The Popcorn Stand: No burning desire for Burning Man

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With apologies to Appeal columnist Guy W. Farmer, who has made it clear he’s no fan of Burning Man, I’m pretty ambivalent when it comes to the annual festival of whatever goes held in the desert north of Reno every year.

Actually there’s an excellent documentary on the history of Burning Man and you can watch the entire presentation here that was made about four years ago. Pro or con Burning Man, the documentary is worth watching as it presents a fascinating look at the event.

I have to admit, though, I was impressed, although I don’t know if that’s the right word, the event sold out its 30,000 tickets within a half-hour on Wednesday. At $425 a pop. And the San Francisco-based organizers of Burning Man say they’re going to sell another 500 tickets for $1,200 a pop on April 5, although an offering of tickets for those with low incomes will begin on April 17.

The final sale of tickets will be held Aug. 2 and who knows how much will be charged then. The festival will be held Aug. 27 through Sept. 4

While I’m ambivalent about the Burning Man Festival, it’s not my cup of tea, and who knows if you can even get a cup of tea at the event. I’m not much of a counterculture guy. About as counterculture I would get is celebrating Festivus for the Rest of Us on Dec. 23. Now if there was a Festivus Festival, I would be all in for that.

I’ve heard it all about Burning Man. I’ve heard it called an art festival and after watching the documentary, I was actually impressed with a lot of the creative, artistic projects that are brought to and designed at the playa. I’ve also heard the rap Burning Man has actually become “too corporate” and has forgotten about its original roots. The documentary looks at this issue as well.

But no matter how you look at it when it comes to the love-hate relationship the event has developed with us over the years — Burning Man remains on fire.

— Charles Whisnand


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