Peter Doty’s “Christmas Camp”, Burning Man’s first theme camp, 1993. Photo by Gerry Gropp.
[Please note we've changed the nomenclature for these types of camps from "Plug & Play" to "Turnkey" to better reflect the way they function.]
Groups of people who set up a camp at Burning Man – or hire help to set up a camp – with the explicit intention of having things ready to go in advance of the arrival of others, are engaging in what we’ve termed “Turnkey camping” (see previous posts on this topic here and here).
In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in Turnkey camping services, and the Burning Man organization has decided to address the issue by providing guidelines for these camps and their organizers. We thought you’d like to see them.
We welcome your feedback on this topic in the comments section below. Read more »
The diver’s fine, of course. It’s that gorgeous city behind her that is endangered. Burning Man may have flourished for 25 years running, but it’s more ephemeral than it seems. At any point, Black Rock City could cease to exist. But thanks to you, me and 50,000 people just like us, it appears year after year. And by following the Burner’s Guide to Leaving No Trace, we can keep Burning Man alive and on fire for ever.
Burning Man, as you surely know, is a Leave No Trace event. That means it’s everyone’s responsibility to pick up every piece of MOOP — from couches to cigarette butts, lost pairs of pants to abandoned glow sticks. Even if it isn’t yours, if you see it, you pick it up — that’s the way this works.
It works well. We are pretty dang good at it.
Each year, the BLM inspects our site to determine whether we’ve cleaned up after ourselves adequately. And each year, thanks to YOUR efforts and the efforts of the Playa Restoration crew that spends weeks pulling up rebar stakes, we pass. Read more »
EDIT: This video is a re-upload with unnecessary corporate names omitted.
EDIT #2: I want to thank everyone for the thoughtful discussion in comments.
I realize now that I made some mistakes.
I was naive about some things, and ignorant of others.
I truly believe that the Playa experiences we created were well-aligned with the Principles. But I see now that acknowledgement of any brand, in any way, at any time, in relation to Burning Man – on or off Playa – is problematic.
Hopefully this conversation will help us move forward as a community.
**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Half-baked ideas & views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **
Some people just don’t get it. It is sad and upsetting for Burners when brands ignore our cultural expectations and try to pull marketing stunts on the playa, and worse yet when they pretend it’s not happening. Due to diligent staffers and volunteers, we usually find and stop these marketing stunts, and protect our community, before the commodifiers make it into the city.
The scene. Photo by Peg Ortner.
But some slip through. This year, one company tried literally to bottle up the Burning Man experience, and turned it into a product shoot. They amplified their marketing efforts by co-opting some major publications to publish articles with photographs that violate our core principles and media policies. They knew what they were doing, but they did it anyway. We are sharing this story in explicit detail in order to keep the community alert to these transgressions, and to deter others who are eyeing our event as a place to launch or promote products or companies. Let us be clear: this is not the kind of marketing activity that raises brand value. Our culture just won’t tolerate it, and it often backfires. (Burners, remember this brand, and perhaps you’ll want to weigh this as you choose your next bottle of champagne.) Read more »
[Judes is the Burner mom of an 11-year old baby-Burner, and founder of Black Rock Scouts.]
Burning Man has been a family affair from the very beginning. When Jerry James and Larry Harvey burned the first Man in 1986, their 5-year old sons Robin and Trey built a Burning Dog alongside their dads.
PHOTO: A baby-Burner art car. Photo Georgie.
Because the playa is a colossal day-glow playground, children feel right at home. Kids already live in make-believe worlds, so when they experience the magic of Black Rock City, it feels natural to the way they view the world. Tots know how to play and have fun without inhibition, hesitation or fear of judgment. Follow that Art car! As a parent, I know it’s really my reaction that colors my kid’s reaction to something. Us grownups can learn a few things from tiny folk and how they embrace the art and culture of Black Rock City. Read more »
As you wander into your camp at the end of an amazing week at Burning Man, your friend turns to you and says, “I wish I could live like this all the time.”
Your immediate response is to yell, “What, are you freaking crazy?” Followed by a list of reasons from food to hygiene to exhaustion that it is not possible. And ultimately, a seed is planted and you start to think what would a lifestyle based on your experience during that one week in the desert really look like.
Over the past 6 months I have visited 25 communities around the USA and Canada and I have found that living “like this” all year round is not only possible, it takes on a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
[6/25/12 UPDATE: We've changed the nomenclature for these types of camps from "Plug & Play" to "Turnkey" to better reflect the way they function.]
We recently posted about Turnkey camping to start a dialog about this new form of camping we’ve seen happening more frequently in Black Rock City. The Burning Man organization genuinely wants to know what our community members are seeing, what they care about, and what good ideas are out there around this to create the best outcome for the community.
There have been no new decisions made about how to respond to Turnkey camps thus far. We have neither sanctioned them (and now “welcome them with open arms” as some have suggested), nor have we decided to ban them altogether. Your input on the blogs and forums, when civil, has been welcomed and appreciated, and is being incorporated into this decision-making process.
In order to facilitate this ongoing dialog, we would like to address a few key areas of confusion, so everybody’s on the same page: Read more »
A few months ago I was asked, in one of those email groups where people ask each other things like this: “what does it mean to be a burner? What are the core beliefs that unite us?”
I didn’t respond, first and foremost because honest-to-God do I have that kind of time? No I do not, and it is hugely irresponsible of people to ask me open ended questions. It’s like offering a hypochondriac free medical advice. His whole weekend’s shot.
But I also didn’t respond because I’d been wrestling with that question for some time … and had no good answer.
I know that the most common response is “The 10 Principles,” but … I don’t see it. I bet 90% of the Burners reading this can’t name all 10 without looking them up. Of that 10% who can, I bet 90% of them didn’t know all the 10 principles … or anything about the 10 principles … back when that magical moment happened and they first decided: “Oh, I like this. I want to be a part of this.”
It’s also commonly understood … though not often talked about … that most of us interpret the 10 Principles differently. Some of us (I’ll raise my hand) believe that “Radical Inclusion” means “everybody can participate in Burning Man,” while others take it to mean “everybody should feel included and accepted by people at Burning Man”: we’re worlds apart. Exactly what “Gifting” means is not a matter of settled tort. How “communal” does “Communal Effort” have to be? You might as well ask how many Burners can dance on the head of a pin, except that this was settled by 2005’s massive art project “Dance on the Head of a Pin!” It’s 82, and they light the pin on fire. Man that really should have been funded. Read more »