Burning Man in Utah? Possibly, according to CEO
As Burning Man draws nearer, the annual storm of media surrounding it is well underway. This year, Black Rock City has experienced more controversy than usual; news of banning the Dancetronauts and subsequently setting up a different zone for EDM, along with the introduction of luxury VIP travel packages has sparked widespread disappointment among the traditional Burner community. Choosing to address these topics head-on, CEO Marian Goodell recently participated in a revealing interview with Positive Head Podcast where she quickly moved to disseminate growing rumors of in-authenticity.
“Burning Man is an experiment in temporary community, and we’re the stewards of that process.”
Goodell is not naive to the fact that the Burner demographic has changed considerably in the last year. Not ones to live in the past and attempt to force what once was on this new Burner community, her and her team have aimed to embrace these changes while satisfying the needs of more seasoned veterans. Thus, the creation of the Deep Playa Music Zone was a result of this effort. The new area designed specifically for EDM will be a 24/7 space for the music, complete with its own infrastructure that will allow ravers to party to their maximum abilities while others who are not so big on the rave scene to enjoy other parts of the city with minimal distraction.
“We still don’t believe that we don’t fit under a form of entertainment.”
Despite Burning Man’s clashes with the EDM world being a significant point of contention between Black Rock City fans and its administrators, the biggest issue surrounding it is actually Nevada’s entertainment tax. According to Goodell, the 9% tax plus the state’s limiting of the community to 68,000 residents is trapping them in an unsustainable, conservative nightmare.
She stated further, “That’s [the tax] the thing right now that makes us look longingly towards Utah or any other state that might not have levied that.”
Will the festival actually move to Utah? That remains to be seen. Regardless, milestone decisions made this year have already signaled the end of one Burning Man era and an entrance into a new one filled with even more societal experimentation that remains the biggest underlying definer of the desert city.