A new Nevada state tax that could cost the promoters of popular festival Burning Man an extra $3 million a year and cause ticket prices to rise is being appealed by promoters.
Promoters from the Burning Man Projects have said the increase could cause tickets prices to spike as much as $35 to about $425 per person.
Last year, Nevada passed SB 266, which says says non-profits that offer for sale 7,500 tickets or more, and where the patrons participate in that entertainment, and “the number of tickets to the activity offered for sale or other distribution is 15,000 or more,” are no longer excluded from the live entertainment tax.
LOVELOCK, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) — Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen said his intentions were mischaracterized. Allen became the focus of national and international headlines this week after media reports surfaced he was planning a law enforcement “crack down” at the Burning Man festival this year. Allen said, “I hope the majority of people go out there and enjoy themselves. I don’t see this as being a crack down as stated in the paper. We just don’t have the staffing, we don’t have the funding and that is not our intention.”
SEE VIDEO HERE: http://www.mynews4.com/mostpopular/story/No-crack-down-at-Burning-Man/OtSUCXMwd0WI4zQG7onRlQ.cspx
Allen said he was surprised the story received so much attention and coverage. This morning he spoke with reporters in the United Kingdom and France. Another thing he didn’t anticipate was a backlash. He added, “I’m so surprised by this coming from some Burning Man participants.” He said he and now his family have received threats following the coverage.
In a News 4 one-on-one interview with reporter Terri Hendry, Allen clarified his position. There are two areas participants need to be aware of that could draw attention from deputies. One is nudity. Allen said, “I did make the statement I can’t go out there and cite 70,000 people for being nude. That was maybe an error on my part. I know there aren’t 70,000 people out there who are nude.” Allen explained he believes nudity between consenting adults is one thing, but another thing all together when it comes to children who are exposed to it. He said, “You can’t do that in other parts of the county. It is considered by state law, open and gross lewdness.” Another area is illegal drug use. He said personal use of pot could result in a citation. He added selling pot or other illegal drugs could result in arrest.
CLICK HERE for a Burning Man Project “Law Enforcement Survival Guide 2015” CLICK HERE for general “Burning Man Survival Guide”
BLACK ROCK CITY, Nevada (CBS SF) — Burning Man is crawling with bugs this year, and organizers don’t know why.
The festival can be hard to get into, with tickets going for hundreds of dollars, if you can find one. But, the creepy crawling insects of different shapes and sizes didn’t have to wait in line, or pay for tickets.
Champagne Lounge tweeted a picture of green beetle-shaped bugs swarming a truck tire.
Eric Scott Johnson joked that the bugs had been displaced by San Francisco’s housing crisis.
The Burning Man Blog update published Tuesday addresses the bug problem. “You may have seen the bug rumors on the internet. We are here to tell you that they are all true. Well maybe not all of the rumors, but the bugs are real. They’re everywhere. They bite. They crawl all over you. They get up and in you.”
At least two people required medical attention due to the infestation.
Although Burning Man still has not received its permit yet, the Bureau of Land Management has unofficially announced that a portion of the Black Rock Desert will be closed off starting next week for the purposes of the annual arts event.
Burning Man is expected to take place from Aug. 30 to Sept. 7. Although Burning Man staff and volunteers already are working out on the playa site, construction is supposed to be delayed until the BLM grants the nonprofit the permit.
Burning Man’s permit, which allows 68,000 participants to attend the annual arts and free expression celebration, is the largest special recreation permit in the country and is on hold for now.
The permit, which cost Burning Man $4 million last year, usually is issued in early August, although the BLM made some unprecedented requests for this year’s event discovered in documents obtained by the Reno Gazette-Journal in June.
Neither BLM officials nor Burning Man organizers have released details about the negotiations of the permitting process. The BLM’s requests included washers, dryers, flushing toilets and air conditioning. It is unclear if the BLM requests – which Burning Man estimated would cost more than $1 million to provide – still are included in the agreement between the two parties.
BLM officials previously insisted upon some of the amenities because high level BLM personnel would be visiting the site to ensure security and safety at the event since both were of concern following last year’s event, according to BLM reports.
The closure of the designated Black Rock Desert area before, during and after the event will be “to provide a safe environment for the public and for participants at the Burning Man event, and to protect public land resources while avoiding imposing restrictions that may not be necessary in the area during the remainder of the year,” the closure notice states.
For those lucky enough to be invited, the inaugural Further Future festival promises a “carefully curated” slate of musicians, business and cultural leaders, chefs, mixologists and masseuses on “an incredible piece of land within a 45 minute drive of Las Vegas airport.”
There’s just one problem: With less than two weeks until Further Future is set to begin, organizers are scrambling to secure a new location for the festival after apparently giving up on their preferred site.
Friday afternoon, representatives for Further Future moved to withdraw their request for a county permit to host the event for up to 5,000 people at an old mining site near Lake Mead, 35 miles east of Las Vegas.
The Clark County Commission was set to review the group’s application for a special use permit this Wednesday. But even if commissioners signed off on the plans, organizers faced the prospect of throwing a party with no way to get there.
Though the festival’s website carefully avoids identifying a specific location for the event, all the permits sought so far concerned the Anniversary Mine, a 215-acre tract sandwiched between Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the Bureau of Land Management’s Muddy Mountains Wilderness Area.
Earlier this month, both the BLM and the National Park Service denied the festival a commercial use permit for the roads leading across public land to the privately owned mine.
Bureau officials said they rejected the permit application because they didn’t have enough time to review it. The Park Service gave a different reason: a continuing dispute with the mine’s owner over control of the dirt track leading to and through his property.
Ford said he was forced to close the road because it was dangerous and because his insurance carrier was threatening to drop him if he continued to let people cross his land to get to Anniversary Narrows. He has offered to pave the entire road — including where it crosses federal land — at his own expense, but the BLM and Park Service said no.
Now, Ford said, federal officials are trying to spoil the party he hoped to cash in on.
“If they block this, they’re taking away my ability to use my property,” he said. “The BLM should pay the bill.”
On April 10, Ford sued the federal government for not allowing him to fix the road, effectively denying him use of his mine.
He previously tried to improve the road by having it resurfaced with asphalt chips, but the work drew a warning letter from the BLM.
Christie Vanover, spokeswoman for the Park Service at Lake Mead, confirmed last week that there is “an open investigation regarding considerable unauthorized damage and changes made to the backcountry road.”
That’s why Further Future was denied permission to use that route through the park to get to Ford’s property, she said.
There is no sign of any trouble on the festival’s website. Amid pictures and videos of glammed-up models parading through the desert at the Anniversary Mine site, festivalgoers can read about the amenities and purchase some of the packaged experiences still available.
The cheapest tier of tickets have already sold out at $200 each, as have a few “boutique camping options” such as the private, air-conditioned tents and the large group suite that sleeps up to 10 people.
You can still reserve meals and drinks and book “wellness experiences” at the pop-up spa. Some on-site parking will be offered, but most attendees are expected to come and go via shuttle buses.
The nonstop, three-day party is only open to invited guests and successful applicants age 21 and older who “share our sense of mindfulness and optimism, and will bring great energy, love and respect to our gathering,” the website says. Those who attend are encouraged to dress in costume as their Further Future selves.
The festival is the brainchild of a group called Robot Heart, an art and music collective known for the parties it throws during the annual Burning Man counterculture gathering in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.
The slate of entertainment includes several dozen musical acts performing throughout the weekend on multiple stages, including some well-known names on the electronic, ambient and dance music scenes. For its “Vision Series” on May 2, the festival has lined up a host of art, science and business luminaries, including Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.
All that’s left to determine is where everyone will meet for this “incredible, memorable and curated experience.”
Attempts to contact Further Future organizers, who have gone to some lengths not to identify themselves by name, were unsuccessful. Las Vegas attorney Alicia Ashcraft, who was representing the group in its quest for county and federal permits, did not respond to several requests for comment.
Ford said the Further Future folks have been doing prep work on his land for the past two months, but they did have a backup plan if the site couldn’t be used for some reason. He didn’t offer any specifics, just that the alternate location is on an “Indian reservation” outside Las Vegas, where federal permits and county liquor licenses are not an issue.
Whatever the festival’s organizers plan to do, they will need to do it quickly. With less than two weeks to go, Further Future is at risk of turning into the coolest party no one ever went to.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people visit Northern Nevada to grease up their fingers during the Nugget Rib Cook-Off, rev engines while cruising during Hot August Nights and compete downtown in bowling tournaments.
Starting the third week of August and ending the first week of September, caravans of RVs, trucks, trailers and art cars also descend on city streets and Nevada highways for the annual counterculture and art event, Burning Man.
There’s something else these events bring to the region: money.
Last year, nearly 70,000 people traveled into Nevada for Burning Man. Throughout Reno and Fernley, burners could be found shopping in grocery and retail stores, frequenting restaurants and buying supplies before their weeklong stay in the Black Rock Desert.
According to the Burning Man organization, the annual event brings in tens of thousands of people and millions of dollars to Northern Nevada, with 52,000 people and an estimated $44 million in economic impact in 2012, and more than 68,000 people and an estimated $55 million in 2013.
The organization says it spends more than $5 million annually in Nevada on production and planning, law enforcement, emergency services, construction materials, toilets, labor and supplies, and on business trips throughout the year.
Burning Man also reports the organization donated more than $585,000 from ice sales to charities and organizations in Northern Nevada, including nearly $66,000 in 2012 to Pershing County charities, including Pershing General Hospital, Marzen House Museum, Lovelock Food Bank, Safe Haven Rescue Zoo and the Chamber of Commerce.
After more than two decades of hosting the event in Nevada’s desert, it would be easy to assume that Burning Man’s economic impact would have been thoroughly analyzed, mapped and reported by independent groups.
However, that is not true, and according to the Center for Regional Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, it will take quite a bit of work and data collection to obtain that information.
The Center for Regional Studies specializes in economic and fiscal research and analyses for businesses, governments and entrepreneurs. It also analyzes local economic trends and economic impacts for special events.
Brian Bonnenfant, project manager at the center, said he has been questioned throughout the years about Burning Man’s local impact and has attempted to calculate a dollar amount.
In order to calculate that, Bonnenfant said, surveys that collect visitor demographics, trip characteristics and expenditures are required.
Without the primary data from surveys, some of the ways the center has evaluated the event’s impact is through creating low, middle and high scenarios and guesstimations, he said.
“It’s complicated and difficult, and we need to do a survey to ask the right questions: what is being spent per day; how did you get here, airplane or vehicle; how many people per vehicle,” Bonnenfant said. “It would be a unique survey to take place — and it needs to be done, otherwise we continue to loosely estimate by applying assumptions.
“Without a survey, the estimates are not defendable.”
Bonnenfant said the center has taken the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitor Authority figures on visitors and their spending and estimated what Burning Man participants’ spending would average.
If the RSCVA estimates a visitor spends $85 per day in food and drink, he said he would estimate Burning Man participants are spending $50 a day based on the remote desert location of the event.
He said it is unknown how many Burning Man attendees stay at commercial lodging, or for how long, after the event.
It’s these gaps in the data that make it hard to calculate what that total impact is on the region, he said.
Bonnenfant reports that one slice of usable data within the 2011 Burning Man survey is that 21 percent of attendees arrived by airplane.
He said 21 percent of 2011’s population of 53,963 would equal 11,332 visitors to the area. Multiply that by an estimated $400 spent in food and drink, and that would equal $4.5 million in impact just for that slice of burners.
There are caveats to the estimated spending because not all participants stop in Nevada to buy food or lodging. And while many are buying gas within the state, most of the return to Nevada is via gas taxes which are applied to state roads and road construction and the rest of the profits would go to corporate owners.
For those spending money at stores such as Safeway, Raley’s and Walmart, what remains locally are the wages to the employees because the profits would also go to corporate entities, he said.
Bonnenfant said that, without specific Nevada Burning Man survey results, the center can’t accurately calculate the economic impact.
“Burning Man conducts a survey every year, but the reported attributes are very limited. You can’t calculate the impact,” Bonnenfant said. “We would like to generate a survey out at the event, but until we do, we don’t have any idea on what participants are spending.”
Long-term economic impact
Mike Kazmierski, president of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, has only been in Reno for three years, but said with certainty that Burning Man’s economic impact on the community goes beyond the money it brings into the region each year.
It’s all about exposure, he said.
“It gives us exposure to an incredibly successful part of the business community — nationally and internationally — as they come through the Reno-Sparks community on the way to the desert,” he said. “It shows them what we have in our region, and we have found that many people coming through here for Burning Man mention us as a place for business.”
Kazmierski said the annual event also helps change the image the region has to a more culturally progressive and viable business destination.
“Our community went from, ‘What is that going on in the desert?’ to embracing the concept of being the base camp of Burning Man — where people stop, shop, eat and play — and incorporating it as part of what we are,” Kazmierski said. “It’s a fundamental change as Burning Man has more and more of an influence on our community.”
Kazmierski said people are noticing a change in Reno when they visit. He has had executives tell him they are amazed at the differences in Reno’s culture and growth. The traffic that migrates through Reno during Burning Man gives business leaders a chance to see where Reno is heading and what the city has to offer.
“The mass majority of people that come through are getting supplies, but they see what we have to offer as a region either before the event or after. These include senior executives and decision-makers,” Kazmierski said.
“As they spend time here, they understand more what we offer, such as a quality of life and businesses. The more we can help people understand that this is a business destination, the more we can impress on visitors that they can do business here and not just enjoy their visit.”
“Whenever someone in the community gives me a less than positive perspective on Burning Man, I ask them, ‘Have you been there?’ Until you’ve gone to the playa and have seen the unbelievable display of art, and how that creative class is engaged and connected and the energy and potential, you don’t realize what it really is.
“That kind of energy and creativity is what we need if we are going to go to the next level.”
It’s not just Reno that sees burner shoppers and visitors.
Fernley Mayor LeRoy Goodman said that throughout the years, Fernley has watched Burning Man grow from a few thousand to 60,000 people and with it a major economic spike in the community’s restaurants and stores two weeks before and after.
“It’s about a month that our community is benefiting economically,” he said. “My view is positive. They spend money here — Indian taco and water stands — I think people in the community look forward to it. The week after Labor Day, they look forward to seeing people. They stop in the same places, eat here and get cleaned up, and I think that’s neat.”
He said the influx of tens of thousands of burners through Reno and Fernley is not only good for the economy, it’s good exposure to what the region’s business and communities have to offer.
“When you’re coming from all over the world to Reno, you can take advantage of the eclectic businesses. Burner week is becoming like the Kentucky Derby and party for a few days in Reno — even if people aren’t going to Burning Man,” he said. “We are getting more and more traffic through here — spending the night in our hotels and shopping and participating in things — and it’s good for Fernley and all of Western Nevada.”
High demand, high cost: Desert RVs
Earlier this year, Classic Adventures RV Sales and Rentals begin to book its RVs for Burning Man.
The entire fleet of more than 40 RVs sold out in March, and manager Dane Johnson said it’s been the same story for the 10 years he’s been in business.
“I wouldn’t be in business today if it wasn’t for Burning Man,” Johnson said. “We don’t get much business outside of the event, and throughout the past seven years, business has doubled.”
He said he has about 20 percent repeat customers and offers some additional services to the rental, including daily filling and emptying of the RVs tanks and offering one flat charge that includes cleaning and maintenance after the burn.
“Burning Man has significant economic impacts for Reno businesses — from the small sector to large corporations,” he said. “It helps small businesses stay in business.”
While Johnson wouldn’t disclose his RVs rental charges, he said he estimates RV rentals bring in $20 million in profits throughout the Western region.
He said if there are 68,000 people at Burning Man and about a third of those need or want an RV, or about 15,000 people, there wouldn’t be enough RVs in the Western region to accommodate the renters. This creates a high demand for the rentals and the rental companies can charge exorbitant fees.
“I need to keep my doors open and I have to pay fees like everyone else; 3 percent goes to the BLM,” Johnson said. “I also pay employees to clean and get them ready, and there’s a lot of overtime; I can’t just hire people for a week.”
Accommodating the masses
In the week leading up to Burning Man, and the week after the event ends, tens of thousands of burners stop in Reno and frequent shops, restaurants, hotels and casinos.
Throughout the past several years, the Grand Sierra Resort has become one of the more popular burner stopovers. So much so, the resort offerspre- and post-burn packages and parties for burners.
“After they have been out in the desert for a week, they come here for a party at the pool or go to the all-night concerts,” said David Holman, executive chef of Charlie Palmer Steak. “We get a lot of fresh food, like seafood and oysters, and people come back year after year for it.”
After Burning Man concludes, Holman said both the restaurant and hotel are booked to maximum capacity and the RV center on the property is nearly full.
“We have Europeans here on their monthlong vacations and a lot of people here at the GSR who want to continue the party,” Holman said. “There are groups of 30 to 40 people in the lounge and everyone wants to link up with friends they met on playa.”
“Burning Man brings Reno to an international level. It exposes more people every year to the Reno-Tahoe area,” Holman said.
Join our Burning Man scavenger hunt
Join our Burning Man online scavenger hunt by snapping photos of 13 total items and publicly posting them on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag#BurnersInReno. You could win a prize. Here are the items:
1. First burners you see at a grocery store
2. First burner vehicle
3. Fur-covered bike
4. Burner at the airport
5. Line at the ice store on Fourth Street
6. Collection of burner vehicles in a parking lot
7. Burner car from a state not connected to Nevada (the farther away, the better)
“They” wanted to obliterate Burning Man. Sam said “No”. They didn’t. The Burners owe Sam. The RGJ fears Sam http://www.renocitizen.com
Burning Man is an annual festival that began in 1986. Tens of thousands of people gather at the ‘Playa’ in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create a temporary wooden city dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance. They depart a week later, leaving no trace whatsoever. Let it burn!
The freedom-loving hippie “burners” attending the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nev. this week may believe they’re communing in a happy cocoon with no laws.
In reality, undercover federal agents from all over the West are swarming the “temporary community” as they do every year and busting people for doing or selling drugs, local attorney and former cop Arnold Brock tells Business Insider. These agents do whatever they can to fit in at the 50,000-person festival, which Brock called a “unique event” that’s kind of like Woodstock.
Drone’s eye view of Burning Man 2013
“Last year we had an undercover agent dressed up as catwoman,” Brock says. “They will do whatever they do to … ferret out what they are considering criminal activity.”
Brock has an entire page on his website devoted to the “Burning-Man Related Arrests” that can happen to out-of-towners attending the festival. The festival goers might have their guard down and could be easy targets.
“It is a tremendous opportunity for undercover agents to go have a little fun and work a limited geographic area,” Brock says. “And that is exactly what they do.”
In some cases, Brock says, federal agents will even follow vehicles involved in larger drug deals from out of state and bust them once they arrive at Burning Man. Last year, 350 people were arrested there, according to the Reno Gazette.
Some burners have accused the cops of being overzealous in recent years. Festival attendees have complained about undercover female agents explicitly asking male burners for drugs as well as drug dogs brazenly roaming the camps, the Associated Press reported back in 2010.
Federal officials, however, said Burning Man needs to be policed.
“I don’t want my guys to be party poopers, but we have a job to do,” Mark Pirtle, special agent in charge for the Bureau of Land Management, told the AP. “[Festival goers] are not bad people, but they like to use drugs.“
Patty Gordon wrote in saying she has heard there are many serious crimes committed at Burning Man and she wants to know if that’s true ?
Patty, Pershing County is considered the lead law enforcement agency when it comes to Burning Man. I checked with Sheriff Machado in Pershing County. He did not have complete numbers but I did a get partial list. There are 50 investigative cases which are now open and being investigated. Machado says the crimes reported at burning man this year included open and gross lewdness, twelve sexual assaults, battery and various property crimes and DUI. A total of 15 people were taken to jail. Keep in mind there are more than 60,000 people up there for burning man, but there clearly are crimes being committed during the festival. Again the sheriff’s department is still compiling all of the numbers and we’ll follow up when they have complete list
2013 Burning Man Tyranny on the Playa
Tyranny on the playaAn estimated 68,000 people are anticipated to stream into the Black Rock Desert near Gerlach, Nev. for Burning Man beginning Sunday, and federal and state law enforcement agencies for the event said this year they are implementing a new integration to ensure the public’s safety.
“We have integrated resources and manpower out of need and because the population has grown,” Pershing County Sheriff Richard Machado said. “The population is to the point now that it’s imperative that we work together to manage this event.”
In previous years, each sector of law enforcement covered thier own agency jurisdictions and relied on the resources they brought out for the event.
In addition to sharing resources this year, there will be one law enforcement command post in Black Rock City stationed near Burning Man’s Black Rock Ranger’s station and each vehicle will have a state officer and a federal officer to ensure they can respond to any incident at the event.
2013 The Man burns!
Know your rights at burning man!
2012 Burn video
Golden Lips of Silence – Playa Police
“We knew that we needed to take an internal look at this operation and we knew that integration was a key component of that,” the Bureau of Land Management Special Agent-In-Charge Dan Love said.
Love said they will staff 102 officers total for the event between the PCSO and the BLM. He said for every shift, 64 officers will be on duty on the playa and will rotate in overlapping shifts every 12 hours. Overall, he said, it’s a ratio of 1 officer to every 1,000 participants. Continue reading →
Is prostitution “Live Entertainment” subject to tax or a “Service”?
Nevada brothels map
By ED VOGEL LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL CAPITAL BUREAU CARSON CITY — All Nevada businesses that offer live entertainment — including brothels, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the massive Electric Daisy Carnival and Burning Man — would have to pay an 8 percent tax under a bill to be introduced Wednesday. Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, said Monday that her live entertainment tax bill is nearly completed and will cover “everybody,” ending exemptions for specific businesses and taxing some, such as brothels, that were previously ignored. Asked specifically whether the tax would include Burning Man, the speedway and brothels, she repeated, “Everybody.”