lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

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lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby veleda » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:39 am

Hey all

Now that we know we're coming, we've (Sacred Spaces) have started doing our normal search for workshops, performers, musicians, etc. What we have heard back repeatedly and what we're also experiencing is that most camps that still coming had to f ocus their precious ticket allotments on their core operations and infrastructure people..and that a lot of the performers, musicians, workshop leaders, do not have tickets. Though the org has done its best to ensure that camp can actually put their structures, there is a still a huge gap between being able to build something beautiful and the non-stop insane diverse crazy activities that I feel are fundamental to the Burning Man experience. I want my surrealist dada puppet theater, zombie marches, and monkey chants thank you. ;) It's what I love about the burn. Anyway.. we're doing our best to reach out far and wide and try to get virgins involved with actually bringing music, workshops, etc..as well as try to find more non-theme camp burners who might have something to offer in one of these arenas. From my preliminary survey it doesn't like we're alone and it seems like we're all a bit struggling on the content side of our camps. We were able to give about 12 or so tickets to performers, musicians, and workshop leaders and that was only because we got a decent allotment from the org. I imagine smaller or medium sized camp got less tickets and are probably hurting even more. We told all our performers and musicians that they would need to play/perform every day with us because we don't have enough in our camp right now to cover our very large extensive camp. They would normally go out and do things at center camp, etc but we can't spare them.

So..though my sample is small..i've spoken only a handful of camps..it's pretty 100% congruent with our experience. I wanted to open a dialogue with all the other theme camp leaders who do performative, musical, or workshop type events.. to see if this is also the case for you and brainstorm on some creative ways to 'make it all work! I feel like we are such a pivotal point, and it working is crucial ..

I think this is no way around it though - there is going to be less shit happening on the playa this year...even if it still looks the same. Thought artists can get tickets through the art program, performers/musicians/teachers/etc cannot. Call this doomsaying or not..I think its accurate.

Some things we are doing:

Active Recruitment - We're doing our best to find talented people who are not camping with us that might have something to share and appreciate the change for an Esplanade venue, have all our current campmates search out anyone with tickets they know and bring them on board if they can, convince our virgins (and all virgins) that YES they do have something to share and they should fucking share it..in fact the playa relies on them doing so..

Repeat performances - we're going to have the same musicians, DJs playing multiple times. In prior years, we would have people play 3 gigs max, and often 1 or 2 as we were seeking diversity on our stage.

More open meditation/art viewing times - We are normally jammed packed with workshops every day.. we're going to be having more time where people can just go in and meditate.

More Soiree/Theme Parties/etc - These are ways for people to connect that anyone can help create and doesn't need to be filled with talented performers..though of course we are going to work our asses off ..and have every performer in our group be there .. its just a contingency for events that can still be done if we can't find them..

Pre-recorded music - it's certainly not ideal..

Bringing back art - we're looking at bringing back some installations/sculptural works from prior years instead of making new ones..

If we can't fill all our spaces with awesome activity..we may take one or two spaces away.. so we what we do is packed.

anyway.. thoughts? suggestions? snark? empathy? What are you doing if you're a theme camp leader? And..any ideas about the bigger problem for those not in event oriented camps or camps at all?
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Re: lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby lucky420 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:48 am

Bringing back art from prior years is a good idea. There will be a lot of people who have never seen it...

Prerecorded music, well not as ideal as live but music is well music (usually a wonderful thing). And anybody who complains better be ready to step up and fill in the void.


Hopefully your active recruitment fills some of your void. Things will be different this year but I bet it will still be a wonderful experience for most.

Wishing you the best...
Oh my god, it's HUGE!
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Re: lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby trilobyte » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:21 pm

In the past you may have gotten verbal commitments from performers earlier because they had no trouble committing months before they had their tickets. After last year, and now this year with tickets being something of a commodity, you're not likely to get people signing up until they have their tickets sorted out. It's late March, still fairly early in the cycle for booking talent. I've produced lare scale on playa events in years past, and while work started on planning the events and the lineups before the start of the year, lineups didn't get locked down until June. And for a lot of big camps/stages/spaces, things don't get finalized until later than that. With last year's sellout a lot of venues were scrambling to fill gaping holes in their schedules in August, and by most accounts it still turned out to be a prety epic burn.

Self-fulfilling prophecies being what they are, if you've already determined that there just will be fewer artists and performers at this year's event or that this year will be a diminished experience, that's probably going to be what you're going to get.
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Re: lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby veleda » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:23 pm

true true.

We have found we're also still booking in June..with some things being tied down as late as July. It could just be a timing issue...we're starting a little early this year.. it's hard to say. I want to be positive and I am interested in hearing other's experiences so i can balance my own with the collective..
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Re: lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:44 pm

I DON'T SEE WHY WE CAN'T ALL SHARE...



as trilo has so aptly stated before, and i paraphrase "You cant whip out your dick without slapping a DJ in the Face on the Playa" or something like that...

i think that the Large Sound Camps (who do and have shared DJ's in years past) need to coordinate talent, because there certainly is enough of it out there, and if a slot opens up, fuck, give it to the fresh blood and let them have a whirl on the decks....you never know...

it's Burning Man for God's Sake...it's SUPPOSED to be Chaotic....
breathe deep, the playa is the dust of your ancestors

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Re: lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby TomServo » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:43 pm

But you're a Plug & Play, correct? Any camp dues for performers?
anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

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Re: lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby veleda » Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:26 pm

I knew I would get some snark! Thanks Tom! And here I thought eplaya was going soft!

Our performers do pay dues amazingly enough and they help build and strike too!! In fact, everyone works pretty damn hard in our camp. Just because we're large, take in a decent amount of virgins each year, and have centralized infrastructure doesn't make a camp plug and playa. Under that definition every Esplanade and 2 and 10 camp would be plug and play..and yet..every camp at 2/10 or on the Esplanade works their asses off like no fucking tomorrow to produce fantastic shit for the burner community at large. Plug n' Play is focused on catering to campers who pay for services. There is a pretty big difference. Trust me..I've encountered actual plug n' play camps in my time.. where people waltz in with catered white table dinners, a/c hexayurts with beds and dressers, pre-decorated bikes, and often rental costumes, that do nothing but make it super easy for rich clientele to come play. Now I do have an issue with that because I think it destroys one of the biggest points of the burn for me..which is a tonic for the passivity and spectatorism of wake-day world..and I would like to see the org crack down on what I consider Plug n' Play as I think its threatens the fabric of the playa I love. But back to snark..
And then there is First Camp. The biggest plug n' play camp of them all! You should consider banning them too! Cause clearly those people are not BURNER enough and dont do enough for the playa. Those fucking staffers with their damn commissary how dare they think just because they work most of the burn they deserve to have a professional kitchen! every one should set up their own kitchen! But..we're not actually talking to your point here..which is focused on performers..

We don't do the rockstar thing..and on that note I don't think the rockstar thing is the same as Plug and Play. That's a totally different phenomena that mainly impacts sound camps who get a lot of 'big name DJs' and do comp those DJs often and they generally don't have to do anything but DJ. One can hardly call these DJs who spin pretty much every day around the playa "tourists" that are detracting from the culture of burning man ..but dude if you wanna go right ahead! Let's ban all those fucking Esplanade and Sound Camps entirely! In fact there shall be no camp larger then 20 people anymore! No big art!! fuck those big artist that have support camps that help them feed themselves during their 2-3 week builds projects prior to the burn. The pussies! If the temple crew was made of real burners they would work 18 hour days building and spend the remaining hours doing their own cooking!! There shall be no division of labor anywhere or its plug n' play! See I have a little snark too. ;) :: grin :: And fuck those camps that charges dues!! What are they thinking spreading the cost of bringing something wondrous to the playa! Only millionaires who can afford to fun entire camps by themselves as a gift to the playa community should be allowed to have theme camps! Oh wait.. that logic is flawed. Hm.. enough playing..though it was fun and a nice break from studying for law school and dealing with ticket allocation hell.

My village is not a sound camp and we don't do the rockstar thing because it's just not who we are. We don't attract those people to our camp. Almost all performers in our camp also do shifts just like everyone else but if they are doing performance related things a ton in our camp we sometimes count that as part of our 'volunteer shifts' but not generally.. Whether its right or not right for there be division of labor and what types of division of labor are ok and are not is a good question.. and its one we continually engage in and we should all be engaging in. I think some division in labor is good..however.. everyone works in the kitchen in our village..because we've found when we don't do that people take advantage of the people who run the kitchen. It keeps the task of managing a large central kitchen real.. so no matter who you are you wash dishes and chop veggies just like everyone else.. but not everyone is a hard builder just as not everyone is a performer..and to me the part that i appreciate about the burn is that everyone gets to find ways for themselves to shine..find their place. It would be stupid if we asked our operations/logistical people to all take a healing shift or all our massage healers to also be a/v techs. Everyone can participate in strike because it just needs hands not necessarily crazy skillz. Different strokes for different folks. When you're a small camp everyone is in some way a generalist, the large you get the more you specialize. I think there are arguments against and for specialization at burning man and as a society..but we're human and we do it and our world is built on it..and without it we would kind of fall apart. I can't run the kitchen worth shit..but i can chop some vegetables..don't know how to DJ..I can build a dome but certainly can't plan the power in my camp... I am one hell of a community organizer and excel spreadsheet wizard though! ;) I think its OK I can't do these things just as I think its okay that if a sound camp has enough people that are interested in doing schedules and a/v and building and fire.. that they be allowed to specialize..so that fire people can focus on fire and DJs can focus on sound. But as I said..I think there are good arguments both ways..

regardless - everyone in our village work their ass off.
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Re: lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby TomServo » Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:45 pm

anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

Vor Gebrauch Sprengkapsel einsetzen
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Re: lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby veleda » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:07 pm

I'm just letting off some law school stress at the first available opportunity.. you made me crack up! i've been smilin for like 20 minutes!

I have more! Just on this list.. I have seen two totally opposed views .. I read.. No one should be allowed to bring their non-working/less working spouses or friends to camp! Everyone in a theme camp must be 100% committed to the project. It isn't about social groups or community its about service to the playa! Then I also read from someone else.. Those god damn camps where people don't know each other ..that have lots of different people that don't know each other in them getting together for a common mission..those aren't real camps! Camps are community of friends getting together to do stuff! If they aren't friends before the joined the project..it's plug n' play!

The list is endless! I keep my eye on eplaya which is more than most large camp leaders do because I care about the community as a whole.. but we are a contentious diverse lot of people and there is a lot of irrational thought that happens here...As all of us are worried about the culture (whatever it is given how violently differently we all feel about it) not surviving Fertility 2.0 in a way that fits our vision of what burning man is. I just think its interesting how many views are so violently opposed regarding what is plug n' play and how many of these views drawn to their logical end fall apart. I have been meaning to get involved in the dialogue a little more but I've been busy actually making fantastical plans for this year..and its more inspiring to spend my time planning nighttime tea services or our global soul musical series..so that is where my energy has gone. Making shit happen. I do care about it though!


If I was involved in the dialogue there..i would set up a series of hypotheticals going from one where 100% of the people say it is plug n' play, then to one where everyone doesn't with a series in between. take a large vote..see where the lines are and use that to establish 'factors' that we consider important in the unconscious determinations that we're all making when we decide what is antithetical to our culture and what isn't. But this is the law student in me talking. Ultimately we are seeing a debate amongst different values. Self-Reliance against Communal Effort. Radical Inclusion v. Gifting, etc. In the end different people value those principles differently and that is what makes the different in the lines people draw on plug-n-play. We can derive factors and perform balancing tests.. but since we actually value the different principles differently in the between hypos.. we might get some widely divergent views. None will be correct.

Fuck it..now i want to go do that.. Ok.. I will join the plug-n-play conversation and try to derive a factor test.
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Re: lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby Pop_Tart » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:59 pm

Valeda,
Thank you for your pnp snark. You have just voiced quite well many of the same feelings I & my fellow camp leaders have on the topic. As an engineer & camp builder, I am far more interested in building camp than arguing about the ethics/morals of camp building. Heck, if a rich person wanted to bankroll the entire Mal-Mart experience, I would probably go gay for a day to reward them.
Hahahahahahahahahaha!
For music, we have some great Djs returning this year. Perhaps you would be interested in doing a DJ swap? PM me if interested, & I will send you more info of our confirmed, ticketed Djs see if they would be a good fit for your camp.

Cheers,
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Re: lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby Theres Always One » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:26 pm

veleda wrote:Hey all

Now that we know we're coming, we've (Sacred Spaces) have started doing our normal search for workshops, performers, musicians, etc. What we have heard back repeatedly and what we're also experiencing is that most camps that still coming had to f ocus their precious ticket allotments on their core operations and infrastructure people..and that a lot of the performers, musicians, workshop leaders, do not have tickets. Though the org has done its best to ensure that camp can actually put their structures, there is a still a huge gap between being able to build something beautiful and the non-stop insane diverse crazy activities that I feel are fundamental to the Burning Man experience. I want my surrealist dada puppet theater, zombie marches, and monkey chants thank you. ;) It's what I love about the burn. Anyway.. we're doing our best to reach out far and wide and try to get virgins involved with actually bringing music, workshops, etc..as well as try to find more non-theme camp burners who might have something to offer in one of these arenas. From my preliminary survey it doesn't like we're alone and it seems like we're all a bit struggling on the content side of our camps. We were able to give about 12 or so tickets to performers, musicians, and workshop leaders and that was only because we got a decent allotment from the org. I imagine smaller or medium sized camp got less tickets and are probably hurting even more. We told all our performers and musicians that they would need to play/perform every day with us because we don't have enough in our camp right now to cover our very large extensive camp. They would normally go out and do things at center camp, etc but we can't spare them.

So..though my sample is small..i've spoken only a handful of camps..it's pretty 100% congruent with our experience. I wanted to open a dialogue with all the other theme camp leaders who do performative, musical, or workshop type events.. to see if this is also the case for you and brainstorm on some creative ways to 'make it all work! I feel like we are such a pivotal point, and it working is crucial ..

I think this is no way around it though - there is going to be less shit happening on the playa this year...even if it still looks the same. Thought artists can get tickets through the art program, performers/musicians/teachers/etc cannot. Call this doomsaying or not..I think its accurate.

Some things we are doing:

Active Recruitment - We're doing our best to find talented people who are not camping with us that might have something to share and appreciate the change for an Esplanade venue, have all our current campmates search out anyone with tickets they know and bring them on board if they can, convince our virgins (and all virgins) that YES they do have something to share and they should fucking share it..in fact the playa relies on them doing so..

Repeat performances - we're going to have the same musicians, DJs playing multiple times. In prior years, we would have people play 3 gigs max, and often 1 or 2 as we were seeking diversity on our stage.

More open meditation/art viewing times - We are normally jammed packed with workshops every day.. we're going to be having more time where people can just go in and meditate.

More Soiree/Theme Parties/etc - These are ways for people to connect that anyone can help create and doesn't need to be filled with talented performers..though of course we are going to work our asses off ..and have every performer in our group be there .. its just a contingency for events that can still be done if we can't find them..

Pre-recorded music - it's certainly not ideal..

Bringing back art - we're looking at bringing back some installations/sculptural works from prior years instead of making new ones..

If we can't fill all our spaces with awesome activity..we may take one or two spaces away.. so we what we do is packed.

anyway.. thoughts? suggestions? snark? empathy? What are you doing if you're a theme camp leader? And..any ideas about the bigger problem for those not in event oriented camps or camps at all?


I suppose I might be interested in..............I don't know........wait... What is this about? Are you looking for people to join your camp? To contribute in some way, right? Like a workshop? I've never attended let alone led a workshop before. I have to come right out and say it, but, while I am interested in seeing if I might fit in, and if so, how and where but I'm unsure about what I could possibly contribute. But maybe it's just a self esteem thing. PM me some specifics and we can talk offline and maybe we can get something going. :)
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Re: lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby trilobyte » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:45 pm

Just say no to lineup swaps! It's one thing to have a couple similar workshops as another camp or even have a couple of the same speakers or performers, but rotating lineups along a string of camps has the feel of basic cable syndicated reruns. And for as hard as you and your campmates will be working to make it all happen, you want premium original programming :-)

Hang in there, keep putting the word out of the kind of artists/speakers/performers you'd like to play host to. Things should fill in nicely in the next couple months, and by mid-summer you'll be wishing you had more timeslots available to book awesome talent.
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Re: lack of performers/scheduling ideas and suggestions

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:32 am

Fine...


than we will Keep Our Exclusive on Lil Wayne Newton.




it's gonna be HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE
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