Playa Wear Trunk Shows Coming Up

If you’re in San Francisco, whether you’re going to Burning Man or not you might want to check these shows out. Always a fun crowd, and you’re supporting your fellow Burner fashion artists.

Lorelei says:

wanted you to know about a few Amazing Playa sales coming up for costumes to help Burner culture be able to radically express themselves to the fullest on the playa. These sales are like a box of crayons as they offer something for everyone from fairy, steampunk, hippie, leather feather, gypsy swank, tribal fusion and so much more. Carefully curated New pieces from all over the world to your local used thrift store scores. Not to be missed. These events are full of happy customers who were thrilled to get unique playa outfits at AFFORDABLE PRICES! Let your camp mates know & go together to coordinate your playa gear.

San Francisco Sales: 615 Indiana St | SF (Warehouse on same street as SF Decompression)
July 25th:
Aug. 9th:
Aug. 22 &23rd:

Only East Bay Sale: Subterranean Arthouse | 2179 Bancroft Way| Berkeley
Aug. 2nd:

25 July at 11:00
615 Indiana Street, San Francisco
401 people joined

Basic Burning Man Bitch

The Bold Italic has a hilarious look at the “Basic Bitches of the Bay“.

Although San Francisco in and of itself is a vibrant and unique city that fosters eccentricity, you will still see those who fall prey to the growing contagion of the Basic Bay Bitch. Without necessarily being bitchy, basic bitches embody the standard, typical nugget of certain SF subcultures. They can come in any age, gender, or race. You recognize them from a distance; and you also recognize yourself in them. So without any further ado, here are some of our most basic bitches:

One in particular looks very familiar!


Image: Leila Moussaoui, The Bold Italic

Image: Leila Moussaoui/The Bold Italic

Check out the other Basic Bitches of the Bay.

Burning Man Influencing The World [Update]

We are everywhere! Here we have the latest fashion from the 2015 Grammy Awards. Clearly Burner-inspired…



Joy Villa, a model/actress and recording artist, took her cue from Burning Man’s trash fence. She up-cycled her nudity. Very avant garde…This is a Bjork-in-a-swan level publicity stunt.

Image: Molly/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Image: Molly/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The dress was designed by a San Diego man, who “just made a superstar”.

From NBC San Diego:

The Grammy gown — or snow fence dress or orange dress or whatever name you’ve heard it called — that everyone is talking about was designed by a San Diego man.

In fact, it debuted here three years ago.

The gown is part of Andre Soriano’s vintage collection, and before New York-based artist Joy Villa walked it down the red carpet at the Grammys on Sunday, it made its runway debut during San Diego Fashion Week in 2012.

“I was like, ‘Girl, you wanna take over the planet? I have a gown for you,’” Soriano told SoundDiego.

Up until about a week ago, Soriano and Villa didn’t know each other. Then her agent called him about dressing the artist for the Grammys.

“” just forewarned [Villa],” Soriano sayid. “ ‘You’re going to trend in the best and the worst.‘ But she’s an artist. She really has an amazing voice, and I channeled her.”

Though Soriano had a few options for her (“I have a purple gown that has a train longer than the 101 Freeway,” Soriano said, laughing), he pushed the orange gown made of recycled snow- or construction-fencing material — like what you’d see at a ski run.

“Orange is the new black!” Soriano exclaimed. “I thought that was just a perfect position for her to just make a statement, really, and I highly suggested the orange gown. The minute she stepped foot on the red carpet, she was being pulled left and right. Everyone is like, ‘Who is Joy Villa?’ And they’re like, ‘Andre, you just made a superstar.’ And I was like, ‘I did?’


Images via



Work that snow fence Joy!



Joy Villa Basically Wore An Orange Snow Fence To The Grammy Awards

daft fence
[Update 2/11/14 6:30pm]
It seems a Burner got there first:
burner trash fence

Get Your Burning Man Merchandise

Image: Nathan Proudlove/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Image: Nathan Proudlove/Flickr (Creative Commons)

[Update 12/7/14 10:35am]

This post has been restored because some are trying to tie it into the online smear campaign against me.

It’s back here now because readers should able to see for themselves how “terrible” it is, since I am being accused of all kinds of nasty things simply for posting something that a Burner asked me to, and editing it when another Burner asked me to. It also shows the difference between Burners.Me, which respects requests from our audience, and, which will not remove even personal details when asked to, and has no problems with its directors spreading outright lies about people. Nothing in this post is a lie, and if the email had said “this offer is for center camp volunteers only”, I would not have posted it. Instead it says that volunteers can purchase hoodies for others (maximum 2 per person).

For the record: I totally support volunteer departments having their own merchandise. I also totally support art projects, art cars, and theme camps having their own merchandise. I think this raises the much bigger issue of “Selective Rule Enforcement”, which you can read more detail about here.

Why would it be so bad if Burners could buy a Burning Man hoodie? Sure, if they had a merch tent at the event, that would be against the rules Principles, but aren’t any transactions outside of Burning Man allowed?



Thanks to Anonymous Burner for sending us this tip.

Want some cool official Burning Man merch? Only $25, but you have to order by December 9. Don’t tell ’em I sent you!

______________________________________________________________Hello Dusty Friends!!It’s Chi Chi, your friendly swaganatior here, writing to inform you of the status of your amazing Hoodie orders…There is still one week left that you could order a beautiful 2014 Hoodie. All you wonder people who have already ordered through the orginal email thank you and your orders will be out soon. Also, if you order a Hoodie and did not have the time to pick it up on playa I will be sending them out this week!!If you have not already seen it, This Hoodie is Teal on Black with the year 2014 printed in the center of the graphic, also all sizes are mens, And let me tell you these Hoodies are totally COOL. There is a limit of two hoodies per person.And Guess what… They are only $25.00… OMG THAT IS SO CHEAP!!! (that includes shipping, unless shipping to somewhere like Europe, then I will have to get you a special price.)But you only have ONE WEEK to order, YES you heard correctly ONE WEEK.  We will try to have all Hoodies sent out by the holidays!!All Orders Must be in by Tuesday the 9th of December. All Orders must be paid to Paypal Account [snip]

Step one
follow the link to
and sign on or open a paypal account

Step two
go to pay a friend and type in [snip]

If you are paying with a credit or debit card the price is $24 (plus a 1 dollar service fee)
If you are paying with a Paypal balance account or linked bank account the price is $25Step three
Follow this link and fill in the information asked for including you Paypal transaction ID number (the number you receive in the email from Paypal), size you desire,first name, last name, playa name, email, and shipping address. Also for each Hoodie ordered please fill out a separate form.All Orders Must be in by Tuesday 9th of December. All Orders must be paid to Paypal Account [snip]


[Update 12/5/14 6:51pm]

Glynda from Center Camp has contacted us to say that yes, they are selling Burning Man merchandise, but no, regular Burners can’t buy it.

I’m the Volunteer Coordinator for the Coffee Shop at the Center Camp Cafe and I’d like to let you know that this hoodie offer is only available to verified active Center Camp Cafe volunteers and not the general public.

[Update 12/5/14 7:42pm]

What does “active” mean? What about the paid Center Camp Cafe workers? Can they buy it? I repeatedly asked her these questions, Glynda refused to answer them. But, I removed the links to this offer as per her request. When asked to modify statements on my site by a member of the Burner community, I do it. Which is more than I can say for BMOrg…

Screenshot 2014-12-05 19.38.09

Not even if it’s outright lies from one of their Board of Directors. It seems Burners.Me must be factual – yet still gets accused of misinformation – while routinely spouts misinformation, and refuses to correct errors even when asked to. Welcome to the topsy turvy world of the Burning Man Project. Is this what they mean by “making the world a better place?”

[Update 12/6/14 7:38am]

I was sent an offer to buy Burning Man hoodies, which ran out on Dec 9. I promoted the offer here. It did not say “Center Camp only”. Then I was contacted by Glynda, who initially simply clarified that the offer was only for volunteers. I updated the story, as you can see above.

Then Glynda contacted me again, and asked me to remove the links to the PayPal email address. I did that too, and asked her a couple of questions. I never said Center Camp was bad for selling these hoodies. The email I was sent didn’t say “this offer is not available to the public”, and when I received that information, I updated the post. This is a blog, it can change as information comes in – it’s not a Vanity Fair article.

Later in the day, Crystal contacted me and asked why I had put her email address in the post – did I have something against her? I explained that no, I was just trying to promote the offer I got sent. It seemed like a good idea that Burners could get a Burning Man hoodie before Christmas. She was rather upset, so I apologized. At the same time, from the comments to this post, it seems many were finding it hard to keep track of what was going on, and why it was even there if they couldn’t buy hoodies. So I just took the post down, even though I think it highlights some bigger issues.

Now my deletion of the post is being used against me, in online attacks that I will address later today. So I’ve restored it so people can see what’s so “terrible” about this. Sorry Crystal.

I think two issues are highlighted here:

1. Burners.Me responding to our community, when asked by Burners to do something, we do it. Meanwhile, BMOrg Directors spreading total lies, and when asked to correct the lies, saying “we don’t have any policies requiring truth”

2. Selling merchandise. Why would it be so bad if Burners could buy hoodies? Wouldn’t that “help spread Burner culture around the world” – the entire justification behind the Burning Man Project being tax-exempt?

Why can’t artists, art cars, and theme camps sell merchandise to raise funds to bring their projects to the burn? How does that hurt Burning Man’s culture? We’ve covered that previously in these posts:

The Fishy Smell of Corporate Excess

Do Not Use The Words Burning Man

Art Versus Money

Is BMP really trying to spread Burner culture far and wide? Or is this more about control, royalty streams to the founders through their secretive private company, and tax minimization?


It’s the Art, Stupid

It seems that, behind every weary merchant visiting the oasis with a caravan of treasures to gift, is a team of Sherpas to wipe their ass. According to the New York Times, the rich people of Burning Man try to “one up” each other with the lavishness of their camps. Whether it’s prototype inflatable dhomes or stackable cubes or 5-star teepees, just having an RV is no longer enough.

neighboorsTeepeeMany Burners have expressed outrage at this behavior, believing that “Radical Self-Reliance” is at odds with “getting others to do your shit for you”. Personally, I think a designated driver is a major safety issue. It sucks to be that person at Burning Man, so if a few people can chip in and pay a driver, Burning Man will survive. I can’t cook, so I don’t mind if someone else cooks for me. If I have to buy that person a ticket, and give them a place in my RV, that’s fine. “Oh you can’t come to Burning Man, you can’t cook”.

I think the deeper shame in this is that the Super-Sherpa-Burners have lost the point. If you want to one-up other rich people at Burning Man, don’t do it on the level of creature comforts and luxury goods that you airlift in with private planes.


Perhaps one way to facilitate this would be promoting a closer link between Big Art and Art Cars, and the Theme Camps behind them. As in, “we’re Thunderdome Camp, and our Art Contribution is Thunderdome”. Or, “we’re Star Star and our Art Contribution is Daily Circus performances”. Right now, shit is going on everywhere, there’s cool shit everywhere to look at, but it’s all pretty anonymous.

burning_man_girls_robert_scalesBurning Man has been called the Special Olympics of Art – just getting there is good enough. The all-inclusive nature of the art means that there is no requirement for talent, nor indeed any form of reward. There is no real after-market for art of this type, and whatever there is has been cobbled together by Burners. Logistics are left up to the creative types, who each have to figure it out for themselves. BMOrg seem more interested in the artists working at their event(s), than getting their art into the broader community independently of their tentacles. And their answer to “people tagging the art” is not “promote the art as sacred”, it’s “more rules”.

Burners pay inflated ticket prices, and only a tiny amount of that goes to the artists – and gets split over just 63 projects. It’s about $12 per ticket – less than the ticket processing fee, or the government cut for all the LEOs.

Many of the artists who are awarded Art Honorarium grants are wealthy in their own right. Why award the project to them, and not to the starving artists who can’t produce a piece without money to buy the materials? The answer lies in politics as much as merit or reason or justice. There are no guidelines for art grants, it’s at the whim of BMOrg, and if they prefer to favor their friends when they come to dispensing our money, who’s stopping them?

If the rich people were to direct the focus of Burner attention away from their own personal comforts and vanities, and towards the contributions they make to this awesome party, I’m sure that would ease the ire of many in the community who feel passionately upset by gentrification.

Will Smith chose not to take one of his fleet of these to Burning Man this year

Will Smith chose not to take one of his fleet of these to Burning Man this year

I’m on your side, rich people! I need A/C too. It’s the desert, FFS. I was using an RV at Burning Man before there even was “radical self-reliance”. I didn’t stop being a Burner just because Larry wrote a page of words one day, 20 years into the event. “Oh, Larry wrote words! Better disable the generator!” Lecture me with the Tin Principles all you want, it doesn’t make you a Burner or take my 11 burns away from me.

To me, going to Burning Man automatically makes you rich – but I accept that many Burners are seriously rich. I know that rich people give SO much to Burning Man, that there wouldn’t be a Burning Man without them. The whole event is based on the premise of ridiculous destruction of wealth for the purposes of temporary entertainment. It’s like people lighting cigars with flaming hundred dollar bills – times a billion.

The Burnier-Than-Thous have it wrong, saying that rich people don’t get it. It seems to me that they are being radically self-reliant if they are smart enough to want privacy in their camps, and playful social interactions with randoms on the Playa. Part of self-reliance is being able to defend yourself and your tribe from dicks. The number of dicks is skyrocketing, and now they are publicly advocating their dickish actions. It’s not the fault of people who can afford to rent RVs that privacy is required; and just because they sleep comfortably doesn’t mean it’s impossible for them to “get Burning Man”.

cops gunsMore than anything else, I think it is the government infiltration of Burning Man – both overt and covert – that is driving the walled off RV compounds. You used to welcome any random into your camp, and the first thing you’d offer them would be a beer. If you were passing a joint round – which people did, since it was hundreds of miles away from anywhere, in the middle of the remote desert, at a festival – then you would take a hit and pass it on to someone next to you, even if they were a stranger. Puff puff pass, just likes kids have been doing at festivals since the Sixties.

Then, the cops started doing “stings”. Dressing officers up as Burners – “off duty clothing” – and trying to entrap them into breaking the law in front of them. They’re looking for drugs, for people serving alcohol to anyone underage, for people sharing food, public displays of lewdness, and anything else that could be banned and ticketed. Give them an excuse, and they’ll come to your camp with sniffer dogs. Meaning that one random wandering into your camp and lighting a joint, could spoil it for everyone.

This year, it sounds like the cops were much better – chilled, enjoying the party, taking pictures with Burners. But it’s too late – the trust has been destroyed. This is no longer a city of friends. The trust hasn’t been destroyed by rich people; it’s by all these spies trying to bust innocent Burners, while letting the thieves and vandals run rampant. What Burners want to do is illegal, despite being harmless – from smoking a joint to driving at 6mph in a 5mph zone to shirt-cocking. Rich people didn’t make those rules – alright, technically, at the top pulling the puppet strings of government are the Uber-rich who do make the rules, and yes many Bohemian Grovers go to Burning Man – but most of the rules that have led to these RV compounds and private entrances were made by BMOrg in co-operation with Federal and State authorities.

No-one is affecting your enjoyment Burning Man if they got a free ticket, or didn’t have to pay for their flight. How is getting $400 cash different from getting a free ticket? For many who aren’t rich, getting casual employment for a few shifts at Burning Man is the only way they can attend. Crack down on Sherpas, the rich will still be rich and do whatever they want, but now these poor Sherpas – willing to work for their ticket, instead of being Sparkle Ponies – won’t be able to go.

The answer to this is not “ban Sherpas”. How could you possibly police that, if you can’t stop bike or sign theft? It has been going on for years, and fighting against it now is pointless, in my opinion. The horse bolted a long time ago. You might as well ban planes, RVs, delivery trucks, dance music, cars newer than 2010, and so on. Stealing signs will change nothing, and may lead to violence as people try to defend their property against drug-fuelled vandals with political grudges.

The answer is to change the focus.

earth harp temple of transition

Let people do whatever they want in their camps. That’s their private area, where they and their tribe of friends and family and fellow travellers make their “home within a home” for a week. If they want randoms in their camp, let them make clearly marked “random zones”, where you can come and hang out and get to meet them. Don’t just assume “I’m at Burning Man, and Radical Inclusion says I’m entitled to fall asleep in the middle of your camp”. Usually these “party roadkill” people pass out on the most comfortable spaces, preventing other, awake people from using those.

Burning Man is not about invading your neighbor’s space, in the name of some misguided class war protest.

It’s about the art.

cargo cult painting

BMOrg make the rules, but Burners make the city.  There is something we can do, if enough readers want to help.

Together, we can try to re-direct the focus to the art. Camps should be proud of which art pieces they are bringing to share with the rest of us. If rich people want to sponsor art anonymously, Burning Man lets them hide anonymously within a Theme Camp, and even more anonymously behind a Playa name. Larry Harvey likes to say “no artist at Burning Man ever signed their art”, but let’s change that. Let’s promote the amazing artists behind the event a bit more.

How Will We Do This?

Starting today, we are going to have a competition. “Best of Burning Man”. And it’s going to be as crowd-sourced as we can practically make it, at short notice and with the limited resources of a Gifted blog.

You guys submit here, in the comments on the Web or Facebook, your nominations for best art piece. We will collect the nominations, then present the most popular finalists for a vote. Everyone votes, and we declare a winner.

What does this mean for the artists? Even if they don’t win, they can get a sense of how their piece was perceived by the community. If they would like to participate with the rest of the community, they might want to share something about themselves and their art, and the meaning of the piece.

This is the direct opposite of the way Burning Man does it – receive thousands of applications, and pick a few winners arbitrarily. Every artist can be included in this, and to win, you have to be the best in the eyes of the people. Even to be in the final 20, you will have to have pleased a lot of people.


Categories are:

Best Art

Best Art Car

Best Camp

Best Music (camp or Art Car)

Best Music (artist)

Best Photo

Worst of Burning Man – could be Will Crawl, Exodus, rain, bike theft, David Kiss’s performance art piece, anything.

Over to you, Burners. Nominate away! I’m interested to see how this turns out.