Purity is never easy to maintain. In most cases, people trying to recover lost innocence are looking for something that was never there in the first place. But Burning Man, the annual desert festival that defines contemporary Bohemia, has long had a legit reputation for remaining unspoiled. Now people are complaining that the hard-to-define arts and freedom celebration–where nudity, drugs, creativity, fire and spectacle are the coins of the realm–is being overrun by dirty capitalism.
Wannabe entrepreneurs are flocking to Burning Man not with open minds and untethered spirits, but with PowerPoint decks ready to show their latest innovations to Mark Zuckerberg–if they can find him. Silicon Valley “elites” have taken over, according to some veteran burners, and it sucks. Has Burning Man become yet another networking event? Burning Man co-founder Lee Harvey doesn’t think so. He doesn’t mind the wealthy attendees. He told Charlie Rose that for years people have said “every migration is going to ruin it, and it just enriches the environment, you know?” Bonus: here is a terrific article about Burning Man by Wells Tower.