Beware of Tribal Spirit

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angieetc
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Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by angieetc » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:50 pm

I previously tried to post a topic here to warn burners of Tribal Spirit but because I cross-posted, the moderators decided to remove the post. I wasn't aware until now, seeing how I posted end of January...... I hope this is not too late.

I started a petition to let former camp mates of Tribal Spirit post either anonymously or named, what their experience was. You can read all about it here https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ba ... rever.html

I've sent the petition to the BM organisers at placement@burningman.org as advised by some experienced burners, but I have yet to hear back from them and doubtful that they read it because Tribal Spirit has gotten another 68 DGS tickets this year.

A campmate from Tribal Spirit also reached out to me and brought this reddit thread on Tribal Spirit to my attention:

This is obviously a real issue, and there are other passionate burners who do not want others to be scammed into camping with Tribal Spirit - I'm not the only one. I think this is all we can do to be self-reliant, and not rely on Burning Man to get rid of the camp/man that undermines the whole philosophy of Burning Man.

Wishing all burners this year the most magical burn.

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BBadger
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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by BBadger » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:08 pm

Don't know if this is just an April Fools post but: no, this is not all you can do to be "self-reliant." Not in the least.

The only misfortune here is that this camp received DGS tickets and placement.

Quite frankly, I think we need more such Fyre Festival-quality PnP camp disasters, exit scams, ruined burns, and other debacles to help ruin the reputation of this category of camps that provide these kinds of disservices to the playa. I have no sympathy for the people who wanted to attend the Fyre Festival, and no sympathy for those who attended its equivalent at Burning Man.
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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by Sham » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:12 am

This is definitely where self reliance come in. Many people come from other countries or from across the country. This would effectively be the same thing since you're landing at an airport with only the luggage you packed.

Our camp is 25 years old with 50-60 people, and we have never had dues until this year. We all brought food, water, shelter and some sort of electrical supply if we wanted it. We all share and we eat very well during the week.

The whole idea paying some stranger that you've never met to bring your food, drink, shelter, bike etc., is crazy to me. If you take that same money, you can buy buckets full of food and supplies--and know that you have it. I spend somewhere around $300 on food for the week and this covers a very nice group dinner and a few surprise lunches.

People REALLY need to stop depending on someone who is most likely pocketing any excess money by skimping on camp infrastucture and food. The org is not responsible for vetting or policing private and sometimes very foolish transactions.

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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by Skuzzy61 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:00 pm

Personally, I do not believe there should be anything remotely close to an "all inclusive" camp/resort anywhere near Burning Man. It just seem to fly into the face of what my idea of Burning Man is.

No sympathy from me.
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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by FullService » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:22 pm

I am reaallyy having a hard time having any sympathy whatsoever for all these people who "fall victim" to PnP camps, period. (Full disclaimer: I've not yet been to playa, so I could just be talking out of my ass. I only have my regional experience to base my thoughts on.)

But...bottom line is why in hell would you trek all the way to the desert without all the stuffs you need to basically stay alive and comfortable? Why? Are you just mindlessly nodding at the thought of "self reliance", muttering "Yeah, yeah....."? Do these same people attend regionals and get a taste of what self reliance is, or spend time becoming a part of a true camp? Are these the same kind of people that cry foul when they "score a ticket" on ViaGoGo that never materializes, or get scammed by some fool on Craigslist?

What am I missing here? I don't wanna sound mean, but....help me understand this...
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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by angieetc » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:58 am

It shocks me to see how much cynism there is out there about this. Lots of new burners want to experience the community spirit so they join a camp, and in hopes to meet new people and to have a great burn. The camp, to be honest, seemed like a well-organised one, and everyone was encouraged to bring their own supplies - i did, i had my own water and food - and paid $350 for a tent space. But there was zero organisation. There was a kitchen shift that everyone signed up for but the food didn't arrive till Wednesday and there wasn't enough tools as promised.

And I see all these replies from supposedly veteran burners laughing at people for having no self-reliance while standing on top of your high horses, and feel a lot of distaste at the way you are viewing this whole matter. There are more than 100 people from Tribal Spirit last year and everyone wanted to make sure Tribal Spirit doesn't get a space at Burning Man, because they are the antithesis of what BM is about.

And yet, instead of helping and supporting the community or finding out what there is, these 'veterans' on high horses go around saying they have no sympathy for people who just want an easy ride. There is a slack channel, and facebook group. Everyone was ready to chip in and help. They just couldn't because there was nothing in the camp. It was supposed to be a sound camp but there was no tools, and he was supposed to help organise those tools. He got people to come in early to help build the camp but those people had nothing to work with.

The leader of the camp is going to do the same with his 68 DGS tickets this year. And yet all of you are like, people are allowed to do what they want. I have nothing but distaste for all these useless comments.

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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by Sham » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:27 am

angieetc wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:58 am
It shocks me to see how much cynism there is out there about this. Lots of new burners want to experience the community spirit so they join a camp, and in hopes to meet new people and to have a great burn. The camp, to be honest, seemed like a well-organised one, and everyone was encouraged to bring their own supplies - i did, i had my own water and food - and paid $350 for a tent space. But there was zero organisation. There was a kitchen shift that everyone signed up for but the food didn't arrive till Wednesday and there wasn't enough tools as promised.

And I see all these replies from supposedly veteran burners laughing at people for having no self-reliance while standing on top of your high horses, and feel a lot of distaste at the way you are viewing this whole matter. There are more than 100 people from Tribal Spirit last year and everyone wanted to make sure Tribal Spirit doesn't get a space at Burning Man, because they are the antithesis of what BM is about.

And yet, instead of helping and supporting the community or finding out what there is, these 'veterans' on high horses go around saying they have no sympathy for people who just want an easy ride. There is a slack channel, and facebook group. Everyone was ready to chip in and help. They just couldn't because there was nothing in the camp. It was supposed to be a sound camp but there was no tools, and he was supposed to help organise those tools. He got people to come in early to help build the camp but those people had nothing to work with.

The leader of the camp is going to do the same with his 68 DGS tickets this year. And yet all of you are like, people are allowed to do what they want. I have nothing but distaste for all these useless comments.
While I don't think anyone is laughing, there is a bit of confusion as to why money is being paid to a private person in hopes they will bring supplies and infrastructure to help you survive for a week in the harsh desert.

How do you suggest that this be handled in the future? Should Burning Man vet these camps?

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some seeing eye
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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:34 am

Sham wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:27 am
angieetc wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:58 am
It shocks me to see how much cynism there is out there about this. Lots of new burners want to experience the community spirit so they join a camp, and in hopes to meet new people and to have a great burn. The camp, to be honest, seemed like a well-organised one, and everyone was encouraged to bring their own supplies - i did, i had my own water and food - and paid $350 for a tent space. But there was zero organisation. There was a kitchen shift that everyone signed up for but the food didn't arrive till Wednesday and there wasn't enough tools as promised.

And I see all these replies from supposedly veteran burners laughing at people for having no self-reliance while standing on top of your high horses, and feel a lot of distaste at the way you are viewing this whole matter. There are more than 100 people from Tribal Spirit last year and everyone wanted to make sure Tribal Spirit doesn't get a space at Burning Man, because they are the antithesis of what BM is about.

And yet, instead of helping and supporting the community or finding out what there is, these 'veterans' on high horses go around saying they have no sympathy for people who just want an easy ride. There is a slack channel, and facebook group. Everyone was ready to chip in and help. They just couldn't because there was nothing in the camp. It was supposed to be a sound camp but there was no tools, and he was supposed to help organise those tools. He got people to come in early to help build the camp but those people had nothing to work with.

The leader of the camp is going to do the same with his 68 DGS tickets this year. And yet all of you are like, people are allowed to do what they want. I have nothing but distaste for all these useless comments.
While I don't think anyone is laughing, there is a bit of confusion as to why money is being paid to a private person in hopes they will bring supplies and infrastructure to help you survive for a week in the harsh desert.

How do you suggest that this be handled in the future? Should Burning Man vet these camps?
The BORG has said several times they do not want to vet camps. I believe every camp should have open books. I think starting this thread is a good thing. I believe the books should be open at a minimum to the members and to potential members.

I think the OP provided a valuable service in revealing an example of a camp-gone-bad, and I hope Placement acts accordingly. It is also a lesson for would-be camp organizers to start small, like 5-10, don't jump into organizing a camp of 100.

With the cited Tribal Spirit 100x$350 is $35,000. Camp expenses may include storage, truck rental. They might include OSS rentals: generator, water delivery, grey water pumping. Once they include trailers and RVs the cost can go up significantly. They might include food.

In my view, capitalized assets: domes, shade structures, sound systems, MVs should either be donated by a benefactor, or how dues relate to capitalizing them, and where the assets go when the camp is dissolved, needs to explicitly be disclosed.

No matter what the topic people will make posts complaining about fly-in, bus-in, outside services-OSS, some burner's lack of preparedness, PnP, the organizers, the organizers spending too much time on airplanes to create a world-saving cult, the police, too many/not enough fireworks on the man, portos, the dust, the music, bike theft, entry, exodus, evaporative coolers vs AC, generators too loud, too much carbon footprint, useless VIPs, cell/Internet service/social media - too much/too little, MVs, what stores people buy from/shouldn't buy from, cultural appropriation in costumes, too many virgins/not enough, too many "outsiders"/not enough, too many children/not enough, too many BarbiesTM/not enough, too much rain/not enough, too much posting/not enough, too many hippies/not enough, event is too big/not big enough, everything about ticketing, the list goes on.

It's the nature of the Internet. That being said, this thread has stayed remarkably on topic, unlike, say, Facebook or Reddit.

Concrete action: before joining a camp with dues (or without) ask how many campers they have - then verify it on playa, how many early entry, how many DGS, how many are staying until the camp is erased, what infrastructure they are bringing that they own/rent outside/and get from OSS, look at last year's and this year's placement map, and ask what the management structure is. Any camp should have no problem answering those simple questions.
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BBadger
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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by BBadger » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:35 pm

angieetc wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:58 am
It shocks me to see how much cynism there is out there about this. Lots of new burners want to experience the community spirit so they join a camp, and in hopes to meet new people and to have a great burn. The camp, to be honest, seemed like a well-organised one, and everyone was encouraged to bring their own supplies - i did, i had my own water and food - and paid $350 for a tent space. But there was zero organisation. There was a kitchen shift that everyone signed up for but the food didn't arrive till Wednesday and there wasn't enough tools as promised.
What can I say? Camp resources not being provided as expected is a predictable result of not being self-reliant.
And I see all these replies from supposedly veteran burners laughing at people for having no self-reliance while standing on top of your high horses, and feel a lot of distaste at the way you are viewing this whole matter. There are more than 100 people from Tribal Spirit last year and everyone wanted to make sure Tribal Spirit doesn't get a space at Burning Man, because they are the antithesis of what BM is about.
I hope they don't get a space too, but I simply won't separate the type of camp that provides this "service" and those who choose to pay for this service. The patrons are just as much the problem as the establishment.

In fact, I'd almost rather have these scammy PnP camps than the ones that actually deliver on their promises, as it only encourages people to use such camps.
And yet, instead of helping and supporting the community or finding out what there is, these 'veterans' on high horses go around saying they have no sympathy for people who just want an easy ride.
Exactly that, except maybe the high-horse part.
There is a slack channel, and facebook group. Everyone was ready to chip in and help. They just couldn't because there was nothing in the camp. It was supposed to be a sound camp but there was no tools, and he was supposed to help organise those tools. He got people to come in early to help build the camp but those people had nothing to work with.
Well, perhaps you could start your own camp with some of the former members of Tribal Disservice and organize and bring all the tools and things to make it work? Then you would be more self-reliant and able to have the camp you expected. When you rely on someone else to create your camp experience, you are not being self-reliant by definition, and what you get is what you get!
The leader of the camp is going to do the same with his 68 DGS tickets this year. And yet all of you are like, people are allowed to do what they want. I have nothing but distaste for all these useless comments.
Nobody is saying they should do what they want. After all, it is a tragedy that such camps receive DGS ticket at all, and are still able to pander to people who "just want an easy ride." Ideally, camps like these wouldn't even be allowed to operate.

This does not take away from the fact that, should someone pay to board at such a camp that the camp "doing what it wants" is simply par for the course. If you want to control your experience, be self-reliant and set up your own camp.

I hope your complaints, as well as others, results in this camp having their placement and DGS tickets revoked, but not so much because they didn't deliver, but because they're running a camp that, even when operating as expected, is counter to the culture of BM.

I hope your next burn and camp, should you have one, is more in line with the culture of the event, and results in a far better time.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

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Token
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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by Token » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:21 pm

Sweet mother of Dog!

Entitled Much?

Not only are we on our high horse, we are pissing on you without the courtesy of calling it rain.

You want service, go to Hawaii or the Carribian. It’s actually a real nice alternative.

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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by ACfromSAC » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:59 pm

Has anyone mentioned radical self reliance yet? If not, let me be the first. It's... like... one of the principles... 'n stuff. My first couple years, I went in a crappy Wal-Mart tent under a PVC monkey hut I built, drinking water I brought & cooking food I brought on a very basic Coleman camp stove. The total cost wasn't much much more than $350 (if at all).

I facepalm every time someone's burn didn't get built properly for them. Be your own camp & camp out in the suburbs. It rules!

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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by zorro sings » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:14 pm

Ok I do feel for the OP. I also agree, for the most part, with BBadger and others who have similar views. This will be our 20th year running a theme camp. During that time we have always had more internationals than domestic campers. It is difficult coming from another continent and we provide logistics support getting them there the last mile. In return they always seem appreciative and contribute to the camp. Win-Win with no loss of self sufficiency in my eyes.

Maybe assume that an OS first timer wants to join a camp for all the right reasons. Where do they look? SPARK is great (for us) but nobody know about it. Eplaya used to be an excellent resource for recruiting new campers not so much anymore. Now it might be a first class web site with a payment button and few requirements.

This year we have had at least 40 inquiries about joining the camp. Of that number 25% never get back in touch despite just asking them some rudimentary questions about ticket/shelter/vehicle plans. It's like they figure if there is no web site or Facebook page then forget it. It might just be a case of convenience.
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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by Eric » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:11 pm

Like Zorro, our camp has been around for decades - since '94 in one form or another, even before there were theme camps. In that entire time we have never charged a penny for dues - nada, zip, zilch. In return you get nothing but a place to put your tent/ park your RV and a requirement to contribute. Somehow we've all managed to survive bringing our own food & supplies (we travel in one or two vehicles so we get all our water in Reno to save on weight & split the cost).

If you're flying in, look for a rideshare at the airport that's stopping at a grocery store. Bring a list, plan efficiently, you're done. You can go the entire week without cooking or an ice-chest (just no gourmet meals), and the stores in Reno stock specifically for Burners now. It's totally doable.

As for what you're carrying to fly in: on some ancient thread BBadger had images of how impossibly efficiently he packs for just that. Maybe he remembers where it is.
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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:15 pm

I think there is a lot of unnecessary bullying going on on this thread. I think we should encourage new profiles and let profiles be involved for a year with dozens of posts before unleashing that on them. (I've been here for a while, you can scold or disagree with me anytime. I ignore it.) In the mean time, we can gently correct misimpression using active listening and nonviolent communication styles. There is a generational trend too: in cases like this, you will get called out on victim-blaming.
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Re: Beware of Tribal Spirit

Post by Luigi » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:37 pm

Any one that would send money to an unknown person, fly half way across the world, arrive in the desert without food-water-shade, have no way of bailing out, is really asking to be taken advantage of or suffer. Not very self reliant to say the least.

I don't get it. I have met plenty of internationals, and I really don't know why they do it.

I was concerned when the org started limiting vehicle passes. No way am I going out there without total survival gear, and a backpack ain't gonna do it. Its a camp trip to hell, and I am going to be prepared.

So a word to the wise international: do your homework, rent a cargo van and get prepped for the apocalypse. You will have a great time, without the 'theme' camp drama.
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