The Dancetronauts Meet Civic Responsibility

We’ve received a number of questions about the Dancetronauts Mutant Vehicle being asked not to come to Black Rock City in 2015. Here’s some background …

Shark car at the DMV, 2011 (Photo by Philippe Glade)
Shark car at the DMV, 2011 (Photo by Philippe Glade)

We strive to create as few rules as possible in Black Rock City to allow Burning Man participants as much freedom of expression as possible. The few rules we enforce on playa (such as on-playa driving restrictions, sound limits for large-scale sound camps, the recent ban on hand-held lasers, etc.) strike a balance between the various competing interests in the community, creating a foundation for civil society. In the spirit of Civic Responsibility, everybody sacrifices something (gives a gift, if you will) for the benefit of the greater community — which is Communal Effort.

Burning Man has had rules in place for several years regarding sound systems on Mutant Vehicles. The sound policy was created to strike a balance between allowing mobile sound vehicles and respecting artists’ requests for quiet space around their installations, participants looking to camp in quiet areas of Black Rock City and to address reports of hearing damage caused by overly loud systems.

We’ve received a number of complaints from participants about the Dancetronauts vehicle since 2013 — in fact more than any other vehicle on the playa. We requested the Dancetronauts draft a plan for dealing with the issues, and they failed to do so. We informed them their vehicle would not receive a license to operate on the playa for 2015. Dancetronauts have not been ‘banned’ from Burning Man. They’ve been asked to take a year off and make plans as to how they’ll address concerns from the community in the future.

Dr. Yes over at Burn.life wrote a good post on this topic, including some more details.

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103 Comments on “The Dancetronauts Meet Civic Responsibility

  • Eggchairsteve says:

    Civic Responsibility. Well done.

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    • Lans Ellion says:

      The funny thing about the term “civic responsibility” is it can be used by any group to cast disparagement and moral reprobation on behavior that doesn’t fit their norm. Pershing County could have called it “civic responsibility” if they had managed to impose their local county rules on burning man to restrict the actions of burners to those more “civic” from Pershing County’s point of view. It would be easy to prohibit many things at burning man in the name of civic responsibility and you could probably find just as many voices that dislike that prohibited behavior. In this case all I see is intolerance for a different type of burning. At burning man we all deal with things that may not be our favorite, for me that’s dealing with being surrounded by smokers. One of the most violating moments I had at burning man was at the temple burn when a man walked around blowing sage smoke everywhere and proceeded to blow it over my friends and I without asking our permission. But, I didn’t say anything because that was part of his experience and I am tough enough, open enough to new experiences, and tolerant enough to accept him for who he was and how he wanted to experience his burn. An undesirable experience for me makes me stronger and allowed him to continue his spiritual experience.

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      • heatherly says:

        I’m not sure having sage smoke get on you compares to losing one’s hearing.

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      • Lans Ellion says:

        Having smoke blown on you would not compare to completely losing your hearing. However, your implication that dancetronauts volumes cause you to lose your hearing is a bit hyperbolic. Being in front of a large speaker will not cause instant hearing loss, it may cause minor hearing damage, but smoke causes minor lung damage so they are fairly comparable in that sense. And smoke from cigarettes, weed, and sages at burning man is just about as ubiquitous as the music. That being said, I always bring and wear earplugs around large sound stages to protect my hearing and have a respirator for dust or when smoking gets too bad. Being prepared for the elements, including smoke and loud music is part of radical self reliance.

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  • hilarityjane says:

    #bannedfromburningman #fuckyerburn #burnierthanthouforthewin

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  • Isa says:

    So much for freedom.

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    • tinker says:

      Your freedom ends where my feelings begin.

      Burning Man is too loud, the dust is too harsh, the fire is too hot. People are drunk and on drugs.

      Why do Burners still put effort into entertaining and providing for such complainers? You can’t even walk to the portapotties without seeing at least one person complaining about something. BM has become a bitch-fest.

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  • Jamo says:

    I will add to this: We followed the Dancestrounauts in from Gerlach to the Playa. They were absolutely the most disrespectful drivers on the way in. There were several cars that they blatantly drove around to cut off and move a couple spots up. I recall them passing people on the shoulder and were the complete opposite of patient. Instead of waiting for the hoolahoopers to get back in their car to move forward 100 yards, they punched the gas and drove around. I had a bad opinion of them since that moment. They were driving like a New York city taxi driver fighting traffic–hardly representing the spirit of Burning Man.

    I was also bothered by the volume during the burn. It was to the point of not being able to hear anyone else around. With all that being said, I was surprised (and a little bothered) to see them not receive a mutant vehicle permit… but reading some of this past history and remembering this moment of the drive in… I feel less remorse for them.

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  • Some Old Burner Dude says:

    Okay… I’ll admit that perhaps the Dancetronauts music caters to the more casual Burner or more over (dare I say) the raver convert. It was in 1996, though, when I first crossed over from clubland and rave to discover the magic that is Black Rock City. It has forever changed my life and I live and breathe the 10 Principles not only in the desert but also in the default world.

    Each year in the past handful of years, I’ve seen the Org decimate another one of those Principles. Each year, I’ve seen another one of the original ideas that brought us together be dismantled in the name of “protection.” The thing is, I completely understand. Attendees today don’t take the 10 Principles seriously anymore, so why should the BMORG? They’re nothing more than “suggestions” than rules these days.

    Radical Inclusion is what’s under fire here. I may not be entirely privy to what the Dancetronauts are doing out there. In fact I can even admit that they are rather loud and their following is a bit younger/raver for me. I can say that they have as much right to be out there expressing their creativity as much as any other vehicle or camp. on the Playa.

    I treat such camps/installations just like the many others I have seen that may not suit me… I just move along and find something that does. I don’t complain because, as I said, I do believe that they have a right to be there. What they do bring to BRC is more positive than negative. But then again, who’s to say what is either?

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    • Akalegs says:

      while I’m 100% with you regarding concerns for the upholding of the 10 principles – I have to say that they aren’t being discluded. They aren’t being banned, their artcar has not been approved by the DMV. This happens every year to different art cars for different reasons. This story has just been blown out of proportion.

      I’d say the Pee Funnel Camp fiasco was way worst for the principle of radical inclusion than this… But I can’t say I’m the burniest so maybe my ideals aren’t the highest.

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  • foxwalker says:

    I don’t know if it’s in policy anywhere but I think it should be that all music gets shut off during the Temple Burn. Usually this is understood but there have been times when it has taken a while for some dumb asses to shut off their music.

    And my vote would also be to ban all music during the Man burn from the time the fire conclave starts until the man falls. The blasting, conflicting music during the conclave and Man burn is annoying and really detracts from those just hanging out trying to enjoy the burn experience. It’s the finale of the damn event, what it’s named for. Why are people blasting music during it, in conflict with every other car blasting music?

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    • Some Old Burner Dude says:

      This, I can agree with… but on the same note… we need to educate. We need to tell violators of any of the Principles of what they’re doing ON THE SPOT. If you’re a neighboring camp and they’re being loud, tell them. If you have small children with you and you don’t want them seeing your naked neighbors, let your neighbors know that you have kids there. Have we become so afraid of our own community that we cannot SPEAK with each other until long after the fact? Have we become so fearful of “not being liked” that we choose to whine to authorities rather than just speak directly to our own people?

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      • Finn says:

        “If you have small children with you and you don’t want them seeing your naked neighbors, let your neighbors know that you have kids there. ”

        Wtf? No. You have a problem with naked neighbors? Stay home, leave your kids home, or both.

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      • HOZO says:

        If you don’t like it, walk away. Don’t bring your kids if you’re trying to censor what other people do to shield it from your kids.

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      • Yup says:

        Yup. And on that same note, if you don’t like a noisy art car, move away. They have the right to make noise, and you have the right to move away from them. Every time I see someone here acting as if other people should shut up or put clothes on, it makes me want to encourage many more people to be naked and making noise at all these sacred cow burns. In fact, yeah, let’s all do that.

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    • Jason Asshole says:

      You said it your self….”really detracts from those just hanging out trying to enjoy the burn experience. It’s the finale of the damn event, what it’s named for. Why are people blasting music during it, in conflict with every other car blasting music?”
      VERY EXCLUSIVE OF YOU!!!!!!
      It is mother fucking burning man…suck it up butter cup…IT IS BURNING MAN!!!!!

      STOP CENSORING those who are different than you./..I love it the way it WAS!!!!!!!!

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    • Dani says:

      I do not agree that all music should be cut during the man burn. Maybe during the fire conclave and drumming – that might be cool. But one of the things that I love about the man burn is the crazy loud cacophonous sound that occurs at that time.

      I do however, agree with the time out of the Dancetronauts art car/MV.

      I would also like clarification about MV’s turning off sound when approaching ANY ART piece. This needs to be highlighted and well known by participants, and MV operators. (if it’s truly in the guidelines).

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  • Dr Bwts says:

    So they didnt give the DMV a big enough bribe last year?

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  • r(the sheik)b says:

    the sound has gotten louder each year. The great idea of building an art car with a dance floor and bar has grown exponentially. There is no escaping 24 hour loud bad music. My answer is sound curfews and restricted quiet
    areas. What is your solution?

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  • Moose says:

    these ten principals everybody talks about evidently needs to be 11…I guess burners need a principal in order to be told to be respectful of each other…
    Just to say each has their own burn doesn’t mean your untitled to be disrespectful and inconsiderate of everyone else…..

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  • dingleBarry says:

    La Contessa 2.0

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  • martini says:

    This is my first brun this year. Reading all these articles kind of makes me want to just sell my ticket. I thought this festival was a festival of freedom very liittle rules. Didnt realize how much politics go into this festival. Just as bad as our very own government. bleh I hope this festival is everything is hyped up to be. All these posts like this really makes me not want to go.

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    • maladroit says:

      If you’re not sure, then don’t go. Seriously. But if you do go, then you’ll have a reason for us to care about your opinion, because right now you understand nothing.

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      • Hessier says:

        Guess what, maladroit. It’s people like you that made me stop going. So much for inclusion, jerk-off.

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      • maladroit says:

        There are nine other principles, you know? How about you go through each one and tell me how I’m breaking them. The simple fact is that if someone isn’t sure they want to go to Burning Man, there is a high chance they won’t be prepared for it. No one should have to drag you there. It wasn’t my idea for them to not go, I was reinforcing the decision they already made.

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      • Just saying says:

        So, if your actions contributed to that rude person who places blame on others for their own decisions stop going… maybe you did the community a big favor.

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    • Good News Bear says:

      If your path leads you to Burning Man, you will have plenty of stories of your own to share. Participate and change your life.

      Hey, but if you want to sell you ticket… ;)

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    • Shimmer says:

      i totally understand. Can I buy your ticket?!

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    • livinlife79 says:

      That would really suck if you didn’t go. If you decide not to go though, I’ll buy your ticket.

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    • Alyx says:

      Cool. Sell me your ticket. ;)

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    • Shameless says:

      Hang in there Martini. Shortly before I went my first year I discovered the ePlaya message boards. I posted a few typical newbie questions. Most of the replies were heavy in snark, some were simply cruel. It took me a while to get over this. Are these the sort of people I’m going to Burn with? Hell no. Instead I focused my attention on the good people I would be going with. Some people thrive on discontent. Leave them be. Go find your like-minded people. There are all types of people at the Thing In The Desert. Many, if not most are wonderful people.

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  • Amani Ellen Loutfy says:

    I’m SO glad they’re being denied a DMV permit this year! WHOO! I say good riddance to bad trash! In 2013 pre-event, some loud music woke me and my camp up. I got up to go ask nicely if whoever it was would mind turning down their music, since we all had to work in the morning. We camped on D street.

    I walked and walked in search of the car(?!CAR?!) that was so loud. I ended up walking PAST THE MAN in my nightie at 5AM to find the source. On arrival, it was painful to get close enough to find the people involved! There was another woman in her jammies already there, pleading that they turn down the music. At the very least, we said, turn your directional speakers out toward open playa! At this point you are pissing off/waking up about 1000 people who are trying to rest so they can build this beloved city!

    The guy agreed to at least do that.

    The fact that it didn’t even occur to them to consider the sleeping humans in direct line of their speakers speaks to their general inconsiderate approach to the playa. Never mind their coke-fueled gogo dancers, or their self-promoting DJs. Tastemakers they aren’t. But we can’t hold that against them, now can we?

    I hope they learn to consider their environment before just imposing (Dance-splaining?) their preference on an existing culture.

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    • Some Seeing Eye says:

      I think you have a fine insight there. They are just DJ-splainin’ how thankful we should be to receive the gift of their awesomeness…

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      • Firecracker says:

        I have been a dancetrohottie for the past 3 years at Burningman. The woman that are Gogo for the dancetronauts we make and sew our own costumes. We have full time careers. I work for 2 law firms and part time yoga teacher. You can tell actually tell me of someone you know that is a Dancetronaut man or woman known as a coke head of drug addict? People are going to either love us or hate us or not know about us. The judgement about coked up gogo dancers tells me your an average hater that doesn’t have a ligitiment concern other then a personal little hAtred issue.

        Firecracker

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      • Yup says:

        Firecracker, your use of the word “ligitiment” makes me question your law firm credentials.

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    • Desert Flower says:

      I was there and I remember you. This was not pre event. It was on Sunday night. The event opens on Sunday afternoon. And the speakers were already pointing at Deep Playa, and as you admitted, the ship was past the man. Additionally, I was a Hottie the year that you met with my man and I asking us to turn it down, did I seem coked out to you? Pretty sure I have a sober Burn. Thanks for the kind accusation though. I understand that you were upset about losing sleep, but that does not justify you twisting facts. BTW, BRC is a 24 hr party city. Why are you and your camp mates not bringing ear plugs if you have difficulty sleeping around noise? I learned over a decade ago when I neighbored Tribal Thunder (the drumming camp) that ear plugs are vital at Burning Man. I might sound harsh with you, but I do not accept dishonesty.

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      • karafaerie says:

        As someone who was also kept awake by this incident in 2013 (along with others in my camp on E ) earplugs WERE in use and the sound was still so loud that it woke me and my crew up, which is truly the issue… hearing the DJ then laugh over the Mic to tell the folks there that they were keeping the whole city up just made it worse. Seems odd that the dancers at least remember the mv being approached directly at the event with complaints but in the correspondence with the dmv the claim is that no one told them they were being too loud during the event. Multiple complaints in person that year yet still didn’t change how they managed their sound levels going forward. Seriously a car that far out should not have been audible from my location yet it was. And not just audible but loud to the point the earplugs were not enough to cut the sound.

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      • maladroit says:

        Haha, that really is funny. Travis is going around saying “No one ever came up and told us they had a problem! We’ve told the DMV this over and over again!”

        Someone tells a story about the time they complained, and makes a drug allegation.

        A Dancetrohoochie says “Hey, I remember when you came and complained to us directly! We weren’t on drugs!”

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      • ErrantElement says:

        seems to me that earplugs aren’t gonna work if the music from an art car out past the man and pointing to deep playa resonates all the way to D street. a stadium soundsystem is unnecessary and over the top for a burning man art car, just imho. why so loud? unless it really is all about “look at me” and “hear only me”

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  • dave says:

    At first I had a strong reaction to the ruling, but as I have learned more about it, and seen the email thread between DMV and the D-nauts, I see that the Bmorg made a lot of effort to work with them. Rather than modify their actions, the D-Nauts chose to be obstinate and resistant.

    Although I wish the Bmorg did a better job of getting out ahead of stories like this, to avoid reactions like mine, I agree with the decision.

    Sometimes I think there are too many rules in BRC, but some of them are undoubtedly important: no guns, no driving, no dogs, be careful with fire, etc. Finding a balance is hard, and will never satisfy anyone.

    I am just glad to see there was an actual process with chances and second chances given.

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  • edmundo says:

    hey all, in 2013 i drove our airship to the playa we were going really slow on 447 coming into gerlach as we had a carb problem. we pulled over at ever turnout to allow other folks to get around us (we were already 3 days late due to other mech problems).

    low and behold in the passing lane was the strip ship TOWING something that passed like 20 cars and honked and flipped us off as they sped past us. do you really think we wanted to go 30mph on the road? did you consider we might be having some issues?

    i specifically wrote to the DMV asking they take a year off to weed out the folks in their org who clearly dont give a shit. i will say though, they are NOT ALL asshats… i’ve had some pleasant interactions with them on a more individual basis.

    like many organizations, a few bad apples can spoil the pie. i hope they take this opp to take stock of why they are in the situation they are in.

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    • Desert Flower says:

      Wow. 20 cars??? You do realize that the truck is probably older than you, right? It is not able to pass 20 cars. If your art car was only able to drive 30 mph, how would you expect a 62′ long art car weighing 42k+ lbs to pass 20 cars? Semi truck have more powerful engines and you don’t see them passing people like that. The driver has an impeccable driving record and has been given the safety award from BLM. Tone down your exaggeration and stop spreading rumors about the pilot. He is a good person. As for flipping off, the driver would never do that. Ever.

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      • Pink says:

        If you read what he wrote, he was holding up the line at 30mph. Any car could pass at that speed. Even my overloaded van can. But it’s usually not safe to pass, and not a long line of cars.

        Apparently you weren’t there, so why say edmundo is lying?

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  • Good News Bear says:

    Burning Man is a private event. They sell tickets to the public that anyone (not banned) can purchase and use. While at Burning Man there are few rules participants must adhere to. BMORG sets those rules as they are the ones putting on the event.

    Folks can bring gifts to the playa. (Yeah!) BMORG places restrictions on some gifts in an effort to limit the number of people killed or permanently injured.

    Like the Dancetronaughts, I have partnered with 100+ volunteers over the past three years to build a gift that drives around the playa. Because we move and because we have sound, BMORG imposes additional rules we must follow. When we designed and built this gift, it was with the clear understanding that we would abide by these extra rules. Our gift is dangerous and can kill people or permanently injure people.

    If you want to bring a gift that doesn’t move, make sound or burn… bring it and build it. If it moves, makes sound (over a certain level), burns or may otherwise kill or maim, please check in with BMORG and make sure they approve.

    This is what I see.

    Dancetronaughts created a fantastic gift.
    Dancetronaughts agreed to follow the rules.
    For years now, Dancetronaughts have been invited by BMORG to bring their gift to the playa.
    Dancetronaughts did not follow some of the rules in 2014.
    BMORG asked them to modify their gift for 2015.
    Dancetronaughts chose not to modify their gift.
    BMORG chose not to invite them in 2015.

    Those of us responsible for large mutant vehicles understand how dangerous they can be. BMORG does an excellent job educating us on this. While glorious at their finest, they can become a menace at their worst. Balance is the key word here.

    I am hoping for the triumphant return of the (modified) Dancetronaughts in 2016.

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    • Capt Greg says:

      As a large art car creator, builder and driver over the last 9 years, I agree with Good News Bear. Art cars can be dangerous, often times ARE dangerous and need to be treated that way. As to Dancetronauts, the 3 interactions I’ve had with them were 1)them asking me to move my art car that had been in place for an hour or more so that their dance area on burn night was clear. Moving would mean that no one on board my rig would be able to see. So that wasn’t gonna happen. They got angry when I explained no to them. 2) The next year, one of their DJ’s did a set (some maybe famous guy I’d never heard of) and afterwards sent people around asking for alcohol donations for the DJ. I gave him a $60 bottle of wine. Then the guy came back and complained because I didn’t give him a bottle opener. 3) I like to watch the dancers on the rig cause they are easy on the eyes. Not sure if the 3rd example over rules the first two… But they do bring something cool up in the form of the art car rig so there’s that. When they come back, I don’t think I’ll be giving them any wine for any dj but other than that I’m good.

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      • Desert Flower says:

        You should have given the wine to the Hotties instead of the guest DJ that was apparently a poor choice. ;)
        I stayed with the ship the entire time as my fiancé is the driver, and there were several DJS that were invited to play that completely did not understand the idea of “gift economy.” They just pillaged our supplies.
        I remember your art car. One of your crew brought me aboard and I hung out with you guys for a bit. Thank you for the shots that night. And to clarify, we did not ask you to move your art car to clear a dance stage. The wind changed and we asked you to back up a few feet to allow a larger fire safety area for the flame poofers. And art car pulled in on the other side of us that also had fire effects, and your car had more clearance for adjustment. thus us asking you. There was one tiny golf cart sized art car that temporarily parked in the area that was blocked off for sound safety and dancing. A newbie that was helping us out was stressed the heck out and was rude to them. I took the noob aside and gave him a stern lecture. He has not been back to BM so far. Hopefully he will be a bit more understanding if he ever returns.

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      • Capt Greg says:

        Desert Flower… Yah, you are sooooo right. I should have given it to the hotties. I make poor choices sometimes. Glad you gave the noob a talking to but I couldn’t back up the ship because that would have put us behind another art car that had placed even before I got there and none of the disabled folks on the stern would have been able to see. I would have moved if I could have, really. I usually accommodate reasonable requests every time I can.

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    • Mama Lupin says:

      THANK YOU for being a responsible and sensitive Mutant Vehicle operator! There are just a few rules in Black Rock City, mostly created because something bad happened (laser pointers, guns, driving while dark, etc.) One of the “rules” that Dancetronauts blantently disregarded, in 2014, was the one to keep sound vehicles away from stationary art installations. I, along with about 100 people witnessed the Dancetronauts Mutant Vehicle pull up within about 20 feet of the sculpture “Squared” which had music affiliated with it. They opened up their system and proceeded to BLAST the entire area with EDM. They played for about 40 minutes, not a single person went over to their rig. They finally got the hint and drove away but not without ruining the experience of “Squared” and it’s intended musical accompaniment for many people. THAT is being a shitty citizen. THAT is the kind of behavior that gets you reported. Owning and overcoming THAT kind of behavior is what Dancetronauts needs to do if they want to drive on the Playa again. Seems plenty fair to me!

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  • 48 says:

    the dj was going on about picking up his tracks on itunes during the man burn.

    evidently, he was just trying to gift burners his music.

    whatever. it was totally lame.

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  • G says:

    Lot of people here are all over the idea of “freedom to” and fail to realize there is “freedom from”
    There has been an ongoing escalating art car sound system competition/war/trend over the years.
    When the ring of art car’s at the Man Burn sound systems drowns out the Ambient Drummers, and the fire conclave has a more difficult time with their performance because they cannot communicate, then it seems that maybe, just maybe we need a little freedom from oppressively ear damaging art cars sound just for a little time. That said, there is definitely a time and place for them at the event. If I were King, or Larry Harvey, or whatever, I would have the art cars blast it all they want north of 9 and 3, and for the duration of the whole event except for two times & places. Go ahead, make your ears bleed, emphatically not at the Temple Burn, and the preferably not at the Man Burn, or after, keep it north of 3&9! There used to be a lot more social camaraderie around the Man after then burn when those gathered there were not rendered deaf, and out communication with others by all the art cars blasting sound levels.
    Those who bitching here about freedom, it seems they are unaware of a basic truth Isaac Asimoff articulated, and that is that the higher the number of people that want to have something or do something, the less individual freedom there is. That ranges from standing in line for the porta potties, Getting into Gate on Monday, to BRC, to freeways in your local town, all the way up to x billions of humans wanting to live on the Earth at the same time.
    I did not witness this but I have heard many reports that the Dancetronauts DJ’s were making self-promotional announcements on their PA at the Burn. If true, bad Burring Man cultural manners.

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    • Shimmer says:

      Yeah yeah…”freedom from”. Important point.

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    • maladroit says:

      Who are these creeps in the upper echelons at BMORG who forbid me from opening a taco stand and making some bank out on Esplanade? And I ought to have a couple of guns to protect my cash box. They’re screwing me out of my freedoms, man! Way to be radically inclusive!

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  • Jj says:

    “Civic Responsibility”… Wow it sounds so “default world”… :(
    Shelves and shelves of huge dreary legal books just flashed through my mind.

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  • the tall guy says:

    I am amused that people think that someone could walk up to the dancetronauts on burn night to discuss volume
    A) it’s full
    B) it’s 30 feet up in the air…

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    • hilarityjane says:

      C: the BassStation (where the sound actuates from.. is flat on the ground)

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    • Zipper says:

      I agree! Have meant to say this. I actually wanted to complain at that moment at the burn, but I could not figure out how to reach anyone at Dancetronauts. I went around the car, but couldn’t figure out who I could talk to.

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      • Desert Flower says:

        There is always a safety guard at the gate of the ship.

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      • ErrantElement says:

        desert flower says there’s a safety guard at the gate of the ship. well that’s good, you wouldn’t want some asshat shining a handheld laser in the eyes of the dj, trying to get their attention or anything like that…

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  • 48 says:

    civic responsibility is simple code for don’t be a self absorbed douchebag

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  • Bunny says:

    Their DJs were blatantly abusing their volume and mics to promote their music for purchase/download. I’m glad I won’t be hearing that across the playa this year!

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  • hilarityjane says:

    10:40pm – I was there, still there, standing in place, still facing theMan, still hanging near the ChatterBox MutantVehicle (chattering quietly to my right) – well Santa was standing directly to my right… But here, in this crowd surrounded by 70k+ other humans, and a thousand Mutant Vehicles, you gotta be at LEAST a giant set of chattering teeth to be seen. And “the crowd” — they were leaving in droves! Having to go, those who were bored.. having to “get to the party” or “the next show” – – or the bathroom — “GO TO THE TEETH AND MAKE A RIGHT” Santa and I began casually ushering the building outbound throng, smiling broadly, pointing, gesturing largely, “Go to the chattering teeth and make a right!” (instead of them making their perceived exit.. which was attempting to climb over several bikes and tricycles hunkered under the temporary scaffolding Santa and I were standing behind.)

    TheMan meanwhile, was still standing, busy slowly burning down to his very bones. “..so anti-climactic..” I heard one of the disgruntled departing kids say. Poor things.. it had after all been an hour and half – a nice long burn – – – – longer than most full DJ sets … a very long burn indeed.
    In fact, at this point, EVERY ArtCar behind me, seemed to be trying to help theMan fall. The dancetronautStripShip and BoogeyManCastle and and elpulpomecanico, had their flame effects full blast, giving their heat, pointing their flames toward theMan. I felt like everyone was focusing whatever they had to give, (IF they were giving..) – and the dancetronauts WERE giving it their all, it’s What They DO .. and unfortunately, when their #burnnightset ended.. the Captain decided to fire up a mix he had completed “just before heading to the burn!” … but OMG he used his NAME!
    I have to admit – I was like “seriously.. dude! Let the man fuckin fall will ya! just keep mixing, keep spinning, keep up the vibe – but HONESTLY! Do we need to use names??”

    The Man uses no name – he is only The Burning Man – the one who Burns for us (and COME ON! Let us let theBurningMan take all the time he wants ).. frankly, I adore How He Burned down to his very bones that night – perhaps, for those of us who remained, standing vigil, we too were burned.. down to our very souls.

    After theMan fell – and I worked my way up to where his burning timbers lay — I looked back at where I had been – and saw how far we were from the burn… how HUGE the circle had become.. how insignificant our little slice of the circle was.

    But, as it turned out … not so insignificant .. because of WHO was there at the 6:00 slice.. FOUNDERS and BMorg Llaminati … oooOOh!! Let the public flogging begin!

    Yeah, unfortunately, it would seem that there were those who feel they were actually HARMED by the dancetronaut captain’s WORDS that night.. HURT by HEARING a NAME.. and apparently it seems to be an offense worthy of the pillory —- and oh how they now push and shove to get a good spot to view the drubbing…

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    • Desert Flower says:

      Poetry! I love the story of your experience. I really felt back in the moment. I was disappointed when he promoted his name. However, a DJ is a musical artist. Is David Best supposed to hide his name? Should the Pier Group become anonymous. Phil could have just said his name and said how much he loves to give out free music from Burn week instead of falling into his typical DJ habits and tasks. Maybe he was nervous, maybe he was overwhelmed, maybe he just had a dumb moment.

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      • hilarityjane says:

        Aw! “poetry” :) thankyou desert flower <3 and, truly, I'm not completely against names .. in general .. it only seemed burnily inappropriate, ESPECIALLY at that point in time – I agree about the "falling into his typical DJ tasks/nervous/overwhelmed/dumb moment" – (frankly, who among us HASN'T at one point in our messy human lives – pulled an embarrassing faux-pah !?) I figured a BIG fuckinEGOlesson would be forth coming …OUCH. BUT! I know how hard y'all work on your Art. I have SEEN how y'alls crew enthusiasm and love effect people POSITIVELY both ON and OFF the playa. I understand what an amazing piece of technically advanced sound equipment (the BASS Station) is, and that y'all built that shit from the wheels up! ("button pushing uncreatives" my ASS!! pfft.) I just find it so disheartening, and maddening; the mean spirited bandwagon that some dyedinthewool "burners" AND noobs are choosing to jump on. However – that being said, unfortunately, neither am I surprised… The vitriol I witnessed during the lottery debacle was… well.. a real harsh awakening, to how shitty many individuals apparently PREFER to act/react. *sigh* I wish the dancetronauts the best of times, now and in the future. <3 FuckYerBurn! <3 may we all be dancing our asses off in the dust together again soon! Cheers! Hilarity

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  • stopbeingsofacist says:

    if you dont like loud music get the fuck off the playa… its a pretty large city. if you cant find the quiet youre looking for, you might be well advised to stay home. we dont exist as a community to cater to your needs for peace and quiet, you pussy…

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  • stopbeingsofacist says:

    that said, if someone tries to sell their music on the playa they should be burned with the man

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    • hilarityjane says:

      .. the music the DJ spoke of – is available FREE for download. NOT for SALE .. just stating the facts

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      • hilarityjane says:

        .. seems to be a trend tho — i heard many a DJ at many sound camp or loud mutant vehicle.. HEY BURNINGMAN!!!! IM DEEJAY SO & SO!!!!!! RAISE YER HANDS!!!! DANCE PUPPETS DANCE!!!!

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  • Dante says:

    I would like to ask every sound car and camp out there what makes their self-expression different? Throwing money at an overcompensating sound system that would make Freud blush is not art. Even presuming the music being played is unique and wonderful, if it is being played louder and louder for no other reason than to ‘shout down’ other sound cars or force the music onto unwilling ears then you’ve taken a potentially beautiful piece of music and made it just noise.

    From one DJ to all the others out there: Unless you are creating your own music without sampling at all, then you are speaking with someone elses poetry. Have some humility.

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  • Dr. Brap says:

    As I approached the man on burn night my group and I walked right past the Strip Ship and got as close to the man as possible. We were 10-20 feet from the front edge of the crowd. Maybe I ate too much bacon, or maybe I drank too much boxed wine, or maybe I just didn’t care, but I don’t recall the sound being an issue for one moment.

    Had I found it to be too loud it would have been difficult for us to get up and move out of the crowd. Had we parked ourselves on the perimeter of the crowd, directly in front of an art car, then we could have radically self relied on our feet and walked somewhere else if it was too loud.

    How does one even file a complaint at burning man? Seriously? Is there a complaint counter at center camp? Do I fill out one of those anonymous suggestion box forms where I write something that I would never say to someone’s face? Or do I submit an email two weeks later because I’m still pissed and I like to whine and complain and nothing’s in my control?

    I’m still very excited to be going to burning man again this year. I feel fortunate to have a ticket. I’m prepping like mad even though it’s June. It feels just a little hollow though. Are other art cars going to be scared out of their pants now? Conform to the masses or face persecution?

    Not a single one of these complaint filers had the where with all to ask for the volume to be turned down during the man burn or to simply get up and move. Pathetic. Take matters into your own hands people! Rise! Challenge yourself to control your own destiny! These same people will be filing whiteout complaints, Arctica is too cold complaints, and certainly more noise complaints against other inconsiderate people who spent thousands of collective hours to build, maintain, and bring an art car out to Burning Man.

    The beauty of having this event on an area that covers several square miles is that if you don’t like something in one spot you can always find something you like in another spot. If you can’t find something you like and you’re the type that likes to focus on the negative then maybe this isn’t the event for you.

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  • Akela says:

    I encourage more people to read the burn.life article linked to above, as it offers more context. It seems like a lot of people failed to, so I’m reposting it here: http://www.burn.life/blog/the-real-reasons-dancetronauts-were-banned . There was also a much lengthier discussion on eplaya that started immediately after the 2014 burn and has revitalized with the news of the MV permit denial: http://bit.ly/1dLbC51

    Travis of Dancetronauts has written several sort of rambling but obviously very well-intentioned comments on the burn.life article. He clearly acknowledges their mistakes, is regretful for them, and pledges that they will do better in the future. I think that the punishment fits their transgression, that they’ll learn from it, and our community will be better off in the long run. It’s unfortunate that it happened, but the situation is being dealt with in as best a manner as possible.

    To those that complain of restrictions on our freedom, the Dancetronauts are being punished for breaking agreements that they signed as MV operators regarding decibel levels and standards of conduct, including respect to other artists and the community as a whole. As much as you may hate rules, these ones are necessary for the safety and functionality of our fair city. Sorry, but total anarchy in the desert doesn’t work. Guns, handheld lasers, and drunk driving are all explicitly forbidden. There are limits on driving speed, maximum decibel levels, what you can set on fire, and where you can burn it. You are not free to dump your trash or grey water where you please. These regulations exist to ensure the safety of participants and make it possible to continue having Burning Man (as without them the event would not receive its land use permit, or could be shut down by law enforcement). They take priority over your “freedoms.” Don’t like it? You’re welcome to come, but you might be happier if you don’t. Want to come but ignore the rules? Your ticket (as well as your mutant vehicle permit or theme camp placement, if you have one) is a contract, and it is clearly stated that failure to abide by it means the organizers of this private event can give you the boot or not invite you back next year. Inclusivity doesn’t have to extend to people who break their contracts.

    As far as the 10 Principles, you can’t cherry pick Self-Expression as the end-all, be-all and ignore Civic Responsibility. The name of that principle may make you think of that high school US government class you slept through, but it’s just as important as any other. The Dancetronauts are encouraged to express themselves through art and music, but not at a cost to other artists, performers, and community members. They must balance their expression with respect for others. Our city embraces freedom, but as another poster clarified, this also means the freedom FROM certain things. The makers of the Alien Siege Machine had the right to do their performance art free from distraction and interruption by the Dancetronauts (and the suggestion of “if you don’t like the noise that our MOBILE stage is creating, you should move away” obviously doesn’t work here). The fire conclave performers that gift their art before the Man burn have the right to do their thing that they practice all year for and be able to hear the awesome live drumming that keeps them synchronized (again, it’s not like they and the tens of thousands of people crammed in side by side in front of them can just get up and move to a different area when they’re getting blasted with EDM). We as participants have a right to a city without commodification, which includes shameless DJ self-promotion, especially if it’s over and over again to a captive audience during the Man burn. The Dancetronauts themselves acknowledge and apologize for these violations–they recognize that they messed up. If you’re up in arms because you think that they didn’t, you’re severely missing the point.

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  • HOZO says:

    Good riddance. I do not like electronic music, and that is the only thing on the Playa that you can’t get away from, no matter where you go…that and the dust. If your way of expressing yourself is to impose your “gift” upon not only those who enjoy it, but also those who do not, then you are basically saying, “Fuck your Burn” to all who don’t like what you like. Thank you BMORG for teaching them a lesson in respect.

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  • Silver says:

    It was a very thoughtful, reasonable, and brave move for DMV to take the action that they did. This would not have blown out of proportion like it did if it were not for the inflammatory and inaccurate article posted on Burners.me. We should focus our negative energy on Burners.me, not on DMV. Unfortunately, I suspect that troll is basking in all the attention.

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  • G says:

    To the point here.
    Causing hearing loss is supposed to be some kind of gift?

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  • Dongleheimer says:

    I find it hilarious that every comment has been responded to by an angry Dancetronaut cronie. Remember when they were denied the right to bring their art car to decompression a couple years ago because they repeatedly refused to adhere to the neighborhood sound policy, which in turn almost got decom booted from the dog patch? Remember how their response to this ban was to create a competing event on the same day out of spite? I remember that.

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  • mortician says:

    I think at this point, Dancetronauts are genuinely contrite and get they messed up- it took a long time to get there, but it seems they finally get it. I don’t think the burners.me article(s) helped them but actually backfired hard with a lot of negative attention, feedback, and rumors; they now have a PR problem to contend with on top of everything else. They would have been much better off handling this privately and retaining control of the public narrative themselves. Some brand damage has been done, this publicity was not good. Hopefully they can get past the anger and hurt feelings and focus on rebuilding a positive relationship with both the DMV and community, and will be back to the playa in 2016, improved and welcomed.

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    • Pink says:

      Maybe they shouldn’t have linked to the burners.me post not once but twice on their Facebook page. They stoked their own fire, but the backlash has been against them, not in support.

      My side of this is that I am getting sick of the ever escalating sound camp/sound MV volume war. Yes the playa is a loud jumbled mass do sound. I, for one, sleep like a baby there, no earplugs required (most likely due to sheer exhaustion, but hey). But to hear a car on E street that is in deep playa? WTF? I’m sure I would have heard it too, but any EA days and Sunday I’m out early from working in the sun all day.

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    • Clynne says:

      Their responses above seem more defensive than contrite.

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  • michael says:

    I’ve been to burningman only once. 2 years ago. I’ve talked with a lot of people, and I realize burningman means a lot of different things to different people. When I’m asked how my experience was this is my reply “It was amazing. It a can be as crazy or as calm as you want it to be.” In other words, if you don’t like what is going on, go somewhere else. There is something for everybody there.

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  • Ranger says:

    Interesting the fox news troll shut up a lot of people with supporting evidence and facts. Certainly shocked me. I actually thought I disliked the Dancetronauts until i actually read their responses and felt how unwilling DMV and BORG were to work with them. Previous year or not, improvements were being made and I read no lack of acceptance or cooperation. Seems there are fixes and acknowledgement but punishment is better. Why refuse resolve? I think DMV and BORG’s civic responsibility is in question, not Dancernauts. And punishing them AFTER, rather than communicating during the offenses. Are you sure this is BURNING MAN? Or when did people stop being able to walk way and avoid things they didn’t like? it’s a huge city!

    Although, I seem to be like 90% of everyone else who wants to chime in, yet wasn’t even actually there at the present time. But we all want to be heard, everyone loves to complain, bitch and bring the default world into Burning Man. Our opinions are so little heard in the real world, that we abuse them in a community that actually listens.

    The irony, bureaucracy, hypocrisy and singling out these guys is just sad for the entire ethos of Burning Man. They have been made the scapegoats and made an example of much larger issues and now every burner who is against this style of music or loud music in general, makes it okay to banish or attack their non-hippie image. Strange, when people become involved in anything just to push their own agenda, or is it? Although I don’t like the music or even the pretty girls, these guys & gals bring something to Burning Man that nobody else does. It shouldn’t really matter what I think or if I LIKE IT or not… it’s not about them, it’s not you, and it’s not about me either! It’s about all of us expressing ourselves and being radical for a week! And if you don’t like it then kick get lost elsewhere til you find something you do enjoy and stop acting like you’re so important that you have somewhere to be or god forbid you’re momentarily interrupted by somebody else at Burning Man!

    http://burners.me/2015/06/17/too-loud-for-burning-man-part-ii-dictators-in-a-dysfunctional-dystopia/

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  • Rebecca says:

    I went the entire burn without even seeing this art car. I thought this whole thing was a joke… I am not impressed by what Dj’s do, but I was under the impression they occasionally talk on the mic, no? Is this really that far fetched that a ‘douchebag Dj’ did what ‘douchebag Dj’s’ do? And that there was loud music during Burn Night… WOW, YOU DON’T SAY? And Danceronauts with their sound car we’re going to be playing music out of it? How can you complain about something so obvious, played out and predictable?

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    • Pink says:

      Because they were so loud they drowned out the fire dancers at the man. So loud people reported feeling sick from the noise. DJs talking at he man is gauche. The DJ didn’t just talk, he plugged his album. They also interrupted the Alien Siege Machine performance with the same bullcrap. And on and on. They were on probation from the year before for sound violations.

      Read up a bit and maybe you’ll understand. Cars get denied permits all the time. This is just the first time anyone denied has made a huge stink over it.

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      • Rebecca says:

        I read the comments on all the threads and blogs first and it was all I needed to clearly see that Dancetronauts are being singled out and used an example. BORG and DMV want to push their ideals on what Burning Man and Burners SHOULD BE and what IMAGE THEY APPROVE OF. Now we have ANYONE who isn’t a fan, or dislikes their style of music, or loud music in general have all jumped on the bandwagon. This is hardly about the Dancetronauts at this point. This is other people using this to push their agenda.

        Interesting the fox news troll shut up a lot of people with supporting evidence and facts. Certainly shocked me. I actually thought I disliked the Dancetronauts until i actually read their responses and felt how unwilling DMV and BORG were to work with them. Previous year or not, improvements were being made and I read no lack of acceptance or cooperation. Seems there are fixes and acknowledgement but punishment is better. Why refuse resolve? I think DMV and BORG’s civic responsibility is in question, not Dancernauts. And punishing them AFTER, rather than communicating during the offenses. Are you sure this is BURNING MAN? Or when did people stop being able to walk way and avoid things they didn’t like? it’s a huge city!

        Clearly when rumors from eplaya about the early pass, get used by DMV, (even though the typo in the online kickstarter campign was rectified by Dancetronauts by their own addimittance within 24rs). If this is the most horrific and worst things Burners can come up with to attack the Dancetronauts, in however many years…. THEY ARE DOING A REALLY GOOD JOB!

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  • Eric O. says:

    Although, I seem to be like 90% of everyone else who wants to chime in, yet wasn’t even actually there at the present time. But we all want to be heard, everyone loves to complain, bitch and bring the default world into Burning Man. Our opinions are so little heard in the real world, that we abuse them in a community that actually listens.

    The irony, bureaucracy, hypocrisy and singling out these guys is just sad for the entire ethos of Burning Man. They have been made the scapegoats of much larger issues and now every burner who is against their ‘radical style of choice and self expression’ of EDM music or loud music in general, makes it okay to banish or attack their non-hippie images or aesthetics even. I couldn’t think of a theme camp who dedicates, fits and takes their theme more seriously? Like Rebecca mentioned and I agree. It is strange, when people become involved in anything just to push their own agenda, or is it? Although I don’t like the music or even the pretty girls, these guys & gals bring something to Burning Man that nobody else does. It shouldn’t really matter what I think or if I LIKE IT or not… it’s not about them, it’s not you, and it’s not about me either! It’s about all of us expressing ourselves and being radical for a week! The whole event is a shit show. And if you don’t like it then kick playa and get lost elsewhere til you find something you do enjoy! Stop acting like you’re so important that you have somewhere to be or god forbid you’re momentarily interrupted by somebody else at Burning Man!

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  • Timmo says:

    “Civic Responsibility” = don’t piss of flaming mumu wearing Crimson Rose while she’ in the limelight, lighting the Man. At least play a bit of Neil Diamond if you want to be safe.

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  • anonymous says:

    So are any of you going to do anything about Distrikt? Talk about a camp that can’t control their sound. Look at them last year.. you couldn’t talk with in three blocks of them. But other camps close by, like Duck Pound, you could talk to people less than half a block of them. The point being.. Last year if I’m trying to talk at Duck Pound while Distrikt is running I cant. But if I’m at Distrikt while Duck Pound is running then I can talk. They were a block and half away from each other last year.

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  • Harvest says:

    Complaints can truly be difficult to tally in a city of 70k, much less balance in such an ambitious social experiment as BRC. Noise complaints are a common part of the default world and, let’s be honest, human existence. It’s not something we’re just going to roll with because we’re on the playa. The awesome lesson in the whole thing is this: like the Stones said, “you can’t always get what you want”. BM has a few rules based seriously on allowing as much freedom as possible up to that point where your freedom infringes on someone else’s. And that someone else matters. They are included. And when their foot is stepped on repeatedly, they will say something. Soooo, listen. The principles of the experiment are meant to bump up against each other (BRC’s checks and balances) and reveal just how emotional we can get towards each other, much of the time due to our default world conditioning, and more and more of late, our love of status and rank.

    It doesn’t matter how often you’ve been or what you contribute when it comes to trampling someone’s else’s experience. You want status and perks? Grab that CEO gig in NY. BM is different. And the freedom it awards us is extraordinary when compared to default world possibilities. What sets it apart is that it is freakin humbling.

    I believe in skipping years. It builds appreciation. It allows new blood to enter fold and contribute new things. It makes you hunger for that next time. I know these guys bring so much rad beauty to the playa. I’ve had seriously awesome experiences in front of their car. But yeah, if it’s gone to far and if there’s no effort to change that then they gotta take a rest. The real test will be what they do to change the approach, recognize the mishaps, and come back in 16′ stronger than ever. Yes, it’s a challenge. That’s how we do!

    So don’t sweat it people. Community is tuff, even just for 7 days. And Community is and hopefully always will be above Party on the scale. Without the Community, it would have zero direction and you’d be over it real quick. I think those guys are alright. Just need a little reminder sometimes. And that’s my 2 cents… er, gift to this issue.. ;) Love to you all…)'(

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  • YesAnd says:

    After skimming the burner.life email chain, it is clear to me that both sides could have communicated better.

    The dancestronauts started out way too defiant and only came to their well done apology after the writing was on the wall.

    The BMorg should have a universally enforced loudness policy. Never once were any sound measurements cited and there does not seem to be a good communications process for getting complaints to the people who can solve them in real time. Instead of letting them fester and explode after the fact. Singling out one party, even if it is the most egregious, to make an example for others is the worst form of tyranny. It is the opposite of principled rule.

    I have found the height of the bass station and strip ship to make them seem inaccessible when I wanted to ask adoring questions about their systems. There is something about the sheer amount of money and well executed perfection that just screams priviliege even though I am sure the folks behind it have great giving energy. I can see how people with noise complaints would be similarly frustrated. Most art cars have someone who makes themselves available to answer questions and interface with the public. This is not the security person whose job is to keep people away from unsafe areas. It seems clear that dancestronauts will have such a person in the future and this is good.

    The lesson for all is to communicate and be open to communication early before things escalate.

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  • Rick says:

    BOTTOM LINE LOOKS TO BE THAT DANCETRONAUTS HAVE BEEN EXCLUDED FOR BEING TOO RADICAL. Goodbye, Burning Man, you’re half the man you used to be.

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