Happy New Year fellow Barbiebarians, wannabees, hanger-oners, friends, playamates, and “burners with benefits”! Welcome to the first newsletter for TTITD 2011. I was hoping that the Black Rock Yearbook 2010 would already be out (it was supposed to be out sometime last month) so I could link it to this newsletter along with our wonderful camp’s picture, but what would you come to expect out of a bunch of stoned volunteer burners? So hopefully next month. So in the meantime, if anybody sees this jerk, make sure he never does a snow angel on our Barbies ever again:
Now, on to the news. Obviously the first question we always ask is who’s coming this year? Last year in the Village we probably had upwards to 150 people, perhaps more. And we certainly would welcome back both Camp Wet Dreams and Burning Man Button Camp should they be so inclined. And we may have a new camp or two within our Village, but I will pass that info on as it becomes clearer to what their intentions are. So in order to make a budget, allocate Early Arrival passes (we are requesting 103 this year), and plan logistics, if you think you are going to stay with us please let me or Felony Arson know. If you are staying elsewhere on the playa, that too is wonderful. Some of you will be taking a hiatus this year, which is understandable; I know a few of you plan on coming back after being gone for several years. And if you have a newbie or two you want to introduce to the playa in style, as a member of our camp you have carte blanche to do so, but they are your responsibility.
Next on the agenda is dues. We have not had a dues increase since 2004. In order to meet budget we are having a modest increase this year. If you pay your dues prior to June 1st, they are $60. (International travelers from Europe, Asia, or Australia may pay $60 when you arrive on the playa rather than in advance.) They increase to $85 if paid prior to August 15th. From August 16th to August 27th they are $100, and if you wait until the last minute and pay on the playa they increase to $125. This is generally a $10 increase. So where does that money go? First off we increased our Barbie storage space by 50% so we could keep the decorations for the art truck safe. This has been a very good investment and has made our storing of everything from generators and Barbies to trash bins and body paint so much easier. Keep in mind most camps dues begin at $120 and many are as high as $400 per person. That frankly is a rip-off. Here is a list of many of the things your dues get you:
- Storage for Barbie and camp related items
- Access to the 5500-watt generator
- No less than 800 square feet of shade
- Four sofas, of which two should be new
- Fresh body paint for Black Rock City Body & Paint
- Art truck insurance, registration, and decoration
- Access to the electric shower and water
- Gasoline to power the generators to light up the camp
- Glowsticks for every night on the playa
- Pizza for the pre-event feed for those who set up the camp
- Guaranteed location on a corner so you can find your way home after partying all night on the playa
- Access to the Early Arrival passes
- Use of all tables, chairs, and trash receptacles
- Automatic invite and participation in the Annual Nude Bike Ride and Pub Crawl, as servers and as a cyclist if you are really into that sort of weirdness
- Ringside seat for the ePlaya/3playa Meet & Greet
- Access to the art truck so you can tour around the playa in comfort
- Constant (at least monthly) updates throughout the year
- And finally, membership in one of the most revered and well-established camps/villages on the playa
You may begin paying dues starting today. We have already incurred some expenses (art truck insurance and maintenance). They can be sent to: Jim Jacoby/8577 Balmoral Drive/Newcastle, CA 95658 And even if you aren’t coming this year doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay your dues! It’s not like we’re exactly made of money.
Now we get into the area of what kind of creature comforts do we want for our camp (and the use of our dues). It has been brought up to me every year as to why we don’t have camp JOTS (porta potties). There is no guarantee they will be situated directly across the street from us as they have on some years. I checked with a company called United and they charge $450 per JOTS for the week and that includes one cleaning. $25 for additional cleanings. The least-expensive company charged $325 but offered no cleaning services and from what I could ascertain from other burners, United is the only reliable service. Do we want to spend either $450 or $900 for our own toilets or should that money be allocated elsewhere? (NOTE: These were 2010 prices)
On our wish list for this year is a piano! Obviously we would like to get one for free rather than paying for it. I checked Craig’s List and in the local Sacramento area found pianos from free (people were moving and couldn’t take it) to $200. Obviously if one of us has an old piano looking for a dusty home that would be preferable. We also will need to allocate some money (generally around $100) to have it tuned unless one of you is a piano tuner and can do it on the playa. The one that was delivered to us last year for the M&G seemed to get a lot of attention and people really enjoyed hammering on it, though it was so out-of-tune that deciphering what songs were being played was guesswork at best. We do have space for it in our storage shed but will need to noodle through how to get it to the playa. Obviously a baby grand piano is out of the question.
After four years of using the same body paint, Black Rock City Body & Paint is in dire need for new paints and to a lesser extent brushes. We will be allocating probably $150+ to new body paint (none of this cheap water-color nonsense), which should make Luis very happy indeed. We will also be adding new colors, including white and black, and if the budget allows, some glitter-based paints as well. We are so popular come Critical Tits Day that for us not to have the proper equipment at hand would be a sad day indeed.
And now, tickets. (This is mostly for the benefit of our newbies.) They go on sale Wednesday, January 19th beginning at 10:00 a.m. PST. You can access the Burning Man website to purchase tickets. The first 9000 (which will sell out in under two hours) are $210, and then the next 9000 will sell for $240. So if you want the least-expensive tickets, might I suggest you get in the queue early for your best shot.
Finally, introduction of camp newbies. Even though it is only January we have already had many requests from burgins to join our little slice of paradise on the playa. First let me introduce Tamara and Ken from Texas. Texas Joe is assisting them with logistics and knowledge support. From Livermore, California let me introduce Emily who just turned 21. From Washington D.C. another burgin looking to join us is Julia. Please make all of our new campmates feel welcome.
That should do it for this initial 2011 edition of our fabulous camp newsletter.
Doc Pyro, MOBDV