Radical Copter Reliance

brh sikorsky

black rock helicopters playa chicken

Images: Facebook

Thanks to Tex Allen from Why The Nose for sending this. Nice touch with the headdresses on the Playa Chickens – just to really stick it in, a MOOP and cultural appropriation double whammy. Are they Russian?

Here’s Tex’s take:

.

I can confirm this is really happening, and not an elaborate troll. I was offered a ride to the Playa from Reno in this very sexy chopper. It is part of Burning Man’s new Burner Express airline.

From the sky to the playa and beyond – the journey is the adventure!
Room for 8 people and 600lbs of cargo
Service from Reno to the event
Service From the event to Reno
Official Charter with Burner Express

Is this why they made Da Vinci the theme? So they could introduce helicopters? Talk about turning Radical Inclusion and Radical Self Reliance on their heads.

black rock helicopter da vinci

Screenshot 2016-08-29 02.57.09

black rock helicopters girl and guyblack rock helicopters interior

black rock helicopters luggageImages: Black Rock Helicopters | Facebook

Personally I would be stoked just to go in the Jetranger. A Sikorsky S-76 costs a cool $9.9 million. That sure is a sweet ride. They can pick you up from Tahoe too, possibly the world’s most beautiful airport. There’s plenty of room for the sparkle ponies to stretch out, they need their rest.brh girl sleeping

Jalopnik has a story on it:

If you thought Burning Man was just a steampunk renaissance fair for filthy hippies, like I did, you too may be surprised to learn that this $10 million helicopter is doing taxi service for (rich) people who want to go to the party…

That S76 truly is a thing of beauty. Active in various forms since the 1980’s, some can cruise at over 150 MPH and top out at a blistering 175+. And you can see from the interior shots in that clip, Black Rock really spread some magic throughout the substantial passenger cabin. No tent is going to be as nice as one of those seats.

Burning man is actually going on right now through September 5th, by the way. And this year’s theme is da Vinci’s Workshop. So actually, riding in with a helicopter might be appropriate after all.


This is what it looks like to fly over Black Rock City in a helicopter:

Before you enter the port-a-potties, scan the sky for Sikorskys…

 

Swingers With $54,000, Welcome to Billionaire’s Row

Thanks to Anonymous Burner for tipping us off to this. This seems like a new record for hotel room prices at a Commodification Camp, taking JT’s crown from last year.

Since this is a swinger’s club, Mistresses of Merriment are very much on the menu. Tickets to Burning Man? No problem.

Remember when the community was outraged about the Krug Dinner? That all seems so quaint these days. Welcome to Burning Man 2.0, this is the new normal. Radical Self-Reliance? It’s just a spectrum. Decommodification? It’s just one of the for-profit LLC’s. Communal effort? Hey, our sherpas work hard. Real hard.

 


from Do You Know George  (emphasis ours)

Screenshot 2015-10-20 09.44.31


For the sake of space we are going to assume that you have already done your research and have a solid understanding of what Burning Man is all about and the adventure that lies ahead. This page is dedicated to laying out an overview of the DYKG camp, the amenities it will encompass and a break down of the costs associated with participation.

The principal differences between our camp and any other DYKG event that you may have attended is the necessity for tickets (that are very difficult to procure) and the requirement that we fully establish our own infrastructure and support staff.

 

Therefore, unlike our other events, we will be holding a 15% deposit, until February 1, 2016. Once your tickets are secured the balance will be due to secure your campsite.  At that time, if you are no longer interested in attending, you may request a refund and your tickets and campsite will go to a couple on our waiting list.  If we are unable to secure the number of tickets requested your deposit will be refunded in full.

Several people have contacted us wondering about why the costs for this event are so much higher than they were expecting for a, “Hippy gathering in the desert”.

The economics of supply and demand play a big part in costs on the Playa.  Although cash transactions at the event are prohibited, the vast economic impact prior to the event are obvious.

Within a 500-mile radius of Reno, Nevada,  RV rentals are known to increase by as much as 4-times.  Part of this is based on the enormous demand of 70,000 burners communing on one location and, in part, because of the hundreds of man hours that go into cleaning each RV after the event in order to restore it to pristine condition.  For something like a tour bus, this can multiply into thousand of man hours, mechanical parts and even reupholstery before it can return to service in the Default World.

In the spot market, bulk water deliveries for our camp will range $1.00 up to $1.50, in 500 gallon increments.  Of course the waste water must also be hauled away and this will run another $0.20 to $0.25 per gallon.   (This is something to think about at home when you are taking a shower tomorrow morning.)

This same issue applies to electricity provided by giant diesel generators, each burning hundreds of gallons per day, commercial kitchens connected to 100-gallon propane tanks and all the fuel and man hours to move everything onto and off of the Playa.

If you were trying to think of a less hospitable, or economically more challenging place in North America to hold a seven day festival, you would be hard pressed.  That said, only because Burning Man is held in such an inhospitable region of the country has it been able to persist and even thrive for thirty years.


 

Image Source: Do You Know George

Our Camp Amenities

(2) Burning Man Tickets per Couple
Art Car
Bicycles
Central Pavilion / Shelter for Camp
Camp Bar & Coffee Lounge (Open Bar)
Camp Toilet Trailer w/ Key
Camp Meals (Twice Daily)
Central Electric Generator for RV’s
Diesel Fuel Deliveries for Generator
Gasoline Deliveries for Art Car
Gifting Project
Gourmet Chef
Late Night Snacks
Maid Service for Camp RV’s
Outdoor Furniture
Private Charter Flights (optional)
Propane Delivery for Kitchen
RV Delivery & Set-Up
Solar-heated Shower Trailer
Stocked RV with Snacks & Drinks
Support Staff for Camp & Kitchen
Themed Dinner Parties
Transportation To & From Reno, NV
Vehicle Passes
Volunteer Program
Waste / Sewer Collection
Water Deliveries

History of the DYKG Camp

In 2014 George first attended Burning Man with the purpose of exploring this unique event and seeing if it was something his friends would enjoy.

Following the instructions of his two “Burner” friends, George set out to do things “the right way”.  He started by purchasing a 1970 camping trailer in North Carolina and personally seeing to its restoration.  Then when his “silver pickle” was roadworthy he set our from Charleston, SC on a 5,600 mile round-trip odyssey.  After three days on the road he arrived Sunday morning and waited with thousands of others for the gates to open.   After that, the Playa took hold and what unfolded was too indescribable to even begin to touch on here.

In 2015, George began to organize fellow lifestylers and establish plans to provide a camp of their own.  Attending for his second time on 2015 his focus was on staffing, infrastructure and locating quality vendors.

Burning Man 2016 will see the first DYKG Camp, and will provide for all its members with private RV’s, gourmet dining and most importantly the elusive TICKETS!

Infrastructure Plans

A key component to the health and happiness of any camp is its infrastructure.  Specifically the plans to provide shelter, food, water, electricity, waste management and community structure and how they are executed.

Due to George’s incredibly diverse and talented network of friends, it was easy to find those with the skills and acumen to guide this project.  For our camp we will be converting several vintage Airstream trailers into specific-use vehicles.  Some of the conversions include: commercial kitchen, shower trailer, bathroom trailer and “bar car”.   This idea of re-purposing fits in perfectly with the idea of having a minimal footprint on the playa and reducing environmental impact.

For guests needing accommodations late model trailers, motorhomes and tour buses are available.

What To Expect…
As your hosts, we feel it is an important part of our responsibility to make sure everyone knows what to expect.  Whether or not you have been to a private event of this caliber before, we believe that passing along this information affords
everyone the opportunity to feel more comfortable and enjoy themselves more fully.

First and foremost, we don’t hold parties, we create elaborate multi-day events to entertain, entice, and indulge all of your senses.  Our events have a tendency toward the extravagance and are comprised of typically a half dozen to a dozen social events providing the opportunities to get to know others and take part in activities that you might not otherwise.

Privacy and discretion are cornerstones in the planning of our events.  We never publish our guest list, release anyone’s name or photos, nor do we disclose the exact location where our private events are held.  We are comfortable announcing the city, and at times the hotel where our guests will be staying; however, that is our limit.  What information about yourself you choose to share with others is entirely your decision.

Our guest list is always selective and limited to between fifty and sixty couples and a small number of un-escorted women.  The guest list is comprised predominantly of post-graduate professionals in their late thirties to late forties with certainly some variance on either side of that range.

A Welcome Dinner is typically held early in the event and generally achieves an attendance of thirty to forty couples.  So far, these private dinners have been held at internationally acclaimed restaurants and vineyards with preparation by Iron Chefs and other culinary geniuses of our time.  The Welcome Dinner lives up to its name in being a slow-paced delight to the senses while giving everyone a chance to mingle and indulge in welcoming conversation with new friends.  Cocktail dresses for the ladies and suits for the gentlemen are the perfect attire for this dinner.

Cocktail and Wine Receptions are an integral part of the event giving everyone a chance to make new introductions and catch up with old friends before heading off to dinner or other activities planned for that the evening.  This is an ideal time to make plans with others for daytime adventures or other epicurean pursuits.  Cocktail dresses for the ladies and jackets sans tie for the gentlemen are again the perfect attire for these receptions.

There are a variety of Social Events throughout the weekend.  Thus far, these have included such activities as a Frenchman Street Music Exploration, Hot Air Balloons, Private Vineyard Tours & Tastings, Exotic Car Road Rally, Private Jet Helicopters, 5-star Spas, and Parkour Training.  These opportunities are typically smaller groups and are unique to each event.  They are intended to indulge your desires while sharing an unparalleled experience with your new friends.

All of our events culminate in a either a Formal Ball or semi-formal party.  These are generally held at historic residences or private estates while others have been held in penthouses and other more unusual locations (think 7,000 sq ft Wine Cave).   Many of our previous guests have commented on how much they have enjoyed simply touring some of the country’s most significant manor homes and great estates.

The soiree is professionally catered with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and wine to seduce your palate.  Live music is regularly provided by Grammy winning musicians, international recording artists, and renowned singers to delight your ears and lure you to the dance floor.

For the ladies, formal full-length gowns are the perfect choice.  Gentlemen are encouraged to dress comparably in that perfectly tailored suit or tuxedo as the occasion dictates.

We try to emphasize to everyone that arriving punctually is important, and privately arranged transportation is provided.   Upon arriving, guests will have an opportunity to mingle and chat as they explore the property.  This is an especially ideal time to make those connections with whom you are interested in spending time with in a more intimate setting later in the evening.  This will help avoid any possible unwelcome situations later in the evening.

As the night progresses those that wish to are welcome to adjourn to the bedrooms.  We do maintain a strict Open Door Policy, which simply means that all of the bedroom doors are to remain open.  If there is someone already in the room, you are welcome to watch.  If invited, you are welcome to join in.  Everyone attending knows and understands that “No means no” and that “Pushy people will not be tolerated” and will be asked to leave.

While you may certainly expect a few invitations to play, for those not wishing to do so that evening, there is certainly no pressure.  Simply enjoy yourself, meet some interesting people, and perhaps exchange a few phone numbers and email addresses with those you are interested in seeing again.  If nothing else, when you and your escort arrive home that night you will certainly have plenty to discuss and fantasize about before calling it a night.

When planning your flight home, try to arrange for a late afternoon departure so you can enjoy one final gathering, Brunch.  What first originated at George’s manse as a casual meal with conversation frequently punctuated by ribald laughter about the prior evening’s festivities has continued to this day.   Satiated in the weekend’s prurient pursuits, the relaxed atmosphere will help bring closure to our brief time together, while providing you the chance to make private
plans with other couples whom you share a similar interest or passion.

As always, please feel free to ask us any and all questions.  It is from your questions that we are better able to serve as your gracious hosts.

El Sherpo: Latina Labor Abuses At Plug-n-Plays

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Representing my country

A post shared by Valerie Kelly Sandyballs (@mexicansandyballs) on

(NB: the Burner pictured is a full participant, not a sherpa in any way)

A guest post by Buena Chica. This first appeared in the last edition of this year’s Black Rock Beacon.


 

Everyone has their breaking point – when we sit in silence, break down, and cry on Playa. Sometimes we cry out of gratitude, in awe of the beautiful installations and experiences that have been so laboriously created for our entertainment. And sometimes we cry at the realization that we have been doing it all wrong for so long in our lives.

My own tears this year had a completely different base. I had long heard about those plug-n-play camps: Building a compound surrounded by giant RVs to keep the “peasants” out of the decked-out “members’ only” elaborate amenities. Considering the “Sherpa” phenomenon of last year’s burn, and the promise by Bmorg that these camps would align to our Ten Principles, I was shocked to encounter the construction of one such camp during my own Early Arrival on August 21st.

Let me be absolutely honest, my fellow Burners, and tell you that even now I am crying as I write these words: My shock quickly turned to horror as I observed that this particular plug-n-play camp was being built by Latino laborers. Every day, as all the Early Arrival Burners went on building the city for you, these Latino laborers worked from early morning through the night to build a camp for people who are obviously oblivious of the Principles that have taken so much time to establish in our temporary city.

It took me four days to build up enough courage to talk to some of the laborers to learn about the appalling conditions they contracted to: Low pay and no leaving the camp nor being present on the rare occasion the camp opens its doors to the general population. As more and more Burners started arriving to set up their own camps, I was further appalled by the comments they would direct to these workers. From my own tent I heard on more than four occasions passengers of art cars driving by hurling insults such as “How does it feel to work for rich people?”, “Fuck your Burn, Sherpas,” and “Get out of my city.” So not only were the Latinos brought in to serve a particular kind of people who do not abide by our Principles, but now they were being abused by our fellow Burners who did not understand the situation: They are NOT Sherpas, as at least Sherpas are invited to entertain at parties. The workers were particularly selected to build these kind of camps then stay out of view and not partake in the rest of “our” Burner experience.

We hear it every year: Why are there no minority Burners? Well, here is one answer for you: You bring people who look like me to serve you but not to be seen or integrated as equals.

Just yesterday I walked around Center Camp Cafe to see the amazing artist murals. There is a display of colorful pictures. As I stepped closer, I observed that everyone in those pictures looked like me – Latino, African-American, minorities – who had been killed by cops in the Default World. I turned around to see Burners in various getups and outfits on bikes going in every direction. Nobody looked like me. I turned back to see the mural again; everyone looked like me. And then I remembered the 15 or so Latino laborers at the plug-n-play camp hidden away from view not far from the 9:00 Plaza.

Why are there so few minorities on the Playa? The answer lies within. How do you see me? How am I included in your own lives in the Default World? Am I just your hired help? Or do you include me as a participant in your own community? If you do not ask these questions, then you are Doing It Wrong, not only these abhorrent plug-nplay camps.


This article was written Saturday morning and published in Sunday’s edition of the Black Rock Beacon. On Saturday evening, Buena Chica was at The Temple of Promise and observed the BLM arrive in a procession with pictures of fallen comrades.  A crowd of Burners started chanting “All Lives Matter” which is a total indignation and insult to the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the default world……. but as the BLM receded, Buena Chica finally read the message written by the BLM upon the Temple’s entrance: Police Lives Matter.  She is grateful for the Burners who stood in solidarity and acted with IMMEDIACY to remind the BLM that they are Doing It Wrong and do not fully follow our Principles as well.

Things Were So Quaint, Back In The Day

Just stumbled upon this story from 2003.  It’s the perfect example of how social engineering of Burners can start with a prank, and be passed off as ironic, and then quickly become the new normal. Timeshare slots in the Oasis, anyone?


Vacations > Western U.S. > Western U.S. Tours
Burning Man 2003
Travelocity and Burning Tours invites you to Burning Man 2003! Come experience the colorful sights, the amazing sounds, and interesting people that come to this grand festival in the Nevada desert every year!
Tour Highlights | Inclusions | Options | Lodging & Dining | Itinerary | Prices
 7 Days from $1400
Prices are per person and reflect land cost only. Price is based on tourist-class hotels and similar services.
TRIP CODE: BRCNV
LODGING: Air Conditioned Travelocity Oasis Camp

 TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
Experience the spectacles of the Burning Man festival! Join Travelocity for this week-long tour package that lets you experience the wonder and awe of Burning Man 2003 without the hassle. Take in the beauty of the Nevada sky and mountains while seeing the many eclectic art projects, interesting sounds, and incredibly dressed people that make up this fantastic “city in the desert.” Don’t worry about being in the desert, as Travelocity has it’s own air conditioned “theme camp” where you may sleep in the comfort of your own private living space. Breakfast and dinner are served daily.

 PACKAGE INCLUSIONS
The Burning Man 2003 package includes the following:
Fourteen meals (breakfast and dinner) and six nights accommodations at the Travelocity Theme Camp, located near the Burning Man festival’s Center Camp
Burning Man 2003 ticket included with the package
Travelocity Playa Safari shuttle for transportation from Reno to Burning Man and back after the event
Complementary daily supply of water and ice
Modern, air-conditioned tent with private sleeping areas and separate toilet facilities
Professional Burning Man host and guide
Front-row reserved seating for many popular events, including the burning of the Man
Free Travelocity/Burning Man “Trading Trinkets”
All service charges and tips, baggage-handling fees, and local taxes
Travel bag and wallet containing package documents and helpful information

 OPTIONAL INCLUSIONS
The following add-ons may be available at an additional cost:

Travel insurance
Accomodations at the Reno Atlantis Hotel and Casino
Sightseeing tour of Lake Tahoe

 LODGING & DINING
The following is a summary of the accommodations for this tour:

Accommodations are based on twin-shares.

The following is a summary of the dining plan for this tour:

Breakfast: Seven are included.
Lunch: On your own.
Dinner: Seven are included.

 ITINERARY
Day(s) Activities
1 Arrive Reno
2 Arrive Burning Man
3 – 6 Burning Man 2003 festival
7 Arrive Reno

PACKAGE PRICES
Please note: Prices below are listed per person based on double occupancy. Prices are for land cost only. Rates may vary and space is limited. Deposit and refund information.
Departure Dates          Land Only
August 26, 2003 
August 27, 2003 
   $1400

ADDITIONAL PRICING INFORMATION

Triple share reduction: $35
Single room supplement: $325
Child share reduction (5-11 years): $295

[Source: archive.org]


 

At the time, the publication of this site and the supporting email promoting it, caused quite a stir. Big enough to become a story in WIRED magazine, just like Popsicle Camp is now in Bloomberg.

From WIRED (emphasis ours):

Burners Sweat Over Package Prank

Daniel Terdiman Email 07.24.03

Everything’s included at Travelocity’s Burning Tours!

Burning Man participants are often borderline fundamentalist about the mores of their desert bacchanalia. Over the years, they have steadfastly insisted that organizers never consider opening the doors to anything corporate.

So last week, when a message advertising an all-inclusive package tour of Burning Man spread like some out-of-control virus among the desert fest’s regulars and their e-mail lists, a lot of people went ballistic.

Supposedly sponsored by Travelocity and an unknown outfit called Burning Tours, the package promised prepared meals, an air-conditioned tent, free “Travelocity/Burning Man ‘trading trinkets'” and front-row seating for the annual alternative art festival’s signature spectacle, the torching of the 50-foot wooden Man.

But for anyone calm enough to look at the promotion’s Web page for a moment, there was a clue that something was not quite right. Instead of a Travelocity.com address, it was Travelocity.burningtours.com. It was not an attack on Burning Man’s principles at all. It was a hoax.

Precisely because vast numbers of “Burners” are tightly connected through e-mail lists, bulletin boards, websites and real-world gatherings, the Burning Man community is a juicy target for hoaxes. For example, a fake CNN.com story raised serious hackles on April Fools’ Day 2002. That one announced that the event’s organizers had sold its marketing and promoting rights to MTV.

Who were the instigators of the pranks? Burners themselves. Who else could better exploit the wired nature of their community, preying on its passionate adherence to anti-commercialism and radical self-reliance?

Specifically, the guilty party in the Travelocity gag was Dale Ghent, a 26-year-old Internet engineer from suburban Washington, D.C., who had seen the MTV ruse. He downloaded a Travelocity package tour page, did a quick mock-up of the Burning Tours package and, posing as a first-time Burner named Alan Douglas, posted a message to the New York Burners regional e-mail list asking if he should buy the tour.

“You sit there and you watch the e-mail, and the time elapsing and the people starting to read it and replying, ‘No, no, you can’t do this. It’s not the Burning Man spirit,'” Ghent laughs. “The general level of outrage was pretty satisfying, I have to say.”

Indeed, even veteran Burners were taken by the realistic representation of the Web page. A Seattle Burner known as Abdullah posted a message to one list with a link to the Burning Tours page, asking, “What the everlasting almighty FUCK?”

“My initial reaction was asinine knee-jerk reflex. I know how to read a URL and should have realized that this wasn’t in the Travelocity domain,” said Abdullah. “But I didn’t pay attention, and had one of those berserker moments. It was pure rage.”

At Burning Man headquarters, however, even as e-mails and instant messages started flowing in, the mood was relaxed. They’d been through this before and they love good art.

“The first thing to do when one of these hoaxes come around is usually to smile because they’re funny,” says Burning Man senior staffer Andie Grace. “The whole purpose of it is to prank people. So I don’t want to run around being the one who killed the joke.”

cartoon-going-fungalBut Grace says she was fascinated watching the viral spread of the hoax across the countless Burning Man regional and department e-mail lists, many of which share members.

“There is overlap,” she explains. “A friend sends it to a friend in Seattle, who puts it on their regional list, and then someone e-mails it to their friend in St. Louis.”

As one e-mail list discovered it was a hoax, other lists were just beginning to see the original message. The word that everything was okay, that Burning Man’s purity was safe, was always one step behind. In fact, even though most Burners now know the Burning Tours offer was a gag, some are still hearing about it for the first time, Grace said.

Meanwhile, Ghent started hearing from people about his work. “I think overall, people had good humor about it,” he said. “I got private e-mails saying, great hoax, good job,” he says. “I think once people realized it was a hoax, they got a grin on their face.

And as for Abdullah?

“It obviously took a lot of time and skill to do this,” he says. “It reminded me that I’m not quite as clever as I think I am sometimes…. To the author of the Travelocity spoof: Nice one, mate.”

[Original: http://archive.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2003/07/59740]

We’ve moved along the spectrum of turnkey camping from irony to stark reality. Today, $1400 looks cheap for a Commodification Camp. And “look at how much fun the tech billionaires are having out West!” is the new marketing slogan for Wall Street and the City of London.

It’s amazing to look back and see how things have changed. Progress? Evolution? Or devolution?

evolution of a djI guess I am still with the 2003 Burners, who see this as an attack on Burning Man’s principles. The Ten Principles were not even encoded as such, that happened the year after this ironic scandal. Clearly, Radical Self Reliance, Leave No Trace, and an environment away from the Default world capitalist model of labor organization were part of the core values of Burning Man much earlier than the Tin Principles.

Were the Principles actually specifically crafted in response to this meme? It was supposedly created by a New York Regional contact. BMOrg admitted they were promoting it via their regionals email lists and carefully watching “for amusement”? Perhaps the Founders actually liked the idea of selling tour packages, so they wanted to create some fine print that would allow this to really happen in the future.  As I’ve noted before, there’s nothing in the Principles about ethics, and they are carefully worded to only discourage transactions taking place on the Playa, rather than completely ban commerce itself. There have been quite a few posts from the official Burning Man blog over the last couple of years trying to clarify this point for us.

Now, not only do BMP’s Directors run multi-million dollar camps like this, massive ones with more than 50 sherpas; but they actually go to burningman.org to blame their staff for wrongdoing while they lecture us about how their VIP wristband camps are shining examples of the Ten Principles in action.

A big farce. It provides laughs for more than a decade, while they slowly introduce it into our society and sell $17,000 hotel rooms to the A-List – then laugh at us when we protest. “Oh, those Burners! They’re always the same. Blah blah blah, people have been saying that for 20 years and we keep raising prices and they keep buying tickets. Go make an amusing street theater protest to entertain us with, rubes!”

The Occidental Oasis "ironic" timeshare sale was going on at the same time as very real hotel sales on Billionaire's Row

The Occidental Oasis “ironic” timeshare sale was going on at the same time as very real hotel sales on Billionaire’s Row

Black Rock Acres p3

The 1%? All A Board

The Burning Man Project is now the 100% shareholder of Black Rock City, LLC, which puts on the Burning Man event. A Board of Directors of 18 people is responsible for the Burning Man Project. Founder Will Roger is the Chairman.

sherpa kegSherpaGate and all the attention from the New York Times and Bloomberg has highlighted Burning Man’s place on the world stage as a playground for rich people. In the past, how much money you had was never an issue at Burning Man. Nobody cared, because money did not exist in this environment. Tickets were based on Burners splitting the costs of the permit and the infrastructure for putting on the party – like a mega-version of camp dues. The art was more about amusement and light-hearted entertainment, than impressing and out-doing.

Now, ticket prices increase almost every year, new taxes get invented like the vehicle pass, directors run Commodification Camps, there are 85 registered vendors, there’s a gas station for art cars, camps get daily fresh food deliveries from beeping trucks, and a whole eco-system of businesses has popped up renting yurts, containers and RVs to Burners.

Why is Burning Man morphing from an anarchists wet dream to shark-jumping Defaultification?

Why does the Board seem to think there’s nothing wrong with directors trying to make a few bucks on the side?

doctor-yes: I have a friend who was in that camp, and I didn’t realize it until after we got back from the Burn this year He had a great time, but he also stayed with Jim’s camp in 2013 – his first time on the playa, and he was only there for 3 days. He’s comfortable but not wealthy enough to afford the cost, and I believe it was gifted enough to him both years. So the only experience he’s ever had at Burning Man is in these highly-catered camps. He spoke highly of the Mistresses of Merriment his first year, for instance, which made me cringe internally, but I didn’t draw a line between the two until post-Burn this year.

The problem to me is that the camp appeared to do nothing to acculturate newcomers, instead allowing them to be pampered and experience BM from behind the velvet rope. I don’t think it’s even about what some of the guests themselves expect. My friend, for instance, had no idea what to expect. This was just how Burning Man was from his experience.

After I gently talked to him about it, I discovered he’d had no idea it was potentially controversial. He only discovered it after the fact. He’s an older guy (65+) but is constantly going to concerts of all kinds, music festivals, etc, and is very cool to hang out with. Not the kind of douchebag you might think exclusively inhabits these camps.

That’s just one person of course, and I haven’t tried to press him too much for details to avoid embarrassing him further, but I just wonder how much blame we can put on the participants in the camp (and whatever expectations they had) vs. the organizers of it, who framed the entire event for birgins in the camp through the lens they chose.

  • HotterRod: “The problem to me is that the camp appeared to do nothing to acculturate newcomers”

Larry Harvey admits that he didn’t do anything to acculturate external members of the Project Board, so I guess Tananbaum just paid the cluelessness forward.

Burners may also be interested in this site: tananburn.me