Burning Man Festival has long been the refuge of the born again hippy, living off the land in the desert and trading everything with good vibes every which way you look. But as the festival has grown more popular and the super rich have started to attend it, a noticeable divide has emerged between the guys at the top and the guys at the bottom.
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This divide was exemplified over the weekend when a bunch of protestors broke into the luxury White Ocean camp and vandalised a bunch of shit. The White Ocean camp was founded by Russian oil magnate Timur Sardarov and tech investor Oliver Ripley and features one of the biggest EDM stages at the festival, but it’s also a closed camp which means that all the trucks used to set it up are parked around it so that your average Burning Man attendee can’t get in.
This obviously isn’t in keeping with the spirt of the festival, and White Ocean’s Facebook page had the following to say about the raid:
Hmm. Although I don’t think it’s that cool that these guys completely fucked up the White Ocean camp, from what I understand about Burning Man, everyone is supposed to share everything and build their camps up themselves, whereas some rich tech guys paying a bunch of people to set up a huge EDM stage then only letting in their mates and people with a shit tonne of money doesn’t really fit in with the ethos of the festival.
So yeah, it’s not really surprising that people have reacted to these rich guys moving in and spoiling their fun in the way that they have because it seems like this is always the kind of thing that goes down throughout history. Some poor people start something cool, rich people want to get involved and ruin it, poor people get angry and react badly to rich people coming and ruining their fun. Standard – just look at East London now if you need a counterpoint.
Anyway, it seems like Burning Man is probably only going to get worse now that stuff like this is happening. Probably better to save your money and go to some other up and coming festival before it gets popular and completely fucked up. Maybe check out this mini Berghain festival instead – if you can get in.