Burning Man 2008 Long Form

‘Long Form’

This year we wanted to give more info and background on our nights and what we are trying to say, the dj’s that play, who they are and why they get to play the treasured spots at Opulent Temple, and some back stories that illuminate how this comes together. It’s a frequent question we get about how to get a slot, if you read this it will become clear, that by and large, you get it the old fashioned way, you earn it.

To see the ‘short form’ of the 2008 schedule, click here.

Opulent Temple 2008 – The Final Cut ?

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Opulent Debt Watch

How the Opulent Temple came back for 2008
Keep Track Here…

After BM last year we were about 31k in debt from our ’07 effort. It’s a fair question to ask, how the hell did that happen? To make a very long story short, we spent more than we intended, and we raised less than we budgeted. We took on 2 large projects that should have been spread over 2 years, but we were feeling ambitious and went for it. The Star Stage and the Bamboo Synergy Dome. The Star Stage was partly self funded by Rich Martin, with the remaining expenses as part of the camp’s budget. The Bamboo Dome was one of the all time great failed projects in BM history. Sad to say, we spent at least 25k on it, and during lifting a rope got caught under a tire, a key truss broke, and the project was still possible but not safe so we had to choose to scrap it. It was not, as had been rumored due to design failure (not directly anyway…)
The bamboo sits on a ranch in Livermore, we’re looking for a buyer. After the pain of that experience none of us had the heart to go try it again. We’re done with bamboo! (Know a buyer?).
(read on below)

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Why won’t the BM Org Support Sound Camps?

Last year representatives from different Large Scale Sound & Art Camps (LSSACs) such as the Opulent Temple, El Circo, the Deep End, Green Gorilla, and others talked and met with reps from Burning Man to dialogue about ways BM could support us. Here is a summary of that effort and more recent ones, if you’re curious. Sorry about the length, but wanted to give a fair accounting of events and perspectives. Feel free to share. We are not posting this to cause a ruckus, but simply to inform the community. There has been misinformation floating around about these conversations, and that BM decided to give us some things we asked for. We wish it were true. This summary also under scores how the support of camps like the OT have to come pretty much soley from the community.

The premise was basically that collectively we’ve felt like we give a lot to the event. Which, of course, is fine; it’s why we started creating such camps in the first place. But – we hoped we might get more support and resources from the BM org to do what we do since it is our perception the role of the Large Scale Sound & Art Camps has evolvedto be an integral part of a large number of attendee’s experience and reason for coming. (Obviously we know this is a matter of debate…) BM decides to grant thousands of dollars per year to certain art pieces, what, if anything, would they be willing to help us with? We knew there was no way we’d get direct funding, so…

Last year we asked for 5 things

1. The ability to apply for art grants. At the time of the meeting it was too late for the ’07 event. Harley said to ask again next year, which we did. More on that below…

2. An allotment of free or discounted tickets to the core builders of established LSSACs. Harley said she’d think about it, and then asked me to turn in a proposal of sorts for why we think we deserved some (us as in specifically the Opulent Temple). We did so, and the final answer was still no, though she did give the OT 2 tickets as a good will gesture, which were appreciated.

3. For BM to provide at their expense 2 large generators, one for 2:00 and one for 10:00, that multiple LSSACs could tie into, -and / or – for fuel or cabling cost support. The answer was no, though we did get the name of the vendor BM used in the hopes of getting in on a bulk deal. This ended up not a big asset, as I don’t think we got any kind of bulk discount from the vendor, we just dealt with them directly.

4. Increased access to Art Services resources on playa. This was a yes, and was helpful to some camps, including the Opulent Temple.

5. If it ever came up, the ability for donators to LSSACs to donate through BM’s 501c so they can get a tax break. This was a no, due to the specific mission of the 501 (BRAF) being for art off playa, not on.


This year we reinitiated the conversation on items 1, 2 & 3. Here’s what happened.

Re: #1 We wrote a proposal to the Board, per Harley’s request on opening up the art grant process to camps on the Esplanade and 10 & 2,with the argument being that, because of their location, they were in the public domain, and the public would be able to have access to the (potentially) greater art because they were supported by increased funding. This was not just about the Sound Camps. The proposal was to open up the current application process to these camps, not an increase in funding or special category or considerations, etc.

Harley supported the idea, (and we thank her for that !) and presented it to the Board, and her initial response back to us to the first round of discussions was that the proposal sparked a good discussion, our points were well taken and valid, and the outcome looked good so far…

They were even discussing a separate funding stream and application deadline for us. It all looked rosy….

Then Larry got back from a trip (he was not present at the first discussion) and jettisoned the idea because he didn’t like it. He personally called me (Syd) to tell me why, the best summary I can give is he didn’t like complicating things by changing the policy (grants only for art on the open playa). Nor did they want to deal with community reaction about why now some camps could apply and others could not. He said if a theme camp has a piece on the open playa they can apply, but they don’t want to consider to fund art pieces within a camp’s area. He didn’t like the idea of increasing the budget so they could fund some theme camp art (even though we never asked the art grant budget be increased), he didn’t like the messiness it would introduce with other theme camps complaining they couldn’t apply, and related community reaction of people saying

Opulent Temple requests your Support!

Help bring back the Opulent Temple in 2008 (and get some AMAZING music in return…)

The Opulent Temple is gearing up for it’s 6th year in a row on the playa. In term of our production and crowds that enjoy our creation, we think it fair to say we are one of BRC’s most popular destinations. We’ve had a rough road to come back for 2008, but thanks to the support of the community and many dj’s we’ll be there in full force. Select super cool DJs have also pitched in by allowing us to share recordings of their past sets at the Opulent Temple with people who make donations. You can hear it just like it happened from the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Lee Coombs, Christopher Lawrence, DJ Dan, Dylan Rhymes, Rabbit in the Moon, the Scumfrog, Ali B, and others See the Opulent Music page for more info on how to get some music! Like all sound & art camps, we are totally self funded by fundraising parties, camp members paying dues, and most importantly, the support of the wider Burning Man community. Unlike other select art projects throught art grant system, sound camps receive ZERO financial support from the Burning Man organization despite having massive budgets and providing interactive art zones among the most popular out there. *** So that you know, our budget goes towards fabrication and production costs, transportation, power / gennie rental, sound rental, camp infrastructure, and storage costs. We do not and have never paid dj’s to play or pay their way through Burning Man.So please know your donations are going to help us pay back our hard costs and not anyone’s free ride. *** SO! Please help. Even small amounts add up to something great. Paypal:

OR- Mail a check made out to

Opulent Temple 175 Bluxome st. #216 San Francisco, CA, 94107


Just some moments…

Please enjoy these moment from the O.T. this year as we sift through the recordings to make them available to supporters and donators! Check YouTube for way more vids from the OT.


The Scumfrog

Burning Man 2005

Welcome back to the Opulent Temple: A Sanctuary for Sacred Dance to World Class Music. 2:00 and Esplanade

In troubled times we come together as a community in dance, music, and celebration to stir the soul, move the feet, clear the mind and open the heart. Dance can key into the pulse of the Divine, and hanging out in that pulse is the essence of fully living. Touching the face we had before we were born, so that consciousness infused with Spirit inspires action in the world. …And to turn the tide, we must act….

One Week in the Desert…

A Burning Man camp is an honor to provide to the Black Rock Community. To get here, we have been blessed with the support of many of you. Thank you. For those going out to Burning Man, we think you’ll see it was an investment worth putting forward. For us, this is not about partying, this is not about big name DJ’s, it is not about being the best or the brightest… It’s about reaching people, and reaching into people, for love, for community, for Spirit.

What else is there?

If you like what you see, please consider making a donation to the Opulent Temple. Despite our best efforts we have ended the year in the red to provide everyone the most amazing experience possible. We could still use your generous support! Anything will help.

Open Up the Psyche : 2005

Open up the Psyche, and what will you find?
You will find the Opulent Temple, dusting itself off and greeting the New Year with glee and purpose.

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One Week in the Desert : 2004

So Burning Man 2004 has come and gone…
What a week it was…. The Opulent Temple of Venus realized it’s vision of proving a space for Sacred Dance by night, and a place for the care of the Goddesses of the playa by day.

Thanks to all who helped make the camp happen, and to those that visited us during the week. What a week!
Rather than go on and on about it, let a picture be worth a thousand words…

click for pics from the Opulent Temple 2004

Opulent Temple Burning Man 2004

Burning Man 2004

Vault of Heaven

Black Rock City, NV

2:00 & Between Mercury & Venus

The Opulent Temple of Venus: A Space for Sacred Dance under the Vault of Heaven

Welcome to the Temple. So many fine things await you, by day and by night, the gifts of the desert will be plentiful, and we look forward to sharing and creating many outstanding moments. Moments to be cherished and danced with, to be celebrated and caressed. It’s all one moment, one taste.

By night, the mission to provide a space for sacred dance, a sanctuary of progressive music to stir the soul, move the feet, clear the mind and open the heart. Dance can key into the pulse of the Divine, and hanging out on that pulse is the essence of what life is about. Touching Spirit, so that consciousness infused with Spirit inspires action in the world. Action toward the betterment of our precarious situation, the danger of material addiction and dwindling resources, our society hanging on to paper Gods and empty promises. The acquisition of stuff meant to provide some kind of cosmic security leaves one lacking. What fills the Void is community and love, a relationship with Spirit and a knowing celebration of awareness. Plus, your bad ass funky self– incarnate. We know you’re in there, waiting for the opportunity to show up. And we’ll be there with you, laughing and spinning under the Vault of Heaven…

The camp features big sound, 8 columns of light reaching for the sky, a fire arch to greet you into the Temple, 2 stages with screens for both visuals, live feeds, and shadow dancing, raised platform seating to cool your jets outside, plus fire pits to warm your bones and of course, a bar! Off the dance floor you’ll find a truly Opulent ’32 foot enclosed chill space with downtempo and ambient sounds. The Opulent Temple dance area will feature nightly music from world class and community DJ’s, ceremony 4 of 5 nights, and midnight performances.
Click here to see our schedule.

By day, the Temple of Venus opens to serve the Goddesses of the playa in a variety of ways. For a description of the Temple of Venus, go here.

A Burning Man camp is an honor to provide to the Black Rock Community. To get here, we have been blessed with the support of many of you. Thank you. For those going out to Burning Man, I think you’ll see it was an investment worth putting forward. For us, this is not about partying, this not about big name DJ’s, it is not about being the best or the brightest. It’s about reaching people, and reaching into people, for love, for community, for Spirit.

What else is there?

See you in the desert.

click to see pics from the Opulent Temple of Venus @ Burning Man 2004



Monday 8/30: Opening Ceramony

Syd Gris
Jeffrey Allen
The Scumfrog

Nathan Vain
Kevin Knapp

Opulent Temple Silent Auction

Check out our silent auction items that are left over from our last party, there’s still some great ones left! Everything from a DJ lesson on the main decks of 1015, to egyption hip scarfs & custom fur vest or pants.


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