We are seeing a lot of camps promoting their agendas and asking members of the community to come and support the infrastructure of their camp. It comes with an amazing evening with other burners who fly under their banner and help make the experience at TTITD* whole. We all know that it takes the community, the people that bring their own infrastructure, that make Burning Man happen.
When we look at a camp like Opulent Temple (who unfortunately is not coming out for 2013’s Cargo Cult) is takes upward of $50,000 to make that camp happen. Comfort & Joy have a pretty steep budget but are driven by an amazing core of volunteers; much is the same for many other camps within the LGBTQ Burner Community.
Who is funding these ventures?
While we see successful Kickstarter campaigns and events positioned throughout the world who is really dropping coin? From my perspective it is a lot of money coming from outside the community while successful campaigns (generally speaking) have come from public events drawing in dollars from the general public.
Opulent Temple and Pink Mammoth for example run major shows through their production teams all around the country. In San Francisco OT recently held an amazing successful party at the Endup (at 6th and Harrison). Comfort & Joy holds a series of event called Touch and Afterglow through the year that drawl people in like flies.
Look around at these events and count how many burners are actually there. While C&J have a strong burner audience half or more people attending are from the secular community. These are non-burners.
Community Fund Raising
Over the last year camps that have been in the scope of the Queer Burner mission have done some amazing work. Last year, the things the Rocket Collective did to support the camps in this community was landmark. The Rocket Collective, consisting of members of the AstroPups (DJ’s Brian Maher, Trevor Sigler, Mathew Dos Santos and David Sternsky), raised money for other camps as well as their own and was really well attended at first.
Comfort & Joy have their monthly Touch parties to resounding success every time. The next event is March 30th.
Just recently the GlamCocks held a beer bust at the Midnight Sun in San Francisco while their brothers/sisters in New York and Los Angeles hold their own events.
Camp Beaverton just announced their next fund raiser is on April 24th.
The question is still out there… who is funding these ventures?
To find success are fund raisers reaching the demographic of successful funding or anticipating that the community itself is going to step in and be there? Cash cows seem to have come from reaching people outside the community (outside the queer burner demographic) and making their target audience more general; e.g. Pink Mammoth and Comfort & Joy.
Is there enough people within your group (cliche, demographic, or camp membership) to fund your venture?
…and where were you when those other camps were asking for support?
I have made every effort to attend and support any event thrown by burners in and outside of my community. Yes, I was entertained and partied my socks off, but I was there either in spirit or in force. Yet, I looked around and saw almost no one from the community at-large.
For example, at the recent GlamCocks beer bust there was a smattering of Queer Burners that showed up. It was at a gay bar in the Castro and the handful of people outside of GlamCocks camp that were there came because of Facebook and Twitter posting that I made; these were also friends of mine from the community as well; as far as the people I knew and recognized were concerned.
Not calling anyone out or not putting anyone on the spot, but when it is time to put the honey pot out what did you do to support the people you are now asking for? This is one of the reasons that I have been talking a lot about “Community”. We are LGBTQ Burners and while Burning Man IS NOT a gay event our community brings a very important personality to the mix.
Events put on by Queer Burners and camps from the community are chances to embrace our unique culture and support each other in our projects. It is a way to stay connected and draw on energy as we spread our wings into the year when things get a little quieter… it is also a chance to stay energized as the season begins accelerating.