Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

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Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by pezza » Tue May 05, 2020 2:50 pm


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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Token » Tue May 05, 2020 3:21 pm

$2.7 Million per month burn rate just to keep the doors open?

100 full time staff.

MM makes ~$300k give or take which ain’t that bad for a CEO.

Let’s say that other employees cost on average 200K per year ... that would be $1.6M per month.

Are they paying a cool million per month in rent!!!???

Something stinks with the numbers.

Then there is the lawsuit to keep the “real books” closed from public eyes.

So, suck it!

Move to the sticks people.

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by crowbar » Tue May 05, 2020 7:42 pm

The Burning Man Project’s target average monthly burn rate for the rest of 2020, after all budget cuts, is $1.3 Million, reduced over 50% from the $2.7 Million per month that they would have spent per month if they hadn’t reduced costs beyond cancelling building Black Rock City.

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Token » Tue May 05, 2020 8:57 pm

So if they drop the burn rate to $1.3M, have a cash reserve of $10M ...

They end up $400K short

So what’s the big deal?

Lay off a couple more people and they are good as new for a January 2021 ticket sale and can go back to their wasteful ways.

And if they need to burn some contracts and leases ... Bankruptcy is just for that kind of thing.

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Bless » Wed May 06, 2020 2:36 pm

That's outrageous that MM makes $300k a year.
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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by crowbar » Wed May 06, 2020 4:48 pm

With 4 months at @ ~$2.7M and 8 months (post restructuring) at ~$1.3M per month, the year’s outlay would be $21.2M. Subtract the $10M cash reserve, and it comes to the stated $10M shortfall and then some.

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Token » Wed May 06, 2020 5:14 pm

Ah, thank you. Now it makes sense.

Those charts were confusing.

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by some seeing eye » Wed May 06, 2020 5:30 pm

Crowbar, thanks. I was estimating they could get to 1.8, so 1.3 is outstanding!

The organization has a huge amount of work to do on the BLM permit fee lawsuit, the cultural course correction, keeping in touch with the regionals, figuring out art grants, supporting BWB, as well as keeping a relationship with the outside services vendors, putting together a 2021 event budget forecast, maintaining a relationship with the tribes, maintaining a relationship with the state, and many other things only known internally.
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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Sham » Wed May 06, 2020 7:51 pm

Tickets sales used to take place in December so the tickets could be gifted for Christmas. Ticket sales in 7 months would really help cash flow.

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Elderberry » Thu May 07, 2020 10:04 am

With tickets being as hard as they are to get, I would think people would buy tickets for 2021 if they went on sale right now.
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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Bless » Thu May 07, 2020 10:14 am

Given all the uncertainty surrounding COVID, and how long we will be unable to gather in large groupings absent a vaccine, I think it would be consummately unwise to sell tickets to any event in 2021 or the near future.
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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Token » Thu May 07, 2020 10:15 am

Elderberry wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 10:04 am
With tickets being as hard as they are to get, I would think people would buy tickets for 2021 if they went on sale right now.
Hahahaha! That would be Fyre-Festival level, going to jail type fraud.

Tell me how the BORG could reasonable project any certainty about 2021.

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Sham » Thu May 07, 2020 10:41 am

Token wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 10:15 am
Elderberry wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 10:04 am
With tickets being as hard as they are to get, I would think people would buy tickets for 2021 if they went on sale right now.
Hahahaha! That would be Fyre-Festival level, going to jail type fraud.

Tell me how the BORG could reasonable project any certainty about 2021.
Token, if 2021 didn't happen, they could offer a refund for the tickets. 8)

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by some seeing eye » Thu May 07, 2020 11:01 am

I was fortunate to travel in Africa on an overland truck tour crossing about 6 land borders. They are not that expensive, you tent, and participate preparing food and camp chores - like Burning Man, carry everything, leave no trace, you could die, +wild animals, +parasitic disease, -dust. Many African countries require a yellow fever vaccination to enter. Our driver-organizers had some fake stamps to make our vaccination certificate look real.

According to the census about 10% of burners are outside the US+Canada. It will be very interesting to see how the vaccine unfolds along with travel restrictions and fake documents.

Our own Ashland Oregon is an anti-childhood vaccination haven, so we will see how the anti-vax movement deals with a COVID-19 vaccine.

Hope to see you all in 2021!
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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Token » Thu May 07, 2020 11:18 am

Sham wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 10:41 am
Token wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 10:15 am
Elderberry wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 10:04 am
With tickets being as hard as they are to get, I would think people would buy tickets for 2021 if they went on sale right now.
Hahahaha! That would be Fyre-Festival level, going to jail type fraud.

Tell me how the BORG could reasonable project any certainty about 2021.
Token, if 2021 didn't happen, they could offer a refund for the tickets. 8)
Cmmon Sham, you know better. Our laws a full of “good faith” and “reasonable person” language where something like that would be a high-risk liability.

The 990s are posted for what they are worth, the purge and cleansing is a part of the Business Americana. I’m pretty sure the folks that got $50K raises from 2017 to 2018 will cope.

The BORG will raise the money’s from the Glitterati and all will be well.

In the meantime I’m a following the Law of The Plague!

Pay the Miller
Pay the Butcher
Pay the Farrier

The rest is gravy.

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by DustyNeonRooster » Thu May 07, 2020 12:55 pm

Seems to me that the that the root of the problem is that the Org is spending the proceeds from one year on everything but the event for the next year. While I won't argue the merit of "all the great things" that they are doing I will say that not having a Plan "B" is pretty contrary to everything Burny.

I haven't heard about any of them them reducing (or gifting) any portion of their salary this year. Maybe they are but I haven't heard that yet.

I've got a real hard time being loyal to an organization that has lost sight of what's important like ensuring that the event has the means to continue each year. Next years expenses should be the first thing in the budget. The fact they they rely on wealthy donors for most of that explains a lot about how the Burn has changed over the years. It explains a lot. In fact it leaves a shit sandwich aftertaste in my mouth just thinking about it.

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by lucky420 » Thu May 07, 2020 2:45 pm

DustyNeonRooster wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 12:55 pm
Seems to me that the that the root of the problem is that the Org is spending the proceeds from one year on everything but the event for the next year. While I won't argue the merit of "all the great things" that they are doing I will say that not having a Plan "B" is pretty contrary to everything Burny.

I haven't heard about any of them them reducing (or gifting) any portion of their salary this year. Maybe they are but I haven't heard that yet.

I've got a real hard time being loyal to an organization that has lost sight of what's important like ensuring that the event has the means to continue each year. Next years expenses should be the first thing in the budget. The fact they they rely on wealthy donors for most of that explains a lot about how the Burn has changed over the years. It explains a lot. In fact it leaves a shit sandwich aftertaste in my mouth just thinking about it.
They’ve stated that staff has taken a reduction of pay and some have been furloughed
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Sham » Thu May 07, 2020 4:43 pm

There was/is a large reserve of cash, but who the hell could have ever anticipated a pandemic that would virtually shut down the entire world. How does anyone or any organization plan for something like this? The org did have a plan B, but not big enough to weather a missed event.

Now we all have to dig into our souls and ask, "do we want this movement to end"?

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by some seeing eye » Thu May 07, 2020 5:02 pm

DustyNeonRooster wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 12:55 pm
Seems to me that the that the root of the problem is that the Org is spending the proceeds from one year on everything but the event for the next year.
Hello Mr Rooster,

Welcome to ePlaya. Would you like to introduce yourself at the Greeter Station?

I have been participating on and off since 1999. I'm curious, so I have read every after burn, census, and 990.

Dr Yes, sometime ePlayan, produced a COVID budget analysis.

Most of the staff costs are servicing BLM and governmental reporting. There is a cultural direction correcting segment. Very little is spent beyond the Gerlach event + regionals.

If you can cite specific expenditure amounts on "everything but the event," we are glad to listen.

Have you participated in the Gerlach dustbowl or your regional?
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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Bless » Fri May 08, 2020 12:41 pm

DustyNeonRooster wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 12:55 pm
Seems to me that the that the root of the problem is that the Org is spending the proceeds from one year on everything but the event for the next year. While I won't argue the merit of "all the great things" that they are doing I will say that not having a Plan "B" is pretty contrary to everything Burny.
Isn't Radical Self-reliance one of the ten principles?

Might as well just have the event sponsored by McDonald's. Drive-thru at the Temple? I can dig it.
FUCK YOU, I'M A WIZARD. FUCK YOU, I'M A SHARK.

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Token » Fri May 08, 2020 10:10 pm

Bless wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 12:41 pm
DustyNeonRooster wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 12:55 pm
Seems to me that the that the root of the problem is that the Org is spending the proceeds from one year on everything but the event for the next year. While I won't argue the merit of "all the great things" that they are doing I will say that not having a Plan "B" is pretty contrary to everything Burny.
Isn't Radical Self-reliance one of the ten principles?

Might as well just have the event sponsored by McDonald's. Drive-thru at the Temple? I can dig it.
I hear there be a beef shortage ...

Can we please get Jamba Juice and Noah’s Bagle for the vegan option?
/s

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by some seeing eye » Sun May 10, 2020 5:11 am

Token wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 10:10 pm

I hear there be a beef shortage ...
Actually there is a surplus of high end beef cuts. They usually go to expensive restaurants, which are closed. They are on sale here and some butchers are grinding them into burger. Our local steak house, same family 75 years, held a direct sale of frozen dry-aged prime cuts from the wholesaler. The entire supply chain, feed to fork, is in chaos.

The vegan burgers are thriving though!

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronaviru ... st-decade/
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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Molotov » Sun May 10, 2020 9:20 am

I get my beef from a local farm here in south central KS. They have plenty, any cut you want. They sell entire cut up and wrapped half sides of grass-fed open range beef for $1400 and offer many smaller packages. Free front porch delivery in my area.

Now it's a different story in southwest Kansas where the 3 counties with some of the largest beef processing plants in the world are seeing thousands of workers with positive COVID 19 tests.

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Token » Mon May 11, 2020 8:27 am

Even tho I live in California where 95% of the population lives in urban centers ...

... us 5% rural folks still live the old school Burning Man ethos of “Barter Town”; you know, before NV said barter is taxable and LarryCo had to invent the gifting economy and the silly 10 principles.

So when I need beef I call old man Glenn and negotiate some chain-saw work, maybe some grading of the road with the tractor and fence repair to go in halfsies on a steer.

Then I ring up my buddy Tab who got a processing butcher truck with big crane, stainless steel tables and lockers and stainless food grade sawsall (those are neat) and we work some angle for some computer work, website sprucing... a few bucks change hands and he does a cut n wrap.

The Rona is much easier to deal with in the sticks where farm-to-fork is a neighborhood activity.

Did you know we have an old-timer alternative to Facebook at the post office and the general store? Like real cork bulletin board! Still used and loved!

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by lucky420 » Tue May 12, 2020 5:41 am

Token wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 8:27 am
Even tho I live in California where 95% of the population lives in urban centers ...

... us 5% rural folks still live the old school Burning Man ethos of “Barter Town”; you know, before NV said barter is taxable and LarryCo had to invent the gifting economy and the silly 10 principles.

So when I need beef I call old man Glenn and negotiate some chain-saw work, maybe some grading of the road with the tractor and fence repair to go in halfsies on a steer.

Then I ring up my buddy Tab who got a processing butcher truck with big crane, stainless steel tables and lockers and stainless food grade sawsall (those are neat) and we work some angle for some computer work, website sprucing... a few bucks change hands and he does a cut n wrap.

The Rona is much easier to deal with in the sticks where farm-to-fork is a neighborhood activity.

Did you know we have an old-timer alternative to Facebook at the post office and the general store? Like real cork bulletin board! Still used and loved!
My grandparents owned and ran a general mercantile store up in Standish Ca and my great aunt was the postmistress. They’re gone now, as is the store and little p.o. It was a fun place to be when I was a kid
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Token » Tue May 12, 2020 7:00 am

There is still that Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn life of Mark Twain’s lore out in them woods ...

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by gaminwench » Tue May 12, 2020 7:30 am

Moving to the Blue Ridge Mountains, already working on plans for the still.
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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by Bless » Tue May 12, 2020 8:33 am

Our planet would be a lot better off if all humans became vegetarian.
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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by DustyNeonRooster » Wed May 13, 2020 6:57 am

lucky420 wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 2:45 pm
DustyNeonRooster wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 12:55 pm
Seems to me that the that the root of the problem is that the Org is spending the proceeds from one year on everything but the event for the next year. While I won't argue the merit of "all the great things" that they are doing I will say that not having a Plan "B" is pretty contrary to everything Burny.

I haven't heard about any of them them reducing (or gifting) any portion of their salary this year. Maybe they are but I haven't heard that yet.

I've got a real hard time being loyal to an organization that has lost sight of what's important like ensuring that the event has the means to continue each year. Next years expenses should be the first thing in the budget. The fact they they rely on wealthy donors for most of that explains a lot about how the Burn has changed over the years. It explains a lot. In fact it leaves a shit sandwich aftertaste in my mouth just thinking about it.
They’ve stated that staff has taken a reduction of pay and some have been furloughed
To be honest I haven't had time to do my "due-diligence" on this. Thanks Lucky for the info.

Sham, I totally get the enormity of all this & the complete drain on their reserves. But my point is a simple one.
- The Org has a significant reserve of cash
- They roughly know how much the event costs to put on each year
- Ticket sales greatly exceed that cost of the event
- So why don't they fund the next years event first (line 1 of the budget every year).
- If they need to cut anywhere it would seem to me that everything that is not "The Burn" would be fair game.

Yeah, no one saw this coming but that is precisely why we (all Burners) are in this predicament. It leads me to believe that there is not (never was) a back-up plan for having to cancel the event but there should be. It doesn't need to be a virus. It could just as easily be excessive rains flooding the Playa, major road construction leading in to the event, wild fires, Tax law changes that affect Big donors, a Gerlach Trump rally......

So.....going forward whats the plan BORG? It seems obvious that they rely on big donors instead of ticket sales to fund the event. Doesn't anyone else see this as a problem (ethically & strategically)?

Wow - Epiphany, my ticket expense and vehicle pass has nothing to do with funding the event. Instead it goes to funding whatever the BORG wants to spend it on. I feel somewhat misled and disheartened by that notion.

Did I mention "WOW"?

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Re: Anticipating a $10 Million Shortfall Burning Man Asks Ticket Holders and Participants To Donate

Post by DustyNeonRooster » Wed May 13, 2020 7:01 am

Bless wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 8:33 am
Our planet would be a lot better off if all humans became vegetarian.
Our planet would be better off without Humans.


Total thread drift.

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