Turnkey Camps: Moving Towards Effective Solutions

We are aware that many of you are waiting for a response to a number of questions concerning theme camps, turnkey camps, placement of camps, access to tickets, decommodification and a potential erosion of our culture.

These are some of the questions members of our community have raised:

Is the Burning Man organization profiting off turnkey camps?
How did turnkey camps get all their tickets?
Do turnkey camps get preferential treatment?
Were people buying blocks of tickets through the Burning Man Project donation ticket program in the days before the event? If so, why?
Are turnkey camps undermining the practice of Decommodification and Self-Reliance?
What is going to happen to the turnkey camps going forward? Is there accountability for poor behavior?

The importance of these questions requires collaboration and input from a wide variety of people including staff, theme camp leaders, artists, Regional Network leaders, turnkey camp producers, and participants. We are still gathering information and identifying the most effective solutions.

We assure you we are listening and discussing real reforms.

About the author: Burning Man

Burning Man

The official voice of the Burning Man organization, managed by Burning Man's Communications Team.

289 Comments on “Turnkey Camps: Moving Towards Effective Solutions

  • Bear says:

    It seems as if some of these questions could be answered easily if the answers didn’t require spin.

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  • Pervo says:

    Listing the questions the community has without adressing them will only fan the flames of these issues. You list the questions, how about the answers to the questions as well?

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  • Data says:

    I think Burning Man is a microcosm of the macrocosm.
    What an achievement. Truly.
    (I am not being sarcastic either.)

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  • Tom says:

    I don’t care about turnkey or whatever it’s called today. Burning man is ever evolving. I do care that ticket purchasing may have preferential treatment.

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  • fw says:

    I appreciate that you have you shown that you are at least listening to us and have heard our questions. Took too long but it’s something. Looking forward to honest, spin-free answers.

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  • TT120 says:

    Again with the “We’re listening and you will have answers soon” bullshit. That’s getting pretty old and tired. How about you answer the goddammed questions????

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  • Leo says:

    Thanks for finally responding. Do us a favor and play it straight with us. No spin or B.S., OK?

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  • Dani says:

    Answer girl already answered the question “Do turnkey camps get preferential treatment?” And it was YES. They get placement and EA passes as a registered theme camp does.

    This is a very large question that covers much more than just placement – do they get directed tickets? How many EA’s do they get? And why does a producer that is profiting off the event get to come in early and set up when they offer nothing to the community? Will they be placed again after HUGE moopy mess was left behind?

    I have refrained from posting on the blog about this Commodification of BM thus far, but this placating post is ridiculous. Stop buying time to give us a spin story and FIX it. Stop the Commodification of BM. Kick that bastard off the BOD. Get real. BE HONEST. You fucked up, admit and make the changes needed to restore trust.

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  • simon of the playa says:

    i for one, appreciate that the BMORG is listening.

    thank you, we ARE here.

    The Citizens of Who-ville.

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  • Robyn says:

    I’m glad you’re taking the time to coordinate a nice made-up tale.

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  • Becca says:

    How does one differentiate between turnkey camps and theme camps?

    Someone is pouring a lot of energy, love, and effort into the “turnkey camps,” right? Is the key difference that those people are being paid for those efforts, whereas “theme camps” are built by volunteers?

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  • Jai says:

    Let’s also remember that area I call Billionaire Boulevard and we all know the area is the worse at clean up and sharing as well as cooperation.
    THAT’S MY BIGGEST CONCERN ALONG WITH TICKET GLUTTONY FOR A PEOPLE ACTING THE PART AND NOT PARTICIPATING.

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  • Will Chase says:

    @Pervo and @TT120: I totally understand your frustration, but it’s a very complicated issue. Any decisions we make will affect a whole host of established internal processes and the people who run them. These need to be carefully thought through and worked out with a number of different departments to ensure that what we do is actually workable and effective.

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  • Dave says:

    These are not complicated questions. If the answer was a simple ‘no’ you could have easily responded to these concerns by now. Obviously you are having late night meetings, contacting outside sources, working day and night to figure out how to get out of this mess. Perhaps you are underestimating people’s passion for BM…or the level of intelligence or sophistication of our numbers. You have been caught with your pants down…and seriously, no amount of spin is going to help. In fact, spin is going to make us angrier. You don’t think this situation could get worse? It can get a lot worse. Please take this seriously. Burning Man has asked a lot from us…to believe in the principles that you put forward, to bring an entire party to you…to deal with issues like the lottery and STEP to get tickets….giving free labor…and taking Leave No Trace quite seriously. Everything hinges on this moment. If you try to lie your way out of this, a deep, vital contract will be broken with us. And if we stop believing in you, you have lost everything. So please, take a moment…accept that perhaps you have gone too far….be honest and upfront with us–that is the only answer we will accept. We have seen evidence–letters–witnesses–who have already told us the answers here. So please, give us the respect we deserve and the answers we all need to move forward.

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  • RiddimJack says:

    Bravo to the Org for facing these issues–and tough questions–head on. Props to you for your candor. I’ve never been Chicken Little about some of these things in the past, but last year seemed to be the year of critical mass for some culture-threatening, and downright sickening, developments. Glad you’re not in denial.

    Just a thought to share: radical inclusion has always made it a non-question that everyone, including the super rich and super tacky, are included. I think where things went so awry with the K-ring camps is that they took all that excess and put it behind a velvet rope. If you want to go over the top and show your conspicuous wealth, then keep the culture in mind and spend it on big expensive shit that everyone can enjoy. Build a Belgian Waffle. Build Crude Awakenings. Let everyone gasp at your resources and audacity–spent for the community. I hope that Foundation board member who was connected to that notorious theme camp of 2014 has figured out that the community would have been all too tolerant of his camp’s offenses if they had done something a bit more than passed out a few popsicles. I mean for crying out loud.

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  • Jen says:

    I have issue with “service entrance” and Bonanza Fresh Produce semis bringing in, well, fresh produce. Part of the joy of eating a salad after 10 days in the desert is NOT having that salad for 10 days in the desert. It also created a have and have-NOT situation. In addition, rented segways must be decorated and lit up at night with signs that read “i-phone use is NOT allowed while riding your segway”. And please no logo names, like Cirque did with their patrons’ bikes. NOT only were the ugly, they were NOT decorated and with very little light. Problem solution?????? Allowing these poor “Haves” do without like all the rest of us “Haves” do. Think about it…..most burners have lots of $$$ to spare but do NOT expect a bidet and a running water toilet with a shit sherpa wiping our ass.

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  • simon of the playa says:

    what i find most interesting is this.

    Burning Man has always been way ahead of the curve…

    that “curve” time keeps getting shorter, and this is a direct result of social media and instantaneous worldwide communication.

    Maybe what we are seeing is a pre-cursor, a foreshadowing of coming events.

    art imitating life.

    The Current state of Economic Disparity looms large upon the global psyche and it appears to be making an early appearence (notice how i refrained from using the word ‘manifesting’) in our community.

    The Revolution is Coming…

    we’ve had enough of this 1%er bull shit.

    it’s no surprise that Burning Man is the Front Lines.

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  • Swagmeister says:

    I’m glad BM is acknowledging that these issues exist.

    I’m heavily involved in the BM art scene, working on multiple projects each year. All the burners I know put so much blood, sweat, tears, time and money into creating these large-scale, expensive projects for the enjoyment of all. We work our asses off for half the year building and fundraising, and bust our butts on-playa doing builds. Nobody’s getting paid except sometimes in distributed tickets.

    The same is true for all the heavy-duty participants—DPW, the theme camps, art cars, and artists that actually MAKE BM what it is. Of course, we do it because we love it, but the net result is that lots of people volunteer tons of manhours and spend tons of their own money to create the BM experience.

    I find it extremely problematic that VIP camps don’t contribute to the experience but then turn around and reap a KILLING PROFIT off the backs of the real participants’ hard work.

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  • Dave says:

    I’m totally confused by the people shouting Bravo to the BORG for addressing these issues….When there was a run on tickets to the event and people were trying to figure out where all the tickets went–or how there seemed to be no tickets in the STEP program…they didn’t come forward and let us know that they had given huge amount of tickets to donors or TK camps. When evidence came forward from people brought out to BM to work for TK camps and experienced hardships, they didn’t come forward. When some of these large camps literally left their shit behind in piles on the playa…the Org didn’t step forward. They are only coming forward now because of the information that has been released. And they are not ahead of the game…they are playing catch-up. They still haven’t even acknowledged that any of this exists. They say that they are trying to fix a problem that they haven’t even admitted to.

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  • dunadan says:

    Some of those questions were already answered long time ago by the community. BMorg just finally decided to issue this statement, that comes actually very late, without even addressing any core issue at all.
    I think it is quite lame that having proof of the preferential treatment for turkney camps, BMorg hasn’t openly accepted that but just kept evading the issue. They are definitely looking for the best ways to solve this, and they might do very well if they had a more opened and communicative attitude; welcome ideas and hold transparent discussions and deliberations with all the community that in fact, builds Burning Man.

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  • Chris M says:

    It seems some people on the board would rather have poorly thought-out answers to the questions, rather than ones that try to gather research, opinions and collaborative thoughts.

    News Flash: You don’t get to define Burning Man. The *entire* community does. And that involves investigation and actual thought, not pissy comments on the board.

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  • Squachek says:

    “Moving Toward Effective Solutions!” Hopefully this is a deep dive come-to-Jesus that will proactively leverage crowdsourced skillsets to create a paradigm shift that pushes the envelope and enables robust sustainable client-centric win-wins.

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  • simon of the playa says:

    Dave.

    i’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

    i’m going to reserve final judgment until the “reforms” are rolled out.

    i have been ranting and raving and yelling and screaming for over 2 months now.

    now, i’m going to wait until they unveil the “plan”.

    g*d help them though if they fuck this up….the villagers are sharpening their pitchforks, and are heating the tar and collecting the feathers.

    quite frankly, if i was JT, i’d never set foot in BRC ever again, unless a full nude, mea culpa, and free tickets for everyone next year was given as a gift to the community…maybe some cocaine, but i digress.

    so here it is, the chance for the BMORG to drop trou, and show us what they got….

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  • Steve Johannes says:

    Unfortunately I think that BM has fallen victim to the mainstream. Just like every other festival out there. Glad I experienced it back in the day….but no more

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  • Dave says:

    Chris M, I don’t think you are reading the questions clearly. They are pretty much yes or no answers.

    Did they make blocks of tickets available specially to TK camps? They either did or didn’t. How much research do you think they have to do to figure out that answer? How many opinions do they need to solicit? How much collaborative thought needs to come into play here?

    Please believe that BORG made some thought through decisions when they made these allowances for camps. Do you really think there needs to be weeks of research gathering to come up with a well-thought out answer? Actually, that is the problem…they are spending all this time trying to figure out ways to spin this so that they don’t have to come clean. An honest answer takes a moment because it requires no reflection. A lie takes a much longer time to try to cover up.

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  • Jose Holiday says:

    Exactly how long does it take to sugarcoat misconduct?

    In interviews members of the board stated that it was important for affluent people to attend the event in order for them to spread the burning man message farther.

    my translation of that message is
    Rich people are more important than most because they have money, not because they have a set plan for anything that happens after the event

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  • Swagmeister says:

    People need to stop seeing this as a class issue. There are plenty of long-time burners who also happen to be rich, who build and fund projects and are super involved. I also don’t care how you choose to camp or eat as long as you participate.

    The problem is that the Commodification Camps, by their nature, don’t participate. They don’t have public frontage or public events. They don’t encourage participation, and they bring in people who paid for and expect VIP treatment and an experience handed to them on a silver platter.

    The biggest problem of all is that BMorg allows this to happen, seemingly operating under a 2-tier system. Many Commodification Camps don’t have public frontage or provide a public service yet still get placement. They essentially scalp their tickets for THOUSANDS of dollars, and yet are seemingly able to purchase tickets through the backdoor when the event is sold out. Regular camps and art projects are penalized for not following rules (see: Pee Funnel Camp, Pier Group), but these Commodification camps openly flaunt them and face no accountability.

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  • dorne pentes says:

    Honestly, I’m new to this debate but what I’m reading makes me very suspicious and sad about BMORG. –I agree with the angry folks– BMORG needs to admit they screwed up and stop the practice immediately. BMORG if you want to maintain this culture and are true to your principles, you will admit your mistakes, fire that dude off the board, and stop it now.

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  • Squachek says:

    There have ALWAYS been affluent people at the Burn. Until recently, those people were also radically self-reliant. When we all rely on each other for survival, it puts us all on the same level.

    This BORG representative named “Larry Harvey” explained it best 10 years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCKow5RaLNI

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  • Celeste says:

    @Will Chase, it’s pretty clear that the community does not find this to be a complicated issue. The only way this could be a complicated issue is if the Org is trying to find ways to spin the answers and not be completely honest and if they plan to continue doing things that the community has made clear they are not happy about and want to find further ways to hide what they have been and plan to continue doing. As has already been stated by other people, the majority of these questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. So answer them and state, we know you are going to be angry about these answers and are trying to figure out how to fix it, because it’s the fixing the problem that isn’t necessarily simple. Actually, fixing it could be simple. Even the playing field and stop giving Commodification camps (because calling them turnkey is just trying to hide what is really going on) preferential treatment. This means no treatment like a theme camp, no EA passes, no distributed tickets unless they actually are a theme camp. And all the Commodification camps from this past year should be denied theme camp privileges for next year and not beplaced, get no EA passes and no distributed tickets.

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  • loupiote says:

    Disallow RV’s and generators, and Turnkey Camps will magically disappear!

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  • Celeste says:

    @Will Chase, I also want to clarifty that the only way it makes sense for this to impact internal process is specifically because the Org plans to try and find a way to keep doing. Otherwise the only impact on internal processes would be that some of them wouldn’t be done anymore. How is stopping doing some so complicated?

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  • This Guy says:

    This isn’t a “complicated” issue. This shouldn’t even be an issue.

    Preferential treatment for turnkey rich-kid camps should NOT exist. They should be on a totally even playing field. If Bob Richguy wants to organize 50 RVs for him and his closest friends with absolutely no interactive elements in his camp, he should not be let in early to claim space, or have reserved space anywhere, or have preferential ticket treatment, or access to handicapped golf carts, or anything like that. I honestly don’t give a damn if Bob Richguy brings himself and 100 awful people who are just there to get high and ride segways to and from Robot Heart. I give a damn that you guys have been caught giving preferential special treatment to these camps. I give a damn that JT was obviously guilty and he should have known better. I give a damn that I go out there and bust my ass for weeks to build a city, for free (for the most part, other than a comped ticket because I give up my entire burn to build), and you are commodifying my work and selling it for a high price. I give a huge damn that the people who SHOULD know better at the ones perpetuating this.

    This is disgusting obfuscation, and you’re going to sweep it under the rug like you did in 2012 with that horrible ten minute video where the PlayaSkool guy was like “Yeah, well, we want people to be able to come to burning man, do no work, pay me huge amounts of money, and then let me write it all off on my taxes,” in a nutshell. It shouldn’t take months to write out an answer or even start a discussion.

    Shame on you. Shame on every single one of you.

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  • Queeny/Hugz says:

    I’m truly sad that the BMorg can’t be honest enough to just admit they F’d up so we can change the “how” and move on.

    Without making changes to address the underlying issues here the Burning Man we all have come to know and love will continue to be whittled away.

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  • W. Chase Pleeze... says:

    Hi Will,

    How can I put this? It’s really not that complicated.

    Burning Man was built on the backs of a lot of really smart people. Smart people who jumped through a lot of hoops to create the ongoing experience you and I and everyone else enjoys.

    Now, the subtext of the whole sherpa/tourism fiasco seems to amount to people within BMorg thinking that

    a) there are some really influential people who would like to come to Burning Man but they need things made a little easier for them in order to do so…

    b) it would be really great if they came….

    c) given that well-organized theme camps have always made it somewhat easier for some people to attend, we might as well have fully-catered, off-the-shelf tourism experiences available to the influential, and if the rank and file get pissy about it, well, they’re probably missing the point and failing to recognize that this is all some sort of continuum.

    Rather than asking yourself if there’s a way of messaging this that will beat the radical inclusion drum, please take a minute to ask yourself if you’re actually insulting the intelligence of some reasonable smart people.

    Because that’s how it feels.

    Insulting our intelligence.

    You can read people pointing out that rich/influential/tech-savvy people more or less built this thing into what it is today.

    But doesn’t that basically prove that people in that “influence bracket” can actually participate without the sherpas & special treatment if they really want to that much, because they already have…

    Rather than somehow suggest that we should all be grateful for their “investment” and make way for their Segway-powered comfort-chariots, as some people would suggest?

    I’m guessing you live in San Francisco. And if you do so, you’re familiar with the concept of gentrification.

    Well… as things stand, BMorg is all too often coming across like the landlord who believes that the neighborhood doesn’t really appreciate all that the Artisinal Pickle Store is doing for the ‘hood.

    Tone deaf, and not quite evicting people yet to make space for more Artisinal experiences, but not far off it. Wrong side of history, and all that.

    Of course, when your board prominently features the gentrifiers, and prominently doesn’t feature grass-roots dissenting voices (to the best of our knowledge) what are we to expect?

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  • This Guy says:

    I’ll answer your questions for you, even, using the latest available information! Here we go! It’s 6:54pm right now…

    Is the Burning Man organization profiting off turnkey camps?
    – Not necessarily, there are indications the camp(s) didn’t even break even, but the attempt was there to make money. 17,000 for a spot. Someone made money. Probably JT, all things considered.

    How did turnkey camps get all their tickets?
    – Maid Marion at the SoHo house, BMORG members at special rich-kid presentations where they were sold for $650 or more, and that special link via Steve Young that allowed “benefactors” to purchase tickets at scalper inflated prices.

    Do turnkey camps get preferential treatment?
    – Yes, they get EA, a special place to stage their RVs prior to opening (This was very obviously apparent if you were in early or looked at the google map images of early build), the individuals within camps got plenty of handicap placards for whatever they wanted to drive, they got access to as many tickets as they wanted through Steve Yougn, and they even usurped a huge friendly neighborhood at 9:00 and K with placement, and a disgusting mark left on the MOOP map.

    Were people buying blocks of tickets through the Burning Man Project donation ticket program in the days before the event? If so, why?
    – Yes, and because… because BMORG is a sack of hypocritical cash-out money-grubbing folks. At least, that’s the only reason I can see.

    Are turnkey camps undermining the practice of Decommodification and Self-Reliance?
    – Absolutely, and any attempt to spin this any other way is plain and simple BS.

    What is going to happen to the turnkey camps going forward? Is there accountability for poor behavior?

    – Nothing. You’re going to sweep this under the rug. Also, there is no accountability as of right now, seeing as NOTHING HAS HAPPENED.

    6:58pm. Wow, it took four minutes. Hot damn! Not that hard, guys.

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  • bvb says:

    That first sentence is awesome, and is pretty much all you need to read! There is “we” (the bm politburo), and there is “you” (that us, by the way.) It was long, long ago that the self-appointed high priests and priestettes of the playa ossified into their “we” and “them” mindscape. The deification of Harvey by the masses didn’t help things much much.

    The only problem bigger than writing these vapid broadsides of pacification is when the person doing the writing actually believes his or her own press releases. And that’s what we have here, no question.

    It’s time to simply acknowledge what nobody wants to say: bm has become a very large and exotic festival of art and music. The folklore that’s passed off as the principles no longer hold water. It’s an awesome time but it is no longer, and may never have been, what we hoped it was. Kinda sad, really. But the plain truth is as simple and obvious as the desert shadows. The dream of rain died in them, long ago.

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  • Dusty says:

    Think about it, folks – BMORG actually has to make some change here or they run the risk of losing more money than what the turnkey camps generate for them. It takes time to change the rules, so be patient. That being said – keep making noise and causing a stir, because that is what is forcing them to address this issue.

    Put yourself in BMORG’s shoes for a moment – if the true Burners don’t feel that the problem is being addressed effectively, then they may take matters into their own hands. As someone mentioned earlier – Angry Villagers. There is a very real risk that turnkey camps could be targeted at future burns unless they are forced to change their approach. It may not be in the form of pitchforks and lynchings, but I’m sure that a few unpleasant words and gestures could be exchanged on the playa, and this could snowball into something worse if you add a few hours of heat and mind bending substances. It becomes a matter of public safety.

    BMORG now have to come up with a way of making new rules or guidelines that keep everybody happy. They don’t have a choice any more. It won’t happen with a simple answer of “yes” or “no” to the questions that have been raised. That will only make people more angry; it won’t solve the problem. But something big will have to change before the next burn, or they might have the beginnings of a revolution in their midst.

    One of the greatest a strengths and also greatest vulnerabilities of Burning Man is that it is an ‘event’ largely created by the participants. Most of the turnkey and Safari camps contribute very little to the event itself – they are merely spectators. The true Burners run a majority of the festival and that’s what keeps the money rolling in. It is in the BMORG’s best interests to look after the majority – the core participants. If they don’t, then they will have some real difficuties to face.

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  • Dragnet says:

    If the organization can not answer those questions, how is that effectively running the event? It would seem impossible that they don’t know those answers. If they don’t, that makes the leadership inept. Since we are aware that they are not, then do what you did with the ticketing fiasco and state your plan with no pr spin. I don’t need an apology just a solution. As an earlier century burner, I accept change as reality, but would hope the founding integrity of participation and equality would persist. I am pissed but optimistic.

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  • KICK JIM TANNENBAUM OFF THE BOARD says:

    Still no answer to another question….Why haven’t you kicked Jim Tannenbaum off the board of Burning Man? As many know (and if you don’t, you should…that Jim Tannenbaum is on the board of BM and also was the head of the Caravansicle camp….yes, the camp that was completely counter to the spirit of BM and was a home for VIP exclusivity…and also, left one of the worst messes on the playa ever. And HE is on the board? No wonder it is taking weeks and weeks for you to come up with an answer. Because you have allowed corruption into the organization. People here should rally and protest that Jim Tannenbaum be kicked off the BM board. Yes, we can’t decide who gets to go to BM or not…but if someone with such reckless regard for what the event is all about, is one of the main people making decisions about the direction of BM–what hope is there?

    And yes, Burners are lovely, lovely people…but they are also some of the strongest that I’ve ever met and the most protective of this event. I can imagine that Turn Key camps will be on the receiving end of a lot of anger at BM next year.

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  • KICK JIM TANANBAUM OFF THE BOARD says:

    Sorry, it is Tananbaum…and there is a petition to get him to resign. Please sign if you are so inclined.

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/jim-tananbaum-should-resign-from-the-board-of

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  • Leo says:

    Just call it like it is: Commodification is the new Burning Man. It appears that the BMORG earns extra revenue from the safari/commodification camps. The VIP “donation ticket” program reeks and shows a lack of integrity when the event is technically “sold out”.

    If the BMORG continues to commodify Burning Man, then DON’T VOLUNTEER. The BMORG should pay at least minimum wage to all of the employees that would be doing the work of the volunteers. This would include DPW, Rangers, Temple Guardians, Post Office, Airport, Center Camp, Greeters, Lamp Lighters, Arctica, and the other hundreds of folks that make this event the success that it is. The BMORG should follow all Nevada labor laws, including a 40 hour work week, overtime pay for work beyond 40 hours, worker’s compensation, etc.

    It seems like the BMORG wants it both ways: Having a wildly profitable event with plenty of free labor.

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  • Patrick (Buff Sanitized) says:

    I’m sure it’s a complicated issue in some ways and not at all complicated in other ways. There’s certainly uncomplicated responses that could be put forth by the BMORG — and we’re still waiting for those.

    Some of this will most likely never be fully seen from either side, seeing as one side uses different language than the other. Maybe we should clarify that. Personally, I think “commodification camps” identifies more directly what so many of us seem to be so concerned about. “Turn Key” allows for a little more wiggle room. So can we address the commodification camps please?

    I, too, am waiting for the BMORG to step up and truly, substantially respond.

    I think THIS GUY said it well –
    “I honestly don’t give a damn if Bob Richguy brings himself and 100 awful people who are just there to get high and ride segways to and from Robot Heart (I LOL’d at that, Ed/Patrick). I give a damn that you guys have been caught giving preferential special treatment to these camps. I give a damn that JT was obviously guilty and he should have known better. I give a damn that I go out there and bust my ass for weeks to build a city, for free (for the most part, other than a comped ticket because I give up my entire burn to build), and you are commodifying my work and selling it for a high price. I give a huge damn that the people who SHOULD know better at the ones perpetuating this.”

    So, sure, it’s complicated. Maybe. But radio silence gives the impression that “it’s complicated” really only means “we’re circling our wagons and figuring a way out of this mess.”

    I echo the concerns of so many others here and I think it’s appropriate and fair for us to expect more forthright answers from the BMORG.

    Speaking of the BMORG, why in the hell is JT still on it? Hell, you should cut that dude just for PR sake. A move like that might make some of us hold our pitchforks with a little less intensity.

    Maybe.

    We’re waiting… Hopefully the next move by the BMORG won’t be just more of these non-response responses. And, BMORG, you’re already taking too long.

    Move.

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  • Stephanie Firefly Smith says:

    How very “politician” of you to answer the questions with restating the questions. At least we know that you’re listening and aware that our community is feeling a little bit like we’re being lied to, past by when it comes to acquiring tickets and like these newer “participants” are not being held accountable for upholding the ten principles or “participating” . Burning Man means a lot of things to a lot of people, but there has always been this underlying theme throughout the whole experience amongst its participants: community. I’ve said it before in other forums and I will say it again here because I think this piece is so very important. When the turnkey camps put walls up and bouncers at their entrances they are excluding everyone without a special wrist band from enjoying their company at their camp. They cannot be lumped with the theme camps for this reason alone. Our camp, Tarwater, struggles every year to meet the standards of a theme camp and brings a bowling alley, zombie garden, glow light bean bags, solar light maze, rat art car, clothing exchangr boutique and OURSELVES to share with the WHOLE community. This is Burning Man. A shit ton of hard work and planning all year so we can get back home to be with our Burning Man family and share what we’ve worked on with everyone. Maybe allow the turnkey camps, but they should definitely not be considered theme camps unless they make some DRASTIC changes. Burning Man changed my life and I just don’t want to see the community turn into a place where there are more “off limits” areas bringing my mind back to the default world where I have to pass on certain “areas” due to their expensive food or merchandise. A true community is open and ready to share (stories, food or whatever). Wristband entry ways, bouncers, fences, private art cars, pre decorated bikes, everything just provided for these participants just makes me feel like they aren’t “participating” in the way burners are meant to maybe…

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  • Barry says:

    My first BM was in 1999. It was a fly into Reno Friday, rent car, drive to Playa and join friends even.. I had little idea what to expect and wanted to know for futures. The feeling of wonder and imagination, the feeling of being on the edge of culture created ad hoc….the imagination. It was amazing….even freezing in the car at night w/o even a sleeping bag.
    Projects and camps had a full on hand made feel.
    Following years we experienced the sparkle ponies and spectators but the culture has changed. 20k people became almost 70k people. White outs went from a rare but exciting event to the norm as dust was loosened up by all the feet. Creativity became better funded but projects became seemingly fewer.
    The idea that a group could buy access and isolate themselves encamped among the poor is NOT BM. BM is way to large now and lost a big part of what was raw and fun. I missed 12, 13 and returned 14 to see it even less interesting than what made me miss the prior 2 years. For the first time I will likely miss the ticket purchase.
    BM people can be very ragged and coarse…part of the charm I can tolerate…but the all contribute…we don’t need a privileged class.

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  • The Goat says:

    http://burners.me/2014/09/05/plug-n-play-goes-all-the-way-to-the-top-of-the-pyramid/

    Long article, but a very interesting one none the less.

    The first time I posted this, it was never approved by the moderator. According to their comment policy, this should be posted as it does not violate any other their rules.

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  • JK says:

    @Will Chase:

    Greetings Will, and thank you for your engagement in this…mess.

    You recently stated:

    ****************

    “@Pervo and @TT120: I totally understand your frustration, but it’s a very complicated issue. Any decisions we make will affect a whole host of established internal processes and the people who run them. These need to be carefully thought through and worked out with a number of different departments to ensure that what we do is actually workable and effective.”

    ************

    I want to thank you very much for the bit of insight you provided above. You have provided a project-level mission statement, which is greatly appreciated.

    Would you please also be able to commit, on behalf of the org and any attendant, related parties (under the filed legal structure) will (upon request) provide full minutes of any further discussions regarding the matter of camp placement and possible price-based preferential treatment to this BLM-permitted event? Just looking for some transparency here, ya know.

    Thanks again for all that you do, and I look forward to your response.

    – JK

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  • ~lancho! says:

    Man, this conversation seriously needs a “like” button! Come on guys….. someone give Mark a call and ask him to get his peeps on it!

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  • sparkleBrony says:

    What kind of leverage do we have that we can use to persuade the BMOrg to behave the way we would like? Are we even trying to persuade them?

    Or is this like one of those situations where someone is dropping cigarette butts on the playa and we say, “it would be nice if you didn’t do that” and they say, “fuck off, I’ll burn how I want to” and we shrug and walk away because it’s not worth it to fight over cigarette butts?

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  • Cranston says:

    Prediction: new rules will be laid out ensuring that the only people who can make a profit off the gifted art and volunteer labor of the event are the BORG. Until we get real financial transparency, we’re all being taken advantage of. The LLC/project/decommodification shell game needs to stop.

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  • JK says:

    Fuck Yer Burn still works for me. All I really care about is that we all have an equal opportunity for a hall pass to BRC.

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  • No, It's Not That Complicated says:

    I’m just curious to know, if this blog post written with a straight face. It practically feels like a pot-stirring prank.

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  • Bottom Line says:

    The Bottom Line is-
    Of course the BM org knows about the questions, this is their blog.

    The Bottom Line is-
    if this was a mistake and the BMorg felt bad about things they would be gushing, they are not.

    The Bottom Line is-
    by NOT ANSWERING months of questions indicates
    YES burning man has changed and will now a a big time profit event.

    The Bottom Line is-
    If you are not smart enough to see the hand writing on the walls then you are not paying attention. The BMorg is giving the OK to make money on burning man.

    The Bottom Line is-
    It is time to rake in the money on BM,
    the BMorg is raking in piles of money and so should you.

    If you operate the right way there is nothing wrong with
    making $100,000 at burning man in 2015 and $500,000 in 2016.

    Having fun and making money, the BMorg is doing it and so should you.

    PS
    But of course remember, just like taking pictures at BM and setting up off-Playa BM events, the BMorg owns your ass on their turf and they will expect a piece of of the profit from “your action” just like in the default world, just like mafia underlings kick money up to the big boss, just like drug dealers/whore house operators pay bribes to the Police to run their operations, just like Lobbyist pay bribes to politicians to “get things done”… you will have to pay off Larry and BMorg to operate on their turf.
    Just like all deals with the devil, there is a price to pay.

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  • Bottom Line says:

    “potential erosion of our culture” in exchange for the potential of huge profits.

    TO HELL WITH THE PRINCIPLES, THERE IS MONEY TO BE MADE!!!

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  • Say Twat? says:

    I think it was said best above. ” It’s an awesome time but it is no longer, and may never have been, what we hoped it was.” That doesn’t mean the idea is not worth fighting for. I just wish we didn’t have to fight for it at Burning Man like we do in life after Burning Man. Perhaps we will be seeing a guerrilla occupy movement art piece next year. Say around 9:00 & K?

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  • JV says:

    @Will, you wrote:

    “Any decisions we make will affect a whole host of established internal processes and the people who run them. These need to be carefully thought through and worked out with a number of different departments to ensure that what we do is actually workable and effective.”

    The theme camp registration and placement process, as well as disallowing commodification of the Burning Man experience, was pretty workable for almost 20 years. Rolling back to that iteration shouldn’t be so hard, unless the BMORG is worried about upsetting certain folks who maybe decided to join the board of a certain non-profit in exchange for preferential treatment? I don’t know, I’m just spitballing here.

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  • Notrich says:

    Synopsis by This Guy nailed it.

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  • Marlin Fitzwater says:

    How much longer can you stretch this ‘COMING SOON’ “its complicated” “moving parts” bullshit ?

    its been over a month.

    it isnt that complicated… nothing is.

    im just waiting for some response that says “MISTAKES WERE MADE”

    ..sheez.

    are you taking your PR advice from BRIDGESTONE?

    y’all are just looking incompetent.. looking like youve got something to hide.

    oh, it takes a while to tell the entire infrastructure built up around these for-profit camps that none important of the customers fuckin want that shit? ….yea, i bet it does.

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  • Kate says:

    THANK YOU!! From myself, and hopefully on behalf of thousands, I’d like to thank everyone who has been and still are, posting, blogging, yelling, screaming, etc… asking these questions and demanding answers! I have been dreaming of BRC for years! I finally quit my job to do all these things I’ve always wanted, walk around gifting for fun, bonding with people just like me, people who follow the 10 principles year round and did it/do regardless of BM. Instead of my altruistic fantasy land I walked around picking up more trash than I could hold and witnessing worse hipocracy than I have to fight everyday in Kansas politics. Yep, no escape to paradise in BRC, which wouldn’t have been so, So, SO very depressing had I not felt like I was spoon fed a bunch of bull shit by the founders. If you want to run BM for profit, fine, you created it, but don’t lie about it and sell it like you actually believe in the 10 principals. It’s obvious you don’t, and quite frankly, I’m not sure you ever did!
    Leo, JK, well to many to name, but thank you for fighting hard to make BM what it should be, what I hope it will be!! What else can we do to make a difference!?

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  • Andrew B says:

    I hope that the ORG realizes that as long as Jim Tannenbaum is on the board, we won’t trust a thing you say.

    You broke the ticket rule for not selling above retail, burners have been barred for this. this is a breach of trust. You sold tickets to the wealthy while the rest of us waited patiently for an e-mail from STEP. You stabbed us in the back.

    You have lost a lot of our trust and your continued spin to try and make us open our arms to the commodification camps is insulting. JT must be removed from the board, his continued existence there is a conflict of interest, and as i mentioned, we will have a difficult time believing anything you’ve said while he has a seat. The issues must be addressed truthfully, with an understanding of what we already know.

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  • JK says:

    @NINTC:

    No snark here at all. Camp placement is currently a big topic within the Burner community. I jumped in after lurking in the threads post-Burn.

    I think we all need an equal opportunity to be in BRC for the Burn, which is the general tone of this and related threads. We rely on the Org to do the right thing and are looking for candid, transparent engagement from the powers that be.

    Hope you get yourself educated and chime in as a concerned BRC citizen :)

    – JK

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  • Janet K Sprout says:

    Squachek wrote:

    “Moving Toward Effective Solutions!” Hopefully this is a deep dive come-to-Jesus that will proactively leverage crowdsourced skillsets to create a paradigm shift that pushes the envelope and enables robust sustainable client-centric win-wins.

    Squachek: Larry says to tell you to come in tomorrow; they’re creating a position for you on the PR team.

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  • Darwin says:

    I have been burning for the last 10 years. I have always told my friends to go soon because something this good cannot last forever. I have never known what the end would look like but I suspected that someday it would simply self-destruct. It seems that that may be the case now if these issues are not addressed with clarity and firmness.

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  • Meri Go'Rabbit says:

    Maybe it’s time for BMORG to re-read their own Mission Statement:

    “The touchstone of value in our culture will always be immediacy: experience before theory, moral relationships before politics, survival before services, roles before jobs, embodied ritual before symbolism, work before vested interest, participant support before sponsorship.” – Burning Man Mission Statement on this very website.

    Somebody is obviously making sweet *bank* off these turnkey camps and somebody else within BMORG is helping them do this. You might think, well hell this is capitalism right?! But isn’t BM now a non-profit? Aren’t non-profits run by certain rules of governance and transparency?

    So many questions….

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  • Bam Bam says:

    Limit RVs. I’ve been burning since 2000 with and without theme camps and always use a tent. Yes, we had a guy who would bring an RV for some years…and he also helped build the man and center camp! RVs should be allowed but limited inside the ring to only a small % of the space given to real theme camps. NO RVs allowed outside theme camps. Build a yurt if you want climate control.

    If ‘we’ need to include turnkey camps (commodification camps), put them outside the ring… far, far outside the ring. Call it a ‘spectator’ area. Put them by the utility area or by the airport. They can have all the RVs and generators and service entrances they could ever want.

    This goes for any ‘hotel’ style rentals too. If you can’t build it in the space available after the gate opens for everyone, you need to be placed in the ‘spectator’ area.

    We need to think of simple solutions where we can coexist, in some form or another.

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  • Peace says:

    Thank you for acknowledging that you have heard us. Now please show you are listening. Remember when you said you were gifting the event to the community? Well we accept. Please don’t make decisions without us. If it is our event, we should have a say. As you work through this, why not setup an online town hall where community members can ask questions, get answers, and participate in the solution. I’m sure one of those billionaires could set that up for you. Hopefully you now understand what would happen if you come back with platitudes or spin. You have created a very smart monster.

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  • Peace says:

    Folks, let’s not make this about anything but an equal playing field and not our personal ideas of how the perfect burner burns. I’m keeping my banger RV.

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  • fri-'net-ik says:

    Good comments everybody! It’s good to see so many different ideas.

    I’m another ’99er with 13 visits to BRC (that’s 4 months on the playa) and placed since 2008 in a very privileged place. Those are my credentials, and here’s my opinion.

    I’m really hazy on exactly what defines a turnkey camp as opposed to what I’ve seen over the years. I hate RVs with a passion and think they’re antithetic to radical self-reliance. However, I know there are artists who have been on the playa for weeks before me building large scale art who just want to chill for the event week. So I accept that they should be allowed. You’re complaining about turnkey camps now? In 2004 we camped on A and ended up directly across from a block-long RV wall. And that was the first year shit service was offered so we got to smell their shit being sucked every other day. You want to talk about things ruining the event? Why was commercial RV service started? But that was 2004 and hey, guess what? I’ll bet the majority of people weren’t even around to notice, but BRC still rose and fell and different people kept coming and there were more and more RVs. So I don’t really care if a turnkey camp has a wall of RVs – there are plenty of regular assholes who use them that way.

    Also – how many of you spent your first year building your camp from scratch and tearing it all down at the end? If you didn’t, then why weren’t you considered a turnkey resident and shunned out of hand? Did you pay camp dues to be part of a more experienced camp? Then how was what you did different from hiring a sherpa? How many of you who spent your first year like that and came back the next year fully prepared to participate and volunteer and build? How many of the well-off turnkey folks do you think caught the bug and are already working on sinking their resources into a phenomenal art structure?

    I hear there was a camp that made an unholy mess. Why is Root Society still welcome after years of being in the red, then? As I understand it Disturbia was kicked out in 99 or 00 for repeated red-level MOOP map offenses after many years as a landmark village. Why was this year the greenest MOOP map ever if all these virgins and turnkeys aren’t respecting probably the most important principle of LNT? You can’t point at one and say they’re all like that, because they don’t know each other and didn’t make a plan together to do it. If these are placed camps and they do that, don’t welcome them back.

    How exactly is commodification defined? How much did you spend at Wal-mart in Fernley or Reno? I know a lot of you are because it shows in the tax boost in these cities around the event. How much did you spend on your vehicle, your RV, your costumes, gas, plane tickets, etc.? How many of you stripped and/or covered the corporate logos on your clothes, your backpack, your rented RV, your moving van? Did you know that if you didn’t you were advertising for commodities? Burning Man’s principle of decommodification has always just been shifting the consumerism to pre-event. But hey, it’s just a principle, not a rule, right? And I challenge you to tell me a way this can possibly be avoided. That’s why I laugh at people who welcome me “home” – it’s one of the most important things in my life, but there aren’t the quantity or appropriate gifts to make it sustainable as a home.

    And if Burning Man hasn’t always been populated through commodification, then why was the year with the most and best art I’ve seen on the esplanade in 2000, when dot-commers were driving Ferraris and all of Silicon Valley emptied out to the playa? And why was it so barren in 2003 when I finally made it back and nobody had any money any more? You can thank the BRAF and the Burning Man partial ticket sales price for leveling that out, and now you can also thank the early ticket buyers for donating so much to these institutions.

    So there. I could say more, but this at least skims proving the fact that Burning Man has always had turnkey camps and commodification. And there goes Black Rock City but for the grace of us participants each year.

    I’m also a little confused about how a non-profit can be greedily profit-based. I don’t know much about non-profits, but the name suggests that it isn’t going to try to make a profit off of you. Larry used to say that Burning Man wasn’t non-profit, it was no-profit. And then there got to be a profit for 10 years and he and the borg went non-profit. And the ticket prices are lower now than they were in the ’00s.

    My only problem is the possible rigging of the ticket system. Except for my camp’s, because we put the planning and effort into being a theme camp. How are theme camp directed tickets all that different from turnkey directed tickets?

    Anyway, my most important question:
    Do you think an EMP would destroy a Segway’s balancing computers? Can you direct an EMP like you can explosives or a gun? How many watts would it take vs distance from the Segway? Because I’d hate to get caught slashing the tires of parked ones.

    Kidding! I used to ride a chainsaw-engine scooter until I was shamed into turning it into something that looked more creative. Can we shame the able-bodied Segway riders into dressing things up a bit so they don’t look like such tools, er, spectators?

    LOTS of rhetorical questions here because there’s little chance I’ll make it back on this blog post and scroll this far down. I just find questions more thought-provoking and easier to get a point across with fewer words. Unfortunately, I also won’t see anybody pointing out where I got it wrong here, so if you see problems with my post then you can rest confident in the fact that you’re more educated about one thing or another than me. If you find me on-playa or elsewhere, this is a favorite topic of conversation for me. Just don’t hit me – I think I almost got decked by a couple clear virgins for asking them not to MOOP and not to park their fucking bike on our sign.

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  • JK says:

    @AllY’All

    Fuck Yer Burn

    It can’t last forever :)

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  • Woolf says:

    BOTTOM LINE: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS DEFAULT CAMP. EVERYTHING THAT EXISTS OUTSIDE, EXISTS INSIDE. When hierarchy, such as the one which controls whether this post appears publicly or not, determines reality, what we’re witnessing is the matrix of social constructionism working the way it always has. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS DEFAULT CAMP. When we make the change in our daily lives, we’ll make the change at BM as well.

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  • Woolf says:

    “As long as the realm of necessity remains a social dream, dreaming will remain a social necessity.”

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  • Woolf says:

    I agree with BAM BAM. I also need several comment boxes to clear my mind. I apologize, but I am not sorry.

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  • Marlin Fitzwater says:

    “BMORG is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies; and this lie slips from its mouth: “I, the BMORG, am BRC.”

    It is a lie! It was creators who created BRC, and hung a faith and a love over it: thus they served BRC.

    The BMORG lies in all the tongues of good and evil; and whatever it says it lies; and whatever it has it has stolen.

    Everything in the BMORG is false; it bites with stolen teeth, and bites often. It is false down to its bowels.

    See how BMORG entices them to BRC, the all-too-many! How it swallows and chews and rechews them!

    “In BRC there is nothing greater than I: I am the governing hand of God.”- thus roars the monster.

    You became weary of conflict, and now your weariness serves the new idol!

    It will give everything to you, if you worship it, the new idol: thus it buys the lustre of your virtue, and the glance of your proud eyes.

    Through you it seeks to seduce the all-too-many!

    Behold the BM PROJECT BOARD! They acquire wealth and become the poorer for it. They seek power, and the lever of power, much money- these impotent ones!

    See them clamber, these nimble apes! They clamber over one another, and thus pull each other into the mud and the abyss.”

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  • JK says:

    @Larry Harvey:

    Hi Larry,

    I am sure someone has made you aware of the discord among the Natives by this juncture. I have two questions for you, presented via this public post:

    1. Have you ever said to someone “Fuck Yer Burn” (either on-Playa, or off); and

    2. Do you agree that transparency in event ticket allocation is important to long-time Burners?

    Any thoughts you might provide are greatly appreciated.

    Have a great evening,

    – JK

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  • fri-'net-ik says:

    Woolf – “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS DEFAULT CAMP. When we make the change in our daily lives, we’ll make the change at BM as well.” Exactly. Well put, and a different way of looking at what I believe.

    And I forgot to mention that I’m trying to get on the DPW team next year. You can find me there. And if you’re interested in chatting about anything I said before then, then shoot an email to frinetik@yahoo.com

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  • fri-'net-ik says:

    Oh, and if you’re interested, here’s what happens when you keep going. Resist the addiction! My wife and I spent probably $10,000 this year, and we already had the dome and panels.

    1999: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60396646@N00/2572006534/in/set-72157605561823478

    The van I bought in 2008 solely for Burning Man, sits idle for the other 50 weeks a year: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarafuller/15230491436/in/set-72157647597924506

    The front of our dome (3V 3/4″ conduit that we built in my 1br 5th floor apartment with individual grommeted and sewn triangle panels that each took about half an hour to measure cut grommet and sew): https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarafuller/15066963317/in/set-72157647597924506

    I guess this kinda gives away who I am, but I don’t think I’ve said anything inflammatory. Here’s one of our carports with homemade fabric panels and the playatech.com furniture and sign I built and one of my campmates painted: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarafuller/15067595197/in/set-72157647597924506

    And in case you care since I’ve already given myself away, here I am: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarafuller/15254147985/in/set-72157647597924506

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  • Vincent says:

    I don’t care if P Diddy is coming next year or not. As long as we get to see a video of him personally hammering the bman website when presale starts.

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  • TMTATC says:

    Reading certain posts here, a vision popped into my head.
    Law enforcement officers surrounding the lifeless monolithic RV walled for profit commodification camps, guarding them from pranksters and protesters. Ah yes, the police guarding the interests of the .1-.01% right there in BRC just like defaultia, how special.

    Hey at least the the rest of us out there could relax a bit with a few less of those absolutist, intrusive, hyper letter of the law, police state LEOs snooping around.

    BMORG, the only reason you are saying responding to this is issue is “complicated” is simply because you want to have your profit, er, cake and eat it too. Saying this is blatant obfuscation. Please open your minds and and reflect on what you truly want for this grand and largely successful over the years experiment to be, and where you want it to go in the future.
    It is not virgins, it is not the exploitation/commodification camps that are ruining the event, it is you the BORG that is. Only you can ruin it, or nurture it. Just because demand has exceeded ticket supply should not be license to exploit the situation.
    Do the right thing. Please.

    Oh Burning Man, what have you become?

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  • fri-'net-ik says:

    Cranston: http://financials.burningman.com/ – they’ve always been there.

    sparkleBrony: I’ve never gotten into a fight in my adult life, but I think I nearly got hit by a guy I was arguing about whether he should leave his sucker that he didn’t like in somebody else’s art car just because they had an ashtray. I saw the gears turning, that guy wanted to throw a punch, but he would’ve been attacked by a half dozen guys from Mexico City. I don’t want to get hit, but as long as I’m around enough burly enough guys, I’m willing to mouth off at some virgin who needs a little nudging on how to follow LNT.

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  • Gargoyle says:

    This is a huge mess, with the potential to be even bigger (given the dissent amongst leaders of established real theme camps and threats of on-playa protests), but honestly it’s not that hard to fix.

    1) Release an honest statement admitting you fucked up. Admit that these camps were given tickets, ea passes and treatment outside of the normal placement process. Admit that it was wrong.

    2) Promise not to do it again.

    3) Take steps to ensure it CAN’T happen again. Make the ticketing process more transparent, especially STEP. Make the numbers visible so we can see how many tickets are directed where, how many are sold back into step, and more importantly how many are then resold via step to ensure they’re not being siphoned off. You’re a non-profit now (at least as an organisation if not individual board members), everything should be transparent. If something is hidden then give us an honest and reasonable reason.

    4) Level the playing field. The key thing that most of the reasonable posts here want is for the preferential treatment to stop. Treat these camps as you would any other theme camp applying for placement. If necessary, make the placement process more open by allowing placement applications of successful camps to be publicly visible so we can all see what they promised and why they were given placement.

    5) JT should step down from the board. As should any other member who has directly been involved with or profited from any of these camps, but JT has become the figurehead for this problem now and removing him would be a big step towards restoring respect amongst the community.

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  • Mr Reezla says:

    I was a Virgin burner in 2014 who spent a lot of money coming from the UK after years of wanting to attend. I was by no means a “festival” virgin though. Over the years I have regularly attended many free and paid festivals in the UK from free Stonehenge in the early eighties to small festivals in the wilds of Scotland, so am no newbie to this “sort of thing”. I/we loved BM. It fulfilled and surpassed a lot of my expectations. We lived in a tent met some amazing people (hello Equilibrium) but saw the banks of RVs, excluding and unfriendly camps (one Brit one in particular full of private school educated fuckwits) and had a camp behind us full of rich ripped dudes who were not interested in engaging with us/anyone in any way. That has to be expected but reading through the comments here I am having the cosy, warm and fuzzy glow created by the vast majority of amazing people knocked out of me by hearing that people on the board are making huge profits from people who do not contribute, engage, create, share, be burners in any way shape or form and then walk away from all of their shit. That is unforgiveable. Heads need to roll…

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  • Chef Master Sway says:

    If it quacks like a duck… then is shits like a duck… and a duck doesn’t care about moop.
    You all know the answer to this question… So just follow the Ten Principles concept if you don’t… And even then…

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  • Philip says:

    Someone asked, “what is the difference between a theme camp and a turnkey camp”? Well in my experience during Caravansicle the difference is that theme camps don’t advertise for paid help at a kiosk on 9th and K, and generally theme camps offer some kind of interactive experience to the community in general rather than to their paying customers exclusively. The folks who pay for turnkey camps are consumers pure and simple.

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  • Philip says:

    Fri-net-ik says, in a nutshell, if we can’t have our privilege you can’t have our money.

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  • Robyn says:

    Hey BMORG! You are running a non-profit operation. When the IRS finds out how Jim Tannenbaum profited from this mess, you won’t have the luxury of these phony delays. You better be working hard to come up with a good excuse for this.

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  • Lost and Disgusted says:

    OH BURNING MAN!!! WE DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU ANY MORE!!!

    Weeping thinking of all of the time and effort we have given you, and
    now you turn out to be something completely different than you claimed.

    We trusted you and you have betrayed us.

    Telling us that you understand how that have betrayed us does not help at all.

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  • Jason says:

    Artists can’t profit from the work they’re knocking themselves out to build for free. Burners can’t scalp tickets. Or even get them sometimes. Or get placement. But if you’re a Commodification Camp producer, you can scalp all the tickets you like, and profit from the work that others are building, without all that hassle about pesky “interactivity”.

    The conclusion is obvious. Everyone should become a Commodification Camp producer. Then you can still do whatever it is you love, but get all the tickets you want, guarantee placement, AND make a huge profit.

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  • Nncoxo says:

    Don’t overthink it. Answering the questions without spin will help the dialog.

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  • simon of the playa says:

    Dear Frenetik.

    nice red herring.

    root society huh, you’re gonna pick on root society?

    check their moop map colors fucknut…they’ve done better than all of the other sound camps ESPECIALLY OP TEMP.

    SUCK IT.

    and i’ve been burning since 1996 only missing 2003, so i know my way around the playa.

    your obfuscation and apologies for your own behavior are pathetic.

    yeah, i know what your REAL NAME is, bucko.

    you wanna play tattletale? you wanna point fingers?…lets do it.

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  • simon of the playa says:

    seriously.

    the issues have been well defined, your attempt at semantics wasn’t even amusing.

    nice try though.

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  • Mortician says:

    I hope whatever is put in place also addresses the increase in producers and Commodification Camp leaders claiming in the press that it’s ok for them to have all the bodyguards, wristbands, and private art cars they want because they donated to a art piece or soundcamp. It’s something we see these folks claim time and again when asked to answer on the controversy, and it comes across as though these folks don’t understand the point of gifting. It means you give something – like art, or a famous DJ playing a set- lovingly and thoughtfully to the community with pure intent with no strings attached, not that you throw some money at something big and shiny to placate the masses as a get out of jail free card to dismiss entitled and rude behavior. There is room for improvement in the orgs acculturation efforts with these people if they don’t get this. Gifting, and the point of it, should be explained a little more clearly…

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  • It is time for BMORG to shake up habits and get out of a rut. Are they brave enough? Hold the next BM without the spectacle of burning a man on Saturday. Remove the superficiality of an enormous non interactive audience on Saturday night for one year and see who comes for the participatory experience. This alone could help solve the “problems” of TKs and sparkle ponies and expectations of decline.

    Burning the Man isn’t even consistent with the principles. Is it? It is everything else that is so wonderfully life changing and meaningful. The fire works spectacle gets in the way. I know thoughtful burners who are leaving on Saturday during the day.

    20 years of appreciative experience talking.
    Harvie of Ma’aM the Mammoth

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  • goodoledog says:

    This is unbelievable. You’ve already stated that you had “special meetings” with pug n play camp “producers” it doesn’t appear to me that the ORG is going to brush this under the rug. Why are still even trying? Why don’t you fucktards just come on out and say that you have lost your way and that your so-called principles that you ask us to adhere to no longer mean anything to you any longer.
    I searched HI and LO to find a ticket this year for my first time burner daughter. (18). It was nearly a full time job to to search through the scammers and scalpers. I’m a 10 year participant. I build shit to share the experience with strangers out there. I go to the playa with the strong intention of changing complete strangers lives and I don’t ask for anything in return.
    I WANT TO KNOW HOW THESE SO-CALLED TURN-KEY CAMP “PRODUCERS” GET THEIR TICKETS FOR THEIR MINIONS AND PAID STAFF AND THEIR “CUSTOMERS”. YOU DON’T NEED TO ASK AROUND TO ANSWER THAT AUSTIN HONESTLY CUT THE BULLSHIT NOW.

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  • goodoledog says:

    Let me help you with your bullshit verbage..
    Turnkey camps= plug n play camps are now called COMMODIFICATION CAMPS.

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  • Chef Master Sway says:

    …an interesting chain this blog is… Change breeds new ideas. Followers or participants can either turn it into something better or something messed up. Like when a musician was subversive and then 20 years later their music is on car commercials and their estate is getting royalties. Like when an artist is almost kicked out of a country when they are fresh and then become a “Sir” by the Queen 20 years later. I love what BM is, and after 11 times I am still growing and becoming more engaged. But when ma & pa becomes larger, like corporate, it can still be good, or it can lose its way?

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  • LEMUR says:

    LETS GO TO THE TAPE!!!

    “the most important questions to consider are not those that are most frequently asked: will the Burning Man ethos be absorbed and commodified, exploited by the so-called mainstream; will the identity that we’ve achieved together be perverted into just another branding device? The answer to these questions is a simple and emphatic no! The Project and our regional contacts diligently work to prevent this.” -larry harvey

    “Let community and commerce do their thing freely and naturally within their own contexts. When they exist in an organic rather than a corrupt or artificial relationship, they’ll naturally benefit each other.” -“Zay” (a regional contact)

    “Using the tools of the world, using them, in fact, more efficiently and for a better purpose than the world does isn’t selling out.” -larry harvey

    “it would be too much to expect that we said “you know, well, we’ll make it completely non commercial because that will be the really commercial move here.. we’re gonna bond people to our brand and that’s how we’re gonna….” ..not even rupert murdoch would come up with that idea..” -larry harvey

    “Town & Country Magazine contacted us post-event for photo review and permission. By that time, we had found out that this was not a real Burning Man event, but a product placement story, and we refused permission for Town & Country to publish any photographs from the event. Sadly, they sent the story to press anyway, very much in violation of the photographer’s agreement with Burning Man which prohibited any such publication. Unfortunately, the timing was too short for us to file a lawsuit against them enjoining the publication. That’s what BMHQ does to prevent this type of commodification.” -this blog

    ….oh Larry.. ….oh regional contact person….. youre so out of touch..

    ….and remember when town and country did that thing, and you tried to appeal to us by saying “THATS WHAT THE HQ DOES TO PREVENT COMMODIFICATION!!!” …i.e. threaten lawsuits.

    those times were so cute.

    larry was more on the mark here…

    “As I say, gift giving networks can produce massive amounts of social capital, and the rate of return on social capital is a lot better than the rate of return on normal capital investment in the market world.” -larry harvey 2002

    ..yep,… but what happens when ya lose that social capital?

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  • Breakfast Club says:

    Come on, Clair, answer the question. Answer the question, Clair. It’s just a question. Come on Clair. Clair, just answer the question!

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  • GroupWguy says:

    my wife and i have been trying to get tickets for 3 years now. each year we’ve come up short. it saddens me that the only way we may be able to finnally experience this life changing event is by overpaying and going through a pay-n-play. we are nothing like that type of potiental burners. Just unlucky and incapable of getting tickets the legitimate way.
    explain to me how this is right?

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  • Jason says:

    >”Commodification Camp leaders claiming in the press that it’s ok for them to have all the bodyguards, wristbands, and private art cars they want because they donated to a art piece or soundcamp.”

    As a compromise position, I could probably accept BOrg re-defining “theme camp interactivity” to include something like if your camp is spending “enough” on art, art cars, etc.

    Then put these non-interactive “theme camps” on K street, let their people do whatever (except MOOP!), and let their money donate “services” to the rest of us (art to experience, cars to ride).

    What’s “enough”? Perhaps that you need receipts proving expenses/donations equal to triple whatever you spent on tickets. So if you have 20 tickets valued at $650 each, then you need to donate $39K.

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  • Mama See says:

    I am a 9 year veteran, I don’t belong to a theme camp, and I host a newbie every year so I can spread the BM concept to eager new participants. This year we camped near 7:00 and J. On that corner, we witnessed multiple times, people walking up with suitcases in tow, standing at the intersection looking around for what they were told would be their theme camp. It was obvious they came in on the shuttle and were trying to find their way to camp. On one such occasion there were 3 kids. One of them may have been 18 but not likely, the other two seemed to be siblings or cousins or something but they were at least school age. I sat and watched these kids at the corner looking lost. Then, I decided to approach the kids and ask if they were newbies and if they needed help, I also asked if they were hungry. They were in fact looking for their camp and yes, they were hungry. I convinced them to join us for hotdogs and bottled water as it was lunchtime. We build a good size camp with lots of shade and chairs for guests. We camp on the street so we can engage participants as they pass by. As chatted up these kids, we found out they were virgin burners from New York and they were looking for their parents. We shared our veteran knowledge with them and gave them some necklaces and other BM bling before saying goodbye. After pointing them in the right direction, we never saw them again. What we did see though was time after time, cars full of spectators being driven out of that camp headed out to sight-see. We stopped the cars and informed the occupants about the principles of BM and asked them not to drive. They didn’t know about the rules or expectations of burners. One of those times was shortly after the heavy rain on Monday morning. An SUV, full of spectators in street clothes was driving through the wet playa muck which was lumping in the street in front of our camp. We stopped the SUV and told them not to drive on a wet playa. They acted put-out that we stopped them from their adventure. With heavy accents, they claimed they didn’t know.

    Honestly, if this is the only way for people to be able to have the BM experience, it is up to the Plug-and-Play camp to educate the participants and make sure they become a part of the community and understand our culture. It was sad to witness these people get so close to the experience and not share or become a part of our community. As one of the BM principles of radical inclusion, my suggestion would be to require the plug-and-play camps to BE a part of our community and not be allowed to be a separate and exclusive camp. I say, participants only! And, require these camps to comply! Period!

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  • TMZ says:

    Harley Dubois already answered the question about why turnkey camps are placed and get other benefits. She said in an interview last month they do it to keep an eye on them because turnkeys would show up with or without placement. That, and some BS about radical inclusion.

    That’s the official answer, and most burners will buy it and not give a fuck.

    The reality is that BMorg has been courting business professionals for many years in attempts to identify additional profit sources. Turnkey is one of them. There are many others, but they hide them better.

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  • namesake says:

    @Mama See

    What did you REALLY do with the children?

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  • vertumnus says:

    ***************************

    How about Having a TOWN HALL.

    ***************************

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  • TROOF says:

    thank$ for $elling us thi$ idea of community that we built our$elve$

    like an alcoholic father you have let us down for the last time
    all the ideologies of burning man are FUCKED
    they only apply to the poor folk while the BORG shucks and jives
    can’t believe I almost fell for this bullshit of community and art
    this is just another rat race, at least all the other festivals don’t try to hide behind some BULLSHIT 10 principles

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  • Swagmeister says:

    Occupy Commodification Camps. Seriously. We know who they are, and it’s even more obvious on playa. Radically include ourselves, y’all.

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  • Jericho says:

    Let’s not forget the question of the conflicted interests of board members who are also involved in commodification camps, or other business ventures.

    I’m not going to be able to return to the city until I am sure an effort is being made to keep my art, my contribution, and my *self* from being made into amenities used by profiteers to sell ‘the experience’. I did not help build the orgy dome to help line someone’s pockets.

    A big step would be disentangling the Board from all form of pay-to-play camping, and other forms of event commodification. This can be done without demonizing those board members. Rather, it can be a show of character and integrity, the same ways a judge who self-recuses from a case is not admitting corruption or bias, but admitting that they are human, and noble enough to recognize that and step away.

    For instance, although I am sure Chip Conley is a fine person who founded fest300 to share his honest passion {& I’m not suggesting what he does is bad}, I would like to see him voluntarily step down from the board: no bad blood, just a honest recognition that it is in the best interest of the community to separate commercial concerns from event leadership. It would be a super classy move on the part of all of all such conflicted board members. Please, please consider it.

    I’m operating from the assumption that I’ll never see black rock city again. I really hope Leadership steps up, and makes me feel welcome home, as a human being and citizen, rather than a customer and resource.

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  • Ulisse says:

    Will Chase Says:
    ….but it’s a very complicated issue. Any decisions we make will affect a whole host of established internal processes and the people who run them.

    Are any of those complications caused by contracts with commodification camps? Has BM already sold/promised 2015 tickets?

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  • Tsar says:

    @TROOF
    >can’t believe I almost fell for this bullshit of community and art

    Count yourself very lucky. Many like myself put over 10 years into this event and tens of thousands of dollars. All for this.

    You found out just in time to get out in time. Take all that savings of time and money and treat yourself to something nice… like a house.

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  • LEMUR says:

    odds are some of the FOR PROFIT camps participate in the burning man storage container program.

    dealing with that probably is a problem.. complicated, perhaps for someone..

    but that is tangential to the main concerns of the community.

    which is for profit entities commodifying the event, making profit off of others gifts all while getting special treatment that those who are gifting things dont get.

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  • Jericho says:

    One other VERY important thing:

    For my part, the fastest way to my heart would be disallowing paid servants on playa during the event, perhaps with a few exceptions in the case of specially needed expertise.

    Hiring of paid help is perhaps the most egregious form of commodification taking place at the commodification camps: it represents direct LITERAL commodification of my fellow burner, and it’s poison.

    With the exception of special safety expertise such as rigging, crane driving, welding, fire safety, sanitation for large projects, I’d like to see employment banned at the burn {restrictions could be much looser during setup}. No more paid chefs, no more service staff, no more personal drivers. I’d like to see the maximum contribution be ‘free ticket and no camp dues’, meaning anybody ’employed’ by a camp will do so only as a means of attendance: so their only incentive to go is if they will be able to meaningfully participate. There’s no economic coercion. This isn’t a perfect solution, but will solve the larger part of the problem we’re facing.

    There’s the argument that receiving payment might be the only way some will be able to attend. Perhaps that’s true, but we could also increase attendance by allowing people to sell blinkys, craft beer, and art at stands in inner playa. We could increase it even more if we allowed corporations to sponsor people to go in and sell / advertise their crap, too. If our only concern is maximizing attendance, we should allow these things. We don’t because such commodification would fundamentally change the nature of the event.

    Please, draw some lines around what kind of employment is acceptable during the event. Even if the lines aren’t crisp and clear, just *try*. You can always go back and refine the lines later.

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  • FYD says:

    I’m thinking the long wait is so they can talk to the lawyers. I’m pretty sure the IRS has been notified, and possibly the appropriate Prosecuting attorney. And I’m sure the Members of the board want to say something only no one is willing to speak on their behalf. I know I wouldn’t, I mean look what happened to poor Clueless Girl.
    The other reason for the Pause is none of them are talking to each other because they are trying to figure out how to sue one another. Gerlachian standoff.

    Members of the Board,
    Perhaps you could get Tannenbaum to speak on your behalf. You’ll chuck him under the bus, We’ll let you, and you recover the $ that he Exploited from us, and return it into the BRC infrastructure, Perhaps you could make a fund available for mental health Counseling for your workers you have been breaking and exposing to a workplace that is rife with suicides and alcohol abuse?, Perhaps you could come to the collective bargaining table and listen to the grievances of your crews?
    A bit of advice to J. Tannenbaum;
    JT make sure your first words out of your mouth are; ” I am so utterly sorry for my assumed entitlement and exploitation of our community….”
    Then go on and address the State attorney and the special prosecute for the IRS with words to the effect of; “I Voluntarily submit my finances to an Audit…” then As you hand in your resignation letter Ask politely that your Share of the pie is turned over to the Departments that really make the Burn happen; PG&E, EMS, DPW, Commissary, Artery, HEaT etc.
    Then then pull out your tinny sword and fall on it.

    Fellow Burners; stay Vigilant start thinking about contacting everyone you know that runs a camp, works for Any part of the ORG’s various departments, Set’s up massive Art. Tell them to get organized. join them in Solidarity they know even more than you how well the ORG is at profiting of the labors of others. Also I think this would be a good time to begin a class action lawsuit. I suspect this is the only type of language certian members in the BMORG understand. Start making Secret plans

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  • Dino says:

    @Jericho
    >I’m not going to be able to return to the city until I am sure an effort is being made to keep my art, my contribution, and my *self* from being made into amenities used by profiteers to sell ‘the experience’.

    That’s what BMorg has been doing since the first year they became profitable. You’re just saying that it’s okay to be sold for profit by one group (BMorg), but not another (turnkeys). Granted, BMorg does actually produce the event and turnkeys just produce their camps… but BMorg’s profiteering has been so over-the-fucking top that there’s really not difference in my mind. Just choose who you spread your asscheeks for.

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  • TivoTivo says:

    @FYD

    I doubt anyone has actually contacted the IRS or any other govt group to turn burning man in. But you’re right, I think, about legal concerns. The business people the Borg has been dealing with are sharks, and I wouldn’t doubt lease agreements were part of the negotiations with these turnkey camps. They have to honor whatever legal agreements were made, but they also have to be concerned about how bad this problem actually is – is it just a few hundred butthurt burners crying on the internet, or are significant numbers of burners planning to vote with their feet permanently?

    They need time to figure out how they can keep the most amount of money, and lose the least.

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  • Burner4U says:

    Burning Man is over. If you never went sorry, but you missed it. Yes you can still go but not its just a shell of what it used to be.

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  • FYD says:

    @TivoTivo
    yes the IRS know, it’s a simple Fraud whistle blowers form.But as far as the hundreds butthurt crying on the Internet. guess it could be if that’s how you look at it. I see hundreds of my fellow burners who are excellent at Self organizing, and making direct action moves. I also see a whole lot of Department workers that are not replaceable that are mumbling about other Areas where the ORG fails them. they are also mobilizing and making contingency plans. dunno about you but the DPW is one scab line I wouldn’t cross, and jack shit get’s done without them. So no I don’t see any cry babies, I see a bad day at Black Rock a brewing.
    now where did I put that pichfork?

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  • Issimo says:

    Unless you can guarantee that everyone brings in their own everything, uses the community porta-potty and hauls all their nasty stuff back out there will be no answer to this issue. I do and I COULD say I’m holier than even Larry on this. But, whatever.

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  • concerned says:

    BM owes it’s life and continued existence to volunteers. If you told the volunteers 10 years ago that their efforts were going to make it possible for the 6 to walk away with millions of dollars, how do think they would have reacted? (kudos for pulling that con BTW). So now, how would volunteers be expected to react to putting on an event for an uninvolved, privilidged class? Particularly, a class that gets preferential treatment from organizers?

    Same problem in miniature: what about camps like the French Quarter that are essentially for profit enterprises? They put on a great village but also sell turn key, high status ‘apartments’ for thousands of dollars?

    Historically, you ignored profiteering as long as the money changed hands off site. This is the standard theme camp model. Fine when it’s a hand full of friends. But how do you regulate operations that are approaching 1000 people? How do any of them know that the organizer(s) are not taking a tidy profit? Kinda like our 6 respected organizers…

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  • Yunta says:

    @concerned

    There are no shortage of volunteers lining up to take the place of any DPW etc who fall off the ladder due to sticking to the principles. Last time I hung around the ghetto, I didn’t meet anyone with more than 4 years under their belts. Once the Simpsons episode airs, all volunteer positions will be filled for the next 5 years solid.

    But if for some insane reason the bulk of volunteers decided to shit-can their volunteerism, Borg would just replace then with professional staff. So it might cost them a couple million dollars. So what? The party must go on. And it will.

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  • misfit says:

    As someone who works for a large company. When someone doesn’t readily answer, it is because they want to spin things the right way. Truth should not take time. You simply tell the truth, and people discuss. If we are all part of this, then the truth should be easy.
    When there are things to hide, you take your time, so you can think of the exact way to answer, so that things look the best for you.

    Burning Man, like electronic music, has been monetized, and will continue to provide, but at a cost.

    Wait till Paris Hilton headlines oppulent temple.

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  • Dr. Yes says:

    Got no problem with turnkey camps per se.

    Got a huge problem with camps that aren’t there to serve the community getting any special treatment whatsoever, whether it be ticket sales, early entry passes, placement, etc.

    If someone, and I don’t care if that’s Green Tortoise or Caravansicle (they’re the same thing, just targeted at different wealth demographics), wants the privileges that we were told were reserved for theme camps, let them build a theme camp. Otherwise, let them roll the dice with -everybody else-.

    You could have at least answered the community’s questions with this post and confirm, from the horse’s mouth, in one place, that you’re doing what we already know you’re doing. It does not require you to round up and coordinate to simply give us answers and it positively reeks of “let me buy time to figure out how to spin this” when you tell us that it requires time to answer those questions.

    Had you done that and said that you guys were figuring out the path forward, I think you’d have gotten a lot less (completely deserved) shit for this post.

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  • fri-'net-ik says:

    Thanks, simon, I’m glad you feel so viscerally about what I wrote! I’m confused about where the red herring is. All I see is Chicken Little and speculation on these boards. Oh, and I mentioned Root Society because they’re an excellent example of going from deep red to green, I think in a single year, as an analogy to a PnP camp that left a mess. I thought that was clear but maybe I didn’t word it well. I’m glad you can google and find my real name – I’ve been using this handle for 20 years so I’m sure there are plenty of places to link them up. But you seem to be making it a threat. That just baffles me – why would you threaten somebody for rattling off a bunch off a stream-of-consciousness questions that imply that the event has always had the on-playa problems that people seem to think are new.

    I do look forward to hearing the party line on what happened off-playa. The ticketing has been screwy since we hit saturation anyway, but it would be nice to get some answers on that so people could calm down.

    As far as bman being over because of this? What year hasn’t there been something that was controversial that drove some people away because they thought it was the end. I mean, shit, if you’ve been going since 1996 then you experienced the forced infrastructure and closed borders being inflicted because of ravers driving over a tent and running a motorcycle into an RV. How many people said THAT was the end? I’m guessing a lot. And the Cacophony Society got fed up and the last of them left ages ago because they didn’t think Larry was running things right. How much did that affect the event? Paul Addis in 2007 was so fed up he pulled the arson stunt and had a kinda confusing manifesto that basically said the event had gotten too bland and wasn’t pranky enough. I’m betting that almost nobody had noticed.

    BTW, do you know if Disturbia quit or got kicked? They were apparently always leaving a mess behind.

    Anyway, I hope this message doesn’t get you quite as angry. :)

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  • rooney says:

    @simon of the playa
    >and i’ve been burning since 1996 only missing 2003

    It’s too bad you missed 2003. That was one of the best years. Everything came together that year, I think it was the apex of the history event. It was also the year I camped next to your mom. That year was off the hook. I hope there’s no hard feelings. She was okay with everything.

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  • Dusty M. says:

    To put things into some kind of perspective– I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step” Well, the first step in effective communication is to repeat back to the other party what you THINK they are saying. That way, you both know that the coming conversation is founded on the same understanding of the issues. It sounds like this communication from HQ is intended as that first step, clarifying and confirming what we actually want to talk about. It would be most helpful if everyone went through that list of questions to see if anything was left out, or misstated.

    Could they have done this sooner? Maybe, but the entire staff just got back from that yearly week-long debrief that happens after resto. Everyone hasta write their reports, and everyone hasta read them. I heard that commodification camps were the major topic of discussion this year. For, like, 80 salaried AND volunteer staff members. That’s a lot of talking to get through.

    There were a few early attempts by various staff to give us early feedback, which ended up misunderstanding the concern as being about rich vs poor. Now how did that work out for them? Not well. Shitstorm. So, its not really very effective to talk about stuff til you’re sure what you are talking ABOUT. Besides, it doesn’t honor the people who work in placement, transpo, etc. to have the PR department issuing (confusing or irrelevant) statements before the people in the trenches have had a chance to say their piece internally. That’s just going over your people’s heads in a crummy way.

    Just sayin.
    So let’s all review that list of questions, and confirm or deny that they are the issues at hand. Clarify as needed? The list looks pretty complete to me.

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  • sansa says:

    @Dusty M: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

    That’s a really beautiful saying, Dusty. It really made me think. Does it count if you’re traveling by plane? I suppose the first step would be to the taxi to the airport. But what if the airport is further away from your home than your final destination? Where does the journey actually begin? And what if it’s a 10,000 mile journey on the new Airbus A380… I mean does that even count? That plane is so big it has a cocktail bar and shower facilities. They serve fillet mignon – not that reheated beef shit you get in coach class, but actually grilled fillet mignon.

    Where does the madness end? Being a member of the mile high club used to mean something! You’d have to fuck in those little bathrooms. But now you can fuck in king size beds in your suite on the plane, or if that is too mundane you could go down to the shower level pull a fredo with the flight attendants. No one has any shame anymore! I hate this world.

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  • Cat says:

    I haven’t been going to BurningMan that long, 3 years. There is a terrible disconnect between “leaders” and civilians in the default world. BurningMan to me, since the beginning, has represented the possibility of this world being a better place; akin to Black Rock City in love, acceptance and everything that makes the city such a special place. So shame on you BMorg for placing us in this conversation, it has or will shatter the foundation that creates the positive and loving reality we all cherish. You are breaking our hearts and our hope that people can be their best together. I hope in the back of your head that suppressed consciousness is telling you, that you are better than this. The city needs you to make the right decision, or it will collapse like Babylon. I make a call for transparency and love.

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  • fri-'net-ik says:

    Dusty M – I wish this comment section had a Like button.

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  • What they did not say says:

    This is a horrible reply from official burning man.

    They should be saying WHOA WHOA this is all a mistake, the 10 principles are still place and we are all still on the same page. We are currently working this out and you can rest assured that no one will be making massive money on you people who build burning man. We will be zeroing in on the details and let you know.

    That is not what they said.

    That is not what they said.

    That is not what they said.

    They know damn well they have sold out and don;t have the guts to admit it. And they they are probably terrified that their business model based on free labor costs might fall apart, or maybe they are hoping “The Simpsons” effect will be so overwhelming that they will never have to say a word to veteran burners.

    After all, they only need to sell 60,000 tickets at 1000 each and they bring in 60 Million Dollars on ticket sales alone, then you figure in the rest (parking, safari camps fees, etc etc) and they don’t really give one fuck about the 10 principles anymore.

    If they still cared about the 10 principles, they would have said it AND THEY DIDNT!!!

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  • JohnDolo says:

    Remember kids, if you’re making your own organization to do regionals, decoms, and equinoxes, you’re required to be TRANSPARENT about finances in order to be sanctioned. Transparency is a thing that is obviously not present at the BM mothership, so this getting really weird. I don’t think I can volunteer in any capacity for the event any more unless this gets sorted out meaningfully. That’s really disheartening. I’m thinking it might be time to stop thinking of this as “Changing the world” and instead treat it as a great party instead of a social movement.

    Here’s the section of the agreement about sanctioning that requires transparent accounting:

    “If charging admission: all accounting must be transparent (i.e., reported to the community with results either being tracked real time on-line or posted publicly within 30 days of the event) and in accordance with local and national tax laws.

    If the event is profitable, any funds raised should benefit the entire community (e.g., go toward the next Decom so people don’t have to take personal financial risks, toward artist grants, a community resource/project of some kind that the local Burning Man community agrees on in advance, or setting up a LLC or non-profit to serve regional needs.)”

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  • This is one of the things I love about Burning Man. It’s November and there is a major controversy brewing. The temperature and pressure inside the cooker go up and down but never stops.

    Love to all!

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  • fri-'net-ik says:

    simon – I totally screwed up in my first post about Root Society. I blame insomnia and Adderall. Dammit, and you seem to have focused just on that and missed the rest. I hate when I get something totally wrong in the middle of a rant because it has a tendency to invalidate the rest of the rant. Sorry about that – let’s say wrong foot and I take back that part of my original rant and point to my newer post?

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  • DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO says:

    @JohnDolo

    Yup, this is another situation where it is…. DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO!

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  • adopt a billionaire says:

    SOLUTION: I run a small camp and always could crowd in a few more. Id be willing to adopt a billionaire or 2, They will experience everything that the dusty, tired, full of life “burner” experiences a true back to basics, 10 principled, all loving each other experience! Last year we had 10 folks in the camp…and I didn’t charge a cent, they all contributed what they could, not money. So I will adopt a billionaire….at absolutely no charge, just participate, thats the way of all of us “burners”. I mean when was the last time a billionaire got something for free? Im serious about this!

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  • London says:

    @JohnDolo

    Everyone who throws decoms or regionals knows how to avoid the transparency demands of BMorg. I worked on London decom in 2007. They sold all the tickets – and I mean ALL the tickets to their friends days before the sale went live. The “sale” – when it went live, was sold out immediately and created a false sense of demand. Suddenly everyone on the forums were going nuts on how to get even one ticket.

    Then the organizers came out and started scalping the tickets. Some of them just did it to fuck with people – doing essay contests and the best essay would get one of their extra tickets (‘Tell me why you deserve a ticket’ sort of thing). It was mental. There was a lot of profiting going on by the organizers. None of which was reported to the mothership.

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  • Elephant in the Room says:

    There’s one glaring omission on your list of questions, and it’s a big, uncomfortable one. (The elephant in the room, so to speak.) To be 100% specific: it is off-putting to the community-at-large that so many of the “turnkey wrongs” witnessed this year were at Caravancicle, the ritzy camp organized by Jim Tananbaum, now currently serving on the Board of Directors of The Burning Man Project.

    Please reconcile this for us. It’s the crux of the current issue, even if it does present a springboard for the larger conversation.

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  • fri-'net-ik says:

    JohnDolo – I’m not sure if there’s as much detail as you’re looking for here, but bman has been posting their financial expenditures since 2001. You can get a sense for when things started going awry. Check out 2006 and earlier if you want to see how transparent they used to be. The newer reports are just lists. http://financials.burningman.com/

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  • Mama Mayhem says:

    As a captain of a 5th year theme camp and 8 time burner (first year 2004), I am extremely concerned and upset about all of this and will make sure our community is aware of what’s going on. Massive changes need to me made in order for Burning Man to continue (unless its just turning into the next Bonnaroo… which I will not be a part of). BM has been such a big and important part of my life for many years now. It has helped to make me me who I am. I don’t make a lot of money, but for the last 5 years have poured all I have in funds and work hours on and off the playa to contribute to the awesomeness of BM. and for what? I dont even know anymore… BMORG- YOU MOOPED ON OUR HEARTS.

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  • Sandstorm says:

    Will Chase:

    Let me share with you the contents of 2 posts that I made during the lat 24 hours in a private thread on my FB profile. In that thread I was communicating with 4 Burners who are VERY concerned about the COMMODIFICATION CAMP CONTROVERSY and Larry & Co.’s back room peddling of BM tickets and access to and influence with some of members of THE BORG and the BM Board of Directors.

    “I was recently speaking to a well known burner who has access to BM’s inner power circle. That person has a friend who has worked at BM for years and that BM employee said that in regards to the fallout from SHERPAGATE that the burner community is now getting a look behind the curtain and seeing how things have operated for years with Larry & Co.
    Yesterday at 2:54pm ·”

    “Last night I had dinner with a burner friend who was in town for a visit. At one point the subject of the COMMODIFICATION CAMP CONTROVERSY came up and she relayed to me a story about a friend of hers who has worked at/with First Camp for several years. For various reasons that person was at the end of their rope with their involvement with the event. It seems to me that many of the people who have a connection to that environment don’t have anything nice to say about Larry & Co.
    4 hrs ”

    Every time I speak to people who have connections to and/or work with First Camp I hear the same thing over and over again: That the core “leadership” of BM is corrupt and clueless. I’m not talking about all the fantastic people in THE BORG who BUST THEIR ASSES to make BM happen; I’m talking about Larry & Co. The people who have shard with me their negative anecdotes into the world of Larry & Co. are not pissy rabble; they are people who are wildly talented, focused and organized in Defaultia.

    To be clear: Many of us NO LONGER TRUST Larry & Co. and we are tired of THE SPIN that is being trotted out to us. The evidence is out there. Larry & Co. got caught. We don’t want spin; we want apologies and accountability.

    WE WANT PEOPLE LIKE JIM TANNABAUM RUN OUT OF BM!!!

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  • Peace says:

    I think it is important to understand the minimal demands of the community. There are some who want Commodification camps banned completely, there are some who want to ban RVs, and there are some who want the shirtcockers to put on pants. But the entire community seems to feel that, at the very least, you have to level the playing field so that wealth doesn’t give anyone any special privilege regarding tickets or placement. If Commodification camps are going to exist, they have to meet the same criteria as any other Theme camps and they only get tickets for the number of people absolutely required to set the camp up. Participants have to secure their own tickets the same way as any other participant. I think it would be a gift to the community to cancel the pre-sale this year and put those tickets in with the rest in January. I also think it should be stated explicitly that Board Members and staff cannot profit from the event beyond reasonable salaries and wages. That means not profiting through third parties and avoiding nepotism and granting favors to friends. The latter should not be a problem, since those are the rules of a non-profit.

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  • Captain Obvious says:

    As others have mentioned, it’s really funny you can’t answer the questions, you’ve posed. It shows that a)you don’t know the answers which means you are horrible at running the event or b)you know the answers but need time to spin them.

    Since Burning Man has existed for over a quarter century and managed it as it has grown into a monstrosity, we’re pretty safe to the answer isn’t a.

    Just be honest….

    Make next year’s theme “Selling Out”, and have the faces of Larry, JT, Diddy and Grover Norquist on the man.

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  • Dusty M says:

    @Elephant
    Yes, that question is missing! I agree it should be in the list. Maybe in two parts. Something like: What mechanism do we have to guarantee that board members are impartial and acculturated? And… What will Jim Tananbaum’s role be (if any) moving forward?

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  • simon of the playa says:

    this is more fun than a barrel of monkeys flinging poo.

    can I just stop for a second and say, i love you guys and gals…

    the community of whoville screaming we are here over and over.

    i love it.

    even the schmuck who slept with my mom.

    better get that rash checked, btw…

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  • Lover of BM says:

    BMorg should be admitting to what was done and acknowledging what was wrong with that and apologizing to the BM Community. In addition, if it is important to the BM hierarchy that rich people be attending the desert event, I was thinking that First Camp should invite 10 rich benefactors each year to camp there with the founders/bigwigs. There would be all the fun stuff but there would also be education. “This is what we mean by radical inclusion. This is radical self-reliance (you get this year free). This is Communal Effort and Participation. We’d love to have you come back next year on your own and see what you can contribute. We’ll send you an email telling you when tickets are available.” Now, that is how you should get the word out about what BM is to rich people, not by allowing walled off supercamps that get privileges and make money for a board member. One would have to think that he does not understand the Community or the true nature of BM.

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  • Beth says:

    What is the POINT of turnkey camps…isn’t the fun part setting up?

    You bring the wrong type (LAZY) people by even offering this type of service.

    No wonder there is so much litter now, there is nobody following these people around picking up after them.

    Smh…

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  • Leo says:

    The BMORG could cover a lot of ground with one of the three following explanations:
    1. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
    2. Mistakes were made.
    3. We didn’t do it and we won’t do it again.

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  • simon of the playa says:

    “it seemed like a good mistake at the time”

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  • Peace says:

    And thank you for putting this thread on your home page. Makes me feel more confident you aren’t trying to hide from the issue.

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  • TT120 says:

    One thing I’ve seen thrown around is that the BORG wants to embrace the rich and influential people at Burning Man so they might spread this love to the rest of the world. They wanted to make it super easy and comfortable for these rich and influential people or they couldn’t go.

    So the rich people can’t go if it’s uncomfortable out there?
    They can’t shit in the same shitters that we do?
    They can’t zip-tie some lights and fur to a bicycle?

    Seems to me that one of the best things about Burning Man is the fact that it is out of almost every ones comfort zone, we all have to adapt and overcome together to make it what we want and THAT is what makes it a special place and THAT is what the rich and influential people should be sharing with he world. If all they have to do is throw a bunch of money at somebody (the BORG?) and go watch the freaks, then they’re totally missing the point.

    If rich people want to go, then fine. But don’t give them special treatment just because they’re rich.

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  • Peace says:

    Anyone who does not understand this issue, please read the blog posted by Halcyon today.

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  • River says:

    Occupy Plug And Play!!

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  • GreyCoyote says:

    Love the silence. The sound of crickets is deafening here.

    Larry: By all means, take your time. We could almost write your little speech already anyway. Tell us how wrong we are, how misunderstood you are, and how this is all for our benefit. Then tell us it was all a miscommunication and how this whole kerfluffle is reactionary, needless, etc. Lastly, tell us how the 10 Principle$ are alive, well and totally uncompromised be ause you radically included a ton of fast cash into your wallet.

    Do it, Larry. Make the final cut. Make your sell-out official and turn Burning Man into Disneyland. (Can I have an “E-ticket, pretty-please?)

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  • onemandown says:

    I hope that the org will stand up for its stated principles, though I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t.

    The answer is pretty simple. Don’t place turnkey camps. Don’t provide preferential treatment. Some may survive by increasing their interactivity and playing by the rules that everyone else does, some won’t.

    Either way making them deal with the hardships that everyone else does to experience this magical week in the desert is the only principled thing to do.

    The ball is in your court BMORG.

    T

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  • Leo says:

    We have little influence on how the BMORG will respond (or not) to the unanswered questions. If they want to continue down the same path, we can show our displeasure of the commodification/safari camps and distrust of the BMORG by not volunteering for Anything for the 2015 burn. That’s assuming we can get tickets.

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  • Johhny says:

    I like the idea of not volunteering anymore until we get financial transparency from the BORG. What happened to the $$ from the vehicle passes? How much in licensing is being paid to Decommodification LLC? How many tickets were sold at the crazy $650 rate? Where is the money going?

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  • Dave Rabbitt says:

    I’m ok with busy important rich people being able to arrive on playa to a nice setup for themselves for a fee. If the Org sets up camp(s) for a certain number of 1%’ers and communicates about what’s going on, that’s fine with me. But I’m not ok with the lack of transparency.

    I think almost everyone would cease to have a problem if the Org issued a statement like “We want to help change the world, so we’re allocating 1,000 tickets to special full-service camps for captains of industry at a $5,000 admission rate, in hopes that these world leaders will apply their Burning Man experiences to the default world. The bulk of this extra income will be applied to more art grants and subsidize additional low income tickets”

    Instead of giving simple answers, up until this week the Org has basically pretended none of this is happening. Now with this blog post they have acknowledged there are complaints, but they still haven’t admitted the complaints are real. Here’s hoping we get some real answers before 2015 tickets go on sale!!

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  • adopt a billionaire says:

    The turnkey festre is just a symptom of a bigger problem. Larry’s ego is way out of control and the borg doesn’t see it because they all get their perks too. Why do Larry s friends get to avoid the long lines in? Ya know there alot of folks using gate one (also known as larry s friends gate)as their entry point. Whats so special about 6:30 inner circle of the man burn, larry and company occupy this special reserved space. I wouldn’t mind these perks too much, but theres a pattern here of abuse of power and run-a-way ego. Larry and the borg are like children, they deny having their hand in the cookie jar and like children (and politicians) they spin the truth. When will burners stop acting like enabling parents and hold larry and the borg accountable and give larry alittle tough love and kick him out of the house?

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  • adopt a billionaire says:

    Charge these people $500,000 for their tickets and we all get in free. Start up the freakzoo we’ll give ’em a show they’ll never forget

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  • Sandstorm says:

    Lover of BM: GREAT post!

    Dave Rabbit: No, I would not be okay with that reality. If an uninitiated “Captain of Industry” so badly wants and/or needs to go to BM they can make it happen without THE BORG. If it’s good enough for everyone else then it’s good enough for a newbie 1%er.

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  • socks2 says:

    BM.org says “Let them eat cake”

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  • Diode says:

    The BMORG has absolutely no interest in making the burn work as the city intends. They have every interest in selling as many fucking tickets as they can manage. The BMORG doesn’t really speak to you or for you. They are speaking to the great rolling masses of people riding into the burn who know little or nothing about how the burn works, what it is about, what’s its history is, or what has made it a thing of great and unusual beauty. Those people buy most of the tickets, they change over every year, they want to put on some cute costumes and go stand by a piece of art work while their friends snap their pictures on their smart phones. That’s about it.
    You will not win this battle. The BMORG will eventually out with some smarmy bit of obfuscation that deftly avoids the real issues while seeming to address them. They will make some superficial changes and wait for the attention span of people to erode away until some fresh outrage occurs to draw wrath, and it will most certainly happen.
    My advice: the only reason to attend the burn now is to subvert it though sarcasm, irony and cutting wit. Wear your business suit on the playa and pass out your BMORG venture capital proposal. See how much money you can spend on the playa. Bribe people. Cut in line. Ask for entitlements based on your art.
    The above is entirely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to your reality is mere coincidence.

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  • Andy says:

    I don’t know how much of the PnP issue is just one of jealousy. Burners have always ranged from cheap tent to yurt to dome to (now) RV, and from a week of granola bars to sharing a kitchen making steaks and salads, from Budweiser to Grey Goose. So is there is not much reason to be jealous of someone having more luxury. I personally feel that having everything done for you defeats the part of the purpose – (my boss ran the Boston Marathon last year, I doubt he would be interested in a limo ride along the same 26-mile route) – but that part doesn’t affect my burn.

    To me the problem is one of participation – and I don’t want to be presumptuous and say that no PnP-camp member participates, but I can tell you that in our theme camp we literally walked out onto the street and invited people into our bar and to enjoy our zip line and aerialist shows, which is different from circling the wagons and creating a camp only for yourselves.

    Burning man is like a giant potluck where everyone is expected to bring something to share – and if you treat it like a show for which the ticket you purchased entitles you to everything the show has to offer, you’re missing the point and not being fair to those to provide the entertainment expecting some from you in return.

    On the flip side, though, BM can absorb a certain number of “freeloaders”, and it’s not as if the playa was short on art this year. Even if, say, 1,000 rich folks camp in PnPs, that’s a very small part of the 60-70K people on playa. As long as the BMorg gives the prime real estate to the camps who give back, and doesn’t give ticketing preference to some just because they are able to pay more, this might not be as big an issue as some are making it out to be.

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  • Barry says:

    TEAR DOWN THE WALLS! No more walled cities. Every camp must have some security but security is NOT A THEME! Large theme camps that are actually turn keys should be placed in outer rings and justify their “block” with what they contribute. Otherwise they get dispersed like the rest of us who arrive campless.
    I have done the RV (Dumpy Cruise America), tents and MiniVan. I have done a yurt 2 years. I am fucking old now at 67 and like/require protection from the heat. BUT this year I got up at dawn daily to make and serve coffee our camp contributed and espresso/cappuccino to early burners and LOVED it.
    BM is raw, primitive, imaginative, loving and totally wild…when done right. We don’t need a Marriott on the playa (though I wouldn’t mind staying at my age)..
    14 years a burner and very sad to see birgins not seeing the real thing…
    Ticket sales need to eliminate the Fake Xmas sales which are disguised attempts to sell over priced tickets to the rich. Camps that CONTRIBUTE to the BM experience can have priority, not those that contribute to the pockets.
    I gotta say you Burners here are nasty and real and I love it….this is YOURS.

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  • Pink says:

    I love the Boston marathon metaphor. Says part of the problem in a nutshell.

    As for Larry & Co. Inviting 10 of the rich/famous to first camp; where the hell do you think Grover Norquist & Dennis Kucinich stayed? Remember when it was just ‘Larry’s Camp’? Part of the problem is that Larry’s camp has been a turnkey/PnP/commodification camp for many years (not sure if they profit from camp fees, but I’ve heard tales told of Sherpa labor). And for as many years I’ve justified to myself, well they need all that since they’re working like hell the whole burn. Fuck ’em. Hope DPW revolts and nothing is set up for them in 2015.

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  • LEMUR says:

    “If you don’t stick to your values when they’re tested, they’re not values. They’re… hobbies.” — Jon Stewart, Jan. 22, 2009

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  • Charles says:

    I’m not ready to call Burning Man doomed, as I think that the commodification camps make up only a small fraction of the attendees and their influence on the event is still very small (hopefully). But the optics are not good, as the PR flacks like to say, and the public relations damage could be considerable if the issue is not handled well.

    The Decommodification principle states: “In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by corporate sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.”

    I think a reasonable minimum response would start with this: no one is allowed to do paid work on playa unless they are employed by the BMOrg and are there to support the event itself and are thus working for the benefit of all burners. Paying people to set up your camp, drive your art car, mix your drinks: this is an environment mediated by transaction. It is exploitation. And it is consumption, not participation.

    In other words, no more sherpas.

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  • VB says:

    I would like to propose a solution to cultural conflicts that the turn key camps seem to be creating. It seems that the turn key campers have an abundance of resources and also love and support the concepts of Burning Man. Why not embrace their participation and deem them patrons of Burning Man? Issue a limited number of Turn Key Camp permits (a number to be determined, but maybe say 25-250…). These permits would not have a fixed price, but are sold via auction, with the proceeds classified as donations going toward an artists’ fund.

    During Burning Man if there appears to be a group that has established a turn key camp without a permit, take steps to open that site and its resources up to everyone., don’t allow them to hoard their amenities, food, and sherpas or turn away anyone who would like to visit their camp.

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  • Bobby says:

    None of this turnkey bullshit would bother me so much if the BORG was throwing money at art and doing everything it could to encourage it. Instead, art grants are less than 5% of the income. They raised $500,000 more money via the vehicle passes than they spent on art grants in 2014. They have started asking artists to provide their own insurance, and throw up ever more hoops and rules for artists (and volunteers) to jump through. The roads on the 3:00 side have been almost un-bikeable for 3 years running, and half the porta potties were broken on day 1 this year. Maybe DPW should go back to actually building city infrastructure instead of spending their time on ornate shade structures, bars, and air conditioned trailers for every BORG subcommittee camp (of which there are many). Where is the money going? Because it’s apparently not going into the event anymore.

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  • Frogger says:

    Let’s not forget this year’s closing of the Frog Pond to make room for another private jet runway! Yes, the pond is always closed during the event – but for people who come early to build the city and the theme camps, it was one of the few rewards they could count on. Our camp’s Alpha team was pretty disgusted. Symbolic and telling.

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  • Leo says:

    Burning Man is the new Ibiza. Get over it.

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  • Elkay says:

    @vb. I don’t think that anyone really cares about sharing their amenities. We care that they are receiving placement and tickets through channels that are unavailable to the rest of us. They are also taking over neighborhoods that once thrived with activity, and gating them off.

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  • MetaKim says:

    BM commodification

    I don’t think the BMOrg’s motive at this point is to enhance financial profit. I think the motive is enhancing social capital.

    It’s a nice idea to try to change the world by exposing the influential 1% to the beauty of Burning Man. But if the experience the 1% are getting is a comfortable and luxurious VIP party staffed and entertained by furry weirdos, and not the experience of all the work and passion and sweat and discomfort and joie-de-vivre that comes from humans facing hardships together on the same footing, they are being sold a fake version of Burning Man.

    In the default world it’s nearly impossible to get away from commodified, sanitized, fake experiences, and so allowing even a few pockets of fake, commodified experiences at the Burn is enough to completely undermine the context that makes the real Burn so amazing.

    BMOrg, you know this is happening. Transparency and apologies should be swift – the more you drag your feet, the more convinced we are it’s all going to be bullshit.

    But mostly we need fixes, and good fixes do take time to create. However, rather than BMorg just thinking among yourselves and then announcing what you are going to do when you are good and ready, I’d like to see BMorg engage the community to create solutions and shared understandings over a period of months. I think we are owed that much.

    Culling from the comments here, here are my priority fixes:

    “It should be stated explicitly that Board Members and staff cannot profit from the event beyond reasonable salaries and wages.” (Credit: Peace)
    “No one is allowed to do paid work on playa unless they are employed by the BMOrg and are there to support the event itself and are thus working for the benefit of all burners. Paying people to set up your camp, drive your art car, mix your drinks: this is an environment mediated by transaction. It is exploitation. And it is consumption, not participation.” (Charles)
    “We want to help change the world, so we’re allocating (x number of) tickets to special full-service camps for captains of industry at a (special huge) admission rate, in hopes that these world leaders will apply their Burning Man experiences to the default world. The bulk of this extra income will be applied to more art grants and subsidize additional low income tickets” (Dave Rabbitt)
    “Issue a limited number of Turn Key Camp permits…. These permits would not have a fixed price, but are sold via auction, with the proceeds classified as donations going toward an artists’ fund. (VB)
    Following several commentors’ complaints (cf. Jason) there should be no directed tickets for camps that aren’t planning significant public interactivity, and (cf. Jericho) board members who have transgressed the Decommodification principle should step down.

    No buying your way out of the hardships (like portas – your RV toilet should be good enough).

    No walling off vip areas.

    No hiring on-playa sherpas.

    Stricter limitations on private jet capacity & “Larry’s gate.”

    If influential folks want to be part of this culture, they can learn our ways. Otherwise, who needs them? Let them fly into Coachella.

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  • elkay says:

    VB’s suggestion to allow a limited number of turn key camps would only be OK, I think, if they were turn key, with NO profit for the organizers. There really should be NO camps built for the motive of making money and selling the “show”. In fact, I don’t think that VBs suggestion should even be included.

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  • Dave says:

    It is self evident that BM needs competition! That’s what drives pinheads best!

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  • RoxyBox says:

    These are all valid questions that can easily and simply be answered. Bear said it best – The reason for not answering them here and now is that it takes time for the BMorg to SPIN. As in not calling them what they truly are; COMMODIFICATON CAMPS. They will not use the accurate term ComCamp as it goes against what they appear to stand for. What will happen is the BMorg will spin Commodification Camps into “Theme Camps” and voilà problem solved. The BMorg will appear to ‘listen’, in the end they will do only what they believe will best benefit them financially. Sad. True. :( I’m still going next year if the ComCamps don’t take away my ticket!

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  • Justin Time says:

    I do not volunteer my time, money, blood, sweat and sleep to build art, a theme camp, sound camps and with EMS-MED for the benefit of for-profit camps.
    What if you held an event and nobody volunteered ?
    You end up with Disneyland not a community.
    Turn-Key camps should still be requiered to give back to our BM community and welcome the wayward and lost.

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  • Peace says:

    I can understand if a silicon valley CEO doesn’t have the time to arrive early and set up their camp. But once they are there they should be able to take care of themselves. They’re already on Playa. They aren’t doing any big deals now. Pick up your own trash, be self reliant, do your own dishes, decorate your own bike. If they aren’t willing to do that, they aren’t the type of people who are going to change the world the way we want them to change the world, so there is no point in making concessions to have them there. The most powerful effect of Burning Man is “wow, look what I can do; look at what we can do together”…it’s not “look at that giant flaming octopus” (no offence pulpo, you are awesome). If you don’t require everyone to be self-reliant, they aren’t learning anything.

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  • dorne pentes says:

    Principle #4: In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are umediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, and advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

    Looks like the BMORG conveniently forgot this principle, eh?

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  • Leo says:

    Dorne,
    It looks like you didn’t get the memo. It’s 9 principles. Where have you been?

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  • wren bear says:

    I’m disappointed by the proliferation of the turnkey villages. What it means for me personally is that it will be even harder to get a ticket, and even harder to maintain that social equality that you have when everyone’s naked. Now you can spot the “special” people by their fake handicap carts. If mental illness can get you a handicap tag, we all qualify! Nothing I like better than being drowned in dust while trudging across the playa, by rich tourists pretending they’re handicapped! They don’t participate, they’re just spectators, laughing at the peons in the dust, they don’t want to learn the principles, or the culture. I thought handicap licenses were a matter of law; isn’t it fraud or something to claim you’re handicapped when you’re not? And what about the rising levels of commercial activities at Burning Man? Photo shoots and vendors, for crying out loud! If I wanted to go to Vegas or LA, I’d go there! We’ve started down the slippery slope, bending our standards, sacrificing our ideals, giving up that which we all value most in favor of the almighty dollar. Do not give in! Fight to save the things that make Burning Man special, don’t sell them!

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  • socks2 says:

    The state of Nevada charges a 12% hotel tax for every night of lodging.
    Looks like someone has committed tax fraud. I think the state of Nevada might want to ask some questions.

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  • thought police says:

    I hate it when people refuse to admit they were caught in a lie. FYI to the BORG spin doctors: Most of us did not drink the Koolaid! We are not stupid! Just say you are sorry, even if you aren’t!

    The so called commodification camps have been around for a long time, just way more blatant this year. You should really call them “ALL INCLUSIVE RESORTS”.

    This poster hit the nail on the head:

    Elkay Says:

    “@vb. I don’t think that anyone really cares about sharing their amenities. We care that they are receiving placement and tickets through channels that are unavailable to the rest of us. They are also taking over neighborhoods that once thrived with activity, and gating them off”.

    And what the hell is up with these cheapskates? If I were a billionaire, I would be a gifting fool. They just don’t understand how much fun it is to give things away.

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  • ranger magnum says:

    I personally don’t give a shit what the org does or does not do. They don’t tell me how to run my company, and I sure as hell won’t tell them how to run theirs. What they do and how they do it is simply none of my concern.

    It’s still the biggest, baddest party in the world, and I will keep attending as long as it keeps going.

    And as for caravansicle, they were friendly and welcoming to me, my wife, and the group we were a part of. As for participating, the size and intricacy of their camp was, in my mind, their art. Visiting their camp was an enjoyable part of our evening.

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  • LEMUR says:

    NICE TRY “ranger magnum”

    i bet you were really pleased with those bridgestone tires you had 15 years ago werent you? couldnt understand all of the controversy over these great tires?

    …..yeah i think your BS more applies to someones cleaning regimen in their own home.. or perhaps their meal choices

    you can run their household however they want, and its not our concern

    ..but to pretend a business doesnt have to listen to its customers because “ITS THEIRS” is a load of bullshit of the highest order.

    theres some phrase that i cant quite get off the tip of my tongue

    something about the customer ..

    being mighty?

    the customer is always mighty. that must be it.

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  • Jason says:

    Ranger Magnum, Burning Man only exists each year due to the efforts of tons of volunteers, and all the cool stuff freely brought by all the Burners, and all the time they put in on-playa. If the BOrg want volunteers, and Burners that participate…then they need to care about screwing them over with preferential rules.

    Or BOrg can run it any way they like and have a big empty desert with no volunteers and very little to do there, because the people that make the party no longer come.

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  • Temple Builder says:

    You mean to tell me that I am busting my grapes in the hot the sun, getting blasted in the face with dust devils, building the temple for the ENJOYMENT OF EVERYONE.

    And at the same time, some for profit douche bags are building a luxury condo complex on K street for the ENJOYMENT OF A FEW tourists? WTF? They got placement, EA and tickets from the directed pool for this? This had better be an aberration. If this is the new status quo, then you can build the fucking temple yourself next year. Fuck this.

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  • Xeronimaus says:

    So here’s the thing: I’m sitting here far away from this whole shit storm, watching the principles and bile and venom and ethics and dollars and fury and fur and playa dust fly, and it’s a complete fucking soap opera. I’m far away, and I am glad I have some distance; it provides perspective. More on that later.

    So, the circus is in full swing. In the main ring you have BM, in the form of its PR troops, attempting to acknowledge the fury that’s kicked up in the wake of The Great Turnkey Scandal of 2014. There’s no denying the job of providing solid answers hasn’t been done, at all, or well enough. The PR crew (you did notice that the post isn’t authored, right?) are looking to their bosses, they’re waiting for a statement – and chances are very high they’re among the loudest voices calling for action, yesterday. I don’t envy their jobs right now. My suspicions are that the stalling is caused by flat-panic shit-scared fear. I’m also pretty damn certain that within the boardrooms of BM HQ, there must have been some white-hot arguments over the past weeks. The fall out will show in time. That’s going to happen.

    On the periphery, in the bleachers, we have the populace: you guys. The veterans, the true believers, the disciples, the converts, the newbies, the jaded motherfuckers, the i-told-you-so’s, the crackpots, the conspiracists, the dusty faithful. They want answers, explanations, and preferably a show of culpability, admission, shame and remorse. It’s a lynch mob, and if there are no satisfactory answers, something pretty drastic will come of that. Boycotts. Breakaways. That’s also going to happen.

    There’s a lot at stake: the soul of what amounts to a social movement with the potential to transform everyone it touches. That’s some serious gold in this tatty, worn-out, drained-dry and fucked-up world, right there. My take? Things fall apart: the centre cannot hold – certainly not when there’s so much money grinding at all them darned principled principles. And we all know what they say about money and power, right?

    So, with the luxury of distance in my favour, here’s how I believe it will play out (because actually, there is no other way out): the soul of Burning Man will have to be reborn. This will have to take form as a re-stating of core principles, and it will take an admission of guilt and contrition. It will also require the ejection or shaking off of some key players that brought things to this pretty pass. You can’t have one action without the other: it’s a package deal. Burning Man v2.0: now with added soul and 33% less fat.

    The alternative is unthinkable – and indeed, even almost impossible. This – global – desert juggernaut is simply too big, but more than that, too many people’s hopes are invested in it. Good people. Hard working people. Creative motherfuckers. Solid crew. Lovers of pleasure and art. People who believe there’s a better way, and that BM shone a light ahead, out of the darkness. I can understand that. It’s happened where I am, too.

    Which is far away from Nevada. Where I am, we have a regional. You’d have heard of it, but I won’t tell you which one, because…well, look at the state of this circus right here. Nobody in their right mind would want to sully such a bright and beautiful thing as we have with so much noise: hell, we’re already too big, and more noise will just generate more interest and more interest means more people and more people means more money and more…you get the picture.

    For now, all I can say is that there are very important lessons that to be unlocked over the next year. Lessons that will ripple across all regionals. Things will change – for the better if you get off your asses and make the change.

    If not…

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  • socks2 says:

    I believe the change has happened already. Why would it take so long for the bm.org
    to even respond to this. This is my take on it. For some of these plug and plays the cost of the infrastructure was very costly and would have to be recouped over many burns. So I can see these owners of plug and plays to try to protect their investment to get steady flow of tickets with a multi year contract with guaranteed ticket allotment’s.
    That’s why nothing is coming from the bm.org because its all lawyers now advising their clients.

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  • LEO says:

    The Bmorg should have the balls (or ovaries) to play it straight with us. If commodification camps are here to stay, play it straight and tell it like it is. Stop using Will and Answergirl as your shills. If you play it straight with us, we can decide if we want to come back to Burning Man or say “it was great while it lasted”. I am tired of the silence, red herrings, smokescreens and bullshit.
    If you want safari camps and more virgins willing to pay top dollar for tickets, then go for it. Just be prepared to kiss your volunteer work force goodbye as this event evolves and becomes more commercial. Are you guys even reading these comments?

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  • jason dave says:

    Lemur,

    You must be an old wsmc or AMA guy! That was ages ago…

    But if you recall, Sorbo convinced me to run Bridgestones. I tried them once, and hated them. Went back to Dunlop the next day.

    Too bad wsmc is no longer. I really miss racing my TZ 250.

    I don’t see the correlation between tires and Burning man, but hey it’s fun to talk about……

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  • Rusty Dice says:

    LEO Says: The Bmorg should have the balls (or ovaries) to play it straight with us. If commodification camps are here to stay, play it straight and tell it like it is.

    I am starting to get the feeling that the BMorg is looking at this like-
    “We sell 60,000+ tickets to this thing in the desert and it looks like 70-100 people are really really pissed off at some things we are doing while the other 59,900 people who buy our tickets could not care less what we do, so maybe it is best that we ignore these issues (we lwill not even give these issues the legitimacy of a reply) and it will all blow over away. So what if we lose the 100 pissed off people, we will gain another 60,000++ just through the Simpsons episode, so in the end we lose no money and we do have to answer to any peons. WE HAVE THE POWER, WE ARE THE BMORG!! WE ARE BIGGER THAN JESUS CHRIST!!! WE CAN DO WRONG!!! WE WILL LAST FOREVER!!! BWWAAHAHAHAHAAHAHHA!!!” “LONG LIVE US!!”.

    Heck they will probably gain more than 60,000 virgins through the TV ads(Malcolm, Simpsons, etc) and be able to raise ticket prices to the sky is the limit.

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  • Leo says:

    Hi Rusty Dice,
    You are probably right. It would be great to get an honest reply from the BMORG instead of radio silence. It is ultimately their gig and they can do what they want.

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  • Rusty Dice says:

    :( But… but… I don’t want to be right :(
    I want them to fix their mistakes :(

    Finally… The one time I am right… and I don’t want to be :(

    Oh well, we will always have Pairs…. errr…
    we will have the memories of the way things were on the Playa, back in the day

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  • Sandstorm says:

    Xeronimaus: Excellent post!

    It breaks my heart to think that my relationship with Burning Man has been permanently poisoned by the corrupt actions of certain members of the BM founders, THE BORG and the BM Board of Directors. I never thought that those people were SUPER HUMAN, I just thought that they’d be smart enough to not poison the well of a truly unique cultural oasis. I WAS CLEARLY MISTAKEN IN THAT REGARD.

    As much I despise that scumbag Jim Tannanbaum I’ve come to more so despise Maid Marian. Last summer she was in LA peddling “donation tickets” at a social mixer for well-off types. At the same time that that happened there were countless real burners who were trying to find a ticket to get HOME to see their dusty loved ones or get to The Temple to honor a loved one whom they lost or mourn a tragedy that they had experienced. Shame on Maid Marian for having become so pathetically corrupt and misguided.

    As much as I have 1 or 2 more burns left in me I don’t know that I’ll actually realize those burns. Given the fact that THE BORG is taking their sweet time riding out this clusterfuck it’s safe to assume that they’re in SO DEEP with folks such as Jim Tannanbaum that there’s no way for THE BORG to actually use the coming months to end their sleazy relationships with folks like JT.

    I’m glad that starting in ’07 I had 6 burns in 8 years. Perhaps I’ll find the way and energy to make it HOME last year. That said, I no longer feel the joy about BM that I felt as recently as the night I watched this year’s big burns via the web cam.

    RIP, Burning Man. you were THE GREATEST THING ON EARTH while you lasted.

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  • Leo says:

    Hi BMORG, we are still waiting for your answer.

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  • Lifeisshort says:

    Keep your answers short! So sick of people that just want to ramble.

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  • Storm t Com Camps says:

    StCC {Storm the Commodfication Cmps}; alerts BRC Citizens next event Those interested in

    -Animal Control reverse capture Safarists
    -Sherpa Fredom Fighters
    -aCLOWNturation expertize
    -Oblivion Pranksters
    -Mistresses of Misery
    -Invisibles and Infiltrators
    -Interested in: small scale EMP devices, loud sound and vibrational generation devices, communication

    jamming, laser hotspotting, PSYOP, disaffected volunteers, atomizer and odor crowd control
    -those with nothing to lose atan event that is teetering

    We are anonymous and will contact you, do not be alarmed, be charmed ONLY we can save this.
    we do not abide moles
    We show anything only to show the tip of a berg upon a Titanic
    We will interact with K Street.
    We build our own toys of destruction

    Expect Us. Moar.
    Locations for Commodification camps, members and associated compaines will be posted as they arrive.
    We are everywhere on PLaya and have already initiated cels. Expect our first action soon.

    The people of burning man will stage one last stand against those who seek to destroy what we create.

    Burning Man is year round so explore. {Foresite Capital Puma 2005 – Joie de vivre Hospitality Temderloin- Bluejay -who lef this here -M Buten – Quaker BioVentures – 005ECE – Pritzker rel FC – what preceed Thunder – sst – 50981 – Kimpton – Orchard kid- 2009 medittaion retreat – 77611+443 }

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  • Jim Trapp says:

    I’ll say one thing. If they don’t address this soon, what they stand to lose, is their VOLUNTEER base. I get that the attendees all have a part to play, but the spirit of volunteerism and community involvement, and getting involved in a spirit of self-inclusion, as I see a comment such as Temple Builder’s , is indeed the greater loss. You’re not just screwing over burning man by creating an unfair, preferential, promotional line for ticket sales (VIP? REALLY?), but you’re pissing off the volunteers, many, if not all of them whom pay full price for their ticket for the privilege of coming to contribute to the community. If people come to burning man intending to sit on their keysters or ‘observe’ without contribution, you’re actually, contributing to a new, and skewed media message to the outside world about what burning man actually IS. After all, if the big names in media were allowed to be included in such VIP ticket sales or the turnkey camps (Like most high profile reporters are in most third world countries or even WAR zones) , what does that say to the outside world? Here are burners, savages, on the screen behind me, while I report live from the Nevada Desert hydrated, clean, and reporting to you OBJECTIVELY? No, that’s not how this works, and this is NOT the message we send to the outside world, or to your future burners either. This completely skews the value of allowing burning man to be the grass roots organization it was when it BEGAN. Observers of burning man, can’t possibly be objective if by nature, their goal is to simply observe it. Neither can you instil any of burning man’s sophisticated cultural significance if it is merely OBSERVED. It’s a way of life.. and no VIP in a turnkey camp, will ever spread, share, nor ever experience burning man’s ‘effect’ on their lives, unless they learn how to live it from the grassroots up. The people I feel the sorriest for, are actually, the people who still believe in the founder’s messages. In a roundabout way of thinking, what if you founders had to actually play the ticket lottery like the rest of us? I bet you’d be less apt to give them away.. have any of you got any concept how difficult it is to get a ticket and for how long burners chew their nails going through your processes? You should try it sometime! Radical self-EXCLUSION!

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  • Jim says:

    Wordy comment, but solution, summarized in short order

    1) Buy your tickets according to the rules! NO EXCEPTIONS! No BLOCKS of tickets.

    2) Use the Internet to plan on what to do with the 1, 2, 3, or 4 tickets you decided to purchase, according to the rules. If WE have to follow the rules for buying a ticket, then there should be NO preferential sales. Each participating user buys 4 tickets. PERIOD.

    3) Suck it up. The art will flow to Burning man in the way it was intended. The core groups will form, function, and grow according to natural selection, NOT according to graphic depictions of regional groups.. how about you actually make burning man a legit group of people who decided to get a ticket, stood in line, and made the effort to buy it?

    4) Let the availability of tickets determine the exclusivity of the event, NOT the preference of demographics.. especially since you have juggled tickets to preserve the historical nature of the event which actually stifles the evolution of the event..

    Ticket blocks sold underhanded, are a waste of the very culture that began burning man. The way I see it, the only thing that’s stifled the event is it grew so popular you had to limit the number of people in black rock city. Here’s a thought! Sell the tickets you have FAIRLY, and you’d be surprised how much more respect there may be for people grateful and lucky enough, to actually win the lottery as opposed to buying their way in the gate. Hmm.. is this a difficult concept?

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  • TT120 says:

    We’re still waiting………

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  • Peace says:

    2015 Theme = Revolution

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  • PoopsieMcFannie says:

    I have been reading all the comments and ….. waiting……..

    I think that as a community we have come up with some really good solutions…..

    BORG… i hope you are reading it all……. We seem to be at a precipice right now… where are you going to go with this?

    I echo Rusty’s response ……. The one time I don’t want to be right…. please prove me wrong…..

    OR ……… maybe it’s time to create some competition…… turn away from those who have failed us and create something new……..Look at what went wrong and build it better……

    HRRRRRRRMMMMM decisions …. decisions…..

    waiting with bated breath for your move BORG!

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  • Dani says:

    Hey Jim – maybe the presage gets you the op for 4 tickets, but the main sale and others are 2 max. Let’s keep it that way.

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  • Fuzzy says:

    This subject was posted by Burning Man. Is this a poll to try and understand the Pro’s and Con’s of the questions presented? These question appear to have answers which could be presented by Burning Man. Why continue the debate in a vacuum when the facts would greatly help the society understand the complexities Burning Man faces.

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  • Daniel says:

    This whole thing seems to be unravelling.

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  • Frank Williams says:

    Look at the tone in these comments – absolutely overwhelming sentiment that the BOrg is stalling and trying to spin things.

    Look at the comments on Halycons posts: the community overwhelmingly agrees that things are wrong and the event may lose its luster.

    The sarcastic bullshit post that the BOrgs representative Caveat makes in response shows exactly what the BOrg things of us.

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  • Concerned about scalping says:

    I, for one, would like the fact that you guys are claiming to trying to prevent scalping by making it damn near impossible for people to get tickets, but are scalpting then yourselves to be addressed. Never sold out before, never had issues getting tickets before, never had issues with scalping before you guys started trying to prevent non existing problems. Offering tickets at above sale price, to a chosen group and calling it a donation? Aren’t we all donating? Isn’t that the point? Go back to first-come-first-served ticketing process, stop hiding tickets and watch how many issues fix themselves

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  • Enchilada says:

    greed, classists, self preservation. sounds like the default world. burningman IS jim baker, the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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  • leo says:

    Thank God I didn’t get a Burning Man tattoo!

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  • Dakota says:

    We need to be inclusive of everyone in our community; however, after twelve years of love and joy in my BM community I never thought we would have campers given preferential treatment when they act overtly EXclusive. Signs that say “go away” “private” and “you’re not welcome” don’t belong in our community.

    To surround yourself with an RV wall so you don’t have to see the community you are supposed to be a part of is not the BM I have come to love. If you are so famous and important you have to do that then maybe you should think twice about joining our community. I understand wanting to feel safe when you are well known but we are a passive people. Come and meet us!

    For BM Org to give preferential treatment, placement, tickets (WTF; I had to sweat it and beg for my tickets! So fuck that!) is not appropriate unless it is a theme camp which contributes something to our community. So, be famous, be wealthy, and come be a part of our community and offer something in the spirit of the experience and don’t separate yourself from us. For the organizers of these turnkey camps to be making a profit is not the BM way!

    Next year, let’s ALL go and sit in a circle around these camps and serenade them with song and offer gifts of joy to them so they see us for the beautiful people we are!

    We all know the answers to the above questions. BM Org can deny and spin to their hearts content but we know how corporations work. I don’t go to BM for them, I go for those who appreciate my gift of morning coffee and waffles and give me hugs and tissues when I have a breakdown at the temple. We are the ones who keep the spirit alive, not them. They build the structure of our community (and I love them for it) but we bring the spirit. I will forgive them their straying from the purpose and ask only that they admit their sins and that they hear us.

    ALL tickets – One price – Fair distribution

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  • CapnJoe says:

    The silence from the ORG is deafening!

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  • True Believer says:

    No word from BMorg means several things; SPIN. Deny. Excuse. Hide. Greed.

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  • Janely Troste says:

    Come on guys, they are not turn-key or plug’n play camps, those are fluffy terms used to disguise what these camps really are. Let’s call them what they are; Commodification Camps.

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  • Admiralllll says:

    I could actually give a rats ass about rich people and commodification camps. They are not the ones ruining the event for me. My problem is with with the proliferation of the “Broners,” the same douche bags who seem to be overwhelming Electric Daisy Carnival and many other EDM based festivals. They are getting their tickets just like everybody else, but roll in with little more than coolers & drugs; a bike, and a few halloween costumes. They are looking for two things: getting high and hot burner chick ass. Hasn’t anyone else noticed that all the dance floors are now 4-6-8 to one “dudes?” It might as well be Coachella or another Hollywood Club to them. I talked to the guy in Empire picking up abandoned bikes who told me the biggest lines of cars leaving were on THURSDAY AND FRIDAY this year. Why? My guess is not enough camps “gifting” meals to support the appetites of the frat boys and creepy pervs who came expecting free food in addition to the limitless free booze and potential pussy conquests and simply would rather have a few burgers in their bellies than watch a stick figure burn. Am I the only one who has noticed this trend? I’ve even witnessed it happening at regionals and other burner community parties. These guys used to stand on the sidelines while the girls filled the dance floors. Now they stand in front of the DJ all night pounding fists in the air and spazzing out around any unattached girls in the vicinity. The few women left on the dance floor now all seem to have their own “broner” standing by to block away any threat to his alpha maleness. So bring on the billionaires – at least they bring a ton of food and booze and enough models and hookers to keep the event from becoming “Sausage Man” or “The Electric Dusty Carnival.”

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  • Steve says:

    Well… I still don’t understand why it’s so difficult to answer these questions, but at least they seemed to have gotten all the right questions listed this time vs. the earlier posts that focused on virgins.

    I now believe you are listening, and although I’m confused by why these questions are so difficult to answer, after almost 20 years, I have lot of faith in the BMorg and I will try to continue waiting patiently.

    That being said, don’t take too long. The community is demanding real answers and it’s clear that the silence is only causing people to assume the worst.

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  • Ray Russ says:

    “We’re listening and you will have answers soon”

    First post in this thread was 11 November. The above quote is from the latest Jackrabbit Speaks on 19 November. So, at a minimum eight days have elapsed since this blog has even acknowledged what many others have pointed out over a month ago. Namely, that a hypocritical disparity exists between ‘regular’ attendees and those who’ve commodified the event by gaming the ticket system by a circuitous but effective means of purchasing highest tier tickets (aka Thank You Tickets) and then flipping them to be used for various commercialized versions of pay-to-camp or catered wipe-your-ass-for-you vacation packages costing multiple thousands of dollars.

    So my question is; when do we get an honest, straight forward explanation of why this was even allowed to happen in the first place? Instead what we get is a deafening silence which – to this reader – suggests a circling of the BORG PR wagons in order to come up with a nice, soothing smoke to blow up the collective ass of those asking question(s).

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  • AleXander says:

    With visuals to help explain my view of the, well, corruption.
    Displays of shame are expected.

    http://alexanderhirka.com/other/temporary-like-achilles-9-2013/

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  • Jericho says:

    @Dino

    I think you’re drawing a false equivalence.

    There are major substantive differences between paying into a relatively open institution which provides civic services and the walled-garden which is commodification camping.

    Of course, at its heart these are judgement calls: I’m not saying you’re *wrong* to feel the way you do, just that the major differences between what the borg does a what the commodification camps do are enough that to me the former does not feel exploitive, while the latter emphatically does, and I feel fully justified in my stance.

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  • Penguin says:

    It is truly sad to say, but there really is no way to “fix” this problem. For twenty or so years BMORG was able to defy reality, but no more … Yes Virginia it is true… You can’t go home again

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  • AleXander says:

    Those are SOME of the questions members of our community have raised – and SOME of them have pretty obvious and corroborated answers.
    These lead to accusations, with much information to back them up.
    (Fest300/Chip Conley has left behind a slug trail of evidence.)
    Shame, apologies, head-rolling, etc should be forthcoming.
    Silence is not golden here – and the insularity and lack of transparency of BMOrg year after year has created this power club that needs to questioned, occupied, re-organized, and truly answerable to the community – who should do better than the electorate in the default world and demand something better.

    Visual:
    http://alexanderhirka.com/other/temporary-like-achilles-9-2013/

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  • Wizard says:

    Simple solution that will get rid of turnkey camps and address the proliferation of yahoos on the last weekend: The gates and airport open on Sunday and close to new arrivals on Tuesday — No one is allowed to enter the event after that.

    Nor do the exit gates open until Saturday. Anyone wishing to leave before then must enter an exit staging area, and sit there for 4 hours.

    The rich kids and yahoos will both stay away. Will this impact veteran burners? Some, of course, but those of us who go to build a community and a city are already planning on staying that length of time anyways.

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  • Ulan says:

    “Actually, fixing it could be simple. Even the playing field and stop giving Commodification camps (because calling them turnkey is just trying to hide what is really going on) preferential treatment. This means no treatment like a theme camp, no EA passes, no distributed tickets unless they actually are a theme camp. And all the Commodification camps from this past year should be denied theme camp privileges for next year and not beplaced, get no EA passes and no distributed tickets.”

    I agree with all of this.

    But any solution >>MUST<< start with a clear accounting of the facts. What actually happened? Our community needs to know.

    I would also appreciate a narrative by those in charge explaining how they arrived at the decisions they did. While it is great to know what happened, sometimes it is even more educational to know how.

    When you give freely, you often get back far more than you gave. Teachers who give freely to their students are rewarded by knowing thei have helped improve the lives of their charges. The Burning Man Org has a chance to similarly give to our community. My beliefs is BMorg will gain far more than they give. But they must give freely.

    Please help educate us. We want to know what happened. And we can help fix it too, if you will allow us into the discussion.

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  • Old_School_Geezer says:

    It has changed. While it is still “the Borg’s party in the desert” which they were kind enough to allow us to attend (after buying a ticket) there was a paradigm shift in the event when the commodification (aka Turnkey) camps started increasing.

    The first part was when we were told that parts of the event were now as off limits as first camp. I don’t want to hang around first camp (kind of like hanging around the bosses office on steroids), but to be told that we were not allowed by security personnel in some various and known locations isn’t part of the inclusion ethos.

    We had a couple rather famous people who (to put it in the words of one) “escaped from their handlers” to see “what burning man was really about”.

    We saw an increase in booze consumption (300+%) at our bar, in one instance running out of booze by Wednesday. The “frat boy” phenomenon spoken to above has increased to the point that some of our core burners have said “no more” to the event. The level of apathy among core members of a number of theme camps is increasing rapidly. People go, not to share and gift, but to take, to be entitled, and to sponge. I know some of us don’t… but we are the shrinking minority.

    I think… I’m going to start a storefront at our theme camp. Charge cash prices and sell burner goods – blinkies, packaged food, costume parts, etc. Maybe even a bike or 12. I can’t see this as any different than the current commodification and exclusionary ethos at the burn; my only question is, what does the org charge for frontage space for my sales operation?

    Don’t like it? Well… why would you have separate standards and rules for one class of burner, and a different one for a different class of burner. You can’t answer that without either upholding – or destroying – the class divisions you have, by these commodification caps, established. We – the long time burners who have dedicated our life to this art – are being used to bring the commodification camps and the org – huge profits, for no recompense. One burner friend calls it bullshit. One attorney friend says “Hmmm, class action lawsuit”. More than one camp leader and art car builder called it quits.

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  • Baldipar says:

    ‘Moving towards effective solutions’ – Boy, if that’s not corporate double-talk!

    How about this: ban them completely. Problem solved. Or change Burningman entirely to a corporate mall model and be upfront about it.

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  • Bill Bob says:

    Obviously these would be easy answers to give. Not having a level playing field for buying tickets is an issue that will destroy the event. It has started.
    The cure—a NEW spin off event that is back to the roots! I would go to the new event that isn’t focused on money.

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  • Jim Orr says:

    “For Profit” Camps aren’t Theme Camps by defintition. I know actual burners who were denied theme camp status and placement because they were not interactive “enough”. Yet those with money and nothing to add to the community get status and placement. Spin it as you will, but we all know that’s the truth.

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  • Meat Master says:

    What a shit storm!
    I am an 8 time burner. First time 06. In the default world you would never know I was a burner. The thing that kept me going back again and again was that the Playa is the only place on Earth where you can see this level of commitment to your cause with no corporate strings attached. The last 2 years with elite sections guarded by security people and selfish Art car attitudes was exactly what this event did NOT have when I first started attending. You always knew change was coming but with all the talk of keeping the “Core” values intact you would think that change would still have those values a centerpiece. Unfortunately it has morphed into a different vibe. At heart I am disappointed. I know there are people who couldn’t get tickets who would have provided energy that is needed to support the thing called Burning Man. Instead those tickets went to people who didn’t build their camp or even bother to participate outside of party. It appears that the leaders have become greedy and with that greed comes consequence. I am sure there will always be an event but until the leaders follow the values they expected us to follow I am not sure I want to give my money, time or my Art to them. Be well

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  • Ang says:

    Lose all RV’s but for the very old, ill, very young, family with kids. Thursday night silent night. Only human voice, drum, marching bands. Those turnkey camps will be gone so fast. And I might even come back………big fat chance I bet.

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  • David Brown says:

    Dear Burning Man Staff,
    the questions you put forth are truly challenges.

    God must love you because he keeps giving you challenges!

    Thanks for All You Do!

    Dont let the Bastards Get You Down!
    Burner in my 60s
    aka DaddiBrown

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  • ruby says:

    Dayum. I am feeling a lot less guilty about getting my ticket on stubhub on or about Aug 10th for $750! (And regretting like hell that I felt I had to hide that fact from the regular burners I met and partied with.)

    I couldn’t believe the frequency and level of derision I heard from the common burner folks about “those douchebag scalpers” and the people who support them, ie moi.

    I had legitimate tiks that I couldn’t use in 2010 and 2011 and sold them below cost. I believe it was 2011 when it sold out for the first time. Hmmmm wasn’t that the same year they implemented the lottery to supposedly fix the SIMPLE “server insufficiency” issue that required 8 hrs online waiting to get a tik the year before? I always wondered why BM didn’t just have their ticket company beef up their servers to handle the ticket launch.

    And now we know the truth about why BM devised the most convoluted, draconian, heartbreaking and FUTILE ticket process known to man!

    Soooooo glad I got my scalped ticket 20 min after it occurred to me to go!

    I am sorry I went and I left early (thurs). 2007 was my first burn. It was a big friendly village of interesting people. Everything was OPEN and inviting. 2014? Noisy. Walls everywhere. Big dirty city. Damn unsafe after dark — almost got hit/run over by fast moving art cars, bikes. (Sure….there were magical things, people and moments too)

    I suggest that perhaps BMORG has poisoned the whole event. Polluting just one principle pollutes them all. It disgusts me that the prime polluter (Bmorg) was so successful at creating a legion of meme foot soldiers to spout the evils of buying tiks for a little over face value! I don’t mind compensating some schmuck who subjected himself to THAT HORRID TICKET SYSTEM. He earned it.

    What I do deeply care about is the repulsive thought of SLAVES (sherpas) on the playa. Revolting!

    Oh surely the IRS is on top of this one, right?

    And I bet my $300 scalp cost that the BLM has VERY strict rules about leasing the land out to nonprofits! As in….they probably can’t lease it out to for profits!

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  • ruby says:

    Also, I wasn’t one bit surprised when I heard about that woman who was run over and killed by the art car/bus.

    I was surprised that there weren’t more deaths!

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  • Leo says:

    Hey BMORG,
    Is anyone home? We are still waiting for your answers, hopefully without any spin.

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  • Takota says:

    There is a lot of noise here and I have not taken the time to read it all. My request (and I believe it is one that will quiet some of this noise) its that the org shows some more transparency around this process.

    1) Let us know what happened now, give us the data. This is fact and does not need time unless the plan is to add spin.
    2) Share where you are in the process of deciding what to do next, share what you see your options are and when you plan to have some decisions. Even if you miss your deadlines this will give participants some sense of how things are moving forward.
    3) Request input from the community so that there is a feeling of common ownership of this event that we all love.

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  • Wingman says:

    While I doubt too many will read down this far I’ll still toss in my 2 cents worth;
    I am long time burner that has also had the privilege of working with some of the most wicked-smart, hardest working people at Burning Man, Burning Man DPW ROCKS! The event itself is nothing short of amazing and I will cherish a lot of the experiences I’ve had participating over the years.

    While my tenure with DPW was short most, if not all of my difficulties came from interactions with members of BMORG.

    Mine was one of the very few *paid* positions and I was CONSTANTLY reminded of the fact that there were hundreds, if not thousands of starry-eyed wannabes ready to replace me in a heartbeat if I didn’t like how things were done.

    I was told in no uncertain terms that I would have to stop applying for overtime pay regardless of work demands if I wanted to keep my position.

    I was giving money and food to fellow DPW crew members so they could eat during the event because they were “standing down” and weren’t being fed in the commissary.

    The individual that makes the decision about who gets to eat and who doesn’t took delivery of a $13000.00 golf cart (with the optional tire and wheel package @ $200.00 a pop) One senior staffer housed in first camp got a $6000 upgrade on their trailer so their kid could have a bath. Meanwhile crew members were taking their kids to the “staff” co-ed showers.

    I was saddled with a “manager” that was hostile, abusive and downright dangerous to work with. I feared for my own safety and eventually left. NOTHING effective was done about this individual until 2- 3 years later.

    If you want to carp about “turn-key” camps just go take a look at First Camp sometime, it is the original turn-key camp.

    I have managed to piss off all the wrong people when I spoke my truth(s) and am therefore persona non grata.

    BMORG is an unholy mess with all manner of skeletons in their collective closets. Greed, avarice and dishonesty seem to be their bylaws so what do you expect?

    The event will probably never be what it *used* to be, it has evolved too far for that.
    If WE want the event to be a reflection of the REAL Burner Community then WE have to take it back!

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  • Duuude says:

    Limits are limits. This isn’t physics, it’s societal. If you, the BORG, can’t have your outside BORG projects and travel the world to spread the lifestyle of BM without trashing the values you flaunted to build the cadre of faithful, then concentrate on BRC and those of us who help build the city from the inside, those same faithful. If you need turnkey camps to grow the art base, have a smaller art base. Going back to fifty thousand people would not be bad, for the faithful.

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  • Manamana says:

    Thanks Jackrabbit for referring me to the list of still unanswered questions.
    ….still waiting BM.org

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  • larry finley says:

    There might be more and more plug and play camps, but Spankys Wine Bar is the only butt plug and play camp

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  • Radiant Dust says:

    Certainly it’s important to hear just what happened with these new turnkey camps.

    But how about putting it into perspective and also answering these questions about first camp, the original turnkey camp:

    What preferential treatment does first camp get?
    Why do they get that preferential treatment?
    Who outside of first camp provides accountability if they take more than others?

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  • Jolly green giant says:

    I have read what seems like hundreds of your blogs. I have tried to distill what your salient points seem to be 1.preferential treatment in the procurement of tickets 2.preferential placement on the Playa 3.the selling of tickets,by BM , at above market rates 4.”Turn key” Camps not inline with BM values 5. Some “rich people” acting rich 6.anyone in a RV is an inconsiderate asshole. As I have stated before,in other blogs, I am a vendor. Most of you are under a lot of miss-information. It is as follows 1.Most of us vendors,I for one, Do Not buy or sell any tickets. 2. Most of us vendors,I for one, Do Not Get any “special placement service”. 3.Most of us vendors,I for one, are contractually prohibited from anything other then maintenance of the equipment that we rent. That Means no cooking of meals, No bar tending service, No maid service, No Art Car service etc etc. As far as the “BM Value Claim” I find your complaints dubious. Have there been some terrible examples ? Yes! Without a doubt. But they are the exception not the rule. It should not be a surprise to any of you but there exists both Poor and Rich Assholes in this world. And finally to you Neanderthals who oppose “RVs” get a life. As I have said before I was an Armored Cav Officer (tanks) and I did not become a better person by sweating my rear end off in one.

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  • Loady says:

    Theme camps that are placed via application are supposed to have public areas and offer something to the public who are not members. Since the plug and play camps got placement what did they offer the public-non members? Did they have a public space? It was my understanding that they were only open to members?
    And did the plug and play camps get directed tickets?
    Anyone know?

    “Answer girl already answered the question “Do turnkey camps get preferential treatment?” And it was YES. They get placement and EA passes as a registered theme camp does.”

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  • stech says:

    fuck you.

    after as many years as I have been, seeing these camps are an abomination. That. the crime. (our camp having been victim of that this year BY said camps) and the overall general attitude to attendees make The Burn no better than a Phish concert.

    I will relish the years I have loved the Playa. My connections to the people I have met will be lifelong.

    your principles, which i adhere to in the real world based on my first time with you, will also be lifelong.

    I shake my head sadly and you and say goodbye. I love you.

    I hope you change back, but as progress happens, you will never be the same. And that is just what time does.

    goodbye.

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  • redBone says:

    @Will Chase, what you are really saying is that “it’s a complicated problem, we don’t want to piss off our big doner camps cuz that will decrease our influx of thier BIG $$$” It’s all a big joke. As a theme camp leader for the last 10yrs, we have been treated well for sure. though I must say, I have seen the decline in quality burns and noticed the quantitiy in BORG fuck ups. You guys broke Burningman and don’t know HOW to fix it. Now when can I get my block of tickets…?

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  • Ninecorks says:

    I’ve been coming for quite a few years, and my one truism is:

    You Get the Burn you Bring.

    If you come pissed off about turnkey, or whatever, you’re going to find issues with them. Me, I generally show up alone — “What camp are you with? I AM my camp.” — meet some cool people in the nearby camps and have a wonderful time. BRC is so large that the turnkeys just never impact on me. Well, they do have one impact, those of us not part of a camp are stuck out in BFE H and beyond. I worry that in a few more years it’ll be K and beyond unless you’re pre-placed.

    For those saying “It’s not what it was when I first started coming”. Ya know what? People have been saying that since year two. No, I wasn’t there, I just know how people are.

    Still, the turnkeys may be getting out of hand. If they get EA, put ’em out on L. Check the Moop Map. If they get less than a Green rating, they’re banned for a year. (Not that it’ll work. Someone with enough money will just have other people buy the tickets and come in under a different name.). Or get rid of EA. Run the RVs into a separate line, and let one in for every ten cars.

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  • Pilgrim says:

    No early arrival RVs allowed, except in the case for long-term crew, old farts and those who need it for their health.

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  • Zippo says:

    This blog has been going on for 9 days now, and there’s some pretty pissed off people here. I’ve read the majority of the posts. Actually, I salute Burning Man for allowing an open forum for people to comment. “Let ’em get it off their chest”.

    Will Chase says, “It’s very complicated. We have a number of people working on it. We’ll let you know………….” This is corporate spin at its finest. Delay, delay, let the protestors “get it off their chest”, and it’ll go away. Hey, what happened to the “Occupy” movement. A blip on the radar screen of American Capitalism, and then it’s gone. And it’s back to “business as usual”.

    There will be no “meaningful solutions” Why? Because there’s too much MONEY involved. The wealthy get invited to dinner at First Camp where they get regaled with stories about “Community” and fostering “Creative visions”, and they’re asked for money for the BM’s non-profit spinoffs, or for the “Burning Man Project” itself. That’s the new name for the old LLC, and since it’s now a 501 (c) 3, the rich can write it all off on their taxes. It’s a BUSINESS transaction.

    Perhaps there’ll be some small, incremental steps like asking the turnkey camps to “act more friendly”. And be sure to clean up after yourselves. That’s a big deal. Have your “sherpas” take care of it. But they’ll always get their tickets “taken care of” and they’ll always have EA, and preferred placement. Why? Because Burning Man is now a BUSINESS.

    I’ve been going for 16 years, and have been a volunteer for 10 years. Over the last few years, since the old LLC transformed itself into the 501 (c) 3 “Burning Man Project’, the pace of change from the old “community-base-event” to the new “business model” has accelerated drastically. The needs of the rich, with their polished rental RV’s, waitstaffs, cooks, sherpas, private art cars, etc. WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF. Why—? You know the answer. The Ten Principles, which were written by Larry Harvey himself in 2003, are so LAST CENTURY.

    And, if all the uproar over preferential treatment for the wealthy wasn’t enough, I got an e-mail this week from the Burning Man Project asking me to “Give the Gift of Burning Man” for Christmas. It was s solicitation for MONEY! I can’t believe this—I really can’t.

    I’m sorry if I sound cynical here, but as the title of the DPW handbook says, it’s THE WAY IT IS.

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  • ab dive says:

    Party at Plug-N-Play/Turnkey next year!!! BYOB
    Love thy neighbor

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  • shade says:

    I’m always late to the party….

    People are looking for answers… STOP! At best the answers to these questions will be embarrassing. We all know the answers, why try to beat them out of the BORG. It serves no meaningful purpose.

    Looking for change… it’s happening right now. Not at the high levels, but at the lower levels, you and me are making decisions in reaction to the new ‘burningman experience’. The old is done and gone, it’s simply what will you do going forward.

    I run a small theme camp. It’s 15 people providing a welcoming and fun experience for 300+ people who happen to drop by. It’s a good ratio. Importantly, we enjoy the experience because we get back as much as we put in. We talk to people; it’s a great mix of long term burners and virgins. What I hear….

    1. Most people are planning on scaling back on what they do. Too many are saying that they are working too hard for the meager benefits.

    2. People feel unappreciated for what they do. They are looking for alternatives to give their experience better balance.

    3. Ticket prices are high enough, if much higher then the expectation changes from a volunteer, we make the experience, to a ‘I paid for this, entertain me’.

    So look at the last few year. It’s still the best party on the planet, but where are the roller coasters. What has happened to the truly spectacular and exciting art pieces that used to be so prevalent. When are they going to do another full eclipse of the moon?

    I have no expectation that the BORG will change, and don’t fault them for it. They too are working hard for the meager benefits. One of those new benefits is to bask in the glow of the glitterati and their gold plated toilets.

    The bottom line is that volunteers are slowly going to cease to provide the experience expected by the entitled. The entitled will disappear, and it will correct itself. Will it be better or worse… who cares, it will still be interesting.

    I will continue to do what I do well. Run a great camp. I believe if you just quit, only the idiots that caused the mess are left standing. The solution to all of the problems is to contribute (work) smarter, not harder… Think about it.

    Pet peeve which dwarfs all others… the scramble to get cell phone and internet connectivity to the playa. Nothing will ruin the place faster than that. It will allow the posers, frat brats, and ilk to annoy the rest of us. I for one truly relished dropping off the grid for a week.

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  • Blueschaser says:

    BMORG: in the face of the firestorm you engendered by allowing Commodification Camping, you now have the audacity to mention AGAIN in latest JRS “we’re (ahem)(still) listening”??? Short answers to easy questions would suffice! Or maybe you haven’t noticed there are now some 180 comments that denote how fed up the community of burners is with your continued silence?

    Did you allow CC to purchase tix unavailable to the public? Evidence points to “YES”
    Did you grant CC early arrival in spite of them being furthest thing from a theme camp? Again, all evidence points to “YES”
    Did sherpas in employ of CCs receive tix also, or did you categorize them as “service providers” not needing a ticket?

    We’ll wait for your lawyer-cleared spin down the road.

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  • Strider says:

    I guess we have our answers. Still a couple questions. Now what do we do? Which board members were involved in this and when do we get to vote for board members?

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  • Mordecai says:

    You already know these camps are unnecessary and are in direct opposition to several of the 10 Principles. Apparently there are issues with ticket distribution that I am unaware of, and if true, are really disheartening and utterly unacceptable. WE all know that just about every issue with the camps are wrong, so simply ban them already. There should be no debate at this point unless you have something to hide.

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  • Gatamala says:

    Allrighty… 15 year burner here. Instead of bitching , I will offer some possible solutions. You BORG peeps, prolly have some access to people who volunteer for the event and create art and stuff. Those people should get priority tickets along with the camps that have been coming for many years and clean up their own shit and contribute. Yippie camps who effed up the last year and who can hack their way into the ticket systems are denied entry. We still need some virgins, but maybe give some old burners to still be able to buy tickets so they can show them the way. Ok.. back to making dust clouds with my farts.

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  • Daniel says:

    I’m a crusty old burner and have a big gripe with BMORG. You suck. Commodification camps suck. If rich people want to go to BM they should embrace the ethos of the event and not be allowed to have Playa Sherpas catering for them. But that’s up to the BMORG to go back to the first-come-first served ticket sales. Also, you Broners stop coming to BM because it’s embarrassing to see you in your F’d up war bonnet. It’s probably too late to “fix” anything, but I’d start with the airport and limit the flights to less then 50. then the rich kids will have to play like the rest of us and wait in dust to get in. If I go back to the dirt I’m gonna make a lot of noise outside the walls of Black Rock “K” Street compounds. And maybe there will be an epiphany and the security goons who are there to protect the rich won’t be allowed either. WTF is up with BMORG for letting this condition exist in the first place ? Greed ? So much for radical self reliance.

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  • sarah haynes says:

    Glad you have the Questions right, please rephrase it to Commodification Caps while you keep working on the spin. Look, we aren’t dumb. We know you will look a lot less lame if you disclose (or partially disclose) the past WHILE announcing the “don’t worry everything will be so much better” future. And I do feel confident that it will be much better – but this is taking way too long. The past DOES NOT have moving parts. It is as still as a photograph. Show us the picture- then move on to re-writing the future.

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  • blurh 007 says:

    I saw the group of men in their aloha shirts with luggage in the quad runner driven by an obvious chauffeur. I followed them inside only to see them drop all luggage in the entry to have staff bring to their rooms. Proceeding in I was amazed at the opulence of this place. Not a single person stopped to say hello, nobody entertaining ,nobody engaging anyone that was not a member of their own little groups as they sat in the perfect little conversation pits. Watching me like I was some sort of stalker, or maybe I was part of the show and needed to start entertaining them. Realizing I was not, they went back to wondering if they might possibly see one of the naked women they have heard so much about. Asking the bartender with her perfectly proper nipple pasties what the gig was I was informed that only guests were allowed to imbibe. Disgusted I took some pictures to prove to all where I had been, I left. I enjoyed the rest of my burn, but was bummed out by this walled camp every time I went by It’s my route out 10 to deep playa. Make them work for it. Let them get stuck in a three hour white out without the right shit (that I’m sure they are supplied with) then maybe they might have a better outlook. Jealous? NO, They are the ones that are missing the point. It is sooo much more enjoyable when you work for it. sit in line for the ticket, pull all the old playa wear out and wonder if you should actually wash it before going, spend days packing more shit than you will ever need (because someone else will for sure need something) drive for nine hours, sit in line for entry for a few ( maybe a lot ) more hours, build your shelter, set up whatever kind of interaction you planned, and meet all the people you can. Talk to someone you can barley understand party with people you’ve never met and treat them like you’ve known them your whole life. You can do this because there exists a bond. The fact that you all busted your ass to get there. There is no way you can possibly appreciate it or feel it if all you did is show up. No TO THE PLUG AND PLAYS ! Possibly a little civil disobedience is in order. If they like the walls, let them stay inside. Picket the camps, blockade the supply chain. Let them eat wilted salads, and warm champagne. Enough said.

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  • Spy D says:

    ladies and gentlemen, we have jumped the shark.

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  • Curtis says:

    I’m a 6 year burner and proud co-founder of a new theme camp this past year. We worked our asses off to make our live music camp happen, many of us investing more money, time, and resources than we had (for the sake of a long-term vision in a community we deemed worthwhile). I had never been so proud to have actually contributed something so meaningful to the community of volunteers and participants who had given so much of themselves to me in years past.

    It is utterly heartbreaking to come to understand how these commodification camps have grown and started to infiltrate the ways in which Burning Man is functioning. Reading the comments on this page reassures me just how widespread these gripes are and one can only predict the inevitable boycotts from Burners who give everything for nothing (expect all of that REAL magic).

    Own up to what’s going on! Mistakes can be corrected and solutions can be created. The community is awaiting authentic leadership and course correction. Please don’t kill to magic. Burning Man is the place where I truly learned to give all of myself for the pure LOVE of it. Exclusivity is ugly and contradictory to what drew me to Burning Man in the first place!

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  • alex says:

    We are all hypocrites, and we are all human.

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  • JennaRaytor says:

    “Community evolves out of relationships and relationships are built out of communication, conflict resolution, disagreements and coming together. Talking with each other keeps us engaged and keeps us participating.” –Kristen Berg, aka Answergirl, )'( Placement Team Manger

    ***Sparkle Ponies, take note next time you complain that someone else didn’t fill your water tank for you while you were out dancing and collecting bedmates***
    Like

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  • "F" st AKA Mark whitman says:

    Been involved for the last 13 years, hauling coffee and mechines for the cafe,have made the cafe village ship “distant light” and the angler fish “DEEP THROAT” haul fresh organic produce from our home in humboldt for the cafe village kitchen.
    their has been changes and one has to wonder if the population in crease is contrubiting to the greater experiance or just voyers bringing a neg energy on the larger community that makes the ritchual that the planet needs to transion city born to a closer small community mind set that makes BM so powerful and gives it meaning.
    Do we need them/want them? what do they bring to the table??

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  • Geo says:

    Hey, Geo here, architect of Red Lightning. This was my 14th year and I’ve dabbled in pay to play camping. I like what Dakota said, but she should know that The Org doesn’t give preferential treatment to rich people camps that show up, they get put way back. Red Lightning has thrown down big time, working hard to offer interactive presentations that rock. That is the reason some of us do get good locations and first choice paid tickets.

    I also like what Shade said, he gets this paradigm, that to do this super crazed work, spending thousands of dollars and months of time to entertain you participants, we need money. So to ask our campers to pony up a few hundred bucks is necessary and should be the norm. It is the only sustainable method to create burning man.

    However, some of these fools that are spending thousands and being exclusive and shit like that is not cool. Everyone should have to invite everyone into their camps. That’s the bottom line, this is the fine red line in the playa. Every naked drunk mo fo, must be given access to every lounge and every camp must offer something for everyone to play with. It is how you present that, that is the skill of veteran burners. PS ( if the mo fo’s are ornery, you can kick them out!)

    Blessings to all you good folk, let’s keep it civil and in proper perspective.

    Geo Frey

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  • Motz says:

    As an 11 year Burner, 8 year mayor of Stag Camp and a long time volunteer the Borg facilitating preferential treatment for Commodification Camps disturbs me immensely. This issue is destroying my enthusiasm to “Bring It” to this year and future burns. There are many changes I would like to see to help the community recover from this punch to the gut that we contributing participants feel right now. Please give us plentiful truthful answers and meaningful change soon so that we can see that you “Get It”. This is bigger than the poor decision making we as a community warned you about with the ticket lottery. A radical change in course away from facilitating Commodification Camps in any way is needed.

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  • Gizmo says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed here. Im also an 11 year burner here and theme camp organizer. I feel exactly the same way. It is profoundly disheartening to see the ORG bend over backwards to accommodate what is obviously antithetical to the culture of the event. Why are Commodifications Camps being placed at all? Why are they getting early arrival? Its ridiculous. A commercial hotel business on the playa being given early arrival, placement (regardless of where it is) and access to massive amounts of tickets while the rest of us are limited to 2 each is unacceptable.

    The fact that a BM Board Member was behind one of these just is salt in the wounds.

    And as usual, the Org exhibits a tone-defeasness regarding this issue. The attitude seems to be that our complains are illegitimate and we are a bunch of ungrateful whiners.

    But the reality is this strikes at the very fabric of the event and if the ORG continues on this “embrace the money” path, as evidenced by their choice to have more multi-millionaires on the board of directors than artists, they will lose the soul of the event. It will be a very popular very profitable music festival. If that’s what they want, will keep it you’re doing great work.

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  • JoBu says:

    Last year was my first burn. I tried at every chance to purchase tickets to na avail. I ended up buying a ticket for $700 dollars!!(alot of money for me). I hung out at one of those pop up hotels where the men there pooled $20,000 each and had “models” there as well. They had rows of segways, rows of brand new big wheel burner bikes, air conditioned bungalows and served gourmet chocolate to their guests.

    I just want to know, how did they get a hold of so many tickets when I just wanted to buy 4? No way these guys were in front of their computers trying and trying to buy 2 at a time like my friends and I were so whole heartedly.

    I don’t have a problem with wealthy people. I am happy for their success. I just want to know how I can get in on the ticket game they seemed to have mastered?

    I helped build a camp and even helped a little building of the temple. I doubt any of those cats did anything like that.

    If burning man is a rich man’s game now, I wish the the org would just admit it.

    I am just so worried I won’t get a ticket mext year because the festival was the best week I have ever had in my life! I am greatful of the experience I had and I want to share it with my friends that I know would get it.

    JoBu

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  • Marquee says:

    What to add that’s not been said?

    I don’t want to be in their ticket game. That to me is accepting that as a reality which feels gross to me, to put it lightly.

    If the BORg is making extra cash off of any camp, wealthy or not, then they really have issues. Their complete tone deafness is very off putting along with the attempts at restructuring the website to bury this blog post and hide the 200+ negative comments. I know, the site is more user friendly and all around cleaner/better, but the blog aspect leaves much to desire while also ignoring the voices of the community that actually put on the show.

    It’s basically known know that they’ve been selling tickets up until the last second for extra $$$, giving the Commodification Camps placement them, letting them leave MOOP everywhere, and keeping JT on board?!? What is going on? Without a response from them to clarify, mediate, or even answer a single one of those questions is very gross. It’s getting harder and harder everyday for this burner to want to “bring it” as well…

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  • Dragon says:

    Having attemded the event every year since 1998 and a very active volunteer until 2011. Spent thousands of $$ and hundreds of hours of work. The greeter beacons are my creation and other than the man they are the most recognised image from BM today. Are you aware that artists that create the art for the org get no recognition unless you are one their friends like David Best. People they use get zero recognition and are not respected and not treated as artists.
    Commodification, preferential access to tickets prime realestate preference,bribery and lieing have become normal.
    I know each of the founders and they are good people who loved the event. There are some who have fallen to fame and money and lost the vision!
    Im not going to point any fingers or reveal who they are but they and I know the truth. Big money changes good people into fools and tools trying to find fame!
    My recommendation is that we the people stop volunteering and make the event pay for their labor as long as they allow big money to call the shots!
    I WAS a believer but no longer And I’m not alone! Burningman will be but a memory in 5 years if they continue on this path. It worked when people belived and will fail when they don’t’

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  • ab dive says:

    Not in my ethos to mess with the shark…I’m out….waters were feeling a little sharky this year. Has taught me much. Anyone want to join me at AfrikaBurn?

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  • TT120 says:

    Still waiting………

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  • Mercedese Witty says:

    i have gone every year since 2008… this last year of 2014, There were actually people and camps that seemed not to understand that Burning Man is a friendly event, not just something you pay money to get in to. Years, past…. me and my bag of gifts could walk up pretty much to anyone, anywhere, strike up a conversation, give out some gifts and make new and oftentimes lasting friends. This year approximately six times…. I was pretty much either ignored or just told no thanks, we don’t want any…. move along…. they should have looked in the bag first as i make really elegant and beautiful necklaces…. this was disheartening to me, so i pretty much just stayed in my neighborhood with my camp……… i feel that as more and more people show up…. less and less people have the real idea of what the event is about. I am not sure if it can even be fixed at this point. i am just glad that i made it to BRC before it started to get so stiff.

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    • charlie says:

      WOW!
      I have done logistical support for my wife the last 5 burns.
      This year, I made it out there myself.
      I guess when a nerd like me finally makes it out there you know it’s played.
      While I had fun, Turnkey city really was bizarre.

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  • GrimNexus says:

    So.
    I like all of this overall.
    And not to embellish the subject;
    Question though
    As is newly stated on the front page of burningman.org :
    “Burning Man is not a festival. It’s a catalyst for creative culture in the world.”

    What new solutions could be offered for what is going on in Ferguson from our “catalyst for creative culture in the world”?

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  • Brooksy says:

    I didn’t even know there was a Turkey camp! I love turkey! With stuffing and cranberry sauce….Mmmmmm!
    Oh…turNkey! My bad! And they are bad! Overworked sherpas….mistresses of merriment? Radical reclusiveness…c’mon guys!

    Is the Burning Man organization profiting off turnkey camps? …..Probably

    How did turnkey camps get all their tickets? ….Through back channels and a new board member

    Do turnkey camps get preferential treatment? …..Yes

    Were people buying blocks of tickets through the Burning Man Project donation ticket program in the days before the event?
    I dunno…tell us

    If so, why? …I dunno….tell us

    Are turnkey camps undermining the practice of Decommodification and Self-Reliance? …..abso-fukin-lootly!

    What is going to happen to the turnkey camps going forward? ….they will be forced into the collective…resistance is futile!

    Is there accountability for poor behavior? ….well-heeled folks are never accountable….they just buy their way out of problems

    Our camp was lovely….everyone brought water and gas and food…I prepared several meals for everyone outta my food stores… we were self reliant…decommodified and happy…. I see these lazy fux on segways and it pissed me off….but mainly it was their attitude…they were riding the dickmobiles 4-5 across without even trying to avoid oncoming bikes and traffic….why? Because if they road 2×2 or in a line….well then they cannot talk to each other and that would be soooo inconvenient!
    I imagine just the bad ones stood out…I’m sure that some at least tried to mingle with the huddled masses and be a part of the positive energy.
    I truly believe in inclusiveness and would welcome these folks if they did the right thing. In my mind…that would be…get in a tent or reasonable camper and live like anyone else….take the obscene amounts of money they spent last year and support more art….real stuff made by burners….and get out on the playa and help those same artists construct the damn things!
    It’s not a vacation….it’s an experience….it’s pitching in….sharing….meeting people you may end up loving forever!
    And leave the fukin default life they live at the perimeter fences. They can be rich again in a week!

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  • Motz says:

    As of the time stamp on this post I am on strike.

    I will not plan for or prepare for my Theme Camp Black Rock City Welding and Repair or Stag Camp 9 where I am Mayor.

    I will not plan for or prepare for my gifts of The Night Time Warming Station, BRCW+R Radio Station, Flight Club or the Bondage Barber Chair.

    I will not volunteer at, donate to or attend anything Burning Man related.

    I will not promote Burning Man, The Burn, or the philosophies surrounding such unless it is in support of fellow strikers.

    I will be on strike until I’m satisfied with the level of transparency the BM Org delivers as to how Commodification Camps were preferentially treated in the past and what concrete changes will be made regarding how Commodification Camps will be treated in the future.

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  • Triple Bunnee says:

    It might be different if the dwellers of the turnkey camps participated in the event in any way. If they welcomed folks into their camps. If they helped those who need it. If they volunteered with the organization. It’s just another “vacation” or “bucket list” place in the world which they wanted to see, but on their terms. It feels more like they are visitors to the zoo and we are the animals they paid to see. Actually, it’s kind of sad for them, if you think about it. We are the lucky ones who realize what Burning Man is about and they don’t have a clue.

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  • Jack says:

    Reading the BLM stipulations (linked on the public document page of the BurningMan website), a couple of points that need to be addressed:
    http://burningman.org/network/about-us/public-documents/

    Section 35:
    “Itemized detailed gross revenue report.. including:
    Directed group sale, miscellaneous sale…”

    ie: how much money did bmorg bring in with the “turnkey camps”?

    Section 16 covers “commercial use is prohibited.. unless specifically authorized and permitted by BRC and BLM… includes, but is not limited to … food services, waste disposal, recreational/trailer rental..”

    Did bmorg have prior approval from BLM to allow Turnkey camps? (since those provide food service and trailer rental)

    Did the “Sherpas” have authorization as required under the closure order (section J of the order)?
    “The public closure area is closed to use by members of the public unless that person: ..is a commercial operation to provide services to the event organizers and/or participants authorized by BRC LLC through a contract or agreement and authorized by BLM through a Special Recreation Permit. ..”

    Hosting a Turnkey camp would be seen as “providing services” to (certain) participants and require pre-authorization of the BLM though a “Special Recreation Permit”
    I don’t see a copy of that “Special Recreation Permit” on the document page of the website.

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  • Robert says:

    Welcome to the dawn of civilization.

    I have never been to burning man. By the time I had learned of it’s existance, it was already on a path to civilization. The camps will become nations, the nations will fight for resources and it will become just another example of what the world is today.

    Stop it. Each camp must simply rebel and create its own version somewhere else, sometime else. Keep it small as long as you can and then do it all over again in another time and place.

    If guys like me show up to the event, which apparently these pay to play camps are full of, then the event no longer is what the founders envisioned. Much like these United States.

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  • Tha Captain says:

    I have been going to the burn for 11 years. The only thing that stays the same is its gets bigger every year. What I see from these new, big “plug and play” camps are people who are excited to have fun, make art, and enjoy the playa. On top of that I see the huge amount of Art, Music and Atmosphere that come from these large well funded camps to the playa. So they have money to make it easier. I wish I did too. I am definitely not one of them. I struggle every year to make the money for the cost of my ticket, supplies and art.
    However, most communities work best when everyone has a different role. Some people have more money to help with infrastructure and other costs while others have more skills to help with building. Some have their time and love for community. Almost every camp on the playa has people that provide more work and people who provide more in other ways. If you are on the playa and spend your time making art and or atmosphere it is beneficial to everyone involved, if you worked outside the burn and funded that project and your camp said “You’ve done your part, we recognize your efforts, will help you thrive in the desert.” That is being self-reliant and communal.

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  • Peace says:

    @Captain – missing the point, which is hard to do with 270 comments, so congratulations. No one here cares if rich people go to Burning Man. Most people, including me, don’t care if they use their money to build a full size replica of the Taj Majal to stay in (which would be weird since it is a place for dead people). All people really care about is that no one get advantages over others with regard to placement and tickets because of money. We have to live in a default world where “money is speech”, we don’t want to go home to a place where “money is participation”.

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  • Westworks says:

    BMORG how long must we wait for the answers?

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  • Peace says:

    Brooksy said “And leave the fukin default life they live at the perimeter fences. They can be rich again in a week!”

    My favorite comment so far.

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  • Captain Yummy says:

    I see less and less comments…which means that the BMORG is winning! Keep the comments coming, flood them until they answer.

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  • Captain Yummy says:

    If you want a look into what the plug and play camp looks like go to the website “Vimeo” Search for “Lost Hotel Burning Man 2014”. You be the judge…

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  • elkay says:

    I have given up. It was hard to wait till the 2nd and still learn nothing. We were really hoping to make it back to the burn this year, but after 2 years of not being able to score tickets and no answers to the commodification camp questions, we are changing our travel plans to do something else this year.

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  • Lughnasa says:

    Wow, I’m sad. And disappointed in you, BMORG. And embarrassed for you. I’ve quietly waited for a response. ANY response. But I think you’re hoping we’ll quietly go away from this comment thread. Well, we may quietly go away, but it’s not going to be away from this thread. It’s going to be away from the playa. Permanently. Everyday you delay your response means more and more true Burners make a decision to give up on you and the Burn. It’s really sad that you’re choosing to end it this way.

    It’s December 4th. We’re quickly approaching ticket sales having heard nothing from you, BMORG. We’re quickly approaching a month since you posted the initial entry. Still no answers. Not even a, “Hey, we’re reading your comments. We’re still searching for answers. Hang on, we’re coming back with solutions based on what we hear from PARTICIPANTS.” There’s just … nothing. Nothing but sound of the fading footsteps of Burners as they walk away forever from what was once (but not anymore) ……… home.

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  • Jolly green giant says:

    As I have said before I am a vendor that rents RVs to participants. So here is my take on the ticket issue. When a great deal of the culture comes from “Camps” it stands to reason that you would nourish Camp Culture. To plan a Camp takes money,time, And People. Without PEOPLE you don’t have a Camp. It follows therefore that they need Tickets ! A reasonable ratio needs to be established as to the percentage of those guaranteed tickets. BM did nothing wrong ! It is a living organism seeking balance ! The same argument goes for the artists and support crew. But here is what bothers me .We have Theme Camps that have within them “Plug and Play” sections. That’s not right ! I personally have no problem with these camps. You are talking about 700 to 800 participants. What Bothers me about these Camps is they are violating their BM agreement and not paying BM their proper fees and breaking the law for not paying BLM and the State of Nevada their fees. Please do not get off topic and make this a “Rich vrs Poor” discussion. As I have stated before I am ex military (officer NG,), volunteer in our prison system, and as you probably suspect I am a Christian. What I hear many of you saying about “them” is we don’t want “them” here if “They” are not like us. I have heard this in Church and in every Prison that I have worked in. And my answer then and now is the same . They are not supposed to be like you !! Our society has become become partitioned and strident ! With sides not listening and everyone shouting ! It is time to grow up. And to all of you if you didn’t already know it. I have learned in my 72 years on earth that “Life is not fair”.

    Peace be with you, Jolly green giant

    P.S. All of my clients buy their tickets just like the rest of us. And they cook their own meals and wash their own dishes. And make their own beds. Bag their own trash. Yes they have money but they don’t go out of their way to let you know it. They are good hardworking people.

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  • Sage Haas says:

    Sounds like a lot of class warfare. Different price tickets, Guaranteed Tickets for those who can pay more. Under the guise of gifting for Christmas. I believe in low income tickets, but the Organization
    should be absorbing the cost of those. Donations should be also used to off-set low income tickets, A link on the buy ticket web page.
    RV’s, fences, rope, around the perimeter of camps totally enclosing the camp should be illegal. Having to walk around a large camp to get to the portapotties for handicap person is not acceptable. Besides the inclusion question.
    RV’s are good for people the have health condition, or disability and sparkle ponies.

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