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"Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:57 pm
by kaylabird87
Hey BurningFam,

...just something I read that burns my biscuits today. At work, the well-meaning Chief of Staff slipped this on my desk, because it is the "cool hipster magazine and we should be in it!"* -- but all I could see was BM listed on the cover as a festival, used as the primary festival table of contents page, and within the listings as a festival alongside the words "Not a festival per se," ...

Comm is what I do for a living...and albeit absorbing the culture of BM for nearly a decade (and headed to my first burn this year), the way that BM is communicated (nay, marketed) in today's media screams "consumerism." Putting myself in the reader's shoes here? The first thing I'd think when reading this is "how much?!" and then try to figure out how to buy my way in, just like the music festivals listed in publication.

I often wonder when the last time Burning Man had a branding communications/pr meeting was...it definitely would be ground zero in finding out whether or not there really is an interest in moving away from the consumerism elements that are infiltrating BM.

*Footnote: I work for a symphony, and have had several successes with filling our usually half-empty hall with authentic storytelling/engagement. They expect everything I output to be cool.

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:20 pm
by EGAZ
The BORG did it to themselves actually. Interesting take on Burners.me.

See the "Thought Police: Don’t Call It A Festival" article.

Not sure the relationship ePlaya has with Burners.me. Hopefully this is OK. :mrgreen:

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:14 pm
by some seeing eye
kaylabird87 wrote:Hey BurningFam,

... the way that BM is communicated (nay, marketed) in today's media screams "consumerism."

I often wonder when the last time Burning Man had a branding communications/pr meeting was...
We discuss this on ePlaya constantly. Many ePlayans have witnessed the evolution/devolution of the event first hand.

My observation is that the leader - founders tend to be reactive rather than proactive in shaping the event.

Enjoy your first Black Rock burn, get involved in your regional, take a look at the Burning Man official Facebook, set up a Google News alert to scan for how publications represent the event, and see if you can meet some of the PR staff in person on playa. Maybe you could volunteer with Media Mecca, or write a "my first zone trip to Burning Man" after the event for the journal.burningman.com?

(There were some long threads after the 2014 event on plug and play camps, sherpa Beth, Tananbaum, and Caravancicle which you might know if you have been following the event)

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:15 pm
by kaylabird87
Media Mecca is definitely a place where I'd feel at home (read: work), but I shied away from the volunteerism option on the form because of 2017 being the first burn, i.e., I didn't think I'd have a place being new...but lawd PR needs some help. Reactive is the worst way possible to go about any public relations issue (I'd go as far as saying 2015/2016's event was a PR crisis), and the No. 1 way the founders/BM family could avoid the rapid continuation of commercialism and consumerism of the event would be to massively aggressive PR rollout for the event in the digital world, instead of the letting the media write about it as they will/third-party speculation. There is a mysticism surrounding BM, and while I appreciate that, if there isn't a definitive brand message, the snowball of a festival (de)volution continues as the general consumer population defines it themselves.
But, there are some hard truths to this:
1) Brand identity may not be something BM wants—just based on the inclusive principle. Definitions carry meaning boundaries; boundaries are anti-principle; lack fluidity.
2) PR is exceptionally important, but there is a reason why most artists hire PR companies to handle their work: it is a long-lead, deadline-driven, profoundly rigid/high-stress environment, and more than likely not something founders want to deal with on a 24/7 administrative level with err'thang else to worry about *yay NON-PROFITS!*
3) The elephant in the room: this type of exposure means $$$ coming to the event in a profoundly accelerated way. Make it appealing enough to an audience that a) has money, b) craves the exclusivity of 'different', and c) isn't the standard fare, and you suddenly have an influx of (hipsters) with disposable money buying up the $1200.00 tickets. Most don't want to read it, but money makes the world go 'round, and is especially important for non-profits. In the non-profit environment, all you hear about all.day.long. is the bottom line/money/donors/how do we get more people through the door, etc. etc.

My point: with the right PR/brand identity campaign, there could be a way to turn the tides...even with consideration to fiscal needs. Driving out the consumerism/commercialism, taking a stand publicly for the 10 principles in a major rebranding campaign, eventually turns participants into donors...i.e., make it "uncool," and then rebuild from the inside.

I could wax philosophical all night on this, but literally just did it for ten hours at work.

(Full disclosure: I've been 'prepping' for BM for going on eight years...my health is finally in a place where a week on the Playa doesn't pose a serious fatality risk on my end. Have been absorbing what's readily available online/vicariously through my circle of Burners during this time frame, but am well aware that until I'm actually rolling around in the dust, I won't "know.")


some seeing eye wrote:
We discuss this on ePlaya constantly. Many ePlayans have witnessed the evolution/devolution of the event first hand.

My observation is that the leader - founders tend to be reactive rather than proactive in shaping the event.

Enjoy your first Black Rock burn, get involved in your regional, take a look at the Burning Man official Facebook, set up a Google News alert to scan for how publications represent the event, and see if you can meet some of the PR staff in person on playa. Maybe you could volunteer with Media Mecca, or write a "my first zone trip to Burning Man" after the event for the journal.burningman.com?

(There were some long threads after the 2014 event on plug and play camps, sherpa Beth, Tananbaum, and Caravancicle which you might know if you have been following the event)

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:26 pm
by kaylabird87
Thanks for sharing this...I did read the article that this referenced last week, and choked a bit on my coffee at the 'a teenager running away to join the circus or a monk on a pilgrimage in a foreign land."

I do believe that BORG has brought this on themselves...and in the very same way, it can be reverse engineered but it would take an extraordinary amount of resolve and dedication to do that, in a very corporate way. It is time to ask the question, "What is worse?" Allowing BM to continue down the path it is on, or throwing the e-brake and addressing the clear need for a focused identity?

PS.
Current nagging in the back of my brain is saying that I better stfu and be a newbie, or I'm going to find myself in a bit of hot-water here. The only defense I have is that inexperienced individuals with untried hearts often bring good insight/ideas to problems...
eldergeekaz wrote:The BORG did it to themselves actually. Interesting take on Burners.me.

See the "Thought Police: Don’t Call It A Festival" article.

Not sure the relationship ePlaya has with Burners.me. Hopefully this is OK. :mrgreen:

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:37 am
by lucky420
a lot of people here dont like burners.me, he's a douche

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:44 am
by some seeing eye
burners.me is the personal project of a retired at middle age tech individual. The writings on that website are wandering and disorganized. They are cynical and critical of the Burning Man organizers while demanding a position of leadership on the board. Dale Carnegie fail 101. It's generally considered poor form to refer to that website on ePlaya.

It's a complete contrast to ePlayan Dr-Yes who started his own BM website burn.life. The main burningman.org has a lot of archival information. The census is an interesting view of the event "customers."

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:08 am
by VultureChow
lucky420 wrote:a lot of people here dont like burners.me, he's a douche
He's also gotten REALLY weird in the last two years or so as evidenced by how the commenting on his articles has decreased.
While I would have once described it as a more alternative Burning Man news site, an alternative to the press releases (blog) of the Org, he's veered into psyops, international banking type theories. This is a man who made a lot of money and now has too much time on his hands.

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:30 am
by kaylabird87
I did notice the rampant concpiracy theory-esque feel after clicking into two different rabbit holes of articles on burners.me, and retreated fairly quickly. I'm not looking for that type of energy.

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:55 am
by EGAZ
Yea, I thought it would get deleted right out of the box. Wasn't really worried about form. Burners.me does have an Alex Jones feel sometimes and is all over the place.
But like anything, its good to see what others are saying. Agree with them or not.

Too many forums, chat rooms, subreddits and FB pages are nothing but echo chambers. And that serves no one when you are looking for the full picture. :coffee:

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:21 pm
by dpsrch
Full disclosure: I've attended the past two years, have a ticket for this year, and hope for my theme camp "Department of Peace" to be approved for placement.

There's definitely enough physical space for everything that people what to do at Burning Man. I question if there's enough space for all of the "energy" allowed within Black Rock City. Specifically, the larger and louder aspects of the culture.

Mid-week last year I found myself sitting at the top of the pyramid in the middle of the night and taking in the spectacle with a few friends. While it is a sight to behold I also found the overwhelming cacophony of the sound camps and art cars to be ridiculous. Why does every art car and every sound camp have to be so BIG? Why does this noise pollution have to overwhelm the Temple at night? More than ridiculous it's also homogenous. The escalation is laughable in some ways. I want the loud and large moments, but I also want the smaller and quieter ones. At night, it felt like there was no space for those smaller moments or I had to really seek them out. Maybe that's the point?

I don't believe in new rules or restrictions. I believe that a critical mass of people will recognize the need to shift the energy in new directions. It might be this year? It might be next year? Maybe it won't happen?

That's why my community decided to be the Department of Peace. We love dancing and art cars, but decided to contribute something different. We all asked ourselves what experiences keep bringing us back and they all involved unexpected moments connecting with someone or a group of people and learning, growing, opening up, etc. There's a special delight and joy that comes from those moments. Our hope is facilitate some of that ourselves this year.

That's how we're hoping to celebrate the 10 principals with our fellow burners. I hope a lot of people feel the same way. :D

p.s. I will say that the camping areas away from Esplanade and major portals were eerily quiet last year.

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:40 pm
by Ratty
dpsrch, If you don't get placement try camping on the outer ring. Those folks camp there every year by choice. It's a calm and neighborly vibe. The neighborhood bars are so friendly.

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:45 pm
by kaylabird87
I love each and every word of this...

dpsrch wrote:
There's definitely enough physical space for everything that people what to do at Burning Man. I question if there's enough space for all of the "energy" allowed within Black Rock City. Specifically, the larger and louder aspects of the culture.

Mid-week last year I found myself sitting at the top of the pyramid in the middle of the night and taking in the spectacle with a few friends. While it is a sight to behold I also found the overwhelming cacophony of the sound camps and art cars to be ridiculous. Why does every art car and every sound camp have to be so BIG? Why does this noise pollution have to overwhelm the Temple at night? More than ridiculous it's also homogenous. The escalation is laughable in some ways. I want the loud and large moments, but I also want the smaller and quieter ones. At night, it felt like there was no space for those smaller moments or I had to really seek them out. Maybe that's the point?

(...)That's why my community decided to be the Department of Peace. We love dancing and art cars, but decided to contribute something different. We all asked ourselves what experiences keep bringing us back and they all involved unexpected moments connecting with someone or a group of people and learning, growing, opening up, etc. There's a special delight and joy that comes from those moments. Our hope is facilitate some of that ourselves this year.

That's how we're hoping to celebrate the 10 principals with our fellow burners. I hope a lot of people feel the same way. :D

p.s. I will say that the camping areas away from Esplanade and major portals were eerily quiet last year.

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:03 am
by dpsrch
Thanks! We plan on doing that if our camp isn't selected for placement. Good to hear from someone else that we should go that route.

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:52 pm
by The Hustler
kaylabird87 wrote:Hey BurningFam,

...just something I read that burns my biscuits today. At work, the well-meaning Chief of Staff slipped this on my desk, because it is the "cool hipster magazine and we should be in it!"* -- but all I could see was BM listed on the cover as a festival, used as the primary festival table of contents page, and within the listings as a festival alongside the words "Not a festival per se," ...

Comm is what I do for a living...and albeit absorbing the culture of BM for nearly a decade (and headed to my first burn this year), the way that BM is communicated (nay, marketed) in today's media screams "consumerism." Putting myself in the reader's shoes here? The first thing I'd think when reading this is "how much?!" and then try to figure out how to buy my way in, just like the music festivals listed in publication.

I often wonder when the last time Burning Man had a branding communications/pr meeting was...it definitely would be ground zero in finding out whether or not there really is an interest in moving away from the consumerism elements that are infiltrating BM.

*Footnote: I work for a symphony, and have had several successes with filling our usually half-empty hall with authentic storytelling/engagement. They expect everything I output to be cool.
This goes against Burning Man non-consummerism and ... probably some other things also.

There is a whole team of people in the Burning Man communications department who work hard all year to prevent shit like this and to make sure there isn't a "Burning Man sale" at Walmart or something. I'm a volunteer in Media Mecca, which doesn't mean much, but I do work with the people who are shaping the image of Burning Man as it grows and changes. A lot of brain power goes into not just branding, but defending the branding and intellectual property of the Burning Man community.

New ideas and fresh faces are always welcome. Come by Media Mecca and say hi; it's generally more quiet later in the week.

I have to get this out of the way: Burning Man isn't a "festival," it's not a for-profit corporation, it's not a giant photo rights grab, it's not repressing anyone or censoring anyone, it doesn't employ slave labor or trick people into free labor or any other myths and misinformation surrounding the event and community.

Burners dot me is the Breitbart of the Burning Man world. It's bullshit and conspiracies.

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:53 pm
by The Hustler
kaylabird87 wrote:Hey BurningFam,

...just something I read that burns my biscuits today. At work, the well-meaning Chief of Staff slipped this on my desk, because it is the "cool hipster magazine and we should be in it!"* -- but all I could see was BM listed on the cover as a festival, used as the primary festival table of contents page, and within the listings as a festival alongside the words "Not a festival per se," ...

Comm is what I do for a living...and albeit absorbing the culture of BM for nearly a decade (and headed to my first burn this year), the way that BM is communicated (nay, marketed) in today's media screams "consumerism." Putting myself in the reader's shoes here? The first thing I'd think when reading this is "how much?!" and then try to figure out how to buy my way in, just like the music festivals listed in publication.

I often wonder when the last time Burning Man had a branding communications/pr meeting was...it definitely would be ground zero in finding out whether or not there really is an interest in moving away from the consumerism elements that are infiltrating BM.

*Footnote: I work for a symphony, and have had several successes with filling our usually half-empty hall with authentic storytelling/engagement. They expect everything I output to be cool.
I forgot to ask:

What publication is this?

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:58 pm
by kaylabird87
Pacific Magazine...
The Hustler wrote:
I forgot to ask:

What publication is this?

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:42 pm
by Lonesomebri
Need to hire Ja Rule to do the pr work in the event. The Burn sucks like no festival could.

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:37 pm
by Hey Daisy
The Hustler wrote:A lot of brain power goes into not just branding, but defending the branding and intellectual property of the Burning Man community.
Soooo should I tell on Amazon for selling a burning man baseball cap?


Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:59 pm
by kaylabird87
I've been working on advocacy all day.
Lonesomebri wrote:Need to hire Ja Rule to do the pr work in the event. The Burn sucks like no festival could.
IMG_1851.PNG

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:44 am
by lucky420
Hey Daisy wrote:
The Hustler wrote:A lot of brain power goes into not just branding, but defending the branding and intellectual property of the Burning Man community.
Soooo should I tell on Amazon for selling a burning man baseball cap?

Yes

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:31 am
by Papa Bear
Hey Daisy wrote:
The Hustler wrote:A lot of brain power goes into not just branding, but defending the branding and intellectual property of the Burning Man community.
Soooo should I tell on Amazon for selling a burning man baseball cap?

Absolutely! I've reported similar crap in the past, and they do go after them.

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:14 am
by The Hustler
Papa Bear wrote:
Hey Daisy wrote:
The Hustler wrote:A lot of brain power goes into not just branding, but defending the branding and intellectual property of the Burning Man community.
Soooo should I tell on Amazon for selling a burning man baseball cap?

Absolutely! I've reported similar crap in the past, and they do go after them.

Actually, yes.

I'll forward this on to IP.

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:24 am
by Hey Daisy
The Hustler wrote:
Papa Bear wrote:
Hey Daisy wrote:
Soooo should I tell on Amazon for selling a burning man baseball cap?

Absolutely! I've reported similar crap in the past, and they do go after them.

Actually, yes.

I'll forward this on to IP.
Thanks! I was kind of bewildered when I came across it. If I see anything else like that in the future I'll report it 8)

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:27 am
by Hey Daisy
Looks like the product is suddenly 'unavailable.' Good work friends!

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:45 am
by The Hustler
Sweet.

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:33 pm
by XPTom
Hey Daisy wrote:Looks like the product is suddenly 'unavailable.' Good work friends!

drats...... I wanted one so all the other burners would think the new guy is cool....... maybe I can get a Frye Festival shirt instead....?

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:17 pm
by kaylabird87
The Frye Festival is so much better than the Fyre Festival:...:

FEAT. DJ BURNING HAM.
Bringing the sizzle to the fest scene since 2017
whutwhut
XPTom wrote:
drats...... I wanted one so all the other burners would think the new guy is cool....... maybe I can get a Frye Festival shirt instead....?

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:43 pm
by XPTom
kaylabird87 wrote:The Frye Festival is so much better than the Fyre Festival:...:


You undermeant what I stood....

Re: "Not a festival per se,"

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:44 pm
by The Hustler
XPTom wrote:
kaylabird87 wrote:The Frye Festival is so much better than the Fyre Festival:...:


You undermeant what I stood....

How about these?

Never forget the Fyre Festival massacre