August 17th, 2012  |  Filed under News

Burning Man Files Lawsuit Against Pershing County, NV

August 17th, 2012  |  Filed under News

Fee Increases Violate Federal Law, Threaten Ability To Do Business In State

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RENO, Nev. — Today the organizers of Burning Man filed a lawsuit against Pershing County, Nev., to stop the county’s attempt to impose a drastic increase in fees on the annual weeklong event, which is held on public land managed by the U.S. government. This action will not affect the 2012 event.

“For more than 20 years, the Burning Man community has proudly made northern Nevada its home, providing millions of dollars annually to the local economy,” said Larry Harvey, the founder of Burning Man. “We love Nevada. Unfortunately, Pershing County is making it difficult to continue doing business here. We intend to resolve this matter through reasonable means and work collaboratively with Nevadans to keep our business in the state.”

Black Rock City, LLC, is the company that organizes the Burning Man event each year in the Black Rock Desert. Pursuant to requirements of the Bureau of Land Management, which manages federal land, BRC has annually compensated Pershing County for all documented, event-related costs since 2005. As part of a separate agreement negotiated with Pershing County over disagreements about the applicability of the county’s festival ordinance, BRC has additionally contributed a total of $395,600 to Pershing County and local charitable organizations that serve its residents.

In early 2011, the county insisted that BRC pay a significantly higher fee by entering into a new agreement. BRC complied with this request in order to maintain good relations with the county. But then in May of this year, the county breached this agreement with BRC and imposed a much higher fee of $400,000.

This fee is $280,000 more than the county incurred in event-related expenses for the 2011 event and much more than the estimated $180,000 law enforcement cost for the event in 2012 cited by a representative from the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office. County commissioners said the 2013 fee would be $600,000 to $800,000 and could exceed $1 million in the future.

“These fees are arbitrary and capricious,” Harvey said. “It is wrong for the county to bully us in an attempt to balance its books. We are being treated like a piggy bank. We do not think that this government or any government has the right to do this.”

The Burning Man event has been held in the Black Rock Desert for more than 20 years and is a keystone contributor to the economy of northern Nevada. There are no vendors at the event; the only goods sold are coffee and ice, the proceeds of which go to local charities. The event accounts for more traffic to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport annually than almost any other, and participants spend at least $15 million in the area before, during and after the event.

Finally, we ask that Burners consider taking the high road while this lawsuit works its way through the judicial system.

174 Responses to “Burning Man Files Lawsuit Against Pershing County, NV”

  1. leenie Says:

    It’s more like go with the flow, 20 years ago a musician only made mear thousand and now get 1.6 million so go figure, times they are a what they want and quit arguing that does not show any spirit, it shows anger, and anger is not what what this is about

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  2. Kaden Says:

    Since the judge did not recuse himself, and since there is clearly documented bias and a judicial agenda that coincides with this bias, it seems that the previous legal agreement should be easily and legally enforceable. A judge that is a party to that level of malfeasance should be impeached.

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  3. Oliver Zhang Says:

    Give them an inch, they go for a foot.

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  4. collossus Says:

    Tell them you’ll pay if they agree to remove all federal and state law enforcement from the playa for the week of Burning Man. I’d pay more for a ticket to not have to worry about the constant stare of cops on the playa.

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  5. Betsy Says:

    Don’t go with the flow, Burning Man. That’s ridiculous. If they want too much money. Pull the plug. Don’t listen to anyone telling you that you have no spirit. Burning Man is all Spirit, and is not to become an event for only the rich. THAT is what this is about. Leenie.

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  6. p Says:

    Move Burning Man to another State! Im sure there are plenty of counties DYING for revenue-enhancing event the size of burning man to call their county/state Home

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  7. nata Says:

    I agree with BRC for filing a lawsuit.
    Pershing County seems to think they can take advantage of the organization’s continued generosity, & the friendly compliance that they have been given in the past. But everyone has a limit. The price they are asking is outrageous and selfish, considering how beneficial the event is already to the surrounding area. BM spirit is important & has been upheld, it is good to know when to stand up for yourself as well. Good luck & I hope all is resolved soon! I<3 BRC !!!

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  8. Root Says:

    The END is near!

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  9. Daniel Says:

    There are whole cities for sale. Why not purchase one and make a sustainable city and burning man enviroment all year long?

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  10. piko! Says:

    Suspend Burning Man for a year or two, and when they miss all that Burning Man revenue, they will lower the rate. Black Rock Desert is not the only place to hold an event like this. Shop around!

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  11. Roger Says:

    @Leenie, They did pay. If they pay again it sets a president for them to keep raising the amount with no end in site. Its obviously just greed. Nothing in that area can cost that much of an increase since from the sounds of it, it is just papers being filed. Unless of course the mayor and his aids are like the ones in southern CA who were being paid more money per month then any other local politician in history. But who knows. Bottom line is you have to put your foot down at some point or the fees would just go up and up until it was no longer economically feasible to run the event. Maybe they need to take a lesson in gifting.

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  12. fireninja Says:

    I think that this is yet more evidence of why Burning Man should be moved to Tribal Land — The sovereign status of an Indian Nation would radically alter the nature of law enforcement — Sovereign Tribes don’t have to adhere to state laws or allow state or local police within its borders. And, the vast amounts of money paid to the BLM could be reduced and the smaller sum spent to help impoverished natives instead of the Federal Government.

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  13. Bana Says:

    Bring it back to California! That’s BM’s home state anyway…

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  14. Moto Says:

    Move to a location that would be grateful for the land use of the event . There are plenty of Native American reservation/lands that would love to have us.

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  15. JKL Says:

    Oregon has the most beautiful high desert on the east side of the state. And the depressed economies would jump at the chance to host this kind of event.

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  16. JCigar Says:

    The Wonderful People of Arizona would love the event. The painted desert in the Tribal Nations would certainly set aside a piece of land for the time BRC LLC Needs it. Shop Around! Just like looking for a new Job find one, then re-negotiate with your previous employee if you like the position (Place) Jeff

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  17. El Madv Says:

    Move to another place, lets see if they miss the money.

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  18. nemimi Says:

    Has tribal land been considered? It would get rid of local & state law enforcement because only tribes & feds have jurisdiction. Also, it’ll provide money to tribal communities that really need it.

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  19. Beef Pies Says:

    They already treat the event like a piggy bank, stopping drivers for going one mph over the speed limit, checking anyone who pulls off the road for any reason, and a whole list of nit-picky reasons to detain people, with the hopes of searching their cars. The ridiculously exorbitant fines imposed, and the overreaching nature of those fines (such as a “paraphrenalia” fine for cigarette papers), show that they see Burners as a source of revenue far beyond the money that we spend in their communities. I realize that it is an inconvenience to have thousands of vehicles suddenly streaming through your usually-quiet area, but the financial boon that comes with that inconvenience would (one would think) more than balance that. Instead, many are bullied or harrassed on their way to BRC.

    Now, with possible animosity created by this lawsuit, look for that to increase this year.

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  20. eclipse Says:

    I got $5.00 on it! Lets buy our own “private” land FUCK the BLM & Purshing county that keep raising there fees and capping attendance limits. Let the Playa turn back into the junk yard it was before BM got there and watch all the surrounding community’s turn to dust! Then they will see what greed will do!!!!!

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  21. Charles Says:

    When I first started attending Burning Man in 2007, Gerlach NV was a tiny little run-down town with a bar, a gas station, and a number of taxidermists. The population of Burning Man was about 8,000 people that year. In 1999 and 2000, as the population approached 20,000, Gerlach suddenly had newly paved roads and shiny new street signs. The Washoe and Pershing County sheriffs were patrolling the streets of Burning Man in shiny new Humvees. Law enforcement agencies make a killing off of Burning Man, and milk it for all it’s worth. Burning Man is patrolled with officers from two different counties and Nevada State Patrol as well as whatever federal agencies get involved. They patrol with helicopters at night, officers are equipped with military-style vehicles and night-vision goggles. Officers bring drug-sniffing dogs around camps during the day. Undercover agents wear fur and glow sticks in attempts to buy or sell drugs from people, and stage raids on whole camps if successful. All this for a week-long peaceful closed event in the middle of the desert that spends a month completely cleaning up after itself before it leaves. I suspect that Burning Man has more law enforcement presence per capita than any other city in the country during that week. For all of it’s harsh desert environment, it’s certainly the safest place you could ever be. Law enforcement knows they can shoot fish in a barrel for one week out of the year, and get the participants to pay for the privilege.

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  22. Ed Oswald Says:

    BMORG will win this in a court of law. As a local elected official myself, I know firsthand that governments cannot PROFIT off of fees. If BMORG adequately shows that the County is charging a rate far above its actual incurred costs, the courts will side with the organizers.

    Smart move in doing this. BMORG may actually end up paying less in fees than it is now, if that $180k number is correct. The county made a HUGE mistake here.

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  23. Charles Says:

    Bah, I meant “When I first started attending Burning Man in 1997″.

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  24. Marquis Says:

    Moving to another state would be a horrible event for all the wonderful people that build burning man that bought land and live next to the playa. having been there myself, if they were to relocate, there would be MASSIVE installations that would not be able to be moved. there are acres of equipment and installations that simply can not travel. And making the organizers that live around the playa year round move would just be wrong after their years of dedication to fellow burners. It would be backtracking probably 10 years at least.

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  25. Roger Anstine Says:

    Plan B, Plan C, open bids for new locations, we are not about fighting, if they do not want us there go somewhere else, if the money they want is fair pay …

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  26. BlackRocker Says:

    Just leave BM no whining

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  27. OAK Says:

    My only fear is the pershing county police will become less friendly during the event to put pressure on BM to resolve the issue. Nothing like a testy cop to make your day!

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  28. Gary Stone Says:

    Move! I’m tired of the fucking dust!

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  29. andr Says:

    Ye, they will send the fuck up cops there to fuck you up, there will be anger, and all the BS. I dont really thing its right to sue and fo infront of the pony judge, and be the part of this system. just move it to somewhere on the beach in mexico next to the weed fields. or somewhere in suth america. That would be much better, you can probably buy the land too.

    The point it, you got to makes them interested! Not suck up, but in the end just understand that they have more power in this system under the current regime.
    you got to work outside of it, you cant win if they are making the rules. And they will get what they want, if not his time, than next time.

    Stay with Love ;)

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  30. Wraith Says:

    Marquis :

    10 years worth of setbacks vs fees that drive the ticket prices out of the affordability range for a lot of people. It’s a hard call which will hurt worse.

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  31. Michael Says:

    For those interesting here’s a URL to the county meeting -
    (waring, massive typos in the document)

    The fee increase is (mostly) centered around the county wanting to hire additional 44 officers for BM.

    Starting this October, they want to reduce the ratio to 1 officer per 500 participants or in other words, double the number of cops – hence the apparent dramatic future increase of fees.

    The council could have handled the whole situation better than springing a retroactive fee increase this late in the game.

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  32. Gravy Girl Says:

    Move it to Missouri. Lots of land in many of the central and west central parts of the state. It would be the center of the United States. You could drill for water, too. Equally as hard for everyone to get to. You could buy enough land for less than what Pershing County would charge you for one year. Think about it.

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  33. BlackRocker Says:

    Consevative,morals and family values are important here and were here long,long before BM
    Having all the burningman losers hanging out and destroying the area has been terrible for the local community.
    All the burners are losers beliving in BM must be some mass hysteria, or searching for some thing to belong to due to the empty and lost lives they exist in.
    BMORG takes advantage of these folks diminished mental capacities and ignorance.
    If this ws done in a third world country we would be boycotting them due to labor laws and exploitation.
    All the $$ are spent in Reno locals get a few pennies in comparison. No local hires just imported misguideded vollenteers used as slave labor.
    Misguided by your phony principles that BMORG all do not adhere to.
    It was so peaceful before and no trash and burner loser types.
    Stop raping the playa and “Gift” us locals by going back to CA and take all your crap as well please.
    SHOW US THE MONEY!! Say the locals or make your millions of $$$ some where else.

    Ran in to a burner at the store in Empire last week tried to sell me a decal from Oakland.
    No shoes no shirt and STANKING begging for $$ asked me are you local?
    Yea I am and could you back off some trying to eat my sandwich.
    Get Lost!

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  34. Dennis Says:

    Go North to Oregon!! Laws are more laid back and there is about a bazillion acres of BLM land that you could find available. They could use the money and there are no sales taxes.

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  35. Black Rock Ranger Says:

    There will be a much higher presence this year of deputies and drug sniffing dogs at the gate this year patrolling the lines of cars.

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  36. Chip Jarman aka Sandman Says:

    Right on, Larry. Pershing County is behaving just like the Jackson family – they all want a piece of the pie. But what’s more despicable is that they insist their piece is bigger than the one they were given before.

    Resident of Mineral County, NV

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  37. OAK Says:

    Pershing County has a population of 6693 people. When do they hold elections and how long do you have to be in the county to be a resident?

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  38. Mehl Renner Says:

    The mining company in the Gerlach area has closed down and obviously the county infrastructure is desperate for money. BM should buy as much real estate as possible and maybe even petition to rename the town Black Rock City so as to have a permanent presence. There are awesome city planners and innovative thinkers tied to Burning Man that could help create a new, year-round burner friendly town.

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  39. Jeff Kantor aka Gold Dust Says:

    These times are a changing…The giving spirit from Bureaucracy doesnt exist anymore…The reason Burning Man has succeeded because it started organically… I was so fortunate to attend last year and we are so excited to go back again this year, but I feel maybe its time to pull the plug on having this event at Black Rock City and move it to another spot…These bureaucratic pigs want to be so greedy and squeeze Burning Man org to death, make them an offer and tell Pershing County to take it or leave it…Peace!

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  40. Chip Jarman aka Sandman Says:

    Two comments I like here… one from BlackRocker who basically says Burners stink and to Get Lost! (I love hearing the other side of an argument); and two, Mehl Renner who says we should look into buying up the town of Gerlach and making Black Rock a Burner friendly neighborhood.
    BM does not have to find another home – we built this city (BRC) and it is so damn good that FEMA wants to know how we do it. But I sure could dig walking in to the Burning Man Bar & Grill in Gerlach on a cold winter’s night and shootin’ the breeze with the local stinkies!


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  41. BlackRocker Says:

    To Mehl
    Arrogance prevails yea buy up the town right. BMORG tried that and brought a bunch of red tagged properties that all they can do is paint and put fake front facades on. Just like the phoney’s they are its all fake!
    They can not be occupied or used at all another bust for BMORG.
    Just leave this place. Pull the plug please. I am sure there is someplace that would appreciate you all.
    Why hang around where your not liked?
    Spend your money and time on some thing real like your own family,church or local community.

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  42. BlackRocker Says:

    Chip after one day on the playa I stink too after a week I can not stand myself lol..

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  43. Sandy McReynolds Says:

    Maybe the road from Gerlach to BRC could be made into a toll road for that few weeks ?

    I’m not going to BRC anymore due to the heat & dust & distance, but I am attending local BM & arts events. Possibly BM should decentralize, become entirely local C.O.R.E. events.

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  44. BlackRocker Says:

    A phony,fake temporay city no sewers,running water,weak infrasructure it could only survive a couple of days. True an achievment of sorts. A Bar and Grill never happen here in Gerlach dream on. BMORG is incapable to start with and there is no market to speak of most of the year here in Gerlach.
    Great idea Chip thats what Gerlach needs another bar duh…

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  45. michael Says:

    Sell burning man ranch that will scare the hell out of them that Burning man is pulling out of black rock Desart.

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  46. Vern Says:

    I have never been but from an outsiders view it Looks like Burning man is attracting some of the wrong elements these days .
    Be careful to keep the spirit clean .
    Intention is the road map for the soul .
    Maybe this is a life lesson .
    Good luck B.M.

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  47. Liam Be'em Says:

    We should be looking at playas in other locations, like the Cedarville area in extreme northeast California and playas in southeastern Oregon, as well as Southern California. Turns out there are lots of playas in the arid west, even out into Utah…

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  48. Cptn mcguiver Says:

    You guys suggesting tribal land have obviously never produced an event with Indian tribes. I have and have friends do it an believe me you dont want anything to do with that. They will be all good until the night before the gates open and then come up to you with some BS about chief so and so wanting more money and before you know it your event is cancelled. I’ve seen many events screwed by Indians and their shifty ways. I was at a rave in the 90′s that was shut down in the middle of the party because of this. Blm are Angels compared with Indians.

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  49. master dave Says:

    You DO NOT want the tribal lands as your event they are really corrupt and make up there laws as they go how many of you had problems with the locals at BM in years past ?? Just think if it was THERE land it would be MUCH worse maybe its time to have more reginal events ?? we are having a party this labor day at the camp ground and burning our own man in the firepit saterday nite shure its not out in the desert but its close and theres no problems .

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  50. Plumber Dragon Says:

    I would definitely help run all the new BRC services, sewer and water and geothermal. I have much experience with it. haha that would be a dream come true for this plumber. permanent BRC with solar generators running the water pumps, all the geothermal cooling. heat it in the winter cleanly. Self sustained dream come true!!

    but the seweage lines would need to tie into existing services somehow or we would be looking at having some serious septic/ lagoon systems wich would… ah shit im wayy out on a tangent now…

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  51. robin Says:

    Greedy bastards. Move this to a venue that wants us badly. They are out there.

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  52. Karl Schon Says:

    Move it to the BEACH, or Native Land.! If you don’t want to Move, youll have to pay, because we dont want any pissed off, underpaid Cops on our Asses harrassing us…
    You take in over $25Million in Ticket Sales, give the Law Enforcement only $1 Million of that Money, to secure the Roads and watch over us, provide safety. If you make a new Ironclad Contract for the next 20 Years, they are Happy and You can be happy. Try to find a Positive Solution to this and spread some of that Money around, that we all gave you in Ticket Sales….

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  53. Beef Pies Says:

    I really have to agree, reluctantly, with the people who are advocating moving the event. Why stay where you aren’t wanted, or rather where you’re only appreciated for how much you can be exploited by others? The Burning Man Organization, and Burners in general, have done a great deal for the dusty little towns that surround the Black Rock Desert, and the thanks we get is harrassment, and now a blatant attempt to suck even more revenue out of us. When you treat people nicely and with respect, and still get kicked in the crotch, it’s time to walk away. The attitude of the local who keeps posting on here is further evidence that we’re reviled by these communities, to whom we’ve done nothing but try to help. (The fact that someone who can’t spell or write a coherent sentence refers to us as “stupid” is an example of what we’re up against.)

    I deeply love our city in the desert. But we can make a city just as beautiful, just as vibrant, exciting, and filled with art in a place where we’re appreciated, and won’t be subjected to continuous harrassment and disprespect.

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  54. Count Fingers Says:

    It’s all good, or it could be…all these comments have some merit to them; The U.S. capitol is in D.C. but we all live somewhere else, for example. Decentralize; Fertililty 2.0: Pollinate and disperse. No one should be beholden to BRC for inspiration & transformation. And it will always be a point of contention for THE OTHER if your Mecca is fixed. I love BRC and what it is/can be…If it moved like the Olympics, it would still be BRC. See ya out there.

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  55. Kimo Says:

    A drop in the bucket really. When you consider the $400k fee divided by 60,000 tickets, that’s only $6.66 a ticket. Hmmmm…. Wonder if there’s any relevance there?
    Seems like the cost of doing business has increased along with the ticket prices that increased dramatically this year.
    I can see the BMORG arguing that their was an agreement that was breached. But if it was in writing then I would assume that there isn’t much of a case here. But when the population increases from 50 to 60,000, there are additional costs that the county incurs to provide whatever it does to the higher population.
    Bottom line… The organizers of this event are getting fat with profit for their nest eggs. Greed seems to be a factor from both sides.
    In the meantime… Let them deal with it. Let’s focus on our burn this year. I personally don’t give a rat’s ass about the fees that the county charges. I just wanna get home.

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  56. Linus Says:

    lets buy a hawaiian island!

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  57. Darrell Says:

    Is there anywhere else appealing to hold such an event? Any other large deserted deserts with a town nearby that would go for less money?

    The threat of losing the BM festival for a year might remind the greedy county what BM brings to them.

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  58. Andrew Says:

    I gotta say, move the event. Seriously.

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  59. Alchemy Says:

    The event has been going on for a quarter of a century- Every year or so “SOMETHING” happens- someones bitchin and “OMG!!!” What are WE gonna do?!”
    Ill tell you what we are gonna do- BURN THE FUCKIN MAN
    same thing we do every year Pinky….
    We as a community ralley up- we are the worlds most successful creative brain trust
    Burningman was sustained by its Principles which are infallible in their proven record in preserving the event- smoothing the wrinkles-kissing the owwies and perfected the Slacker idealology of the Work Around-
    They want a reach around…
    We continually make working with Burningman a win win- and by WE I mean the Notrious LLC of whom continues on the Burning Curve- evolves the event and us as a culture with there often questioned but repeatedly successful methods.
    We sit there and say ‘ What The Fuck are they doing Now? And somehow the shit works out and gets better- all tho never the same-
    We are a force of goodness and hilarity- that is what beats ” The Bastards” everytime- Its always a win win-
    Even the fucking Cops pretty much love us against their astute training and – well cop like mentalitys-
    We are just that GOOD.
    We are her just to make shit- have fun- learn stuff- solve shit- play- BURN SHIT- and provoke growth
    Fertility Bitches..! I have faith..quit being a bunch of bitchy Hippys and get your dust on Mutha Fuckas
    Its Burn time- let the LLC do their do they do so well and quit snipin – pack your rigs and head to the Lake of Fire- Its Armageddon
    Armageddon my Burn on!
    relax. it will…. be….. okay…

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  60. Ghost Says:

    I read the article in the local RGJ, read some posts on the local burner list, and read the federal complaint. What is missing in the discussion is that money is always an issue and they, Pershing county, want 1Million a year no matter what, and if they cannot get it they will not sign off on the permit – this is financial extortion normally done by someone who needs money and does not care what it costs to get the money.
    I believe though the real issue is the Pershing county festival permit which give their law enforcement a very vague standard in which to arrest a person, example being nude partial/full, engaging in ‘lewd’ conduct, etc. This standard is so loose that it could result in no one under 18 being allowed on the playa, and we have a nice g rated kids event for adults.
    Pershing county itself is a jackwagon backwater county whose sheriff sees a way for money and his own self ego.
    Future, well the event has out grown the black rock playa, getting bigger will requie changes, a lot of changes to the event, and costs; this year $400 per ticket, next year at the rate Pershing county wants $500 and $600 gets easy. There is a limit, maybe it is time to move on, maybe take a one year break, maybe make the burn a rotational event amongst the regionals.

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  61. Shannon Says:

    “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.”

    Greed is one of the seven sins and Pershing County needs to step back and re-evaluate their demand. They’re trying to “cut a fat hog in the butt.” If they’re not careful, that fat hog will leave.

    We’re environmentally conscious with LNT (Leave No Trace) and we also fill the coffers off the local governments. So, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”

    Enough sayings. I made my point.

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  62. dave Says:

    Looks to me you pay or you move Its a no win deal I wish you luck

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  63. Human Jones Says:

    Eastern Oregon would be nice. Sorry B Man organizers that you have to deal with this. We all participants often forget about the real world and what must be dealt with in order to put on such an amazing thing.

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  64. Some Seeing Eye Says:

    Pershing County covers most of the Black Rock playa, the road from the East and Northeast, 95/80, Jungo Road, and the town of Lovelock.

    Gerlach, Empire, Reno and routes in from California and Oregon are in Washoe County. Pretty sure the ranch and the geyser or most of them too.

    The dispute is the interpretation of the federal BLM agreement in relation to certain new policies by the Pershing county commissioners.

    Burners, even on the interwebs are a reasonable, conscious, respectful, bunch, right? And in a public forum, like this, we are representing the event to the world.

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  65. TTTNA Says:

    it’s not like BMorg can’t afford it. it takes a lot of money to police the community from the deviant influences of hipster culture, and yuppies pretending to be anarchists. i wouldn’t want my children exposed to such poseurs, unless there was some good money in it.

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  66. Rod Says:

    Truth is, the Pershing County Commissioners followed DA Jim Shirley’s lead on this, trying to ruin Burning Man bc of his religious ideals and take in more money for the county. Get in the way of his vision, and you’re gone, just ask the former sheriff and public defender. Well, I hope no Pershing County taxpayers are paying for this lawsuit, they should pay for it out of the DA’s salary, because this is all on his head. His meddling at the commissioner’s meetings are on display for all the public to see.

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  67. hewhocastsstones Says:

    Richard Wagner. The man lived the free love lifestyle back when he was the pesrhing county prosecutor, the bishop in the mormon church and married with children. I kid you not. Got caught with his secretary.

    Now that he is pushing 80 and morbidly obese, no one else should be allowed to have fun.

    Jim Shirley – think real real dumb boss hog without the cigar or nice ride.

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  68. alaska glacier Says:

    Folks, Cptn mcguiver and master dave are correct. DO NOT consider tribal land. Laws are made and changed upon a whim by the Chief or Tribal government and both of their assumptions are correct. I speak from experience having seen/lived/experienced it in the largest state in the Union with many Tribal entities, Corporations and Villages. Enjoy the burn!!

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  69. swerve Says:

    $300 per ticket x 60,000 burners=$21,000,000


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  70. One Says:

    Stop paying for the cops!!! They have ruined it for all of us veteran burners and many of us have stopped going for multiple reasons, one of which is that our friends are getting attacked, followed, watched, surveilled, raided, arrested, etc. I have a friend that was jumped when he was rolling a cigarette. Another one was followed all week by the DEA and then jumped and searched after refusing to sell drugs to undercovers who had been coercing him all week. (yes two sexy ladies who followed him around with bikinis on) Another friend was arrested when an undercover passed him a lit joint. It has turned into a police state. Anybody who has been to burning man knows this and it’s rotten shame. Change venues. Please.

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  71. factoid Says:

    Meanwhile, there’s this:

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  72. Some Seeing Eye Says:

    The problem is that there are a small number of individuals, maybe a hand’s worth, who would like to impose their personal moral beliefs on a brief international gathering through the legal bureaucracy of their small government unit, and impose the cost of compliance to their personal morality on the participants without limit. I always recommend to moralists, focus on your family, your extended family and your immediate friends. Don’t impose your morality elsewhere until every last single imperfection in your family and friends is resolved. You will be much more successful with people you know than with distant people who are visiting for a week miles away.

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  73. Emanuel Volakis Says:

    Don’t let the government money trolls hold this event hostage. If they don’t want your business….move the event (closer to CA) :). I’m sure we could find an area with similar geography and with a municipality that would welcome the extra income without gouging. And for those people who think B-morg should just shut up and payup….what do you think would happen to ticket prices if B-morg just rolled over on this one? :O It would be a pain to move the event….but it would not be impossible. I would also welcome an event location that had LESS LAW ENFORCEMENT presence….it’s a little out of control with the sheriff, state police, fed police…etc.

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  74. Sticks101 Says:

    Why not get federal funding to improve a different roadway into BRC that doesnt travel through any nearby towns, therefore removing the need to support there budget either way. Road would be left mostly unused throughout the year, patrolled by feds prior to event and then remove locals and state patrol from the event all together. Making it a federally run event and keeping at that level would lower law enforcement while still maintaining an amount of safety. While at the same time, gerlach would wither back to a gas station at most. I’ve heard the impassioned words of the local posting. But to think of us all as smelly hippies is one sterotype that couldnt be more from true. My group alone has 2 with double major bachlor degrees, 1 Masters and 1 PHD (engineering physics).

    If they dont want us, move, or remove the income and they’ll fail faster than his stereotype just did.

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  75. lifeisshort Says:

    I dont know if I have ever heard anyone suggest the idea of moving the event to and Indian Reservation, but what a GREAT Idea…….

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  76. DoubleBrewski Says:

    At the risk of sounding rude, I feel I must respond to statement made by Blackrocker: “Consevative,morals and family values are important here and were here long,long before BM. . . ”

    Clearly you do not mean “family values” such as compassion or charity, otherwise you would have bought that “STANKING, begging, Burningman loser” a bar of soap and a sandwich.

    Not everybody that comes to this event is some dirty, unwashed, penniless hippie. I’ll have you know that for seven years I’ve brought my portable camp shower with me and I’ve bathed every day. I work forty hours a week in a respectable job I’ve had for over ten years, and Burning Man is the one week I get each year to let go and relax.

    Personally, I’d hate to see the event move farther away because it’s only a six hour drive from my home in Southern Oregon. But, I would be willing to drive a little further south if necessary.

    And Blackrocker, it sure seems to me that your County’s revenue has dried up and turned to dust like those two microscopic towns Gerlach and Empire, and now it’s holding it’s hand out to the BMorg hoping for some $$.

    If the locals didn’t have such “diminished mental capacities and ignorance” perhaps instead of complaining about Burning Man for all these years, they could have devised new ways to make money off the event: Any laundromats, Motels, paid public showers (like truck stops have) in either of those two towns could potentially make a killing each year.

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  77. Master Says:

    BM people should just buy enough seats in the local government through houses and then they have the votes to control the towns and oust the idiot local governments and then fix the problem.

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  78. DoubleBrewski Says:

    Heck, why don’t we all pitch in and just buy the Black Rock Desert from the BLM, or the whole darn county from the State of Nevada. The amount of money saved annually should eventually pay for a full city-wide sewage system, a privately-funded, burner-friendly Black Rock Police department, and many other functions of a regular city.

    We’ll buy every spot of land in the county except Gerlach and Empire. Ha ha!

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  79. Dogknee Says:

    Hey Swerve,

    What calculator were you using? 300×60,000=21,000,000?
    I only counted 18,000,000

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  80. HeathenWorld Says:

    moving Burning Man to tribal land sounds like a great idea.

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  81. Namas Says:

    Burning Man isn’t a place. The county gives very little back for what local they receive in return.

    Move Burning Man somewhere where it is appreciated and that doesn’t try to milk Burners for everything they got. I can barely afford my ticket this year, much less all the camping supplies and gas and survival gear.

    I don’t need the damage the dust does to my car or the hundred degree temps or the dust storms.

    I repeat, Burning Man isn’t a place.

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  82. Jack Tors Says:

    Fees are the pitts….. we all hate them

    Fight for what is right

    and don’t be to big to mediate a middle ground.

    Lets face it, an additional $10 per head x 55000 people is $550,000

    there’s your delta.

    Would I pay $10 more to ensure BRC exists? Hell Ya.

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  83. Corvus Says:

    If you look on the map, Soldier Summit Rd (Hwy 217) goes north from Hwy 34, skirting the playa. You get past Mormon Dan Peak and you’re in Humboldt county, not Pershing. No telling how good the road is, though. It is not paved.

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  84. Sticks101 Says:

    @corvus then lets improve that one and see if humbolt county treats us better then perishing county.

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  85. Ranger White Says:

    If Pershing County thinks the can push us around, they should have their heads examined! We are the hand that feeds and they better accept that real quick. Who do they think they are?! There’s nothing they can do to us and they’re going to find that out when we slap them around in court.

    We should file an additional lawsuit for monetary damages – and force them to sell all those nice vehicles that we paid for. We run the show out there, and if they think they can wag the dog, the dog is going show them who’s boss.

    You’ve been told, Pershing.

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  86. Marcia Says:

    I have to ask. When did Vladimir Putin move to Pershing Co? I would have to see it move, but if it must, then everyone should celebrate on the judge’s lawn first! I have a lot of local friends who attend this event every year and it’s on my bucket list. Hope you can work it out!!!!

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  87. Marcia Says:

    Correction!! that should say I would hate to see it move!!!

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  88. uncle Faster Says:

    This sucks I have only been to BRC twice and I loved it. Great people, and great evant. It sucks that the county wents to jerk them around. So to me it sounds like it is time to move, and find a new home.With any family that grows some times you need a bigger place. I just hope that BURNING MAN is not shut down, it is a graet place to meet people and see graet art work.Lets hope for the best.

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  89. Ranger White Says:

    @uncle Faster

    Don’t worry. Pershing County is filled with a bunch of pussy LEOs, and government officials. These idiots couldn’t fart their way out of a paper bag. When BMorg sued them, they all pissed their pants in fear. There isn’t one ball amongst all of them, and BMorg is going to show them for the eunuchs that they are. The Pershing Fairies just F’ed with the wrong group of people – Burners! Pink slips to be handed out soon to these Pershing Fairies.

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  90. "Aunt" Kay Merkel Boruff Says:

    Keep us posted. Since I retired, I live to rant! I email/Twitter/even snail mail. The word can be powerful. You have to work the system to get them to see it’s to “their” benefit to keep Burning Man around. Send me names and I’m on it. All else fails, even in the red state of Texas, we’ll find some dirt to “burn.”

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  91. snow angel Says:

    does anyone else think it was a brilliant idea for the borg to antagonize the local sheriff’s department with this lawsuit on the eve of the event?

    i do. these pigs need to learn that they can’t F with the burning man community. we’re going to plow through their town in full force and they can’t stop us because we are a spiritual movement! we are the enlightened. they can’t stop us!

    go ahead and try it, you pershing scum bags! we will run over your small insignificant little indian villages. we live in real cities where REAL stuff happens. we’re movers and shakers. feel our wrath!

    if it wasn’t for burning man, pershing county sheriffs would be writing speeding tickets to indians riding donkeys. we are the future! get used to it.

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  92. A Says:

    You’re not enlightened if you call other people scum bags. Don’t forget about love. I love you.

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  93. Jerry and Autumn Says:

    Lets move to Oregon. Better weather and lots of open spaces. Really all you have to do is start looking around and they will back down if they have any brains at all. Hasta La Vista Baby

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  94. Stephen Says:

    Oregon, Oh no !!! Please do your research on that one carefully. The regulations in Oregon are numerous and unforgiving.
    The corruption in Klamath County ilike the deep south in the 50′s Good old boys. No no no.
    Northern Eastern California also is not hospitable. The town of Likley Ca. once the site of the Rainbow Gathering was met by hostility back in the day.
    The native american lands have a reputation of last minute nightmares in negotiations.
    The win / win path would seem, “a respite of a year”. Allow the situation to breathe and let legal actions make there mark. These actions followed by the loss of revenue for Pershing County unfortunatly will hurt some undeserving people but they will vote and make adjustments to there community.
    As some people have suggested pushing furthur into Nevadas Humbult County Urg is that not where the Nucular testing was done? No thanks for me there! Is that not where Hunta virus first surfaced than in VIA, CA and Cedarville, Ca. Where they burned down home to try and contain the outbreak…Just saying ? There is more than one reason Nevada is vacant.

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  95. Stephen Says:

    Oregon, Oh no !!! Please do your research on that one carefully. The regulations in Oregon are numerous and unforgiving.
    The corruption in Klamath County is like the deep south in the 50′s Good old boys. No no no.
    Northern Eastern California also is not hospitable. The town of Likley Ca. once the site of the Rainbow Gathering was met by hostility back in the day.
    The native american lands have a reputation of last minute nightmares in negotiations.
    The win / win path would seem, “a respite of a year”. Allow the situation to breathe and let legal actions make there mark. These actions followed by the loss of revenue for Pershing County unfortunatly will hurt some undeserving people but they will vote and make adjustments to there community.
    I see posting from some people suggesting pushing further into Nevadas Humbolt County Urg …Is that not where the Nucular testing was done? No thanks for me there! Is that not where Hunta virus first surfaced than in VIA, CA and Cedarville, Ca. Where they burned down homes to try and contain the outbreak…Just saying ? There is more than one reason Nevada is vacant.

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  96. CaptR Says:

    Pershing County is testing the boundaries to see what it can get out of BurningMan. The lawsuit is just BM pushing back. I think you guys are over-thinking it! They will find a compromise after each party has shown how serious they are!

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  97. Peace Says:

    I just think maybe this anouncement could have waited a couple weeks. I’d like to go home without visions of lawsuits dancing in my head.

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  98. Spira Says:

    What about PermaBurn? Sounds like an Ideal location and the large art installations that are housed in or around Gerlach can be moved the 80-120 miles fairly easily (or at least I am thinking they can – but I could be wrong) or we can create something new – Fertility 2.0!

    From their website: “PermaBurn is located in northern California only 120 miles from Gerlach. The one square mile of private isolated property surrounded by BLM land has gently sloping hills, two bowls ideal for events, short grass and shrubs carpeting the ground, and a scattering of trees.

    The land is set in a mountainous region 6,500 feet above sea level. It has mild summer temperatures of between 85-90 degrees, with gentle gusts of wind. There is no playa dust – but you are more than welcome to bring your own.

    The nearest town of Likely is approximately 10 miles away and has a grocery store, gas station, bar, restaurants, and a laundrette. With a more major town of Alturas 20 miles away which has lumber and construction materials available.

    There is easy access to the site which is centrally located between the sierra and cascade mountain ranges. The property is about 60 miles north of Susanville just off US 395 so is convenient to people coming from anywhere along the west coast.

    Because PermaBurn is only 80 miles from Gerlach, it is close enough to be a staging and storage area for the large theme camps preparing artwork and art-cars destined for burningman.

    The property is secluded by hills on all sides preventing view from the roads or any nearby onlookers.

    The property is surrounded on all sides by BLM land so there are no neighbors nearby so lasers and loud noise at night will not be a problem (unless the range cattle figure out a way to complain to the ranchers). The surrounding BLM land can also be used for car parking and additional camping space during major events at Permaburn.”

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  99. SamsaBee Says:

    Maybe the reality check pre-event will make everyone more grateful….as if we needed any more of that feeling huh ;)
    Time for the large entity to burst into many little ones!

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  100. Peace Says:

    @ Spira BRC is 5 miles across. One square mile isn’t going to help. Not to mention burn permits, ect. I’m sure it’s lovely, and has some great people doing great things, it just won’t work for the festival. Here in Chico they just shut down the Goddess Temple and that was a religious organization. People who think moving to private property would solve the problem have never tried to produce an event on private property. You still have government controls. Tribal Lands are three times worse than that. The event has been shaped by its environment. Burning Man without the playa is something else. If you are lucky, something with a similar spirit.

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  101. yoshimoto Says:

    Hey, I was in economic development. Start contacting other areas and then contact the local chambers near Reno – you will get support REAL FAST. This event brings in a ton of money and free publicity so don’t let them push you around. They would be fools to lose this event – people come here, they spend a ton of money, contribute quite a bit in taxes and then leave. That’s perfect economic development.

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  102. scott Says:

    The tribal land idea sounds like a winner to me on many accounts. Not the least of which would be to get out of 1 foot deep dust. Have the various possible venues bid for the privilege of hosting BM – much like cites bid to have new companies come in. The notion the BM should “grovel” to use a venue is upside down.

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  103. Lindsay Says:

    I like the idea of moving the festival if they are going to charge more.

    Especially if you can buy cheap land in a place like Missouri for the cost of just 1 event (seriously, 1 million in fees?). Or talk to a tribe and use their land.

    I realize BM isn’t out to make money, but if tickets begin costing significantly more the class structure of BM will change.

    It isn’t about not being angry. It’s just about protecting BM’s citizens.

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  104. Theo Says:

    I agree with those who suggest a new location. If it isn’t Pershing Co milking us, then it’s the BLM with their ridiculous fees and requirements and restrictions. Let’s find a place where we are welcome. Drop the lawsuit and move.

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  105. mr_dyslexic Says:

    Yes, Please leave the Black Rock. Your event has ruined the desert for those of us with true appreciation of her beauty.

    - The springs are now often closed;
    - The area is crawling with those that don’t know how to behave or treat the land with respect;
    - ‘law enforcement’ has skyrocketed;
    - Locals have lost their patience and closed roads;
    - The resource has been hammered

    Sure, it was fun when your event offered an alternative (yah, i used to go), but now it has become just a personal money pit; a corporate ‘event’; a caricature of itself; a drain on the environment; a closed fence corralling in the rubes paying exorbitant fees for the pleasure of 24×7 monitoring and being told how to behave; complete snafu ticketing/public relations/media relations; basically = a real bummer.

    p.s. Hi Larry, remember the time you told me you weren’t interested in suing anybody over the event? Guess that changed when it took money out of your pocket, eh? Am using the same email account, so it should be in your archives.

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  106. Jason Johnson Says:

    DON’T PAY: Take a stand. If they believe you have the money, they will keep asking for more. And more, and more. This is a huge Planet. We can find another place to burn if we have to. Everything happens for a reason. And some times things like this happens to push you into a new Beautiful location that fits your current needs. The Playa is Beautiful, but its not the only beautiful location on the west coast. Let Nevada see what it’s like without Burning Man! They will gladly ask us back the fallowing year.
    If you continue making deals with the M.O.B. they will continue to find ways to take a bigger cut of your profits.
    Keep in mind……. The current playa did not always exist. It did not exist until you found it. And there is another non existent playa out there waiting to be discovered. And Believe me, you have more than 56,000 Location scouts Ready and willing to start looking all over the country.
    The consciousness of burning is unique to Burning Man. We cannot expect others to understand, and we cannot expect greedy politicians to be anything other than them selves. All we can do is honor what we know burning man to be and take a stand. Maybe we’ll win, and things stay the same. Maybe they win and we Find the New Playa. All that matters is the The Man Must Burn. And with the cumulative consciousness of all the Burners one thing is for sure, no matter what happens we know the Man Will Burn in 2013, 2014, and Beyond.

    !Live Good!

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  107. Kevin Howe Says:

    Nothing would make me happier than if BM moved somewhere else. We all talk about how the inhospitable atmosphere of the Playa is intrinsic to the BM experience. True, it’s intrinsic to THIS BM experience, but just maybe the amount of energy that’s consumed dealing with doing the event in the middle of hell could be refocused into the art if it were held someplace else. It’s simple math. We humans have limited energy. Give each Burner a TON of energy back and that’ll go somewhere. Knowing Burners, it’ll go lots of good places. I say, to hell with trying to win this battle. It’s not a battle worth winning.

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  108. soul4 Says:

    It’s wild to see all this animosity going on. If only there were an easy solution. Allow us to never fear change, whether it be small or great and embrace the evolution that we have come to know in order to continue to create this extraordinary community.

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  109. Sparky Says:

    I am a Nevada resident. Living only one county over from Pershing County. Pershing County is the Tory is for having corrupt law-enforcement and judges. They have repeatedly over the years charged innocent people with trumped up charges and convicted them without sufficient evidence.

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  110. Droidle Says:

    People who bought land nearby due to their installations, I have no pity for your plight, I haul my installations from NY. this is a changing and dynamic thing, go with the flow, our don’t go at all. I applaud the llc for not going quietly into that goodnight.

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  111. Spring Says:

    I suggest that after Burning Man this year the BORG sends out a post-event survey to ticket holders via email. I’d put a question on how much people spent – so Borg would have an accurate estimate of how much money is being wagered with this proposed fee increase. I had good luck using a question like this for another event.

    In negotiating the local fees for the next Burning Man event estimating the income we brought to the state would be helpful. What is your estimate on how much money you spent IN NEVADA on hotels, dining, supplies (food, liquor, glow sticks, camping gear etc.), transportation and other on-location costs? Please estimate the cost for only yourself. Do not include airfare or your BM ticket. If you shared hotel room costs, put only your share.
    Dining Out
    Supplies (food, liquor, camping gear, ice, propane, etc)
    Non airline transportation (gas, rental car, etc.

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  112. Scott Says:

    I am afraid that the law enforcement may try to engage in a good old fashioned shake down by harassing attendees and trying to arrest as many people as possible. Think of the mob not getting their “protection” money.

    I think we need to remain on Federal Lands but move the event. I do love Eastern Oregon. Tribal last minute “renegotiation” is a serious concern. The U.S. government taught them all about that though so I think we shouldn’t judge that reality too harshly.

    The Black Rock Desert is a major part of the Burning Man experience and history but it is not the heart of it by any measure. In a way, the temporary nature & theme of the event is counter to having it for so long in one local, year after year. Perhaps the theme Fertility 2.0 was prescient and it is time for us to move home to another locale that we can get to know and love and not be subjected to a Putin-esque police state. Let Burning Man be renewed in a more complete way.

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  113. Yama Says:

    I’m aware that 99% of this is probably pre-Burn jitters…but it’s not like Black Rock is the only patch of nothing on the North American continent. No, sorry, it isn’t nothing — it’s 15 or so square miles of clumping cat litter that turns into a morass for a couple of months during the winter. Nothing magical about the place — it just happens to be huge, flat, and dry… much easier for clean-up than damp, green, bush and tree covered terrain.

    Nevada alone is filled with nothing. Look out your window the next time you take a flight across the country. I’m guessing California isn’t the place to go if you’re worried about regulations, so check that off the list…Oregon isn’t a picnic either. Utah, Montana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas — plenty of nothing.

    We’re hardly out of options, and it would be irrational to attach ourself to geography, considering the primary reason that folks chose Black Rock to begin with was that it was there, it was available, and it was utterly empty.

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  114. Rick Burgess Says:

    Move? Yes ! but… don’t go looking for a venue. Publish it that you are looking and ask for tenders from States and Counties. Ironclad a contract and move on. There are even community areas where on the lost reaches of North America (Yes Canada too) where the could use the efforts and welcome the financial assistance to build a better place. I also agree with the writer of Natives changing their minds and bancrupting many non natives. There is more graft in those areas than you could ever believe. Lots of land here in Alberta too. Mr. B.

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  115. Robert s stallard Says:

    Let’s try it on grass next time! Could bring donkey and horse.
    I spent mucho dinero on the Nevada rentals (RV) food equipment, makeup, costumes and so on since we came almost 3,000 miles each way!
    Most won’t miss the alkaline and with the massive crop failures some farmers will
    offer up 30,000 acres at a bargain and you can own it at the end!

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  116. Jerry Garcia Says:

    Don’t give in to the man. I could have gotten a $390 ticket but that was just beyond what I could really afford this year. In July I went to the Element 11 burn and had a blast. Tickets was less than $90. Have BM at a different location? Might be a good idea. Let the playa rest a few years and Pershing county suck my dust. In looking at the satellite photos of last years you can make out the streets of past years. In Oregon there is the Alford desert. I have wanted to visit it for years. I do know amateur rocket people use it. Tribal ground sounds like it might be a good idea but be sure just how they they feel about our Extreme Self Expression.

    Peace, love, keep trucking and if I get home before day light I might just get some sleep tonight

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  117. Steve Says:

    I dunno. Somehow this all just feels like political posturing. It looks good to voters to take the occasional pot shot at Burning Man.

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  118. Jason Says:

    There is an Island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake for sale. 3k acres for $3mill. The entire Island is Privately owned and the only inhabitant is cows,… T

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  119. Jason Says:

    To set up such a large scale event on a remote island in the middle of dead lake would really test the sustainability of the Burning Man concept.

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  120. Paula Says:

    Ill just bet that Arizona has an area that would accommodate the burn and probably be thrilled to have us. I know California has a lot of empty land in the desert regions but, being a Californian, I would guess that they would fee and fine us to death. I say let’s look into Arizona!

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  121. Jerry Garcia Says:

    Damn straight Jason, would test the BM metal. But Utah is a far more repressive state than Nevada. And that is on a State level. The way I see it is in Nevada out side of the counties that Las Vegas and Reno are in you have a way of life that follows the most repressive thought process this country has seen since ……. I don’t know when. There is also more to the Pershing County auction that just revenue. “The ordinance goes into effect in October, meaning it would affect the 2013 event, and would allow Pershing County deputies to regulate behaviors that are considered “obscene, indecent, vulgar or lewd.” It could also mean children are no longer allowed to attend the event.”

    That is from the article. WE have yet another case of prudes forcing their morals on other people that are not doing them any harm.


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  122. Salt Flat Sally Says:

    Maybe the lawsuit is just the Universe pointing out that BM is not a place but an idea and that idea is bigger than any “place”. For instance, gifting is an idea that needs to be incorporated in the default world. Enjoy next week (without me – sad) then pick a few locations and request bids. Burners are traveling to get to the Playa, what’s the diff if the longitude and latitude change. It sounds like local, state and fed believe you’re there trapped for the picking. What a surprise to find out you are not! BM is about love and connection and fighting requires someone pushing against someone who is pushing back. Let them enjoy the futility of fighting alone while BM finds love and welcome elsewhere. What’s in the way…is the way!

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  123. Droidle Says:

    I do think a move to Texas or Arizona would be capitol for a change. There are portions of West Texas that are utterly empty.

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  124. Jason Says:


    That is true about the oppressiveness of Utah as a whole.

    It does seem to be a common theme in all open ideal movements to have those that don’t agree with the said open ideals putting pressure to change said way of thinking to conform to non-open ideals.

    Why? why push personal beliefs on others? scientifically, it’s ingrained in our brains to be a part of the pack. If something goes against the pack mind, it makes us uncomfortable. There are those that try deliberately to run away from the pack mind, noticing how weird the,… maybe “tribe” would be a better term in that sense, but the point is…. Balance,… Acceptance,… compassion,… forgiveness,… what all great wisemen preach,…

    What I see is a lack of balance. The BMORG has had acceptance of the civic responsibility the county requested. The county appears to be un-compassionate about the ideals and lifestyle the BMORG represents and sees it as a burden. Feeling the need to compensate for the burden they feel they are under, they seek balance by increasing the fees. If BMORG leaves, that is less of a burden giving them back the way of life they feel they lost 20 years ago.

    Isn’t this the same dilemma that other “tribes” have seen? exile? taxation? outcast? … then,… weren’t those that were “exiled” able to create a new world? they rose from the ashes of a burnt bridge, to create greatness. It seems the pattern,…

    So,… rise,…

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  125. Fred Says:

    Agree with all that say move it. I used to live and work in Northern Nevada, those locals will turn on you in an instant. It will get worse, not better. Ticket prices will go through the roof, attendance will fall, interest will fall. Move…bring down ticket price, you’ll top 100K attendance the first year.

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  126. Kisho Says:

    If the issue is solely with Pershing County and with none of the other northern Nevada counties there could be a simple and easy fix that may allow BM to remain in Northern Nevada.

    Simply move the event about 30 miles west to the northern Smoke Creek Desert. It is BLM land (only the southern part is tribal land) with plenty of space and an environment very similar to the Black Rock Desert complete with playa. There are roads to the place, though the drive will be a little longer for those coming in from Reno.

    The biggest difference is that the Smoke Creek desert and playa is in Washoe County. If Pershing won’t play ball, perhaps Washoe will. Then again, N. Nevada has the very bad habit of chasing off successful events, so who knows, but I think this might be a viable option if push comes to shove.

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  127. Rayman Says:

    While moving sounds easy I have to wonder if the costs would exceed any savings. As far as the routes in what is the reason the rail line is not used?

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  128. Orion Says:

    Many of us agree. Move to another state. Move it back to California. I wouldnt expect any less from Nevada. Im suprised it wasnt a million to have the event the first year. Im sure its the federal government that is imposing the county to raise the costs. They dont like us congregating there anyways. All those free thinkers. There are many towns that are for sale. Buy one that is closer to a highway for easier access. Get it out of the desert that is prone to almost constant high winds. I loved BM for the last 9 years, but with huge dust storms all night whats the point.

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  129. CCGreenGirl Says:

    Hi all you faithful burners! Thanks to Alchemy and all of you— Got an idea that might fall in line really well with the BM principles… I didn’t read every one of the preceding comments, but I perused most of them. Let’s set aside the bad feelings and the greed for a moment and take a deep breath.
    Why leave a place that’s served all of the burners so well- just because you have some un-friendlies that are probably representing the minority? Seems to me, that if just 10% of the participating crowd (and I’m sure that there are more that want to come, but can’t) would just move only their residency and voter registration to one of the friendly households in Pershing County, they could certainly change the powers that be and control the outcome and the laws anyway they want… be organized, show up to vote, live there on paper- except, of course, for the BM days you actually do live there.
    That is how you beat them- by joining them and changing them. It’s kind of like staying around to clean up and pick up the trash. Keep giving the spirit, the inspiration, the innovation, and the good things that BM gifts everyone! Then, we all can feel good about what we really leave this community with… It will truly be better than the way we found it.

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  130. Andy Says:

    All of this speculation is worthless. The LLC is going to do what is best for the event regardless of input from people who think they know what is actually going on. Think BM is close to your heart? I can assure you that it is indeed closer to the hearts of the organizers and they will do what ever it takes to protect their baby.
    I cannot support all of the LLC’s decisions, but I have at least a little faith in them to do what is right for the event.
    So stop your whining and focus your worries on how you are going to participate rather than what the top brass is doing. And pick up your fucking trash.

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  131. Pinto Says:

    They didn’t listen to the community when it came to how tickets would be sold so what makes all of you think they will listen to the community in this matter?


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  132. Yama Says:

    Woah, seriously? Artificially manipulating the voting statistics of an entire county is living in line with Burner principles? Change the local laws for everybody living in the region, just to make things nice for us for a week? Give me a break, can we be more authoritarian and manipulative? Let’s just find folks who actually want us around, instead of rubbing our way of life in their faces.

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  133. Bark Says:

    Talk to the town of TRONA, Ca and have the event on their playa – the Trona Pinnalces! This place is on a flat lake bed with much more stable soil, and have these really cool features – the pinnacles! (actually huge, old Tufa towers like Mono Lake).
    Trona is very much like Gerlach – needs money bad. The town is east over the pass from Bakersfield on highway 178. Central Ca, off a major highway, and close to a city – very nice. My 2 cents.

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  134. Semore Buns Says:

    Please leave Nevada.

    You are slobs, you don’t spend as much as you think you do here, and you can’t fucking drive. You act like freaks for a week, and places have to get rent-a-cops to deal with your human trash you leave around.

    We are tired of your bullshit. The small amount of shit you buy local doesn’t make up for all the shit we have to deal with.

    So in kinder words, don’t let the dog bite you where the door should have hit you.

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  135. John Smith Says:

    This just goes to show how dumb some of the elected officials of Northern Nevada are. This is not how the residents and communities of Northern Nevada feel. This is just a way for the good ole boy politicians, and law enforcement to extort some extra money to line their pockets with. Sue them, and win! Beat them at their own game. Northern Nevada loves Burning Man and the people who attend. We appreciate every dollar that goes into our local communities because of the incredible event. People that are complaining are just ignorant to what the event is really all about. Bottom line Northern Nevada will come around. They are slow but will, they almost lost Hot August Nights because of their stupidity, they would probably like to get rid of Street Vibrations because of a little violence, in the end you will win the lawsuit and shut them up as they should be. The people that don’t want Burning Man to be in Northern Nevada just have lot’s of anger in them, they could use a good temple burn to let go of the negative emotion.

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  136. Peace Says:

    Please post another blog entry so the first thing I see on the site 3 days before I go home isn’t about a lawsuit. Kinda a downer

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  137. lookydat Says:

    I think that if we were to field offers from other areas it will force us to evaluate what’s really important. Having a PLAN B would only strenghten our negotiating position with Pershing County. If the venue moves too far from it’s current location I’ll be unable to attend as I’m currently at the limit as far as the distance I’m willing to travel. I think the regionals have grown to the point where they are now what BM was 15 years ago.

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  138. Semore Buns Says:

    “lot’s” of anger?


    It’s just sad that you can not figure out that you suck the resources of an area dry, and want a free ride.

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  139. Spira Says:

    Vocal minority? Or legitimate gripe? Doing a search and talking to friends in the area… I don’t hear anyone making these complaints in any local newspaper or online. No one I know in Nor NV have such visceral issue with BM. The only people complaining about BM, that I can find, have a beef with the supposed “moral” issues, not anything regarding impact on the playa or local communities. Can anyone point me to a newspaper article or the like? Otherwise it just sounds like a few people pissing and moaning…

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  140. Shwazam Says:

    The Playa home of Burning Man has been a beautiful home and i’d love to keep it as home. Our spirits have been infused with life from the natural environment, and the environment has no doubt been infused with our spirits.

    The “inhospitable”-ness of the landscape is part of it’s beauty and part of the beauty of the entire event. If it was more hospitable, rolling meadows for instance, the land would be much more susceptible to permanent harm. And if it was rolling meadows, the character and spirit of the event itself would be harmed, because so many more people would want to participate. The landscape is perceived by many as a natural barrier to participation… and it is… in a good wonderful windy dusty way.

    I love my dust. In dust we trust!

    And amazing beautiful wind and sun, and heat and cold. I <3 my BRC Playa!

    Besides… even a $1,000,000 fee is just $20 bucks per person in a 50,000 person event… That's virtually nothing. Just 5% of the top tier ticket price.


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  141. Your Mom Says:

    Starting to feel better about my decision not to go this year. All the hustling by the LEOs last year was getting ridicules. After reading this, I have a feeling it will only get worse.

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  142. AsOfTime Says:

    burningman needs to pay up… they fuck up so they should pay up

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  143. Brent Says:

    If the event wasn’t held on tribal lands the Governor would bust us for nudity, The Burn, ice too cold, coffee too hot, Barbie Death
    Camp and anthing else she thinks could be considered too liberal.
    There would be no minorities, they would have been jailed trying
    to make to BR City.

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  144. Brent Says:

    “The “inhospitable”-ness of the landscape is part of it’s beauty and part of the beauty of the entire event.” A true statement—
    BUT—- The “inhospitable”-ness of the people is a dark cloud
    hanging over the event.
    Over the years there have been several attempts to oust or hold
    BRC hostage for more money. Perhaps it
    is time to find another “inhospitable landscape” where the community is hospitable and appreciative.

    Report comment

  145. Erik Says:

    Indian reservation sounds like the answer, or make it a new location every year. That would certainly ensure competitive pricing by local governments. Please take into consideration average temperatures for potential new locations. A week of triple digits would suck.

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  146. daz Says:

    There are whole cities for sale. Why not purchase one and make a sustainable city and burning man enviroment all year long?

    Not a good idea… I seriously had an experience at BM DMV that made the real DMV a joyful day in the park.

    If the porta-potty companies were smart, they would charge BM more than ANY govt agency… take away the potties and you have no Burning Man. Hats off to the boys and their trucks!

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  147. daz Says:

    @Daniel – “There are whole cities for sale. Why not purchase one and make a sustainable city and burning man enviroment all year long?”

    Not a good idea… I seriously had an experience at BM DMV that made the real DMV a joyful day in the park.

    If the porta-potty companies were smart, they would charge BM more than ANY govt agency… take away the potties and you have no Burning Man. Hats off to the boys and their trucks!

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  148. lee Says:

    unfortunately this is just the trickle down greed effect of a down trodden economy……

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  149. twig Says:

    Maybe if you guys weren’t charging almost $400 for a festival that draws over 50,000 people I would say I agree with you. I don’t know how festivals on the east coast do festivals half your size for 4 days, provide music, art, and events (paid for by the promoters for 4 to 5 days and charge almost a 1/3rd the price you guys charge for your tickets.

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  150. Wiseleo Says:

    It’s a consitutional matter where the morals of the commission seek to regulate the content at Burning Man.

    The law enforcement fees are excessive and involve permanent purchases beyond the scope of event’s duration.

    From the budget : 436 12-hour shifts @$30/hr. will be required.

    We are also buying them new ATVs, uniforms, a trailer for the supervisor, computers, paying for police vehicle rentals, and so on…

    A total of 5 arrests were made last year.

    I look forward to seeking Black Rock City, LLC prevail. :)

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  151. Wally Zylowski Says:

    I like the move to tribal land idea, if anyone deserves it, they do!
    There would be a lot less hoop jumping and the price of ticket could also come down.

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  152. goodkid1 Says:

    I haven’t been to Burning Man after the ticket went above $20 years ago. It was so much fun to revisit “Woodstock” for a week for a couple of years (which I also attended), before both the organizers AND the county got greedy. A plague on both their houses. I can’t believe a less money-motivated group around Santa Fe, or another hip place, doesn’t start an event with the same free spirit Burning Man USED to have. The original “Merry PranksterS” type people have long since abandoned this mercenary event for other climes. The group that visits now is OK, but not the innovators of the past that made Burning Man what it was. Now it’s more like visiting “Woodstock II”, a horrible facsimile of what used to be. :(

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  153. Barsuk Says:


    Now it is … lots and lots of it.

    BURNING MAN was NOT about the DEA, FBI, Hiway Patrol, Sheriffs, Undercover Agents and drug sniffing dogs seaching innocent people at will.

    But now, for some reason …it is!

    Since this is about YOU and Your collective Experience … leave it all behind and start over.

    It’s easy.Remember that it started with just a few.No money…no cops…no busts.

    Think about that and shut down the “town” of Gerlach Nv.

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  154. rita Says:

    I agree with some of the comments to move BURNING MAN to another location. Start over

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  155. Tim Says:

    Move it to Ohio. We have smaller similar festivals – and we understand discretion.

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  156. Deb Says:

    While I lived in the area I attended all of the Burning Man festivals, and as a local I loved it! Even though I’ve moved on I still read about Burning Man and what it does for a community I cared about. Pershing County ought to be ashamed of itself, in its self rightous bid to grab money it is pushing away a event that has become an icon for north western Nevada. You can bet that I’ll chose to not move back to Pershing County when I move back to Nevada!Greedy suckers!

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  157. Jeffrey Leep Says:

    I believe that this comment above from 8/17/12 is my clearly the best choice:

    “Daniel Says:
    August 17th, 2012 at 12:31 pm
    There are whole cities for sale. Why not purchase one and make a sustainable city and burning man enviroment all year long?”

    I believe that this is the final answer. If not now, very soon. The law enforcement is outrageous out there now and is only going to get worse. If BM caves in and pays more to the county, it will just continue increasing year after year. BM is a lifestyle. It’s time to buy a city and make it sustainable all year long, as an example to the world. Easy for me to say, as I don’t have the big bucks to make it happen myself yet. But the idea is correct and it’s clear that the time is now. I support this idea completely. I love it in Nevada, but perhaps another state may be better. I don’t believe that the Native American land rental is the way to go. Buy it, own it, and make the rules there.


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  158. Theresa Florez Says:

    Well, well, well. Isn’t this just the way when money and power inevitably equate to greed in the end. Anyone who has been paying attention saw this coming. I was at Burning Man only on once in 2004 – Vault to Heaven. And to this day, I have told everyone I meet when the subject comes up – “It is certainly an event everyone must experience before they die – or choose to give up on life.”

    #1 Obstacle – a venue (like the Blak Rock Playa) that allows for the amont of traffic, activity, and BURNING of numerous structures without endangering the surrounding wildlife. The Black Rock desert is really the only venue I can think of that has the ability to handle the event.

    #1viable option – seek a solution with the neighboring Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. The tribe has avoided many commercial opportunities but this may be a good fit. No where else is a place like the Black Rock… and depending on the terrain withing the boundaries of the trabal lands.. it could be a good fit. REMEMBER: In the 80′s the Grateful Dead had a huge concert at the “Pyamid”on the other side of the Pyramid lake. I was there and it was awesome! Of course nowhere near the amount of people as BM, however it was the same idea. The “LEAVE NO TRACE” policy WORKS and I have to say, if the BLM can go in after 40,000+ people have been to a location and they can deem it clean… then the Leave No Trace program has to be a good one!

    Location, Location, Location: BM needs a “Playa like” alternative… clean space to ROAM and clear space to BURN!

    - Thanks for reading. :-)

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  159. Wandering Dervish Says:

    Find and move to another desolate desert ghost town where they will be grateful that Burning Man is there to help pull their economy out of the dumps. Let Perish country feel the loss of what Burning did for them. There are many towns that could use the income.

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  160. Otter Says:


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  161. Jon Emal Says:

    The State of Nevada is in very bad shape with the economy. Gaming and Mining is the only real revenue of the government. Pershing County has no real gaming, and their main source of mining revenue has shut down. What does that tell you …

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  162. paula Says:

    During the legal procedings ‘they’ will most likely focus on how much ‘their’ resources are impacted ie: road maitenence & police presence costs. Plz ask for an itemized budget for the use of the fee money. Point out that we would greatly prefer to hire our own security and not have any of ‘their’ police at our event. Ask for specific costs for road maintenence. Bureaucracies are adept at taking the fee money and then coming up with the ‘need’. Hold them accountable for seeing a budget which shows need of specific moneys for specific needs.

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  163. 3D Says:

    I am starting to believe we need to regroup and possibly relocate …. Maybe talk to representatives of an Indian reservation ?

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  164. chris "Q" Qdriver Quintana Says:

    but you guys saw this one right?: “Organizers of the Burning Man arts festival are suing local officials over new rules for the annual event in the northern Nevada desert.

    They say Pershing County is unfairly imposing a festival ordinance that would bring significant new costs and restrictions to the event dedicated to radical self-expression. The main restrictions are no children or nudity.

    The ordinance goes into effect in October, meaning it would impact next year’s event. The ordinance specifically enables sheriff’s deputies to regulate activities considered “obscene, indecent, vulgar, or lewd.””

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  165. chris "Q" Qdriver Quintana Says:

    opps! follow up: “Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area”

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  166. masnail Says:

    This was my first trip to Burning Man and I loved it. Playa camping was a new experience but one we managed with ease. Having lived 65 years in the state of Missouri I found the suggestions to move BM to that state interesting but probably not doable. The biggest plus for some participants would have been a central location. However I would imagine the west coast burners might not want to travel to central US. Also I can’t imagine BM with ticks, chiggers, mosquitos and raccoons. “Come to Burning Man and go home with Lymes Disease”. I think a move to a different location in the Western states would probably work if the right spot can be found.

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  167. bandit Says:

    Where ever BM is next year, make a point of paying everything with $2 bills or dollar coins. It becomes *very* apparent *very* quickly how much cash flows from an event or community. This technique has been successfully used for years. The cash registers do not have slots for either the bills or coins.

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  168. Candy Says:

    We have fought this same battle – we would be glad to give you the benefit of our experience – email at candy here: candy (at)

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  169. E.M.Smith Says:

    At the $1/2 Million level, you can buy a lot of desert playa.

    I’d suggest shopping around for a similar bit of playa that’s available for private purchase, buy it, and incorporate a ‘city’ or ‘district’. That’s what Disney did in Florida. There are REGULAR efforts by the local cities (such as Orlando) to tax Disneyworld. They just point out that they are already part of a ‘district’ government and it all goes away.

    Might need to be a bit circumspect when doing the original set up, though, so that folks don’t do a legislative end-around… rather like old Walt did when assembling the property for Disneyland.

    If you start now, picking up a chunk at a time, a fair sized parcel can be assembled before it’s noticed. There’s a lot of such land all over Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, …

    Just a thought… From a “Burner Wannabe” who’s hoping to make it next year…


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  170. Steve Says:

    The BM site is just cross the county line in Pershing County. All the towns that benefit from BM (Gerlach, Empire, etc.) and the road to BM, except for the last 5 miles, are in Washoe County. This begins to make sense when you realize that Pershing County residents don’t benefit from the commerce generated by BM, only by the fee paid by BM to the county.

    I’m curious to know if any of the officials, merchants, and residents of Washoe County have confronted their neighbors across the county line and asked them, “are you out of your f*ing minds?” With the gypsum mine closed, what other source of income would Gerlach have other than 70,000 people who descend upon the town in August and SPEND MONEY?

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  171. mark cocucci Says:

    Seek a new location time for another shift into a new space.Enough of Nevada and the law enforcement agencies looking to profit in more ways then one.Get on it NOW!!!D

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  172. mark cocucci Says:

    No more let it rest.Burning man R.I.P

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