An Open Letter to the Vandals, Press and People Who Condoned the Vandalism at White Ocean

Editor’s note: In the wake of the 2016 event, we need to call attention to some unfortunate incidents of vandalism. The goal is to bring to light the fact that this stuff happens in Black Rock City, to open a discussion about why it happens, and — hopefully — to end it.

This is part two in a series of posts about vandalism in Black Rock City.

This post has been contributed by members of the Burning Man community who volunteered to share their views on this topic. The opinions expressed here are not those of the Burning Man Project. We provide a platform for the Burning Man community to engage in dialogue. If you would like to propose a post of your own, about vandalism or any other topic, you can submit a story here: Submit a Story form.


By White Ocean Family

There has been a surprising amount of noise about the vandalism incident at White Ocean at Burning Man 2016. We are grateful for and humbled by the number of people who have reached out to show their support and share their stories at the stage and within our camp. We have refrained from commenting or engaging with the press, who have chosen to sensationalize and distort facts for the purpose of selling a story and used disinformation to their own benefit. We also witnessed anger from fellow Burners who expressed support for the vandalism, claiming this act of violence was justified to stop “plug-and-play camps” such as ours from coming back to Burning Man.

What Actually Happened

To set the story straight: Our camp wasn’t vandalized by people trying to take Burning Man back from the “parasites.” It was not “class warfare.” The truth that eventually emerged was that the camp was vandalized by a small, disgruntled group of people who had camped with White Ocean for three years building the stage. We decided not to work with them this year because of leadership differences.

With the complexity of building our stage, bringing an amazing sound system and running 12 hours of music every day for seven days, we needed a new team. It was an unpopular decision because the old team, understandably, had an emotional attachment to what we had created together.

It’s important also to note that we recognized their commitment to the camp and that their crew should not suffer because of differences at the top of the organization, so we openly invited them to camp with us, but the offer was declined. Right after the vandalization took place, we worked with the Black Rock Rangers and the onsite police to give statements and file a report about the stolen goods. As the police are still wrapping up the investigation, we are not able to comment further at this time.

What the Press Got Wrong

So why didn’t the press report the truth, and why, more surprisingly, was there so much hate amongst fellow Burners? Explaining the position of the press is easy. They wanted a story and were ready to distort facts for it. The truth would hardly be newsworthy.

We made the mistake of publishing an announcement on Facebook. It’s not the first mistake or the last mistake we have made as a camp, but they all come from a genuine place. Had we not published this message to our community on Facebook, only the few people who had their bikes stolen and RV doors superglued would have known what had happened. It’s interesting to see how, from a minor act of vandalism and a small Facebook post, such a distorted story can spread across the global press.

We were fascinated to see how these acts of vandalism and theft were being hailed by some as heroic. Because of media spin and an angry mob, White Ocean became a target and a scapegoat. We’ve been characterized as being somehow harmful to Burning Man culture, and we don’t think that’s fair.

(Photo courtesy of White Ocean)
(Photo courtesy of White Ocean)

What White Ocean Offers to Black Rock City

White Ocean has only been around for four years and has grown very quickly. With that growth, we have faced many challenges and often questioned why we put in all this time, energy and money to come to the playa. We have also made mistakes and continue to make them every year but we really do try to learn from them.

We believe we bring a beautiful gift to the playa, uniting people through music. We try to bring new musicians that have never been to Burning Man. We don’t pay our artists, we don’t pay for their flights or their tickets. We house some of them in our camp, and they contribute their gift of music. All our camp members contribute in some way. Many work in the kitchen or on the build, some contribute financially, but everyone is equal, and it is only possible because of everyone’s contribution.

Planning our camp is a 10-month process involving a diverse group of people. Aside from the sizable financial investment, the time we dedicate to organizing the camp is a huge commitment, and it’s done for the love of our community and the music. We work with one of the top sound engineers in the world, who is able to calibrate the music so that you can have a normal conversation on the dance floor, meanwhile boosting the surrounding frequencies. We try to approach every aspect with the same love and diligence, to create the best experience we can for those who come to dance with us. Our stage only lives at Burning Man; there is no commercial business for White Ocean, nor do we throw parties outside the playa to make money. It’s a genuine labor of love.

Additionally, we calculate that between 4,000 and 10,000 people visit our stage each night, depending on the night. That’s roughly 10% of the entire population of Black Rock City. Some of these people come into our camp and ask for food, shelter, water, to use the bathrooms and even the showers. We welcome these people as long as they are respectful and polite. We have turned people away who were intoxicated or rude. We served 5,000 meals in seven days in 2016. Our 200 campers eating two meals per day for seven days equals 2,800 meals. That means we fed an extra 2,200 mouths, or 3% of the population.  Come in with a smile and an open heart, and we are always happy to have you.

(Photo by Aaron Glassman, courtesy of White Ocean)
(Photo by Aaron Glassman, courtesy of White Ocean)

Love and Forgiveness

Our magical society needs to learn how to stand united not divided, to show compassion not hate, to spread love and understanding. If we can show the world that side of us — while there’s so much attention focused on our community because of all this — we could send a powerful message.

One note about inclusivity: We’ve received quite a bit of vitriol from other Burners saying we represent a part of the community that many don’t welcome at the event. We think Burning Man, like every other dynamic society, constantly evolves and will never stay the same, and that we should all accept this. We also understand that we need to respect the traditions and foundations of Burning Man.

We forgive the people who vandalized our camp. It was wrong and criminal, but we have all done things in life that we later regret. We are thankful to those who have believed in us and allowed us to learn from our mistakes.

Most importantly, we want to thank every single one of you who has come to White Ocean and forged unforgettable memories dancing through those cold nights and beautiful sunrises. You inspire us to keep coming back.

Love,

White Ocean Family


(Top photo by Gurpreet Chawla)

160 Comments on “An Open Letter to the Vandals, Press and People Who Condoned the Vandalism at White Ocean

  • Sandman says:

    Haters will be haters. Your camp brings a huge gift to the Playa. On behalf of all, I say thank you. Rock on!

    Report comment

    • Robyn Barnes says:

      White Ocean is using tickets and space that could otherwise be used by people who truly give to the event in the spirit of the 10 Principles – ALL ten. Burning Man would be better if White Ocean stopped attending, or if they finally got their act together.

      Report comment

      • Samuel Sant'Ana says:

        That does not sound likeanything in 10 Principles.
        People CAN and WILL think and act different from you. your exclusive and fantastic attitude makes me think that you shouldn’t be anywhere near BM.

        Report comment

      • Blake says:

        Robyn you are the problem…

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      • Alpinedude says:

        So, from his high chair, Blake declares that Robyn is the problem. But, from my own high chair, I declare that Blake is, in fact, the problem.

        See? Geddit, now? Good.

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      • Chris says:

        I fail to see how they are NOT following all 10 of the principles. They add more to the event than most and have always been welcoming and embraced the BM culture.

        You know, compared to someone who wants to throw out a group because she doesn’t like their vibe.

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      • Cello says:

        I’m saddened that you feel this way. I discussed what happened with White Ocean crew members after what had happened. I would like to note that they were very respectful to my friend and I as we tried to get the story straight- we too read an online article applauding the vandals for these damages.
        Here’s the deal, it’s not okay to cause damage to a group of people, whether or not they are less burner esque than thou. The vandalism caused damage not only to the individuals and their belongings within the White Ocean camp, but also to the Playa itself. From what I understand, from camp members who I personally asked, a 250 gallon water tank was unplugged and left to drain throughout the camp.
        I’ve never much been a fan of the Plug-n-Play lifestyle. I’ve learned from veteran burners that it’s not the “true BM experience,” but some other bastardized form of it. Plug-n-Play camps are not the problem, nor are the campers within them. Assholes still manage to come to BRC, camped wherever, and cause problems for everyone.
        Hate is a color that looks terrible on everyone. I hope none of you choose to cheer for these vandals (or any vandals) who tried to ruin the burn this year.

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      • Eric says:

        That is one of the most entitled, and ignorant posts ever. No one elected you keeper of the ten principles. White Ocean and their camp has as much right to be there as you do.

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      • gregor Reti says:

        White Ocean was and is an enrichment to my life. Ever since I experienced the BEST Sound I ever heard, laser shows, rhythmic gas explosions… the best in my International life and now I am walking around and tell about White Ocean and their selfless giving ($$) as a Burning Man spirit. The Russian population does not get the money? Well, the Koch brothers don’t give back a dime to our population only to (self serving) Citizens United. I bow my hat to White Ocean!

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      • Cori Castro says:

        Judgement is what is NOT welcome.

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    • Dina says:

      Black Rock city became my home from the first time I came in 2004. It is a very diversified city, much like the real world and has to friendly and peacefully accept all. For the last 4 years, your camp was one of my most favorite spots on the Playa. Thank you White Ocean for brining music, happiness and love to our home!!!

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    • Kazu says:

      Regarding Plug & Play camps, it’s useful to heed the words of Larry Harvey: “Honor the patrons!”

      If that doesn’t explain / forgive / excuse the P & Ps, I don’t know what does… On the other hand, I’m a 14-year Burner, and I *still* had a great time this year!

      LALL, y’all!

      * Live and let live

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    • Breeze says:

      Although I am personally against the concept of Plug and Play camps on the playa, I respect that White Ocean does bring quite an impressive and unique stage and contributes to our community in a way that should be appreciated and welcomed. I am not big into the electronic scene yet myself and my friends have truly enjoyed their incredible stage the past few years.

      Events change and evolve, as will Burning Man. It has evolved from a handful of rebels partying on Baker beach for a few days to 60,000+ attendees on an open playa with countless pieces of art, music and expressions of one’s self. Let’s not pick on one another and learn to appreciate and accept each other. Hopefully there will be lessons learned and compromises on both sides of the fence. Whether you tent camp or bring your rock star bus, we are all out in our dusty heaven experiencing life away from reality for a bit. Let’s respect one another and start bridging the divide by offering acceptance.

      Finally, if Burning Man is evolving into something that you don’t want it to be, then don’t attend. Vandalism is not acceptable in the default world or our dusty world. The only way to invoke real change is to no longer support the event by not purchasing tickets and standing up for your values. If this is not an option for you, then it’s time to become more accepting of the shift and perhaps try working with these camps to create a system that is more favorable to our core values as Burners instead of complaining and ridiculing them.

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    • LB says:

      Some of the best bass ive heard on playa. Had a great night on playa with yall and your awesome stage instalation. Me and my friends danced and bonded and met new friends from all over the world. Was there with some first time burners and that night was the pivot point for their burn. What a great time. The paradox that some people are unwelcoming to people that they percive as unwelcoming. ? It just dont make sense to me. Kill them with kindness. Show them the way too love.

      Lazyboy-

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    • Ben says:

      Eh
      I have been the plug of plug n plays for money.
      I don’t think these camps contribute to anything but the shallowest end of the festival.
      I truly know all sides from the inside out.
      While in the default world I make most of my money as a fabricator making bizarre things for burners with more money than God and so I thank god that the festival has opened these people up a bit.
      However, the truth is none of them follow the 10 principles even in the slightest.
      The last wealthy camp I was a part of produced more garbage than I have ever seen produced by a camp while simultaneously trying to act enlightened and spiritual.
      I have PTSD about it.
      It gives me the shivers to think about.
      While I think the vandalism was a major waste of food and water I don’t feel sorry for white ocean in the least nor do I think they contribute much to Burning Man other than for their vapid trite materialistic cohorts obsesses with deep house, feather mowhawks, tall boots, police hats and scarves wrapped around their heads…. It’s so predictable that it’s pretty much exactly the same every year.
      I wouldn’t call that much of a contribution.
      #brobotheart

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    • Slimberly says:

      Everyone take a deep breath. Now I want you to think about Burning Man as what I was told my first year in ’97. A wise man explained to my virgin, naive BM mind this. “It is an experiment in temporary community. Think of the playa as a Petri dish. Take a bunch of creative humans, give them a common “theme” and see what happens with everyone building a city in one week and then…poof. It’s gone. With no trace.” As with all societies, influxes of population changes things. We as Burners are bigger than the “norm” of modern societies. (BWB as an example along with regional and continental burns). Think of that idea of the experiment as how we, as a community, cope, grow, and nurture. We, as a society of burners, are changing and growing. All of that can be frightening. There is enough fear and retaliation in the default world. Burning Man is bigger than that. just a kindly reminder…

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    • Buckhorn says:

      I agree. I experienced an increase in hostile Burners in the community. This being my second year I only have one othe year to compare it too.

      I reall don’t understand the hostility. I leave all my baggage outside he gate. Inside the gate I don’t judge people, I greet people with a warm smile and I generally experience the same back. To me this is part of the beauty of Burning Man.

      One of the gifts I got last year (my first year) was the understanding that we are all important to the experience. I learned not to look at someone and make a judgement about them. I’ve kept this practice in an out of BRC. Thanks to this change in behavior I have made some amazing friends. People I would not have interacted with if I had prejudged them on our first encounter.

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  • Pooh Bear says:

    Great photos Gurps!

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  • Arkadiy says:

    Praise White Ocean all you want but it was built on russian oil money. Money, that didn’t reach russian teachers, socially unprotected people, or children. Average salary is $250. Average elderly pension is $150. We have 19 million people below the line of poverty, that is almost 20% of the population. And the kid who built White Ocean happens to be the son of the russian oil oligarch and is showing off his father’s wealth.

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  • Robyn Barnes says:

    This doesn’t seem to jive with what Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen had to say:

    “Law enforcement officials had little to say about several publicized incidents at the event this year, including the vandalism of the White Ocean theme camp. The camp, which hosts A-list electronic dance music DJs nightly at its stage, denounced the actions of those who flooded the camp, cut electric cords and glued doors shut on some of the camp’s RVs.

    Without an official report, which the camp leads never made, Allen could not investigate the criminal ransacking.”

    Report comment

    • Shadodeon says:

      This white ocean advertisement brought to you by their own PR and making something that happens to alot of burner’s, bike theft and a prank, a major transgression that singled them out because they’re special little snowflakes. Most of the articles sourced WO statement’ as their primary source, so how did the media blow it out of proportion or spin it?

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  • Ryan says:

    whoopsie daisy I’ve been telling everyone that was Camp Question Mark

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  • Peace says:

    It is my hope that we have a serious, positive, and peaceful conversation about the clash of cultures that is happening with the “festival kids” and traditional Burning Man culture. One look at the Moop Map shows we need to honor the principle Radical Inclusion, but work with these newbies to understand the principles of Leave No trace, Radical Self-Reliance, and Civic Responsibility. I salute what you’ve done to create a great gift for much of the community. I urge you to understand you have created something that is drawing folks who are used to a different culture. All you have to do is look at the aftermath of any modern music festival to understand Burning Man is something different and you have a responsibility not only to provide the gift of your music, but to explain to those experiencing Burning Man for the first time that they have a responsibility to contribute and participate in ways beyond just dancing and dropping their trash on the ground. There is no excuse for what happened, but that doesn’t relinquish you of your responsibilities to the community.

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  • Laurens says:

    I had some of my best nights at White Ocean – dancing on the DJ booth and seeing the sun rise through the dust storm. Truly magic moments with a fantastic and inclusive crowd!

    Thanks so much for organizing this!!

    Report comment

  • Bottlepopper says:

    You guys should prolly just shut up about it already and hope some people forget how much drama youv caused. Not to mention the 1st person account your camper issued that you guys officially endorsed which only help solidify within the burner community thay you guys don’t get it. It being what the event is actually all about…

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  • Chris says:

    Can’t help but feel that there’s more to this story than White Ocean is willing to let on

    Report comment

    • No He Didn't says:

      That is what I keep thinking. What happened to them sucked. No, it really did. No matter what you think about a camp on the Playa, you do not have the right to vandalize a camp. However, all I hear from White Ocean is self aggrandizing and victimization, which is not helping them. None of it speaks from the heart and all of it sounds like it has been ran through some kind of a PR machine.

      The best advice I can give to White Ocean is simply stop talking about it, take your licks and move on. Someone screwed you over and will probably get away with it however stop talking like you’re something special. A lot of camps and burners have issues with other camps and people at the Burn, but that is just how humans work. The more you solicit pity, the less people are going to like you. DJ Paul Oakenfold makes millions of dollars a year and the son of a Russian Oligarch probably does not have to work since his father can give him millions of dollars or completely sponsor his life. No matter what injustice happens to you, hardly anyone is going to feel sympathy towards you.

      Report comment

  • Qpap says:

    White ocean should cut with the bullshit about how they feed campers and how they are open, welcoming blablabla… They are not open, it’s a closed camp where people don’t even bother say hello before asking you who you are and what you’re doing there. It’s all about them, for them and their close friends. They are showing off on the Playa. They spend millions on crappy expensive useless things but don’t bother clean up their mess. Just check the moop map. It’s not about the money. It’s about how they use it. These camps are the cancer of BM.

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  • Midnight Rooster says:

    No mention on why the disgruntled band of evildoers REALLY trashed your camp. You don’t really expect us to believe it’s solely because you chose a new stage production crew? When you stiff hard working people out of money and time, it will come back to you I’n some way. There are years worth of stories of WO not paying your people and acting like assholes, in general. That is much more believable than this BS.

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    • The Wizard says:

      This! So much this.

      This blog entry contains all of these pictures of some really big arches. Did you pay the designer for the work you commissioned him to do, White Ocean?

      I’m saddened that this blog entry was included alongside the one about the Iron Monkeys. They don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as White Ocean.

      Report comment

      • Big Daddy Dirt says:

        We got paid for everything we brought to white ocean this year. Not sure what you are talking about..

        Report comment

      • Camp Daddy says:

        Ask the contractors who built that stage whom you agreed to pay 30K, and stiffed. White Ocean has a reputation for stiffing people. You are trashy spoiled Russian Oligarchs… boo offing hoo.
        I wouldn’t condone what happened to you. However, you did have it coming for a while now. Paybacks do suck. So, suck it!

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  • Richard says:

    It is regretable this causes so much suffering to the event! Of causing the prior builders and service poeple to violate you. Simple solution would have been to recognized there group or individual contributions to your White Ocean with a certificate of merit. Moving on is hard when you are dealing with deep set emotions and you wish to create a new avenue in your building process. It is my hope you will succeed in both and at the same time try to be more compassionate the next time you trash your crew for a new one!

    Report comment

  • Nate says:

    Are you a closed camp, yes you are.
    Vandalism may be wrong and I don’t condone it but I also won’t be showing White Oil Ocean and love.

    Report comment

  • Polly Burn says:

    What about the people you guys didn’t pay and had them labor for you for days in the hot sun????? What about them?? We don’t give a crap about what music you provide if you don’t treat people like HUMANS.

    Report comment

    • Velvet says:

      If you’re being paid to work at a P&P camp at Burning Man you are enabling the douchebaggery. The message WO needs to hear is everyone works at BM, everyone MOOPs. Not just ‘the staff’.

      Free the sherpas!

      Report comment

  • Alix Angela says:

    I appreciate the letter but at the same time I do not believe that White Ocean and it’s members will do anything to change the fact that they have acted like a bunch of snooty stuck up snobs. I would rather they not show up than to have them bring nasty people and I’m not just saying this because I did not like their lineup. I truly feel that there are a lot of camps bringing great talent and who also add to the enrichment of the commaraderie so if WO decided not to show up next year or to be seen or heard from ever again I would not give a crap. You can change situations but you really can’t change people who have been warped by having a lot of money and minimal morals. Sorry WO but if you really meant what you say than actions speak louder than words.

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  • DJ Moop Patrol says:

    Sorry to hear your camp was vandalized, however the only vandals we see here is White Ocean and their Red/Yellow Moop that they vandalized the Playa with. i don’t care if you have a million people there everyday enjoying your “gift” , we have people in our camp all week and a simple few Moop trains and we have been green every year. no excuses, White Trash Ocean.

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  • Sherpa says:

    MOOP!!! MOOP!!!

    Apparently White “Privilege” Ocean one-percenters can’t bend over to pick-up trash and they’re too cheap to hire qualified Sherpas.

    Ban White “Privilege” Ocean!!!

    Report comment

  • Chris says:

    White Ocean need to fuck off with their douchey, elitist bullshit and these cringeworthy PR stunts. They ran to the media accusing burners of sabotaging their camp when it was their own people who were pissed off about not being paid.

    It’s clear from the tone and content of this message they are completely oblivious as to what Burning Man is really all about. Can the Bmorg stop indulging these assholes with placement on the Esplanade? It’s just a stage. Someone else can play EDM. We don’t need them.

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  • Chris says:

    If “everyone is equal,” please tell me why the people hired to work at the camp aren’t allowed to eat with the camp members…? White Ocean, instead of trying to polish a turd, just apologize and do better next time. We don’t expect you to feed and bathe the entire playa, but I had to laugh while reading your description of WO’s hospitality.
    Just do better.

    Report comment

  • Jamaa says:

    White Ocean…

    The camp first came to playa promoting it was a camp in collaboration with Paul Oakenfold. Why was it necessary to push that message when at the burn, we don’t really care who’s involved with the camp? It was like it wanted instant cred in playa.

    The camp in 2014 announced their lineup 2 months before the burn, which triggered a ticket demand surge for EDM enthusiasts, many who had not been aware of the 10 principles and were primarily concerned for seeing their fave DJ.

    And now we got this …

    So my word of advice to WO Family is to please re- examine as a camp what it means to Participate at BRC fully.

    Just because you do bring a great stage and lineup of DJs including the ability to converse at stage , doesn’t mean the camp can not MOOP as much. I danced a few mornings there and don’t recall the DJs telling burners to quickly MOOP if they can before splitting.

    So leave no trace needs to be checked.

    And radical inclusion? Well, I understand when you have 5k plus a night at your space that you may want to protect your private camping. I think that’s ok, but there should be a communal lounge area for future burns that can bring WO family and the rest of the BM family together to share what we want. Maybe there was one but I never ventured there.

    We all learn to apply the ten principles in time.. WO does bring a nice gift and I hope they continue to learn and contribute to BRC

    Report comment

    • Titan says:

      Indeed, the tone of the letter suggests lessons have been learnt. Only time will tell, but this sounds like an open admission of things were not perfect, and the hope they’re given a chance to make things right.

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  • Cis Ero says:

    White Ocean,

    Loved your music / spirit and had a great time dancing at your camp. I’m sorry that you guys were vandalized. That seems totally uncalled for and contrary to the spirit of BM. I’m glad to hear that you guys will be back.

    At the same time, your camp is – as you acknowledge – representative of a change in the culture of BM. It may be unfair scapegoating of White Ocean (every issue needs a symbol; you guys drew the short straw), but core values like leave no trace and civic responsibility are weakening. And one factor driving the weakening of the culture are Plug-n-play camps and consumer culture being brought to the Playa. As evidence, look at the MOOP map for this year vs. previous years. Or the spate of vandalism this year.

    The real question is how to renew / strengthen the BM values. Every year, 1 in 3 attendees are virgins. How do they learn the values of the community? When they see trash in portapotties or have consumer experiences akin to Coachella, how do they learn the values that make BM special?

    I wish we could have this discussion rather than casually insulting White Ocean

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  • Randy says:

    Don’t worry White Ocean. I know nothing about what you do (other than from afar because I have never been to your sound camp), but I can assure you with the upmost certainty that whether their opinions are right, wrong or indifferent, the people swearing and yelling at you from their anonymous internet outposts don’t know the first thing about embodying a Burner spirit. Burning Man is a completely different experience for everyone of its participants and the definition of giving and inclusion and self-reliance is different for each and every one of us (and is evolving for each and every one of us) and for these people to somhow decide that they and only they are the deciders as to what those things are and how we should all interpret our own truths about how to best live the ten principles is sad.

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  • Neil Desmond says:

    I camped with White Ocean for my first burn 3 years ago. It was the opposite of everything positive I was told Burning Man could be… I was greeted as an annoying outsider, no direction or help was provided, , even though I had paid a HIGH fee for a 5×5 section of land behind the port-a-potties/showers (which eventually flooded, forcing me to move my tent)
    I did not purchase a meal ticket, but in no way were they giving out any free food. They were VERY strict about food wristbands, which Im ok with, afterall, there needs to be enough for the people who pre-paid, but dont blatantly lie in this PR dribble.
    What they are not mentioning, is BLACK OCEAN… which was the uber private section that the founders of the camp stayed in, which I believe angered a lot of people. This in every way, was the closed off, plug and play, private area that angers many. If you accidentally wandered into this area, you were immediately escorted out. I could see this rubbing people the wrong way.
    White Ocean is a fine camp, if you essentially want a NYC Club experience…. sure, you can pay your entrance fee, and get in the club, but there will always be some rich assholes in “The VIP” who like to “own” the places they go, and spend the money to do so… Personally, this is exactly the shit I try to avoid in an experience such as Burning Man.

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    • Sherif Hashem says:

      best comment here. well said mate.
      their mentality is not necessarily wrong, it’s just not very compatible with the people of BM or their “ideals”. Essentially though, it shouldnt matter, these guys (white ocean) are just trying to do their thing. No one said you have to walk to their Black Ocean tent and try and join in on their “douche-baggery”. If you don’t like them or how they conduct themselves, then just don’t go to their camp… but if you wanna hear some good effing music, then don’t complain.

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    • Johnny says:

      Let’s see if you can grasp reality. The founder of the camp is the son of a Russian oil billionaire. That means that his life is constantly under threat from enemies of his father. Any number of people who want to get to his father could send people to BM specifically to seek him out and kidnap or kill him. So he’s going to have solid security around him at all times, including a buffer zone where nobody gets in without clearance. Sorry that’s a fact of life for the ultra-rich and the famous, and it doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be allowed to come to BM and have a good time and give the great gift of this amazing sound stage.

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  • Tris says:

    Well said White Ocean! It’s extremely ironic that the people who sit on the highest horse in this conversation are casting dispersions about W.O. being ‘pretentious’. Aren’t YOU the one’s who are actually being pretentious now? Since when did BM start to trace people’s financial income tax returns, or money trails?? #glasshouses

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  • Robyn Barnes says:

    I’ve yet to see any real documented evidence that the vandalism at WO even happened. I think they made the whole story up, or at lease embellished like crazy. Did the manager of this blog do any fact checking, because WO’s sob story is not in sync with what Law Enforcement Officers have said:
    http://www.rgj.com/story/life/arts/burning-man/2016/09/29/sheriff-most-48-burning-man-arrests-were-drug-related/91173770/

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  • Mburner says:

    Notice how the people that seek to exploit the Burn always hide behind exactly one principle, radical inclusion, while ignoring the other nine.

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  • Silver Cowboy says:

    Vandalism is not ok at Burning Man. It is an affront to the “spirit” of the event. I don’t know what happened for sure, the truth is probably a mix of many different versions.

    WO still misses the very fundamental problem their camp presents. You can offer as many music opportunities as you wish (like that’s something unique on the Playa). I guess some people had a good time; that’s great. But you offer what you do for a profit; for a fee from those in the camp. That presents a problem with the philosophy that camps are volunteer and offered as a gift, not for a profit. This is the fundamental problem. We realize camps similar to this may now be a part of the experience, but we don’t have to like it or accept it. We can still hold to our values. Ttruly, having you there doesn’t impact my experience at all. I didn’t even notice your camp. You don’t offer anything interesting to me. I would be more supportive if your camp was not a business venture which seems very out of place on the playa I have called home for 16 years. What you do is not in line with my values; which is ok; it’s not all about me, but I don’t have to like what you do or keep quiet about what I feel is a camp which is counter to the Burning Values I hold. I do wish you would do it differently. But I don’t have the right to ban you from attending.

    Also, where do all the tickets you purchase on behalf of your patrons come from? I struggle every year to get a ticket, but you seem to secure a large number of them.

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  • Kinderfeldt says:

    Your “gift” was one big stain on the MOOP Map. Your mistake was hiring a PR hamster to write your latest “attempt at dialogue”.

    Go home. Stay home. Seriously.

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  • JoeG says:

    How wars start.
    A few battles, draw a few fictitious lines, name calling. Community?
    Or Communism? How many dictate arcane and unenforceable rules.
    How wars start.
    Peace out my friends.

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  • Nyet Nyet says:

    White Ocean is the ‘bottle service’ camp of BM.
    They totally miss the spirit. It shouldn’t be about exclusion, but tell that to the children of millionaires who have someone else do the heavy lifting for them in life. Fuck this place. I hope you don’t come back or if you do, they fucking burn it all down.

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  • A Green Moop Mapper says:

    White Ocean: vandals of the Playa with there Red/Yellow Moop map color every year. BMorg: condoning vandalism by giving them preferred placement each year. Am I missing anything?

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  • William Wallace says:

    Its funny how White Ocean tries to point a finger to a group who set up their stage in years past… in which, majority of that group didnt return to burning man this year. There is a huge wake of people that they have screwed over in years past. From their sherpas, cooks, stage hands, artists, djs, audio techs, rv and trailer handlers, and to even their own camp mates.
    It’s not whether or not they screwed over burners, it’s about how badly they have.
    Another year of the moop map proves how much White Ocean doesn’t care about the Playa. All they really care about is being able to return next year (notice these comments come out days after the mop map is revealed) and shows for the 4th year in a row their area is red, mostly solid red with a touch of yellow.
    White Ocean doesn’t show any love for the Playa, they only want to have their own stage at their own VIP event. So go make your own party somewhere else, we all know you have the money for it.
    As far as feeding so MAAAAAAAANY people, why hasnt anyone come forward to say they ate there, and say thank you for such an amazing meal.
    White Lotion, this is amazing, how can you say you learn every year when your moop map was red every year?
    How do WE even know this happened? Still seems like a hoax, you trolls made this up to play the victim, when really you are villians.
    Glad to see that you are forgiving “the band of hooligans” as you called them, but no one is forgiving you for destroying burning man ethics.
    I personally hope they never allow your camp back to burning man

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    • Karlamari says:

      Funnily enough, me and my man did stumble across White Ocean when we made a delivery to one of their sherpas (incidentally, an apology from another sherpa friend who simply couldn’t hack working there anymore and bailed on her). There was a guy with a radio who wasn’t going to let us in, only after we said we were looking for a specific person. He then escorted us into the food tent, which was full of (seemingly) entitled, bored, clean and pretty youngsters and which felt like ” the food hall in a rich, white, old peoples’ home” in the words of my BF. We realised as soon as we walked into the camp that it was a Plug n’ Play, his first experience with them (they had already impacted on my BM experience in 2014). We waited for a while, feeling out of place with our dusty, home-made gear among the pristine, feathered and glittered but very bored-looking models and DJs who were eyeing us with the enthusiasm of a dog turd. No one talked to us, or smiled at us, or offered us food. When we waited for about 10 mins and had delivered the message to the sherpa, the radio guy told us we could grab something to eat on our way out. We did, feeling like a bunch of intruders who were being watched the whole time. Both of us left gladly, and talked about how we had just escaped the worst place at BM. That was incidentally the afternoon before the vandalism happened. As soon as we heard, we both thought ‘no surprise there’, as the camp really did not feel like a happy place for its workers… but also not even the bored, young richsters who paid to be there.

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  • Maddy says:

    Hello White Ocean. First I would like to thank you for the gift of beautiful music that you have provided for me (and fellow burners) during my first year at the burn about 3 years ago. I truly enjoyed my first year and your gift of music really made my experience complete. I would love to one day have the honor to camp with your welcoming community. That being said, as still a new burner I was very turned off and Saddened by the negative and hateful comments about vandalism and theft from fellow burners because I was lead to believe that Burning Man was a safe, non Judgmental place for self expression. To read the justifications for such acts due to the camp’s “privileges”, make me sad to think that people could become so bitter at such a magical place. I really wish the best for these people where they can find inner peace and channel their negative energy to bettering themselves. With that being said, I love White Ocean, along with all the other camps that make Burning man a beautiful experience for Everyone!

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  • Emilia says:

    To all the people who are saying that these plug and go camps don’t belong in burning man. Let me just ask you one thing. What is your goal in this life? What would you like to see this world becoming? Because most burners I have met would talk about how we are all one, and that the only way we can make a better world is to unify. So what is now all this separation? To exclude people who come with money so that you can have your own little hippy camp, what good is that gonna do for changing the world? You have now been put to the test. By having camps like White Ocean in burning man, you actually have a chance to connect with people that maybe you wouldn’t connect with or come across with in your every day life. You can start changing the world by inspiring, just by being a good person and showing love to your fellow human beings. Burning man is such a beautiful and magical place because of the variation of people that come there. Don’t meet people with hate or judgement because of where they are coming from. We are all here to learn and as you would know if you have been around for a while, burning man can be quite a life changing experience. Peace Love and Light

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    • darlene says:

      Reread what you wrote & understand that WO does not adhere by the 10 principles as noted throughout these comments. WO doesn’t play well & is not nice nor friendly or open to us ordinary folks.

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    • Foxy says:

      That’s true — just like Larry said, “respect the patrons.” It could be worse — we’d be either dropin’ the beats or dropin the bombs. Bottom line is, on one hand, you can’t condone that type of behavior and, on the other hand, I can understand why it happened.

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  • Jess says:

    Isn’t one of the goals of BM to let everyone enjoy BM in their own way!? I was always told “It’s your burn”. Majority of the people complaining would do Bm the same way if they had the means to do so. There is no reason to justify that type of vandalism on the playa or anywhere. White Ocean brings an Amazing stage with Amazing artists and if you don’t agree with their camp set up there are plenty of other places on the Playa to go!!!!

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    • X says:

      ‘You would behave the same way if you could’ is a bullshit argument.

      Lots of people at the Burn have money. They don’t act like entitled, exclusionary, elitist douchebags.

      WO doesn’t respect the principles or cultures of Burning Man. It’s up to the Bmorg to defend these and tell white ocean to fuck off.

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  • SkyJojo says:

    I’ve always had such a great experience with White Ocean–Thank you!
    I feel like there’s a lot of unnecessary hate going around and it’s a shame anyone would ever feel like vandalism and theft were acceptable or warranted behaviors.

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  • Robyn Barnes says:

    The White Ocean tale of vandalism woe is a lie or an embellishment. They never involved Law Enforcement. Does anyone have proof that any of their story really happened?

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    • Johnny says:

      Perhaps they didn’t want to report the crime because of some back story that they are not going to tell you. For example the perpetrators were known to them. That means that any serious retribution could have undesirable consequences in some other domain, such as back home. This type of behind the scenes maneuvering and antics happens all the time at the higher echelons of society. Just like who shot JFK or how the twin towers fell, You will never know the whole story.

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  • Roberto Dobbisano says:

    “methinks they doth protest too much”

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  • Camera burn says:

    Tolerance, dialog, discourse where have you gone ?

    Am I here ? Is this real? Am I actually reading this on an official burning man site?

    An open letter to the people here spewing verbal venom in the form of comments:

    I ache! My community! What happened? How did we get to this point. I read the Comments on the WO story and they create pity in my heart. Not the traditional pitiful definition that one attributes to the word, not a disdainful form of disapproval, but rather a deep sorrow. An emotion, not unlike a feeling this current election evokes.

    An overwhelming sadness. A hollow in my stomach that is hard to console. A group of people on both sides of an issue that cling to their point of view like the last morsel of food on a dead planet.

    All of this righteous talk about principles. Last I checked principles are the philosophical precursors to laws, but NOT laws themselves.

    They are not laws because while people may differ on the specific interpretations of principles we need to have some form of agreed upon societal rules of conduct.

    So we draw the line of acceptable public behavior not through a code of principles, but rather a select group of principles that has ssurvived the test of scrutiny, time, temperance and wisdom to be codified into our legal code.

    And even yet , with all of the rigor of our justice system, our laws themselves can be unjust. But in a land that values freedoms and liberties our laws eventually and over time adjust to more accurately parallel some form of universally understood justice.

    And while our laws may be far from perfect. We have come a long way from serfdom and slavery and I am thankful we are if nothing more far from a place where it is correct to stone a woman to death for “seductive gazes.

    Principles unchecked overtime or principles upheld over governing rule of law are criminally insane by definition.

    This is not to say that the ten principles of burning man are not something to revere and uphold, teach and promote, but all take warning that when you allow your sovereign nation’s laws to be broken for the sake of your personal principles, you will eventually reap what you sow.

    There is NO excuse for commentary exclaiming that WO lack of adherence to any principle is validation for the breaking of law.

    If you feel this way, move to a monarchy based nation state that mandates principal to law through in unchecked system of opinion without the possibility of modification.

    But if you stay here, in the United States, For gods sake, get a grip. I am not even American and I recognize the American constitution as one of the greatest modern documents ever written. And even that great document had had to be amended.

    If you wish to adhere to principles with no discussion and allow the principles themselves to trump laws. Then, You deserve TRUMP. You deserve all in this country that is intolerant and founded on unilateral religious zeal, and “tradition”.

    It’s curious thing that I imagine most of the mob to jump of the WO hate band wagon are also politically liberal. Unfortunately, you are not just in my eyes, but even the holy books of the conservative factions the lowest form of karmic parasite yourself. A hypocrite.

    judge not lest ye be judged

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  • the Ark says:

    My wife and I, along with our clsoe friends in our camp, have had many magical nights and moments with you at White Ocean. Our most epic night in 8 years of Burning Man was seeing Sydney Blue on Friday night in 2013 – what a gift, that night holds a place in each of our hearts and we still talk about it regularly when we are together.

    I wanted to pass along our feelings of disappointment that anything bad, vandalism, theft, whatever it may be, was forced onto the people at White Ocean this or any other year. Burning Man is not the place for it – Radical Inclusion. Everyone should get off their high horses and stop judging them as a “plug and play” camp. It is ridiculous. White Ocean contributes hugely to many of our experiences – express your appreciation and your love, or move on and leave it unsaid.

    Our hope is that the nastiness of 2016 is forgotten and forgiven by the crew at White Ocean. The worst result here is that any of the White Ocean crew becomes disillusioned and not return. We all look forward to seeing you guys on the playa and being there to receive your incredible gifts for the next many years.

    Lots of love to White Ocean, pls continue to be a part of our burn.

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  • Bliss says:

    12 hours a day for 7 days …… of thump thump …. truely a gift to all…..and the reason I don’t care if I go back home for a while…

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  • Jamie says:

    I respect this post and what you say, that’s for taking the high read please keep it up as time goes on. Sometimes lessons are lessons but we all gotta just keep going.

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  • snarky fuck says:

    Why is Burning Man giving airtime to these whiny little bitches?

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    • Tast says:

      Because the BMORG makes money managing the contractors who supply the infrastructure for these for-profit commodification camps. Plus, they get access to Default World Celebrity.

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  • Soul Traveler says:

    Whatever the issues may be internally at W.O there is NO place for vandalism or theft of any type within the Burning Man Community PERIOD!!! Whatever gripes or bad blood may have caused this outburst of a childish violent tantrum should have been taken care of “outside in the default world”!!! Lets keep each other safe and well from vandalism, and if such an act is caught in progress do or say something about it please…Namaste!!!

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  • TorTor says:

    Thank god for people like White Ocean that spend millions of dollars for us to have a good time! Shame on you hypocrites that provide nothing to the Playa.. You’re just takers!!
    Every year all these big camps upgrade their stages to another level… Be apreciative you ungrateful people.

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    • Peace says:

      It’s not a music festival. The conversation here isn’t about the quality of stages or even who plays. It’s about the impact this camp has on the culture.

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    • Victoria Rose says:

      Personally I am not a fan of the big Hollywood style stages that were up this year, kind of made me sick to my stomach seeing them…if I want that kind of gloss I can go to the Grammys, JS

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    • Victoria Rose says:

      Personally I am not a fan of the big Hollywood style stages that were up this year, kind of made me sick to my stomach seeing them…if I want that kind of gloss I can go to the Grammys.

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  • Itzhak Harel says:

    Thank you so much White ocean camp, I had amazing experiences, and received outstanding hospitality, thanks to the magical nights and mornings, the music, the hospitality. See you next year.

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  • Lili Anderson says:

    Can’t wait to see you all next year!

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  • H.G.Crosby says:

    oh the PR Effort!!

    oh the epic fail!!

    give em’ enough rope and you know what happens…

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  • Dbag says:

    The people we love to hate, they are the ones that need burning man the most. That is all.

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  • You'll never see me coming says:

    Burn it down. White ocean is a symbol of what is wrong with America. Rich douchebags. And it is a camp specifically geared to promote Paul Oakenfold and folks associated with him. Classless assholes all. I applaud the folks who fucked their camp up and I hope to see more of that in the future.

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  • Swizee says:

    I wonder how the restoration crew that had to rake thier camp for who knows how long feels about it.?
    Hopefully they drop off some quality whiskey to the crews that clean up thier mess EVERY year.
    And how do they get placement ant tickets every year with a red.
    I have camped with several esplanade camps and we are threatened with losing esplanade placement if our camp isn’t 100% green.
    Yet these camps get placement every year no matter how much they trash things?
    There is clearly some insider good ok boy stuff going on?
    Let’s not sugar coat it.
    This is favoritism at its best
    I’m sure we will lose placement cause I use my real name on this thread

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  • shredlion says:

    One of my most “burning man” moments was coming out of that dust storm on sunday morning to find all of my friends at white ocean. Everyone was coated in dust and just dancing like zombies. All I could think was “this is burning man”. Thanks white ocean

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  • I give the backers of White Ocean credit for what they brought to the community the past few years, whoever they are…Russkis, Americans..etc.

    But the ‘spin’ on the Playa was that they had not paid what was promised to their employed construction crew ( this creation is not something for volunteers ), hence the retribution.

    Their reply would be appreciated to clear this up. Did they really fuck over the working man???

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  • David Bell says:

    Put all pay-to-play out by the fence at 12:00. Build a rich folk “Disneyland”. See which billionaire can build the biggest phallic tower (mine is longer). That is radical inclusion! I would also let the have a helicopter pad + let the offload from the railroad tracks so the do not have to pass thru the filthy masses!

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  • Tast says:

    I attended the Theme Camp Leadership Conference at the SF BM headquarters last Spring. We were told that the reason Theme Camps exist is to ACCLIMATE VIRGINS INTO THE CULTURE. So, what is White Ocean teaching their virgins?

    Commodification – that everything can be bought and paid for.
    Radical Other-dependence – that poor people can be paid to build your camp, clean up after you, clean your personal space, buy or build your costumes, serve you your food and drink – everything can and should be provided for YOUR premium experience.

    Leave ALL The Traces – four years running, red on the MOOP Map. No one can pretend to tell me that White Privilege Ocean’s paying customers got down on their hands and knees and picked up MOOP. They don’t even bother paying anyone to do it for them. Not in their personal camping space and not in their hosted dance party space.

    The COMMODIFICATION camps exist and will continue to exist because BMORG wants them to. BMORG allows them to. Year after year.

    Larry wanted to have a conversation about how we lowly filthy Burners should be grateful to the Enlightened Patrons. Well, we’re having a conversation, it’s just not the one they want to hear.

    White Ocean will be back – BMORG will see to that – and we Burners will make sure they and their paying, MOOPing, VIP customers don’t feel welcome.

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    • JV says:

      If a person needs a camp like White Ocean to acclimate into the culture, maybe Burning Man isn’t for them? Just a thought. Of course, that justification given by the BMORG is bullshit anyway. They like the cache and the cash, I’m beginning to believe.

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  • X says:

    White ocean are rich, spoiled, entitled douchebags who have no respect for the 10 principles or burner culture.

    But…

    The real blame is on the Bmorg for enabling them to behave like this. Let someone else build a sound camp on the esplanade next year. It might not have as much money spent on it as WO but at least it’s not costing the event it’s soul.

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  • Mauricio says:

    What White Ocean Brings to B. ‘Man: a plug and play camp that for the first time ever was able to bring all this kind of drama to BRC.

    Tell us how Katy Perry and Paris Hilton contributed. Probably $, but did they moop? I doubt.

    “Oh, but we bring music!” Yes- but your private chefs (I know because the chef who cooks at my work took the week off to work for them)

    BRC has always been great and sustained Without you. I don’t condone the vandalism but that’s the kind of vibe you’re bringing to BRC and an indication that you NEED to stop coming and ruining Burning Man.

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  • Alias says:

    Let’s cut to the chase. I have a question for WO. Did you – or did you not – bring your own coterie of security guards/bouncers/door muscle to the playa this year? It’s a simple question that deserves a simple answer please. Thank you.

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  • Bob C says:

    Whining in the media, playing the victim card, having a reputation for stiffing workers, guilded VIP areas, name dropping, connections to Russian oligarchs, air of entitlement…I go to Burning Man to leave this default world bullshit and to connect with other humans in a different way, not to have to experience a playa version of the Trump campaign. Stop using your “gift of music” as a rationale for building yet another copycat Las Vegas club experience. Are your penises really that small?

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  • Burning Rando says:

    This is just fantastic PR by the BORG. I wonder what Marian Goodall’s cut was on this whole deal.

    WO takes the heat, money’s change hands, rinse and repeat.

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  • Patches says:

    Guess the problem starts where random folks go to BM and get into P&P camps. Camp fees usually pretty high, which allows to hire sherpas to do heavy lifting without bothering patrons with self reliance aspect, which, IMHO, is the cornerstone of BM culture. Hard as I try, don’t see any volunteer builder vandalizing somebody else’s camp. Ain’t happening.
    I understand that to build a large scale camp you need a lot of funding and effort. But there is another way to look at it – don’t build such a big camp where you have to employ a hired help. Camp fees are inevitable (pay for storage, trucks and such), however everyone in the camp volunteers and enthusiasts only. You like the theme – donate more if you want/can, however no material advantage should be given to larger vs. small donors (unlike FQ for example, where for $5k or so you can get a room upstairs, top shelf bar and such for the whole week)
    Now all that sounds great, however how to make it happen? Well, natural balance laws come to the rescue – hire help -> get disgruntled people -> get your camp trashed. Step on these rakes few more times – might start see a connection.

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    • JV says:

      ” understand that to build a large scale camp you need a lot of funding and effort. But there is another way to look at it – don’t build such a big camp where you have to employ a hired help.”

      EXACTLY!

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  • Dr Dave says:

    Reading all this to-and-fro, back-and-forth by the douchebags on one side, the douchbags on the other side, the true burners on one side, etc., it occurs to me that when you create something unique, important and fascinating like BM, it initially draws in those with specific qualities apart from the typical society. But as it grows, the edges get rounded off, it begins to lose that edgy glow, it becomes more popular, more accessible, more normalized, until it becomes pop culture. Burning Man has entered the realm of Pop Culture, unfortunately. Celebrities flock here as the “it” place to be seen. It now reflects society as a whole and as a norm in every way. Sad but inevitable.
    By the way, my specific artwork at my camp at Spanky’s Wine Bar and Village (2:30 and Esplanade) was vandalized this year, by a douchbag tagger. Exactly the very urban blight I seek to escape for a while when I head to the playa. And it followed us and slipped in.

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  • Coppertone says:

    These vitriolic comments are truly heartbreaking. Burners should be better than this.

    The fact is that most if not all of the allegations in these comments aren’t supported by a single shred of evidence. Very few people (including the police) actually know what happened, or what really goes on within White Ocean, yet the haters decry “Privilege! Get Out!”

    There’s no benefit of the doubt, no innocent until proven guilty, they’re condemned without any understanding or evidence.

    I would never have thought that there was so much overlap between burners and trump supporters. SAD.

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  • gregor Reti says:

    White Ocean Rocks! Since when do we need to class differentiate ourselves when someone comes from money and gifts us so generously? What people do inside their own camps and who they feed is not our business. Really not! Sorry, but it starts to sound like the worst form of communism (where I come from). I don’t break into anybody’s RV and serve myself a meal or drink just because they have more money. So where is the entitlement coming from that WO must cater food, drinks or shower to everybody? Most importantly: WO enriches the Playa with the BEST Sound that I ever heard in my International Life. That is an amazing GIFT. My main attraction/camp I am seeking out in BRC is/will be WO. I don’t have an entitlement to eat their food or be their best buddy. If elitism gifts all of us so generously, then bring on more elitism! I remain self sufficient with my meals and showers. There is much more to do in BRC than bickering with envy and jealousy. WO, I love you even if you don’t allow me to poop in your RV.

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  • Big Daddy Dirt says:

    Lots of hate talking on this story so Ill bring this to light. I was the lead electrician for White Ocean. I have been touring in rock n roll for over 15 years and have covered some of the largest sporting events broadcasted on television. Its my 3rd year out at BM and as far as everyone aiming their hatred towards white ocean need to realize that the vandalism that happened that night had no affect whatsoever on the owners of white ocean. The crew however ( you know, the same people you burners all want to praise for building such an experience for other burners and take part of what burning man is really about) are the ones who got screwed. Now I am a father of 2 young boys and I fear electricity because I know that the first mistake WILL lead to my death. Running that entire camp consisted of 480 volts stepped down to 120/208 with a machine capable of producing over 3000 amps of power, and someone thought it was ok to remove the neutral and grounds from cable carrying over 400 amps each line. You know what happens then? Electricity starts looking for other conductive paths or complete its circuit (RV’s, showers, bathrooms) People could have been seriously hurt or killed.. You put my life in danger and other campers and I dont care what your economical background is. human life is human life..

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    • burnersxxx says:

      Thanks Big Daddy Dirt for confirming that this was dangerous sabotage, not a Cacophony 2.0 prank . People could have been killed, multiple people. Were lives risked over camp politics, old beefs from previous years…or unpaid bills?

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  • Kanoa says:

    Big love to you all at White Ocean! Not just in numbers but in the unique experience of what you create; you are one of the most amazing and defining things about Burning Man recently. The vision is stunning and the humans are beautiful. Stay strong and thank you so much.

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  • Tegan says:

    I’m not even a part of white ocean and those wankers stole my golf cart from out front of playa school!

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  • Yaroslav Korets says:

    Guys it was the best sound camp on Burning Man. I Don’t hear the sound like yours before. It was awesome! Thank you for a gift!

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  • James sasso says:

    In the previous article it stated no police report was filed. Now it says one was filed. It’s been two months. Who did it? Name names. You can see the collective cult insanity in the hundreds of hate posts against white ocean. Many Burners are mentally ill scum. That’s why my friends and I have no moral problem scalping tickets. James sasso

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  • Joy says:

    Vandalism – if I am to believe this has actually happened – sucks. It has no place in our community.

    Your camp – if I am to believe it is actually run the way I heard it’s being run – sucks. I hope you will reconsider either your ethics or your attendance of Burning Man.

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  • Kelly Garret says:

    I do not condone vandalism. However, when I heard about this I was not surprised. If the leaders of White Ocean want to treat people like s**t (which was my experience visiting the camp) then likely they are going to get some backlash. And yes, plug – n – play camps are part of the problem…and it’s the orgs fault. The constant catering to the wealthy and to celebrities is a drag for those of us that truly live out and believe in radical self reliance on the Playa. But back to White Ocean…yeah, instead of playing the victim maybe take a good look in the mirror and think about how you treat people…if you are capable of that.

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  • Atlas says:

    I’ve never heard such hatred. I’m ashamed of a lot of us in our community. The 10 principals indeed, how dare any of us point fingers. Shame!!!! Everyone is not the same, We are all different and for seven fucking days we agree to put aside what we are forced to be and just be. How dare any of us pass judgment. Im reading post after post after post of hate, When did we decide the BM is High school and the Playa the cafe. I’ve been to White Ocean, and reading about all this crap makes me wonder what camp some of you are talking about. We don’t all burn the same way, That’s okay. You want to tell WO they are not welcome, don’t attend their events. Radical Inclusion!!! Its what made it possible for me to fly to Reno every year alone and make my way to playa. Knowing that I would be accepted, knowing that though I’m not popular, famous, or anything special that there would be a place for me. Everyone should be able to feel the same way. How dare any of us rob any of them of it. I’m sitting here reading all this wondering where our community is??? What we think this hate is going to do? My heart is heavy, and my eyes in tears. Is this an example of what the burn is turning in too? Are these posts an example of years to come? I truly hope not. Exhale your hate an anger, inhale peace, love and joy my friends. Blessings Atlas

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  • Alias says:

    Still waiting for an answer to my question:
    Let’s cut to the chase. I have a question for WO. Did you – or did you not – bring your own coterie of security guards/bouncers/door muscle to the playa this year? It’s a simple question that deserves a simple answer please. Thank you.

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  • dcooper2 says:

    It’s not you White Ocean. It’s us.

    We are sick of you. You can come again if you want, but we are over you.

    Too many of us have witnessed your collective bad behavior on playa. Your remaining fans will see it in time.

    It wasn’t vandalism or even a political act. It was simply bong water poured under your door to demonstrate our displeasure with your actions.

    And you’ve reacted poorly to this shot over the bow enraging people who would rather you “get the point.”

    Last Ditch Love

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  • Tati says:

    I LOVE White Ocean.
    LOVE!
    I have spent many happy hours there, dancing with a smile on my face.

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    • Bulldog says:

      Tati, get over yourself. These happy hours weren’t happy because of White Ocean. They were happy because you’d taken a bunch of pills. Innit? You could have spent these hours listening to Nina Totenberg on NPR and you and your hours would have been just as happy.

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  • OwnYourShit says:

    “…everyone is equal…” but you voted out the stage crew who spent 3 years working to establish YOUR camp? There was no way to integrate them with your expansion/enhanced new stage crew?

    “Our magical society needs to learn how to stand united not divided” … YOU divided your camp, yourself. Do you realize your role in the animosity of the incident. We have ALL had disagreements with camp members and advsersity of Burning Man — hell that is a valuable lession to learn on the playa. It teaches us to work “together” even with our differences. But somehow YOU managed to hurt people deeply enough they vandalized you. It takes a lot of angry and resentment to act in this way.

    We’re not stupid. Take responsibility for your involvement in the creation of the incident.

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  • Johnny says:

    There sure are a lot of angry, judgmental, and self-righteous people commenting on this story. Anyone who wishes or celebrates or excuses harm done to another because they disapprove of the other’s life status, attitudes, or actions doesn’t seem to me to belong in the Burner community. If you applaud vandalism because you disapprove of some behavior that has been attributed to the victims, then you are just a caveman or cavewoman and don’t belong in the modern world and certainly don’t belong at Burning Man. This is a community of enlightened people, not a gang of thugs who enforce conformism through violence.

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    • wILD bILL .:)"(:. says:

      Wow! I just had a great time at the 30th year of Burning Man, I guess there are some cranky frustrated people out there! Sorry! I enjoyed my 15th year in a row Burning with a great lot of people!! I do wish that some knuckle heads would not tear the handles off the porta potties, that is just lame non-since………..but it is just an ongoing wish! I hope to be back in BRC next year!

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  • Ama says:

    The Major Gifts Officer will develop a strategy to engage the community in philanthropy. Reporting to the Director of Philanthropic Engagement, the Major Gifts Officer will implement a comprehensive major gifts program to achieve revenue goals. With an emphasis on donations in the $10,000 to $100,000 gift range, the Major Gifts Officer will design, create, and implement new giving programs and build relationships that nurture the Burning Man’s culture of Gifting. This position will interact frequently across many programs and with a wide variety of Burning Man community members.” —– you guys should all apply!

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  • Mathew Davydiuk says:

    This is the kind of stuff that makes regionals so much better.

    It is no secret that burning man is driven by a combination of people with a lot of money and hardwork from people. Yes, some people come across this money easier than other and for no other reason than class. Yes it is frustrating, yes you have a right to be angry, frustrated, sad, and we also have the right to consider our relationships like we consider our art, how can we do it better? Take care of each other. Make it happen. Be all of the things, happy, sad, angry………….

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  • BGV says:

    Dear White Ocean. Thank you for coming with what you bring. I get what kind of commitment of time and money that carries with it. I enjoy the fuck out of your camp every year. As a burner since 1999 (not long after the sound camp debates starts) I’ve enjoyed the musical aspect of the event. Where else are you going to get major world class talent, spinning in various camps, all at once, FOR FREE! That is a welcome gift if you ask me. I’ve been listening to people bitch about sound camps since the day I first arrived. You are just another facet of a fabulous event. There are MANY aspects of the Burninman experience and you are only one of them. I know the rise in prominence of the sound camps has people worried that we’re going to turn into a music festival but I think there’s room for everyone. As to the haters, I’ve been listening to people bitch about whatever pisses them off since day one. It’s kind of a burner tradition. DPW sucks. Sound camps suck. The BORG sucks. It was so much better next year. It’s kind of comical. The reaction to Opulent Temple the first year Paul showed up with a (GASP) tour bus was a hoot. You Bastard! You ruined it for all of us! Don’t take it too seriously. And know, this Burner enjoys and appreciates shaking his ass at White Ocean. Thank You all.

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  • Will says:

    So, who was the guy that white ocean was sending around threatening peoples lives? Security,or a bouncer? Nope, he claimed to be their camp lead… was this a response to the vandalism… nope… before the event opened the gates he threatened the lives of 3 people… including Maria from United for being overwhelmed… stated I work for the Russian mafia, how would you like to be buried on the playa…. because this is the true mentality of white ocean……… def not the mentality of ANY burners I know….
    Praise them all you want, til the truth comes out…..

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  • EAR to the Ground says:

    I am always surprised when Burners ask- “how do the P-n-P camps always get tickets?” as if there is some secret conspiracy. It is NOT secret – it is on the website every year now – $1,200 tickets, available always. P-n-P camp organizers scoop them up with multiple credit cards and then build that cost into the fees they charge their customers. Folks are paying 25K-30K to stay at these camps for a week – these prices include ticket/food(catered)/bathroom/RV/snacks/liquor/water etc. The camps usually have clothes racks with cool costumes as well, and lit bikes are provided. For my taste, there is something a little disingenuous in showing up at what is billed as the most radically self-reliant event ever and having all your needs pre-arranged. It feels like the Burn becomes very self-centered with this approach – “When will my RV get pumped out?” “What if I miss dinner?” “I ran out of hot water.” I miss the other angle – the sharing food with neighbors angle, trading fresh-cooked beets for garlic-scented cous-cous, each made by the actual person sharing it. Or scavenging for that amazing coat, and tweaking it just a little – yourself – to make it perfect for the Burn. Change brings change, indeed…P-n-P camps like WO are setting themselves up to fail in the eyes of hard-core Burners. But who gives a shit about us anymore?

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  • Christian says:

    Thank you. Very well said.

    To all those who would throw stones: How ’bout if you try bringing out a White Ocean sized offering to the Burning Man community before you get too self righteous? I’ve produced hundreds of large parties and been involved in sound camps at Burning Manj since 2004, and I don’t think you get it. This sort of gift–given to you–means that many people must work their asses off to give this to you. If someone hands you a grilled cheese on the playa, you say thank you, right? But when someone hands you a White Ocean stage, you say get lost? What the hell is wrong with you? White Ocean isn’t the one out of integrity here. You are.

    I am not associated with White Ocean. I didn’t even visit their camp once this year in the 16 days I spent on the playa. But I thank them. And so should you.

    -Christian

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  • omars says:

    The fact a number of burners were openly supportive of destruction at a camp that was freely contributing (in a very large way) to BRC in accordance with letter and spirit of the Principles is … disturbing.

    Either those folks really don’t get it, or the principles never clicked for them, or they’re the obnoxious frat-boy variety of participant, or the Burn is over the hill and on the decline.

    I hope not on all counts, that it’s just misunderstanding and dumbasses posting while under the influence, but I’d say it’s time to consider having a ban list for future Burns.

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  • Vito Fun says:

    I spoke with one of their tech people. He told me that White Ocean runs 240,000 watts of power. If you don’t think that is a gift (albeit a loud one) you may have missed their message.

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  • Tiki Tom says:

    Never really go there. Don’t really like the music. Am usually too busy running our own theme camp. But from what I’ve seen White Ocean brings a huge interactivity to Burning Man that tens of thousands enjoy. As far as the velvet ropes etc etc. we too have off limits areas in our theme camp. Would you allow 10’000 people into your private camp or dangerous electrified areas! Get on your knees and pray that White Ocean keeps bringing it to Burning Man for many years!

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