BMOrg Tips Hat to Caravancicle Camp Director

Voices of Burning Man has a story from Communications Director Megan Miller, the latest BMOrg employee jetting around the world to attend a festival: Envision, in Uvite, Costa Rica. Her report is very favorable – as it should be, Envision is a great event as we said in 2012:

This week, Burners.Me is lucky enough to be coming to you live (well, sort of!) from the Envision festival in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

There are some immediately obvious differences from Burning Man. We arrived and were welcomed by Stephen Brooks, one of the world’s leading experts in permaculture, singing on stage songs about the potential within all of us to make the future better than the past our parents handed us. Later singers acknowledged the presence of different tribes, and asked us all to unite as one to protect the earth. The message was that tanks, bombs, machine guns and torpedos could not stop the love that all humans have for one another. We found it very inspiring, and great to dance to.

From the musical side, the score was Hippies 1 Ravers 1 – a lovely balance, and nice to be able to move between the two. The music was great on both counts. All the people were happy and everyone’s attitude was great. If you were thirsty, a mere $2 got you a giant refreshing coconut.

[Read the full story: Envision 2012 Costa Rica – Burners By The Beach]

Megan seems to think the same:

I was deeply impressed with the way people at Envision took responsibility for the environment around them, and for the experience had by themselves and others. I didn’t see a single piece of out of place trash on the ground (also called ‘MOOP’ by Envision-ers). I saw people jumping in, helping out, and bringing what they had to offer the collective experience.

While there were goods available for purchase in the tasteful marketplace and food stalls (no huge corporate banners, here), everywhere I turned I witnessed people genuinely enjoying acts of gifting. At times I found myself searching for price listings only to realize the activities didn’t cost any money – these included a face painting booth, a place to immerse yourself in blue clay, and a treehouse slide made of bamboo straight out of Tom Sawyer’s jungle paradise.

The connections between Envision and Burning Man run deep. One of Envision’s 6 Co-founders, Stephen Brooks, has been attending Burning Man for the past 14 years (his father has been ten times!), and you could see and feel the connection between the two communities everywhere.

Village Stage schedule (Photo by Zac Cirivello)
Village Stage schedule (Photo by Zac Cirivello)

There’s a strong theme camp presence – leadership from Fractal Nation, Sacred Spaces, Abraxas, and others are interwoven into the fabric of Envision. Members of various on-playa departments work as Envision staff and volunteers – DPW, Gate, Rangers, Café, Media Mecca, ESD – they’re all there, putting to use the skills they’ve mastered on the playa. In the Costa Rican jungle.

It’s not a tough sell, really. “Sort of like Burning Man? But on the beach?” Say no more.

It is interesting that Megan chose to highlight Stephen, who is one of Envision’s founders, as the example of how tight Burning Man is with Envision.

Stephen was the manager of Burning Man Project Director Jim Tananbaum’s now infamous Caravancicle camp. He insists that the camp was a great example of giving, and he worked hard to teach the Ten Principles to all their guests:

Screenshot 2015-03-18 18.52.32

Image: Facebook (Public)

Remember when Danger Ranger blamed all the camp’s woes on a rave promoter, who was now banned for life?

I have also conducted my own personal investigation into this matter and have come up with answers that may be more specific than some of those presented thus far.

My conclusion is that Burning Man broke Caravansicle. I might add that the individual who profited from Caravansicle will not be allowed back into Burning Man.

When I was finally able to confront Mr Tananbaum face-to-face, my first words to him were; “You really stepped in some shit.” I believe that he truly regrets the wreckage in the wake of his camp. Mr Tananbaum started out with the best of intentions. Caravansicle was not intended to be commercial in nature. His goal was to fund and produce a large camp for friends and associates, much like the camps that he had done in the two previous years. But this year it was going to be grander and larger. His first mistake was to hire a professional camp producer from the commercial EDM world with no Burning Man experience. This is what brought in the sherpas and wristbands. His second mistake was having a bar so big and so public that it ran out of liquor. Nothing is worse than a half-drunk lynch mob. And I’m sure that the professional camp producer was surprised to discover no trash dumpsters at Burning Man. None-the-less, the camp producer took the money and ran.

Tananbaum’s account was almost the complete opposite of Danger Ranger’s, singing the praises of his camp manager. In his own statement on the Burning Man web site he said:

I am writing to respond to a number of posts regarding Caravancicle, a camp of which I was a member in 2014 – I also helped envision and fund the camp.

The hero of this unfortunate situation was our camp’s manager who worked tirelessly for 2 days along with other camp members to help provide basic infrastructure for all of us. While the crisis was going on, all of us were greatly distracted and weren’t able to properly respond to the many people coming through our camp. Our supplies were also dwindling. Since the camp was so large, we used wristbands to help manage the food, water, and booze supply during non-public hours. It was really sad for me to read the accounts of people who visited our camp and were turned down for drinks during the day (including a number of my friends). Ughh….  If we had simply posted a sign providing details on camp gift times, it would have made a big difference.

Our camp breakdown was also compromised because the group responsible for providing the infrastructure was also responsible for part of the breakdown. In the end, our camp manager and some other members of the camp, plus breakdown staff, cleaned up our camp by Saturday after the event.

Let’s hope this story means the lifetime ban’s been lifted – if it ever existed in the first place. Stephen is a good guy and a good Burner – don’t believe everything you read on the Internet, if the source is not credible.

Definitely go check out Envision, and the beautiful country of Costa Rica which has 300,000 different kinds of bugs.

envision 2015

Burning Man: The Musical

Some New York veteran Burners are raising funds on Kickstarter to create Burning Man: The Musical. Inspired by Book of Mormon, it will feature songs like “My Sparkle Pony” and “The Only Black Man In Black Rock City”.



Burning Man: The Musical is a Book of Mormon-style musical that celebrates the ecstasy and agony of Burning Man, an annual festival of community, self-expression and radical self-reliance in the desert of Nevada.

About the musical

The story is driven by a 25-year old white guy named Joe. He’s a techie who lives in San Francisco and commutes down to Silicon Valley. He’s been driven his whole life by external validation, and does anything he can to get ahead–no matter how many people he has to burn along the way.

But, when Joe finally gets to Burning Man, his lofty ambitions to network with high-powered executives are not met. Between getting dumped by his girlfriend, dancing with sparkle ponies, and nearly dying while on a vision quest in the desert, he reaches a real low.

In the midst of this low, the acceptance, connection, and playfulness he experiences at Burning Man make him start to question his past life of ambition and power in Silicon Valley. The sharing economy and free spirits he meets in the desert make him wonder–is his real mission in life just to make money? Or is it maybe to authentically connect with others and help others?

Will Joe make it out of the desert remaining a power-hungry douchebag? Or will the heat, dust, art cars, dancing and kind strangers allow him to get back in touch with the heart and soul of his younger self? You’ll find out if you contribute to this Kickstarter project.

About this campaign

We’re in New York City developing this musical with Broadway and off-Broadway actors, as well as veteran Burners. This campaign is to raise funds to create a 5 minute video of the beginning of the musical to post on YouTube by August 30–the start of Burning Man. If we raise more than that, our stretch goal is to put on a short production of the opening number at Burning Man itself this year. If we exceed this stretch goal, the extra funds will help us as we enter the second phase of the development process and write and record the love song “My Sparkle Pony,” and the satirical song “The Only Black Man in Black Rock City.” Based on the reception of this opening number, we will develop a timeline to create the full production.

Collaborate with us!

We’d love to hear your ideas, and collaborate on this project with you. Please email us at

Thanks for your help, and we look forward to seeing you on the playa!

Disclaimer: Burning Man: The Musical is the working title for this piece. This is in no way sponsored or endorsed by the Burning Man Project, but is a satirical theater piece celebrating the festival and its unique impact on American culture.

Risks and challenges

Because musicals take so long to develop (Book of Mormon took 7 years from concept to opening night), we’ve set a defined, achievable goal for this Kickstarter project. We’re not using this project to fund the creation of the entire musical (as that’s a multi-year project and very costly). Instead, we’re creating a 5-minute video of the opening number and posting it to YouTube. This will set the scene for the musical, introduce the main cast and score for the piece. Based on the reception of this opening number, we will come up with a roadmap and timeline to develop the full production.

This project will require many people to work on tight deadlines to deliver the final product by August 30, 2015. We need to record the opening song in a professional studio, choreograph the opening number, and film it professionally with Broadway and off-Broadway actors. We luckily have access to the YouTube Creator Space NYC, connections with the New York theater scene, and a track record of delivering on Kickstarter projects on time.

For our prior Kickstarter projects, see:

Star Wars In The Desert [Update]

Image: Mixmag

Image: Mixmag

A Star Wars themed rave in the desert? Sounds like a good idea to me.


Fest300 brings us the exciting news:


At last...a festival with lightsabers and lasers in equal supply. Celebrating its second outing this past February, the Les Dunes Electroniques Festival returned to the dunes of southern Tunisia to a crowd of cosmopolitan locals and adventurous Star Wars fans



Before you pack up your costumes and catch the next plane to Africa, you might want to actually watch the videos. I don’t see much Star Wars going on. All I count is one Darth Vader mask, and zero lightsabers and lasers.

Image: Paris Bouge

Image: Paris Bouge

Tunisia is the place George Lucas chose to be the planet Tatooine in his movies, and it is also being used by JJ Abrams in the new installment. The location of this set is close to where the rave takes place. It seems that Fest300 is stretching this connection to call it a Star Wars-inspired EDM festival.

Mixmag offers us more useful information:

At the end of last month thousands flooded to the Dunes Electroniques festival, which is nestled away in Nefta in Tunisia, also the place where parts of Star Wars were filmed.

The festival takes place on the site of Mos Espa, known to lovers of the film franchise as the spaceport on Tatooine. IRL, the exact spot is known locally as Ong Djemel and was built four decades ago by George Lucas especially for Star Wars.

Now in its third year, Dunes Electroniques welcomed Kölsch, Superpitcher and Derrick May, among many others, to the dusty town.

On top of this, attendees were given the opportunity to explore the set and watch artists from the Tunisia’s local music scene in an area surrounded by beautiful landscapes.

While not everyone gets into the spirit of things at the event, a number of festival-goers take it upon themselves to dress up as their favourite characters, so seeing a Darth Vader or Princess Leia wandering round isn’t considered a strange sight.

For general ravers, who don’t have to get into Cosplay to have a good time, this could be an interesting experience. Of course, you’ll be in a country where many of the young men have run off to fight for ISIS. Protestors to the festival drive around with megaphones yelling “Allah-uh-Akbar!”

From Al Jazeera:

On Saturday the ultra-conservative group Hizb ut-Tahrir held a small protest in Tozeur against the festival, arguing that it went against local values. The next morning, a car drove through the main square with a man yelling “God is great” and waving the group’s flag bearing the Islamic testament of faith.

Most locals, however, seemed pragmatic about the regional benefits. “Some people support it. Some people are against it,” says shop owner Naceur Hamadi, shrugging. “It’s bringing business to our town.”

While the number of tickets sold this year — 6,500 — fell short of a projected 10,000 visitors, the hotels and shops in Tozeur and Nefta enjoyed record sales for February.

Despite the bad weather and organizational issues, most of the young people interviewed said they planned to return next time.

Emna Bouguira, a 23-year-old medical intern, had spent half her first-ever monthly paycheck for a two-day pass — $155, the equivalent of one month’s minimum wage here. Interviewed at a rest stop on the six-hour drive back to Tunis, she says she had had a “mixed” experience. “The music was good, but it was badly organized,” she says.

But for her and others, it was a chance to see the Tozeur region for the first time, and she would like to return.

“Young Tunisians, we like to have fun. We like this atmosphere,” says Atef Braham, an electrical engineering student from the coastal town of Monastir. “This is the real Tunisia,” he says, taking a sip through the straw hooking up to his beer helmet.

He takes a moment to join an impromptu dance circle led by a guy wearing a fluorescent orange T-shirt that reads, “Always find a reason to smile.”

The full article from Al Jazeera is quite interesting, read it here.

Save yourselves a trip to Africa, Star Wars fans…you’ll see more Star Wars stuff at Burning Man.

Image: herby_fr/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Sandspeeder in a Dust Storm, 2005. Image: herby_fr/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Jawa Sandcrawler, 2007. Image: Rubin Starset/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Jawa Sandcrawler, 2007. Image: Rubin Starset/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Image: Duncan Rawlinson/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Image: Duncan Rawlinson/Flickr (Creative Commons)

star wars storm troopers

[Update 3/4/15 4:56pm]

A Balanced Perspective has pointed us to this up-coming Star Wars themed rave event with DJs in California on May 22. Star Wars art cars, unite!

rebel alliance

A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away….

“Luke Skywalker has returned to
his home Planet of Tatooine in
an attempt to Rescue his
friend Han Solo from the
clutches of the vile gangster
Jabba the Hutt.

Little does Luke know that the
GALACTIC EMPIRE has secretly
begun construction on a new
armored Space Station even
more powerful than the first
dreaded Death Star.

When completed, this ultimate
weapon will spell certain doom
for the small band of Rebels
struggling to restore Freedom
to the Galaxy…”

We invite you to our 2nd Annual Epic Star Wars Cos-Play Event… “Return to Tatooine” May 22nd – 25th
Memorial Day Weekend…

Return to Tatooine, This Time to Help the Rebel Alliance….

Come Dressed as your Favorite Sci-Fi Hero. From Dragon Ball Z to Boba Fett come let your Geek hang out. Don’t Have a Costume? Relax you can always Fake it…


Here is the Listing of Happenings…

Hawaiian Luau on the Kona at Dusk, Sat 23rd & Sun 24th of May. Don’t forget your Hawaiian Shirt, and Board Shorts, yeah..

The Corusant Ball (Late Saturday Night)
Lose yourself in the Fun, and Dance the night away at our Corusant Ball, with welcoming Host, Lando Calrissian. Costumes are encouraged, but certainly not required!

The Force is Strong With This One (Costume Contest)
Join in our Costume Contest, held at the Main Stage, Friday and Saturday nights, and show off your Finery, and win amazing Prizes, and throngs of Admiration. C’mon, take a turn on that Catwalk — Rrrrowww!

Mos Eisley Bazaar…. (Vendor Area)
Our Vendor and Artisan Area, Mos Eisley Bazaar will be packed with Weapons, Books, Artwork, Clothing, Jewelry, the Paintball Shooting Gallery, and oh so much more. It’s a Market like no other in the world!

(no plastic or painted parts ie. must be striped of any moop)
this is a self-reliant Event, if you come you bring your own Equipment, Power, Etc, no one is paid to bring there Art, Perform or Set Up a Theme Camps
all ages 14 and under, are Free.

Tickets Available Here:

General Admission $25 / $35 at the Gate

(Gate Sales are Discouraged)

All Ticket(s) are non-refundable.

For those with RV’s, right up the road is a very inexpensive Water refill, and Grey Water Dump station, at Red Rock State Park Ricardo Campground, please call them for up to date info. ( )

The Details:
Its on 20+ empty acres of private desert land, up Highway 14, near the City of Mojave California. Its just to get a head count of how many are coming so we can get enough Portos. Some Cell Phone and 4G Data services do not work out there, however AT&T seems to work fine.

You can Tent, RV, Camper, or sleep in your Vehicle. Radical Self Reliance must be practiced here. Just like any Camping Trip, bring everything you will need. You will need your own H2O as well. And as always, Leave No Trace.

You can come out as early as Thursday May 21st, but I’m sure most will arrive on the 22nd …..

We will have several nice sound systems out there, and various DJs will be spinning a set and Live Bands playing. If you want to provide some entertainment, please let us know. You are welcome to bring your fire toys, but also bring your fire safety equipment as well. All musical instruments are welcome.

(will be posting more info such as performers etc. later on in the month as time slots/spaces are filled)
Hey Guys Just So You Know…

We are a “VENDOR FEE” FREE Event… Come and set up a table, sell your wares, there will be no set-up/Booth Fee of any Kind. We encourage Artist Painters Jewelers, Artisans to Barter, Share or Sale Their… We may set up a Bartertown” area over by the Chill Dome. Sound like something you be interested in Contact Princess Hamade or myself… “Support the Arts, and the Artist.”

Our World would be just a little bit duller without you…

On the property there are 2 little Bars (mostly BYOB), Volley Ball, Badminton, a 2 Story Pyramid, 16′ Dome, Desert Golf, Horse Shoes, Darts and 2 private RVs. Oh, and Fun…

In the area there are many really cool things to do as well. The Mojave Boneyard or the Airplane junkyard, and Mojave SpacePort are right down the street. There are a few Ghost Towns in the nearby area, one Living, and some awesome yet bizarre manmade Rock Formations. And you are welcome to bring some of your Art out there as well, large or small.

Bikes are welcome too, and highly recommended, the desert is a big place.


Please RSVP the following information:
Camp Name or Your Name:
Number of people in camp: (not everyone in your camp needs to RSVP. We just need a total head count)
Arrival Date:
Type of camping: RV, Camper, Tent, Vehicle
Approx. footprint size needed: (No one will have assigned camp areas, we just want to make sure there is enough room for everyone. )

IMPORTANT INFO FOR PERFORMERS, ARTISTS, DJS, ART CARS, AND MAJOR THEME CAMPS PLEASE EMAIL ME at with your name, general info, (ie. phone number, email where u can be contacted) and your ETA. This is a non paid gig, all money made from the event helps establish the ranch for future that we can continue providing a safe place to play! it also covers portos!

Don’t forget to include a short summary, pics etc of what you would like to bring to be considered for two comp Tickets. Please note: Theme Camps unfortunately still only get two Tickets..we may be able to provide discounted Tickets.


For Future Info and Pics/Videos of the Event, as well as Questions about the location… join our group