The line for ice at Burning Man

Nellie Bowles

The line for ice at Burning Man

Culture


There was a certain point last night — when a six-foot-tall private-party planner in a bustier and feather headdress was clenching my shoulder and threatening me — that I wondered why I ever even wanted to follow along on a tour of the fancy camps of Burning Man.

Burning Man is, after all, about building a city, which they call Black Rock. In that city, some people were building walled-off empires on its outer rings. Rich people do as rich people do.

But there is something about the way a new fleet of wealthy have descended on Burning Man that is inducing anxiety among Burners, a community that bans all money and branding (people tape over even small logos). The so-called “turnkey camps” — tight circles of trailers, or sometimes just large black-tarp walls that hide overstaffed luxury playpens — are distinctly different from the rest of Burning Man, a festival with a heavy emphasis on giving and work.

During a five-minute walk this morning, Burners in various camps offered me plums, coffee and homemade pita-and-cheese sandwiches. Campers constantly brag about how much work they put into their decor, erecting full bars or elaborate hammock-atop-hammock arrangements on site. Many of this year’s new camps are both private and prefab, and that is very difficult for some Burners to accept. It has been part of the conversation here all week.

Let it be said: All of Burning Man is a show of wealth. Tickets are $380, sure, but many of the art cars — immensely decorated buses and trucks — cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not to mention the neon furs, the metallic leggings and the lights (there were side-of-the-road hawkers at the gate who tried to sell me a rainbow stole for $80).

Standing near a party bus one night around midnight, Ryan Parks, a young entrepreneur covered in LEDs, explained the situation: “This is the height of excess,” he said, indicating the neon and fire-spewing art cars around us. “We go to the desert, where people die, to build shit we burn. The Maslow hierarchy of needs has been met by our ancestors — so we can make art cars and websites. It’s wasteful but plants the seeds of possibility of whole new worlds.”

It’s not about tech money, because that’s nothing new. Annie Harrison — an early Burner and former writer for Wired magazine — told me, “I came out here in ’95 to cover the tech scene. It was tech-reporter catnip! Mostly stories about the lasers from Lawrence Livermore. I took a picture of a guy lighting a cigarette off a laser that my editor loved.”

But something new is happening at Burning Man: There’s now a rich neighborhood.

While some power players, like Bob Pittman, station their camps openly at the center of the fray, others have created a fascinating ring of power: K Street Black Rock.

K Street Black Rock is at the perimeter of the city, which is built in the form of concentric semicircles. A long, obscure stretch far from the center, no one bikes all the way out there unless they have to.

“We’ve put our hand out to the turnkey camps and asked them to live by the principles. We can’t force them. But we asked, and I think they understand,” said Burning Man co-founder Will Rogers, who sat in a folding chair by his RV, a tattered bandana around his head. “After the first dust storm, we’re all the same color.”

In my event calendar, I noticed something called “Turnkey Camp Invasion,” described as a parade to test the hospitality of the fanciest camps. When I arrived at the meeting spot, a funky bar in a quiet neighborhood along E street, the bartenders told me the organizer hadn’t been able to make it to Burning Man because he couldn’t take the time off from work.

But the group — a dentist, a Google employee, a lawyer, some eccentrics — still gathered. We figured that, no matter what, it was a nice night for a bike ride.

“Okay, we want to make sure we don’t get the people who fund the art, though,” said a blonde woman wearing a headscarf and a sash of fake ammo. “How can we tell which is turnkey and which isn’t?”

“Listen, we’re not burning down their RVs, for god’s sake,” said David Grosof, who wore glow sticks fashioned into glasses. “If we’re friendly, they’ll invite us in. It’ll be fun.”

I stood next to a Google employee named Greg: “The nanosecond I heard about this turnkey tour, there was no way I wouldn’t do it.”

What if it’s Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s camp?

“That’d be awesome! We’d sip a martini and have some caviar, no doubt,” Greg said.

Grosof had a more philosophical take.

“We are so very careful, no one can sell a hot dog for money, but it’s okay to have a staff and bodyguards and cooks?” he said. “What is the difference between commodity product and commodity service?”

When we reached K Street, one of the “invaders” asked a man who was walking by whether he had seen these fancy camps. Oh yes, he had, he said. Many. They set up 20 matching RVs here or there, and there’s one just right up the street.

We got to the escarpment, a daunting wall of RVs. The entry was covered by gauzy drapes. As they billowed in the wind, we could see inside: A crystal chandelier, glass refrigerators full of champagne, a dining-room table to seat maybe 16, and half a dozen very beautiful women in lingerie, serving cocktails. One of them saw the group.

She stormed outside, furious. The invaders responded defensively, saying they had just wanted to see. Some wanted to debate. She wanted everyone to keep walking. The group milled outside, debating whether to try again, or give up and go to a normal camp for a drink.

One of the turnkey residents, red-haired and slightly overweight, came out in a white shirt and cargo shorts. The party planner quickly ran back inside, brought him a red-silk Chinese robe, and helped him put it on. He thought someone’s headlamp was a camera, and started to scream at them. The event planner saw me taking notes and a picture of the scene, and came at me. “I don’t like you,” she said loudly, grabbing my shoulder. Someone next to me told her that she didn’t need to be a bitch. The man in the silk robe started jumping up and down, ready to throw a punch.

A momentary flare-up of culture clash on the dark, wealthy outskirts of Burning Man

Nellie Bowles A momentary flare-up of culture clash on the dark, wealthy outskirts of Burning Man

And then, because no one really wanted a fight and the whole scene was ridiculous, it calmed. The Googler hopped on his bike and sped off. The dentist shook his head and adjusted his EL-wire. And I went off with a friend to a fire-dancing camp run by some Santa Cruz Burners — I gave them the ginseng candies that I carry in my bag. We ordered vodka and orange juice, but they poured us Coke and Fireball.

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27 comments
conqueringsavage
conqueringsavage

his was my first burning man, however I have attended hippie music festivals since I was 16 and in the last 3 years have been a student of plant medicine and shamanism which helped me balance my hyper-masculine programming with my sacred feminine energy. Since I have nurtured my sacred feminine energy, I have lived a fuller, happier richer life. It is safe to say that my heart is wide open. I only came to burning man bc I could hop on an RV (otherwise I couldnt afford ) which was paid for- plug into bankrolled camp. Once I got to BM, I realized that I had hopped onto a camp where the planning ( by all first timers - blue bloods if you will) had been done and it had been done in excess, such to the point that I named our camp - camp excess. The trash our small camp generated alone was insane - starting the first day - we began to give away full top shelf liquor bottles and cases of beer, food, water etc, knowing that we could never run through it ourselves. I did not judge the excess, I couldnt. I do not judge anything, knowing people do the best with what they have and where they are at in life. I did know however, that I was privy to an interesting burning man story - instead of plugging in to a camp with people I have met on my medicine / shamanism path ( long time burners, people with great reverence for earth and heart and humanity) I had the opposite story and the great question was - would Burning Man alter people like this? People with great wealth ? Or has it jumped the shark and simply turned into a hedonistic party? what I saw was a person/ people trying hard to open their heart, to gain a new perspective - to live. I watched and I watched carefully, often offering my insight and guidance, asking questions that I knew would provoke. I believe in the sacred feminine and all the points expounded in the article I agree on - however what I witnessed was change - for the better. the collective energy of the the majority of people who come to BM with their hearts wide open - you do not have to be conscious to feel that - you do not have to be conscious of the change for it to take place in you- this I feel, is the power of it all - for wealthy excess of a few, those that go for show, it does not matter if they spend millions - they are the few and the energy and intent of the many override that and often sweep them up in it. This is what I saw in my camp and for this reason, ( despite not experiencing BM in its earlier years) I know that even though it has gone sort of mainstream, even though there are those of excess, those that just come to get laid and do drugs - that the many that come with open hearts and free flowing energy which creeates a sacred place and an opportunity for change. I did not have any epiphanies or life changing moments at BM - most of the ideals BM sets forth I have already embraced via other manners of learning/experience yet as a human with an incredibly strong and trained empathic nature , when I left I cried over and over again. there may be the 1% who fly in eastern european models and insulate themselves and are assholes, but i felt 99% of people with their hearts wide open - with joy and healing and celebration and to feel all that - to feel that collectively in such huge numbers - and then it is gone -it was gutting. I have been in sacred places before, sat in sacred circles with energetic giants and though moving and beautiful I have never felt the collective power of near 70k people with their hearts wide open and the creativity that it inspires. I believe that I know the power and the potential of BM. It IS massive - but we must all get better - I know the camp i stayed with - camp excess- intends to return next year - and do it better- with less waste - less everything- to get better at the experience - to commune with the earth better - to participate more. If this sort of change is elicited from the camp i was in, which personified excess - then I believe this change is possible for all and am grateful for BM. You pointed out many sad truths about BM and the state of the world, it is my intention and my prayer that BM can be a spark that exacts the change we wish to see. There is magic in that dust and in that land and magic in all of us. Needless to say - I believe.

Matador
Matador

I wandered into CaravanCircle at 830 and K. Nobody questioned me.  They had a dome with a bar that could only be described as opulent. I had a delicious glass of red wine served at the optimum temperature. I sat in a giant pile of white pillows with a wide spectrum of knaps and listened to a music duo that played african instruments against beats and loops. On the perimeter there were two outdoor couch islands with fire pits. Behind the dome there was a dining hall with long wooden tables. The kitchen was serving state of the art contemporary American cuisine. The guests were staying in these square pods that somehow managed to invoke ancient egypt and 2120 at the same time. I talked to several people all of whom were friendly and all of whom were working for the camp but happened to be off at that time. I ran into a yogini there whom I had met at BM 3 years prior. She remembered my name. In the last few years she has risen to be a yoga megastar. She was staying at this camp. We had a friendly chat and she introduced me to her fiance. I enjoyed myself so much that I returned the next night with my girlfriend. This time one of the bartenders kind of freaked out and didn't want to serve us. She said the bar was only open to "outsiders" during the day. She demanded to know "who we knew there". I mentioned the yoga star and she relented and served us. The same duo was playing. We sat on a furry couch bed chatting with a rich Dr. who flew in for the day. A team of professional belly dancers in exotic costumes pulsed and gyrated to the beats. We had a great time. We didn't mind the bitch at the bar because she was the only person in the entire camp who was not welcoming. The next day during a dust storm I happened to be passing again. Our camp was on L not to far away. I ducked in to escape that days furious dust storm. I took a nap on one of the couch islands. Two workers on break, a photographer and a crew person chatted with me. They told me that people were paying between 5 and 10 thousand for a pod and 25 grand for one of the rvs parked along side of the camp. I thought that was a lot of money but probably worth it if you had it. We spent far less on our digs. But my lady and I had a small 4 person tent with a blow up queen and some old sheets and blankets. We slept like babies. One of our camp mates is a professional chef and for just smiles and love she made all our meals, frozen in zip loc. My lady made home made granola, which we had with almond milk and a load of fresh fruit from the farmers market. I ate better. Slept better and fucked better than I do in the default world. So I am not complaining at all. I can't imagine how all of that money made anything any better. Oh yeah, another of our camp mates is a professional baker and he made a batch of magical rich fudgy  brownies that lasted all week. So when you get bored of K, check out L. Everybody is welcome at camp stone soup.

Moral Compass
Moral Compass

My camp was across the street from a "billionaires camp" this year.  They had interactivity and events in the book so it wasn't a turnkey camp. The first time I walked in, they shunned me and kind of shooed me off.  When I got close enough to a group to hear their conversation the switched languages and then went back to English when I was out of ear shot.  On my second visit, a security officer stood by my bike with a walkie talkie.  Clearly there was a VIP to protect.  I didn't mind that they were creepy so much but it made me kind of sad to see how all the money they invested made such a sucky and uncomfortable camp.  I could do so much better for a fraction of the expense and make their guests feel much more a part of something.  Exclusivity has no place out there.  I made no more visits and it is their loss if they choose to be that way. 

Alightinthedark
Alightinthedark

One thing you are missing is that ALL those turnkey camps are PAYING the Burning Man ORG for the privilege of getting to set up their rich ghetto. Will Rogers can say there is nothing that they can do about the camp but that's not true. Each one of them is paying 15-25 thousand to the org to get placed on K and to have the Borg look the other way and more importantly to get access to the tickets, the car passes for their daily deliveries. One of the biggest funders of the plug and play camps was invited to be on the BM Board. Them being there isn't a coincidence, it's part of the economic development plan by the new ruler of the BM, the Event Operations manager brought in when Larry and his crew decided to cash out and get paid for the Copy Right. Larry and crew liked to pretend it wasn't about making money but why are they getting millions for the copy right & trademark? At least the new douche is just a professional event organization who sees it as nothing more than a money-making event and even better by being a non-profit, they can keep the majority of money without paying taxes. Smart for folks that claim they don't believe in commodification.


BM was an event for middle class white "artists" that has become an event for uppermiddle class and rich white business folks and their artist hanger-ons. The so-call priniciples didn't exist until 2000, 11 YEARS after the event began.BM has never been the event it wants to pretend it is. And yes I've been going for 15 years and am one of those people.

Amistad Sagrada
Amistad Sagrada

From Burning Man to the Andes...

I have lived in the Andes Mountains of Peru for the past 5 years, and have been to Burning Man several times previous. I had 100% fantastic experiences every time, and it has been one of the top trainings for me in my ability to live in South America! It is an amazing event, that serves a crucial purpose to "de-matrix", unwind, re-inspire, and find ourselves again, in a fun, creative, open and loving environment. It's more than a great time or great party. B.M. is one of the most profound, life-changing, heart, mind, spirit and inspiration enhancing events one could EVER attend! If someone has never been, there is no way they could possibly understand.

But what I have come to know since leaving the States, has really opened my eyes to another understanding of B.M. in the larger picture and context of the real world.

Where I live, the Indigenous Mountain Children have next to nothing. For those who do not realize how disconnected Burning Man is from the reality of Billions of people on this planet, you need to travel more. Most people are so much in their bubbles, spiritual or otherwise, which is fine and normal. 1/100th of the millions of dollars of profit made in B.M. could be Up Cycled to help literally hundreds of thousands of Indigenous Children worldwide, who are really hurting.

Sustainable organic agriculture, water purification, solar lights, bringing back phased out Indigenous Seed Varieties for expanded food production, natural medicine, education that truly honors and even helps to bring back the Traditional Ways of their ancestors, so they can be truly nourished and not fall into the lies, toxins, distractions and seductions of the so called "modern" world, thi sis what B.M. money can buy.

Also, it makes you feel absolutely fantastic, like a perma-high, to truly help others (rather than just extravagant partying for a quick week) for all you party animals out there.

Once one finds the joy of really uplifting others who are hurting. lonely, mal-nutritioned, in deeply challenged life situations, or who just need a hand up, and once one realizes how far a few thousand dollars goes in so called "3rd world" countries, it's hard to go back.

One small fraction of the profit earned from B.M could save and enhance tens of thousands of people's lives world wide. Real children, who dream of having just a tiny little bit of the comforts and opportunities many Burners take for granted.

Additionally, small groups of Burners could band together, pool their B.M. funds and create truly sustainable communities, to thrive into these coming times (while still having enough left over for a great party!!)

The world is burning my friends, and it's time to consider considering B.M. as a doorway to even greater things, real, lasting community, and truly sustainable happiness and positive lifestyles.

Beyond the "party", beyond the "festival" lies a world of possibilities that will make B.M. seem like the awesome preparation, rather than an end in itself, that it truly is.

With Very Warm Regards and Much Respect and Love,

to all Burners and Non Burners alike,

from the Indigenous Mountains Communities

of the Sacred Valley of the Incas,

Sanan

Our family is growing, visit us and send us a friend request to stay in touch!

Sippy Cup
Sippy Cup

After the Burn, I saw an undecorated limo driving in toward the Esplanade following some sort of lead vehicle.  I rode up next to them on my bike and yelled to get off the playa and the driver yells back that they are an Art Car.  Really?  Then I stopped at the BLM camp at about 5:30 or so and told them an unauthorized vehicle was out there and they said if they had a sticker, they were okay.  Sticker?  Didn't think to even look for that, but couldn't imagine seeing them in the long line at DMV to be approved as a mutant vehicle.  And if they DID have a sticker, we'd have an even bigger problem with BM.

If they want to come all the way out here for a private party and miss the whole Burning Man experience, then that's their loss.  But I am so angry that they are thumbing their rich noses at the rules here and driving around on the playa like they own the place.  All of these amazing art cars spend so much time, money and energy to share their gift with us and have so many hoops to jump through to bring that gift out there and here these rich fucks just do as they please.  Totally pisses me off.

XtopherSD
XtopherSD

I don't mind the idea of rich folk coming to Burning Man.  What does bug me is when they make no effort to give back.


I know I've had more than one conversation along the lines of "If I had a bunch of money, what cool camp would I build and what awesome experience would be available for my fellow burners in it..."


There are plenty of examples of some rich person (or company) spending some cash to make something really amazing for all of us - remember the Belgian Waffle!?


These turnkey camps, with clearly a lot of money available, bring *nothing* for the community.  The people in the turnkey camps have created for themselves an opulent cocoon from which they can venture out onto the Playa to experience and consume the contributions and creativity of everyone else.


Makes me mad and sad...

JDV
JDV

Some ideas:


Pretend to be caterers, serve them cheap stuff like weenies and Tecate. 

BRC Luxury tax collectors

Mock(?) protests

Show up as unemployed manservents/maids looking for work


Seriously, the opportunities are endless here, and done in the spirit of fun, not anger or mean-spirited mockery, I'm willing to bet most of the people we'd encounter at the turnkey camps would enjoy it and invite us to hang out and chat. Then some real dialogue could happen. 

JDV
JDV

Turnkey Invasion Project is absolutely the right way to handle this. Make an art project out of drawing these people out of their expensive cocoons. Gently satirize their exclusivity. Make it fun! This is a golden Cacophony like opportunity, one that I haven't seen at the event for quite a while. I'm excited about this! Seriously. I'm on board for Turnkey Invasion 2015. 

Sallyomally
Sallyomally

I'm a second time burner and my boyfriend and I found one of these camps. It was called Cirque Gigante at 915 and K. We just walked in like we were supposed to be there. I was shocked at the opulence. AC was being piped in, lavish decor and food. Unlike every other camp we visited, no one greeted us. We did not exactly feel welcome but no one asked us to leave either. We came back later that evening to beautiful music and a "Sherpa" handing my boyfriend chocolate soufflé on a china dish. We're not sure if they assumed we were supposed to be there or if they were willingly sharing but again no one engaged us. I found the whole scene quite ridiculous and it felt completely out of place and as if it had nothing to do with Burning Man. No one in there had a spec of playa dust on them. I'm not sure how this is even possible. To me that says they were not exploring or enjoying the rest of the city. It was a beautiful scene and I really enjoyed the music they were playing but it seemed a shame that more burners weren't enjoying it and that this camp was not welcoming like the rest of BRC's citizens. I told as many people as I could to check it out, not sure if they made it. We used their private brought in bathrooms and they were filthy. Just an interesting observation.

TruthTarget
TruthTarget

Nellie, your article lacks information regarding how camp placement works at Burning Man. Camps apply through the Burning Man organization and are placed by the organization. They don't choose where they are placed. They can make requests to camp near other camps, and some do if they are sharing resources or have complementary themes. But to imply that these camps chose to be on K street is ignorant of how the placement process actually works.

r_racr
r_racr

There will be some deeply conflicted here.  As only a two-year burner, my reaction is perhaps overly curmudgeonly -- "Damn kids get offa my desert."

I don't want to be so judgmental about an event that is 1) so huge that there is no singular experience for anyone, and 2) specifically built upon radical self-expression and radical inclusion.  Should we be rejecting the rich newcomers for not fitting in to BM "culture" when that goes against welcoming the stranger, among other principles?  I don't want to be dogmatic about the 10 principles, but I at least know that it's not up to me to dictate what anyone's experience should be.

We have a hospitality & food camp, and our mission is to create a bit of luxury, a surreal outpost, in a harsh environment for those who come to us.  The rich camps' mission could be the same, just on a more grand scale.  A lot of the push against "newcomers" could simply be envy from not as well funded camps.

And also, there's probably the fear that the moneyed folk are going to transform the event into an elite rich-people party.  I fully admit to both of these.  It feels like people's homegrown, months-long hands-on preparations come to nothing, compared to the effortless sherpa-led experience.

It could be just my own discomfort, but I'm fully aware that it will take me a lifetime of wage-slave toil to earn what one of those CEOs make in a year.  To have them sweep in with their ready-made camps brings this inequality to a place where I especially don't welcome it.  But again, that's my personal opinion.  I'm sure plenty of burners don't have this same envy burning in their hearts.


If there's anyone to blame, perhaps the real culprits are the sherpas.  They're making money from BM, right?  Who would do this??  Or are they paid servants (personal assistants) who performed the preparation because their boss ordered them to?

 

I have no answers, just questions.  But you know whatever happened this year, it's far better than what will happen next year...


Mister Gibson
Mister Gibson

This is tough and I'm still sorting out my thoughts so far...

Plug-n-Playa is a commodity service just as surely as cases of logo beer stacked under a giant blow-up can and not approved by this early Burner. 

If G-men like Brin spends weekends tooling art cars and packing gear, then OK, but that doesn't appear to be happening. Ridicule and mockery is a tasty Cacophony form of social engineering. Calling him a weenie seems a better way to draw attention to this behavior and actions than spewing bile at Center Camp & beyond. Turn that frown upside down: By all means, self-organize and migrate through these camps questioning everything - politely. Next time invite Rangers along, too, they are geared up for conflict resolution.

I saw shaming work wonders on Segway-riding tourists who apparently had no idea their vehicle should have been decorated, made unique, or about the community zeitgeist for personal creativity & do-it-yourself. These are dumb bunnies sold a vacation deal and are worth every effort to be shown a better way. Education, not "Burning Van", will make this better.


For the money, there is no better deal for a vacation price: ticket and food+fuel can't be matched at any fantasy park and you get to wear the funny mouse ears. This event CANNOT happen without countless hours of volunteer love of the effort. The organizers keep such camps off-radar because they know this pokes at many core principles that make this place attractive. This will self-correct.

PeachesBotwin
PeachesBotwin

This is so disgusting. I was blessed enough to go to Burning Man last year, and I did what any burner would do...completely and fully embrace the principles that make up BM. To not so, is to admit your not a burner. The entire point, is to test yourself and what you can handle and take. To put yourself in a place you can't find anywhere else on earth, and for a week, be completely dependent on yourself. By the end, you have such a feeling of accomplishment, of empowerment, and small things about life just don't matter. 

These people robbed themselves of that experience. They also robbed themselves of feeling completely embraced and excepted by everyone around them...not because of their money or because of their fancy cars and drinks. But because that's the burner way of life. To live together as one community, with no status, no drama, no hate, no bigotry, just love and acceptance by all, to be able to escape from the everyday life that tells you what's right or wrong. Your my burner brother, she's my burner sister, and I speak to you as if we've known one another for years. The way that childish girl responded to those gentlemen was the furthest thing from a burners personality. It does nothing but bring down the event and distract from the true purpose the burn was created. 

I hope people see this article and remind themselves that this is no Coachella. 

And maybe it's best you keep yourselves closer to the Hilton, then the rocky desert. 

Fandango!
Fandango!

I was the original organizer of the Turn Key Invasion event, and sadly, it is true, a professional conflict kept me from attending this year.
There's lots of talk talk talk about this phenomenon, and it generally seems to make most folks uncomfortable
. The whole point was to address this matter in the Burner way. Yeah, some, maybe most would be uptight cu nts, as poor Nellie Bowles discovered, but maybe some of them would be fun folks down to party & able to have a good laugh. You never know unless you try.
The inspiration for this event comes from the Invasion of the Pines, which dealt with similar matters of class tension, in the absolutely most fabulous way possible. Because partying is always the best solution to life's problems.

Hope y'all had a great time & I'd love to hear from any of the Turn Key Invasion attendees about your experience.

glowinginyoface
glowinginyoface

Hey, stuffy rich pricks, STOP FOLLOWING US! ...AND TRYING TO MAKE MONEY OFF US!! YOU HAVE ALL OF IT ALREADY!


Why do they go out there? Don't they understand even slightly that we go out there SPECIFICALLY to escape their style of bullshit??


I really don't understand what would make them even want to go out there... they don't understand a single principle of which the city was built..... why transfer your lonely, closed off quarters to a place where people go to be more open, loving, and unified?


smh

Micanichi
Micanichi

So we have a man in a silk robe on the edge blind to the fact that the man they are burning at the center is actually him. If he wants to throw punches, they should throw flames.

The city must protect itself or perish.

Filip
Filip

Burning man is now all about the entitled each avoiding what used to be Burning Man. Jet planes instead of a long hot but beautiful drive through the spectacular desert. Self-sufficiency and sharing replaced by "Sherpas"paid servants like they have as pool boys and gardeners in Woodside; off-limit air conditioned, showers in luxury compounds again what they're used to in Woodside, body guards to protect the precious Ellon Mush and the Twins from Google, all of which are the polar opposites of early Burners. While pontificating that that to stand the laws of high tech (Pitman, Eric Schmidt) these poseurs a***holes have in fact ruined Burning Man. I, for one, and there are many Burners like me, will never attend another Burning Man. The idealism, it's whole ethos, has been reined by conspicuous, spoiled, value-free rich.

Amistad Sagrada
Amistad Sagrada

@JDV LOL! This is the funniest thing I have seen about B.M. ever I think. And so true, humor has an amazing way of melting people's hearts and getting them out of their shells. It sounds like a great opportunity really, and a LOT of fun! Someone should film some folks next year engaging really positively with these rich folks coming to the playa. :)

TruthTarget
TruthTarget

Well said. Education with a cordial attitude will help correct this. People who buy their BMan experience don't know any better. I doubt they intend to be jerks. They're doing the best they can with the limited info and experience they have. Just like all of us, they can learn, too. We were all once the uninformed newbie. It takes time to learn that the beauty of BMan is in how you participate with it. Folks who are used to living exclusively and in the VIP area don't know any better. But I believe their minds can be opened. It will take time, patience, and human to human communication. Interact with these folks, by all means! Show them the fun and joy of being a citizen of Burning Man. And do so with your best communication skills.

Pallmighty
Pallmighty

@Fandango!

I attended and had a great time. One of my favorite events. Loved Fandango! camp and people. Would love to talk with you about how to improve cultural relations next year... GonzoGourmand@gmail.com

PeachesBotwin
PeachesBotwin

@Fandango! I'm not following your explanation. If you organized Turn Key, then can you shed some light as to why it was done up like the Carlton? And why the simple rules and principles that make burning man, was clearly not followed? Did the people in this group know and understand what event you were taking them too? Or was the whole point to go to a place that P Diddy went to last year?

I'm sorry...but your group robbed themselves of the whole experience that is burning man. Sure we have RV's. But I have never heard of a group excluding themselves from this experience. And as you see from the article, people from all walks of life, and status's and careers come and mix together, so I doubt anyone cares how many butlers and staff you bring in, your making yourself look like a complete douche throwing your money around like you own the place. 

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@Fandango! It was our project that got Fandango Esplanade placement for two years as they were a safety crew.  WE requested Fandango be placed next to US on Esplanade.  A turn key camp paid off the bar, moved into Fandango and took advantage of our efforts and placement and made a profit off the situation.  Did we ever see the turnkey party invitation to the "land" that mooched off our years of hard work? Nope.  It was only later, during cleanup when we understood what was happening under our noses.  We had been deceived and used for profit.  If the turnkey was a fair and good thing then it wouldn't have been hidden, it would have been shared.  F**k turnkeys, Hail art. I smell sex and...

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