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Black Rock City: A place of extremes

Original post made on Apr 8, 2011

Every year at the end of August, parts of the East Bay start to empty out; people go on unexplained, mysterious vacations they may seem reluctant to discuss. If you don't go, there's a good chance that you know somebody who does, or maybe know someone who knows someone, just a few degrees of separation from what may be the biggest festival in the world: Burning Man.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 5, 2011, 11:26 PM

Comments (3)

Posted by Burner Born & Raised In Danville, a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2011 at 12:16 am

Just a few points on facts in this story:

- 51,454 people attended the 2010 Burning Man according to the event census, so we're definitely more than just near 50K people now. Projections for 2011 are much, much higher because of the early demand for tickets. There is even talk of capping the ticket sales for the first time in Burning Man history

- Tickets that went on sale in January were sold online. The online ticketing service was so bombarded for first and second tier ticket sales (less expensive), that it crashed the system temporarily. (I should know...I was in the online queue this year!) Burning Man does not sell tickets by phone. You can also buy them at select retail outlets in the Bay Area (cash only) or by mail.

And regarding the last statement made about being "rebellious" or "conforming to uncomformity", I would have to argue that there are as many different types of "conformists" at Burning Man as there are in the rest of the world. Burning Man is not for everyone but it is open to anyone who truly wants to be there and participate in a thriving artistic community, in whatever way works for them. (Be it creating a 40-foot sculpture of a dancing woman or reading poetry to a small group of friends.) The remark about conformity sounds a touch flippant/condescending and very out of touch with the spirit of the event.

I've personally met MANYpeople at Burning Man who were very "normal" (e.g. suburban parent stereotypes who wear clothes from Eddie Bauer and drive SUVs) and people who are at the other end of the extreme (e.g. people who believe spaceships are coming to earth someday to retrieve them) and everyone in between. So to say that there's a conformity to Burning Man because of the freedom of expression it encourages begs the question, "What exactly does conformity look like when you're talking about 50K+ individual people? And by whose standard?" It actually raises a lot of other important questions about the idea of community and conformity as being one and the same, but I'm rambling now...

My personal two-cents aside, thank you for writing this piece. For the most part it gives a good idea of what the event is about to the uninitiated and provides a wealth of details. But nothing can replace experiencing Burning Man firsthand. As may be said about most experiences in life. :)


Posted by Glenn Wohltmann, a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2011 at 10:44 am

BB and R

Thank you for your comments. Too bad I didn't find you before writing the story. One of my longtime burner friends told me about the trial and error method of calling in for tickets, but if that's history, I'd like to correct it before Views goes to press. Could you call my office or email me? 925-600-0840 ext. 121 or click on my name in green above.

Glenn


Posted by Burner Born and Raised in Danville, a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Here's the info on ticket purchasing: Web Link

Here's the info on the great online ticket-purchasing crash of 2011: Web Link

Here's the info on 2010 census: Web Link (population in in the eighth paragraph.

Hope this help!


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