Statement from Lora Green, event visitor with 11 years experience working at Burning Man


 

I am SO glad nothing happened, and that your property remained safe.

I would definitely want to go again next year! I would have liked to gone out to the Gate, just to take a picture; but when we tried to look for a ride on Saturday, we were told the road was blocked a few miles from it.

Personally, the things I would like to see for another event would be:

*Trash Fence - that's the ONLY way to catch wind blown debris. In addition, there should be people 'policing' it periodically, because at some point the wind or dust devils could push the trash up and over the fence.

*Block off the road into the residential areas, even if that means blocking access to the Gate. It's just plain rude to the residents to have unknown vehicles driving all over the place, and creates an unnecessary disturbance to them.

*Portapotties should be closer and more spread out. I realize they had no idea of what to expect crowd wise, but they were a long way off from the stage, vendors and RV's.

*Garbage Cans - they need more of them spread out throughout the entire area. If people don't see a trash can, many will drop it on the ground. (I didn't see much garbage on the ground, but the bigger the crowd, the more trash.

*Restrict Driving Through Event Area - No one should be driving except for arriving and departing. Only law enforcement and staff should drive around the event, and there should be a strict 5mph limit. There can be exceptions made (like the guy driving around with the big wheels), but they need to be checked, so that they have proper lighting for night driving, and only drive 5mph. There wasn't any problem THIS year, but the more driving, the more dust gets kicked up, and there's the potential for people getting run over.

*Vendors - Should be ALL in one area, and I think local vendors should not have to pay a fee. That's the polite thing to do. I felt very bad for two local vendors who were parked at another property. When I found them, I directed as many people to go over there as I could.

*Limit the Amount of Attendees - If this event is to continue, there needs to be a limit to how many people attend; how many camp sites can be sold. The "unknown" factor was the cause of all the chaos before the event. Granted, people can camp on BLM land, but if the area is fenced off, and only those who paid for a campsite can get in, or if there's a ticket price for non-campers, I think that could put a damper on how many people camp/park across the street.

*Percentage of Proceeds to Go to the Town - Since the whole town is involved with the event (whether they want to be or not), something should be given back to the community. Whether the money is for an improvement the residents want (streetlights, paving, stop signs, solar panels, etc...), or just a cash payment to each household, there HAS to be some benefit to the community. And I'm not talking about the County, I'm talking about the people of Rachel. THEY are the one directly affected by the event. They have NO choice. They are blocked in by the event. I mean, it's not like you're all spread out - you're all together in this one little spot!

If there is NO benefit to the residents, and it ONLY benefits the INN, then you have the RIGHT to do everything in your power to stop it. I made sure to buy something from EVERY local (meaning Rachel) vendor. I wanted them to get something out of this too. I really think THIS is the FIRST priority. Something HAS to be given back to the residents; it's just plain wrong otherwise. Now, everyone might not agree on what that is; but the Inn needs to put forth some good faith effort towards the people of Rachel.

*Rules Need to be Enforced - If there is not supposed to be dogs, fireworks, glass bottles or campfires, then they need to enforce that. One of my neighbors had a campfire on the ground and then left the wood on the ground after it went out. (My son cleaned it up) I talked to another neighbor, and they have a propane fire, and they did say someone came out and checked their fire, and another one across the way that was in a burn barrel type of container, so that turned out ok. We also saw fireworks, which were pretty, but you and I both know how dangerous they can be in out desert environment. There were also a lot of dogs out there, and all the ones I ran into were friendly; but if there are going to be rules, they need to be followed and enforced. I'm not fond of rules, but we put them in place for a reason.

I'm sure there are some other things, but writing about the Inn giving back to the community, sort of made me lose track! : )

As for the music, it was fine. Not all of it my cup of tea; but I appreciate that they all came out to entertain us. And it doesn't bother me if it goes all night. Could you hear the music at your place? Did it bother you?

Everyone I talked to loved the event and said they want to come back next year! I didn't hear one negative comment from anyone, except that they wished the restaurant was open. It was really a nice crowd.

Lora

 



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