BRC Gay Pride Parade – Please Support

There is new blood running the Gay Pride event at Burning Man this year. Justin is part of Camp Proper and he is taking a whole new perspective on the Gay Pride Parade which has historically taken place on Friday of burn week.

The Gay Pride Parade started more than a decade ago under Mario Cisneros (formerly Moonbow Camp / RIP) whom we lost in 2012. Since then Toaster took over the Pride event, but in 2015 participation was at an all time low and the thought was that it needed new imagination, new eyes and new ideas.

Burner Buddies has been the other end of that event and have generously invited attendees to their camp with Nacho Daddies and others to an after party in their camp.

The pride parade is still done in honor of the memory of Mario and is driven by community support. This is really important to people who knew and felt the loving support and brotherhood with Mario in his day.

This is important to rally and support this project. If everyone would commit to giving a couple hours to Justin and help make this a success it would be a great way of helping build community.

All in Placement’s hands now…

Many community members were given a jolt with the news that BMorg’s Placement wanted to talk to LGBTQQ leaders about the state of the Gayborhood. Was it getting too big? Why are there 350 applications for the 7:30 sector and is it because they were from queer Camps? Is the high number of self identified queer attendees a correlation of these applications to the sector?

The above graphic came from the BMorg meeting showing that, according to BM Census almost 1/3rd of attendees identified as LGBTQQ (BMorgs choice of acronyms). Queer Burners has posted similar numbers on this before showing significant results of the impact of queer patrons on the Burning Man event but we have been marginalized in the culture every year.

A majority of our community have been marginalized in society and it was still prevalent in the Burning Man event except in the Gayborhood; which is not 100% true. Burning Man queers are predominantly gay, white males which to some are still vilified on some level for the same reasons as our straight, white part of society.

At the 2016 Queer Burner Retreat we were part of a well attended workshop about inclusivity and how simply respecting basic pronouns for people of various gender identification make a huge difference in the area of respect.

The popularity and attraction of the Gayborhood provides 1 outstanding feature for many people of all orientation and gender identity and that is Safety.

  • gender queer people (people of other ethnicity as well) are more vigilant about their environment  in the world and will react and go to the aide of other queers who might be in trouble.
  • that environment of awareness and networked safety has attracted people outside that demographic seeking the safe spaces just like they do in gay communities in cities all over the world.

The 7:30 sector, in this burners 8 years, has been a zone with the best camps with the best attractions including but not limited to the Gayborhood. Camps like Orphan Endorphine, Party Naked Tiki Bar, AEZ, Playfully Yours, Suspended Animation and so many more have been based in that same zone.

The 3:00 zone tends to be a popular zone as well with camps known for making that space highly entertaining.

The 10:00 and 2:00 zones speak for themselves.

So the Gayborhood is just one part of the attraction that makes that sector so big and under demand. It is close to Center Camp. It is a hub of activity and entertainment especially at night.

So when members of the BMorg talk about a dream that one day all of Burning Man will be integrated and there is no need for a Gayborhood, I see this as fundamentally offensive. We are not always welcomed with open arms and we have been faced with threatening behavior by other burners. We have the numbers showing that. And many of us do not want to turned into processed cheese slices that fit nicely into someone’s bland world where we are all marching around in our gray suits.

Out of 302 respondents on a survey about personal safety in the gayborhood:

  • 14.57% say they were threatened or felt endangered at Burning Man
  • 21.67% say they knew someone in the same circumstance

IMPORTANT: removed the white, gay male respondents and the numbers jump up to nearly 100%.

Based on our conversation with Placement this week we can anticipate the Rainbow Road layout of what we have been calling the Gayborhood. However, with changes coming in 2017, there is a chance the Gayborhood will be split into 2 sectors or Rainbow Road might be extended; although we want the community to be prepared for both possibilities.

To see the results of the recent survey follow the following links:

Footnote: “Gayborhood” is a term a lot of people are looking to see retired. Queerborhood has been thrown around but it is not a marketable phrase. Neither is “Gayburbs” (the 4:30 & J mini queer collective). As Placement releases the placement of camps that we consider a new brand; like Rainbow Road or something else that might better represent our community as a whole.

Burning Man Placement is asking for Feedback

We did it! A collective of local queer camp leaders met with Placement at BMHQ to discuss how to manage the number of request for 7:30 sector, which are almost double the number requesting any other sector of Burning Man. Besides providing a safe space for LGBTQIA folks, we’ve created a tight-knit community that produces amazing art and a powerful experience on the playa. Other burners have responded, and queers and allies alike are flocking to our rainbow colored beacon.

Using survey data you, the Queer Burner community, provided us, we discussed what makes the Gayborhood (or more inclusively “Queerborhood”) such an important place for our community and for Burning Man in general. We tried to tackle issues of safety, inclusion, freedom, self-expression, and all the powerful themes that you all wrote to us about!

The Placement Team also brought data of their own. Using the BRC census data, almost a third of the BRC population self-identify as “LGBTQQ”.

Scan_20160602

And, now, BURNING MAN PLACEMENT needs actionable information so as to not break up the Gayborhood/Queerborhood and still solve the logistics challenge of cramming too many camps in a limited amount of space. So…

URGENT: Before Friday afternoon we need the community to answer a few more questions (not many, really): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GPJFRLZ

Answering the questions above will directly guide the ongoing logistics discussion with Placement. You and your camp leaders are invited to participate so that we can continue to create a supportive space for those who want to share in the community.

This year we anticipate seeing a Gayborhood “Rainbow Road” scenario much like 2016 (possibly extending beyond the bounds of 7:30 and into the adjacent sectors). However, in the not so distant future, we are likely to see TWO Gayborhoods and new questions in the Placement Questionnaire for camps to self-identify as queer and wanting to be in the Gayborhood/Queerborhood (rather than just requesting 7:30).

For now, use the Queer Burners [dot] Com Forums to share your opinions. Help us continue the dialog by letting us know what you need!

Leaders of Queer Camps facilitating the discussion:

– *Tiger (Glamcocks) – *Christian (BAAAHS) – *Cyndi NoPants (Gender Blender) – *Toaster (Sun Guardians / Queer Burners) – *Indigo (Astropups) – *Dare (Glamcocks) – *Foxy (Beaverton) – *Ariel (Gender Blender) – Terry Grossman (Gaylactic Village / Time to Burn) – Ed Edmond (Burner Buddies) – Zach Bunker (BloAsis)  *in attendance at meeting w/ Placement Team

Get ready for Ticket Sales… like NOW!

If you have done nothing yet, there are 2 things you must stop and do immediately. Because if you wait you are screwed. So you need to:

These two things are what you need to buy Burning Man tickets. If you have not read, IN DETAIL, tickets.burningman.com you could suffer some pain through this process.

When is this happening?

We copied all the important dates we could find from the Burning Man site on this page [click me]. There is even more detail on the Burning Man Tickets link above as well. But heed these dates as they are carved in stone and need to be thought of as if they were in two tablets from a burning bush… pun intended.

But that is not all!

On that page of important dates is also shows that the applications for Theme Camp placement, Mutant Vehicles and other things are also opening up. We hear there is no advantage to filling them out early or late, but one would imagine that the sooner the better is a win in our column and theirs.

The people reviewing those applications need to review them, might have to ask questions about them, then go through a series of processes to complete them. We have a responsibility to make sure they are thorough and complete as well.

Conclusion

Here are some cool articles from other sites that relate to this topic:

Google Search: How to get ready for Burning Man ticket sales.

Ticket Sales Announced Today

Well, after a long wait the Borg released ticket information. As it turns out the Nevada Entertainment Tax does not seem to apply to Burning Man, but some genius somewhere is charging $80 / car pass now. That blows balls! Anyhoo, at least we finally have word.

Burning Man just updated info on its 2016 Ticket Sales:

-Directed Group Sale tix and Main Sale tix will remain $390
-Low Income Sale tix will remain $190
-2 levels of limited Pre-Sale tix increase to $990 and $1290
-The new mandatory Nevada “Live Entertainment Tax” of 9% will be collected from you at the time you purchase a tix
-Nevada still hasn’t answered Burning Man’s inquiry as to if/why the 9% tax applies to Burning Man
-If Nevada sees it Burning Man’s way (“Hello, Hell? Is that snow?”) the 9% collected will be refunded
-Vehicle Passes increase to $80 for 2016 yet are not subject to the 9% tax
-See tix sale info on BurningMan.org at http://bit.ly/1PiXeNj
-See tix sale 2016 Important Dates at tickets.burningman.org
-You must register to participate in any tix sale
-To register, you must have created or updated your Burner profile in order to buy tickets. Do that NOW at profiles.burningman.org

Changes to Theme Camp Thinking

What makes a theme camp? What gives some of these staying power while others fade? Who is really making a mark on the culture, while who is just producing a glorified camp with friends? Truth is Burning Man is demanding camps innovate and change. Camps that are not evolving are getting placed less and less.

There are 5 standards for present and future camps need to meet (from April 2014 news letter from Placement)

  1. Theme Camps should be visually stimulating, have an inviting design and a plan for bike parking and crowd management.
  2. Theme Camps must be interactive. They should include activities, events or services within their camps that must be available to the entire Burning Man community.
  3. Theme Camps must be neighbourly. This includes keeping sound within set limits, controlling where camp generators vent exhaust, and easily resolving any boundary disputes that may arise.
  4. Theme Camps must have a good previous MOOP record (for returning camps).
  5. Theme Camps must follow safety protocols designed by the organization (this includes traffic management on the streets, proper handling of fuels, and any other areas defined by the organization’s production team including alternatives to RV lined streets).

Gayborhood camps might think they have a better chance of placement without innovation or evolution because they are a staple of the area. Some camps have been really setting the bar in their presentation. Another area of note is the friendly nature of the camp; is that is inviting – engaging – interactive? Some camps have made remarkable steps in that area as well.

“Community is the successful result of people coming together for a common goal”**

comfort__joy_2006Comfort & Joy has been the epicenter of the Gayborhood for a number of years now. Their neon courtyard created by Chickpea and art pieces by Neon suck people into their space and do not require a lot of direct engagement to make people feel welcome when visiting. They do have fluffers who keep their space refreshed which is an additional welcoming factor of their space.

Over the last few years the camps that have made strong presentations:

  • Comfort & Joy – Glamcocks – BloAsis – Barbie Death Camp – Paradise Motel – Celestial Bodies – Mystopia

Most improved process of making people feel welcome in their camps:

  • Glamcocks – Camp Beaverton  – Gender Blender

Camps to watch grow in recent years:

  • Hanging Gardens – Disco Chateau – Peterson’s Pink Pagoda – Sun Guardians

Exciting new camps that brought a lot of fun to the playa:

  • Cub House -Gaylactic Village (now including Homojitoville)

Gone are the days when the Borg are willing to let camps stay the same. Theme camps have to become more interactive or provide services that make the city more inviting. They can come in many forms from Snow Cones, to Super Hero Parties to Oil Wresting (3 camps had this in 2015).

There are some new subjects coming to light in the 2016 season that have yet to officially be directed, but you can look forward to seeing:

  • Frontage lighting for camps including day oriented camps
  • More rules on sound: sound camps in the city
  • … and more I am sure

Want some help with your camp infrastructure or plans for 2016. Well, we have news! There is going to be a Camp Creator summit coming to the Bay Area in 2016 where camp leaders, vendors and builders can get together. It will be called LiSP 2016: Leadership in Silly Places. Stay tuned for announcements and ticket sales.

Working together and networking is a good way to up your game for 2016. The baseline is higher now. The good thing is that Placement is keeping us all on the ball with their mailing list. Get on it by contacting Placement through the web site or emailing placment@burningman.org. You will be automatically added if you submit your Placement Application in April 2016.

**source quote unknown
Banneer Image from Toaster
2nd inset image for Comfort & Joy unknown

2016 Burning Man Theme

It was announced today! The news finally arrived. Just in time to get people excited for the pre-holiday ticket sale in coming up where Burning Man raises more funds for the year. Money raised goes to the production of the event as well as funding for art projects going to the burn.

DaVinci’s Workshop

The art theme for Burning Man 2016 will be “Da Vinci’s Workshop”, inspired by the Italian Renaissance of the middle fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, when an historic convergence of inspired artistry, technical innovation and enlightened patronage launched Europe out of the dark ages and into modernity.

Our story will focus on the republic of Florence, for it was here, in a city-state of about the same size and population as Black Rock City, that humanist ideals, a rediscovery of science, and funding from a newly moneyed class of entrepreneurs fueled a revolutionary cultural movement that redefined Western civilization.  – blog.burningman.com

Yes, we are excited. Yes, we are thrilled. No, this year does not begin with Car… (see last 3 years themes).

Playa Conditions

It’s definitely that time of year, when a boy’s thoughts turn to dust and fire and questions begin forming in his mind. I don’t mean the obvious ones, which have obvious answers, such as: “Will it be hot?” Yes. “Will it be dusty?” Yes. “Will there be fire?” Yes. “Will there be old naked dudes hugging you?” Yes.
No I mean the important question. You know the one I mean. Don’t be shy. You can do it….”What will the playa surface be like this year?”

That’s the one! And the news is good so far. Pictures and reports coming out of Juplaya show and tell of a fairly hard surface with very few crumbly bits. Here are some beautiful pictures from Jessica Stanell, taken over the weekend of the 4th of July, that illustrate it well. It’s looking like it’s going to be a great year for biking, at least as far as the surface goes!Update: Some new pictures from Jovankat casts serious doubt on my theory. Album of very soft-looking playa during Juplaya here.

Picture

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Beautiful pics…can’t wait!

Do you know who took these photos? I’d love to use them but won’t before I have permission!

Yep, it’s in the post. Jessica Stanell. I don’t know her, but saw them and contacted her on Facebook to ask permission, since they were posted in a private group.

It’s getting steamy out there! NEW DATES!!!

According to Twitter Handle @DaysToTheBurn we are 271 Days from when the Man Burns at Carnival of Mirrors. While it is usually about this time people get excited the reasons are different this time:

  1. No Christmas pre-sale; while there was not one in 2013 either it is also a time when people start seeing tickets going on sale but this year it’s not.
  2. The theme was announced: Carnival of Mirrors; important to stay in the loop on what is happening because people ARE already getting excited.

Positive or negative they both speak to the excitement brewing for this theme. The tent used for the Souk will reappear as the tent for the Midway of the carnival. And, Burning Man is pushing people to shit or get off the pot early setting a deadline for LOI (Letter of Intent) by December 19th.

Important BRC Dates

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