Grants are the social security/ welfare/ unemployment of our community.
Badger wrote:Grants are the social security/ welfare/ unemployment of our community.
If your gripe is with the large sound camps then I'm behind your idea pretty much across the board although I'm somewhat suspect that any of the larger music camps get anything more than pretty cush Esplanade placement. However, if this is an across the board whine-a-thon about funding in general I'd ask that you consider the folks who built and brought you 1) HellCo 2) the Duck Bar 3) the Dice Bar 4) The Machine 5) The Male Impotence Compensation Project 6) any of a number of extraordinary pieces not lacking in imagination but preposterously expensive to build, ship and then burn. Sure the grant process might be refined a bit more to weed out the no-shows and yeah, some of the stuff looked better on paper than in real time but what's perfect in this world besides myself?
refine the process to weed out the capable people
Badger wrote:refine the process to weed out the capable people
But sometimes those capable of executing an idea aren't always $rolling in the money. There have been a few exceptions with the Emerald City camp coming to mind. For the most part though it seems to me that some of the more amazing large scale art stunts have been those needing some outside infusion of capital to pull it off.
It's not just a dome and some speakers, folks. And it's not just oontz oontz oontz of DJ's playing techno. Last year I heard everything ranging from ambient/downtempo to funky breaks to asian underground to live musicians and back again. I heard just about everything in there - it was one of the most musically diverse places on the playa.
The dome is huge, and requires a crane for setup/teardown (no idea what the rental is on that). The lighting and rigging inside is elaborate, as well. Aside from the costs of buying it (which is what they've done over the years, I believe), the cost of replacing lamps and gels alone after a trip to the playa has got to be pretty high. The sound system, like the lights, is bought and paid for but there's a cost to replacing parts and cables that get worn through the course of the week. Talking to one of the organizers last year, I know that the cost of the generator rental was around $5K. There's also the cost of hauling all that stuff to and from the playa (not just speakers and lights and the steel frame and canvas of the dome, but the stages and other support structures for the camp itself).
Inside that dome were some of the most amazing performances I've ever seen. The fire/fashion show in 2004, the vaudeville-ian burlesque in 2005, and even the Sunday morning puppet show. Forget about all the time and energy involved (we all put our time and energy into things we do on the playa), the cost of raw materials alone has got to be enormous.
If you never actually took the time to explore the El Circo dome and really only think of it as a sound camp, my condolences.
I'm not going to get into the issue of BRC grants or any of that because I don't really know any of the details on either side of that argument (other than good people are involved on both sides). But I think writing El Circo off as just a sound camp or implying that they spend all their money on drugs is just plain wrong.
bassdragon wrote:Hmmmmmmmm. It was not my intention in making this post to spark a dialogue about grant funding or the merits of dance music on the playa...
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