are using Burning Man to promote a product, it’s hard to tell what that is because they’re not wearing very much of anything. I can’t see any brand names. I say comp them all VIP tickets. These pictures explain why Burning Man tickets are worth $1400 more than Marian’s blog post did.

Burning Man Sound Camp “CYMATICA” Breaks Record for Longest Continuous Running DJ Set

MIAMI, JANUARY 31 – Cymatica Incorporated, a Florida non profit corporation and a Burning Man sound camp, shattered the record this past Monday morning for the longest running continuous set of DJs performing with a Burning Man style interactive open bar – running continuously for 61.33 hours. In collaboration with Miki Beach, Distrikt and Big Puffy Yellow, the record-breaking event was hosted at “The Love Burn” a Burning Man Regional Burn held on Virginia Key, an island just off of downtown Miami created by Quantum Glenn and Prosperity.

Cymatica whose mission is to support artists, music and community, was founded by five members: Bram Stoke, Jeannie Kelly, Jodi Darren, Nicholas Porras and Julian Uribe. Their dedicated hard work throughout the 61-hour event made all of this possible. This was the fourth Cymatica appearance at Love Burn. Miki Beach was founded by Dan Ruiz who shuttled back and forth to perform surgery while the event was happening. Deejay Kramer the founder of Distrikt – one of the largest and oldest sound camps at Burning Man was designated as a honorary witness of the record.

Cymatica whose theme this year of “Forbidden Garden” opened as usual on January 24th at 10:00 pm and played until their traditional sunrise close. Due to inclement weather, Miki Beach’s beach set, which was due to start 6:00 am, was relocated to the Cymatica’s Bus and sound stage. The one-of-a-kind bus is a DJ stage created from a 1955 GM SceniCruiser by Julian Uribe and Cymatica volunteers.

The collectible vehicle is #653 out of 991 produced and one of only 100 left in existence. Uribe’s creation was the first ever attempt to create a new genre of art car – accomplished by maintaining the outside appearance of a classic car while the inside is fully converted in a typical art car fashion. Cymatica’s set kicked off the record-breaking marathon and did not finish until 5:05 am Monday morning, January 29th.

This event also marked the unveiling of an Aphrodisiac Bar with nine different types of scientifically proven aphrodisiacs such as Yohimbe, Safed Musli, Damiana, MACA, Mondei Whitei and others, which were infused with various spirits and flavors to create a wide variety of custom cocktails. The Aphrodisiac Bar was managed by Lexi Raduenz who prepared the infusions and Chef Mark Fiori, Cymatica’s chief mixologist who was continuously cooking up more batches of his own creations before during and probably after the event.

Gino and Ashley Tozzi, the former owners of LMNT and members of Cymatica, gifted top shelf alcohol to be served throughout the duration of the event. Specialty cocktails concocted with Apple Playa, a liqueur inspired by a trip to Burning Man, was also available to anyone who visited the bar throughout the 61 hours.

Organizers credit Lawrence Salemme Cymatica’s executive chef for feeding all the volunteers and Marco Lorreto and his team with their instrumental contribution to the event’s success by handling various logistics, including providing continuous ice to the bar for the entire duration of the 61 hours. Megan Greenhaus managed the bar for the second consecutive year.

In spite of torrential rain throughout all three days, the set continued and the dance floor was almost continuously full. When the rain began, members of Miki Beach brought out their shade structure to cover the dance floor and keep the Burners dry, although many chose to dance in the rain.

During this time, live performances were provided by Kahill Head and Kerri Aultman. Ysiad Ferreira and Alex Green of Symmetry Labs, the creators of the Tree of Tenere at Burning Man, provided the Sugar Cubes for lighting. Claudia La Bianca, Cymatica’s artist in residence, and Louis Belhoste contributed their talents to set design and other décor.

When the founders of Cymatica were asked why they did this – all they would say is:

“we are Burning Man participants who align with the Burning Man principles and this our gift. By setting goals which are impossible for single individuals to achieve –a community is created. This forms lasting bonds and friendships that ultimately make the world a better place.”

DJ’S THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE RECORD:

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25th
1. 3:45-4:00 pm – Alan Epps
2. 4:00-5:00 pm – Luke Hunter
3. 5:00-6:00 pm – Sundance Kid
4. 6:00-7:00 pm – Dude Skywalker
5. 7:00 pm-8:00 pm – Jeremy Ismael
6. 8:00 pm-9:00 pm-Alice Iguchi
7. 9:00-10:00 pm – Adisyn
7. 10:30-11:00 pm – m.O.N.R.O.E.
8. 11:30-1:00 am – Nii Tei

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26th
9. 1:00-3:00 am – Alan Alan Epstein
10. 3:00-4:30 am – Meneer Van Helden
11. 4:30-6:00 am – Jeremy Ismael
12. 6:00-9:30 am – SPR Artists
13. 9:30-10:15 am – Dylan
14. 10:15-11:15 am – Von Funkhauser (Big Puffy Yellow)
15. 11:15-12:30 pm – Dtr
16. 12:30-12:45 pm – Alex Cecil and Deejay Kramer
17. 12:45-1:15 pm – Jeff Moreno b2b Mario Rosentahl
18. 1:15-1:45 pm – Burner Brothers
19. 1:45-3:00 pm – Grant Grosky
20. 3:00-4:30 pm – Crowd Controlol
21. 4:30-5:45 pm – Freak the Disco
22: 5:45-6:30 pm – Felipe
23. 6:30-7:30 pm – Vela Fjord
24. 7:30-9:00 pm – Iman Rizky
25. 9:00-12:30 am – Meneer Van Helden

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27th
26. 12:30-2:00 am – Mobad
27. 2:00-4:00 am – Deejay Kramer (Distrikt)
28. 4:00-7:00 am – Alex Cecil
29. 7:00-9:00 am – Catori
30. 9:00-10:00 am – Bryant Jensen
31. 10:00-11:00 am – Adisyn
32. 11:00-12:00 pm – VelaFjord
33. 12:00-1:30 pm – Deejay Kramer (Distrikt)
34. 1:30-2:30 pm – Iman Rizky 
35. 2:30-3:30 pm – Nii Tei
36. 3:30-4:30 pm – Mark Salner
37. 4:30-6:00 pm – Brian Cid
38. 5:30-700 pm – Freak the Disco
39. 7:00 -9:00 pm – Alan Epps
40. 9:00-11:00 pm – Iman

MONDAY, JANUARY 28th 
41. 11:30-2:30 am – m.O.N.R.O.E. b2b Adisyn
42. 2:30 am-3:30 am – Dude Skywalker
43. 2:30-5:05 am – Alex Cecil

For further inquiries contact Jeannie Kelly Cymatica’s CCO “Conscious Community Officer” at cymaticagroup@gmail.com.