Anyone who is under the impression that festivals like Burning Man are the free-loving, countercultural, alternative lifestyle utopias they claim to be is, to put it simply, delusional.
And that’s okay. Don’t let me get in the way of your experiences.
Just keep in mind that even the creators of Burning Man are having a rethink about what the event has become.
In a lengthy blog post, which you can peruse here, Marian Goodell called for a “cultural course correcting”, which includes “giving the boot to some high-profile, and controversial camping groups”, reports The Guardian.
Goodell outlined several “negative cultural trends” that she says go against the organization’s ethos, including commercialization on Instagram, themed camps, and commodification.
Watch this video if you want a look inside the madness at Burning Man last year.
Showing the organization means business, it disinvited Camp Humano – a Fyre-festival style camp that, according to its website, promises high-end accommodation, a “culinary and beverage program which focuses on raw and cooked organic food”, “yoga retreats”, “meditation and energy healing sessions” and “artists and djs to align your heart pace with the beats of our sets”. Other camps may follow, Goodell warned.
She also acknowledged that the camp has, in recent years, been flooded with models and Instagram influencers tagging brands in photos from the desert, and even companies timing product launches to coincide with the event.
“This means they are using Black Rock City to increase their popularity; to appeal to customers and sell more ‘stuff,’ Goodell said.
Humano, she said, had been the subject of complaints for many year. The camp “had a poor ‘leave no trace’ record for three years and didn’t adequately comply with environmental regulations.
To take the event forward, they also want to reevaluate the ticketing system to make it easier for people of all backgrounds to make the journey to Burning Man.
Here at home, AfrikaBurn organisers are also clamping down on what they call ‘plug, play and profit camps’, detailing their efforts in a blog post.
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