Decommodification Reminder

I’ve seen some online conversations dismissing the importance of the Decommodification Principle.   “Who cares if people do photo shoots of their products at Burning Man?” “Burning Man is changing, you can’t fight the tide.”  

Wha?? You most certainly can! You build a sea-wall to protect our sacred city up on the cliffs from falling into the sea! A wall built on Principles and maintained by a community working to fend off the cultural erosion of a marketing-infected world.

At the Theme Camp Symposium this year in Oakland, they showed this video of Burners explaining what Decommodification means, and why it is so important.

About the author: John "Halcyon" Styn


Halcyon is a 21-year Burning Man participant and co-founder of Pink Heart camp. He is author of "Love more. Fear less." and producer of the Burning Man short film, "The Pink Path." He's won Webby awards for his over-the-top personal site & his "Love On Demand" video podcast Halcyon co-founded the San Diego based "1st Saturdays" homeless outreach program based on Burning Man Principles and coaches people how to be radically self expressed in the default world. You can find his full Playa Tips & Tricks series at

7 Comments on “Decommodification Reminder

  • bmorg says:

    Decommodification for all ticket holders! Do as we say, not as we do. Ignore the massive black market on the playa. That’s for us.


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  • Thetruthhurts says:

    Burning man literally ALLOWS plug and play camps, and people literally profiting off of the exploitation of burning man INTO burning man each year. Not to mention the shady ticketing system where regular people can’t even get tickets anymore. How is anyone supposed to decommodify when the BMORG doesn’t even do it?

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    • Regular people = “people not working on art projects”?

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    • “Al Koholic” - Alex Domingo says:

      Nothing “Shady” about the ticket system. I’m a “regular” guy & every regular guy & gal that I personally know (100+) gets a ticket, if they want to go. This year I located 4 face value tickets for friends that missed out on the sales. I had to hunt them down. They didn’t mysteriously appear before me. Demand for tickets is in the 150,000+ range. My point is, if you want to go & unlucky during the sales, do something about it. Join an art project . Join a theme camp or volunteer for the org. Geez, if you would’ve been in my garage helping me turn wrenches on my art car 2-3 days per week, the past 49 weeks, I would’ve found & gifted you tickets! To paraphrase Ian who owns the MOJP art car. “Join a camp & busy your ass!” Do something. Contribute.

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  • Desertdweller888 says:

    This is year one of Burning Man really stepping into a new energy I feel. With Larry Harvey gone it will definitely effect many things. With change comes growth. Hoping that the changes are for the better.

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  • SK says:

    sacred? :eyeroll:

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