Burning Man explains what’s happening with dance music on the playa this year
Burning Man is a yearly event that takes place in the temporary enclave of Black Rock City, a Burner-created community on a dry lake bed in northwestern Nevada. There is music present, and some of that music is electronic, but Burning Man is not simply a music festival. This year’s edition takes place in just forty days and rumors have been swirling regarding how, and ultimately if, dance music will play a role on the playa this year. The official voice of the Burning Man organization took to their blog to explain the policies, what will remain this year, and what will be tested as an experiment. The Burning Man team explains before anything else that “there is no grand conspiracy to ban, marginalize or sideline EDM at Burning Man. EDM is an art form, its community has made valuable contributions for many years to the rich cultural fabric of Burning Man, and we like it that way.”
One of the changes this year to accommodate those who enjoy electronic music with equal consideration as those who do not is the addition of a Deep-Playa Music Zone (DMZ). This zone will be 5,340 feet from the Man at the center of Black Rock City, and vehicles with loudest (Level 3) sound systems will be able to “park and party” in the DMZ for extended periods of time. The DMZ can also accommodate larger congregations of people, and since its a vast area, multiple vehicles as well. Burning Man hopes that this year, by creating and regulating a designated area for the loud, large dance parties that they know have existed in the past, a variety of concerns can be addressed- environmental, sanitation, public safety, and the needs of different participants. Those in the DMZ will have readier access to medical care and porta-potties, and those who choose to stay outside the DMZ will be further away from the noise.
Burning Man also addressed two electronic music fixtures that may be participating differently this year than they have in the past- the Dancetronauts Mutant Vehicle and the Opulent Temple theme camp. Burning Man alleges that they asked the Dancetronauts to present a plan of addressing sound complaints and managing its volume in accordance with the new DMZ policy. Burning Man claims Dancetronauts failed to do so, but emphasizes that the car is not banned. Opulent Temple, a camp that regularly draws thousands with its unforgettable stage and next-level sound system, didn’t get theme placement this year because it failed to meet all five criteria for placement (one of which being that that “camps must be interactive. They should include activities, events or services within their camps and they must be available to the entire Burning Man community.” You can read Opulent Temple’s own explanation of their 2015 involvement here.
You can read the entire blog post here.