The basic problem with modern BRC

A forum for community conversation and deeper discussions about the cultural direction of Burning Man.
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some seeing eye
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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by some seeing eye » Sat Sep 10, 2022 10:19 am

Token wrote:
Sat Sep 10, 2022 9:23 am
Which brings it back full circle to DGS being the deal with the Devil.

I can tell you first hand that BM was just as grand and awesome when theme camps ended on A-street.

Unfortunately, what started as an organic flow of ideas long ago has transformed to a corporate business model. Marion simply doesn’t have the ovaries to rip off the bandage and let the community find an organic solution that is inline with the ‘experiment in culture’.

What we need is the return of HellCo, the famed Playa opera, but actually live the parody out for realz.

There are about 100 legit theme camps out there every year, on average. Maybe a dozen or so create 80% of the vibe and allure.

The rest is just ticket grab shenanigans, bars, chill spaces, and a general creative void to meet a least common denominator.

But instead, we have thousands of theme camps pretending to do something memorable. Most fail pathetically at everything except the ticket grab.

Here’s an experiment for you:

Take the dozen or so them camps that deliver the goods, fund them with 30% of their DGS ask.

Take the rest of the 100 or so and fund them to a 20% ticket level.

The remaining couple-three thousand “theme camps” - 10% of their DGS ask.

Set up the HellCo Mergers and Acquisitions web page in Spark and let the people work it out, consolidate, fuse the big pile of garbage into something creative.

If the community doesn’t figure it out by June, you still have time to revert to the old DGS nonsense and save the corporate bacon, put out a good product :| - cringe.

Unlikely to happen since the BORG needs to do their big money grab early in the year …

What do I care, I got my fond memories all comfortably archived and cataloged of days gone by.
Yes. DGS is the organizers outsourcing acculturation to the camps because the event can't scale culturally in its modern state. For that reason, I'm on favor of DGS at roughly the current level and burners bringing burners. But we are seeing that certain camps, like the speeding ebike camp, are negligent in acculturation.

I have no idea what Larry and the inner board thought or think today. My theory is that the event could be sued out of existence by a single death or the non-zero chance of mass death, like a wildfire in the city. All the organizers have their retirement money safe, but none would want the event to flame out in a bad way. So likely the assets are fairly protected by the Byzantine legal structure.

Because they were limited in growth at BRC, they set their eye on overseas expansion, and of course, US and Canada expansion requiring flying-in, in order to keep the cult community growing, as burners got jobs, had kids, or aged out. They also needed the great professional middle class between hippie massage therapists who could take 2 weeks off and people wealthy enough to not work. They are fly-in, non-camp-builders and non-camp-strikers.

Then Larry got the messianic vision that the 10 Principles were going to change the world. Probably the great dusty hope would be if the BLM would sell the organizers Hualapai Flat, but it doesn't have the drainage of Quinn River to smooth it out every few years.

I looked into finding out what the 3% BLM take on Outside Services was, including by vendor, but was told it would be redacted to uselessness, so I didn't pursue it.

The organizers are trying to coax the concierge camp genie back into the bottle while not killing the goose laying the golden eggs. They need a flow of virgins, particularly young photogenic ones to sell the event like soap, but the virgins are coming unvetted from the mass media of sexy videos with dubbed music video soundtracks and no wind-o-vision or smell-o-vision of playa dust.

This was of course the great debate between John Law and Larry, and Larry won.

Fortunately, with the shortage of tickets, the organizers have opportunities to thin the BRC herd while not thinning the business model. We will see how it evolves.
Last edited by some seeing eye on Sat Sep 10, 2022 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by HarryN » Sat Sep 10, 2022 10:46 am

For those complaining about my "involvement", I have built solar power systems for 2 different camps (2 different years), with a focus on helping them with their refrigeration needs - and my own volunteer work with disaster relief.

I have a business and family and customers, but still set some time aside to help people with BM projects and posted this in the business section of this site as well as on craigslist.

I did all of this while still recovering from a car accident last year. (the other driver ran a red light at fairly high speeds)

As far as tickets - I am not in a position to wait until the week before BM to plan and prepare adequately for an event like this. No way would I be in a position to really be prepared If I can't get a ticket at least 90 days in advance, it just isn't a viable situation.

I really do build what I do - every day, not just for a 1 week event.

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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by Papa Bear » Wed Sep 14, 2022 12:43 pm

Token wrote:
Sat Sep 10, 2022 9:23 am

There are about 100 legit theme camps out there every year, on average. Maybe a dozen or so create 80% of the vibe and allure.

The rest is just ticket grab shenanigans, bars, chill spaces, and a general creative void to meet a least common denominator.

But instead, we have thousands of theme camps pretending to do something memorable.
In actual fact, there are only about 1600 placed camps in BRC. Approximately 1200 of them are theme camps. The rest are for things like art installation support, mutant vehicle support, work support (i.e. department camps), etcetera.

As for a dozen theme camps "creating 80% of the vibe and allure", that might be true - but if so, it's a different dozen for almost everyone. This is particularly true when you get away from Esplanade and start prowling the back streets. Theme camps don't have to be huge and flashy to be unique, interesting, and a hell of a lot of fun. And there are quite a few out there who work their asses off and deliver exactly that - often without getting even 30% via directed tickets.

Are there camps doing a whole lot of not much, or at least, not much original? Sure. Are there camps that were formed with the primary intent of getting directed tickets? That's true too - especially in the past where a camp that came and delivered even the basics was guaranteed directed tickets the next year, and placement's mandate was essentially "if their application claims a reasonable amount of interactivity, and they don't have a history of MOOP/other departments, place them". In fact, per a 2019 Placement newsletter, the theme camps requesting placement claimed a total aggregate population greater than the total population of the city. So some people were obviously trying to game the system.

That is, however, changing. Directed tickets are no longer given as a "thank you" for building a camp the previous year - they're given based on credible plans for the coming year. The criteria for what is expected from a theme camp has been raised, and placement has more latitude to decide whether a camp deserves to be placed. Just running a basic bar or putting on some yoga classes a couple of times a week or creating a chill space is not necessarily going to get you placed or get you tickets. Nor is placement likely to believe that your self-service bike repair camp, which you don't even staff during the week, needs 20 directed tickets to make happen. Tons of loopholes and services that had helped to enable PnPs have been eliminated.

I'm not naive. It took years to get to where we currently are, and it will likely take years for the initiatives currently in place to make a real change to how people perceive BRC, if it can be done at all. It takes a lot just to make it clear to people that the rules have changed and no, you can't pay someone to come in and run your kitchen or build your camp. But lots of people in Placement (both the "traditional" placers and the newer groups like Camp Support and PEERS) and the org in general care a hell of a lot and are actively working to make it happen.

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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by Token » Thu Sep 15, 2022 9:43 am

Papa Bear wrote:
Wed Sep 14, 2022 12:43 pm

...

That is, however, changing. Directed tickets are no longer given as a "thank you" for building a camp the previous year - they're given based on credible plans for the coming year. The criteria for what is expected from a theme camp has been raised, and placement has more latitude to decide whether a camp deserves to be placed. Just running a basic bar or putting on some yoga classes a couple of times a week or creating a chill space is not necessarily going to get you placed or get you tickets. Nor is placement likely to believe that your self-service bike repair camp, which you don't even staff during the week, needs 20 directed tickets to make happen. Tons of loopholes and services that had helped to enable PnPs have been eliminated.

I'm not naive. It took years to get to where we currently are, and it will likely take years for the initiatives currently in place to make a real change to how people perceive BRC, if it can be done at all. It takes a lot just to make it clear to people that the rules have changed and no, you can't pay someone to come in and run your kitchen or build your camp. But lots of people in Placement (both the "traditional" placers and the newer groups like Camp Support and PEERS) and the org in general care a hell of a lot and are actively working to make it happen.
I'll buy you a bottle of rare Whiskey if this ever gains traction.

10 years we have heard how it is getting better. I'm still skeptical but ever hopeful.

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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by some seeing eye » Thu Sep 15, 2022 10:07 am

Papa Bear wrote:
Wed Sep 14, 2022 12:43 pm

In actual fact, there are only about 1600 placed camps in BRC. Approximately 1200 of them are theme camps. The rest are for things like art installation support, mutant vehicle support, work support (i.e. department camps), etcetera.

As for a dozen theme camps "creating 80% of the vibe and allure", that might be true - but if so, it's a different dozen for almost everyone. This is particularly true when you get away from Esplanade and start prowling the back streets. Theme camps don't have to be huge and flashy to be unique, interesting, and a hell of a lot of fun. And there are quite a few out there who work their asses off and deliver exactly that - often without getting even 30% via directed tickets.

Are there camps doing a whole lot of not much, or at least, not much original? Sure. Are there camps that were formed with the primary intent of getting directed tickets? That's true too - especially in the past where a camp that came and delivered even the basics was guaranteed directed tickets the next year, and placement's mandate was essentially "if their application claims a reasonable amount of interactivity, and they don't have a history of MOOP/other departments, place them". In fact, per a 2019 Placement newsletter, the theme camps requesting placement claimed a total aggregate population greater than the total population of the city. So some people were obviously trying to game the system.

That is, however, changing. Directed tickets are no longer given as a "thank you" for building a camp the previous year - they're given based on credible plans for the coming year. The criteria for what is expected from a theme camp has been raised, and placement has more latitude to decide whether a camp deserves to be placed. Just running a basic bar or putting on some yoga classes a couple of times a week or creating a chill space is not necessarily going to get you placed or get you tickets. Nor is placement likely to believe that your self-service bike repair camp, which you don't even staff during the week, needs 20 directed tickets to make happen. Tons of loopholes and services that had helped to enable PnPs have been eliminated.

I'm not naive. It took years to get to where we currently are, and it will likely take years for the initiatives currently in place to make a real change to how people perceive BRC, if it can be done at all. It takes a lot just to make it clear to people that the rules have changed and no, you can't pay someone to come in and run your kitchen or build your camp. But lots of people in Placement (both the "traditional" placers and the newer groups like Camp Support and PEERS) and the org in general care a hell of a lot and are actively working to make it happen.
Thanks for this post.

The Internet is instant typing, but human change is slow.

One could speculate that the BORG knows a lot about camps beyond the Placement questionare through Outside Services. Camp Support and PEERS are a great addition! Burners contribute data through feedback, doingitwrong, the Rangers, and camps commenting on neighbors.

It is a unique human experiment in a temporary city, with most campers individually geo-anonymous, and all the unique back end databases/GIS supporting it. It is a real city and every city has analogues.

In a few months, it would be interesting to hear feedback on the 2022 placement geo-shuffle.
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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by some seeing eye » Sat Sep 17, 2022 11:06 am

Thanks to the Google founder-burners, people figured out how to make money off social media. It is done by matching ads to individuals by gathering all the information that exists about them, including their adds.

Young people in jr high & high school have massive free time. So to demonstrate their reproductive fitness, they master new social media platforms for breakfast.

Today the BORG communicates with the world with books, ePlaya, Twitter, FB, email lists, a podcast, JRS, the Journal, Medium, Instagram, and Kindle. Probably some things I've forgotten. (https://linktr.ee/burningmanproject)

Now https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/16/tech ... ngine.html

Welp, we're on there, but as what? https://www.google.com/search?q=burning+man+on+tiktok

From our previous conversation, when you have burners bringing burners, you don't need mass media/mass social media to sell the event to random strangers.

Of course we have to throw in some humor. A psych friend of mine called it the evolution of stupidity...

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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by DVD Burner » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:03 am

some seeing eye wrote:
Sat Sep 17, 2022 11:06 am
Thanks to the Google founder-burners, people figured out how to make money off social media. It is done by matching ads to individuals by gathering all the information that exists about them, including their adds.

Young people in jr high & high school have massive free time. So to demonstrate their reproductive fitness, they master new social media platforms for breakfast.

Today the BORG communicates with the world with books, ePlaya, Twitter, FB, email lists, a podcast, JRS, the Journal, Medium, Instagram, and Kindle. Probably some things I've forgotten. (https://linktr.ee/burningmanproject)

Now https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/16/tech ... ngine.html

Welp, we're on there, but as what? https://www.google.com/search?q=burning+man+on+tiktok

From our previous conversation, when you have burners bringing burners, you don't need mass media/mass social media to sell the event to random strangers.

Of course we have to throw in some humor. A psych friend of mine called it the evolution of stupidity...

:D
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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by DVD Burner » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:05 am

https://www.facebook.com/NeXTCODER

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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC...

Post by DVD Burner » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:08 am

Dare to skip the first track to Track 2.

If you want Mellow and Funky:




And from track 2 says it All.

Pretty Fuckin BADD ASSED!

#FACT!


:D

Atardi Says It ALL.
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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by DVD Burner » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:19 am

And She's

HARD CORE


CLOWN CORE!




Make it to the

"END"


If you Can.


:D



Just Do It.



Sending this to

ALL BURNERS with


#LOVE......



Well..... and Humor.


:D
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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by DVD Burner » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:26 am

With

#LOVE

With a Waffle Around the neck

WITH BUTTAH!


OK?


:D


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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by DVD Burner » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:27 am

Love these Kids.

:D
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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by Papa Bear » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:41 am

Token wrote:
Thu Sep 15, 2022 9:43 am

I'll buy you a bottle of rare Whiskey if this ever gains traction.

10 years we have heard how it is getting better. I'm still skeptical but ever hopeful.
If and when you feel it does, I'll be happy to share it with you.

The org did catch a few PnPs before the event this year, and shut them down. Placement rescinded, WAPs cancelled, MV licenses nixed. I've heard (but cannot confirm) that customers for at least one of them still showed up to playa, only to discover there was no camp waiting for them.

That "self service bike camp" example is also a real one, taken from a conversation I had with someone from the camp on Reddit. According to the person I was talking to, they were originally self-serve only, but then placement warned them that they needed to actually have hosted interactivity to justify their allotment. So they kept some people around to host it, but were placed far enough out that they didn't get any foot traffic. They got frustrated by hanging around with nobody coming by, so decided to just go out and play instead. Placement showed up later to check on them, discovered they weren't hosting anything, put them in "limited standing" (effectively on probation) and cut their allocation from 20 tickets to 2. As a result, the camp decided not to attend in 2022.

This person was sufficiently indignant about it that I didn't feel like pointing out that with 20 people on directed tickets, they could easily have had someone hosting that offering 10 hours a day for 6 days with nobody doing more than one three hour shift.

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Re: The basic problem with .........

Post by DVD Burner » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:46 am

Just wanna see who the intelligent wons R here.

Let's NOT piss anyone off here.....





OK?
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The basic problem with ......

Post by DVD Burner » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:51 am

Just so you and all of you know.......


I HAVE


#ZERO ISSUSES


With The B.


OK?




Let's Talk.



Papa Bear wrote:
Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:41 am
Token wrote:
Thu Sep 15, 2022 9:43 am

I'll buy you a bottle of rare Whiskey if this ever gains traction.

10 years we have heard how it is getting better. I'm still skeptical but ever hopeful.
If and when you feel it does, I'll be happy to share it with you.

The org did catch a few PnPs before the event this year, and shut them down. Placement rescinded, WAPs cancelled, MV licenses nixed. I've heard (but cannot confirm) that customers for at least one of them still showed up to playa, only to discover there was no camp waiting for them.

That "self service bike camp" example is also a real one, taken from a conversation I had with someone from the camp on Reddit. According to the person I was talking to, they were originally self-serve only, but then placement warned them that they needed to actually have hosted interactivity to justify their allotment. So they kept some people around to host it, but were placed far enough out that they didn't get any foot traffic. They got frustrated by hanging around with nobody coming by, so decided to just go out and play instead. Placement showed up later to check on them, discovered they weren't hosting anything, put them in "limited standing" (effectively on probation) and cut their allocation from 20 tickets to 2. As a result, the camp decided not to attend in 2022.

This person was sufficiently indignant about it that I didn't feel like pointing out that with 20 people on directed tickets, they could easily have had someone hosting that offering 10 hours a day for 6 days with nobody doing more than one three hour shift.
I haven't interacted with THE TOKEN in Awhile.



Nice to see you are here Still.


How You BEE?



I've read this.
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The basic problem ?

Post by DVD Burner » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:54 am

Let's Try To Understand The ......





Story

Of


He.


And


They.


Okay?
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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by Papa Bear » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:55 am

some seeing eye wrote:
Thu Sep 15, 2022 10:07 am

One could speculate that the BORG knows a lot about camps beyond the Placement questionare through Outside Services. Camp Support and PEERS are a great addition! Burners contribute data through feedback, doingitwrong, the Rangers, and camps commenting on neighbors.
In the interest of transparency, this is where I point out that I'm one of the leads (and the Volunteer Coordinator) for PEERS. And yes, I think opening up the lines of communication and making it easier to get feedback is hugely important, which is part of the reason I'm involved in it.

One thing people miss is that both positive and negative feedback are important. If a camp is out there really doing it write and providing amazing things to the community, that's every bit as important for Placers to hear about as the camps who aren't.

And honestly, there are a lot of camps and groups out there "doing it right", which is something that was reinforced for me as our teams came back in this year. Now, of course you wouldn't expect a camp to out itself as being a problem, but our teams ask camps not just about themselves, but about what's going on in the neighborhood. And in probably 95% of cases, our teams came back with no real problems to report - most camps were really happy with the other camps in their neighborhood.

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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by DVD Burner » Mon Sep 19, 2022 1:38 pm

Jut so everyone understands....


I understand this is about


"CAMPS"

by Papa Bear

However; ?

"In the interest of transparency, this is where I point out that I'm one of the leads (and the Volunteer Coordinator) for PEERS. And yes, I think opening up the lines of communication and making it easier to get feedback is hugely important, which is part of the reason I'm involved in it.

One thing people miss is that both positive and negative feedback are important. If a camp is out there really doing it write and providing amazing things to the community, that's every bit as important for Placers to hear about as the camps who aren't.

And honestly, there are a lot of camps and groups out there "doing it right", which is something that was reinforced for me as our teams came back in this year. Now, of course you wouldn't expect a camp to out itself as being a problem, but our teams ask camps not just about themselves, but about what's going on in the neighborhood. And in probably 95% of cases, our teams came back with no real problems to report - most camps were really happy with the other camps in their neighborhood.
Top"
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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by DVD Burner » Mon Sep 19, 2022 1:44 pm

Sometimes it takes awhile to get things.


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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by Elorrum » Mon Sep 19, 2022 1:50 pm

I’m very curious about the trends in camp dues and theme camp interactivity and camper involvement. I would like to see data on the number of people arriving on playa with effectively just their personal luggage.

I saw on a social media thread a conversation about sales tax being charged by a theme camp in addition to dues. The responses (“it’s something you should ask an attorney”) indicated no knowledge of the decommodification principle. Accommodations for all needs are increasingly being expected by people who travel far. My cursory understanding tells me they aren’t planning on bringing anything to contribute to the city, and they do not know about moop or planning for reuse or disposal of large items they effectively make single use trash. Since they will pay whatever is required for their comfort (they expect electricity, air conditioning, refrigeration, showers, and transport.) and will not likely be influenced to alter their attitudes towards civic responsibility. I wonder how they got tickets, and who is making their arrangements.
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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by motskyroonmatick » Mon Sep 19, 2022 9:17 pm

Elorrum wrote:
Mon Sep 19, 2022 1:50 pm
I’m very curious about the trends in camp dues and theme camp interactivity and camper involvement. I would like to see data on the number of people arriving on playa with effectively just their personal luggage.

I saw on a social media thread a conversation about sales tax being charged by a theme camp in addition to dues. The responses (“it’s something you should ask an attorney”) indicated no knowledge of the decommodification principle. Accommodations for all needs are increasingly being expected by people who travel far. My cursory understanding tells me they aren’t planning on bringing anything to contribute to the city, and they do not know about moop or planning for reuse or disposal of large items they effectively make single use trash. Since they will pay whatever is required for their comfort (they expect electricity, air conditioning, refrigeration, showers, and transport.) and will not likely be influenced to alter their attitudes towards civic responsibility. I wonder how they got tickets, and who is making their arrangements.
I'm pretty appalled by the headlong dive by camps to provide their members with every supply and comfort they may need. The drive for electricity for every camper seems to be where it's really showing these days. It's such an overwhelming urge for many camp leadership teams and I kinda get it (we added a camp use propane stove when the burner bus started) but a big part of the lessons and satisfactions burning man delivers is from solving your own problems and providing for your own needs. Im a big fan of asking that everyone or at least your small group be entirely self contained and provide everything you need. It really helps weed out people who can't take care of themselves and the myriad of drama and problems that result from dependent people. It keeps shared expenses costs low too. We saw more entitled people this year in the repair shop than we have ever seen(we did help hundreds of lovely humans tho too). I think it is because people who don't have sweat equity in the city don't get connected to the city and the dust and the people who put in effort. If you don't put in the effort in the dust then you just look at everything as a service you bought by paying your camp fees.
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Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Sep 19, 2022 10:18 pm

Elorrum wrote:
Mon Sep 19, 2022 1:50 pm
I’m very curious about the trends in camp dues and theme camp interactivity and camper involvement. I would like to see data on the number of people arriving on playa with effectively just their personal luggage.
I believe from memory in 2019, BxA was about 1000 people. BxB is about 10,000. About 30% of people fly to the region, into Reno, SF, then a smaller number, LA, LV etc.

People are using containers, and many people who fly into the region buy their camp in local stores and haul it in and out by the 27,000 vehicle passes, personal car, or rental.

I'm wondering how MOOP was this year?
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Camp Name: Beaverton
Location: Where the east wind blows

Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by Popeye » Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:25 pm

some seeing eye wrote:
Mon Sep 19, 2022 10:18 pm

I'm wondering how MOOP was this year?
Resto used to be advertised as "it's tough but we can do it" then "for the environment, so we can have another Burning Man". The ask was for the entire period, then for a week or two. Now Resto is asking for whatever time we can give. DA's MOOP walk to Reno gave Resto a lot of publicity.
More MOOP or less volunteers?
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver

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Captain Goddammit
Posts: 8577
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: First Camp
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: The basic problem with modern BRC

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Sep 25, 2022 11:10 am

HarryN wrote:
Sat Sep 10, 2022 10:46 am
For those complaining about my "involvement", I have built solar power systems for 2 different camps (2 different years), with a focus on helping them with their refrigeration needs - and my own volunteer work with disaster relief.

I have a business and family and customers, but still set some time aside to help people with BM projects and posted this in the business section of this site as well as on craigslist.

I did all of this while still recovering from a car accident last year. (the other driver ran a red light at fairly high speeds)

As far as tickets - I am not in a position to wait until the week before BM to plan and prepare adequately for an event like this. No way would I be in a position to really be prepared If I can't get a ticket at least 90 days in advance, it just isn't a viable situation.

I really do build what I do - every day, not just for a 1 week event.
Yeah but I could just plug them into a Honda generator in a few minutes.
Solar is great but this is only a week.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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