Burning Man: Media Is Taken Seriously
Burning Man is a big deal among those in the know. They have a culture created around tribal inclusion, sharing what you have with anyone wandering by, and accepting others in whatever way they choose to express themselves. Including various levels of nudity.
It is a private event held on public land. You buy tickets to participate and when you purchase tickets, you agree to a media contract, personal or professional. Burners are very protective of the experience and each other.
If you want to know about the terms of those agreements, you can find specifics at press-rights-responsibilities. Essentially they break down to personal photos and the like shared with personal friends on a limited scale. There can be no commercial use attached in any way shape or form, and you need to get permission from people whose pictures you take, especially if they are in some form of undress. If you are there for media professional reasons, in any form, you need to register with Burning Man’s press people and accept any rules and guidelines they set. If for some reason you later find a need to use your personal photos for profit after the event, contact them and follow their guidelines before using those photos.
In 2011 Krug Champagne along with other commercial vendors and a few magazines, set up a secret VIP dinner party and managed to pull the entire event off without being caught. They had the bad taste to leave all their garbage from the event just lying there, no clean up whatsoever. Media people were invited to attend and given instructions from a PR firm on how to get in without mentioning the VIP dinner.
Months later photo spreads showed up in a few high-end magazines that just happened to wait until just before publication to notify Burning Man about their articles. By the time Burning man responded, it was too late to get an injunction.
Even someone who doesn’t know the ins and outs of Burning Man must know the VIP dinner was a location shoot only since it actively worked to exclude itself from the Burning Man festival. So we’re not really sure what the point of this event was all about. Except they wanted to cash in on a name without being willing to meet the requirements. This PR stunt may have seriously backfired on those deceptively working this angle. Burners have pledged to never buy Krug Champagne again and keep spreading their disgust.
Burning Man is the real deal – and they take their press pretty damn seriously.