theme camp approval conundrum

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whaleboy
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theme camp approval conundrum

Post by whaleboy » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:45 am

Here's something for those early-arrival theme camp vets amongst you:

This is my first year submitting an application to do a theme camp. I did my app pretty thoroughly, good sketchup drawings, detailed description of what we will provide (evaporation cooled napping units) and how they're going to be completely sustainably powered by wind and solar, our layout, all that stuff.

But... they're not going to tell us until July 1st whether or not our app has been accepted! This puts me in a little bit of a pickle because my mates and I don't want to start spending a lot of money and effort prepping this camp if they're not going to let us in early to put it together. If we're not getting in early, we're not doing the camp, and there's a lot of money I won't spend in advance. We'll just go minimal if we're not accepted; its too much work and money that'll bite into our experience of the main event.


So can anyone advise me? How stringent is the approvals department? If you have a solid idea and thorough application, is it a reasonably safe bet to think you'll be approved? I'd like to spread the work out over several months. Or is it really touch and go, last year you heard about a number of worthy camps that werent approved due to space restrictions?

Please advise.
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Fire_Moose
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Post by Fire_Moose » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:52 am

since you posted this they will prolly just immediately turn you down for yer camp. I mean "We have a cool idea for a camp but we aren't doing it unless we get early entry" sounds kinda douchey
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Post by C.f.M. » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:02 am

You don't need permission from the BORG to show up and do what you want.

If y'all just want "official status," and a listing, you do.

But you can do your camp whether or not The Man approves.

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Post by oneeyeddick » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:12 am

Even if you get early arrival status, you are going to be a day or two behind putting everything together anyhow, as you have not done this before.

Just stay till wednesday if you feel that all of your efforts aren't worthy of only being able to display and play with what you got for only 5 instead of 7 days.
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Post by LeChatNoir » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:39 am

whaleboy,

It’s a gamble you’ve got to be willing to take. The Mutant Vehicle I’m working on simply has to be worked on now and cannot wait until July. I believe in my project enough to feel that I’ll get an invite and so I go for it. In fact, I can’t not work on it. And if I don’t get an invite this year… ? Well, I’ll worry about that if it happens, I guess.

I completely understand the not wanting to spend money until you know thing… but you won’t know until you know. So for your camp, I’d say you’ll have to believe in your project enough to:

A) Know that it’s good enough to get approval

or

B) Know that even if you don’t get placement, that you want to do it badly enough to do it anyway even without getting early entry.
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Post by Ugly Dougly » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:58 am

Are you doing a "theme camp" just so you can get in early? Please tell me you're not. It's not worth it.

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Post by Trishntek » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:16 am

We certainly understand the planning and investment part of what you address. We have already spent thousands and are making plans with people on both coasts, the midwest and even New Zealand! We basically hope for the best (placement and early entry) but plan for the worst (two days of setting up along with the crowd). Whatever happens, we will do as planned. It will just be more investment for less return. It is what it is and that is that. We do it for the experience. If we live in a coulda shoulda woulda kind of world, nothing gets accomplished.
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Post by zorro sings » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:16 am

I think Whaleboy brings up a new reality for first time theme camps.Until very recently almost any theme camp that filled out the application was approved and could show up early as part of the bargain.Everyone felt pretty safe in assuming that their camp would be placed.That changed last year in a big way.Over 100 camps denied placement.
Biggest reason given for denial was size of camp(too large for purpose)or lack of interactivity either in application explanation or Playa history.
Size,in your case, is probably not a concern.Therefore it depends on your ability to provide an interactive experience.Your brief description on interactivity provided above leads me to believe your application has a good chance being tossed in the"chill space"pile from which there is no return.
If you are approved you can almost certainly get Saturday early entry.
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Post by Risky » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:51 am

Last year we weren't sure about our Early Arrival passes until a few days before. July is good!

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Post by rodiponer » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:26 pm

Can you make this so it can be setup in one day?

Or, make a small one that can be setup in one day, and then if you get approved in July, make it a few more times until you have something huge that takes the whole weekend to build?

For me, a lot of the fun of the event is making things for it. So I do not think having a large project for Monday and Tuesday is negative, at all. That would be fun-- I mean, what else would you do, just show up with only a tent and then wander around watching other people finish their projects?

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Post by FIGJAM » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:10 pm

Wander around and help people finish thier prodjects?
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Post by curiousgnate » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:32 pm

go for it! have faith! If you don't get placed place yourself sunday night. The good thing about setting up early in the week is that there are a lot of helpful souls around. at worst you aren't set up til wed-thurs. the playa will provide! i know whatever but it kinda does!
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Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:46 pm

Pump up your interactivity in a creative way, and related to the theme, and you'll make it.

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whaleboy
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Post by whaleboy » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:09 pm

Duly noted, all. The way I'm proceeding is basically full speed ahead and hoping for the best. I'm optimistic, or at least I was until zorro mentioned some "chill space pile from which there is no return". In my various years of attending Burning Man, I've never found a camp which is trying to offer passersby an excellent place to nap. Me, I'm always exhausted half the time I'm out there. So much to do. But fatigue really detracts from a person's enjoyment. At least mine, my friends, my wife's. We who are building this camp at least agree on this.

And yes, for me, half the fun of it is building it. I've been working all week on some rad costumes. Beware the horny space angels.

And to defend my doucheyness: Burning man is a shit ton of work. I'm happy to put in the work. But sometimes the work takes away from the event rather than adding to it. Last year I felt like my wife and I carried our camp and we were goddamn tired all the time. And that was a drag. "Oh, awesome djs tonight. nooo, too beat... cant make it...maybe tomorrow..."
So Im happy to do even more work, and I'm really excited to have something to offer to the playa that I haven't seen offered before, but I want extra time to do it. So sue me for having needs and limited energy. Burning Man is only a week long. I look forward to it all year. My favorite holiday. And thus I am strategizing to fix the effort-to-reward ratio which was skewed to the wrong side last year.

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Post by pinemom » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:28 am

Whale boy...Build it and they will come.


Its your dream...do it! Do not let other people take away your vision!

We thought that to back in 2007, to be a first yr theme camp....dont even ask how much it cost...Just to roll the dice to see if we were granted early arrival. We spent what we did we built the boobies...and waa laa...in late July we were placed.

Wasnt till 2 weeks before the event that we got early passes....nervous...Oh hell yeah!!!
Has it changed? nope.
Like Risky says...the early passes thing is something we all have to hold our breath on, even after all these yrs we've been a very recognized theme camp...now A whole Village, yup still wait on pins and needles every fricken yr...is it worth it? You know it IS!!!!
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Post by loside53 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:38 pm

Well actually as of last year, your camp will have to be accepted for reserved space, if it is not, you won't get in early, I don't know if they will be limiting theme camps this year or not. I have addressed the early arrival issue with the Placement folks, congratulating them on the decision to give out addresses early, BUT it would be cool also , even if they didn't send out the EA passes, that if they woud just tell us how many we will be getting, so people could set up travel plans, time off work, etc. This will be my 8th year, they have always given us what we requested BUT we get in, work hard and are operational by Monday morning as required, every time. I think that goes along way when making decisions. Some get in early and don't get set up by Monday, or a camp might ask for more EA people each year but the camp is the same. I find that if you don't get greedy with property and exagerate your EA help, it's remembered. You can still set up your camp close to the reserved area if you are one that gets bumped. There was a lot of unrest last year when they made it smaller and had to bump some legitimate theme camps. I'd be very disappointed but My camp would still be somewhere close and I wouldn't let it ruin my time. Good luck to you, I hope we ALL get in this year. If you drive out there in the middle of winter and then actually watch the transformation, you realize how hard the BM people work at pulling the whole thing off, it's hard to get angry. There are growing pains but,,,,,,,,,,,,, FALLOUT SHELTER[b][/b][b][color=blue][/color][size=18][/size][size=12][/size][/b]

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Post by Mr. Possibility » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:36 pm

C.f.M. wrote:You don't need permission from the BORG to show up and do what you want.

If y'all just want "official status," and a listing, you do.

But you can do your camp whether or not The Man approves.
Your forgetting about the third world, combat zone, border check point style gate they've implemented at the outer edge of the city. If you just "show up and do what you want" early, you'll be doing whatever you want in D-Lot until gates open for the event. No EAT, no entry before 12am Monday.

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Post by ZaphodBurner » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:10 pm

Whaleboy...

I've only gotten in early once and I'm no authoritah, but, I bet if you build it, and post photos of your progress (a la The Contraption) so they can see that you're serious, you'll have a better chance.

They WANT people to have their shit together during the week and they've never denied anybody I know who had a legitimate reason to get there early; I think the problem is the abused courtesy of letting a dozen people from a camp to "set up" something that takes four people half a day, while the rest are out shitting up the JOTS and getting in everybody's way.

There was this woman in town who always got in several days early even though she didn't have to do anything until the gates opened--the kind who's always trashed, dangerous with a hammer and a liability to everybody in her camp--and because of people like her, people like you are up against this problem.
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Post by Mr. Possibility » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:13 pm

I'm surprised no one has pointed out how "un-Burning Man" it is that they denied over 100 camps last year. I don't know what was in those applications and I know the placement folks have a big, big job but it is monumentally douchy to say, in essence, "we don't think your idea is cool enough to come early and build it."

I completely understand the idea of controlling who and how many people come early, to separate the "let's get this party started" people from the hardcore builders. I'm the latter and yes, my primary motivation for building a large, interactive camp is to get the opportunity to go out there early and build. I am a builder in the default world and being in that energy of building ridiculous things of surreal scale and in an insanely short period of time simply to share them with others - regenerates my soul.

And, this doesn't apply to the camp I've proposed but what if you're just offering a "sweet chill space"? Say you're a big camp, with lots of big camp structures and 50-100 campers and all the infrastructure to support it but you have no greater theme. What's your contribution to the city? 50-100 effing participants, BRC's number 1 resource!

It seems the only criteria for getting in early should be whether or not you need the extra time to build your camp and aren't just going early to party. Sure, they should place the most interactive camps in the highest traffic areas but to deny a good camp early admission because their idea isn't cool enough in the eyes of the borg and forcing them to build half way into the event, taking that time away from them, is total crap.

We're going to continue building our camp and art structures regardless of any info from placement and we intend to pre-fabricate as much as possible to cut down setup time but if we're denied EAT's, My confidence in the borg will be shaken. We have our vision and we know how much time it will take to build and how many people it will take to build it and for the org to tell us or any other camp that they can't come early to execute their ideas is insane.

I could be way off base here, or only seeing it from one side. If I am please enlighten me.

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Post by Fire_Moose » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:28 pm

Isn't it "Un-burning Man" to have to submit an application for your camp?
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Post by misfit » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:41 pm

>>>>In my various years of attending Burning Man, I've never found a camp which is trying to offer passersby an excellent place to nap.<<<<

ummmm, have you never heard of hammock camp.?. its the huge tent/shade structure with 100 hammocks all filled with people taking naps. one of my favorite places to be during the day. :lol:
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Post by whaleboy » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:10 pm

@misfit-

ok fine, make that "sustainably powered, air-conditioned, dark" place to catch a snooze. I stand corrected. Hammock camp(s) isfor naps. But darkness, coolth, and flatness are all nice features for a nap.

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Mr. Possibility wrote:I'm surprised no one has pointed out how "un-Burning Man" it is that they denied over 100 camps last year...

Yak-yak-yak... :)

...I could be way off base here, or only seeing it from one side. If I am please enlighten me.
If I am not mistaken, it was the interactive component that was lacking. Many of these "Theme camps" were merely camps. :)

We had a vitally interactive camp, in sync with the theme, and we got approved, and got early entry for construction. Play by the rules and you should get that treatment.

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Post by ZaphodBurner » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:18 pm

Fire_Moose wrote:Isn't it "Un-burning Man" to have to submit an application for your camp?
You don't have to submit an application to be a theme camp unless you want space reserved for you, which helps prevent a Monday morning wild-west-sytle land grab.

I only registered our camp so that people would know where to find us.

They can't let all the camps in, or there'd be 40,000 "theme camp participants" showing up a week before the event.

It would be interesting to see the extremes of kind of camp applications they get.

"Me an' the ol' lady if we're still together are gonna be called Swingerville(TM) We fuck real loud and fight a lot so we want to make sure we get a good spot away from too many neighbors."
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Post by misfit » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:19 pm

>>>>sustainably powered, air-conditioned, dark" place to catch a snooze<<<<

mmmmmmm, sounds real sweet. hope you get placement. 8)
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Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:28 pm

Rock and hard place.
Rock--small city preferred
Hard place--can't place all camps.

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:02 pm

Has anyone made a Calvin Klein bottle?

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Post by gaminwench » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:05 pm

In our rental agreement with BLM, we're only allowed X amount of people on the playa prior to opening the gates; I'm guessing that may have something to do with the limits on EA passes....

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Post by Mr. Possibility » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:05 pm

Fishy,

I don't know that a small city is preferred. There's no cap on ticket sales. At the core of Harvey's and Law's falling out was the idea of inclusion. If more participants, legitimately, need placement and time before the event to set up their camps, more space should be allotted.

I suppose it all comes down to resources but it stands to reason that as the event grows, so does total resources and thus those available to maintain the infrastructure needed during build week.

I just really don't like the idea of elitism or exclusivity playing any part in theme camp placement. Honorarium, sure selectivity makes sense, they're handing out money!

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Post by Mr. Possibility » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:08 pm

gaminwench wrote:In our rental agreement with BLM, we're only allowed X amount of people on the playa prior to opening the gates; I'm guessing that may have something to do with the limits on EA passes....
This makes a heluva lot of sense. If the org is required to stay under a set number of participates before the event as dictated by the BLM than I suppose they have to be selective. If this is the case than all is well!

Mr. P

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