I hope you have read the ten principles of Korea Burn to really understand what it is we are trying to bring to Korea. The original Burning Man has been operating on these ten principles since the beginning and although they remain the same from country to country, the cultures and understanding of them can cause a bit of a hick-up. Let’s focus on rule #3:
In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
In other words, selling (making a profit) or bartering (trading) any items, food, or services is strictly prohibited. The culture of Korea Burn is a “gifting” economy where everyone brings what they need for themselves and then something to share with their community. This is the part of Burning Man that makes it completely different from any other festival or gathering in the world: everything is a gift and people want to share it.
The Potential Problem
Korea Burn is being held in Gijipo Beach National Park which has an open perimeter… meaning anyone with a product can come in and set up selling water, alcohol, energy drinks and we can only imagine what else. Of course, you have the choice of whether or not to purchase these items from a person trying to use and abuse the community we have worked so hard to keep pristine.
The KoreaBurn Solution
But before you run to your tent to grab your wallet, just remember that the spirit of the Korea Burn is to keep faith in your community; to trust that your community won’t leave you thirsty, hungry, without shade, without entertainment, and without love. There will be plenty of Theme Camps and individual burners giving away food, water, art, and entertainment that you won’t need to pull your wallet out of your hiding spot in the back of your pack (sorry if I gave it away).
Also, some big (drink/food) corporations may find a way to sneak products into Korea Burn by giving it away for free. Giving it away is all good fun and all but pushing one product on our community is marketing and still against Principle #3.
We can’t stop people from trying to use our event to make money or market their product but we can not support them by giving them our money or attention. Keep your money safe… spend it before or after the burn! 🙂