Burning Man’s cred, cool BUSTED with invasion of 1%ers

Burning Man’s cred, cool BUSTED with invasion of 1%ers
(Image: Screen grab of RT video, YouTube)

[Ed. – Mini-homily: Much of the moral rot of today’s culture is encapsulated in this one distinction: between the ideas of “giving,” and “gifting.”]

In recent years, though, Burning Man has been roiled by growing pains brought on by success. (Tickets, $390 to $1,200, go on sale each year on BurningMan.org in February and quickly sell out.) What are known as plug-and-play or turnkey camps have sprung up, where people pay thousands of dollars to have everything set up and provided for them when they arrive, including showers, air conditioning, private chefs, guides and even costumes. Critics have howled that the camps violate principles of Burning Man, including radical self-reliance, participation, gifting, communal effort and decommodification. The issue blew out into the open in 2014 when a paid employee at one of the camps, Caravancicle (cost per person: $16,500), wrote a widely shared online story about her experience there, alleging that models had been hired to entertain guests and that the bar, which was supposed to be public, was later restricted to camp members wearing wristbands. “It’s gotten bigger, and the obscenely wealthy have all added it to their bucket list,” says director/composer Jerry Brunskill. “Most don’t embrace the original intent of the festival and show up with private planes and lavish housing with air-conditioning, and personal chefs and all that barf.”

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