Video

2015 Stop-Motion Animation [Update]

Thanks to Peter Ruprecht of Ruprecht Studios for putting together another amazing stop-motion animation. Music by The Scumfrog. Peter created this from more than 22,000 still photographs that he took this year. He says:

“I left it full length so people can use it as a set they listen to by Scumfrog and have visual eye candy behind it”

Enjoy…

Apparently the YouTube one works better on mobile:


 

[Update 10/25/15 11:43pm]

This video has got a lot of Likes and Shares on Facebook, but has drawn a small amount of criticism here and there. Some Burnier-Than-Thous complained that the people in it are too good looking and not dusty enough. I mean, really? That’s next on the Ban list, hot people? Well, according to burningman.com for the last few years they have been actively trying to get fewer celebrities to attend. That hasn’t really worked out very well, given The Simpsons, Katy Perry, Oprah and Dr Phil. So who could they want to ban next…?

The idea that the way to make Burning Man better is to promote uglier Burners sounds ludicrous to me. But some seem to feel very earnest about it.

Anyway, here is a response from the artist:

…its sad to see yet another comment disparaging the “art” being created about experiences on the playa…i believe i have an opinion about this piece that merits attention..since this is the video I created. … i am going to use that liberty and write …well until i feel i have written enough of a response to yet ANOTHER unfounded statement by righteous people…

Lets get a few things cleared up here…as far as the video goes…THERE IS FAR MORE TIME TO EVERYTHING OTHER THAN PEOPLE POSING THAN ANYTHING ELSE….but now that you have attacked me by attacking what i have made i feel inclined to respond…AS a photographer that is known for taking photos at Burning Man, my work and my motives have been challenged and scrutinized many times over the years. Any negativity I have received over the years was continually due to the “type of woman or man” I would display in my photographs.

I have been accused of only photographing beautiful people. That all had to come to an end as I started to make my “Playa Gift Photo Shoots” for anyone to come and be photographed more publicly known.

I have gone out of my way to “give back” and give ANYONE the ability to come and be photographed under studio lights on the playa in the hopes that they take home a treasured memory that captures them in a nicer light than their cell phones will allow.

I have also NEVER said no to anyone who has asked for a photo and asked for my email other than RUDE people.

Beautiful girls or boys are NOT the problem. Uneducated, uninspired, lazy, entitled, conformist and mean people are the problem. To tell anyone to mind their behavior at burning man because it might be misconstrued since they are pretty is LUDICROUS. The only thing we have to curb are MEAN, shallow, entitled attitudes but some times worse…RIGHTEOUS ATTITUDES.

And the BEST thing we can do is inspire those people to become better people. Maybe teach one of these “wallflowers” YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT that they can create art, that it is liberating to be inspired. I feel much more sorry for the “wallflower” that doesn’t “Get” burning man than the “average looking” person that gets it and is sharing in the playa magic.

Human Beauty has been idolized since the DAWN of man. Were the greeks and romans wrong to sculpt the way they did. Should Michael angelo have made the david look fat? Should the venus demilo be regarded as an affront on our Burning Man Culture because its proportioned in an aesthetically pleasing manner?
Simply preposterous.

I think everyone should stop worrying SOOOO MUCH about the people around them and focus on their own shortcomings and work on those.

WE ALL HAVE them.

The righteous judgment should be sidelined and if critique is to be made, make it specifically on the issue, NOT on the generalizations that lump people into groups like “the beautiful people” or the “ugly people”

Make the groups something that can be representative of your interactions with them. The nice people, the inclusive people, the inquisitive people, the shallow people, the mean people, the entitled people.

AND THEN DO YOUR BEST TO HELP THOSE LATTER TRY AND GET IT!

Oh yeah one other thing pretty much everyone I photographed close up. Is a personal friend. And I know and see them off of the playa. So you are right it’s not representative of the playa. It’s MY experience on the playa with my real friends. And honestly you DONT know them to judge them. And quite frankly you shouldn’t judge at all. But you have already passed judgement of this piece as having to conform into some form of a documentary. For you to be ok with it this video HAS to include some arbitrary group of strangers Iso that includes some arbitrary 98% For you to deem it worthy of existing. Guess what. It’s not a documentary. It never was. It was simply my burn experience through my camera. No one asked you to like it And as a matter of fact you are welcome to hate it. Hate it because it sucks. Hate it because the photos are terrible. Hate it because you hate my point of view. But please spare me the tired argument that it’s not authentic or real because it doesn’t include he people YOU want to see in it and only your concept is authentic. And the saddest thing of all is if all you saw are hot girls.

You missed the best parts of the video. Which are the sunsets. For your own piece of mind. Here is what I wrote about those and what they mean to me:

I am often asked what my favorite part of burning man is. I try and explain to people, that, while it is an amazing party, my favorite times have been during the blessings the universe has sent me while completely ALONE on the playa.
There have been several moments now over the years when i have felt a bolt of electricity curse through my body, knock the wind out of me, and reduce me to my knees shuddering pools of tears.
Bringing me to the realization that i am in the presence of UNIVERSAL LOVE, GOD, ENERGY, HUMANITY, NOTHING, EVERYTHING, you take your pick, BUT, there is something out there definitely palpable and communicating with us.
I am a photographer and every year i find myself in a situation where i look at what is happening in front of me and via nature, not our LEDs or music or sounds or parties or friends, but nature’s simple beauty knocking me over and bringing me to tears.
While i sat looking at the sky, it was all i could do but lift my camera through the tears i shed for the beauty that was presented to me and snap a few shots. I looked around during this sunset expecting to see ALL of burning manas professionals out there with tripods getting FAR better representations of GOD painting the skies for us, and once again i found my self COMPLETELY ALONE. OFF of the 10 o’clock side at the trash fence.
This was on wednesday at the end of the dust storms, and it was me and one jester looking like completely naked german woman maybe of 60 years. She was jumping up and down in circles thanking the heavens laughing hysterically and drawing a circle in the ground which she sat in and kissed the playa. While she looked completely out of her mind, she looked at me ran up and wiped the tears of of my face, so i realized that there was really no difference between laughter and crying. Both opposite ends of the spectrum on a circle touching each other.
We both sat there in complete silence in her circle and i kissed the playa with her, reminded that the universe provides FAR more than we can create by ourselves. For there is no BY OUR SELVES. we are within the universe and the universe is with us. Neither exists without the other. This photo is dedicated the the stange german woman who helped me raise my camera and shoot some of my favorite photos of the burn. Here are two…ill post more as i get to them and give them the love and attention they deserve
Thank you wherever and whoever you are!

The Man Behind The Music

Image: IRDeep via Spin

Image: IRDeep via Spin

Spin magazine has an interview with Opulent Temple founder Syd Gris. Some highlights:

The organizers behind Burning Man deny any affiliations of being a “music festival,” but, for all intents and purposes, this is the wildest music festival in the world.

The denial of their identity as a music festival lets Burning Man rely heavily on crowdsourcing the 24-hour, over-the-top productions, visuals, DJ booths, sound equipment, and world-class music performances to ticket holders…

Attendees being responsible for their own entertainment is exactly what separates Burning Man from any other music festival. You bought the ticket, and have to do all the work. 

Gris is the co-founder, lineup curator, and overall production director for more than 13 years with the sound camp known as Opulent Temple. 

CREDIT: Photo by IRDeep

Opulent’s major objective is twofold: to provide a platform for spiritual dance expression and for DJs to explore the more artistic (and perhaps unacknowledged at other commercial festivals) side of their craft…

 This year, Opulent Temple took a step away from their typical stage build for their popular Wednesday night “White Party.” Instead, they provided attendees a truly magical alternative that captured the true essence of Burning Man by forming a commutative stage consisting of multiple art cars from other camps. The Opulent team set up their DJ stand on top of an art car, outfitted with large speakers, to drive deeper into the open center area of Burning Man. Various cars from other camps outfitted with large speakers met them at a specific location and linked up wirelessly through RF technology to form a makeshift half circle dance floor. While each car was synced directly to the Opulent DJ performance, additional art cars unaffiliated with the camp would drive in and the Opulent workers would link them up to join the party as well.

What was the sound camp scene like when you arrived at your very first Burning Man?
Back in 2001, there were certainly less of them and most every scale of production was downsized compared to current standards of Burning Man sound camps, especially the scale of sound systems. I say that mostly because camps such as “Lush” in 2004 and “Sol System” that same year (fondly known as Sol Henge) were even by today’s sound camp’s standards massive productions, but those were definitely outliers and seemingly burned both crews out because neither ever came back after that year.

Is it true that you fought for the rights of sound camps at Burning Man?
Yes, I organized a bunch of camps in 2008 including representatives from camps like El Circo, the Deep End, Green Gorilla, and others to approach the Burning Man organizers to request some changes and support. The premise was basically that collectively we’ve felt like we give a lot to the event. Which, of course, is fine; it’s why we started creating such camps in the first place. But we hoped we might get more support and resources from the organizers to do what we do since it is our perception the role of the Large Scale Sound & Art Camps had evolved to be an integral part of a large number of attendees experience and reason for coming. What we asked for and what we got for our efforts were different. Spoiler alert: not much!

Did artists like Tiesto find it unique having to purchase their own ticket?
Yes. We are a volunteer and fundraising camp. All the equipment, food, shelter, and electricity comes out of our own pockets, while we all have day jobs outside of Burning Man. He provided a donation to our camp debt after he played for us in 2005, he said, “It’s the only time I’ve paid someone to play for them.”

What did Opulent Temple do to set the standard for today’s music scene at Burning Man?
What we did to raise the bar was really just building on the precedence of the great camps that came before us but taking it to a higher level. We make our own art and the production pieces that make up our camp, and we build new stuff every year to add to our recognizable look. We were the first to have a DJ-operated flame-throwing booth, and the first to consistently bring out an eclectic range of so-called ‘big-name’ DJs, and we did it all year round through volunteers building the camp and making the art.

CREDIT: Photo by IRDeep

What’s the future of the music community of Burning Man? Will the music be too much and eventually take away from the art as it slowly becomes the main attraction?
I think people’s association and experience of Burning Man — unless something drastically changes — is always one of art and music. For now, it is by far primarily dance music. Though it sounds ironic to say, in one light you could say the organization has gone to great lengths to do nothing to support music at Burning Man beyond allowing it to exist. They do a lot to nurture the art scene, so I don’t see it becoming too much.

[Source: Spin]

Read the full interview at Spin Magazine.

Here’s a Syd Gris set from last year’s Halloween.

Daft Punk – Back Once Again

2015 daft punk trash fence

Image: Timothy Stoner | Facebook

Just when you thought that the horse was dead and had been flogged beyond a bare semblance of a carcass…we get Daft Punk. At the trash fence. Burning Man 2015.

Earlier in the year, Burning Man’s “other” Nevada regional featured Daft Punk.

They did a trial run, even writing a guest post on this blog about it…and then decided they needed to do it One More Time.

daft_punk_deep_playa

daft-punk-trash-fence

daft fence

 

At the Burning Man Facebook Group, Burners tried to make sense of it all…

Screenshot 2015-09-07 23.16.15

Screenshot 2015-09-07 23.05.33Screenshot 2015-09-07 22.58.44Screenshot 2015-09-07 22.59.18Screenshot 2015-09-07 23.02.22Screenshot 2015-09-07 23.03.50

Image: Vincent King Gutierrez | Facebook

Image: Vincent King Gutierrez | Facebook

https://twitter.com/TheFestivalGuy/status/639687522960961536

#daftpunk finally!!! #burningman

A post shared by Tucker Gumber (@thefestivalguy) on

.

Whether it was some dudes in helmets playing a CD, or a cover band, or the real Daft Punk – can we all just agree to move past this “joke” now? It was never funny.

 

2015 Music Lineups

Did you download the free Rockstar Librarian Music Guide? This year, it seems a little light – listings from major camps like White Ocean and Robot Heart are not there at all.

If you were conspiracy-minded, then you might see this as related to the War on EDM, the declaration of a DMZ and new rules for loud art cars, and BMOrg’s request that no camps reveal their DJs until after the OMG sale. Perhaps digging even deeper into the underlying motives, if no live entertainment is ever promoted before ticket sales, BMOrg can try to argue they’re not providing Live Entertainment which would make them subject to a 9% tax like other large events in Nevada.

Those more inclined to view the world through rose tinted glasses will have to just shrug this off as maybe this year all the camps here had time to make flyers, but most were just too busy to email their flyers to RSL at the same time they were posting them on Facebook. YMMV – we report, you decide!

This particular conspiracy theory was first articulated at burningman.com in July 2014

This particular conspiracy theory was first articulated at burningman.com in July 2014

 

Anyway, if you want to know if your favorite DJs are going to be there, and make plans to meet your friends at events, here are all the flyers I can find for this year. If you have another one that’s not listed here, please share and I’ll add it. You may want to print this page to a PDF and take it with you to the Playa.

A big thanks to K-Dust’s Definitive Music Guide and The Music of Burning Man on Facebook, where many of these were posted.

lucent dossier

2015 shift lineup

 

2015 disorient2015 disorient lexel2015 steampunk saloon2015 trapezee

2015 celtic chaos2015 question mark

2015 ooligan alley

2015 white ocean



2015 exxxplosivo

2015 soma 2015 milk 2015 unicorn rampage 2015 liquid giraffe 2015 loomer 2015 kings 2015 alastair 2015 david starfire 2015 alex ferrer

2015 playaskool2015 pile palace Charlie-2015-line-up 2015 funky town 2015 beats boutique 2015 christina 2015 scumfrog
2015 big joe daddy 2015 human experience 2015 funk for peace 2015 little john 2015 ra so
2015 music mexico2015 alex cecil 2015 tropic thunder

2015 dragonfly den

mayanwarrior2015

2015 slut garden

2015 sacred spaces 2015 desert hearts 2015 ego trip 2015 pink mammoth2015 kramer

2015 illuminaughty

Opulent Temple will be everywhere…and Carl Cox is playing at their White Party.

Tuesday

Opulent Rhino

Opulent Temple & Dusty Rhino present: The Opulent Rhino

10:00 & ILLUSION – THEN MOVE TO INNER PLAYA

09:00
DJ B
10:00
Nugz
11:00
Jonboy
12:00
Alvaro Bravo
01:00
DJ Dan
02:00
Billy Seal
03:00
DJ Wes Smith
(04:00)

Wednesday

13th Annual Sacred Dance White Party

Sacred Dance: Our 13th Annual ‘White Party’ at BRC

PART I: KICK OFF BETWEEN THE MAN AND SERPENT MOTHER ALONG 4:00 AXIS.

Base vehicle: Bounce

09:00
El Jefe Rojo
10:00
Syd Gris

(Car departs @ 10:30 & moves to Serpent Mother around 10:45)

PART II: SERPENT MOTHER, INNER PLAYA ALONG 4:00 AXIS.

Base vehicle: Thor Bus

10:45
Syd Gris
11:30
Grammar
12:15
Dulce Vita
01:00
Carl Cox
(2:00)

(Bounce peels off from Serpent Mother party around 12:45 to re-establish new spot)

PART III: R-EVOLUTION INNER PLAYA ALONG 1:00 AXIS.

Base vehicle: Bounce

01:00
Kyle Jouras
02:00
Skrillex & Diplo as Jack Ü
03:15
DJ ICON
04:00
Billy Seal
04:45
ELiKi w Violin Girl

PART IV: OPEN PLAYA STRAIGHT UP FROM R-EVOLUTION FOR SUNRISE

05:30
Mike Butler
(7:00)

Thursday

Opulent Temple @ Trifucta

Opulent Temple at Trifucta

7:00 & ESPLANADE

10:00
Brian Williams
11:00
Grammar
12:00
Vinkalmann
01:00
Jonboy
(2:00)

Friday: Double Header

Opulent Temple at Disorient and Camp Questionmark

Opulent Temple at Disorient

8:00 & ESPLANADE | HOUSE MUSIC

10:00
DJ ICON
10:45
Dulce Vita
11:30
Mike Butler
12:15
ELiKi
01:00
Brian Peek
02:00
Camea
05:00
Jean Dom

Opulent Temple at Camp Questionmark: FROM DUST TIL DAWN

2:00 & CARNY | BASS MUSIC

09:00
Dulce Vita
10:30
Cosmic Selector
11:15
Sayer
12:15
DJ ICON
01:00
Bleep Bloop
02:00
Tokimonsta
03:00
Phutureprimitive
04:00
Deekline
05:00
El Papa Chango
06:00
PRSN
07:00
Raso

Art Car Support by The Grabber

WILL GO IN BETWEEN BOTH OT PARTIES AND BEYOND.

09:00
(Open)
10:30
Jonboy
12:00
DJ Hil
01:00
(Open)
03:00
Chris Tower
?

The Techno Ghetto – the History of Dance Music at Burning Man

Recent announcements from the Org make it seem like Burning Man is trying to deal with Electronic Dance Music like it’s a new problem. In fact, this is not the case. Burning Man has been taking place in the desert since 1990 and ravers started playing there in 1992, the third party. Since then, rave has grown from a few DJs to more than 5,000 different sets listed in Rockstar Librarian last year.

Not only was it fine to post the names of DJs on flyers from the very beginning, it was also personally endorsed by Larry Harvey.

burning man 1992 djs and lasers

Burning Man Flyer Advertising DJs, 1992

DJ Niles recalls:

I was DJ Niles and organized the first rave at Burning Man. I met with Larry Harvey in his kitchen to pitch him on the idea and he thought amplified music would be awesome at BM though warned me that any of the old timers wouldn’t like it and made us set up a mile from center camp with our speakers facing away from camp. We had about 20 people that came specifically for the party and about 50 people that came from BM camp. We had The Fly hotsprings to ourselves.

From Edgecentral (writing by Graham St John):

What was then known as “rave” music was first amplified at Burning Man in 1992 when a small “rave camp” appeared a mile from the main encampment, “glomming parasitically…onto the Porta-Johns.” The camp was organized by Craig Ellenwood of the early Oakland acid party crew Mr Floppy’s Flophouse. The headline act was Goa Gil, who played from Aphex Twin’s “Digeridoo” on digital audio tape to no more than 25 people. Also playing to hardly anybody were Brad Tumbleweed, Dave Synthesis (aka “Dsyn”), Craig and Terbo Ted. Terbo Ted has the mantle of being the first person to DJ at Burning Man. Ted informed me that in 1992 he “played on Friday afternoon to literally no one, with only ten miles of dust in front of me. It was awesome”. While he can’t recall it with precision, the first track played was some “spacey stuff” from a Jean Michel Jarre 12 inch from Craig Ellenwood’s record pile, “a record he was willing to sacrifice to the elements … it was literally a sound check” (ibid). Here is a link to a short excerpt from Terbo Ted’s live acid techno set in 1995, which was the first electronic music recorded at Burning Man to be released on CD (“Turbine time” on Shag).

The period was primitive to say the least. As Charles A. Gadeken reported in 1993: “I remember going out to the rave camp, it was five guys, a van, a couple of big speakers, a card board box covered in tin foil, colored lights and a strobe light. It was all cool.” But the reception was generally less than enthusiastic. Ted recalls that the punk (add your own prefix: anarcho, cyber, steam, shotgun, etc.) sensibility predominating at Burning Man held DJ culture complicit with “consumer society and a stain on an otherwise anarchistic, art-oriented event.” 

Even in the early days, this was an issue for the hippies – one they were ready to get all “stabby” for…

On one morning near sunrise in 1993, a hippy dude came up to me while I was playing music on the sound system and he holds up a knife towards me and yells “are you crazy?” And I say “no, you’re the one with a knife”. And then he says he’s going to cut me or the speakers. So I turn it down, ditched the decks and circled far and wide off into the desert. He tried to cut the speaker cones with his knife but they had metal grills on the fronts, he looked like a fool and gave up and wandered off. I put on a cassette of Squeeze’s Black Coffee in Bed as he was walking away. 

As early as 1994, there was an “official rave” listed in the Burning Man brochure.

Burning Man forced the techno reservationists to maintain their isolation a mile from Main Camp between 1992 and 1998, during which time the camp evolved into a kind of outlaw satellite of Black Rock City. Over the following two years, San Francisco’s DiY music and culture collective SPaZ (itself co-founded by Ted and D syn, along with Aaron, No.E Sunflowrfish and various others) orchestrated the sounds exclusively. It was extreme, eclectic and haphazard…Listed as the official “rave” in the Burning Man brochure for 1994, SPaZ would effect a great influence on sound system culture at the festival. 

It was the ravers who encouraged Burning Man to let anyone bring their sound, big or small. A number of music collectives then converged on the Techno Ghetto. This was the first expansion of Burning Man’s crowd beyond its San Francisco Cacophony Society roots that kept numbers steadily in the low hundreds for the first 7 years. After the rave camp was established, Burning Man’s population started doubling every year.

SPaZ, members of which later initiated the Autonomous Mutant Festival, were effectively encouraging Burning Man to be “more like the UK festival vibe where anybody could bring their sound, big or small”. So, in 1995, while SPaZ set up their small system at four points amplifying everything from minimal techno and drum-n-bass to psytrance under a four story three-cornered scaffolding with lights and “variously garish and random streamers, banners and tarps, from punk to dayglo-indian-balinese-cybertrance-batiks to outright monstrosities” visible from Main Camp, Wicked (the famed UK derived outfit who held full moon and other parties on beaches and in parks around the Bay area between 1991-1996) arrived with their turbo rig and scaffolding supporting their black and white banner. SPaZ hosted artists including Minor Minor (Gateway), Theta Blip, Chizaru and Subtropic. Featuring himself, among with DJs Markie and Bay area guest’s Spun, Felix the Dog, Rob Doten and Alvaro, Wicked co-founder (and now running Grayhound Records) Garth stated to me that they “played for 4 days and nights through hail, wind, rain and electrical storms”. North America’s first free party tekno sound system, Pirate Audio, also made an appearance that year. On the windblown frontiers of techno, in this nascent vibrant ghetto accommodating the eclectic, experimental and inclusive sounds of SPaZ, the house sounds of Wicked, and other sounds besides, Burning Man had begun to attract a variety of socio-sonic aesthetics, paving the way for the mega-vibe it would later become  

Poop was being MOOPed at dance camps even then: by BMOrg, who were dropping it on rave camps from the sky:

shit apple laheyIn this period, besides differences between the habitués and proponents of varying dance aesthetics (from the inclusive to the more proprietary) there was considerable conflict between those who regarded themselves true Burners and those they held as little more than raving interlopers. As Ted remembers, “ravers were always pariahs at Burning Man …. it’s like we were the poor people on the wrong side of the tracks and the wrong side of the man”. At one event, a bag of human excrement was dropped on the dance camp from a low flying aircraft. According to Garth, Burning Man had the porta-potties removed from the rave camp before the festival ended. “When people started crapping on the desert for lack of options, someone carried over a bag to main camp …. Burning Man was so enraged by this they flew over and apparently dropped it on one camp.

From the beginning, Rave Camp was a mile away from The Man, but back then it was still possible to drive your car around the Playa. That all changed when tragedy struck in 1996: a stoned driver ran over a tent, sending one person into a coma for months.

techno-ghetto

In 1996, the year of Helco, they tried to re-integrate the rave camp with the rest of the city – creating the Techno Ghetto as an outer suburb. The plan failed:

But, things didn’t go according to plan in the ghetto. According to Garth, “the honeymoon ended that year. The theme was “Hellco” and that was what they conjured up… by this point there were too many [sound systems], all bleeding into each other…. it felt more like a super club on the playa”. As Terbo Ted recalls, the “ghetto” was an “abysmal failure … DiY gone mad… Music snobbery and cliquishness and DiY anarchist tendencies prevented an orderly camp from forming and the resulting spread-too-thin sprawl proved to be dangerous in an era when cars were still driving at every vector on the playa at high speeds in dust storm white outs”. Both Garth and Ted are in part referring to a tragic incident in 1996 when three people were seriously injured sleeping in their tent near the Gateway sound system, one in a coma for months, after being collected by a stoned driver.  

It looks like ravers got the blame for the incident. An “unofficial anti-rave policy” was formed, to appease the complainers:

Together with an apparent perception that the “rave” was giving Burning Man a bad name within official circles, and the likelihood that techno was perceived as disturbing electronic chatter for many participants…this incident generated an unofficial “anti-rave policy”, which was effectively countered through the compromise entailed in Gosney’s innocuously named “Community Dance” in 1997.

We have an unsung Burner hero to thank for rave surviving at Burning Man in the face of this early anti-EDM sentiment from the old-timers. BMOrg, predictably, tried to ban doof – saying that only 100W systems were allowed. Luckily Mark Heller, Raver Marine, saved the day – and Burning Man was able to grow from 4,000 in 1995 to 70,000+ in 2015.

Ironically I was looking for info on Global Underground – looking to see how or if Narnia was still going on, and something of a TRUE RAVE which I attended 90-94, before moving to SF…. And of course hitting Burning Man 95-02… However I have news for you in the context of BM and raves… And not the stuff you can copy out of wiki..

Burning mans ‘community’ was, and IS rather anti-raver… They are just not openly hostile any longer – yes you heard me – hostile!

Let me explain the experience this stems from. I first heard of BM in San Diego in 94, with some irony at Narnia a much different ‘music based’ event. Much of my set, after finding that I was headed to SF decided to hit ‘The Man’, and we did. As I had an inordinate amount of time off that day and age, I volunteered and went early. (As I did following as well for a number of years.)

Anyway, a little correction of view and history is in order. And I’ll provide that for you here. In ’95 and years prior, were just tagging along, to the “Art Festival” that is BM, 95 being a clear demarcation of that. With two clear and distinct camps seperate and litteraly 2 miles away from each other. I’ll explain, upon arrival in 95 I got early and full access as a volunteer, as well as insight in the controversy of the time. The ‘Art crowd – Organizers’ were sick of the noise, and relagated “Rave Camp” to be at a distance, with a connecting road, and was seperately organized and paid for by an asphalt paving company to boot.

This distance proved FATAL, as a couple were run down in their tent along the ‘road’ I planted flags to demark. These were deaths #2&3 of 3 that year. (The other being vehicular suicide of sorts.) In response, driving, apart from art cars was banned the year following in 96. Also of interest in this context. [Clarification: 3 people were critically injured, 1 person died from vehicle accidents before the gates opened in 1996]

96, came no cars, and with it, NO RAVE CAMP! And a full blown discouragement of the rave community to attend by the BM authorities that be to this day. Find a ticket and map for that year, and you’ll find the typical desert death disclaimer on the back and with the hand outs, and also an interesting RULE, the first of many. “No sound systems over 100 watts allowed” yes you heard me! Where did 100 watts come from? – it was the biggest boom box you could find… Generators were also not encouraged, and a “centralized power system” would be provided for the limited center camps. (I have a unique perspective here as well…)

In 95 through 97, I volunteered with the guy running the generators in the BM base camp, which was very similar to what I did in the Marine Corps. (Yes, I was a Raver Marine – put your finger on that – try…) Anyway, on arrival in 96, the animosity was high, most of the art community was pleased with no rave camp & sound policies, thinking they could finally get some sleep…. I kid you not! HOWEVER – there were a lot of familiar faces from Rave Camp from the year previous and I got to know them much better this year as they were trying to fit into the new BM mold. And here’s why. I was the guy going camp to camp to find out your ‘power needs’ and drag the cables to many of them. “Hey how many amps you need?” And this is when the REVOLUTION began! And likely the only reason BM survived and grew! 95 was TOO BIG TOO LOUD TOO DANGEROUS! 96 was to be smaller quieter – but more people showed up…. To include a lot of ravers upset about what they helped build shunning them. 1/2 of the base camps requested 50A to 100A. And of those, almost all had HIDDEN DJ BOOTHS AND SPEAKERS IN GIANT PAPER MACHE ART! 10-20 THOUSAND watt systems. Right in the middle of the main camp.

In the few days prior to the first official night, the running joke was ‘don’t call the cops, my boom box is over 100w’. The first official night – THE SOUND CAME ON! AND IT WAS AWESOME!

You don’t have ME to thank for still referring to Burning Man as a “Rave” I was just a cog in a wider revolt that I did not even know was happening until I was trusted to help in the effort in an exchange of winks and nudges. An enabler…

But it was then, that the “Art Festival” known as Burning Man, embraced the chaos and the Rave community that helped make the event what it was at the time. (IMO it’s not what it used to be, and maybe that’s good too – different topic)

[Source: Burners.Me]

Burning Man flyer advertising DJs, 1998

Burning Man flyer advertising DJs, 1998

bm flyer 1999

Burning Man flyer advertising DJs, 1999

In 1998 Burning Man was described as “the ultimate meta-rave”. This year saw the integration of EDM and big art burns, with 2000 people at the Temple of Rudra (yes, they had Temples there before David Best’s first one). BMOrg shut it down on the first night, pulling the plug from the generator:

In 1998, a community sound system featuring New York’s Blackkat collective, The Army of Love, SPaZ and Arcane was unpacked on the playa. Holding their own desert dance gatherings over the previous five years in the Mojave, Moontribe also set up that year, with artists performing for three consecutive nights next to The Temple of Rudra, with the final party drawing 2000 people following Pepe Ozan’s opera. Symptomatic of the ongoing tensions, as Ozan apparently neglected to inform the Burning Man organization about his deal with Moontribe (they were providing the soundcheck for his opera), the event’s unique peace keepers, the Black Rock Rangers, unplugged the generator at dawn on the first night. With the all-too-familiar experience of having “Rangers” shut them down, Moontribe’s Treavor successfully pushed for an agreement for an all-night party after the opera on the Friday night, which also happened to be a full moon. According to Treavor, with himself, Petey and Matthew Magic performing: “we kicked in with some full on Psy Trance/Techno madness and tons of people came over and stayed in front of our system until around noon when it was about 110 degrees and time to end”

The anti-raver sentiment went beyond just BMOrg and the Rangers.

That known DJs were being targeted by Burning Man organisers was a circumstance endured by Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky), who was apparently pursued on the playa by “Pipi Longstocking” in the mid 1990s. But the tension between ravers and Burners seems to have been appropriately dramatized in a performance which saw a standoff between Goa Gil and a giant peddle-powered flamethrowing drill and Margerita maker called the Veg-O-Matic of the Apocalypse—or, more to the point, anti-rave crusader Jim Mason who was peddling the beast. Mason’s Veg-O-Matic is described by Robert Gelman in his article Trial by Fire: “It’s straight out of hell, suggesting engineering from the industrial revolution transported to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Part vehicle, part flame-thrower, part earth drilling device, I envision this machine being used to battle creatures in a 1950s monster movie, or to torture souls of the damned in the realm of satan”. With a pressurized gas-charger spurting flames as far as seventy feet from its barrel, and a gathering mob inciting it to greater acts of destruction, the Veg-O-Matic was known to burn installations in its path following the demise of the Man. On its post-Burn rampage, when the Veg-O-Matic rolled into the first Community Dance camp in 1997, Mason found Goa Gil directly in his path:

The crew of the machine is tilting the flamethrower’s barrel up at the console. Gil is staring down the 12-foot barrel of this jet powered char-broiler. I had to remind myself that this is theatre, or is it? I’m still not sure. “Burn it!” the mob chants, “Burn THEM!” Like an opposing pacifist army, the ravers are standing their ground, some shouting in defiance of the threat, some in disbelief that this could really be happening. Chicken John, like the demented circus ringmaster that he is, issues his now-familiar warning over the bullhorn [“Stand Aside”]. We seem to have travelled back centuries in time. I don’t remember ever feeling farther from home than this.

Ravers have been far more effective at bringing Burning Man culture back into the Default world than any other group. What have the hippies done to spread our culture, other than a few panel discussions?

The spirit of Burning Man is raised throughout the year in San Francisco at events such as the pre-Burn Flambé Lounge, the annual Decompression Street Fair, the How Weird Street Faire, the Sea of Dreams New Year’s Eve events and numerous sound art camp fundraising events held between May and August every year. The Decompression events have become hugely popular multi-area dance parties, and attracting many who’ve never been to Burning Man. The San Francisco “Heat the Street Faire” Decompression party is a reprise of the Burn held on 8 city blocks two months after the event.

[Source: Edgecentral]

So EDM has been at Burning Man pretty much as long as there’s been a Burning Man. This is nothing new. It hasn’t turned into Coachella or Glastonbury in 23 years, so why are people suddenly afraid that it’s going to now?

edm artistSurely a bigger problem is the miraculously consistent quota of 40% Virgins – every year it just gets harder and harder for Veteran Burners to get tickets, and more safari tourists come. BMOrg is trying to blame EDM for this, but we had EDM 20 years ago. What we didn’t have back then was a Ruling Group determined to promote themselves in the mainstream media: The Simpsons, Wall Street Journal, New York Times,  Inc, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Fast Company, Town and Country, Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, PBS, the New Yorker, airline in-flight magazines – not to mention all the celebrities and politicians encouraged to name-drop Burning Man and give media interviews from the Playa. I think if anyone is to be blamed for ticket scarcity, it should be the promoters who did this massive PR push into Default society so they could sell more tickets at higher prices – not ravers, who have been gifting awesome experiences at Burning Man on their own dime over the past 3 decades.

If ravers were there 10 years ago, and not creating huge amounts of MOOP ; and they were there 20 years ago, and not creating huge amounts of MOOP – then it is false to blame ravers now for MOOP. What else has changed, over all those years that EDM has been at Burning Man? Perhaps the entitled attitude of the Millenial generation who think they’re making the world a better place just by being in it is more of a factor.

The philosophy that has been promoted by the official propaganda channels in the past week is that if someone sees Burning Man on The Simpsons on FOX and wants to visit once to have a drug experience like Marge, they are a good person and coming for the right reasons; but if someone sees that Lovefingers is going to be on the Mayan Warrior on the art car’s Facebook page and wants to go because they like that DJ, that is a bad person and we don’t want them at our festival. Which isn’t a festival.

You can’t have this AND Radical Inclusion.

See also: Ranting and Raving