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Author Topic: SXSW Music, Film, and Tech Festival  (Read 1029 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« on: March 11, 2016, 07:51:59 am »

So I've decided to move my post to its own thread, as it really is off topic,  but may deserve it's own space.  Lots of interesting things happening in Austin in the next 10 days. The annual South by The music/film/tech festival is under way, and today we started with the President of the United States  delivering one of the commencement keynote speeches.

For those not in the know, SXSW started as a small anual event in the Austin Texas downtown pub district in 1987, with just music bands rotating in "marathon" style inside bars around the 6th Street area,  a location famous for its live music.

Over the years the festival grew,  incorporating international bands and events related to the independent film industry. Today Austin is not only important for new Rock, Pop and Jazz artists, and arguably rivaling Nashville for Country music,  but it has become the epicenter for the independent film industry, and is quickly becoming an center for computer and IT technology expos and conferences. Every year they close car traffic by a radius of 5 or so blocks around 6th Street to allow the pedestrians to take over the streets. Nowadays the festival has spilled over to include various hotels around town for the purpose of holding conferences and conventions. All the available conference centers are also taken over for meetings and exhibitions,  such as computer gaming and musical instrument industries. This year instead of a computer gaming convention, we have a 3day maker's convention showcasing 3D printing tech. Anything from the environment through to LGBT oriented fashion is also being discussed,  and that is not including the TED conferences we've held in the past.

I was listening to the SWSW YouTube music video channel, with videos from bands who will be participating... its all about the new up and coming artists, and they’re all converging from around the world in the next 10 days here in Austin.

The shame is that I work 6 days a week, and at the very most I will only be able to go to SXSW this sunday and next sunday...  Undecided


Japan
Atomic Stooges - "Taxi Driver" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

UK
Lusts - "Waves" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

Canada (Saskatoon)
We Were Lovers - "Islands" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

Israel
Vaadat Charigim - "En Li Makom" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

USA (New York)
Pastel Ghost - "Clouds" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

Chile
Newton Jones - "Locura" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

Spain
Sara π - "Liberte" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

UK (Bristol)
Blanck Mass - "Dead Format" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

Mexico
The San Juan Project - "Hilo Negro" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

Spain
Maureen Choi Quartet - "Ida y Vuelta" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

USA (local Austin band)
Mr. Kitty - "In Your Blood" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

Colombia
Pedrina y Rio - "Enamorada" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

UK (Edinburgh)
The Spook School - "Binary" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

India
Prateek Kuhad- Oh Love" | Showcasing Artist 2016 | SXSW

And many other in SXSW the YouTube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXs_3rGeYdIkCiCdhFqCvlli86P0zwNlo


« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 09:20:41 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2016, 06:18:07 pm »

Some interesting exhibitions happening here at SXSW.  I just found out about this Emotive AI installation called ANIMA. It looks like something straight that should be decribed in the Necronomicon. Or at least like a much larger version of the Spirit Harvester spheres by Will  Grin

ANIMA on Vimeo


Quote
ANIMA is an immersive interactive installation that investigates the nature of communication. This three-dimensional sphere poses as an intelligent and emotional entity. It communicates by interpreting body movements and portrays its character by responding to the observant with an array of audiovisual expressions. Through this behavioural process the installation creates the illusion of being sensory. Because of its inherently different nature, this abstract form challenges our premise for communication. This entity acts as a metaphor for human-to-human relations, as it creates a playful environment for us to investigate uncomfortable questions about communication amongst ourselves.
The work challenges the observant to think about how they relate to the world, and the people around them – especially when something presents as alien to their person or cultural environment. It encourages questions like: How do we relate to something different from ourselves? What does it mean to have contact? When do we perceive something as having a soul?
medium
The installation consists of a 2 meter diameter sphere, projected from the inside using a single projector, made possible by the use of a hemispherical lens. By using infrared sensors the entity senses the activity of people around it, interprets these inputs through an intelligent algorithm and responds with its own emotional state through color spectrum, fluidity, speed of motion, and a pulsing heart-rate in the wave detail of the digital fluid emulation created in openFrameworks. Omnidirectional sound is generated in MAX and Ableton Live, by granular re-synthesis of human vowel sounds, modulating in accordance with the color spectrum of the projection.


~ ~ ~

In other news, 3D printing was the subject this first weekend.  I didn't see anithing truly ground breaking, but there’s always something new and interesting:

SXSW 2016 - Day 3 | University of Michigan - 3D Printing Medical Advances


Other interesting things happening: a recap discussion on Elon Musk's Hyperloop transport concept,  and the award given to MIT for a hyperloop design,  during a college competition held at Texas A&M University.

http://schedule.sxsw.com/2016/events/event_PP93068
« Last Edit: March 15, 2016, 07:52:18 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2016, 02:45:52 am »

For folks not from these parts, you can't park within a (figurative) mile of 6th Street in Austin on any weekend. Which is why I haven't done much touring of this storied boulevard except to drive down it late on a Sunday on my way out of town.

(For the record, I'm not knocking the festival. It's just that that part of downtown is extremely popular for all sorts of things which make it almost a "no-fly zone" virtually every weekend unless you're in town for that particular event.)
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2016, 06:08:43 am »

For folks not from these parts, you can't park within a (figurative) mile of 6th Street in Austin on any weekend. Which is why I haven't done much touring of this storied boulevard except to drive down it late on a Sunday on my way out of town.

(For the record, I'm not knocking the festival. It's just that that part of downtown is extremely popular for all sorts of things which make it almost a "no-fly zone" virtually every weekend unless you're in town for that particular event.)



Let me tell you it was emptier than usual this first weekend.  A bit of a let-down.  But normally, the way I do this is to avoid the train and avoid driving or riding the bus to the downtown area altogether, and instead head for the area just south from the river... The idea is to park on a parking lot South from the river and walk north crossing the river into the downtown area.

Usually I do this carrying my 32 lbs Victorian Boombox, while "swimming in a sea of people," and I was there this weekend but the only event was a maker convention, instead of the usual computer/gaming convention.

My best presentation card. The Victorian Boombox

If you're lucky, you get blinded by science and meet cool people like Thomas Dolby, in SXSW 2012 at the start of his "Time Capsule" tour, and hang around other cool Steampunks like the lovely Darwin Prophet


You see folks, the downtown area is the first 15 blocks (1st through 15th. St) or so on the north shore of the Colorado river which roughly runs East-West. The East side of this area (centred around 6th St. and East from Congress St.) is where the festival is mostly held, and where you’ll find many bars and pubs participating in the festival (live music marathon, basically) in buildings that date back to the Victorian Era ("Gas Lamp and Warehouse Districts").

6th Street

Some great images of 6th. Street when it's busy:
http://6street.com/

The Driskill Hotel on 6th. St. (Estd. 1886)

Back in the the turn of the 19th. century, the 6th St pub area, was actually called "Pecan Street, and the first three or so blocks from the river were dominated by warehouses. Later around the 1950s the Seaholm Power Plant was established taking water from the river for cooling purposes.  Far away, on the west side, toward Shoal Creek, and starting from the 5th St, and going north you have former residential areas with old Victorian Era homes which have become businesses, such as stores, law firms, etc.  So that is the steamy "ring" of Austin which still exists, surrounding the modern downtown skyscrapers along Congress Avenue...

The Littlefield House on the campus of The University of Texas

Now, the area just south from the river along South Congress Ave used to be a rough neighbourhood, but over the years it has become more fashionable and reclaimed as a "chick," area shall we say? All the hipsters are invading the area now. Since the 2000s, it is referred to as "SoCo" (ref. South Congress Ave.) and became full of artisan shops and trendy bars as well. Over the years, SXSW expanded to the SoCo area as well.

Got all that?  Grin Alright, there are two major convention centres in the downtown area, the Austin Convention Centre on 3rd St,north from the river in the Warehouse District, next to the Austin Hilton, and the second centre is called Palmer Events Centre (Plus Emma Long Cultural Ctr.) right upon the south side of the river ("a/k/a Auditorium Shores").

Auditorium Shores upon the Colorado during an Independence Day event with a live concerts, and fireworks at night

As the SXSW festival grew in size over the years the event spilled over from the Gaslamp district into the Warehouse district on both sides of the river, plus both convention centres. Next came SoCo pubs plus the hotels in the area.  So the festival represents major revenue for all the people who live there.

http://www.sxsw.com/music/festival/venues

The way I knew SXSW, every year we had a gaming plus computer technology convention at Palmer Events Ctr. called (ie "Screenburn"). The event also included Anime related (cosplay) meetings, and live music concerts on the gardens next to the river - so you can imagine how many people were pulled by the concerts plus gaming.

Screenburn at Palmer Events Ctr. SXSW 2012

But this year someone in his/her infinite wisdom, moved the gaming convention into the Austin Convention Centre, on the north side of the river, and to a time slot between Thursday and Saturday of the second weekend - which means a lot less locals will be able to attend (some of us have to work, you know?).  

And which means that the Palmer Events Ctr was also relatively quiet this weekend with just a small maker / 3-D printing expo.  Very empty compared to previous years - somebody from the Palmer Events Ctr. administration really "dropped the ball" big time here. Undecided

The gaming convention is still on, but I will not be able to attend, and I usually walk the area with my Victorian Boombox and hand out business cards.

If I'm lucky I'll be able to attend the last half hour on Saturday, plus maybe the gamer awards ceremony in the Hilton between 8 and 10 pm.  And on Sunday most of the festival is already shut down or shutting down, so I'm actually very angry about it... The situation is made worse by the fact that I don't have a car, and I have to ride the bus or borrow a pickup truck.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2016, 09:08:08 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2016, 07:23:04 pm »

Day-um. Sounds like somebody really screwed the pooch, scheduling-wise.

Been to both convention centers, one for conferences and the other for the Armadillo (Bazaar? Their Christmas artists' show), where my lady likes to make us both miserable by looking at all the wonderful things we can't afford. When I'm in town alone, it's usually for something at either the Bullock or the LBJ.

We only recently discovered that South Congress area (well, after it's gentrification; we'd been there before, obviously) but haven't been in town long enough to explore. Any recommendations on food trucks to try and/or avoid while we're on that side of town?

Coming into downtown from MoPac (I think via Cesar Chavez), is there still all that roadwork/construction on/around 4th and 5th Streets?
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2016, 10:35:35 pm »

Day-um. Sounds like somebody really screwed the pooch, scheduling-wise.

Been to both convention centers, one for conferences and the other for the Armadillo (Bazaar? Their Christmas artists' show), where my lady likes to make us both miserable by looking at all the wonderful things we can't afford. When I'm in town alone, it's usually for something at either the Bullock or the LBJ.

We only recently discovered that South Congress area (well, after it's gentrification; we'd been there before, obviously) but haven't been in town long enough to explore. Any recommendations on food trucks to try and/or avoid while we're on that side of town?

Coming into downtown from MoPac (I think via Cesar Chavez), is there still all that roadwork/construction on/around 4th and 5th Streets?

Yeah. The more I think about it, the worse it gets. Even if you don't care about local non-badge attendees, now badge holders have to make a choice on Thursday between attending the gaming convention or the music and film conventions.  That  means you lose more traffic in all venues that way...

I'm not much help regarding food trucks I'm afraid... I seldom eat street food. Although the latest trend is to have "gourmet food" trucks. 

What I can tell you is that Mopac (Loop 1) will be packed solid regardless, and construction on 5th/1st should have been over before SXSW - I have not driven this year. When I ride the bus I go down Guadalupe St, straight to 4th/3rd St. Which is just north from the 1st St. Bridge.

If I drive,  I will take 5th and turn right before getting to Congress (South) on the 1st Street Bridge and park at the Palmer Events parking lot in Auditorium Shores,  then walk back North over the bridge. It's the only way to do it,  really. But Congress should be flowing.

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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2016, 04:26:04 am »

Day-um. Sounds like somebody really screwed the pooch, scheduling-wise.


So this is it. SXSW is over.  As I write this text, there are a few bands playing tonight past midnight on a single venue on 6th. St. and that's it folks.

The Gaming Expo wasn't that bad actually, and the Austin Convention Ctr. fit a lot better this year, because the convention has grown in size and complexity. But exactly as I wrote before their time slot sucked.  Instead of holding a Job Fair at the Austin Convention Ctr during the first weekend, they could have sent the job seekers to the Palmer Events Ctr. and moved the gaming expo to the Friday-Sunday time slot of the first weekend.

As it stands, you had job seekers rubbing elbows with film critics during the first weekend in the convention centre, forcing film people to come 3 days early, and share space with people not interested in film or music. A complete disaster.  They should have kept the original format (weekend 1: Tech/IT/Gaming, weekdays: Film + music, weekend 2: Music and awards), even if they swapped venues. We had plenty of space.  A lot of gaming experts could not attend, because the second weekend overlapped with gaming event in San Francisco.  This was like shooting yourself in the foot 3 times. So it may turn out that SXSW 2016 was "smaller." It wasn't smaller, their scheduling sucked.

One advantage of moving the gaming expo to the Convention Centre is that they held the Gaming Awards at the Hilton next door, which was a more upscale presentation than previous years for the gaming expo. I just wish I could have attended for more than a single hour and a half, which is all I could muster after leaving work with Boombox in tow on the bus this Saturday.

The booth displays were all pretty impressive this year (I wish I had seen more - I didn't even get a chance to take photos).

I did meet, however with a journalist photographer from a local Latino magazine in Austin, so I may come out in some sort of publication soon. He turned out to be a Guatemalan who had lived in Mexico City, so after chatting for a bit he presented me to the organizer of the SXSW Cosplay Competition.

The organizer of the cosplay competition  turned out to be an an American lady, founder of DugFinn Cosplay, who also happened to have lived in Mexico City and was fluent in Spanish  Cheesy )

http://dugfinncosplay.com/
Cosplay competition at SXSW 2016

I introduced myself on behalf of the Brassgoggles forum, and the Steampunk Mexico Forum,
and we discussed why there seemed to be no Steampunk presence in SXSW, after having at participated for at least two years (I know we were very active in 2012 with at least one Steampunk burlesque show  Roll Eyes We agreed we needed to poke the local Steampunk community to participate next year.

The previous weekend, at the Maker Expo, I also got to meet with another lady by the name of Maggie Duval, who about two years ago, if memory serves me right,  had organised a major Steampunk event called Tesla VS Edison Showdown, in a town outside of Austin (too far for me to go) a couple of years ago.  

But Steampunk it seems has left SXSW, since then. The reigns holding all 3 of Austin's Steampunk groups together used to be held by a few enterprising people such as Sam Tyler but she had to stop organizing events 2 years ago, because they were losing money. Up until recently the three Steampunk groups used to meet once a month at a local bar in Austin and combine live music shows with vendors at a local bar.

Later last night, after meeting DugFinn at the end of the SXSW Cosplay competition, and since the photographer wanted to sneak into the Gaming Awards ceremony,next door at the Hilton Hotel, he and I agreed to smuggle ourselves into the already full-capacity capacity ceremony  Wink  Grin Using the pretext that "we speek no eenglich" and armed with my Boombox and his photographic equipment and multiple badges we sneaked past a guard into the ceremony  Grin

After that I had to return swiftly as I would have missed my bus. It didn't occur to me to ask for a lift from this guy Tongue  BTW is till too soon for photographs from this last two days (kind of disappointing really I personally saw very good costumes and the only thing you see on the Internet is a short video of some of the worst costumes in the competition Tongue I guess the media got caught off guard this time....

If I hear from these folk soon I may have more news for you on this regard...


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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2018, 08:45:45 am »

So it's that time again. The 2018 SXSW festival started today. As usual the roads will be closed or congested. And this time I face the extra complication of working downtown fairly close to the action, which means that my bus commute will be rather interesting. I plan to take one extra hour off sleep to get to my bus, and be prepared to walk two miles when I miss the last bus ride home ( I take 3 busses to get home - the last one is always a question mark, because rides end at 9PM).

Adding to the drama, I have received news that my biological mum is in hospital with viral pneumonia. Too far for me to casually make the trip as she's in San Diego, and I can't contact her and don't even know which hospital. Her brother, my uncle, is trying to arrange for communication or help if necessary. Depending on how bad the situation is I may have to scuttle all my plans for this SXSW. But since I have not received any concrete news, all I can do is proceed as usual, hence this post.

Let's see what I can do this week. The gaming convention will be this second weekend (March 16,-18).


https://www.sxsw.com/

SXSW 2018: What to Expect


Westworld Comes Alive at SXSW 2018


Music: https://www.sxsw.com/festivals/music/
Film: https://www.sxsw.com/festivals/film/
Gaming: https://gaming.sxsw.com/
Interactive: https://www.sxsw.com/festivals/interactive/

Blushing - "Weak" (Official Video)


Private School - Lunares


Drab Majesty "Too Soon To Tell" (OFFICIAL VIDEO)


Matria - Cheryl Rivera ft. García López


Local Live: Dryspell - You Without Me


REJ - Techno Marching Band Version (Âme Rework)


Danielle Grubb - Under Your Skin [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]


Marc Scibilia - Summer Clothes - Official Music Video - YouTube
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 05:18:12 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2018, 11:52:39 pm »

Day 2 Saturday.

Went to the job fair held at the Palmer Events Ctr.

Meh! So disappointing. Took advantage of the proximity to my job, printed some resumes, and took the bus after my Saturday shift. This was the smallest job fair I've been to. So different than previous years. I thought that downtown was unusually slow for SXSW, and now I know why. The two largest venues south of the river were taken by the job fair and a "wellness industry"  exhibit. Basically the South shore if the river was empty. The most interesting booths they had were Delta Airlines, a private satellite surveillance intelligence company, Austin Energy (the local utilities monopoly) and the CIA (yes that Central Intelligence Agency set up a booth there). I'm back in my office and going back home... Better planning for tomorrow, I guess.  Undecided
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2018, 04:53:08 am »

So here we get another shot of optimism from Mr. Musk. He made an impromptu appearance at SXSW 2018 today, and gave us his vision for next year regarding what he thinks will be the first tests for future Mars missions.

Elon Musk Answers Questions at SXSW 2018. (Embedding disabled, limit reached)
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2018, 09:42:06 pm »

I looked at this thing for the first time this year; am I missing something? It looks like it's mostly a business conference with a price tag that is absolutely insane. How does anybody justify tickets in the hundreds?
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2018, 07:02:48 am »

I looked at this thing for the first time this year; am I missing something? It looks like it's mostly a business conference with a price tag that is absolutely insane. How does anybody justify tickets in the hundreds?


No, you're not missing anything, except the existence of a free "Guest Pass" for a limited number of venues (read below). and those people who are not officially part of the SXSW event.

This is big business. It has basically turned into a giant business conference, especially for the technology side, but originally it was the music industry open to the public, and the film industry came later. Once it became really big business, the Tech. industry caught up around the year 2000 and then the fees skyrocketed.  I guess people who pay like that are all in the industry or are major fans of whatever...kind of like expensive tickets at football Tongue  For many the justification is that it's a business expense, I guess  Undecided

They started with a local audience, but they have largely displaced the local population from attending with those ridiculous badge fees. One solution is for individual conferences (e.g. Game Expo) to issue special wristbands for one day or just the duration of the event (3 days or whatever). Another solution for night clubs is to officially participate in SXSW *only* after a certain hour (e.g. BD Riley's pub used to admit people free before 5pm, and once the SXSW lineup of bands started they didn't kick you out, so it was free if you came in early enough...). Otherwise, there are plenty of free events though, and not everyone is an "official" part of SXSW. Plenty of hotels and night clubs will have events entirely outside of SXSW organization.

Those free events which happen "officially" as part of SXSW require a "Guest Pass," which basically only requires that you register online. They do make it as complicated as possible to find the free events in the schedule, though. They have a psychotic schizophrenic web page developer just for that. After registering, someone will give you a wristband on the entrance to your first venue, which you can link to your digital pass stored in your phone.

These are the official events that are free:

https://guestpass.sxsw.com/

Official SXSW Guest Pass Schedule:
http://explore.sxsw.com/2018-sxsw-free-events-daily

Of the "Non-official" events we have these lists provided by the Austin Chronicle and Do512:
https://www.austinchronicle.com/sxsw/unofficial/
http://2018.do512.com/p/how-to-party-without-a-wristband-or-badge

I was at the Job Fair this Saturday and I'll go by Flatstock and the Marketplace on Thursday and Friday at the Austin Convention Center. On Saturday I'm "planning" on paying $25 for one day of the Gaming Expo and maybe participate in the Cosplay Competition (I'm debating the latter). The only thing that bothers me is that they're forcing me to pick my Gaming wristband on Thursday if I don't want to pick it the same day Saturday.

Those are the kind of venues where normally I'm distributing cards and such and where I take my Boombox. On Thursday night I will *try* to go to a free party at Hotel Vegas, that one is simultaneously organized within and outside of SXSW (some rooms are part of SXSW and the patio lounges outside are free, but I'm sure I can "squeeze" myself into one of those interior rooms  Wink )

« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 07:39:42 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2018, 10:45:12 pm »

Hers's an interesting one:

David Attenborough's interactive VR debut - age 91

https://schedule.sxsw.com/2018/events/PP100195

Somehow the naturalist and VR don't go together in the same sentence  Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2018, 07:20:26 am »

I looked at this thing for the first time this year; am I missing something? It looks like it's mostly a business conference with a price tag that is absolutely insane. How does anybody justify tickets in the hundreds?

I was reading this article on Burning Man, and it struck me that this same process of "Gentrification" which developed in SXSW has happened at Burning Man, with tickets in the hundreds of dollars and a cost of even thousands of dollars to attend. The cost of a burning man ticket in 2016 was $424. Si are those real hippies? Or are we looking at Silicon Valley executives in costumes?

Quote
Gentrification

Burning Man has attracted a number of billionaires and celebrities, many of them from Silicon Valley and Hollywood.[171] It has become a networking event for them,[172] with Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk once stating that Burning Man "is Silicon Valley".[171]

These billionaires have paid for more luxurious camps to be set up in recent years. Derisively nicknamed "plug-n-play" or "turnkey" camps, they in general consist of lavish RV's and luxury restroom trailers that are driven into the city and connected together to form de facto gated areas. These billionaires then fly in to the airport on private planes, are driven to their camps, served by hired help (nicknamed "sherpas"), and sleep in air-conditioned beds.[171] One venture capitalist billionaire threw a $16,500-per-head party at his camp.[173]

Despite allowing the rich to participate in Burning Man per the "radical inclusion" principle, many traditional Burners have spoken out against their exclusive practices.[174] Larry Harvey wrote that they also conflict with the "radical self-reliance" and other principles,[175] but has also stated that permitting the wealthy to attend is still beneficial for Burning Man.[176] Vandalism that occurred at the White Ocean sound camp in 2016 was said to have been a "revolution" against these attendees, describing them as being a "parasite class" or "rich parasites".[174][177][178]

Meanwhile, the regular admission price has increased over the years. In addition, Nevada lawmakers have modified the state's entertainment and sales tax code to include such nonprofit organizations like Burning Man that sell more than 15,000 tickets. As a result, an individual ticket (including taxes) cost $424 in 2016. Even tickets sold under Burning Man's low income program are subject to these taxes.[179] Including transportation, food, camp fees, clothing and costumes, and gifts, CNBC estimated in 2016 that the total cost of attending could range from $1,300 up to $20,000.[180] In 2017, Money magazine estimated an average total cost of $2,348 to attend.

 Undecided
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 07:24:08 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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