My camp, called Maslowtopia and organized by famed hotelier Chip Conley (author of Peak), gathered a motley crew of around 100 all-stars from around the world, including incredible artists, organic chefs, and wise Fortune-100 co-founders…
One of those all-stars was an A-list entrepreneur and former top-tier investment banker. Trained at Harvard as a lawyer and forged into the consummate dealmaker, she had literally built economies from scratch
Hexayurt creator (and legendary Burner) Vinay Gupta tweeted a photo of the camp from the air:
This year, just before Burning Man, the New York Times published an expose on rich people trying to one-up each other at Burning Man with luxury camps and paid employees. They featured an interview with an insider, Tyler Hansen, who worked for a large luxury camp as a sherpa. Not a Big S Sherpa, one of the noble mountain people of Nepal; a small s sherpa, someone employed as a guide. Before this high-profile NYT article, I had never before heard the word sherpa in conjunction with Burning Man. Now it seems every Commodification Camp has a team of sherpas. How did this word enter Burning Man’s lexicon?
After Caravansiclery wrapped up, we heard from another sherpa who worked at the luxury plug-n-play camp created by mega-rich Burning Man Director Jim Tananbaum. According to documents from Megas Inc, camping spots cost $13,000 per head. According to the whistleblower, it was $17,000. What was the difference – tips? Or were some “products” provided that weren’t suitable to be listed in the contract?
This mountain of “ice cream” looks pretty big…where’s my sherpa?
The camp featured Mistresses of Merriment, some of whom claim “playmate“, “pasties”, and “no pants” in their profiles.
KBand published a list of people involved with Caravancicle, something we have decided not to re-post as it could be considered “doxing”, an online practice that is frowned upon. You can search out the list for yourself. We reference it because it contains a link that inspired this story – one that connects Commodification Camps, BMOrg, and Sherpas.
Burning Man’s Social Alchemist and Global Ambassador, Bear Kittay, is named in the list of Caravancicle associates. What was his role in the camp?
Despite being paid to be a Social Alchemist, Bear is not permitted by his employer to make an on the record statement to social media. He camped at First Camp, and doesn’t know why he is named in the Caravancicle list.
A silent ambassador? Sounds more like a secret agent to me. Why does BMOrg need secret agents to spread its culture, if it’s all for charity?
Bear’s mentor is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist whom he brought out to the Playa to do deals. Shervin Pishevar, formerly of Menlo Ventures, has now branched out on his own with a new $154 million startup. Its name? Drumroll please…
Is this merely yet another ironic coincidence, like BMOrg Directors selling luxury elite camps on K Street while brochures for the same type of amenity-laden retreat are being handed out in the Souk? How many more coincidences do there need to be, before all these connections seem like more than just random chance?
Here’s some of the back story. Who is Bear Kittay?
Bear Kittay is a social alchemist who exists to activate human potential. As Burning Man’s Global Ambassador, Bear initiates global experiences with cultural pioneers from the realms of entrepreneurship, government, science, and art to accelerate innovation and cultural transformation. As an entrepreneur, he’s founded, discovered and currently advises several venture-backed Silicon Valley technology companies, including Shaker, Organizer, and Sponsorfied. He’s raised more than $20M in early stage venture funding from top tier firms including Founders Fund and Menlo Ventures. A singer and multi-instrumentalist, Bear’s secret sauce is his music. He’s studied and performed music in venues throughout the world and founded Music for Democracy, a PAC organizing musicians for progressive causes
Bear Kittay serves as Social Alchemist and Ambassador for Burning Man Project, visiting burners around the world, capturing their stories and sharing information from other groups creating positive change around the world. So far Bear has attended AfrikaBurn in South Africa, KiwiBurn in New Zealand, Nowhere in Spain, and visited burners in Australia, Maui and London. He has represented the Project at the SXSW premiere of Spark, at a festival on human rights in Croatia and at a social innovation festival in Oaxaca, Mexico. He’s just recently returned from a whirlwind trip that included KoreaBurn, Burning Japan and BurningSeed in Australia.
He was also sent this year to Midburn, a Burning Man event which humbly aims to bring peace to the Middle East.
In 2010 I brought two of my best friends to Burning Man for the first time, after trying for about a decade to convince them to go. They absolutely loved it, we camped with Villains and Vixens and Overkill. Bear was not so close a friend, but I had previously entertained him in my home in Australia and suggested he should go to Burning Man and experience for himself magic happening in real time. 2009 was his first burn. In 2010, he came to visit our camp in some sort of wetsuit with his dick hanging out of a flap in the front. Wetsuit cocking, a new one to me. Millenial innovation, no doubt. Luckily he brought a beautiful woman with him. She was immediately whisked into the fanciest RV on the Playa, while Bear remained with us drinking at our camp’s fully stocked bar. And yes, we too had top shelf vodka – $29 for a bottle of Grey Goose at Safeway, fancy. Show up, and we pour you a drink. Doesn’t get much more Radically Inclusive than that – although, if you want to use the bathroom in my RV, you’re gonna need a wristband.
Bear and Dr Molly – not a couple! Photo by Snorky
In 2011, Bear created a Burning Man camp called Kundavi. It was tied to a real estate venture in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I joined them and pitched in where I could, mainly contributing the sound system. This was the first year I’d brought my own RV, an old one I found for a steal off eBay, an economical alternative to the nicer vehicles I’d rented previously. Bear brought out his parents for their first Burn. Dr David Kittay, a lecturer on religion and technology at Columbia University, later would host the infamous “The Founders Speak” panel discussion in New York with Larry Harvey, John Perry Barlow, and Peter Hirshberg, the recordings of which mysteriously went missing despite BMOrg’s promise to share them with Burners.
Bear brought some friends to Camp Kundavi that he wanted to get together for business reasons. Earlier in the year, Bear had asked Shervin, his mentor, what he should do with his life. Shervin had said “go and travel the world, and if you find any interesting startups, bring them to me”. In Barcelona (or was it Tel Aviv?), Kittay randomly met some young Israeli entrepreneurs with a social media startup called Shaker.
Shervin was the guy who did the Uber deal for Menlo Ventures, which turned out to be such a stellar success that he can probably trade off that one deal for the rest of his life. He brought celebrities like Ed Norton and Burner Will Smith in as investors in their Series B round.
Bear saw an opportunity – here was a deal he could broker for Shervin, and maybe get a piece for himself. And it could all go down at Burning Man.
Shervin showed up fresh from Las Vegas. It was his first trip to the Playa, and not his natural environment, but he was an “out there” VC, prepared to do whatever it took to close on the next big deal. He would shave Uber into his hair if that was what it took. Before hopping on his Black Jet he had spent 3 hours in the hairdresser, getting his jet-black locks turned into a rainbow mohawk.
Shervin was frustrated because he was in the closing stages of an $800 million deal, and his Blackberry reception was patchy. I lent him my satellite phone but it wasn’t enough, he needed to get back to Vegas to close this deal. Time was limited. Bear seized his opportunity to bring his mentor and his protegés together.
Here’s SF Gate examining Burning Man’s new role as a deal destination for the captains of tech:
Burning Man founders are happy about the changes – even courting them. Those captains of tech also fund the enormous temporary art installations in the city center and support the Burning Man nonprofit efforts.
“What we’re seeing are many more of the Fortune 500 leadership, entrepreneurs and small startups bringing their whole team,” said Marian Goodell, Burning Man director of business and communications.
Like a corporate retreat?
“A little bit like a corporate retreat. The event is a crucible, a pressure cooker and, by design, a place to think of new ideas or make new connections.”
She said that, contrary to what people may think, she is not particularly liberal and, as a sign of her conservative cred, added that “my sister’s godfather is Antonin Scalia,” the staunchly conservative Supreme Court justice. “Burning Man on the outside has very liberal and socially strong principles, but I’ve been running it with very fiscally conservative policies.“
These new burners, she said, are to be celebrated.
“If you’re in the longtime Burning Man community, maybe it’s easy to frown on certain types of people coming. But the more we have a variety of influencers – folks from London and New York – the better off we will be and the better off the Burning Man Project.”
When Bear Kittay, 26, who runs a camp with an innovation theme, met five Israeli entrepreneurs in Barcelona, he told them to come to the desert. On the spur of the moment, the young men, founders of a virtual reality startup, took time off work and joined him.
On the playa, Kittay introduced them to Shervin Pishevar, managing partner of the venture capital firm Menlo Ventures. And there, coated in desert dust, Pishevar agreed to lead the first round of funding – $15 million.
That company, Shaker, won the prestigious TechCrunch Disrupt conference award for best new startup in 2011.
“It’s a big testament to Burning Man,” Goodell said
Typical BMOrg, claiming credit for any thing any Burners do any where. We’ve gone from “commerce is banned at Burning Man” to “we never said we were against commerce” to “if commerce happens that’s a big testament to Burning Man”.
The Burning Man component of the Shaker deal was no more than 5 minutes of conversation. Here’s how it really happened.
Bear brought Shervin and the Shaker team together, in the shade provided by my RV. Perhaps it was a coincidence that the meeting went down right outside the window of the main early-stage tech investor in the camp, or perhaps this was all part of some master plan. Later, off Playa, I did offer to make a token investment into Shaker but by this stage I was small fry, they were on to bigger and better things after winning Tech Crunch Disrupt and a $15 million round led by Menlo Ventures. Like most of these Millenial-led tech companies that boast how they don’t need anyone’s advice or money, they haven’t amounted to much. They did a partnership deal with Live Nation, whose biggest shareholder owns QVC (Home Shopping Network), home of Burning Man Director Matt Goldberg. Last I heard Shaker had “pivoted”, and is now an online gaming play.
Shervin didn’t actually do the Shaker deal in Black Rock City, but he made plans to meet with the guys in San Francisco the next week. Tech Crunch Disrupt, which was featured in Mike Judge’s hilarious Silicon Valley show, occurs the week after Burning Man. As arranged on the Playa, Shervin met the guys in the morning before the competition and at the end of the meeting they shook hands on a deal. Later, when they presented and won, Tech Crunch founder Michael Arrington said he wanted to invest also.
Here’s Shervin describing how it all came about to Uncrunched:
here’s the crazy story of how I met them. I was working on scouting a Jedi Council retreat in Cabo. I met these amazing guys from Mexico at Summit Series who are were working on an entrepreneurs resort. I began mentoring one of them, Bear. He wanted to learn how to become an investor and VC in the future. My advice was to go forth and travel around the world scouting for amazing startups and bring it back. I didn’t expect to hear from him for months. Instead, a mere 3 weeks later he had traveled to Egypt and Israel, and I flew into Burning Man. He said, “Shervin, I listened to you! Thank you! And I found this amazing startup, Shaker. And they are flying into the Playa tonight and they are competing in Techcrunch Disrupt!” That night I met them and was very impressed with them and their vision. But with no connection I had to wait until the following Tuesday to get the demo at a Samovar in San Francisco. Within a minute, I knew what I saw was the future. I had been looking for this for years. Their product execution was nearly flawless. A very hard feat to accomplish given the vision. The next day I brought them in to meet the rest of the Menlo partners. They agreed and we were off! Meanwhile, while we tried to come to an agreement on an investment, Shaker won Disrupt! I actually got the term sheet done and signed from the streets of Haiti the following weekend while I was volunteering in Haiti for jp/hro! Hopefully, there will be karma in that and all of the serendipity that brought us together.
Pre-planned serendipity and engineered karma: is this Social Alchemy in action?
This year, Shervin has launched his new venture, called Sherpa Ventures. From Business Week:
Here’s what happens when you set out to profile Silicon Valley venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar.
On Monday, July 7, Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s manager, calls at Pishevar’s request to attest that the Iranian-born entrepreneur has brought him several high-profile investment opportunities and had a hand in introducing him to his future wife. On Tuesday, DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg rings to praise Pishevar as “a great networker” and says, “There is nobody more loyal.”
On Wednesday, Elon Musk, founder of electric-car company Tesla Motors is on the phone recounting how the pair traveled to Cuba last year with Sean Penn and ended up negotiating (unsuccessfully) with the Castro government for the release of an American imprisoned there. On Thursday, it’s Edward Norton, who says Pishevar advised the actor and his wife on building their charitable-giving website, CrowdRise, and later persuaded Norton to make an investment in the booming ride-sharing startup Uber. Finally, on Friday, New Jersey junior Senator Cory Booker calls to explain how Pishevar has become a crucial link between Washington and Silicon Valley—bundling donations for President Obama’s reelection campaign and spearheading an effort to create a new kind of “startup visa” for foreign entrepreneurs. “There are guys that can write big checks, and there are guys that can bring people together to write checks,” Booker says. Pishevar “inspires people to give and does it in a way that is not icky.”
Pishevar, in case it’s not already clear, is one of the most excessively networked guys in Silicon Valley. The former tech-entrepreneur-turned-investor has backed Uber, e-tailer Fab.com, and eyeglass purveyor Warby Parker, among other startups. Now he’s running his own venture capital firm, SherpaVentures, which has raised $154 million from a group of investors that includes Condé Nast and the private equity firm TPG Capital. In the process, he has turned himself into one of the most visible members of the California technology and media scene, frequently showing up onstage at tech conferences and backstage at Hollywood awards shows. When Obama met with a select group of technology executives last December to discuss revelations about National Security Agency surveillance, Pishevar was at the White House, standing Zelig-like next to tech luminaries, including Tim Cook and Marissa Mayer.
Pishevar, 40, embodies a new kind of venture capitalist, bringing contacts and visibility to his startups in addition to—or perhaps instead of—operational or technical know-how. A tireless self-promoter who prefers a Los Angeles-style hug over a handshake, he’s based in fashionable San Francisco instead of the stuffy suburban enclave of Menlo Park, the traditional cradle of the VC industry. He’s also known for his public displays of enthusiasm: He once shaved the initials of several of his portfolio companies into his hair.
His exuberance and ubiquity have come at a price, though. The gossip website Valleywag once referred to him as a “humble-bragging, attention-grabbing startup financier” and suggested he’s obsessed with being liked and famous. Pishevar admits that a rival investor once called him “a clown” to his face.
A new kind of venture capitalist: the Burner capitalist. Burner Shervin even purchased a trip to space with famous pal Ashton Kutcher, who is also now a big-time tech investor in AirBnB and others.
The name TPG Capital has come up in this blog before. They recently invested $300 million in AirBnB, which now advertises rooms in Burning Man camps and boasts 2 of Burning Man’s 18 Directors as its full-time employees. So they’re backing both Sherpa, and AirBnB. A very powerful behind-the-scenes player.
Sherpa, in many ways, is representative of a new class of boutique firms: young, city-based, and striving to differentiate themselves from earlier generations.
Located in the heart of San Francisco’s downtown — many miles from the famed Sand Hill Road where many venture firms reside — Sherpa’s office of roughly a dozen employees is filled with plush Herman Miller chairs and black-and-white murals by local artists.
…Half of the group is an investment vehicle, SherpaVentures, and the other half is SherpaFoundry, a vehicle to incubate new companies and to connect their portfolio companies with larger, often public, companies.
“We felt like there was an opportunity to create a guild-like model,” says Stanford. “It’s our name. We like to be in the background making magic happen–hauling the bags up the mountain, enabling great success, the ones behind the camera at the summit.”
The Burner Capitalists are pouring in to the Playa – which is also by design. In 2012 Bear co-founded IDEATE, “Burning Man’s tech innovation camp”. Although the camp was conceived at the last minute, and chock full of virgins, they had no problem getting prime real estate next to First Camp, and all the tickets they wanted.
In yet another “cuddle puddle” — a sort of non-sexual group snuggling that seems to be the favored daytime activity at Burning Man — entrepreneur Tim West explained to me the mission of the 200-person tech and innovation camp, Ideate. (I’m also camping here at the annual Nevada desert festival this week.)
“It’s about bringing tech people to Burning Man, and helping them understand it,” said West, who was wearing an Air Force jumpsuit and carrying a headless Barbie in his pocket. “And then bringing Burning Man back to the default world.”
The special relationship between Burning Man and Silicon Valley is not an accident — it’s by design. A group of young tech entrepreneurs created Ideate three years ago, in collaboration with the Burning Man founders, to support the concept.
Its members are meant to serve as liaisons and teachers to the flood of new tech workers — and tech money — coming into the festival. In some ways, the camp was born out of an anxiety: The Burning Man founders are aging, and they needed to find a core next-generation troupe and ideas for the weeklong event’s next chapter.
What’s perhaps most interesting is that they chose a group of young people who are explicitly focused on entrepreneurship.
“The most important piece of why Silicon Valley exists in the first place is Burning Man — this is a place people go to confront problems and make solutions and prototype,” West said. “Why is innovation happening here in Silicon Valley more than anywhere else in the world? Burning Man.”
…”Ideate is where we can think of and test these ideas, and then bring them to the world. And people are ready for it.”
“Burning Man is not a sub culture anymore,” Delaune said.
While transitioning the project to nonprofit status, Burning Man’s directors are exploring ways to expand its culture globally, focus more on technology and innovation, and lean heavily on the ideas of young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. “We’re at an absolutely critical time in our change and our morphing, and we’re going to be relying on others to help us,” said Marian Goodell, one of the six project owners since 1996.
Conversations about the future have been brewing for months. Bear Kittay, a 27-year-old entrepreneur and musician, has taken the lead in organizing meetings for up-and-coming Bay Area start-up types with Larry Harvey, the founder and director of Burning Man, and Goodell. Kittay is also helping figure out how to spread the project’s 10 principles to other parts of the world.
Goodell calls Kittay their “hyper-connector.” His resume includes being the co-founder of a company called Organizer, which created a clipboard-like mobile platform for use during political campaigns, and a partner (and designated “social alchemist”) in the Avalon Hot Springs eco-resort north of Napa Valley.
Over Memorial Day weekend, Kittay organized a retreat at Avalon. He invited Harvey, Goodell and about a dozen others…
There are longstanding cultural ties between Burning Man and Silicon Valley. It is no secret that Google’s founders are avid “burners,” with entire walls at the company’s Mountain View campus covered in photos from the festival…
But the Avalon retreat initiated an active conversation between the two cultures and two generations of burners — baby boomers and millennials.
Those talks continued and led to the formation of the IDEATE innovation camp, which participated in this summer’s festival. Each camp has a different focus, such as dance, meditation and clothing swaps. IDEATE differed from typical camps, as it operated with an unprecedented mission: to be “an [ideas] incubator in the center of Burning Man,” according to Kittay.
Kittay said IDEATE brought together bright minds to figure out how to offer the tools of Burning Man culture, including collaboration, sustainability and inclusion, to start-up projects around the world.
Burning Man founders paid special attention to IDEATE, which was given a block of tickets even though the idea emerged long after tickets were sold out. Goodell placed the camp close to First Camp, where the founders make their desert home each year.
Goodell said her thought was, “We should take all this brain power around us in San Francisco—dot-com and entrepreneurs…[who] care about Burning Man, and let’s get them all together…and see whether anything could come of it.”.
The majority of the 210 people who camped at IDEATE were new to Burning Man and were young entrepreneurs from companies such as TED, a nonprofit committed to spreading worthwhile ideas; Summit, which hosts an annual four-day event for 1,000 of the world’s leading change makers; and Singularity University, which seeks to educate a new generation of leaders in technologies that will exponentially advance human capability in years to come.
So did anything come out of it? Well, Shaker got funded, IDEATE is still going and people there still have ideas, and now we have sherpas, Sherpa Ventures, Caravancicle, ironic real estate sales, real hotels, ironic AirBnB sales, real AirBnB sales, real gasoline sales, and a dedicated Burning Man staffer to manage the booming new market segment of Commodification Camps.
It seems that the starry eyed young Millenials see Burning Man as the next breeding ground for their commercially questionable deals, while the Baby Boomers who back them provide the financial clout and ostensible gravitas to underpin their shenanigans.
I believe the children are our future. Teach them well, and let them lead the way. From Peninsula Press:
The need for collaboration with the younger generation of burners was clear to Goodell, especially as Burning Man moves from being for-profit to nonprofit. The work to become a nonprofit organization by 2013 has been ongoing for two years, according to Goodell.
Serving the public good in this age of digital technology and rapid communication, she said, requires the input of the millennials, who have what Goodell called an entrepreneurial spirit and a thirst for sharing ideas. They’re also the ones who are representing more and more of the Burning Man population each year. In 2011, almost half of Burning Man participants were under 30, according to the Black Rock City Census.
Larry Harvey is in his sixties; Goodell just turned 50. She said the founders should look to hire young people, and young people should step up and “infiltrate the organization and be ready to take things over…and change the world.”
Goodell described Kittay as “not unlike Larry.” She called them both “pied pipers,” saying that, although neither is likely to be “the first one to hammer up a tent stake,” they both “can get really enthusiastic around ideas, and then people want to gather around and help.”
…Goodell issued a caveat concerning IDEATE and the millennial entrepreneurs as a group: They will be given more influence in the organization only if they do something with all their ideas. They need to maintain momentum and prove themselves as able to make it happen, rather than just talk about it, she said.
After the desert festival, which is held from late August to early September, Kittay traveled with Harvey and Goodell to Turkey, where they considered ancient history and its ties to modern life and talked about ways to make global expansion a reality.
There is talk of bringing Burning Man ambassadors to design projects and businesses across the world; holding urban and rural retreats in addition to the existing “regional burns,” or smaller-scale festivals; creating a social network for burners; crowd-funding design endeavors and sharing technologies that will help the world utilize some of Burning Man’s principles as tools, such as “radical inclusion” and “leave no trace behind.”
…Traditionally the project has been “below the radar,” said Kittay. But now is the time that Burning Man is ready to reveal itself as more than just “electronic, dubstep, naked—whatever associations that people have had superficially with it, and move into much more the space of what it truly is at its core,” he said. That core, according to Kittay, is built around “the philosophical principles of collaboration and of incubating human culture and community and experience.”
Although the organization as a whole supports change, some staff members have been a bit hesitant to make any big leaps, including Harvey himself…As the project expands globally into “a capitalist world,” Kittay cautioned, “it could so quickly lose its essence.”
…Goodell calls this moment pivotal. “There’s before IDEATE, and there’s after IDEATE, and then there’s 2013,” she said.
So, Burning Man’s Director starts a multi-million dollar Commodification Camp, employs sherpas, who are terribly mistreated. Burning Man’s Social Alchemist brings his VC mentor to Burning Man to do deals; after doing a big deal at Burning Man, the VC starts a venture called Sherpa. The big money behind Sherpa Ventures is also the big money behind AirBnB, who launched their product into Burning Man this year and directly employ two of BMOrg’s Board of Directors. Sherpa Ventures sees hospitality entrepreneurs as the new future trend to back.
The bottom line? Plug-n-Play is here to stay. Rather than being a fringe practice at Burning Man, it seems that this is BMOrg’s grand philosophical vision for the next century of Burns. Plug-n-play is what will attract all the New York and London moneyed set, who they need for The Project. Is it their money, their minds, or their souls that Hellco BMOrg are most interested in capturing?
Sherpa Ventures, Pied Piper, Tech Crunch Disrupt, Elon Musk…Burning Man IS Silicon Valley…the coincidences continue. The invisible guiding hand of Total Randomness strikes again. Just remember, sheeple, there’s no such thing as conspiracies, they’re merely theories made up on the Internet. No-one in history has ever been part of any kind of plot. No politician has ever lied. Eat your GMO food, drink your fluoride water, and jab yourselves with all the vaccines you can get your hands on, it’s great. The government really cares, that’s why it’s called the Affordable Care Act.
C’mon Millenials! Save Burning Man from losing its essence as it expands globally into a capitalist world. It’s a do-ocracy…so just fucking do it already.
If this is a troll, it’s the most elaborate one I’ve ever seen. It’s either real, or an ironic “seeding of the market” like the AirBnB listings. They can put the brochures in the Souk and test the appetite and interest level, measure how many outraged reactions there are (if any)…all the while pretending it’s not really happening in the name of irony. Except this IS really happening. Playa hotels are really happening, commodification camps are really happening, so is Burning Man ephemeral real estate leasing really happening too? Or is it just a mirage? A big farce?
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They were recruiting paid employees for their venture:
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Every Burning Man participant is a very important person at Occidental Oasis, and it’s our promise to potential owners that they will enjoy the best of everything with us. That’s why the Experience Team™ is responsible for converting each participant into club members by providing them with information about our club point packages. Team members also provide additional knowledge and details regarding our ownership programs in order to help generate optimal sales volume from every participant.
WHAT BENEFITS WILL I RECEIVE?
Your benefits will include a competitive starting salary and, depending upon eligibility, a vacation or Paid Time Off (PTO) benefit. You will instantly have access to our unique benefits such as the Team Member and Family Travel Program, which provides reduced rates at many of our properties for you and your family, plus discounts on products and services offered by Occidental Oasis and its partners. After 90 days you may enroll in the Occidental Oasis Health & Welfare benefit plans, depending on eligibility. Occidental Oasis also offers eligible team members a 401K Savings Plan, as well as Employee Assistance and Educational Assistance Programs. We look forward to reviewing with you the specific benefits you would receive as an Occidental Oasis Experience Team™. The above information is provided as a highlight of the major benefits offered to most full-time team members in the United States. All benefits listed may not be offered at all locations. This is not a summary plan description or official plan document.
Survival camping in harsh environments really requires the best from me, and I’m proud to let Occidental Oasis become a member of my team. My friends who roll in, in nice, expensive RV’s and even those that use their own chef and only come out at night to avoid the harshness of the environment … should all seriously look into this experience(tm). I especially love the idea of having someone do all the bothersome design work of my own, unique art car that really helps express who I am! When it comes to self reliance, I rely on Occidental! What an AMAZING service!! FIVE STARS!!!
My Experience™ Agent Frank set me up with the perfect little EconoPod™ in Black Rock Park. As a bonus for signing the deal before the event he threw in a free Shirt Cocker and Sparkle Pony package. I went for the 30 year agreement which also gives me preferred scheduling for my vacation reservations. I can’t wait to take my first trip to the Oasis in 2015!
On August 15 2014 – before the Gentrification and Sherpagate scandals broke out – they posted:
Have you ever wanted to make a little piece of the Burning Man Experience™ your own? Now is your chance to own 1/70,000 of your home away from home. The Occidental Oasis is the preeminent vacation ownership and timeshare program in Black Rock City.
Stop by The Man and visit us in the 6:00 Souk tent. One of our Experience™ Agents will work with you to find the perfect property and activities package.
The Occidental Oasis sales office will be open Monday through Friday 11am – 3pm. If you are interested in becoming an Experience™ Agent we are holding a job fair on Monday August 25th from 12:30pm – 3pm.
Do not miss this opportunity to secure you own Burning Man Experience™ for years to come!
Own your own piece of the Burning Man Experience™ at the Occidental Oasis. Whether you choose the luxury of Black Rock Estates, the comfort of Black Rock Acres, or the convenience of Black Rock Park, the Occidental Oasis Resort will provide when the playa does not. Units are selling fast. Stop our sales office at The Souk M-F 11-3 to speak with an Experience™ agent. Visit us online at http://www.occidentaloasis.com/
Our units provide an accessible entry point for those adventurers seeking a solid foundation to launch their daily excursions into Black Rock City. Enjoy access to our private fleet of art cars as well as many other services that will make your burn an experience to remember.
Black Rock Acres is a private oasis offering its own unique experience within the Burning Man event. Relax in your private accommodations, take a break in our dust free clubhouse with live HD coverage of the event, or express yourself in our exclusive theme camps and works of art. — at Black Rock City
Adherence to the Principles is done for you, as well as Principle # 11, Sherpa Reliance:
Occidental Oasis employs many creative and generous people that provide services and artwork to the greater community. You can rest easy knowing that your membership in Occidental Oasis is a valuable contribution to the greater experience of those in Black Rock City.
Public Art Installations
Unique Theme Camps
Occidental Oasis provides trained Experience Guides™ knowledgeable of all local, state, and federal laws. Our guides will monitor your behavior in a non-intrusive manner providing timely feedback and intervention with the community that will allow you fully express yourself without consequence. Occidental Oasis also provides professional legal services on-site and after the event.
Knowledgeable Experience Guides™
On-site Legal Support
Leave No Trace
Occidental Oasis provides full trash service as well as single stream recycling allow you to consume what you need when you need it without worrying about the bits you leave behind.
Single Stream Recycling
Post Event Cleanup
Everyone is welcome at the Occidental Oasis. Stop by our sales office at The Souk to speak with one of our Experience™ Agents.
Occidental Oasis Gift Scouts™ will scour the playa in search of only the very best gifts for our guests. When possible scouts will collect and return to the resort with the gifts that best match our guests’ requests. Scouts will arrange transportation in our fleet of private art cars to experience those gifts which the scouts cannot hand deliver.
Our resorts ofter gifting packages and professional gift coordinators that will help provide our clients with gifts for giving. Gifting packages can also include gift distributions which can be schedule to provide maximum impact to the greater burning man community and relieve our clients of the burden of gifting.
Gift Distribution Services
Custom Gift Packages
Occidental Oasis is a cashless facility. Your initial investment along with your annual maintenance fee provides you unlimited access to all the resort has to offer. All inclusive packages for meals, drinks, and entertainment are available and can be arranged when you reserve your stay. Just contact your Experience Agent™ or the on duty Experience Concierge™ to make your selections.
Al a carte and premium services chosen while at the event will be billed directly to your account. Just sit back and relax knowing that it is all being taken care of for you.
24 hour Experience Concierge™
Occidental Oasis makes your journey to the playa as easy as a first class flight to the Riviera.
We provide around the clock access to beverages, meals, consumables, transportation, entertainment, and support services. Our facilities include onsite medical care and emergency transportation on/off playa should you encounter pressing needs to come and go from the event.
24 Hour Dining
Art Car Fleet
Onsite Medical Care
Occidental Oasis provides professional self-expression consultants that will help you choose from a variety of packages that express your unique self. Choose from an assortment of costume, makeup, and bike options. OurSelf-Expression Packages™ have been rated as some of the best on the playa.
Our professional photographers will be sure to catch your most expressive moments. We have a range of photo packages to choose from that will allow you to impress your friends.
Our consultants can also help you manage your online presence after the show to ensure your experience will be remembered by others for years to come.
Occidental Oasis pampers our guests with VIP access to the big burns and events on playa.
Party with similar minded people in our exclusive theme camps, art cars, and outings.
VIP Access to The Burn
Exclusive Theme Camps
Private Art Car Fleet
Occidental Oasis has its fingers on the pulse of Burning Man. We know exactly what is going on when and where and how well it matches your Experience Profile™.
We provide a daily briefing and a schedule of suggested experiences that may be of interest.
Simply contact the on-duty Experience Concierge™ to select the activities that interest you most and our fleet of private art cars will be dispatched to pick you up and shuttle you to the event.
Each guest is provided with a high precision GPS transponder and communicator that will allow us to locate you, confirm your desires, and get you to the next event.
Personalized Event Schedules
24 Hour pick-up/drop-off
Radio Dispatched Art Cars
GPS Tracking Services
Occidental Oasis provides trained Experience Guides™knowledgeable of all local, state, and federal laws. Our guides will monitor your behavior in a non-intrusive manner providing timely feedback and intervention with the community that will allow you fully express yourself without consequence. Occidental Oasis also provides professional legal services on-site and after the event.
Knowledgable Experience Guides™
On-site Legal Support
Their web site hosts some glowing testimonials from satisfied Occidentists:
They started the week with an officially promoted on burningman.com Playa event, a job fair recruiting PAID workers to sell the real estate.
Get in on the ground floor as a first-round employee of Occidental Oasis Holdings, an exclusive timeshare resort offering 1/70,000 ownership in BRC! Opportunities at BRC, with future expansions across the US and at international burns too! Highest commissions in the industry! Short hours, you can even learn to work from home! Learn about the BRC Properties: Hex Village, Yurt Villas, and Black Rock Estates. These gated communities provide free Wi-Fi and HDTV broadcast of the burns, two-bike garages, and plumbing in the BRC-Municipal Utility District (MUD). Package levels available: Sparkle Pony, Shirt Cocker, Veteran, Wanderlust (at regional events), and Ambassador (at international events). Optional package add-ons include sky diving arrivals, helicopter exodus, personal art car, plus more! If sales isn’t your thing, become an Occidental Oasis concierge! OO Resorts’ concierge service has its fingers on the pulse of Burning Man. We know exactly what is going on when and where and how well it matches our guests’ personal profile. We will provide a daily briefing and a schedule of suggested experiences that may be of interest to our honored sales prospects.
The South Bay Burners give us a hint that it might be a prank.
In classic cacophony style, we’d like to invite you to join us as the “staff” of the Occidental Oasis! Come for a job interview, and stay to help be a part of the most interactive Man Base in history! The South Bay’s Souk will be located in the south-east quadrant of the Man pavilion. For more information, visit http://www.occidentaloasis.com/events/2014/8/25/job-fair
The South Bay’s Occidental Oasis will offer a 1/70,000th share in the playa, offering ownership of a part of the future of an expanded Black Rock City. Come in, relax, and sit through our time share presentation to hear about the opportunity to own a permanent location in 2015′s 360-degree BRC township. Get brochures for special activities and freebies, plus a CERTIFICATE OF OWNERSHIP!
Selling out the Playa. Could it get more commodified? I guess the answer is yes, unfortunately.
In light of Sherpagate, Signgate, and general gentrification, the irony now seems a lot less funny. What they’re promoting as a joke in the middle of the city, they’re pretty much doing at its fringes. Or maybe this is real, and yet another Safari Camp earning millions monetizing our spectacle.
BMOrg have now publicly established, via the New York Times and others, that people will pay $13,000-$25,000 per head for luxury Commodification Camps. What would they pay for ownership of Real Estate, and access to luxury villas with pools and private access roads? The number of units is not even close to 1% of the population, so plenty could afford it. This semi-professional looking sales effort is placed in the most prime real estate of all for marketing, in their marketplace, the bizarre bazaar in the middle of their event at the base of The Man, the main attraction of the whole shebang. Is Burning Man really putting these sales brochures there because this is a hilarious joke? Because some of their Directors are selling exactly this on K Street, is that the joke?
Or are they, with the help of their AirBnB luxury boutique hotel Commodification Camping Millionaire and Billionaire Directors, testing the market to see if this idea could really fly for next year? Preparing the pitch for the Home Shopping Network?
What are Burners supposed to respond with, when receiving a real estate pitch at Burning Man, being handed these brochures? Some would be fooled into going along with the prank and responding positively to the sales pitch, just like in classic Cacophony style they were fooled into selling their souls to Satan via Helco, in BMOrg’s 1996 affairs. Others might think it’s now fine to hand out brochures for whatever cause or company you want to promote at Burning Man, in the big mall they have at the middle of it.
A prank can be ironic if you’re not actually doing it, you’re just joking; but if you’re actually doing it then which bit of it is the irony again?
First, sow confusion. It plants a seed, mixing possibility with plausible deniability. Next, sprinkle chaos. Finally, when the seedling grows, start harvesting. Sell that annual crop for cash.
Burning Man timeshares...not coming soon, already here.