Five Things EDM Festivals Can Still Learn From Burning Man
In a new era of double-weekend extravaganzas, of-the-minute EDM rockstars and insanely overpopulated venues, the quality of the music festival circuit is always in question, even as it continues to expand. Those of us spending hundreds of dollars due to ever-increasing ticket prices are often underwhelmed by the lack of sound quality, set cancellations and bro-ification of the crowds that come to these increasingly popular events we cover every year. Though Burning Man is certainly not immune to these hazards of growth, there's plenty of ways that the mother of scorching outdoor festivals continues to keep the quality control high as we return every year to party our asses off. In light of all this, here's our list of the five things EDM festivals can still learn from Burning Man.
Curious Josh / LA Weekly Burning Man attendees dance at installation outside Disorient
5. Leave No Trace
Curious Josh / LA Weekly Attendees swim for moop (matter of out place) to clean up
Like with any major concert or event, trash is always one of the biggest complaints by nearby residents and venue holders. The Burning Man community puts a large emphasis on respecting the environment and is actually committed to leaving no physical trace of their event. After 10 days on the playa, the temporary metropolis packs up in moving trucks and RVs and vanishes like it never existed. Granted the "Leave No Trace" mantra has seemed to be forgotten in recent years, but this is mostly due to the typical music festival goers attending without any regard to the burner principles. If everyone was more conscious to pick up after themselves and pick up trash as they see it, these events would be a much cleaner enjoyable place for everyone.
4. Emphasis on Art
Curious Josh / LA Weekly Attendees interacting with the art installations
We know several art installations mostly those hailing from Burning Man have already made their way to Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival, but Burning Man promotes interactive public art far beyond their yearly event. Through the Black Rock Arts Foundation, they focus on community art at regional events all year long. The artist participating at Burning Man who are largely funded by the organization work all year to create innovative sculptures, installations, performances, theme camps, art carts and costumes that keep the playa spirit alive. Imagine riding around in your own art cart through Coachella like the Do Lab people (who are also burners). Giving attendees a chance to participate whether through work or play with art is what makes Burning Man so unique.