There’s a New Festival in Town – Digital Renaissance Faire

In the last few years, festivals have absolutely blown up, and, of course, our little Burning Man community has played a part. We’re causing quite a ruckus with our growing regional circuit, there’s even a regional in Iowa now, and our principles are inspiring new movements across the globe. One event in particular is causing a buzz for it’s innovative and gutsy approach to production. The Digital Renaissance Faire is a project spearheaded by burner, Endeavor, a befitting name for someone who’s taking on the challenge of creating an entirely new type of festival. Endeavor is a four-year Burner, a greeter and an avid off-Playa volunteer. He’s also the founder of LunarBurn, the Black Rock Municipal Golf Course and the Country Club Art Project. Corey is taking his love of Burning Man and his fifteen years of production experience in television and live events such as HBO Comedy Festival, Primal Quest Adventure Race, ESPN X-Games and channeling it into Digital Renaissance Faire.

 

What is the Digital Renaissance Faire? In it’s simplest form-it’s a festival held at Sopaigo Springs in Pioneer, California from May 23 – 27th. There will be food, music, art and above all, interactivity. Just like at regionals, the Ten Principles will be followed. There will be no exchange of money, no bartering of goods, only gifting. Some of the participating camps are well known-such as Sacred Spaces Village, DISTRIKT and Kids Camp. So what makes this event special? According to Endeavor, “The main thing that will make this different than regionals and Burning Man, is the profit participation with the staff and theme camps… that makes everyone responsible for the events success.”

 

Shared profit or collaborative fundraising is a huge shift for an event of this scope. At any other interactive Burner event, profits would go back into the event itself, paying for infrastructure, land rental and art grants. People set up camps and gifting, presumably, just for the sake of giving. At the Digital Renaissance Faire, theme camps and artists will actually see a return on their investment. Digitalrenfaire.org already has a webpage entitled “Transparency” where all the profits and the share breakdowns will be available for public viewing. According to the site, “The Digital Renaissance Faire is a profit sharing event. A portion of the proceeds (25%) will be given to the Perma-Culture Community Network. The remaining profits (75%) will be distributed in shares to those providing their products or services to the event. All theme camps and staff positions will be given a portion of the profits.”

 

This novel idea of profit sharing could potentially change the way festivals are run, ensuring that everyone who is giving a lot is getting a least a little something in return. When asked why anyone would go through the hassle of trying to throw an event where the profits are shared evenly, especially in our community, Endeavor responded, “Burning Man is the place I felt most at home. It is the place I believe people feel free. I simply want to bring that feeling of community that I feel at Burning Man to those who want that experience or those who have become jaded by Burning Man in the last few years.”

 

Endeavor has some amazing ideas and lots of people are jumping on board, including an absinthe bar, a taco cart and multiple companies that will record both musical and stage performances. The full line-up of theme camps is currently available at www.digitalrenfaire.org, as well as additional information about the event. The fate of this event truly lies in the hands of our community. Will you get behind the Digital Renaissance Faire? You can donate to the event at its indiegogo page or you can buy your tickets in advance through the indiegogo at the $160 mark for all five days. Who knows what the outcome of this new and innovative event will be but one things for certain-Burn After Reading will be there to see it in action.

2 Responses to “There’s a New Festival in Town – Digital Renaissance Faire”

  1. An interesting mdoel for a festival, but I object to it being labelled a Burner camp out, and feel like they fail two of the 10 principles pretty hard.

    It’s not Gifting if you’re making a profit, or even just getting reimbursed for expenses. Requiring four hours of volunteer work from all attendees doesn’t make them Participants, not when there’s are two distinct classes of people (“participants” in on the profit sharing, and “spectators” required to put in volunteer shifts).

    I hope it’s just an oversight, but the Transparency isn’t transparent. Financial Projections allocates profits on the basis of 100k shares, but only 83k shares are accounted for in Share Split.

    It feels like there’s a real trend among California burners to attempt to superficially burnify traditional festivals (e.g. Symbiosis, Lightning in a Bottle, DRF) while retaining much of the baggage that differentiates them from burns (e.g. participants vs. spectators), while burners in the rest of the country are actively organizing regional burns that avoid some of the compromises Burning Man itself has made (e.g., coffee sales, free tickets for key participants). DRF will probably be fun, and it’s an certainly an improvement over the traditional festival model, but I’ll stick with regionals

    Reply
    • I agree… I don’t think it should be labeled a burner event. It’s a festival just like any other(lightning in a bottle, Lucidity, etc.). simple as that.

      Reply

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