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Last night a friend sent me a link to this article on Burning Man, and the fact that tickets sold out this year –

As she only knows the stories I have told her, she wondered what was my opinion on it. Since it’s much longer than a facebook comment allows, here we go ๐Ÿ˜›

“Burning Man is just for rich people now.”

No – No more than it has ever been. The fact that tickets sold out does NOT mean that only people who can afford $1,500 for a single ticket will be there. It means that about 50,000 people will be there who got their shit together and bought a ticket more than 6 weeks in advance of the event!

I certainly don’t consider myself rich, and that’s why every time tickets go on sale, I’m waiting in the virtual line to buy them the first day. Sometimes for hours. This year, we got Tier 2 tickets because that’s what was available when we got to the front of the line. $210 each on January 19.

Of course, I get that some people don’t have the money especially right after Christmas and have to save up. But prices range from (going from memory, the ticket page doesn’t show this anymore) $190 each to $360 each, the rate they were available at right before they sold out. If you aren’t rich, then you know this, and you know you should get your shit together ASAP.

Or you can apply for a low income or scholarship ticket, like many have. Or you can pay in time and sweat. They pounded the golden stake in this weekend – that means that official work on building Black Rock City just began – and the people who live and work there for a month before the event, and several weeks after, certainly earn their place and usually aren’t rich in any way.

But I’ll admit, that in many ways, Burning Man is certainly not for anyone who is dirt poor. In that way, yes, it is for “rich” people.

Unless you live in Reno or Gerlach, if the price of the ticket (pre-sell out) is too much, you probably shouldn’t be going. If you do, and you aren’t out there now pounding stakes, you are probably doing it wrong. The costs of going to Burning Man and ensuring your survival (not to mention comfort and entertainment) are much more than just the ticket. Airline tickets, gas, water, shelter, food, booze, etc. This is doing it “right”.

If you somehow got a ticket but have no other money and show up, you immediately put anyone surrounding you in the awkward position of trying to keep you ALIVE. Yes, people do this. They show up with nothing and expect people to donate water and food to keep their dumbasses from dying in the desert.

So from that point of view, you don’t have to be rich, but unless you are paying the price with hours of work, you have to have enough disposable income to keep yourself alive.

By no means should a few outrageous ticket prices indicate that the entire population has paid that much – but many have put in 10x that amount into the artwork you’ll see. It’s not a cheap vacation, but to me it’s worth every penny.

And I will say the one group that I really feel for are those who applied to be in the official fire conclave (performance before the man burns) and were denied. When you apply, you either state you will buy your own ticket, or you wait for a reduced price ticket when your group is accepted. The news of who didn’t make the cut came out the same day or a day after the tickets sold out, so a few people who expected to pay under $200 are really out of luck now. I hope that they find kind souls to buy tickets at cost/reduced cost.

By the way – the Burning Man Org does not condone paying more than face value for tickets! They legally can’t enforce it, but they ask the community to self-police. Also, because of the prices we’re talking, lots of tickets up for sale are fake ones. If you ARE buying a second hand ticket, confirm with Burning Man that it’s a real ticket.

“”You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say we’re radically inclusive and then say we will only have 52,000 tickets,” he said.” (quote from link at top)

This is pretty ridiculous. Pretty much every event on this planet will hit a capacity limit if it becomes popular enough. Radical inclusion means ANYONE can come, anyone is welcome., not EVERYONE.

The organization has contracts with the land owners, the federal Bureau for Land Management. There has ALWAYS been a ticket cap as part of this contract, it’s just never been reached before.

For months, the org has predicted that the event will sell out and has distributed that message. But when it happens, even when they started PREDICTING it will happen, it’s already too late to renegotiate the contract for this year. Duh.

This year there is a one-year contract, with the cap of 52,000. It was consistent with the past two years (two years ago, it was close to selling out and may have been “unofficially” over capacity, last year attendance was down). A new 5-year contract is in the works for 2012 and beyond, and takes population growth into account, it’s not staying at 52,000 forever.

The last bit of the article seems to think it has a unique solution, that the rest of us have known for a while – regional events. Though I’ll laugh at that as a solution! Our regional, Playa Del Fuego, has sold out within hours for the past few years and tickets are even harder to come by.

So yes, gather your friends, do whatever you would do out in the desert, and burn something down. If you don’t have a ticket this year, try to bring Burning Man to your friends that would never make the big trek – bring it out into our everyday communities. Many of us are trying to do this more and more!

Whether it’s an official regional, a unofficial small gathering, or what — I only ask one thing. Don’t just have a party and burn shit. Read, learn, and incorporate the 10 Burning Man Principles into it. This is what makes it more than just a party, this is what holds the magic for most of us. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of freaks having a rave in the desert. Believe me, that would not be enough to have me keep going back time after time.

And for those stuck behind, talk to your friends, get on your regional discussion lists – there are lots of local celebrations on Labor Day weekend! If you are near New Jersey, our awesome Philly friends are doing their own festival (not a regional, but in line with the spirit and 10 principles of Burning Man) in southern NJ – Bangarang and ROC present Bangaroc 2011!ย 


Ten Principles

Radical Inclusion

Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.


Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.


In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance

Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Radical Self-expression

Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort

Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility

We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace

Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.


Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.


Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

Spring PDF

My thoughts and thank you’s for the recent Playa Del Fuego event.

I kept hearing references to the dramalamas on facebook before PDF, talking about whatever is wrong or changed with it over the years… Yes, I feel it has changed since I started coming, but also I’ve changed significantly. (My personal theory is that they were only trying to talk new attendees into selling their tickets to them :P) I avoided reading further as we prepped for the event, but it weighed on my mind that Smelly had to post silly and fun posts to try to drown out the negativity, and that some people were trying to divide the community or felt it was already divided. For each group that is usually disparaged in these discussions, I felt either part of or know some amazing people who identify as such.

Part of me may have been expecting to see something different this burn after all the racket, and to be honest, I did think of all those discussions while I was there. But my thoughts were never that they were right, my thoughts were that they didn’t (or couldn’t) see what I was seeing.

I was blown away this PDF, and it was because everywhere I looked, I saw participants.ย  I saw so many people who brought some aspect of themselves to share and gift and experience with the rest of us. It’s not new at this burn, but it seemed more concrete to me, possibly because of the negative chatter beforehand.

Going to wash dishes and getting caught in the rain, I was able to chat with one of the people who rolled a giant metal frame ball from the back field to the front – they broke a bolt and were waiting on a replacement, and I was able to express how much joy I got from seeing it roll past my camp earlier.

Artwork, interactive items, and decorations among the open camping areas seemed to be in higher quantity this time!

The silent rave headsets…. omg. This blew me away and really made my night. I was struggling because I felt responsible for being at the theme camp at night, yet I really needed a different headspace/music (and where our camp was, it was a constant mash up of totally different music styles!) The headset allowed me to stay seated in camp and take a musical journey (Ironically, the 2 camps participating I could hear from my camp. However, like I said – it was a disturbing mash up where you never heard any ONE camp well). I also enjoyed walking all around almost to the front gate while listening to one soundtrack – and of course, I think everyone who tried this can understand how it morphed a portapotty trip into a tiny dance party for 1 ๐Ÿ˜› or maybe that’s just me.

There’s more. There’s so much more. The oakburners and our invite to the fancy dinner. The friends who were my lifeline when I couldn’t deal with a big crowd of strangers. The amazing people who participated in our theme camp and helped out – where but at a burn can an understaffed casino have 3 legit dealers walk in, ready to work our tables??? ๐Ÿ˜€ย  Our “it’s only thursday” night at Camp Fogie.ย  Hearing all the stories from Dusty about Camp Sexy, she always has me in stitches ๐Ÿ˜›

I know some of the great moments are already slipping my mind. But I had the overwhelming feeling that everyone I came across brought so much of themselves to share in unique ways, and thought of the facebook discussions, and really felt that the burn is what we make of it. Each and every one of us. What we bring – internally and externally – is what makes the burn.

If it feels too ravey, then bring something that’s NOT a rave. If it feels too hippy or whatever your complaint is, bring something different.ย  If a burn ever turns into something you don’t like, it’s because you sat on your ass and expected to be catered to. And if that’s the case, well then, don’t buy a ticket next time.

I don’t know what it is that makes a burn so magical. Wait, I do know, I just don’t know a name for it. I think the culmination for me was at the art burn on Sunday. (Now, I don’t say this to brag in any way. Seriously.) Did you see the Dreams and Demons pagoda? The one with the intricate cut outs encouraging people to write on it?ย  An amazing person that I’m lucky enough to call a friend made that, with the help of mutual friends. And here’s the reason why I cried through the burn of the piece, and cry now as I type.

Last year, at a backyard burn in NJ the night of Burning Man’s big burn, Random and I created a little temple. It was a lincoln logs version of a sculpture, but the first time we planned, created, and burned a wooden art piece. That night, we invited people to write on it as they do at the Temple at burning man, and they did. The comments they wrote broke my heart and inspired me at the same time. All the people at that burn turned a pile of wood into a true Temple. It burned beautifully, and was a great moment.

And then our friend says she was inspired by that piece and the way it burned, and thus the idea for her pagoda sculpture was born.

Every little thing we do has the possibility to change someone else’s life in ways we can never imagine. I was blown away, honored, and humbled by the fact that our little piece inspired something so intricate and amazing, and that in turn could inspire anyone who passed it and left a message or admired it.

To me that is what this PDF was about. The interconnectedness of all of us. I know that there are the core volunteers who do hours of backbreaking work to make PDF happen and be safe (and THANK YOU) every event, without thanks or acknowledgment. But it’s every single one of us who truly make this event what it is.

I may end this with paraphrasing something our campmate said to me at PDF, I’m not sure where the discussion started, with radical inclusion, jackasses, or what… We may have even just talked about the facebook negativity.ย ย  But basically he said “You have to fit in our parameters to be here, if you don’t then you shouldn’t come. But the thing is – we have REALLY WIDE PARAMETERS!”

So – a huge thank you to each of the 1,248 people who shared this amazing experience with us. Thank you to those who were negative on Facebook – your comments may have had an opposite affect of what you intended, but you helped me appreciate and view this burn slightly differently.
Thank you Amy, for making me cry so much, and for an AMAZING art piece.
Thank you Random, Calamity Joe, Nicole, Silver, and Debbie (virgin of the burn award to you!) and Scott/Mark and Nickname for the Fireside Lounge & Pink Elephant collaboration!
Thank you to each person who came and enjoyed it, and double thanks to those who helped by dealing, helping me count when I dealt :P, bartending, or just entertaining. (and thank you for adding the spank a Potter rule :D)
Thank you Blue and everyone who made the silent rave happen.
Thank you Oakburners for the amazing dinner!
Thank you to the people who made the steel geodesic ball, and the people who had the floating round bed all the way in the back fields.
Thank you Ebony for a lovely walk from where we met the geodesic ball to my camp, your infectious smile as you held up a yoga mat in the rain over your head stayed with me ๐Ÿ˜€
Thank you Committee for Public Safety – we always love your tunes!
Thank you CPS and Crystal Castle for the silent rave stream!
Thank you Camp Sexy for being sexy, and for the barstool choreographed dance!
Thank you Dusty for our late night catch up session!
Thank you Patti, for being more amazing than ever, for allowing me to be a part of the dress burning and giving great memories to the dr who shirt ๐Ÿ˜›
Thank you Potters & posse for being potterific!
Thank you to the baby burners, Rowan and Isabelle, and your families for putting up with the heat with you – it was such a joy to see a new generation born into this, and I don’t know how you did it! (er, dealing with babies in the heat while camping that is. I know how you *did it* :P)
Thank you Camp Rumor, for being a sanctuary away from home filled with great people!
Thank you Camp Fogie for “It’s Only Thursday”
Thank you all volunteers (and I suck, I missed my shift ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So sorry! Thank you to whoever filled in for us!!!) and especially Madhatter for being concerned about me (when all I really needed was just having people like you that I trusted to “check in” with, and plenty passed through)
Thank you Rock Inferno – didn’t get to play it but saw it in action!
Thank you always to camp Balloon Chain – LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT
Thank you to the Miss PDF contest – it was a blast having that to watch while we ate our lunch!
Thank you to (you shall rename anon) the women who made out for chips, the woman who gave up her underwear for chips, and everyone who took the barter system as a challenge for fun rather than an obligation ๐Ÿ˜€
Thank you rain for the brief cooling, and thank you mud for almost being absent.
Thank you vets, and especially whichever one of you is related to the dealers who came to our camp!

It’s fast becoming a blur, but this is the first time I haven’t had a post-burn emotional crash – it’s your love and efforts to make PDF special that get credit for that.

With lots of love, Thank you.

Giveaway for photographers!

I have to share this in case anyone is interested – Clickin Moms is running a webinar tomorrow with our faboo wedding photographer, Neil Van Niekerk! And they are giving away a copy of his new book on off camera flash!ย  I haven’t bought the book yet, but his first one was amazing for learning how to bounce on camera flash, and honestly I was just waiting until the next time I placed an order from Amazon to add this one to my cart ๐Ÿ˜€ย  (Though you can also buy a signed copy straight from him!)ย ย  Even if I don’t win a space in the webinar, I’m considering signing up – just need to see if I can take a long lunch tomorrow to attend!

ETA: Oh geez, I haven’t had enough coffee. Giveaway winner will be announced this morning, though it’s not clear in the post at all, apparently entries were due by midnight last night. ๐Ÿ˜ฆย  Well, I don’t mind advertising for Neil’s book or webinar anyway, and I’m signing up for it now ๐Ÿ˜€

Pony Island

Some pics of our wedding as collected from various friends here.

And my pics from wedding day through honeymoon, up until PDF (still working on those!) over here.

Day 4

Day 4, originally uploaded by k8et.

Took a bag of “free” stuff for friends to pick through on True Blood
night – tiara and wand included!

Day 3

Day 3, originally uploaded by k8et.

Today’s thing – wedding invites! Gone! ๐Ÿ˜€

I went to leave a comment on Color Me Katie’s blog, but I had way more than one photo to link to, so I’m copying her and making it a full post of my own!

And – because it would be fun to keep this chain going – please leave a comment with something that makes YOU happy, whether you have a photo or not! ๐Ÿ˜€

Here’s my list for today…

Cats obsessed with human clothing!



Chains of balloons in the sky (which had LED lights added at night!)


Impersonating our pets!


Fake mustaches and Queen imitations


Art that is temporary and beautiful – whether it’s ice melting or wood that will burn


Kids with awesome fashion sense that break all the rules


Sunsets after our runs


Storm fronts passing over with no rain

Storm front


IMG_7863 copy

Steampunk goodies

So I have only gotten through one day of the photos from the Steampunk World’s Fair – but oh WOW was it a fun day!ย  Kyle Cassidy, a well known steampunk photographer, ran a workshop allowing us to use a studio setup and take pictures of other Fair goers.ย  I have Sunday’s photos in two sets, sepia (really just a warm black and white, I didn’t take it to full sepia) and regular colors. Click the examples below for the full sets on flickr!

Special thanks to Kyle and the wonderful models in our workshop!

Stay tuned for Saturday’s photos, though I have to admit they aren’t this exciting… ๐Ÿ˜€ย  Oh wait, there was a flaming sword fight….

Click the photo for the full sepia set from Sunday

Click the photo for the full color set from Sunday

Wine country

At wedding #2 for 2010, we are in Sonoma California enjoying the amazing weather, great wines, and being spoiled by pedicures in rosewater – well I am, while Random is off with the groomsmen!

A year ago today…

Bella blogged for just about 1 year. I looked to see what she blogged on this date, and wanted to share. Her words below.


Find a place to retreat to, if only for a little bit.

It could be in the next county, up in a tree, or in your home.Wherever, Just ~

Go there.

Be with yourself.

Close your eyes.


*~*ย Dream great things for yourselfย *~*

Believe in those dreams,

Really, really believe.~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~