Sorry BMOrg, the Money Changers Are Already in the Temple.

By Terry Gotham

In 2006, out in the Deep Playa, about as far away from the Man as the man was from 10 & 2, there was this piece of art called Uchronia that we affectionately dubbed the “Belgian Waffle.” A massive installation by Belgian artists that we were quite sad never served breakfast. At night, it turned into de facto megaclub on playa cranking out some of the stompiest techno, trance and glitter house I’d ever heard. I found it to be a very interesting alternative to some of the American, non-fully electronicized camps that still played a mix of jazz, house, disco, alternative & live sounds. It was at times a dirty, intoxicated mess of fur coats and tekno music.

I had no idea that installation would be relevant as a metaphor 11 years later, after a Global Leadership Conference & insightful Burn.Life article on how the powers that be see the problems that plague Black Rock City.  People are finally realizing that the utopia they took such pride in building has become an unaffordable, elitist, mainstreamed event. The ticketing system, while a noble attempt at solving the “Burning Man is Full” problem that simply didn’t exist a decade ago, continues to frustrate long-time Burners & small/mid-size camps, the true bread and butter of Burning Man.

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FCS Tries to Make Amends with Free Camp Placement Service

fcs_facebook-665x375

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?

 

Burning Man Tickets: $1500 [Updates]

 

Image: Thomas Tomaso, Facebook

Image: Thomas Tomaso, Facebook

The shenanigans have ended. As we predicted, once the dust has settled from all the propaganda histrionics, BMOrg have raised ticket prices yet again. The 9% Live Entertainment Tax will be passed on to Burners – unless a miracle happens and Nevada rules that the “Burning Man tax” was never meant to apply to Burning Man.

We haven’t yet received a response from the Nevada Department of Taxation to our inquiry. We had hoped to resolve this matter before selling tickets so that participants would not have to pay the tax, but the state is taking longer than we expected to issue an opinion. Unfortunately, this means we will have to collect the tax at the time of purchase, as per the law. At 9% a pop, this amounts to an additional $34 for each $390 ticket (if the tax is found not to apply after ticket sales commence, we will issue a refund for the 9% collected)

[Source]

BMOrg have created a new “class” of tickets for 1000 Super-Elite VIP patrons. These VIP tickets are a staggering $1200 each – which is actually $1299  including vehicle pass and handling fees. The 42% of Burners who live in California may have to pay double tax on their tickets – 7.5% sales tax plus the 9% Live Entertainment Tax. This will add almost $200 to the ticket price, for a total of $1497 per ticket.

Vehicle passes have increased in price too: now $80. BMOrg claim the vehicle pass program as a huge success, because it used to be 12.8% of participants arriving in a car by themselves, and now it’s down to 10%. Interesting that they are using this statistic, instead of vehicle numbers. Is the goal to get vehicles off the road, or to stop people arriving by themselves?

They have also hiked the price of 5,000 pre-sale tickets to $1000 each – well, $990, but you get the picture.

Regular tickets remain at $390 (plus taxes, $12 mailing charge and $7 handling fee). Half of the regular tickets (25,000, and 13,000 vehicle passes) go to those selected by BMOrg to be in the World’s Biggest Guest List – the Directed Group Sale

There will be 6000 tickets at $190, for the Low Income program and staff.

 

[Update 3/13/16 6:46pm]

Now that the sale has happened, we know a $7 “handling fee” is applied to each individual ticket and vehicle pass. Really, each ticket costs $7 more than the listed price. Rather misleading and deceptive conduct, if you ask me. Here is an update revenue calculation, including the Nevada Live Entertainment Tax also.

Screenshot 2016-03-13 18.45.44

 

Burning Man’s event revenue in 2014 was $30,679,219.

This statement from the Tickets page is a little confusing:

A 9% Nevada Live Entertainment Tax will be added to the price of all tickets and $3 of the $7 per ticket service fee. Will Call delivery is the only method subject to this tax, but the $12 fee will be inclusive so additional tax will not be charged to you for this option.

So if you get the ticket mailed to you, you don’t pay the tax? Or you have to pay an extra $3 if you go to Will Call, which is in Nevada? Are BMOrg saying they are going to cover the $3 extra tax component of a Will Call sale?

Registration for the Pre-Sale opens February 10, and the first sale takes place at noon on Wednesday, February 17.


 

[Update 2/4/16 7:55am]

I’ve been trying to confirm if the California sales tax applies, and if so is it just the $1200 or the whole transaction (including the Vehicle Pass, $19 processing charges, and Live Entertainment Tax), without any real success either way. Perhaps someone with expertise in this area can confirm whether or not CA sales tax applies to event tickets sold over the Internet via a CA web site to CA customers by CA corp Ticketfly on behalf of NV corporation Black Rock City LLC that licenses the Burning Man name from CA private corporation Decommodification LLC and distributes 100% of its profits to tax-exempt CA parent company The Burning Man Project.

I note that back in 2012, when this ticket lottery system began, the VIP price tier was $390 (and there were no vehicle passes). In 4 short years this has gone to $1200, and the cheapest ticket has gone from $229 (2011, ticket plus handling) to $489 (2016, ticket plus handling plus vehicle pass) – an increase of 113%.

Does this mean that by 2020, VIP tickets will be $10,000 and regular tickets will be $1,000?

In the same time frame the population of the city has grown 25%. BMOrg have added another $7-8 million per year in revenues, as well as being able to save millions on taxes; the city is still the same, portapotties, roads, signs, The Man, Gate, Exodus, Center Camp, First Camp, Media Mecca. Maybe there’s a couple hundred more portapotties, but otherwise it’s hard to see where this extra money has all gone to make the Burning Man event better for the Burners who have to create it.


 

[Update 2/4/16 12:06pm]

Here’s some data from tracking the secondary market prices on Stubhub in 2015.

Screenshot 2016-02-04 12.06.24


 

[Update 2/4/16 3:18pm][

Thanks to A Balanced Perspective for picking up on this point.

The revenue from these ticket sales will let us keep prices the same for everyone else. The 1,000 tickets sold at $1,200 each will raise $1.2 million. So what does Burning Man do with $1.2 million? Last year we issued $1.2 million in grants directly to artists through Black Rock City Honoraria. Add to that an additional $1.8 million in support services, and the 2015 BRC art budget topped $3 million. Again, you can learn all about Burning Man’s budget and expenses in our Form 990 and Annual Report.

They have managed to link “$1.2 million in grants directly to artists” to “$1.2 million of Medici patronage tickets being sold”.

It is hard to say if this statement is true or not, since we only just got the 2014 numbers. In 2014 total art grants were $911.955. Did they increase from this to $3 million? We probably won’t know for another year, but I call bullshit.

 

From Canvas Cubes to Containers

2015 burner bungalow

Business Insider has yet another “the rich are taking over Burning Man” story, this time focusing on a company that will deliver a ready-made “Container Camp” for you on the Playa. Who needs Radical Self-Reliance, when someone else can do Leave No Trace for you?

From Business Insider:

Gene Temen, president of Quick Space, has been supplying the Burning Man event with office trailers for the event’s hospital and administrative buildings for seven years.

Three years ago, the team at Quick Space realized they could repurpose the trailers as living quarters. The units come with insulation, air conditioning, lights, and flooring, Travis Lekas, the operations manager for Quick Space, told Business Insider. This makes them perfect for campers who would rather not deal with the realities of living in the desert for seven days.

They call them “Burner Bungalows.”

Burners can paint and add onto the trailers however they wish, for an additional fee of $300 for the exterior and $200 for the interior. So instead of building a camp ground from scratch, they can either use the trailer as a shelter or build around it and use the trailer for storage.  “You can paint it if you want to paint the inside or the outside — whatever you want to do,” Lekas told Business Insider. “It also comes with three five-gallon bottles of water, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and a garbage can along with additional garbage bags.”

This might not sound like the whimsical and artistic camps that Burning Man is known for, but the idea is to give campers the base on which to build their dream camp, Lekas explained.

And although they don’t look like the typical Burning Man structure, which can range from a yurt to a tent to an RV, the trailers are practical. The ready-made storage units come with necessities like water, insulation, and air-conditioning, and can be used for storage both during and after the event.

The company will also come and remove the trailer after the week is over, fitting with Burning Man’s “leave no trace” policy after the seven day event is over, which is included in the price. You can store your Burning Man gear in the trailer until the next year and not worry about shipping it or needing to fly back with all of your stuff for $750 per year of storage. [Source]

These containers are actually a pretty good deal.

The cost for the trailers is about $3,745 plus a $1,000 security deposit — more if you want to decorate the interior and exterior and store the unit all year. Generators also bear an additional cost of $250 [Source]

It would cost you way more to buy your own container, deck it out like this, and transport it to and from the Playa. These things weigh 6,000 lbs empty, meaning that mid-sized forklifts are usually required to move them around. It doesn’t come with a bathroom, but it does come with water, a trash can and air conditioning. Power is available for limited hours, or you can purchase 24/7 juice with a generator upgrade. You better hope that A/C works well, because these steel boxes BAKE in the desert sun. Yes, even if they’re insulated.

You can find out more at the Burner Bungalows web site.

I’m all for containers at Burning Man, if they’re painted. It should look like the world’s craziest city of art, not Iraq or Afghanistan.

ekoVillages.com upcycled art container

ekoVillages.com upcycled art container. Artists: Ian Ross & Eon 75/Ian Ross Gallery

This Business Insider article is an amazing example of BMOrg’s propaganda machine at work. Their confusing language and misinformation gets picked up and promoted as gospel by the mainstream media:

The trailers might also be a good compromise for burners who were previously planning to rely on the fully-furnished luxurious camping options, or “turnkey camps,” that have been recently banned from the playa.

That means no more built-in personal chefs, sherpas, or other luxurious features associated with concierge camping. But with the trailers, tech millionaires can still have air-conditioning in a pinch and protect their belongings from the sand and dust. [Source]

Here's what the world's last Minister of Propaganda was all about.

Here’s what the world’s last Minister of Propaganda was all about. There hasn’t been one since – until Burning Man.

Business Insider perpetuates the myth that BMOrg heroically banned Commodification Camps, concierges, and sherpas, after listening to all the community feedback last year.

In fact, what happened is BMOrg just re-iterated the same policy that was already in place last year – that camps that get placement must have an interactive component. Similarly, despite BMOrg’s recent blog post Kicking Concierge Caboose at Burning Man, accompanied with a hearty “LOL! Nope!” on Facebook…Festivals Concierge Service are still happily in business helping their VIP clientele prepare to fly in to a pre-packaged Burning Man experience, complete with custom costumes and chauffeur driven art cars.

rolls royce art car source unknown

Concierge services such as FCS are not breaking any laws, Burning Man does not have jurisdiction over global commerce and their Outside Services contractors have a literal license to make money off Burning Man from the Federal government. If these services don’t accept cash on the Playa, then it’s hard to argue that they are even violating any of Burning Man’s Tin Principles – which we’re told are “just guidelines” these days.

I guarantee you that there will be even MORE sherpas at Burning Man this year, not less.

Screenshot 2015-06-11 04.09.04

Expect to see more Burner Bungalows too:

Lekas told us that the company currently has 50 orders for units this year, and if the rise in interest over the past few years is any indication, they could double their orders by 2016.

“Our first year we started off, we just built a camp,” Lekas said. “The next year and the second year, we started off with five bungalows, and then our next one went to 40 bungalows. We’re hoping next year to supply 100 bungalows.” [Source]

According to Reddit, the Org are running one of these businesses too, and there is a 3 year waiting list to get a container:

Screenshot 2015-06-11 04.12.05

How many bungalows does the city need to host, before last year’s ironic timeshare sales become a money-spinning reality?

The Occidental Oasis Econopod, marketed at the Caravansary Souk with brochures and sales assistants collecting email addresses

The Occidental Oasis Econopod, marketed at the Caravansary Souk with brochures and sales assistants collecting email addresses. A big farce? Or seeding the idea?

Burning Man’s official web site recently published an open letter to luxury vacation tour businesses, which stated quite clearly that none of the luxury services offered by Caravancicle in their $16,000 canvas cubes was considered out of line:

Screenshot 2015-06-11 03.47.43

burningman.com also promoted a Case Study of “how to do it right” for Safari Tour profiteers, which lays out how they’re taking a hard line against the practice,  by publicly endorsing it. Maybe someone can help explain that one to us! It seems to me more like a nice (free?) advertorial for a commercial tour package operator, a chosen one that BMOrg give tickets to every year for them to re-sell for profit.

Meanwhile, at the exact same time that Business Insider publishes the latest “rich Burners” article, VICE brings one of their own out promoting private aircraft travel to Burning Man. Mixmag also had a story about $15,000 plane rides to Burning Man.

Coincidence? Or PR campaign?

Tickets might be “sold out”, but the marketing to the elites is just getting started…

 bm shark jumping

BURNILEAKS: Commodification Camp Employment Email

If you’ve had enough of all the Commodification Camp controversy, don’t bother reading this post. For those who still care

Thanks to Anonymous Burner for leaking this email that was sent to workers employed at this notorious Commodification Camp. I’ve removed some names and email addresses, but I think by now we all know which camp this is.

JT has apologized, and if he wasn’t still on the Board of Directors of Burning Man, I would probably let it go. Unfortunately, he is – and in his “apology”, he tried to downplay the commercial nature of his camp. If he’d just said “I did this, I fucked up, my bad, I’ve learned my lesson and it won’t happen again” – I think most of us would have found that acceptable. Instead he blamed his staff, his build crew, the camp next door, all the while trying to use the Ten Principles to convince us that everything his camp did was totally fine. He claims that because he failed to make a profit, we should believe that this 68-room hotel with 50 paid staff where 120 guests were charged $17,000 for rooms with porcelain toilets…was never intended to generate money.

Read this, and decide for yourself if this was a pure gift to the Playa, or a commodified VIP experience sold by a commercial enterprise. The email confirms some of the claims that were made earlier by Sherpagirl, including that there were 50 employees in this camp. What sort of “gift” requires 50 staff? How does this promote Radical Self Reliance and Decommodification? How did they know they could get 170 tickets, and all the Early Access passes required to create a camp like this?


 

Caravancicle Schematic for Staff

 

Subject: Burning Man Staff – Please Read by August 6
*Dear Villagers,*
.
(*Following is a lengthy note that contains all of the relevant information you need to  prepare for our upcoming time together. There is a great deal of time sensitive information. Please read this in its entirety by the end of the day on August 6th….*)
.
We are delighted that each of you has decided to join us for this year’s Burning Man extravaganza. It’s going to be an amazing and remarkable experience for all. We have the privilege of facilitating other people’s transformation and we take this responsibility seriously. it takes great intention, attention to detail, humility, joy, and a commitment to hard work. We have chosen each of you because you embody these values in your everyday life and you truly understand what a gift it is to be of service to others in this way.
.
Please take a moment to read this email in its entirety as it contains important information about logistics and expectations.
.
*Expectations*
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We have spent nearly an entire year putting all of the pieces of our puzzle together. From the initial creative design sessions to packing each of our fourteen shipping containers, we have worked hard to ensure success in every regard. Now it comes down to all of you – the beautiful, talented, incredible people who will bring the vision to life.While each of you is being hired to “work” this event, we expect much more from all of you. More than employees, we want you to think of yourself first and foremost as an inhabitant of the village we are a creating. This year’s Burning Man theme is the *Caravansary*.
.
In the words of the Burning Man Org,”For countless centuries, travelers along the Silk Route crossed paths in caravansaries, a network of oases and sanctuaries that dotted the 4,000-mile road from Europe to East Asia. These bustling caravan stops offered more than just shelter from the desert wilderness; they were vital centers of cultural exchange, bringing together traders, pilgrims, monks, nomads, traveling entertainers, and wild-eyed adventurers from all points of the compass to share their stories around a common fire. Though fueled by mercantilism, their legacy to us is a grand commerce of ideas — a swirling exchange of languages, legends, technologies, philosophies and art that helped shape nearly every aspect of our modern world.”
.
As the inhabitants of our village, we will embrace our guests as if they wandered in off of the long and dusty Silk Road. Our job is to welcome them, feed them, hydrate them, entertain them, share stories, listen to theirs, and to provide the highest form of hospitality possible. There is a distinct difference between getting someone a drink, and nourishing someone in body and spirit. We are here to do the latter. To read our guests’ body language and to anticipate what they need even before they need it. In this way we will help them to feel seen, heard, and cared for in every way.
.
At the same time, it is Burning Man, and we are also here to help them engage with the ethos of the Burning Man experience. This means helping them to find a healthy level of self-reliance and active participation as a member a larger community. We’ll show them how to wash their own plates during meal time. We’ll instruct them on how to conserve water in our showers and toilets. We’ll invite them to participate in gifting to others on the Playa. Together we’ll find the perfect balance between service in the highest form and encouraging our guests to truly participate as a citizen of the Playa.Please begin thinking now about who you are going to be, what character you are going to play, and how you can truly embrace this creative, theatrical opportunity to truly invent yourself as an inhabitant of our shared world for eight days in the desert.
.
*Work Schedule, Arrival and Departure Dates*
.
We have two distinct crews this year – a *Build and Strike Crew* and an Event Crew. While a few of you are crossing over, most of you are on one or the other crew.If you are part of our *Build & Strike Crew*, we will begin building camp on *Monday, August 18th at 12 noon*. Please plan to arrive at that time. Build will take place until everything is done so be prepared to do whatever it takes. We have thoroughly planned and estimated how long it will take to do everything and we hope it will take no more than 12 hours of work per day. That said, our timeline is entirely weather dependent. For example, last year the weather was so bad we could not build anything almost three whole days. Please be prepared for such an eventuality.*If you are part of the Build crew, that means you are part of the Strike crew as well, *and you are expected to stay until camp is completely taken apart. Our goal is the end of the day on Tuesday, September 2nd. That means you will most likely begin your return trip to the Bay on WednesdaySeptember 3rd. That said, Strike is also dependent upon weather and other factors. Please be prepared for any eventuality.
 .
If you are part of our *Event Crew*, the event begins on *Sunday, August 24th*. Unless we have specifically discussed different timing with any of you, everyone is expected to arrive at camp by *3:00pm on Sunday, August 24*. The gates open at 10:00am which should give you all enough time to make it through the entry gate and to camp on time. Please plan to leave early enough Sunday morning or the night before to ensure you can make it to camp by our start time. Our event ends on *Monday, September 1st at 6pm*. You are expected to be present for work up until this time.

.

Each of you on the *Event Crew* will be expected to work approximately ten (10) hours each day, divided into two (2) separate five (5) hour shifts. You will have a three (3) hour break between shifts. Ultimately each of you is expected to work as long as necessary to fully complete whatever needs to be done. As weather and other factors can quickly change plans on the Playa, please be mentally prepared to do whatever it takes.

.

We are planning for each of you to get at least one full day off during the week. Please note that this cannot be guaranteed. If things go as planned, everyone will. If, on the other hand, Burning Man throws us some unexpected curveballs, you might not. Please be mentally prepared for this possibility. Your exact schedule for each day will be shared with you during orientation on Sunday night, August 24th.

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*Compensation and Employment Paperwork*

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Each of you will be compensated $180 of shift pay for each day worked. If you do indeed get a day off during the week, you will not be paid for that day. If you get a half day off, your pay will also be divided in half. There will be no tracking of hours or overtime provided. Each of you is required to complete a W9 form as well as an employee agreement and a waiver of liability to participate as a contractor for this event. Please complete the attached forms and return them to me no later than *FridayAugust 8th at 5pm.*

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*Camp Location*

.
We are happily located at 8:45 and Kandahar. Yes, this is the outer ring of the Playa. We are located on a circular promenade next to other amazing theme camps. Right next door to us is the Lost Hotel and the Playa-Famous Raw Bar. You are highly encouraged to spend time with them at the Raw Bar. It’s an awesome place to meet people and get to know the artists artisans who make the Playa such an incredible place.*Orientation and Training – Sunday, August 24, 5pm to Midnight. *We will work together upon your arrival on Sunday afternoon, from 6pm to midnight, to introduce you to every single element of camp. Attached to this email is a copy of our camp schematic that we have shared with the Burning Man organization as part of our Theme Camp application. This document provides a basic overview of the many amenities we’ll have at our
camp. Please show up ready to focus on Sunday night.
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*Tickets and Early Arrival Passes*
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For those of you who live within one hour of our office in [snip], please schedule a time to come by our office, Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm to pick up your ticket and your Early Arrival Pass if applicable (only *Build and Strike Crew* need early access passes). For those of you who live more than one hour away, please email me your mailing address *no later than Thursday, August 7th* so that we can mail your ticket and Early Arrival pass to you. Please note that *YOU MUST NOT LOSE YOUR TICKET*. We do not have any extra. Also, if you do need an Early Arrival Pass, you MUST have the actual Pass assigned to you on your person to get through the entry gate. Each Pass is specifically bar coded and entry will not be granted without one.
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*Transportation*
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For those of you departing from and returning to the Bay Area, we are happy to provide up to 2 mini-van or passenger van rental vehicles for you to use and share to carpool to and from the event. If you are willing to volunteer to be a driver, please let me know by *Friday, August 8th *so that we can plan to add you as a driver on the rental agreement. Depending on the number of you who want to utilize this option, there will be 1 or 2 vehicles departing from the Bay area on either the evening of SaturdayAugust 23rd or approximately 4am on Sunday, August 24th. The exact time of departure will be determined by those of you choosing this option. This vehicle(s) will return from the Playa to the Bay Area on Monday, September 1st or Tuesday, September 2nd. *Please note that vehicles may not be parked at camp*. You are welcome to drive up to camp to unload your personal items. Once you are done we’ll show you where to park your vehicle nearby.
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*Bikes*
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You are required to *provide your own bike for the event*. While we may have some extra bikes available for use at certain times, there is no guarantee that one will be available at any given time, so please plan accordingly. You are welcome to bring your bike to our office in [snip] before *August 11th* if you’d like us to transport the bike for you. Another option is to rent a bike on the Playa. They cost $150 for the week, plus a $150 deposit that is returned to you when you return the bike. As of yesterday they still have bikes available. *I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this option*. You can email [snip] to find out more and reserve your bike. Directions to our office are listed at the bottom of this email.
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*Drugs*
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Illicit drugs are prohibited on the Playa. This includes marijuana as it is not legal medically or otherwise in the State of Nevada. Burning Man is required by law to allow State of Nevada police personnel to patrol the Playa in search of drug offenders. Most of these personnel do this undercover, dressed as a typical Burner. Please be aware that absolutely anyone might be an undercover agent, even someone inviting you to participate in the illicit use of drugs. Even the smell of Marijuana is enough probably cause for an agent to search your body and/or your shelter so be smart!Illicit drugs are also prohibited in camp while working as a contract employee for us during this event. You are expected to show up for every shift sober, alert, and prepared to fully carry out what is expected of you. No exceptions.You are welcome to drink at our bar when you are not on a working shift. You are expected not to drink while on shift.
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*Sleeping Accommodations*

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We are providing a combination of cubes, hexayurts and playa huts for each of you to share. Each structure is double occupancy and will include either a cot with a foam mattress or a foam mattress on a frame. Each unit will also have a light, an air conditioner and an outlet for you to use to charge a personal electronic device. You cannot use a hairdryer with these outlets. *Please note that you must provide your own pillow, sheets, and blankets or sleeping bag. *Also, accommodations are tight. It’s the Playa. Look forward to getting to know your bunkmate 🙂

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*Mindfulness in Community*

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we are going to be living in close quarters amidst one of the most profound, disorienting, mind blowing environments on planet earth. there will be 120 camp guests, an ecclectic collection of some of the most interesting and influential people in the world and 50 crew members ranging from cooks and bartenders to musicians, belly dancers, filmmakers, acroyogis, bodyworkers, and artists of all forms. each one of us is a key player in a small, contained ecosystem. each of our behaviors will greatly affect others. embraced one way, this experience invites you to reimagine yourself anew and to choose which character with which spirit you choose to bring to the rest of the group. the more intentional you are,  the more likely you can positively impact and co-create the experience with others around you.

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*Food and Drink*

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We will feed all of you three awesome meals a day as well as an incredible assortment of snacks and other delights. You will all eat the same food as our camp members. You are also welcome to eat and drink at our bar and to generally enjoy all of our delicious, organic food and drink. Within reason, you are welcome to invite friends and family to come by camp for a drink or a bar snack. We’ll keep you informed throughout the event as to our inventory supply. Should we face any shortages we will have to limit the amount of guests we invite to eat or drink. Please note that breakfast, lunch and dinner are for camp members and staff *ONLY*. Guests may not be invited to share actual meals.

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If you have any food allergies, please notify us immediately so that we may do our best to accommodate your needs. In addition, if you have specific”treats” or “food needs” that you enjoy and need to have around, please
prepare in advance and bring this food for yourself. If you are so inclined, bring yummy treats to share with other staff as well. While we’ll provide amply for you, it never hurts to have a bit more of anything on the Playa.

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*Personal Items*

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Please provide your own costumes, goggles, dust masks, head lamps, water bottles, mugs, and anything else you need to be a full citizen of the Playa. Please take a moment to review the Burning Man Survival Guide to
make sure you are 100% prepared for your time with us.  You can find it here – http://survival.burningman.comIn addition to what you’ll find on the Survival Guide, the following are
also very helpful items to have on the Playa:
– Hydration pack
– Cup w/ a carabiner
– Neti pot (kitchen can provide the salt)
– Utility belt
Silk underwear for cold nights
– alarm clock
– Supplements (Vit.C, B Complex, 5-HTP, etc.)
– Sunscreen
– Skeleton of a ancient Siberian snow leopard
– The preceding bullet was a joke. We’re just checking to make sure you
have read all of this information.
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*Headshot and Bio*
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So that we may include you in the camp program, please send me a 2″ x 2″ digital image of you and a short bio, 30 words or less, *by Friday, August 8th*. Sorry for the short notice on this, but we’ve got a lot going on :).
Please include your real name, meaning the name you go by every day, and your Playa name if you have one.
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*Attached Documents*
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We have attached a number of documents for you to complete and review. Please make sure to return all necessary paperwork by the dates noted above.
+   w9 Form
+  employment agreement & emergency contact form
+  Participant Agreement, Release of Liability, and Assumption of Risk
+  Camp schematic – placement
+  Camp Invitation (this is the invitation sent to prospective camp
members. it will give you a good sense of the experience we intend to
cultivate)
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*Thank You!*
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That’s all for now! Thanks so much for being part of this experience with us. We are delighted that each and every one of you is joining us and we look forward to sharing this special journey with you.With love, respect, appreciation, and excited anticipation for what’s to come,
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[snip]
“Experience is not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens
to you.” – Aldous Huxley
Where did they park all the cars?

Where did they park all the cars?