Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play camp?

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Madgirl
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Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play camp?

Post by Madgirl » Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:40 pm

So with all the hating on plug-and-play camps, I am very pleased to report that the one experience I had with them this year was really quite positive. I won't say which one or their exact address except that they were on the 9:00 side...if anyone wants to know specifically, PM me.

Some friends and I happened to wander down K street on Thursday night on our way to a specific destination, but as we walked by this camp curiosity got the better of us. Their outer facade was absolutely beautiful and we wondered what the inside looked like, so we decided to check it out. Upon entering the bar/lounge area, we found a good mix of people, some who were clearly members of the camp and some (like ourselves) who were clearly not. There didn't seem to be any division between the two, and we mingled easily with the crowd. The people working the bar were personable and friendly, and no one seemed to care when we poked our heads into the back to take a peek at the private kitchen area. At one point we were approached by several guys in full tuxes, handing out Altoids from little silver trays. We assumed they were members of the camp and that it was all part of the act, but upon talking with one of them we learned that they were in fact not affiliated at all, and that they had simply wandered in as well.

We had such a good time there that we ended up going back the next night, and we had an equally positive experience. I fully intend to email the leaders of this camp to thank them for doing such a great job...it's really refreshing to know that they're not all bad. If they should choose to come back next year, in the same form or another, I'll definitely be paying them another visit.
The playa isn't "home" to anything or anyone, it's not magic, it's just a goddamm camping trip. A really awesome one. -Captain Goddammit

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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by ranger magnum » Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:46 pm

I went to that camp and had a similar experience. Everyone there was kind and pleasant, and I was even given a behind the scenes tour of the infrastructure. We went there several nights, and it was always a great time....
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Hope-a-Lope
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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by Hope-a-Lope » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:51 am

I went to one that sounds similar and was in that general neighborhood.

Pros: anyone was allowed in and served drinks and olives at the bar (standard at BM). Beautiful decor, although clearly the work of pros.
Cons: odd vibe, like campers and visitors were sticking to themselves and not mingling. The few campers we spoke to were socially awkward and quiet, though we did our best to engage with them.

The most disconcerting part was talking to a guy hanging out outside, who it turned out was one of the camp's employees. In exchange for his ticket, he was supposed to work 10 hours/day with a day or two off, but he estimated his work at 16/day and not a single day off. His duties included cleaning bathrooms and the kitchen, building and tearing down the camp, babysitting the coked-out gazillionaires on art cars to make sure they don't fall off, and helping campers do their gifting, which was handing out popsicles in the neighborhood.

The camp itself wasn't a bad place to be, but it wasn't a good one, either.

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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by Lonesomebri » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:47 pm

Madgirl wrote: If they should choose to come back next year, in the same form or another, I'll definitely be paying them another visit.
Not to worry, in a year or two, all the camps will be Plug and Play.
Camp THREAT: Dominating the porta potties 3 years running.
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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by theCryptofishist » Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:14 pm

Lonesomebri wrote:
Madgirl wrote: If they should choose to come back next year, in the same form or another, I'll definitely be paying them another visit.
Not to worry, in a year or two, all the camps will be Plug and Play.
Then we can argue about good plug and play and evil plug and play...
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"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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skippy3k
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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by skippy3k » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:42 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
Lonesomebri wrote:
Madgirl wrote: If they should choose to come back next year, in the same form or another, I'll definitely be paying them another visit.
Not to worry, in a year or two, all the camps will be Plug and Play.
Then we can argue about good plug and play and evil plug and play...

Nah, we will be complaining about how the city looks like a refugee camp with all of these people rolling in with junky RV's and blue tarps.
I'm a fixer. I fix things.

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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by Ano » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:11 am

I got in to the playa Thursday pre-event, early enough to pull in to my camping area near 6:45 and to see totally blank playa in almost every direction, except for the massive RV/Trailer parking lot off of L. Around fifty feet from my campsite in either direction was a ton of trailers, and every couple of minutes, one of a few guys would come by in a truck and deliver a trailer somewhere, or bring another one to stage in their lot near us. As I was setting up, one of them came on over. I expected a stand-off, but instead he was one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He explained to me that he was an old school burner, and that he was one of the staff members of a major turn key camp, and that we had inadvertendly ended up where they were staging trailers/RVs for delivery pre-event. I was about to get defensive, but then he told us that if we wanted, he could block off any area we needed to camp, as long as we were okay with trailers/RVs randomly appearing and disappearing around our camp. We obliged, and he helped us mark off our planned camping space. He pulled out some beer from one of the trailers and decided that it was time to "take a break" and help us set up our camp.

I was really curious, a tad defensive, and somewhat confused. I am only on year four of Burning Man, I figured that those involved with the PnP enterprises were either newbies with tons of money to spend, or old school folks who had decided the event was over and were looking for cash to make. Over the two-ish weeks I shared with this fellow, I learned that I wasn't totally wrong, but that I also shouldn't be afraid of PnP camps necessarily. They are the inevitable product of the wild success that Burning Man, as an event, has experienced, and the fact that many turnkey camps are being organized by old school burners is actually a good thing. It doesn't fit in with the ethos 100%, but a group of rich RV-dwellers making their own circle and isolating themsleves doesn't fit well either....

His stated goal was to transition the rich, famous, and influential from default to burn. For some of us, that's really easy. For those who live lives followed by paparazzi or the media, it's not so easy. We like to pretend that Burning Man is a place where you can become totally invisible, but we all know who did that one stupid segway dance and that Grover Norquist was in First Camp. It's inevitable, unfortunately, and these camps provide a requested barrier. In a way, it's much better that veteran burners who have been doing this for 10+ years are running these camps.

The camp in question did not have a single person who had been for more than two years... they were a nearly all-virgin camp. All of their veteran campers had moved on to camping in smaller villages, or volunteering, or doing their own thing. His goal was to help acculturate people the best he can. Sometimes he missed, sometimes he succeeded, and sometimes people just went completely wild and ended up financing an entire village or massive art project. Ultimately, this is going to continue happening, whether we like it or not.

I'm ambivalent about plug n play, but I'm at least positively ambivalent now. They aren't going away, so the best we can hope for is for the people running the camps to have the best intentions. Which, as far as I could see with this one camp, they did have the best intentions that you could in this situation...

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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by Gunslinger » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:03 pm

Rode by a private dj party late one night - think it was Friday? Wanted to check it out and wasn't allowed access into a dome where we could hear music and see flashing lights but not see inside to the goings on. Went away feeling a little put off. But some drunks stumbled past us and dropped a bottle in their wake on their way to the wristband Rites of Passage. Went to moop the bottle and it was an untouched Jameson. Thanks for the whiskey Bill Gates :D

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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by Lonesomebri » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:48 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed my time here, I plan to be back-
NotPublic.JPG
Like, what idiot would place this loud running air conditioned porta pottie right next to a main road, fully in plain sight, with this sign, and expect meek compliance from passing people AT THE BURN ? This camp sure could have used some helping advice from seasoned old timers, or anyone with the minimum common sense needed to wipe their own ass, about how private things should be placed out of the public view. This is like the celebrity version of avoiding paparazzi by dining where the most cameras will be, while complaining about the camera flashes.
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Camp THREAT: Dominating the porta potties 3 years running.
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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:50 pm

Not to mention that typo that makes the whole thing sort of surreal, shit and piss is kinda pubic, when you get down to it.
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"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by vargaso » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:21 am

Ano wrote:I got in to the playa Thursday pre-event, early enough to pull in to my camping area near 6:45 and to see totally blank playa in almost every direction, except for the massive RV/Trailer parking lot off of L. Around fifty feet from my campsite in either direction was a ton of trailers, and every couple of minutes, one of a few guys would come by in a truck and deliver a trailer somewhere, or bring another one to stage in their lot near us. As I was setting up, one of them came on over. I expected a stand-off, but instead he was one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He explained to me that he was an old school burner, and that he was one of the staff members of a major turn key camp, and that we had inadvertendly ended up where they were staging trailers/RVs for delivery pre-event. I was about to get defensive, but then he told us that if we wanted, he could block off any area we needed to camp, as long as we were okay with trailers/RVs randomly appearing and disappearing around our camp. We obliged, and he helped us mark off our planned camping space. He pulled out some beer from one of the trailers and decided that it was time to "take a break" and help us set up our camp.

I was really curious, a tad defensive, and somewhat confused. I am only on year four of Burning Man, I figured that those involved with the PnP enterprises were either newbies with tons of money to spend, or old school folks who had decided the event was over and were looking for cash to make. Over the two-ish weeks I shared with this fellow, I learned that I wasn't totally wrong, but that I also shouldn't be afraid of PnP camps necessarily. They are the inevitable product of the wild success that Burning Man, as an event, has experienced, and the fact that many turnkey camps are being organized by old school burners is actually a good thing. It doesn't fit in with the ethos 100%, but a group of rich RV-dwellers making their own circle and isolating themsleves doesn't fit well either....

His stated goal was to transition the rich, famous, and influential from default to burn. For some of us, that's really easy. For those who live lives followed by paparazzi or the media, it's not so easy. We like to pretend that Burning Man is a place where you can become totally invisible, but we all know who did that one stupid segway dance and that Grover Norquist was in First Camp. It's inevitable, unfortunately, and these camps provide a requested barrier. In a way, it's much better that veteran burners who have been doing this for 10+ years are running these camps.

The camp in question did not have a single person who had been for more than two years... they were a nearly all-virgin camp. All of their veteran campers had moved on to camping in smaller villages, or volunteering, or doing their own thing. His goal was to help acculturate people the best he can. Sometimes he missed, sometimes he succeeded, and sometimes people just went completely wild and ended up financing an entire village or massive art project. Ultimately, this is going to continue happening, whether we like it or not.

I'm ambivalent about plug n play, but I'm at least positively ambivalent now. They aren't going away, so the best we can hope for is for the people running the camps to have the best intentions. Which, as far as I could see with this one camp, they did have the best intentions that you could in this situation...
That's cool and all, but in order to staff (staff!) these camps, they need a guaranteed amount of tickets, which means these people with limitless funds are buying aftermarket tickets at jacked up prices, thereby supporting scalping and driving up prices, effectively locking out those who can't afford to do the same. That's my main gripe with PnP.

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666isMONEY
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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by 666isMONEY » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:30 am

They probably got their tickets at presale: 3,000 tickets available at $650 each, plus applicable fees. (Wonder if presale sold out?)

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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by vargaso » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:37 am

666isMONEY wrote:They probably got their tickets at presale: 3,000 tickets available at $650 each, plus applicable fees. (Wonder if presale sold out?)
Good point, forgot about presale.

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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by maladroit » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:39 am

HOT PUBIC

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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by Savannah » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:25 am

:shock:
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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by LongWayUp » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:40 am

There's an AMA with a plug-n-play staff member going on in the Burning Man Reddit, where s/he claims that the Yellow Bikes are funded by a turnkey camp:



Anyone able to confirm this?

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Re: Anybody else have a good experience at a plug-n-play cam

Post by 666isMONEY » Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:01 pm

LongWayUp wrote:There's an AMA with a plug-n-play staff member going on in the Burning Man Reddit, where s/he claims that the Yellow Bikes are funded by a turnkey camp:



Anyone able to confirm this?
Thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous benefactor, the Burning Man Project is able to offer a Yellow Community Bike program during Burning Man. Read more: blog.burningman.com/2009/08/news/burning-mans-yellow-bike-program-returns/

https://www.facebook.com/BlackRockCommu ... ellowBikes

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