|Will Opulent Temple be at Burning Man 2010?
Yes, we will.
An update to the community on the OT.
A post is over due on what’s up with us in the new year. For you playa historians you may know 2009 was our 7th year in a row of doing the large scale art and music project that is Opulent Temple. Five of those seven have been on the 2:00 corner. We redundantly remind that camps like ours are entirely self funded by community support through our fund raising events and the camp members paying dues. (Any Opulent Temple event is a fundraiser for the project.) We obviously don’t pay ourselves and we don’t pay dj’s to play for us at BM (like, really – ever). It’s a lot to mobilize and fund raise for year after year at an event that has a complicated relationship with camp like ours. I (Syd) speak for myself when I share I’m quite disenfranchised with the way many segments of the BM org can barely tolerate us (‘us’, as in sound camps) let alone recognize our significant contribution to what makes BM awesome and drives ticket sales. Larry Harvey (by his own admission)has never even been to Opulent Temple and seen what magic happens, and still seems to have a major attitude towards ‘the ravers.’ Luckily, some other key players are not so myopic. In other thoughts, though we’re obviously best known for what we do at BM, we’re looking to do other things in other settings, and I personally am more interested in that direction than giving my blood sweat, tears and money to an event that can hardly muster a thank you. So, with this in context the co-founders of OT – myself and Rich Martin, are kinda tired and interested in other things.
We had thought after 7 straight years of going big, it was time to take a break and focus on taking the OT production into settings outside the Burning Man event. Though that interest remains, there are also enough other talented leaders in the camp who want to go and can carry the mantle as I will step back from the principle organizing role I’ve done (though will still be heavily involved, just not as much as previously). We’ve also decided to scale back certain aspects of the production to make it more labor and financially friendly. Despite frequently going into debt each year, for ’09 we were looking good to come in under budget until an Art Car (the Queen Beast) we partnered on broke down on the way to BM and we were left with the choice to scrap the whole investment or sink more to not abandon it in Reno. Obviously we chose the latter and we look forward to cruising her on playa this year.
For 2010, we start the fund raising season still in some debt from that effort, but looking viable to do what we’ve done every year, which is getting great support from the community and artists who want to see us there. Once again we’ll stick to our guiding principle that slots are given on playa to those that help us get there. That basically means if you want to play you need to contribute by playing a fund raiser somewhere. We’ve done benefits in SF, NYC, London, Boise, New Mexico, etc and hope to be able to mix it up again this year.
Obviously the thing that brings us back is not what Larry or anyone else thinks but the love of the people on the dance floor that come alive under the fire and the stars. We’re not ignorant to the community criticisms of certain aspects to who we are and what we do (such as being too loud, too political, too big, too commercial, too messy, etc.) Many of those concerns have been addressed *HERE* and we encourage you to read it if you’re curious. We care a lot about being a good neighbor in our awesome community.
We hope to continue to have your love and support. If you want to help out, we’re always thankful for donations We look forward to more great times together.