Burning Man Festival fights Instagram culture and high-end camps; Afrika Burn take note
Burning Man Festival is making a 180, back to its roots.
Burning Man attracts hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers annually who come together to celebrate counterculture in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.
But now, one of the world’s most Instagram’d festivals is undergoing a “cultural course correcting” in hopes of reconnecting with its roots; something many long-time Burners have been complaining about due to the influx of “negative cultural trends” bombarding the festival, including commercialization on Instagram, themed camps, and commodification.
In a blogpost, CEO Marian Goodell outlined the plan.
“Burning Man strives to stand in technicolor contrast to the typical consumerist, status-driven, brand-saturated, optimized-for-your-convenience world. We create Black Rock City every year because we believe there is value in having an entirely different kind of experience – one grounded in what you have to contribute – to say, make, do, and share,” Goodell wrote.
Bring back the root of the Burn
Firstly they have banned Camp Humano, a Fyre-festival style camp offering all the luxury trimmings, including 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” the website says. Goodell warns that other camps may follow.
As for the Instagram barrage; people (models and such) are actually tagging brands in photos from the desert…Literally using the Burn to increase consumerism?!
Goodell also announced changes to the ticketing system that will make it easier for people from all walks of life to attend the Burn, including the 18% increase of low-income tickets.
If we look at SA’s own Afrika Burn, similar trends are forming, and we can look at Burning Man to correct the course so that the ethos is preserved for years to come.
Will Burning Man Festival succeed in getting back to its roots or will they have to accept the flow of change?