Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

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Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby andy » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:50 am

In looking at fundraising options one thought I had is that donors (even at the lowest levels) would receive a nice medallion, and that some periods of time are set aside on-playa for wearers of the medallion to have exclusive access to the art installation, maybe a one-time private party, maybe one hour per day, something like that. Ideally I prefer the art to be available equally to everyone, but the need for fundraising is a practical consideration.

Any thoughts on whether this is a good idea or too non-burny?
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:53 am

It's likely to be contentious...
I really hate how that damn crowd sourcing thing that goes through Amazon.com (yeah! I've forgotten the name!) puts you in the position of having ot offer schwag. I think that really takes something away.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby oneeyeddick » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:36 pm

I saw one of the kickstarters where the "prizes" were hugs.

$5 donation = 5 hugs

$20 level = 20 hugs.

etc.....
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby stinkyfoot » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:52 pm

I think one the fun things about the playa is that it's very social, even more social than kicking it around the city. The total lack of any geographical features means you can't help but be drawn to whatever you see out there which might be some art or it might be a fellow traveler. I would say that isolating yourself from random encounters is actively detracting from the value of the playa experience.

So when you choose incentives to donate to some piece of art, be careful about considering what is and isn't actually valuable out there. Exclusive access is very meaningful in a city because of the high population density, but not so much when you have no space limit for participants.

The question is not whether having private events is ok, BRC is an event guided by the fact that you have the autonomy to build and do things that you wouldn't normally have the autonomy to do in the default world. You could have a 'private' event on the playa, no one will stop you. But my question to you is, is that really the most valuable thing you could offer to people for donating their money to your project? I think the answer to that is not.

Start thinking about what you can offer during the event and even outside of the event that would be meaningful to someone who cares about donating to artists.

Edit: Some ideas off the top of my head.

Medallions, because everyone likes medallions. And it's obviously a good way to mark out your victims... ahem, contributors.

Bigger gifts for big contributors. Make some hats or blinky things or costume pieces, or mini figurines of your artwork.

Take people out to dinner, off playa, or on playa.

Take people on art tours ending at your piece. Access to you as the artist is extremely valuable.

A playa picnic. You can do this without being specifically exclusive no randoms are going to be butthurt if you didn't cart enough food out there for everyone. Bonus points for a theme picnic.

Hand out refreshments by your piece to people who find your work. Champagne for donators and candy and a card to your website for non-donators. Get yourself some market penetration while you're at it.

Make finding your artwork an interactive game and give donators clues to get to your piece. That could be really fun.

Make donators a part of your artwork and get a photographer out there to record that stuff. Give them props, costumes, help them interact with passerby. Maybe produce a little video for them afterwards to post on facebook.

Hugs, kisses, genitalia.

And more.
Last edited by stinkyfoot on Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby Nipple » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:04 pm

Maybe a public party where anyone that wanders up gets to learn how these people really helped you out.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby chiefdanfox » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:13 pm

Also, Think Playa time. Not everyone is free at the same time. As far as Kickstarter goes, my project is offering swag that we are making, and in one case, it is ceramics that will be fired in the burn, so folks have a take-home from something that was a part of this year's burn. I don't think that takes anything away from the art, but rather enhances it. Art from the builders and artists. I did my own silk screening for tee shirts we offered at our fundraiser. Never did it before, took some time out to learn a new "skill". Same goes for casting some of the swag and the ceramics. New to me, will learn it, and the swag is actually part of the art project. I suppose I could learn to weave the tees, but that is just over the top.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby trilobyte » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:14 pm

I think restricting public access at an art installation, particularly a piece of placed art, would be frowned upon. It's great that you want to thank supporters, but by positioning it that way you're essentially marketing VIP access to would be donors. Perhaps invite them to share a meal with the crew/artists back at your camp sometime? That way your prospective donors get something nice, and you don't have to start playing velvet rope games.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:32 pm

Isn't the ePlaya Meet & Greet techinically a private event? Sure, we are the invitees and it's a private party for "us". No one seems too perturbed about that.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby graidawg » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:47 pm

we dont close the doors and turn away strangers though doc, and it was much debated
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:38 pm

If it happens in the "private" shade--if the camp has public and private shade--then we really can't do much. There are all sorts of parties with all sorts of levels of privacy out there. At an art piece, yeah, that's trying to cut off some of the playa that is accessible for all, but camp really isn't really for everyone. Even public theme camps on the Esplanade have "back rooms".
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby ygmir » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:21 pm

a few years ago, I got turned away at the top of the temple, because there was a "private wedding" taking place.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby BBadger » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:31 pm

I don't care either way. I would not attend regardless.

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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby moonrise » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:01 pm

:roll: Unreal. Our team would never consider limitations to the large scale art we put together, Why would we do that? The funds are there, off playa.

Arrrrg!...I'll leave the pitchforks and torches alone, for now.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby knowmad » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:22 pm

all I know;
I'm never advertising an all ages-all-sexes gang-bang in the Who What When Why Where!
Next year is strictly invite only!!
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:22 pm

ygmir wrote:a few years ago, I got turned away at the top of the temple, because there was a "private wedding" taking place.


No, you were turned away once they saw it was you. Duh!
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby Lassen Forge » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:23 pm

Prolly friends of the bride, so she wouldn't flee her intended when she saw Yg standing there... ;)
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:24 pm

And is there any wonder BBS why I love you so?
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby RevDusty » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:25 pm

BBadger wrote:Nothing is better than observing someone appreciate your work without them knowing it is your handiwork.


Bingo! So much fun!
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby Lassen Forge » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:26 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:And is there any wonder BBS why I love you so?

Not a bit, mon cher, not a bit!!! :twisted:
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby ygmir » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:02 pm

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:
Dr. Pyro wrote:And is there any wonder BBS why I love you so?

Not a bit, mon cher, not a bit!!! :twisted:


((((((((((((group hug))))))))))))))))
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby percussivepaul » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:28 am

There is nothing particularly wrong with private events. For example, I wouldn't expect a wedding to be public (though it could be). I think people who set up big camps, vehicles, and installations should be allowed a bit of time to enjoy what they've created. If I went to explore an art installation and was told 'the artist is having a private celebration, would you mind coming back in an hour', I would be totally cool with that. Though I would appreciate being asked to come back rather than told, as I feel public art is there for the public by default.

I am not cool with what you're proposing, though, because you're not having a private event so much as a VIP event, and the only thing these people have in common is that they've paid, and you're framing this as a transaction where money grants you access. This is commerce, and stratification into a VIP class who has paid and regular class who has not. And now we have the velvet ropes-and-bouncer scenario that I already railed against in the 'plug and play mutant vehicle' thread. It may sound harmless, but if everyone did it and suddenly you couldn't climb anything at sunset without having first paid for the privilege off-playa, then we're fucked.

Can I suggest you host a reception for your donors on the playa instead? You can toast some champagne at sunset and everyone will be able to enjoy the thing they've helped contribute to, but without the need for commerce.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby 5280MeV » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:15 am

trilobyte wrote:Perhaps invite them to share a meal with the crew/artists back at your camp sometime? That way your prospective donors get something nice, and you don't have to start playing velvet rope games.


Ideally, I don't like any of this, but I really like Trilo's idea as a better alternative. People like "backstage passes". Blur the line between patrons and crew - make people feel more a part of the project.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby Minxy » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:58 am

I'd say not ok, in principle. As others have already stated, there should be lots of other ways to reward folks for contributing without creating a VIP party. I personally really dislike those in BRC.

Last year my husband, daughter and I were out exploring the playa and rode by a very large, cool art car/boat. They had a loudspeaker announcing that there was about to be cocktails and food served and to please queue up and join the party. We went and got in line (as it was very loud, very open and there was no exclusivity made apparent at this point). Sadly, after waiting in line, we were told we weren't welcome as it was only for certain people who had contributed to a particular art project and we were turned away. The loud announcements never made that clear and there appeared to be quite a few disappointed and disgruntled people turned away.

It seemed to cause hurt feelings, anger, resentment and IMO was definitely not very "burner friendly" feeling. It made me bummed out a bit.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby andy » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:36 am

Thanks to all of you who replied - and especially for the fact that there was reasonable discussion and good ideas.

I think you're right, exclusive access times are not the way to go. Our fundraising plan already includes a private off-playa party at the build space for donors, private dinners with the team, and a variety of swag. The only on-playa perks are a champagne reception one night at the artwork, a dinner with the team in camp, and a personal tour of the installation with the inventor. There is also the ability to define one of the puzzles (it's a large interactive puzzle) although that is done off-playa and videotaped for the donor in case they can't attend.

Maybe we can arm the crew with mints and they'll just hand one to anyone who shows up with a medallion.

Thanks again for all the great advice.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby Bob » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:22 pm

Minxy wrote:I'd say not ok, in principle. As others have already stated, there should be lots of other ways to reward folks for contributing without creating a VIP party. I personally really dislike those in BRC.

Last year my husband, daughter and I were out exploring the playa and rode by a very large, cool art car/boat. They had a loudspeaker announcing that there was about to be cocktails and food served and to please queue up and join the party. We went and got in line (as it was very loud, very open and there was no exclusivity made apparent at this point). Sadly, after waiting in line, we were told we weren't welcome as it was only for certain people who had contributed to a particular art project and we were turned away. The loud announcements never made that clear and there appeared to be quite a few disappointed and disgruntled people turned away.

It seemed to cause hurt feelings, anger, resentment and IMO was definitely not very "burner friendly" feeling. It made me bummed out a bit.


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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby carefactornil » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:25 am

You had me at "large interactive puzzle"!

Care to share some more details on that? Just curious 'cos I'm building a huge maze which is kind of a "large interactive puzzle" too.
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby gaminwench » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:28 am

ygmir wrote:a few years ago, I got turned away at the top of the temple, because there was a "private wedding" taking place.


Damn, there was a height/ viking restriction...
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:38 am

I think you're right, exclusive access times are not the way to go. Our fundraising plan already includes a private off-playa party at the build space for donors, private dinners with the team, and a variety of swag. The only on-playa perks are a champagne reception one night at the artwork, a dinner with the team in camp, and a personal tour of the installation with the inventor. There is also the ability to define one of the puzzles (it's a large interactive puzzle) although that is done off-playa and videotaped for the donor in case they can't attend.



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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby ygmir » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:01 am

gaminwench wrote:
ygmir wrote:a few years ago, I got turned away at the top of the temple, because there was a "private wedding" taking place.


Damn, there was a height/ viking restriction...


had to be..........I had pants on and everything................
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Re: Your opinion: "private" events on-playa, OK or not?

Postby Lassen Forge » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:17 am

There is it is there, komrade, you had pants on. Did you not to see sign saying "Shirtcockers only beyond this point"???

Public Spaces - I think is matter of respect. If someone is holding wedding, is respectful to allow couple to enjoy a rare moment of blissful memory before arguments start! I mean, there are NOT that many weddings on playa to where people will be keeping people away from top of manbase / temple / etc. for that long... In BRC I am not that much in hurry where I have to tell someone else "I wanna see THAT right NOW damnit!!!"...

As to private spaces - what goes on in a camps backstage is by nature, private. If a camp decides to open a "private reception area" in their camping area, then that is well within their means.

We (Apokiliptika) have always had a backstage private chill space for members and their guests only, and it provides a chill space to decompress from work of being "on stage". We are formalizing and expanding it a little this year to actual diplomatic status (tentatively "The 2 Erichs Pub") - but still, is members and their guests only. Think of the Sandunovskayi Banya in Downtown Moskva during height of glorious Soviet Era - the place to take your VIP for good Soviet relaxation!

(Idea for 2013 - Banya on Playa. That would roq!)

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