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Burning Man 2014

The Billionaires at Burning Man

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"For his 50th birthday, Jim Tananbaum, chief executive officer of Foresite Capital, threw himself an extravagant party at Burning Man, the annual sybaritic arts festival and all-hours rave that attracts 60,000-plus to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada over the week before Labor Day. Tananbaum’s bash went so well, he decided to host an even more elaborate one the following year. In 2014 he’d invite up to 120 people to join him at a camp that would make the Burning Man experience feel something like staying at a pop-up W Hotel. To fund his grand venture, he’d charge $16,500 per head...

For 2014, Tananbaum wanted a camp that was aesthetically novel, ecologically conscious, and exceedingly comfortable. In the spring he and his team sent out a detailed invitation, enticing potential guests with an early vision of the camp, named Caravancicle. Anyone concerned about living in a hot, unforgiving wilderness could rest assured. There would be no roughing it at Caravancicle. Accommodations would consist of a series of cubical tents with carbon fiber skeletons. Each cube would have 9-foot ceilings, comfortable bedding, and air conditioning. The surrounding camp, enclosed by high walls, would be safe and private. Amenities would include a central lounge housed in a geodesic dome, private showers and toilets, solar panels, wireless Internet, and a 24-hour bar. Guests could count on a “full-service” staff, who would among other things help create “handcrafted, artisanal popsicles” to offer passers-by. To help blend in with the Burning Man regulars, who tend to parade around the commons in wild, racy outfits (if anything at all), the camp would include an entire shipping container full of costumes....

For Tananbaum, his improbable journey from the precincts of the East Coast Establishment to the inner circle of one of San Francisco’s great countercultural institutions appeared complete. As it turned out, the honeymoon was short-lived."

"Move over, Google Bus. There's a new symbolic fight over tech money, class, and privilege": http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-05/occupy-burning-man-class-warfare-comes-to-desert-festival

Blessings, sister Alicia

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Woman, 29, killed at Burning Man was hit by fur-covered 'Shagadelica' party bus filled with festival-goers
Associated Press reports:

The 29-year-old artist who was killed at Burning Man on Thursday was struck by a fur-covered party bus, it has emerged.
Alicia Louise Cipicchio, whom friends described as 'sweet, loving and adventurous', was hit by the vehicle carrying festival-goers just after midnight on Thursday and died at the scene. Authorities are now working to determine what led to the accident.

Cipicchio, from Jackson, Wyoming, was hit by a bus known as the 'Shagadelica', according to the Burning Man blog. She may have been riding on the double-decker bus before she fell under the wheels and was run over by it, said Sheila Reitz, dispatch supervisor for the Pershing County Sheriff's Office.

A website for the vehicle describes it as 'the ultimate night club on wheels... featuring a fully equipped DJ booth, an array of multi-beam laser sky projectors and lights, 32,000W of high quality sound, and a full bar'.

It is not known whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident, authorities said. Cars are banned from Burning Man, which has its own transit system with a 5mph speed limit strictly enforced for safety reasons.

Cipicchio worked at a fine art gallery in Jackson Hole and had studied art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, according to her Facebook profile. The page also reveals her love for hiking and shows her grinning alongside family members.

In a profile on couchsurfing.org, she listed her interests as 'nature, art, music, food, culture, philosophy, dancing, laughing' and said her philosophy was: 'Love your neighbor',
SFGate reported.

A friend added on the website: 'Alicia is such a sweet, loving, adventurous, caring spirit. She just radiates wonderful vibes.'
An employee at the gallery where she worked said Cipicchio, who worked in sales and management, was an 'amazing girl, full of life, loved by everybody', the
Reno Gazette Journal reported.

In a statement, Burning Man co-founder Marian Goodell said: 'This is a terrible accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and campmates. Black Rock Rangers and Emergency Services Department staff are providing support to those affected.'

Burning Man - the largest outdoor arts festival in North America - is patrolled by 500 rangers in addition to 95 federal and local law enforcement officers.

This is not the first death at Burning Man, Jim Parrish, Humboldt General Hospital chief executive, said earlier this week. He said that the most recent death at the event was seven years ago when an attendee fell under a trailer.

The shortest route to the hospital is more than 120 miles, but the roads mean it would take six hours to get there, but the hospital does have a helipad for air transport.

The tragedy comes after revelers eventually got through the event gates after being forced to wait outside due to heavy rains on Monday. On Thursday, it emerged that some festival-goers were forced to wait for up to 29 hours to get inside the gates.

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The Temple of Grace

Finally, some images have emerged from the playa to the Default World showing us some of the majesty of David Best's Temple of Grace!

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Top photos by Reuters; bottom photo by Michael Holden.

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Burning Man's bacchanal: Big ticket sales, big costs

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The annual revelry in the desert brings in millions of dollars, despite its anti-capitalist vibe.
by Verne Kopytoff for Fortune

Money is frowned on at Burning Man, the annual desert bacchanal that runs through Monday in Nevada. Participants are instead supposed to adhere to the festival’s feel-good philosophy of giving gifts like glow bracelets, sparklers, and vodka shots.

The group that puts on Burning Man, meanwhile, rakes in millions of dollars from selling tickets and parking passes to more than 60,000 attendees. It’s a complex operation with a full-time staff and a huge budget that dwarfs many big businesses.

Burning Man has long been led by its co-founder, Larry Harvey, who helped build it up from an informal gathering on San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986 to an international happening. Ostensibly, it’s an art event and free-zone for “radical self-expression.” In reality, the event’s vibe has morphed into a mix of flower power, around-the-clock rave, and Silicon Valley wheeling and dealing.

Earlier this year, Burning Man’s owners fulfilled a promise to place the event—long operated by a private company—under the control of a non-profit organization. The switch was partly intended to mollify critics who accused the organizers of hypocrisy for espousing an anti-corporate ethos while operating Burning Man as a business.

In a blog post, the organizers said the change would allow the event to survive beyond the lifetime of its owners. “Our mission has always been to serve the community,” they wrote, “and a non-profit public benefit corporation is the most socially responsible option to ensure and protect the future of Burning Man.”

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Techies at Burning Man: Yay or Nay?

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A Line Is Drawn in the Desert
At Burning Man, the Tech Elite One-Up One Another

New York Times Aug 20, 2014

If you have never been to Burning Man, your perception is likely this: a white-hot desert filled with 50,000 stoned, half-naked hippies doing sun salutations while techno music thumps through the air.

A few years ago, this assumption would have been mostly correct. But now things are a little different. Over the last two years, Burning Man, which this year runs from Aug. 25 to Sept. 1, has been the annual getaway for anew crop of millionaire and billionaire technology moguls, many of whom are one-upping one another in a secret game of I-can-spend-more-money-than-you-can and, some say, ruining it for everyone else.

Some of the biggest names in technology have been making the pilgrimage to the desert for years, happily blending in unnoticed. These include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the Google founders, and Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Amazon. But now a new set of younger rich techies are heading east, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, employees from Twitter, Zynga and Uber, and a slew of khaki-wearing venture capitalists.

Read the rest at
http://nyti.ms/1tiEGoq

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Some of the technology elite who have attended Burning Man, include from left, Larry Page, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin


Tech Elites Aren’t Ruining Burning Man. They Get Their Hands Dirty, Too.
TechCrunch.com August 22, 2014

Don’t believe the hate. While it’s a juicy narrative that rich people spoil everything the common folk hold dear, there are plenty of tech bigwigs at Burning Man that work hard to contribute and embody the event’s ideals of inclusion. And the thing is, what they do has little impact on Burning Man as a whole. Whether they’re secluded in forts of cushy tour buses like The New York Times’ Nick Bilton rails, or they’re cooking food and giving it away to total strangers as I’ve seen in my six trips to the desert, you probably won’t notice. It’s a massive ad hoc city where your experience is what you make of it, so there’s no need to worry about how the upper crust burns.

Are more super-wealthy people coming to Burning Man? Sure. Because more people are coming to Burning Man. It’s grown from a few dozen people in 1986 to 30,000 in 2004 to 70,000 last year, so it’s naturally going to include more financial outliers.

Yet pouring money into Burning Man won’t even get you that far, since most everything outside your camp is free. And moneyed burners aren’t all from tech. One widely criticized luxury camp that housed venture capitalists and likely inspired Bilton’s piece was actually started by a C-level executive of a giant hotel chain. Some of those VCs have ditched that camp because it felt at odds with the spirit of self-reliance.

Arguably a bigger threat to Burning Man’s culture are techie spectators. They come with little forethought, buy what they need to fit in, glom onto a friend’s camp, but then don’t actively contribute much. While it can be tough to know how to add to others’ experience the first year, everyone should try — no exceptions. Those that only take and don’t give dilute the atmosphere.

Luckily, one of the great things about Burning Man being a decentralized event set across seven square miles is that there are near-infinite ways to experience it. A temporary city the size of downtown San Francisco is tough for a couple of people to wreck for everyone else.

As Caleb Garling wrote for SFGate last year, “if you try to cherry pick a few of them to build a story, you’re left with a basket of disingenuous anecdotes.”

http://tcrn.ch/1tw8Tzk

Burning Man isn't what you think...

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Burning Man Isn't What You Think, and Never Has Been

It is, and always has been, ruled by all kinds of techno-smart futuristic punks rather than nostalgic hippies or dippy ravers.

Consider: this is a week-long art party in a handmade city in an environment that is doing its level best to kill you. Either the sun is baking dry ground that is blinding white, leeching water from your body, or the wind is blasting mile-high storms of dust across this enormous barren plain at ninety miles an hour, or a starry desert night is damn-near freezing you to death.

Occasionally the climate likes to remind you you're actually partying on an ancient lake bed — the playa — and rains for days until the solid dusty ground turns to thick soupy mud that adds inches to your shoes in seconds.

Who thrives in that environment? People who are a little bit crazy, quite a bit determined, and a whole lot of wiry and smart. People with an Iggy Pop-style lust for life. Here are punks of all stripes: cyberpunks, steampunks, biker punks, punk punks. People who do what it says on the ticket — voluntarily assume the risk of death. People who are brought roaringly to life in this killer of a desert, and fight fiercely to build an all-inclusive volunteer-driven civilization that lasts for as long as a mayfly.

Read the rest at http://on.mash.to/1p7b6w0

Raising the Man!

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Photos by John Curley at the Burning Blog

Scenes from Opening Day

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Photos by John Curley at the Burning Blog

Burning Man Closed for Rain!

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Here's an amazing image from the Burning Man webcam taken this morning, showing the playa somewhat underwater and Black Rock City more or less shutdown. No people, no art cars, no bikes, no nothing but mud puddles and dark clouds! Wowsa. We've been through a couple small rainstorms on the playa over the years, but don't think we've ever seen a scene like this before — hard to recognize this place as the sunbaked, dusty city we know and love.

As a result, Burning Man has officially "closed" for now, which means shutting down the gates and turning everybody waiting in their cars around for....not sure where.





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The BRC webcam feed went down in the storm, and then BMIR radio followed soon after; they wrote on Facebook: "BMIR tower just struck by lightning but due to our ace engineer Mark Chang we are properly grounded and the charge safely discharged into the ground. We are still standing!"

Update from the BORG at noon PST:

RAINSTORMS CLOSE BURNING MAN UNTIL TUESDAY

Black Rock City, August 25, 2014 — Organizers of the annual Burning Man event are asking any participants traveling to the event now to postpone their arrival until at least Tuesday morning. Black Rock City has shut down following rainstorms that left standing water on the playa, leaving it un-drivable.

Nevada Highway Patrol will be directing traffic away from Highway 447 at Wadsworth. Local law enforcement have also begun turning around traffic at the event entrance on Highway 34 northeast of Gerlach. Drivers are being instructed to find a safe location to park until the expected re-opening of the event on Tuesday.

Organizers expect the rain to dissipate and the playa surface to dry out by midday Tuesday and participants will be allowed to enter the event again.


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The Golden Spike

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The building of Black Rock City has begun! Here is Makeout Queen driving the Golden Spike in to the playa, a marker from which the entire city is then plotted and built around. Read more on this auspicious moment Burning Blog at http://blog.burningman.com/2014/07/building-brc/the-beginning.

Think globally, Burn locally...

Well, it’s been a minute since we’ve posted anything up here on the dBM blog, and so we thought we’d take a moment to check in and say hello. As the 2014 Burn approaches, there’s a huge surge in visitors surfing their way to our website, looking for information, videos, survival tips, hot gossip, fuckleberry mojito recipes and, most of all, music via our dBMcast project. There is a ton of information you can access from 8 years of keeping up this website and blog, and hope you’ll find something useful or inspirational here. Or at the very least, a ton of music mixes to load up on for your roadtrip to the playa and/or theme camp soundtracks!

One reason for the prolonged silence is because our Burning Man camp crew, Get Found, is once again skipping over the Burn — we will have a loose assortment of our people on-playa here & there, but no organized camp nor SynchroniciTEA House.

As for myself, this is the 2nd year in a row I’ve procured tickets then let them go as the Burn grew closer. Like last summer, I am feeling pulled to participate in local/regional/West Coast festivals. I am really appreciating the intimacy of gathering with smaller groups; the option of camping in the woods, or on the beach, or next to a river; the comparative ease of getting there & back again, as well as financial and vacation days savings; and the music at the festies I’ve been visiting is top-notch! I just haven’t felt the flame of inspiration or motivation to make the trek to the Black Rock Desert, and lacking the passion, I can’t fire up all the creative energy needed to make Burning Man happen. I think about all the shopping and organizing and camp logistics and thrift store browsing and creating, and then the strenuous drive in a sub-adequate vehicle, the lining up to get in, the paranoia of getting past the big law enforcement sting operation at the gates, the 2 days of hard, dusty work in setting up camp and the teahouse….sigh. I just don’t have it in me this summer. Again.

“I just want to get airdropped in to Black Rock City!” I mentioned to a friend today. Maybe that will be my 2015 plan of attack. I know I’ll LOVE IT once I’m there, back in the dust with all the amazing art, booming bass and beautiful Burners — it is just the getting there I’m not up for.

For now, I am very content with exploring West Coast gatherings, reuniting and hanging out with friends and local musicians, artists, healers & teachers, camping under the trees and swimming during the heat of the day, meeting new local peeps and networking for Sacred Bass Sessions, connecting with my native ground and spreading moontrolling love in the Pacific Northwest!

Announcing the theme for Burning Man 2014….

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"The Silk Road was the world's first information superhighway."

        —Jeff Greenwald

For countless centuries, travelers along the Silk Route crossed paths in caravansaries, a network of oases and sanctuaries that dotted the 4,000-mile road from Europe to East Asia. These bustling caravan stops offered more than just shelter from the desert wilderness; they were vital centers of cultural exchange, bringing together traders, pilgrims, monks, nomads, traveling entertainers, and wild-eyed adventurers from all points of the compass to share their stories around a common fire. Though fueled by mercantilism, their legacy to us is a grand commerce of ideas — a swirling exchange of languages, legends, technologies, philosophies and art that helped shape nearly every aspect of our modern world.

"Much travel is needed before the raw man is ripened."
        —Proverb of the Caravan of Dreams

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This year we will create a caravansary that occupies the crossroads of a dreamland: a bazaar of the bizarre wherein treasures of every sort, from every land and age, flow in and out to be flaunted, lost, exploited and discovered. This is not a tourist destination, but a home for travelers who come here bearing gifts. Amid the twisting and the turnings of its souk, participants will come upon an inexhaustible array of teeming goods and unexpected services. Anyone may pose as 'merchant' here, and anyone may play a 'customer', but nothing in this strange emporium shall have a purchase price — no quid, no pro, no quo — no trade at all will be allowed in this ambiguous arcade. According to a rule of desert hospitality, the only thing of value in this 'marketplace' will be one's interaction with a fellow human being.

"Have the nature of a dervish: then wear a stylish cap."
        —Proverb of the Caravan of Dreams

Read more on
the Burning Man website.