What’s Actually Going On with Dance Music at Burning Man

(Photo by Darrin Harris Frisby)

(Photo by Darrin Harris Frisby)

News — and supposition — has been flying recently regarding a number of policy announcements and statements coming out of BMHQ related to DJs and amplified music on playa. Dancetronauts being “banned”, Opulent Temple not being placed, the Deep-Playa Music Zone (DMZ), pre-publishing DJ lineups — it’s dizzying. And taken together, it could appear that Burning Man has it out for Electronic Dance Music (EDM)!! Yeah, no.

We wanted to take a moment to clear up the misconceptions so we’re all on the same page. We don’t like to announce a “what” without a “why” so everybody understands what’s behind the decisions. So let’s do it.

Before we get started, we should say that at BMHQ we often make decisions slowly because there are many moving parts to all of these things, from operational considerations to cultural impacts. We take this stuff seriously, we debate these questions to death (holding them up to the Ten Principles), we work hard to get it right, and we usually do. When we don’t, we reflect on it and make an adjustment. We like to say that Burning Man is an experiment in temporary community, and that’s what we do: we experiment to try and create the ideal context in which our diverse community can come out and do their self-expression thing while maintaining some semblance of civil society.

OK, so let’s clear this stuff up, shall we? Starting with …

The Grand Conspiracy to Ban EDM at Burning Man

There is no grand conspiracy to ban, marginalize or sideline EDM at Burning Man. EDM is an art form, its community has made valuable contributions for many years to the rich cultural fabric of Burning Man, and we like it that way. It just so happens that this year, we’re finding ourselves forced to make decisions about issues ranging from sound policies to public safety to Decommodification — even Leave No Trace. None of this is even about a particular kind of sound. If people were blasting bluegrass or smooth jazz or (insert your favorite music here), all of the decisions would be the same.

Heck, we didn’t even lift a finger in the years when dubstep was all the rage — that’s how tolerant we are. (We kid, we kid.)

Addition of Deep-Playa Music Zone (DMZ) to DMV Sound Policy

(Photo by Jon Anderson)

(Photo by Jon Anderson)

On July 27, Burning Man’s Department of Mutant Vehicles (DMV) made an addition to its Sound Policy for Mutant Vehicles for the 2015 event, creating a new area for Mutant Vehicles to blast music in deep playa for more than three hours. The Deep-Playa Music Zone (DMZ) will be 5,340 feet from The Man between the 10:30 and 11:15 clock positions with banks of toilets at each end. This distance out follows the arc of Kook Street. The length of the arc is 1,747 feet. In plain English, this area is BIG, so multiple vehicles can party there.

The DMZ actually expands the options for all Mutant Vehicles with sound. Our standing policy for Level 1 and 2 sound vehicles asked their operators to be mindful of their volume and surroundings, especially in quieter areas in the city or late at night, and when on the open playa, to turn it down when appropriate. Vehicles with Level 3 (read: massive) systems were asked to only play at high volume at 10:00 and 2:00 by the Large Scale Sound Camps, with speakers pointing out to the deep playa. Now, in addition to those areas, Mutant Vehicles can park and party in the DMZ with large gatherings of people for extended periods.

In practice, the old policy wasn’t carefully enforced, and that caused lots of major problems. By creating a new area designated for large, long, loud dance parties in deep playa, we can address environmental, sanitation, and public safety concerns, while balancing the needs and desires of different participants. This experiment will move loud sound further away from people and art installations who don’t want it, and it will provide better amenities for people who do, most importantly porta-potties and medical care. Deep-playa dance parties in the past have led to way too much poop MOOP on the playa surface (you’d actually find a circle of poop around some parties, folks), so now there are potties to address that problem. There will also be Emergency Services medical personnel on hand to quickly respond to medical emergencies.

The DMZ is not some kind of quarantine for loud dance music. It’s a new place to have loud dance parties that are both more fun and safer. And this is an experiment — if it doesn’t work, we’ll look at it again.

Dancetronauts Mutant Vehicle

As we explained on June 17, DMV asked the Dancetronauts to address complaints from participants about the music on their Mutant Vehicle. DMV required that Dancetronauts present a plan for how they would address these complaints to bring their vehicle back in line with the DMV’s sound policy. They failed to do so, so their 2015 Mutant Vehicle license was not approved. No one has been “banned from Burning Man”. In fact, the Dancetronauts can bring the Strip Ship this year, park it at a 10:00 or 2:00 camp and play to their heart’s content. They’ve simply not been granted permission to drive their Mutant Vehicle on playa this year, which happens regularly to Mutant Vehicle teams whose applications don’t check out.

The DMV sound policy is a delicate effort to strike a balance between the interests of vehicle teams with sound, artists whose installations are affected by sound, participants who either do or do not want loud sound, and public safety concerns about hearing damage caused by overly loud systems. It’s not an easy balance to strike, but it works as long as all parties act in good faith to uphold it. In this specific case, the Dancetronauts did not. Next year, DMV would love to see a sound plan that lets them bring their vehicle back.

Opulent Temple Camp Placement

Opulent Temple has been a staple of the BRC EDM scene for a dozen years, bringing a monster sound system and a spectacular stage, and regularly drawing thousands of people to their camp to dance their brains off. This year, OT decided to take a break from this offering. Here’s the change they’re making in their own words:

[T]he plan is to step back and have a different Burning Man experience while still maintaining an OT presence and vibe in Black Rock City. There will still be a great OT camp that will be close to the many dance floors in the 10:00 and Esplanade vicinity, and as said — we’ll still do a number of events, but they just won’t take place in our own sound camp and dance floor. (emphasis added)

(Photo by Jon Ross)

(Photo by Jon Ross)

There are five criteria for Theme Camp placement, one of which is that “camps must be interactive. They should include activities, events or services within their camps and they must be available to the entire Burning Man community.”

Since Opulent Temple won’t be holding its events in camp this year but rather elsewhere around the playa, their camp didn’t get Theme Camp placement. That doesn’t mean they can’t come, it means they’re not pre-placed. What a camp has given the community in years past is not part of the consideration — it’s about what they’re offering this year. It’s that simple.

Announcing DJ Lineups

In response to a growing practice of Mutant Vehicles and Theme Camps pre-announcing celebrity DJ lineups to audiences outside of Black Rock City, representatives from a few different Burning Man departments considered the potential cultural ramifications of this practice and composed a letter to Mutant Vehicle and Theme Camp organizers. The gist of it was:

Burning Man doesn’t have “headliners”. We pride ourselves on that. Burners don’t follow anyone else to Black Rock City, they go for themselves. Please understand, we don’t have anything against EDM, an art form whose vibrant community has made great contributions to Burning Man for many years. But we welcome members of the EDM community to come to Burning Man for a different experience than they’re used to: to fully participate in an experiment in a temporary community.

You can read the full letter in this blog post from July 21.

We’re Working on It

We hope it’s clear that there’s no unified campaign against EDM going on here. Taken individually, these decisions all make sense. Taken collectively, it can look like a musical preference vendetta playing out. But that’s not happening. It so happens that a handful of this year’s decisions all swirled around issues involving loud music. We think they’re going to make life in Black Rock City better. If they don’t, we’ll fix it.

Thanks for listening.

About the author: Burning Man

Burning Man

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

172 Comments on “What’s Actually Going On with Dance Music at Burning Man

  • Todd Anisman aka Chino says:

    If BMORG would address the sound issues with realistic sound pressure levels that are written by a sound person who actually knows what they are talking about, then the issues of volume would be very different and fade into the past. Right now the sound policy is either too draconian or too vague. Many people, including myself have written to BMORG in the past, making this suggestion. Perhaps now it’s time to try again.

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    • Colin Jemmott says:

      I wrote to the DMV in February, 2012 with a list of suggestions on their policy, and was told that it was “locked in” for the time being. I couldn’t even get them to fix glaring typos, and years later we still have “DBA” and “100dB”. The policy, as it is written, is just gibberish.

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      • roissy says:

        My issue is with dBA, those with large systems should be happy because you get an 26 dB’s at 63 hz over the C weighting… (it is almost 40dB at 31hz if you go that low)

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    • loady says:

      BMORG ignores all sound and volume issues. Black rock rangers do not enforce stated limits. Few have volume meters and none want to ask DJs to turn down the noise. Sound mutant vehicles are not limited from blasting noise 2-10 am on all streets of the city. BMORG knows that half of Burners are ravers and ravers are paying customers. It doesn’t want to lose the deaf EDM fans, producers and DJs that draw them.

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  • Karen Beckman says:

    Although it makes me sad about Opulent Temple not being there, how will I find them? I am a raver, burner, hippie, artist if you will. Been to Burning Man 8 times. I admire art of all forms. One of the reasons I go is to Dance and it just so happens I LOVE electronic music. I’m definitely bummed. Sad that people litter and ruine it for others and if the music is too loud, too close well…going out to deep Playa at 10:30-11:15, I hope it’s not too far. I really hope so. Im sure I will have a great Burning Man experience, as I always do. But wanted to have my voice heard. By pushing away Electronic music- I think it may be a mistake. ):

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    • Tits McGee says:

      If you have been to burning man 8 times, ou should definitely now where 10:00 is….

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      • BurnerBetsy says:

        As well as 2:00 and the smorgasbord of other sound camps all over the city. As well as the art cars, etc. If you feel your Burning Man experience is jeopardy because a single camp won’t be placed, then I’m afraid Burning Man may not actually be what you are looking for. It’s fluid and dynamic, it’s different every year and one should not expect anything ahead of time beyond their own participation and gifts they will be sharing with the community.

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    • Franko says:

      if anything, this is a return to how burning man was back in the late 1990s. there was a rave camp way the hell out on the open playa, and it was awesome. i think this makes a lot of sense, and it’s worth trying out for a year to see how it works.

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    • Shadow says:

      “Although it makes me sad about Opulent Temple not being there,”….

      The article, and the quote from OT itself, makes it quite clear that OT WILL be there, they’re just doing things differently this year.

      Report comment

    • Citrus says:

      Did you read the article at all….

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  • Kaweh says:

    Someone should not come to Burning Man and expect a quiet get away vacation. They should go to Hawaii or anywhere else for that matter like out in the country! I have heard from so many Burners who have gone 15 and 20 years plus that Burning Man is getting more and more restricted. So i ask you….. how is the experiment coming along overall? More and more restrictions usually creates friction and suppression! Tell those hobos to wear ear plugs if anything is too loud or not to come! There that’s my bit! Happy planning! Drive fast, take chances and run with scissors!!!! <3

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    • Quentin says:

      Sound is not like other art forms. I’ve had sculptures near the temple, in years past, and when the sound camps where going it was impossible to be heard near my piece because the bass from 10 and 2 was crossing and the ambient sound level was higher than shouting level. I’m not asking for a quiet BM I’m asking that you learn to share the overcrowded airwaves. No I’m not asking even that, why? Because we all know what this is really about. Compensation for small dicks. that’s right. We will never have a equitable Sound policy because DJ’s have small dicks and they need to compensate with loud speakers.

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      • Kaweh says:

        ha ha Quentin, so large art form is compensation too? LMAO you walked right into that one!!! <3

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      • Magorn says:

        Back in ’99 my camp was right next to one that was not only LOUD but playing the same 30 second drum and base same on a loop continuously for 15-18 hours a day. Asking them nicely to turn it down, or vary their repertoire did not work. Gentle Mockery (blasting the Dead Milkmen’s “You’ll dance to anything” was only marginally successful. So we went Nuclear. I happened to have a Cd of Tu’uvan Throat Singing in my gear (back before this was a widely known thing) Including a trio singing the Soviet National anthem. %5 minutes of that at ax volume, with its unnatural trills and bass…..and they surrendered abjectly. You don;t ALWAYS have to be nice when resolving disputes you know…

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    • SBird says:

      “Someone should not come to Burning Man and expect a quiet get away vacation.” – Oh, for freak’s sake. When I try to go to sleep, I wear earplugs AND industrial grade hearing protection (Peltor) and sometimes the ‘oontz-oontz’ is still too loud. Maybe I need a proper RV instead of my little VW camper/van. Or something. But if I’m wearing military-grade hearing protection and the music is still too loud, that means the music is too loud!

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    • arnold says:

      Don’t come to Burning Man and expect a ear blasting rave noise filled vacation. It’s billed as an arts festival not a rave/concert/music festival and that’s what many of us want and expect. You have EDC and countless other events to be deafened at by godawful noise.

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    • loady says:

      Burning Man is not a rave or EDM festival. If you want that go to EDC and 1000 other raves. Burning Man is a unique special event and an art festival. I don’t define EDM blasting bass machine noise for a mile as art. Your right to explode extreme bass ends where my ears begin. All DJs are narcissists that don’t care about anyone or anything but their music. No earplugs stop deafening bass noise.

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  • Chuckster says:

    Seems like an old problem, just on steroids, out on the playa. Even EDM is “art”, but unlike the other arts at BM, it can follow you
    all over the playa, asserting and inserting itself into all moments, whether appropriate or not. It certainly wasn’t created as background music. A steady diet of any musical genre would get annoying, but EDM is always broadcasting loud and trying to grab and hold your attention, and isn’t that too big a piece of Burning Man’s action ?

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  • Potato says:

    I wish everyone would just go to BM and shut up. Just sit there and be quiet. Not temple quiet, like “Hey, ya’ll I may play a little skynyrd for ya’ll and apologize 2 years later” quiet – I mean actually shut the fuck up.

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  • Claymore says:

    I kind of like the idea that all the louder camps and cars are exiled to certain areas, now people know where to go to dance or party till sunrise.

    Everyone says if you want quiet, go to deep playa. But now, if you want to oontz oontz or trance… Go to deep playa.

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  • Cheetah Fox says:

    Sad for Opulent Temple but totally get it. All great things come to an end.

    Love that BMHQ doesn’t allow the announcement of ‘headliners’. I like NOT knowing what’s available and scheduled until I arrive at the gate, am greeted by a naked man, ring a bell and receive my calendar of events. I love surprises and not having a “plan” other than being exactly where I end up. Thank you for aiding in the exciting adventure of surprise!

    The sound of music… I go to Burning Man knowing that when I sleep in my cush RV I am going to hear the sounds of Burning Man. And I LOVE it!!! I have found it to be comforting actually. The distant sound of a beat. I do like the compromise of speakers being turned out towards open Playa instead of thumping directly towards camps, especially since my camp. My only eyebrow raise was with the designated location. Maybe I am confused and delirious from a very long day so I’m not imagining it correctly. Just to be sure… Am I correct in picturing the location for the late night party into the sunrise with EDM being located behind the residential section?? Um, how does this not register as chaos and wrong?!

    How does it not make more sense to have the party in deep Playa btwn 11-1??

    Venturing out to deep playa when the soirée was allowed to be at The Man’s 12o’clock was exhausting enough. The new location… Who came up with that location?!!! What is the end game here?

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    • Mike Gale says:

      “What is the end game here?”

      Porta Potties!
      Too many people crapping on the open playa and BLM saw it and told the ORG to fix the problem.

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    • Ur Rong says:

      “…until I arrive at the gate, am greeted by a naked man, ring a bell and receive my calendar of events”

      That is NOT THE GATE. That is the GREETER STATION.

      The Gate are the people that validated your ticket, searched your vehicle and allowed you to enter the city. The very least you could do to thank them is remember they exist, and are not Greeters.

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  • In the spirit of the article – to to be clear with the community, we’d like to respond to the segment about our situation. “Since Opulent Temple won’t be holding its events in camp this year but rather elsewhere around the playa, their camp didn’t get Theme Camp placement. That doesn’t mean they can’t come, it means they’re not pre-placed. What a camp has given the community in years past is not part of the consideration — it’s about what they’re offering this year. It’s that simple.”

    So 2 things on this-

    #1- We appealed and re-submitted our denial for placement of our theme application with a whole new set of interactive elements taking place AT the camp. They were daily workshops / teach ins / discussions provided by the OT community and it’s extended supporters on a variety of topics with room for 50-60 people. This included 20+ sessions over 5 days such as DJ lessons, Belly dance classes, talks on perma culture, flame effects Q&A, creative start up strategies, etc. Our appeal was denied as well. They still said no.

    #2- And speaking specifically to “what a camp has given the community in years past is not part of the consideration” So first, as has been stated by us elsewhere- It makes logical sense for BM to follow the letter of their policy (in our original application, our base camp was not interactive enough to be placed), but it removes too much of the human element, in our opinion, and that’s where it just doesn’t sit well, exacerbated by historical perspective. The dynamic between the sound communities and the org already is WAY too much -take- on the org’s side, and very little -give-, and this only reinforces that frustrating reality. They’re not doing anything differently, so it’s not like we’re being set up with false expectations. We know very well this is the deal, play this way, or don’t play! That is our choice and we own it. But- that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t hurt when you’ve given so much of your time and energy into something with so little in return from the org that’s benefiting from it. AND – as noted – if they are taking a straight “what have you for me lately” attitude, we think it’s lame, but OK. So we re-submit with the requested interactive bells and whistles, and we’re still denied.

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    • Celeste says:

      I have loved OT since my first burn in 2005. I have always been drawn to the music, hearing the thump while out in the open playa and turning to head straight there. I would find myself at OT and say, of course the good music is coming from this crew. I am also consistently impressed with the mature manner in which you handle you interactions with the ORG and your public comments regarding those interaction. Dancetronauts need to take some lessons from you.

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    • Franko says:

      “…But- that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t hurt when you’ve given so much of your time and energy into something with so little in return from the org that’s benefiting from it.”

      correct me if i’m wrong, but isn’t that… gifting? what you do has always, as far as i thought, been your GIFT to the community. expecting something in return means it’s *not* a gift in the true meaning of the word.

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      • Sure Franko, well said. We exist to gift what we do. First thought is just to comment that we’ve gifted a tremendous amount over 12 years. We don’t do it for something in return from the org (or we would have quite ages ago). But it’s still impossible not to enter a request for a reserved piece of space at BM without an expectation that you who are and what you’ve given wouldn’t enter the equation as to whether they said yes or no.

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    • yay says:

      OT, do you think that the size of your camp might have had some bearing on the Org’s decision? Many camps with less than 40 people are interactive 24/7 while also maintaining MVs.

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    • Sinbad says:

      OT should have proposed a yoga tent that could also be used for TED Talks. That would have solved the problem. Yoga and TED Talks are the new Chill Domes of the late 90s and early 00s, as far as meeting BMorg’s interactivity requirements.

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    • ad says:

      I honestly feel that requested placement was too ambitious, being right behind 10 and A. That is prime real estate, with a much higher bar of interactivity. A support camp for an art car really doesn’t belong there. If it had been requested even a few blocks down, I’m positive it would have been approved instantly.

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    • Answergirl says:

      I’m Manager of the Placement Team. I would offer that we of course value Opulent Temple as a strong member of our community, and we also sincerely appreciate all of the gifts they have brought to the playa to share with everyone. But we always consider only the current year’s Placed Camp Questionnaires to make our decisions, because we want to make sure the temporary city of BRC is dynamic. We always put the good of the community first, and we do not play favorites or give special treatment.
       
      The interactivity that Opulent Temple offered this year initially did not warrant official placement. They did submit an updated plan with more interactivity, but the only way for a camp to receive placement following an appeal is if space becomes available by another camp withdrawing. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it does not. This year, a very small number of camps withdrew, and none of them were large enough to accommodate Opulent Temple’s population.

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    • Dave Staley says:

      Opulent Temple has always been one of if not my most fond places to be at Burning Man, So many amazing memories. OP is a huge part of my Burning Man experience, they always seem to hit the mark. I know not everyone is there for the EDM, DJ’s, etc. but there are many who are. I have never heard one negative comment about OP, the people are top notch individuals that donate so much to the experience, I am sad that OP will not have a sound camp at the burn this year. Do they need to have a bar at the camp like Distrikt to be interactive enough? Truly disappointed that my favorite sound camp will not be there this year, I hope it doesn’t leave a sour taste for OP in years to come.

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  • Ulan says:

    Once again, thank you! Perfect tone. Well written and clear. What’s not to love?

    One point to clarify, the DMZis for Level 3 vehicles that want to stay in on spot for >>More Than 3 Hours<<!! We still must turn our sound down while not in deep playa or not pointing out sound towards deep playa. But we can be as loud as we want in deep playa so long as we are aware of how we effect the art out there (no blasting the observatory!)

    Thank you BMHQ for addressing all of this head on. Please keep these informative posts coming :)

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  • Ian Denchasy says:

    There are dozens of festivals blasting EDM all over the world and all year long. Want to dance (or listen to) to ear splitting music? Go to EDC, Coachella, LIB, a Rolling Stones concert, a Hollywood club, etc.

    I love dancing as much as the next person, but after wading through crowds of hopped up ravers and overflowing porta potties over on the 10 o’clock side, I’m glad to see some rules coming into play, finally.

    Opulent Temple issue is different and I’m really bummed the ORG can’t see their way to granting them space. I mean, what good did Caravansicle or the other douchebag camps bring to the community outside oodles of money.

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    • Hardon says:

      I LOVE that you say people who want strictly EDM can go to an EDM based festival. All these people have been saying if people don’t like the loud, don’t come to the burn. Different people want different things. Hopefully this will be a good balance.

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    • Ken says:

      Guess what, the silicon valley camps with security and chefs trump all. I suppose money speaks loudly heh. I love how they fail to address that issue. This should not be the equivalent of an all inclusive vacation so long as you have the $!

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      • LMb says:

        I’m glad you see it our way, Ken! At Millionaire Camp, our security and chefs will indeed trump all. Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t be able to pre-publish our exclusive DJ lineup this year, but do trust that it’s the best that money can buy!

        If you are of like mind and financial stature, please get pre-approved and swing by at 3:45 and Esplanade. We should have an adequate amount of Segway parking and charging available, but you could also hop on our private art car shuttle.

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      • Peace says:

        Well Ken, they have addressed it multiple times. No significant participation, no placement.

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      • The surreal McCoy says:

        Forget about the sissies at millionaire camp.

        Come over to the Bohemian Brothel, where we host the Cremation of Creme. You will get your personal sherpa, eunuchs, and palanquin.

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  • Tb says:

    This would be a lot more believable of Caravansicle didn’t happen last year. And potentially Soho house this year. OT has done a lot for the community. They do complain and bitch a lot. But no one can deny their contributions.

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  • Rebecca says:

    What a bunch of TRASH fence.

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  • Greg says:

    Ya all know where this is heading… No partying and lights out at 1:45 am.

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  • In 2012, my once and future attendance, i saved visiting the Temple for Sunday morning at dawn … sounds coming from the sound camps were so loud, i thought it was from a mutant vehicle parked nearby.

    Not pleasant.

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    • youloo says:

      This is a good reason to ban music on art cars. It’s out of control. Plus, there shouldn’t be fire on art cars because it gets too hot and it’s too bright.

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      • Sum Dum Chik says:

        I’d like to see the org start banning art on art cars. I’ve been going to burning man for five years and all the art on those art cars is just getting too artsy for me.

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  • Cpt. TravNasty Dancetronauts says:

    “DMV required that Dancetronauts present a plan for how they would address these complaints to bring their vehicle back in line with the DMV’s sound policy. They failed to do so, so their 2015 Mutant Vehicle license was not approved”

    Dancetronauts resolution that was submitted, went ignored, then denied and still seems to be in question or missing somehow by the BORG?

    HERE IS OUR MASTER PLAN FOR 2016.
    “TURN IT DOWN during large art burns and keep Dj’s off the mic.”
    -Cpt.TravNasty

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    • Hardon says:

      Dude.. You’re still able to bring everything, just not drive it around. You’re getting a small slap on the wrists because you messed up two years in a row. Get over it.

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    • Pantsless Santa Esquire says:

      Perhaps if you had at least tried to come up with a thoughtful and comprehensive answer we wouldn’t be having this discussion (all the other rave trucks were licensed).

      You should do that (or have a more literate friend do it) before next year.

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    • roissy says:

      You NEVER give a DJ access to a microphone (or the volume control) I have never heard anything intelligent come out of a DJ’s month (especially the “BIG NAMES”) when they are speaking to the crowd…

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    • Yowzers says:

      Seems like somebody may want to take a class in PR… I know OT has some skilled people. Maybe you could try over there?

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  • Ms Missy says:

    I love how BM and DMV over and over say the Dancetronauts made no effort to work with them. I have read the email chain and I have seen more then once they tried to work with DMV. If they don’t want them there just say that, but for BM to just come out and lie about they didn’t work with us , so we denied them is such B/S. The Dancetronauts bring more good then bad. I don’t blame them for not wanting to bring there artcar just to park at some random camp. I really hope they are allowed at SF Decom and back next year. Burning man gets two thumbs down from me this year!!

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    • BurnerBetsy says:

      “The Dancetronauts bring more good then bad.”

      100% opinion, and I disagree as do many others. I have a friend that was dating somebody on the crew and we went and hung out with them on Wednesday night. Every single person in a space suit was a complete fucking asshole to me and my friends, not to mention the music sucked and the whole experience was overall not pleasant.

      You guys keep framing this as BMORG having a vendetta against you, but what you seem to ignore is the TONS of complaints, from individual Burners that felt a need to go the extra mile and plea to BMORG to address your douchiness. They have made the appropriate changes and have even stated that you are more than welcome to bring your vehicle to the Playa and play music, but that isn’t good enough for you. I know I’m not alone with I say we sincerely hope you don’t take the BMORG up on that offer and leave your vehicle at home. Perhaps a break will regain some humbleness in your group.

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      • Ms Missy says:

        I’m not part of the Dancetronauts, just a fan. I love what they do and support them. I hope they come back in 2016 stronger and better then ever.

        I’m sorry you feel that way burnerbetsy

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      • Ra says:

        I have spent many nights, over the past 5 burns, dancing my ass off with the Dancetronauts. I Have met them multiple times, and they have ALWAYS been very kind, respectful, and fun. Some of my favorite memories on playa are their mobile parties. The sound camps bring thousands of dollars of equipment to play for our benefit for free. I am disappointed that many of our tribes, that have gave their hearts and souls for many years, aren’t getting the respect and loyalty they deserve.

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    • Sum Dum Chik says:

      Dancetronauts definitely bring more douche than bag but I don’t know about more good than bad :/

      Report comment

  • st. nick says:

    Dear Org,
    Sometimes picking up the phone solves everything. Please pick up the phone, call Opulent Temple, and offer pre-placement. They are clearly trying to make an effort here, why not embrace that willingness and courage?
    Perhaps offer them some suggestions and let them pick one.

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    • Pink says:

      Read Answer Girl’s answer maybe? No room left. Those of us that were placed read the instructions and requirements for placement the FIRST time we submitted our applications. They wanted a huge space for a large camp that wasn’t doing much. Apparently still wanted a huge space, since they couldn’t be accommodated by camps that did pull out after placement.

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  • Some Seeing Eye says:

    I was another contributor to the 2012? MV sound policy. It is a common problem in live music as well as EDM that the sound operators and DJs overdrive the systems to the detriment of the audience, everywhere, not just Burning Man.

    I believe in time we will have sound level meters on the playa. And levels will return to earth in a way that is measured reproducibly. I also have heard no scientific evidence that you can drive low distortion systems to higher levels without hearing damage, just because they are low distortion, as certain commercial makers claim.

    My observation is the the BMORG moves deliberately, stepwise, minimizing rules to essentials, usually when they are forced by BLM, insurance, LEO, etc. and corrects as it goes. Let’s see how this works out!

    And I love to dance too, since 1999 in the Rave Camp days, at Burning Man!

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  • Quentin says:

    Funny how the BMORG has to say now that they are not against EDM, because historically, we were all opposed to dance music right from the beginning . I know this is ancient history but back in the day the music camp had to be 3 miles away from BM. If you wanted that experience you had to ride out there to get it. That left the rest of BM to be a wild stew of sounds and squeals and clanking contraptions and human interaction. People ( you know those biological organisms that are not amplified) could express themselves because the spectrum of sound that a human voice is able to make was not cluttered up with 50+ competing sound systems. But a sound system is a pussy magnet so don’t even bother trying to come up with a workable cooperative system for sound management. Back when no one had enough money to afford a loud system we got along fine. But now that money rules BM sound will just get louder and louder with no end in sight. The Man burn used to be a thriving carnival of human expression. The last time I got into the inner circle it was a cacophony so loud with mobile sound systems that human expression was negated entirely and the crowd had become isolated spectators unwilling/unable to foster any form of human interaction. No one is willing to make the dangerous and unpopular call which is that sound camps should be 20 miles away. Nothing bigger than a boom box in the city. You sayI’m crazy but I was there when that was the norm and we had more fun than you little bitches will ever know. The only reason we even allowed sound camps into the city was that they bring all the good pussy and drugs. By keeping the sound camps far away we inadvertently forced high people to drive which lead to them running over and killing our friends. It isn’t about EDM vs some other music form. It is about human interaction vs the combined sound war drowning out everything else.

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  • ShinyPokey says:

    Wait, what, no DUBSTEP? OhMerGawd. I think my bladder just turned to pink crystal, yo.

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  • JV says:

    I can understand the frustration within the OT and Dancetronauts camps with not being placed and having their MV license denied, respectively. It’s a pain in the ass and you have to adjust plans and expectations, not to mention deal with the bad feelings. I get that.

    But, the fact that those two camps, or any camp, won’t be there in the same capacity they have in the past means fuck all to the event itself. In my opinion, it actually improves the event because it strips away a little bit of predictability. To those who seem to not be able to even deal with OT not staging another massive sound system, try looking at from this perspective. You’ll arrive on the playa and head out at night to go dancing maybe not knowing what to expect. How fucking great is that!? Instead of hitting auto pilot and tractor beaming it to OT, maybe you’ll wander around a bit, or maybe head to the camp that DID get placed in OT’s spot and see what’s up.

    As for the new DMZ, it’s pretty clear that it’s a response to the letter the BMORG received from the BLM (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2162361-brc-letter-march-12-2015-enclosure-safety-health.html), stating 20 issues that would need to be addressed before issuing the event permit. From page 5 in the header entitled “Sanitation Management”:

    “BLM LE and Civilian Operations observed and reported human waste on the open playa
    associated with mobile rave participants who did not have convenient access to portable toilets.”

    I’m no BMORG groupie, but I do realize the MASSIVE amount of red tape they have to wade through each year just to get the damn permit so the event can happen. Honestly, it’s a fucking miracle it’s worked out 24 years in a row and counting.

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  • Peace says:

    Rhere are many music festivals around the world. There is a subset of our community that wants Burning Man to be one of them. If that happens everything that makes Burning Man special goes away. EDM culture will swallow Burner culture. I think discouraging the posting of lineups is a step in the right direction. Another would be discouraging paying DJs. That commodifying the gift presented by these camps and cars. The music is fine. There are plenty of Burners who can gift their talents while respecting the culture.

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    • BurnerBetsy says:

      I always found it weird that camps “gift” DJs by paying for them, but said DJs can’t gift their acts by not requiring compensation. Everybody is a participant and everybody is asked to follow the 10 Principles as close as they can. I can’t see how a paid DJ is following said principles.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-DJ at all, I’m just pro-Burner. We have a full lineup of DJs at our camp that are people that have paid for their own tickets, brought their own shelter and food, and contribute to our or their camps in significant ways. They understand that playing music isn’t the only “gift” one should be giving. That is why we keep booking them each year and that’s why people keep coming back to our camp, because after a set, a DJ might end up over at our bar serving drinks right after. It makes the experience so much more enjoyable when you can interact with the DJs before and after their sets.

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    • Boots Paramour says:

      If any one element takes over BM, what makes BM special will go away. There is also a subset of out community that would like to see BM go the way of other festivals with 24/7 drum circles, aura focusing and crystal gazing. No one owns or defines “the” Burner culture, it is a hot mess of all the things. THAT is what makes it special.

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  • Silmarien says:

    As always, there are two sides to the story, with the Truth in between. Music is too loud? Seriously? Like others, I expect to hear the playa beat 24/7. The memory of it carries me on bad days in the default world. It never interfered with my enjoyment of art installations. My mental capacity allows me to tune it out if I wish, so I can’t think of a time when I even noticed it. This too shall pass, right?

    I get there is a poop MOOP issue, but I volunteer with the Earth Guardians, and last year the huge, literally toxic messes in the plug n plays required remediation of significant cubic feet of playa. The DPW got called in, ’cause the P & P operators wouldn’t own their own shit. I’m pretty sure the deep playa clean up was as easy as cleaning a kitty litter, relative to the P & P’s.

    Too noisy at the Temple? I also volunteer with the Temple Guardians. There were a scant few vehicles to-ing and fro-ing from deep playa that paused longer and played louder than they might’ve. Not all Temple attendees are grieving, and the music was, once again, pure BM. Can’t meditate? Focus harder or put in some ear plugs. I come to BM to escape the INtolerance “I’m offended by…..(fill in the blank)” of the default world. Go on a fucking retreat if you need silence.

    Most definitely, many vehicles are elitist and exclusionary about letting mere mortal Burners climb on. It was really bad last year. Easy to vet those out, though, right? Just test their accessibility throughout the week, and burn those that don’t follow the Principles, (pun intended).

    Lastly, to take issue with promoting DJ’s outside BM is a joke. If that causes someone to ante up for a ticket, what of it? Worried about attracting the wrong people? What happened to Radical Inclusion? And hold up a mirror, BMorg, on your own shameless self-promotion off-playa.

    It seems inevitable that as time passes, the default world and over-regulation ruins all good things because people just can’t play nice in the sand box together. Sigh.

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    • BurnerBetsy says:

      Are you seriously trivializing picking up human waste in the deep playa? Seriously? That shit (literally) is gross as hell. Some P&P’s definitely suck at LNT and left a ton of trash and random large pieces of moop, but I would rather spend a full day picking up large pieces of moop and trash than spend 15 or more minutes picking up others’ shit.

      As for your defense of blasting music on others that do not want it, perhaps we should get a group of shirtcockers to follow you around and spin their dicks in your face all burn long. See if you feel like their art is being forced upon you or not. You like EDM? Awesome, me too, when the mood strikes. Luckily, there are plenty of places at BM to get your EDM fix. Having a CHOICE to experience said music is something I and others would like to have. And I don’t mean the random “hum” of the city with all of its background noise, we are specifically talking about the douchecars and their super powerful systems being BLASTED directly in the face of camps, pieces of art, and burn events. We have a 7000W stereo system for our larger sound camp and we still get drowned out by certain art cars as they pass, which is a disservice to those who are both providing music and participating in listening in our area.

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    • Minnesaur says:

      I agree with a lot of what you said, except for the Temple. Too noisy at the Temple, yes. At the Temple burn last year we had a music-blasting steamboat shaped art car fuckhead pull right in front of us just seconds before it came down. Fuck those guys.

      I helped build the thing, and had a memorial to a friend in there, but the fun experience of a bunch of jerks with a mutant vehicle and a sound system was more important.

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      • Sum Dum Chik says:

        I’ve been at a temple burn with loud jackasses who didn’t have an art car or a sound system- radical self reliance means I don’t go around complaining that dickbag ruined my burn. Someone having fun (even shitty loud fun) does not impede my ability to celebrate, mourn or commemorate anything or anyone. I actually LIKE the shitty art cars and bad music because I like to make fun of things and they are excellent fodder. Maybe they’ll learn something from the playa and evolve in some way. Maybe they’ll come back bigger and douchier so I can laugh harder next year. You’re never going to be 100% in control of your environment but you are 100% in control of your attitude, so maybe try changing that.

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    • Doom Snake says:

      “It’s too loud” is not the same as ” We demand silence”.

      Report comment

  • Brent Bucci says:

    As an artist that looks to get my ticket through providing visuals at the major sound camps, the lack of support by BMORG for sound camps is incredibly disheartening. Every year, visualists, sound engineers, and countless stage and lighting designers donate our time (and computers, cause Playa destroys laptops) to making the burn an incredible music and arts experience. Yet, despite this, artists like me have to fight to acquire camp tickets which are increasingly in short supply.

    To make matters worse, many camps that do receive tickets that are supposed to be allocated for staff sell them secondhand, in order to subsidize the increasingly large cost for booking big name artists.

    Camps like Roots Society, Osiris, Dancetronauts, Digital Apex, and Opulent Temple give visual artists like me a chance to share awesome visuals outside of the traditional festival scene, allowing us to take risks, and be more creative than somewhere like EDC, Ultra, or Wonderland. It’s a shame that BMORG doesn’t seem to value us.

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    • yay says:

      The Org does not financially support any Theme Camps. LSSA Theme Camps are no different than the rest in terms of time and money spent, except by choice.

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    • BurnerBetsy says:

      “To make matters worse, many camps that do receive tickets that are supposed to be allocated for staff sell them secondhand, in order to subsidize the increasingly large cost for booking big name artists.”

      How/why are you blaming the BMORG for this? It’s the camps that are the assholes here and yet you continue to support them while they fleece you. You somehow take the logical leap to blame BMORG for sound camps not being able to afford what they want to bring to the Playa? That’s their problem, not BMORG. Tons of projects don’t make it to the Playa because they cannot get proper funding. Sound camps aren’t any more important than those people.

      Also, your last paragraph makes it sound like you’re wanting to be compensated for your time spent at the Burn. If that’s the case, do us all a favor and never attend again with that attitude. The BMORG owes you NOTHING. BM will exist with or without you, you and your cohorts do not make Burning Man, the entire city does. Guess what? The rest of the population has the same difficulties as you, except they actually have to PAY for their tickets and not have them gifted by some huge sound camp. I have never met a Burner in person who comes off as entitled as you are making yourself sound. I sincerely hope it’s just frustration clouding your judgement, otherwise, it might be a good thing that you struggle to make it out there.

      PS: I’ve spent most of my own personal money and thousands of hours of my time designing, building, and maintaining large light and sound installations for our camp, other camps, and multiple art cars. Never once have I expected anything in return, yet I have received so much from the community and am grateful for it.

      Stop bitching and start doing.

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      • Brent Bucci says:

        I am doing. I’ll be at the burn, throwing down the sickest visuals you’ve ever seen. I just wish that BM.org would have worked with sound camps to create sensible policy. Big sound camps require huge amounts of time and organization, and unclear policies make it harder for all of the engineers, lighting designers, stage creators, and visualists to create and share our vision.
        -Brent

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      • TelePrompTer says:

        Burner Betsy. You are taking a forum where people are just casually getting their points and frustrations out and being a total……bitch. Yeah I said it. How many posts have you made on this? It’s all you are thinking about. And it’s not even productive thinking. You are individually taking the time to bash people one at a time. You are the one that all of us would hate to run into on the playa and to tell someone you hope they have problems getting to the burn makes you sick. Stop being so bipolar and understand this forum. Be productive. Stop targeting people’s posts. I’m on one side but am not posting 15 responses to the other side! You seem completely self entitled or think it anyways or you shouldn’t be taking all this time out of your day to bash others opinions and frustrations. Go to work and take a break from the forum! Much love.

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      • Ryan says:

        as a visualists, sound engineer, and stage and lighting designer I also donate my time and computers. The difference is, I buy my own ticket, set up my own placed theme camp (thank you placement crew), and drive my wife and all our gifts from Orlando FL. then we drive back. to complain that you can’t get your free ticket to hang in a camp provided by someone else is mildly frustrating. I’m sure you are an awesome burner, but you might enjoy getting your own ticket, doing your own thing, with your own art. then, when everyone needs to leave the party to take care of their ‘kitchen shift’ you can sit back and say, I am the WoMan and I’ll do dishes when I feel like it.

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    • Peace says:

      “To make matters worse, many camps that do receive tickets that are supposed to be allocated for staff sell them secondhand, in order to subsidize the increasingly large cost for booking big name artists.”

      Do you get that this should not be happening? No one should be paying for Big Name Artists, period. It’s not a gift to the community, it’s disrespecting the culture. You want to gift your art? How about the hundreds of DJs who would gift their art for free, but won’t get the chance because some douche camp wants to show how big their penises are by bringing in “big names”. I don’t expect the org to be the EDM police, but it should be policy that camps and cars that pay artists don’t get placed or don’t get a DMV license.

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      • Tricksey says:

        Ha ha ha. You want to deny placement to sound camps that pay DJs but allow plug and play camps to pay sherpas to pamper their guests? Really? Why don’t you admit who you really are and how much money you’re making from the Org.

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      • Peace says:

        No Tricksey, I don’t support placement for non-participatory plug and play camps, and neither does the org. They’ve been very clear on that this year.

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      • Victoria Rose says:

        There is a difference between selling tickets intended for core staff to pay for big name artists and rich people paying for their own servants/Slerpas. Both practices seem a bit dodgy.

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  • Brent Bucci says:

    By moving music into deep playa, you have killed the opportunity for lighting designers, stage designers, pyro techs, and visualists like me to share my art with the Burn. I know that we represent an incredibly small group, but dammit… I really was looking forward to creating some awesome visuals at the burn this year.

    Fix your policies early next year, your unclear policies messed up a lot of people’s burns.

    (PS, If you have an awesome sound camp, and are looking for someone to do some awesome visuals, find me on facebook @brentbucci)

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    • BurnerBetsy says:

      Do you people even read these posts? They are *NOT* moving music into the Deep Playa. They are asking that Level 3 sound art cars that want to play a full blast for an extended period (over 3 hours) move to a special area near the 10 o’clock sound camp area. There are still tons of large sound camps placed both at 10 and 2 as well as smaller sound camps distributed throughout the city. Lastly, there are well over 100 art cars with sound built-in that will be playing music all around, not just in Deep Playa.

      I don’t see how this policy affects you in any way unless you were planning on making some obnoxious light show on a level 3 art car that plans to blind everybody who’s within 100 yards of it. Otherwise, why not setup shop at one of the TONS of sound camps that already have their placement? Also, why the hell are you just now looking for places to do this? We have been building our stage and lighting and pyrotechnics all damn year and will still need a week before to set it all up.

      As I stated earlier: stop bitching, start doing. Make your own camp if you are not satisfied with what other camps have to offer. If you follow the rules, you should get placement (next year that is, you can’t just wait til the last minute and expect BM to accommodate your lack of planning ahead).

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    • sirensays says:

      sorry to hear this brent. we all love to share our talents and regardless of individual camps or borg’s decisions, it sounds like you’ve been let down. I hope to see some of your art/efforts on the playa in some form. best!

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  • Coulomb says:

    Dance music and sound at Burning Man seems on one hand as a means of entertainment and art and on the other hand a cacophonous affair with each mutant vehicle pushing higher amplitudes at an attempt to be, what, the loudest? Sound is something that everyone at BM really has no choice to avoid; its part of the deal. But last year felt like a fucking sound war was happening. Image if everyone’s art piece consumed the radius of sound of a level 3 mutant vehicle. How many artists would fit into the deep playa, then? My guess is less than what we have now.

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  • Cheri says:

    Burner Betsy your camp sounds brilliant! Where is it!!!

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  • Sara says:

    Sorry. Nice try but not buying it. BMO is clearly at war with electronic music.

    From Opulent Temple:
    “We appealed and re-submitted our denial for placement of our theme application with a whole new set of interactive elements taking place AT the camp. They were daily workshops / teach ins / discussions provided by the OT community and it’s extended supporters on a variety of topics with room for 50-60 people. This included 20+ sessions over 5 days such as DJ lessons, Belly dance classes, talks on perma culture, flame effects Q&A, creative start up strategies, etc. Our appeal was denied as well. ”

    I enjoy all aspects of BM, and find discrimination against electronic music this year to be in opposition to the principle of free expression. Yes, you can enjoy art and music… but not electronic music.

    Shame on you BMO.

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    • Tricksey says:

      Seriously. If they didn’t want to place OT where they requested, they could have offered them a less desirable location.

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      • Pink says:

        No they couldn’t. OT was denied, and when they appealed, there wasn’t space left. Anywhere. Placement has a hard enough time doing the tetris job of fitting in all of the camps that were accepted. Placing big camps is much harder than fitting in a small one. They wanted space for 150 people. That’s a big camp.

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  • Starz says:

    I was unaware that there could be a noise problem at Burning Man. Of course, there is the issue of sound that is so loud that it is above the pain level – I have never experienced that at Burning Man though. And then there is the complicated issue of perception and filtering inside the individual’s head – which is not about decibel. The sound of a freeway and a rushing river can be similar from a decibel and frequency point of view, but the same person still might perceive the one as disturbing and the other as soothing, depending on her attitude and past experiences. It might be hard to impossible to address that with policies.

    What I am more concerned about in recent years is light pollution on the playa. Most art pieces need a black desert as a canvas at night. You cannot destroy that by lighting up the desert like a city at night. For a very good reason, Burning Man “street lights” are soft amber oil lanterns. Humans need darkness to be able to experience night. This night experience is a very important part of Burning Man, because darkness has been lost in many places where we come from.

    Light doesn’t increase safety. Humans are perfectly adapted to day and night, with different sets of behavioral patterns for light and darkness. Artificial light at night doesn’t increase safety, but it triggers daylight behavior patterns. I absolutely understand if crews working on some art installation want to trigger the daytime pattern of “constructing” at night time and setup bright working lights in the middle of he playa. But please be so considerate to turn them off when you stop working and leave: your neighboring art pieces will thank you.

    Last year, there were examples of art installations that included really bright lights, for instance the “lighthouse” at center camp. They were shining deep into the playa, disturbing many other art pieces. Is it really necessary for an artist to make such a statement? There are other more sophisticated ways to grab people’s attention.

    And last: is it necessary that (official) vehicles drive around with their high beam on on the playa? Traffic rules prohibit the use of a high beam if you blind other people, and in many countries this includes pedestrians. On the playa, you almost always blind another person, and since the speed limit is 5 mph, you never need a high beam. So please prohibit high beams for everybody except in the case of an emergency, and enforce that rule. That might even help to enforce the speed limit, because you intuitively drive slower.

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  • Tilly says:

    Straight guys don’t dance.

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  • Tinkle says:

    The music at Burning Man is too loud. The heat is too hot. The fire burns me. Dust is too dusty. The wind is too windy. And no one fucking listens to me!!!!

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  • Jason 1969 says:

    In recent years EDM has grown to a disproportionate presence at BM, and I’m surprised it’s taken this long for some type of response from the Borg. The bad examples being discussed have created a “bigger, louder” arms race. Worst, is the trend of promoting big name DJs. It simply hurts the event on so many levels and I’m glad that the BORG is trying to stop it. It discourages all the other great events happening around the playa by it’s presumed “Headliner” nature. There are DJs worth listening to in every nook and cranny out there! Find them, enjoy them, be surprised by them, they worked just as hard to bring a gift of music out there, and are likely not getting paid. Finding some random, fun party and dancing with friends to a DJ that you don’t know has way more value to the Burning Man experience than knowing Skrillrex’s schedule. Burning Man is not an EDM festival, but an art festival that has lots of great dance parties. Big difference.

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    • Brent Bucci says:

      This mentality screws over visualists like me who need time to build and create awesome visual experiences to go along with the music. Small camps don’t cut it.
      -B

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      • roissy says:

        To this day the most impressive visuals I have seen on playa was when DisOrient was projecting on their domes… So Brent Bucci use your imagination and come up with something new rather than size…

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      • Disco says:

        I drop into camps with no prep and do a fine job so long as it’s not a crazy mapping gig. And yeah, my stuff is awesome. All original content.

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      • Jason 1969 says:

        “Screws over visualists”? Damn, you think it is Burning Man’s responsibility to make sure you have a big crowd watching you? Wow. There are hundreds of places for visualists to be enjoyed, if small camps don’t cut it, find a big one to show at, or build a big one yourself. You have a lot of competition for amazing shit to look at out there, and lots of people spend lots of time and money to create awesome visual experiences, sometimes for just a few people. If you are bringing out art because you want to share and have fun, you will be fine. If you are looking for a guaranteed payback for your efforts in some kind of feedback/promotional way, than this probably taint the festival for you. And roissy, I am part of DisOrient and was there back when we were projecting on our dome (2002-2004). And the visual crew were pretty open to cool visualsts jumping in and performing. Someone like you, Brent, could have easily shown on the dome … I bet there are many opportunities like that you could find right now (ePlaya, Facebook). Just sayin.

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  • Lively says:

    Burning Cuck

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  • Whiners, Inc. says:

    Somebody call the Waaaahmbulance.

    Strictly speaking, if you’re not bringing your own music, you deserve and get nothing.

    If other people want to gift their music to the community, they can do it in ways that the community has agreed are in keeping with the overall well-being of that community.

    Dancetronauts? Met ’em several times. Drunk and disorderly.

    Opulent Temple? Same ol’ same ol’ Figure out something new to do.

    If all you want to do is come to Burning Man and dance, that’s great – bring headphones and enjoy yourself. If you’re relying on a dance camp to bring a giant sound system for you, you’re truly doing Burning Man wrong.

    Bring the spontaneity back to your life. Do something different this year.

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    • brett says:

      “Same ol’ same ol’ Figure out something new to do.”

      — that’s all we ask. why not change your camp name all together? if you are setting up a multi-year branding exercise disguised as a dance club – maybe mix it up once in a while. Otherwise, you are boring.

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  • lifeisshort says:

    “What a camp has given the community in years past is not part of the consideration — it’s about what they’re offering this year”….. I don’t know why but I find this statement disturbing.

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  • Zoo Money says:

    Heads-up: the link at the end of this article titled “in this blog post from July 21” is linking to a comment in the comments thread, not to the top of the article. I’m worried you may accidentally be giving people the impression that Pooh Bear’s comment on culture clashes represents the views of BMHQ.

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  • james abele says:

    I don’t fear dancing at BM this year, and i totally get that the Large sound zone is really only relevant for 6 mega sound cars. and I get how fun it can be to randomly find good music, and that we don’t want to attract spectators to BM via famous headliners. but you know what?

    I’ve been to BM 10 times. I’m a dancer, juggler, fire spinner, and i want to stay up late dancing to beats i love. that isn’t everything being played, but i know its out there, somewhere. How many true participants have “chased the dragon” all night, hopping from camp to camp, trying to find something that is “just right” for you, and wasting a lot of time and energy being frustrated that you can’t find the dance floor for YOU? For me, Rockstar Librarian’s guide changed the way i burned for the better. No, I’m not at BM just to see BassNectar/Skrillex/ThieveryCorp/Beats Antique/whoever….but when I’m there, and i know a few DJs i like are on the 2 o’clock side that night, i drift THAT way, and maybe i’ll go towards 10 o’clock the next night as there seems to be more for ME there. some random discovery is great…but i DO want to make the most of my time and have a vague sense of where i want to be dancing, and trying to get all info ON PLAYA simply does not work the same as having a rough outline to consult. I still expect said guide to be somewhat inaccurate or DJs to show up late etc…but it helps! So count me as someone that is fine with lineups being “held back” far in advance, but i REALLY hope most lineups are published the week before and that Rockstar Librarian or someone gifts a compilation to the community like in years past. Having a vague plan and not being 100% spontaneous at all times should not be totally frowned upon, and being passionate about wanting to enjoy a favorite DJs set doesn’t make you a “spectator” that isn’t down with the program…my 2 cents. keep it more subtle externally, sure, but allow those of us attending to get informed.

    if you want to zero in on why tickets are selling out and more virgins are coming than ever before, Im fairly certain its the higher level of media publicity the BMORG participates in that is attracting the bucket listers much more than some art cars EDM lineup. I like documentaries and such…but Spark being on HBO, articles appearing in Delta SkyMag etc, and simpsons and southwark episodes have done WAY more to increase ticket demand than EDM lineups. I think people rightly assume there will be some epic music there regardless. If the BMORG doesnt want to increase demand via em artists…stop talking about Burning Man to external sources, period! its at capacity without any assistance needed :)

    see ya’ll in the dust!

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    • Peace says:

      So how much of Burning Man culture are you willing to sacrifice to make your personal experience easier? Neither the org nor anyone else has said their can’t be a guide on playa, we just don’t want paid artists or advertizing outside of BM.

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  • JV says:

    I can understand the frustration within the OT and Dancetronauts camps with not being placed and having their MV license denied, respectively. It’s a pain in the ass and you have to adjust plans and expectations, not to mention deal with the bad feelings. I get that.

    But, the fact that those two camps, or any camp, won’t be there in the same capacity they have in the past means fuck all to the event itself. In my opinion, it actually improves the event because it strips away a little bit of predictability. To those who seem to not be able to even deal with OT not staging another massive sound system, try looking at from this perspective. You’ll arrive on the playa and head out at night to go dancing maybe not knowing what to expect. How fucking great is that!? Instead of hitting auto pilot and tractor beaming it to OT, maybe you’ll wander around a bit, or maybe head to the camp that DID get placed in OT’s spot and see what’s up.

    As for the new DMZ, it’s pretty clear that it’s a response to the letter the BMORG received from the BLM (google “brc letter march 12 2015” to see the letter), stating 20 issues that would need to be addressed before issuing the event permit. From page 5 in the header entitled “Sanitation Management”:

    “BLM LE and Civilian Operations observed and reported human waste on the open playa
    associated with mobile rave participants who did not have convenient access to portable toilets.”

    I’m no BMORG groupie, but I do realize the MASSIVE amount of red tape they have to wade through each year just to get the damn permit so the event can happen. Honestly, it’s a fucking miracle it’s worked out 24 years in a row and counting.

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  • the dj formerly known as ____ says:

    When you read their “with emphasis” quote of the OT application, you see the interpretation they are taking… and it is semantics…

    Further, if you read the part about headliners… then, by the same token… why should we know who builds the temple, or does any of the other art?

    Art is art. Anonymous Art rulings should be adhered to across all Art.

    Since Participants are themselves Art… as we make up the event… neither should we be named, or have names, during the event.

    And do not even get me started on the Artery Tours… let us all get on art cars and drive around and have them (the BMORG patrons) promote the Art Grants paid to Jane Doe and John Doeness to create there fabulous piece of art… now, now… that would be breaking the Anonymous Art rules… the new reality is getting on the Artery Tour… and driving around, and the Tour Guide will NOW HAVE TO SAY- “Look, A Piece of Art… Now, moving right along…. I see another in the distance…”

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  • Lulu says:

    You lost me at “policy.”

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  • SBird says:

    As a not-too-old fart who has been going to BM for years (I live on the west side of the city) I can’t say I’m worried that there won’t be enough enough electronic dance music on the Playa. It all comes under the category of ‘Bad Disco’ to me. A little bit of bad disco can be fun … but I think it’s very easy to reach the point of too much. I would say that constant, dumb, extremely loud music has been annoying our camp for way too many years. Even when I’m exhausted, it’s a little hard to sleep wearing earplugs plus industrial strength hearing protection! There are still a LOT of people for whom Burning Man isn’t a big dance party. There is still a tremendous amount of stuff out there that should be taken in quietly. And as for music, I would rather see FAR MORE actual music played by people with actual musical instruments in the hands, at non-deafening volumes.

    I think it would be interesting if there was a year where there was NO EDM AT ALL, but that would be unfair. On the other hand, they banned guns and dogs….

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  • Magorn says:

    I love you guys. I really do. You literally changed my life when it was at a critical juncture. And I helped found and run a regional that has faced serious sound issues too, so I get it. But My dearest brothers and sisters of the Org, may I gently suggest that you guys are blowing it? Burning man was founded, in part as an experiment in intentional community building. A critical part of that experiment was to see how few rules, and strictures you could impose on people and still have a functional, safe, and active community. The ethos that drove this is that the Playa should not have a “they”-a top down authority issuing edicts and proclamations, a core group “curating” the culture, but an “Us”- community coming to a consensus about what it wanted and needed. In the early days of my regional we declared ourselves a “do-ocracy, rather than a “democracy” meaning that anytime you said of the event “Why don;t They….” you were volunteering to do whatever you suggested because there WAS no “They”. a remote aloof , group making al the decisions for the event, but just an “Us” a group of co-equal participants coming together to create the event WE wanted. Part of the reason for this is that when faced with a problem to solve, a few thousand minds tended to more creative than a dozen, and sometimes solutions are presented that make problems disappear without official action.

    Of late, Burning Man feels VERY much like it has a “They”. There is an increasing sense that BM org is “the Man” rather than Just the most dedicated and hard-working of our participants. And a lot of this comes from the “regulate first, negotiate later” posture the Org seems to take on a lot of issues of late.

    And honestly I get it, I do, the event is nearly three times larger than at my first burn in 1999, The BLM is MUCH more interventionist than it once was, Pershing County LEOs are far less reasonable than Washoe, and honest the event’s profile is higher than ever, firmly on the cultural radar, so there is also a sense of far greater scrutiny on the Org.

    BUT in making all the “necessary compromises” as you see them, imposing a “few” rules “for the greater good” You are in VERY real daner of destroying the fundamental “thing” that made BM such a powerful place, such a potent idea. I think it may be time to Downsize……Every time you get larger, more crowded, more known, you are faced with more problems that on the surface seem to be best solved by compromising on core ideals.

    Instead of getting bigger every year, think about getting SMALLER, reducing the permit size each year. Let the regionals carry some of the load of evangelizing the “burning Ideal.” , while you focus on making Black Rock city the purest incarnation of that ideal.

    Larry himself once said he saw the Big Burn as Rome and the regionals as all Rome’s colonies, but the time may come when the big burn is the Burner Mecca, a place for participants to make a “Haj” to once or twice, but then take their energy and expend it back where they live making their own burns. The orginal burners were a counter-culture movement. We are on the cusp of remaking the culture in our image. It would b tragic to See BM fail, or lose its soul on the verge of its greatest triumph

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  • arnold says:

    Best place for the EDM ghetto would be 5 to 7 o clock near the trash fence. It’s the farthest from the city. Aim speakers out from burning man BRC into the really deep playa. Why wasn’t that done?

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    • Some Seeing Eye says:

      Excellent idea! That is adjacent to where the LEO HQ usually is. It would be surreal to have LEOs and dancers sharing a bank of portos. And they could entertain/annoy inbound gate road and exodus individuals stuck in vehicles.

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  • Joshua says:

    Props to BMORG for giving shits about others shits and pushing for positive change. Props to Opulant for cracking my musical brain open 8 years ago and creating such rad vibes over the years. Props to “small dicked” DJs for scrounging and digging and putting effort into their sets. And to all the BTS cats who build sound camps and rad art cars. Let’s keep elevating the scene and respect each others space. And yes…please leave the default headliner crap off the wire… If Scrambled Eggs and Dipshit come back with their yo yo Brochella shoutout steez again I will once again join the chorus of nay-booers…

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  • stepehn swords says:

    I’ve only been to Burning Man once in 2001, and the constant thump thump of dance music was both very cool and very annoying, depending. On Thursday morning, I think, it was annoying, so I set up my humble beat box and played the Bach cello suites really loud. A bunch of people came by and we all sat in a circle, listening deep in mutually shared sonic relief for at least a moment.

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    • Doom Snake says:

      Wouldn’t a live orchestra be a wonderful thing?

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      • OysterBar says:

        “Wouldn’t a live orchestra be a wonderful thing?”
        Maybe. Depends where, what time of day, how loud the timpani is, what direction the orchestra is facing, and if they are performing a concerto “I” like. So—it might be a wonderful thing. Depends on who “YOU” are and what interests you.

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  • Ds says:

    So glad there were ramifications for the obnoxiously loud and inappropriate bombastic music the dancetronauts were pumping to their empty dance floor, with a large perimeter of people standing back away from the music, at last years Embrace burn. What the fuck were they thinking? Free Bird!

    Dj’s, if no one is dancing , or in this case that you see in fact people are covering their ears and scowling at you, doesn’t that reality warrant a change in your set list to better match the mood? Build it up, bring it down, build it back up…and if folks are into it, then hammer it, and see what happens. I always get a little sad when Dj’s are so disconnected, especially at the art burns.

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    • Cole says:

      The emptiness of Skrillex/Diplo/Dancetronauts’ dance floor during Embrace burn put the biggest of smiles on my face.

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      • ds says:

        So that’s who that was.

        To Diplo, Skrillex, and the Dancetronaunts,

        Self-expression is wonderful and beautiful in all of it’s forms, and, self-expression while being an asshole just makes you asshole.

        Just one citizen’s opinion.

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    • Ryan says:

      ‘people are covering their ears and scowling at you, doesn’t that reality warrant a change in your set list to better match the mood’ – great idea! you should do your own set. plenty of crappy art on the playa (love it, and bring much of it) music is no exception.

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    • Jason 1969 says:

      DS, I so agree on the “if nobody is dancing” at your camp, turn it down or change it up. The empty dance floor/loud DJ scenerio always seems to happen at 5-6 am. Sorry to the DJ who got a bad shift, or party moved away, but please just stop if its empty. BassHenge was super guilty of this last year, empty dance floor, super loud music. And if there are only 3 or 4 people, it doesn’t need to be raging loud. We camped near a trance camp that played a non-varying style of trance, non-stop, round the clock. It took over the neighborhood. At sunrise on the third day of hearing this we pleaded with the camp to give everyone a breather. Like play some Stevie Wonder, soul, folk, Hendrix, gospel, throat singing, damn even death metal, show tunes, anything, something different on that awesomely loud system. “Wouldn’t the trance then sound refreshing to your fans after a little palette cleanser?” was our argument. Nope. Not a chance. I don’t get one flavor of anything for days, and not giving a shit about imposing it on neighbors.

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      • ds says:

        Dj’s repeat after me: I, (say your real name), promise to be a dj of the people, for the people, playing sets drawn into existence by watching and feeling those who are listening to the music I’m spinning . I humbly serve the listeners as an agent of fun, love, and satisfaction.

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  • TelePrompTer says:

    I’m so f-ing amazed right now how the idiots who made these decisions think it’s a potentially good idea at best. What the fuck is that statement about dub step? Funny joke man. What you are doing by writing this article and making it available to us is throwing salt in the wound if not on accident. I have no connections whatsoever to any sound camp but i am amongst The several several thousands of people come out there to dance and enjoy loud music. Did it even cross your damn minds that your DMZ is making it impossible or very difficult for someone disabled like myself to make it a mile deep in the playa to go dance and have fun? Will you guys be offering shuttle services on ranger trucks to get us disabled peeps out that far and back again? If all the party is forced to be way out there then all the art cars for rides will be out there. What you have done is nothing short of divided the community. It’s not difficult to see that you pushed out dance community out of the city to its edges where we are separated and don’t feel like part of the community at large. You guys need to look in the mirror and stop denying that you have something against it all. The only reason you keep repeating in this article that our edm community has enriched the BM community as a whole is Bc you know your ticket sales would be cut in half if not more without us. Thanks. You broke my heart.

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    • Will Chase says:

      With all due respect, I wonder if you even read the full post before you commented. There is still music available at sound camps along the 10:00 and 2:00 arms of the city. Mutant Vehicles are allowed to park anywhere on playa and play for up to 3 hours. The only thing we’re asking is that if Mutant Vehicles want to throw a big, loud, long party more than 3 hours, they use the DMZ … that way the people enjoying it (again, for more than 3 hours) have easy access to porta-potties and emergency services, should they need it. This isn’t shutting down or marginalizing dance music at all, it’s making it more sustainable — lest the BLM shut us down for too many people pooping on the playa, which they would — and thus more available, to participants.

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      • TelePrompTer says:

        I read the entire article and have been following the entire drama this entire year. I’m sorry for calling you guys idiots in the heat of the moment but I’m upset. The way I see it is you guys are putting us a mile past the man and in the corner therefore it’s like we are being slowly pushed out of the general city limits. I understand that people pooping on the playa is bad news and I’d never do that but I’m sure people do the same thing or worse in other places of the city. How about move the nasty ass porta potties (temp orgy huts) with dildos on the seats out of the camp area. Ha. Ha. Anyways I definitively read the article and understand what is happening. And it’s kinda funny that it’s named the DMZ. The real DMZ is an area that separates two societies with force and military and I just see a parallel that you guys that don’t enjoy loud sound camps within the city limits have departed two cultures/societies and named it the DMZ. Again I apologize for being rude in my other comment but I read it and can’t believe a change like this is coming to us last minute like this. It’s gonna change the experience for lots of people and I’m hoping its for the best. And it is difficult for mobility challenged peeps to make it from their camps all the way out a full mile past the man. Hopefully you guys crack down on art cars not stopping for people and not being inclusive to the entire BM community. There were people jumping on moving art cars and getting kicked off once they crawled on. That’s a huge public safety concern. I guess to the average veteran burner it just looks like you guys are cracking down hard on one “issue” which happens to be a huge community while ignoring others. Oh well We will rage it and have fun either way but I imagine lots of more vehicles applying at DMV so we can get all the way out there! Ha.

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      • TelePrompTer says:

        And mutant vehicles can park on the playa and play for 3 hours!! Ha ha. That’s a load. Are you gonna be the one keeping time Mr. Chase? It’s transparent that you guys are after particular camps/sound vehicles.

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      • burnersxxx says:

        “if Mutant Vehicles want to throw a big, loud, long party more than 3 hours, they use the DMZ”
        …so Level 3 systems can play wherever they want at Level 3 volume, provided they move at the 3 hour mark. The DMZ is solely for longer parties.

        Thanks for clearing that up, it was one of the more confusing aspects of the policy,

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      • SvnLyrBrto says:

        I agree with TelePrompTer in that choosing the term “DMZ” is a big mistake if you truly are trying to present yourselves as not being hostile to music camps. For anyone who follows history, or even current events, the DMZ primarily refers to the strip of land separating North and South Korea. It is an artifact of unremitting hostility meant to separate a the horrifically repressive North from the free South. “DMZ” is an extremely loaded term, with a lot of negative emotional connotation. And you can hardly blame people for reacting when you provoke them like that.

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      • Ulan says:

        BMORG is responding to requests from BLM. They are adding services (portopotties) – not taking anything away. The new DMZ (intentionally ironic) is only for mutant vehicles that want to stay in one spot for more than three hours and play at level 3 volumes.

        I am not sure how the mobility challenges are inconvenienced in any way. Just the opposite as this area is closer to 10 than most popular locations in the deep playa. Additionally, because the parties are corralled, I imagine you will have more opportunities to catch a ride home.

        I dislike rules. But I would rather have Burning Man happen with a few more rules than allow BLM to “shut the whole thing down™” (more ironic references).

        And, fwiw, sound is one of the few art forms that imposes itself even on those not willingly partaking. We all have to play in the same (giant) sandbox. Asking me to turn down my sound or at least minimize its impact by pointing my speakers away from the city is a small concession. I can imagine alternatives far more damaging to those for whom it is “all about the bass™”.

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    • moondust says:

      Very Well Said TelePrompTer

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    • Monty Cassino says:

      Maybe cutting ticket sales in half is an excellent idea?

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    • Ryan says:

      you make a wonderful point Tele. as someone who drives more than 3000 miles one way to attend the event. bringing a mutant vehicle (even a golf cart) is difficult. Because of this, we are more acutely aware of life on the playa limited to bikes. we have no deep contacts with people on the west coast so must rely on the kindness of strangers for rides out to deep playa (we have been told, ‘this vehicle is for our camp only, and we will not move until you and your wife leave the car’) I love to rage, party, hang all night with anyone who is awake. It has been the case since I have been burning, that many art cars go to deep playa just to get away from people to party. thats cool, kind of lame, because if I would like to hang with these folks it requires a multi-mile bike ride. which is fine. the problem is getting back. if a group of mutant vehicles all got together and decided they are all going to party in the deep playa (although kind of lame, ok no prob there prerogative).
      The issue comes in when BMORG sets up the area. if you have a sanctioned dance attraction zone significantly distanced from the rest of the event, does BMORG have a responsibility to get people back? If someone gets injured or dehydrates returning from this zone from the middle of nowhere is BMORG negligent? this could be a very dangerous solution to solve something that is annoying at worst.

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      • MemeMimi says:

        “If someone gets injured or dehydrates returning from this zone from the middle of nowhere is BMORG negligent?”

        No. Are they required to start chartering busses now because people have to walk further?*

        *And actually, no one is walking further – there have always been things to see in deep playa that people have successfully traveled to and from without getting hurt.

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  • Dustin says:

    The main thing I hate about the large mobile sound camps is that so much money and effort goes into those instead of into building interactrive stationary camps that are awesome to visit. What happened to camps like Mission to Mars and their mazes? Some nights it seems like the art cars are just circling each other in the open playa, with nowhere to go.

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  • moondust says:

    What the OT brought to BM for so many year is unbelievable amazing.
    The music was great, the vibes were incredible, they brought magic to the playa.
    In order to do so they worked very hard and spent tons and tons of money to make it happen.
    For the borg not to consider the history of this incredible effort that they made during all these years is unbelievable Shallow ! and their decision I bet doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that the OT placed camp will not be interactive enough.!!!
    The level of the iteractivity of OT Camp spoke for itself in their History of gifting their talents and their endless effort to bring their magic to the BM community.
    I’m very disappointed and sad to see where the BM experience is heading recently and in the last couple of years specifically. The Borg DO NOT understand how hard theme camps organizers are working to bring a bit of magic to the playa… Where is the support that they deserve??? Where is the GIFT the borg is giving to these hard working peeps???

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    • MemeMimi says:

      You may have missed the explanation for this from the placement team, it’s further up in the comments: “The interactivity that Opulent Temple offered this year initially did not warrant official placement. They did submit an updated plan with more interactivity, but the only way for a camp to receive placement following an appeal is if space becomes available by another camp withdrawing. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it does not. This year, a very small number of camps withdrew, and none of them were large enough to accommodate Opulent Temple’s population.”

      Short version: they didn’t qualify with the little they put in their initial application, and by the time they added stuff and reapplied there were no spots open that were big enough.

      They didn’t plan ahead as well as they could have, and while it stinks for them it’s not exactly a grand example of the org being heartless monsters.

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  • Ryan says:

    thank you BMORG, I think you handled this well. kudos to whomever keeps up this site as well at the FB site, everything is wonderfully written and thoughtful.

    my only question is. with OT gone… where will all the cops hang out?

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  • Will Chase says:

    burnersxxx said: “…so Level 3 systems can play wherever they want at Level 3 volume, provided they move at the 3 hour mark. The DMZ is solely for longer parties.”

    No, that’s not correct. The full sound policy (http://burningman.org/event/art-performance/mutant-vehicles/sound-policy/) states: “Vehicles with Level 3 systems may only play at high volume at 10:00 and 2:00 by the Large Scale Sound Camps, with speakers pointing out to the deep playa. They can also play in the DMZ (see below).”

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  • jblaze says:

    HUH? How do get a mutant vehicle through the gate without an invite letter? If the application was denied I thought that means don’t bring it at all?

    Never heard of a “pre-no playa driving” invite letter from the DMV. The invite letter gets you an “on the playa” day/night inspection. Then if you pass you get to drive during the event. So they issued an invite (to get through the gate) with a pre-denial? Weird?

    Maybe it drives in with a vehicle pass?

    What’s up with the Christina “renting” the vehicle out to “private parties” last year? Seems like a money maker on BRC and definitely non-inclusive. Almost a P&P vehicle idea……. Great idea.

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  • jblaze says:

    Oops I meant “how do you get a mutant vehicle”…… shame on me

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  • Teleprompter says:

    Will chase. We can all see how transparent your language is. You know how to write and you write a lot. Most if not all of us are highly educated. In addition to your lame joke about dub step (which hasn’t even been a joke for years now and just obviously shows that you guys don’t enjoy edm), you also say this. And I want everyone to read it carefully. The author of the article says this…”we experiment to try and create the ideal context in which our diverse community can come out and do THEIR self-expression thing while maintaining some semblance of civil society.” He chose to word it as “their experience as in his mind purposely or not he has already devided the BM community. It should have been worded OUR self expression. I know you know how to write dude. Just catching your meaning with words further proves your intent.

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    • Will Chase says:

      well, i guess i’m busted. you got me. out of the literally hundreds of thousands — probably millions at this point — of words i’ve written and spoken about burning man in the last 12 years, one slip-up — just a *single pronoun*‚ did me in. (i always hated pronouns.)

      should i have used “its”? or “our”? “MY?!” GAH! DAMN YOU PRONOUNS!!!!

      alas, the veil has finally been lifted. i can now cast aside this sullied mask i’ve hidden behind for so long. though as much as i am ashamed, i feel — liberated.

      look for me at the temple burn this year. i’ll be the guy sobbing as i throw my AP style book and my laminate into the flames. :-(

      p.s. sorry you didn’t like my joke.

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      • Teleprompter says:

        Ha ha. I admit I was having fun with that last one. Not as serious as I made it sound. Def not a grammar or writing nazi. But all is good. I hope everything works out for the best like is stated in the article. That’s it from this guy. See yall out on the playa.

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  • Eric O. says:

    What’s next Burning Man implementing the FREE SPEECH ZONE?

    The only policies that NEED to be enforced is that of safety and I think that’s what the cost and job of every sheriff, BLM and Fed agent. Burning Man needs to stop playing Government and go back to it’s own ETHOS!

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  • Math is Hard says:

    The arc between 10:30 and 11:15 (22.5 degrees) at 5,340 feet would be 2,097 feet. How can one expect to enforce this DMZ if one can’t even get it’s size right?

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  • Bill F says:

    Wow… I made it through this whole string. Here’s my one thought: I am in awe of the energy – and money – Opulent Temple, Distrikt, and others make every year to make my Burn awesome. Thank you!

    (I am totally in disagreement with the statement someone made, which basically said, “Yeah, that was nice, but that was last year. What are you doing for us this year?”)

    OT, Distrikt, and the other great dance scenes: Thanks!!!

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    • Bill F says:

      Wow… I made it through this whole string. Here’s my one thought: I am in awe of the energy – and money – Opulent Temple, Distrikt, and others spend every year to make my Burn awesome. Thank you!

      (I am totally in disagreement with the statement someone made, which basically said, “Yeah, that was nice, but that was last year. What are you doing for us this year?”)

      OT, Distrikt, and the other great dance scenes: Thanks!!!

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  • Downwind Dave says:

    I was at Woodstock, rode motorcycles to Aspencade (Ruidosa, NM), Sturgis once and Burning Man a couple of times years ago. As you might guess, I’m more of a geezer than a hipster. I have seen the good times when they were small or unique, but the bigger the crowds and organization (rules) the more the free spirit is lost. My advice is go find your own cart and ride in it. If you remember, BM started in Frisco with just a few people that has morphed into to huge conglomeration. There are places that have loud music and extreme dancing ,and once I liked that kind of thing. Not so much today….so I don’t do to BM. But the bickering and complaining will eventually lead to the organizers throwing up their hands and wondering why they are even trying to make a good thing happen. I’m taking no sides, just have seen what discontent leads to.
    onward thru the fog

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  • G'Lux says:

    As a founding member of Opulent Temple for 13 years, I found this public posting by Burning Man to be very offensive. I would also say that it was devastating and heart breaking for a large contingent of our crew, many who have given a decade of their lives to building and creating Opulent Temple for Burning Man. After talking about this issue of lack of placement with long time burners at Burning Man, the general consensus was this was a huge slap in the face. I was very disappointed that Burning Man treated Opulent Temple this way because we are very interactive and we also tried to appeal and we were declined. I personally found this comment to be incredibly rude and offensive, “What a camp has given the community in years past is not part of the consideration — it’s about what they’re offering this year. It’s that simple.” That is not the way I would expect Burning Man to treat burners. The person who wrote that really looks bad to me too like they have no idea what they are talking about, negating and minimizing a monumental and colossal effort was just delegitimized in a single blog statement. This was vindicated in a beautiful way however in the SPIN Magazine write up about Opulent Temple http://www.spin.com/2015/09/syd-gris-burning-man-interview/ “This year, Opulent Temple took a step away from their typical stage build for their popular Wednesday night “White Party.” Instead, they provided attendees a truly magical alternative that captured the true essence of Burning Man by forming a commutative stage consisting of multiple art cars from other camps….” Opulent Temple is interactive, and our camp could have been made to be even more so with workshops, classes, a forum. I offered to teach bellydance and yoga classes. Declined. I feel that after 11 years of going to burning man, it could be a good time to take some time off because I don’t want to spend all of my time, energy and creative fire on a festival that doesn’t value our contribution or devalues over a decade of participation and posts rude blog posts like this that make my soul shutter. I am very sorry to have to write this post about a festival that I love so much and have given so much of my life to and yet feel after this year’s debacle and the completely shocking and rude way were were treated, especially Syd Gris and all he has done for the year round burner culture, its really disappointing from Burning Man. Its a great sign to me that things are not headed in the right direction when a camp like Opulent Temple is given this kind of treatment by Burning Man, and other camps should take note of how little it means to Burning Man in how much you give, even if its 10 plus years of time, energy and your very life essence. I also defend the Dancetronauts and feel that could have been handled in another way. End of my .02……

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