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Eeeewww... Burning Man is buggy

Sal De Ban

TRIBE Member
The media wants burning man to fail so hard. Nothing positive is ever really covered. At the time, friends that have gone (some of them more than once) have never returned and said, "man that party sucked". Hmmmm?! As much as I don't feel a need to go to burning man, I think it's probably still an awesome time. Bugs and all :D
 

Primavera

TRIBE Member
Burning Man is something I have legitimately wanted to go to for years. I get serious FOMO watching Youtube videos of it.

However sometimes I feel my motivation to actually go is fading.

Even IF you can get a ticket, which each year becomes harder with them allocating many tickets to either art groups, established camps, veteran burners or allocating a huge chunk for sale at double the normal price for pre-sale, there still is a difficult lottery to buy a ticket (friends and I have tried) so even IF you get a ticket you then face the daunting logistics of attending:

If you are getting an RV most the vendors in Reno book up a year in advance, well before tickets go on sale. The RV trek from either Las Vegas or San Francisco is very long. If you camp you compete with the head and sand.

Last year they had rain wash out the first day, this year it's these bugs.

Every. Single. Person. I know who has gone to Burning Man absolutely emphatically loved it, I just don't know if I can care quite enough to actually go.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
I've been to Burning Man 8 times. My first time was in 2001.

My first 3 or 4 times were magical. Life changing. There is no other way I could explain what those first years meant to me, and to all who shared in those experiences.

More recently, it has changed from a truly magical community experience to instead the best damn party on the planet, by far, with some amazing art exhibits and performers thrown in. The event has changed enormously in the last 15 years. The DJ acts are much bigger and the dance areas more awe-inspiring, but that and the media attention has also brought the folks that are just there to party.

In my first few years, the DJ acts were unannounced and unpublicized. It was bad form to even announce in any way the DJs that were performing, as that was considered self-promotion which was not acceptable on the playa. (That did not stop Daft Punk and Thom Yorke from showing up, and performing for those lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. They all had to buy tickets, by the way, as there was no VIPs or special treatment at Burning Man.)

While the "rave areas" used to account for ~25% of the community, I would guess that today it brings in ~75% of the crowd. There are now more drugs, more folks there to simply party their asses off for a week (as opposed to folks there to experience something deeper and more spiritual).

It's still an amazing experience, but not something that I would consider to be "life changing" the way that it was.

That said, I remember in my first year, there were people complaining that the "real" Burning Man died years before that, so it all depends on your perspective.

I get asked a lot if I will ever go back. I might. Perhaps when my 18 month-old daughter is old enough to appreciate some of it, and I can gather some friends who will all bring their kids. It would be nice to get to the magic number 10 at some point.
 
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Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
We always had an RV. The last three years, we joined the Opulent Temple Camp (which organizes one of the largest dance areas on the playa), as that was when the big communal camps were really taking off and joining made it easier to contribute to the festival, as all we had to do was volunteer effort/cash to help to camp and the dance area.

We have gotten RVs from Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Reno and San Francisco. We used Las Vegas most often and had developed a very good relationship with the Vendor who treated us well.
 

ravinjunkie

TRIBE Member
Here we go with the same "it wasn't good as used to be" which will repeat again and again. When I first moved here it was always "the scene isn't the same". Guess what? Systemsound bar, boa, sonic were all awesome places to check out in post 2004.

Burning man looks amazing, maybe I will eventually go. The idea of partying for one week in the desert is complete madness.

On a positive note: no trace left behind and from what I've understood no one has ever died from attending.

Best thought: burning man will keep burning year after year.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
Here we go with the same "it wasn't good as used to be" which will repeat again and again. When I first moved here it was always "the scene isn't the same". Guess what? Systemsound bar, boa, sonic were all awesome places to check out in post 2004.
as with many things, commercial/mainstream appeal has caused the event to lose some of its magic.

Burning man looks amazing, maybe I will eventually go. The idea of partying for one week in the desert is complete madness.
it's still the best week-long party imaginable. but that's the thing. it used to be so much more than just a party.

On a positive note: no trace left behind
no trace left behind is always a core principle, but over time it seems the community has become more selfish. in earlier burns, the community was so respectful, you would never find trash left over at the dance areas, the portopotties were always very clean, and if you saw a piece of trash in the distance, you'd ride your bike out to pick it up. nowadays, there are mountains of trash left over at the dance areas (for others to clean up), the portopotties are disgusting thanks to selfish idiots and it's much more of an effort to ensure there is no trace left behind.

popularity has brought out too many selfish pricks that are just there to party their faces off, do tons of drugs and pick up. it's like comparing 90s raving to today's EDM events.

and from what I've understood no one has ever died from attending.
untrue. there have been multiple vehicle deaths, overdoses, murders, suicides (dude once ran into the massive fire as the man burned down), a stabbing. once a dude was found hanging in a tent and untouched for days because burners thought it was an art exhibit.
 
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Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
Quiznos mocks techies at Burning Man, may be hit with lawsuit - CNET

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBVBHRD5lNU

quizno's has generated a lot of buzz with their toasty.tv parody series, but it might have been funnier if we'd seen 'maze runner - the scorch trials', the movie upon which the commercial is based.

the ad does sum up some of the reasons why i have become jaded about the festival, but it tries to use some of the more ridiculous elements of the festival as indicative of the whole, which is funny but unfair.

the burning man organizers have a tough choice. while suing quizno's may make the organization seem petty and unable to take a joke, it goes against the organization's core principles to allow a large corporation to advertise using its intellectual property.
 

rentboy

TRIBE Member
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/08/burning-man-one-percent-silicon-valley-tech/

Pretty much sums up why I have zero interest in ever attending.

"It doesn’t seem like Burning Man can ever be salvaged, or taken back from the rich power-brokers who’ve come to adore it and now populate its board of directors. It became a festival that rich libertarians love because it never had a radical critique at its core; and, without any semblance of democracy, it could easily be controlled by those with influence, power, and wealth."
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
^ while i completely agree that the "rich person camps" are ridiculous and obviously violate one of the fundamental tenets of burning man (equality, no hierarchy, etc.), in fairness, those wallies make up likely less than 1% of the festival population. the playa is so huge, you could easily go the entire week without running into those bozos.
 

Krzysiu

TRIBE Member
I love debates like these! "How popular can an event become before it loses the spirit of said event that initially brought people together?"


Also, I've always wanted dress up like this and walk around, telling people to "just walk away."

 

acheron

TRIBE Member
it is amusing to see a community of privileged people arguing over the arrival a sub-community of even MORE privileged people in their midst.
 
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Sal De Ban

TRIBE Member
^ while i completely agree that the "rich person camps" are ridiculous and obviously violate one of the fundamental tenets of burning man (equality, no hierarchy, etc.), in fairness, those wallies make up likely less than 1% of the festival population. the playa is so huge, you could easily go the entire week without running into those bozos.
I have about 5 close friends who attended this year. Now that they're back, none of them mentioned seeing these 'rich-people' camps that we like to complain about in uneducated generalities (I actually asked). They all had a great time, and guess what....NO BUGS!
 

veteze

TRIBE Promoter
untrue. there have been multiple vehicle deaths, overdoses, murders, suicides (dude once ran into the massive fire as the man burned down), a stabbing. once a dude was found hanging in a tent and untouched for days because burners thought it was an art exhibit.
A girl was run over and killed by an art car in 2014.

This year a guy on the set up team died pre-event in his tent overnight from "natural causes"

The dude that ran into the fire was at a regional burn in 2013. Can't remember which one.
 

veteze

TRIBE Promoter
I returned this year for my 6th time. It was our second year running a sound camp called "Last Resort". The very last sound camp on 10 at L. Our first year was 2013. It was the toughest year in terms of weather that I've ever experienced. Very consistent windy conditions and two very long dust storms. One during pre-event / setup and one on the Friday of the event. Friday night the whole city was a ghost town. I think that would have been unheard of in the previous tough weather years which I think were in the '99 to '03 range. it goes to show that new burners have become quite soft over the last few years of sunny weather, hot days and warm nights.

It's still a great party and there is still a lot more going on than just rave camps. If anything the rave camps are kind of dead these days and the rave art cars are where it's at. There were so many art cars this year and not just sound system art cars like Mayan Warrior and Robot Shart... They force those out into the deep playa now. You can see there's always about 5000 - 10000 people out in the deep playa at 7am every morning dancing to the art cars. I wouldn't say 75% there are there for the rave. It's definitely less than half. And that still leaves 35,000 people who are there for other ridiculous reasons.

If you go and explore the city there are a thousand different things going on and a thousand things you can do and experience for the first time if you're feeling adventurous. I think first timers get more out of this than returning burners do. They're more open to just run around and go into every camp running an event and say hi to everyone.

Klubmasta, I camped with Opulent temple in 2011. It was what inspired us to do our own sound camp two years later. Maybe you were there to?
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
it is amusing to see a community of privileged people arguing over the arrival a sub-community of even MORE privileged people in their midst.
Its the deep seated fear in a counter culture of becoming part of mainstream culture. Has extra resonance in the way this "selling out" is timed with a rising inequality in society so we are seeing a critique here metastasize into a bit more than a simple fear of co-option but also connecting it to a broader critique of current societal inequality in America.

And so it goes....

I also heard from a friend just back: great time, no bugs - didn't get to ask about rich fucks, he didn't complain about any either
 

veteze

TRIBE Promoter
Re: RVs vs. Tents?

In year 1 and 2 ('08/'09) I went in an RV. It's an easy way to do the festival and just go out and have fun.

But you really feel like you're doing it right when you go in a tent which we've now done 4 times. And that's getting more and more sophisticated every year.

Here are our tents pre shade structure this year:



We also set up 5 huge 32 foot shade structures. One is for our dance floor and another is for our kitchen which has a pantry, two BBQs, a fridge, chest freezer, 24 foot dining table. We fill the freezer in Reno from an Organic grocer who sources all local organic and ethically raised chicken, beef and pork which acts as the camp supplied nightly protein. This year, every night, 3 - 4 campers had to prepare dinner for the whole camp of 26 people. Which meant you only had to cook one night all week and every other night food would be waiting for you at camp at about 730pm. Each cooking team was responsible for producing one or two sides to go with their assigned protein. Some of the sides were amazing. Cooking the protein typically just involved BBQing the meat. My night was the hardest one meat wise - 10 beer can chickens on Tuesday.

We also rent a huge generator that runs all week (filled by a diesel delivery truck every two days) two private potties (which get cleaned every two days), a shower and a 250 gallon grey water capture. In 2013 we had 500 gallons of fresh drinking / washing water brought in but we decided to not do that this year because people are too wasteful when taps are involved and it's fucking expensive.
 
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rentboy

TRIBE Member
^ while i completely agree that the "rich person camps" are ridiculous and obviously violate one of the fundamental tenets of burning man (equality, no hierarchy, etc.), in fairness, those wallies make up likely less than 1% of the festival population. the playa is so huge, you could easily go the entire week without running into those bozos.
Fair enough. I suppose the author of that piece was cranking up the melodrama.
 

Sal De Ban

TRIBE Member
I returned this year for my 6th time. It was our second year running a sound camp called "Last Resort". The very last sound camp on 10 at L. Our first year was 2013. It was the toughest year in terms of weather that I've ever experienced. Very consistent windy conditions and two very long dust storms. One during pre-event / setup and one on the Friday of the event. Friday night the whole city was a ghost town. I think that would have been unheard of in the previous tough weather years which I think were in the '99 to '03 range. it goes to show that new burners have become quite soft over the last few years of sunny weather, hot days and warm nights.

It's still a great party and there is still a lot more going on than just rave camps. If anything the rave camps are kind of dead these days and the rave art cars are where it's at. There were so many art cars this year and not just sound system art cars like Mayan Warrior and Robot Shart... They force those out into the deep playa now. You can see there's always about 5000 - 10000 people out in the deep playa at 7am every morning dancing to the art cars. I wouldn't say 75% there are there for the rave. It's definitely less than half. And that still leaves 35,000 people who are there for other ridiculous reasons.

If you go and explore the city there are a thousand different things going on and a thousand things you can do and experience for the first time if you're feeling adventurous. I think first timers get more out of this than returning burners do. They're more open to just run around and go into every camp running an event and say hi to everyone.

Klubmasta, I camped with Opulent temple in 2011. It was what inspired us to do our own sound camp two years later. Maybe you were there to?
Veteze, I don't think that people in this thread want to hear from actual experiences or b.m. attendees. They are much more comfortable with their pre-conceived notions.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
Klubmasta, I camped with Opulent temple in 2011. It was what inspired us to do our own sound camp two years later. Maybe you were there to?
I've attended 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012. Both 2010 and 2012 were with Opulent Temple.

I missed 2011, but I believe Ryan Kruger (whom I brought to his first in 2005) and Christopher Lawrence camped with Opulent Temple that year.

These posts are making me miss it a bit. There are some great Burning Man threads on this site with lots of great stories, for those who are interested in searching.
 
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newstyle666

TRIBE Member
Went to Burning Man this year for the second time. First was in 2011.

It was a truly humbling experience yet again and had a blast despite unbelievably harsh conditions. We camp as an independent group of 6. Crafted a team shade structure and survived the week in my little pup tent.

However this year our Coleman stove did not work so essentially we survived on our own rations of cold food with the occasional hot meal after borrowing someone's single burner.

I love the art / surealism and is still the main draw in my case. Also like pushing myself both physically and mentally to survive the desert and bare conditions despite envy looking at the luxury camps and RVs that our team chooses to forgoe by choice.

Great parties, music, keynotes and interesting people. By chance ran into Elon Musk near centre camp on the Saturday... Total surprise. Other than him, have not directly noticed celebrities and frankly most burners would not blink an eye either way.
 
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