So this band called Ceasefire filmed a full on music video at Burning Man last year. They are currently using images from the Burn to promote their EP, and there are claims that they are using photos without permission in their advertising.
As I thought about it I wondered why this bothered me so much. I mean, there’s been a lot of videos before of the Burn, often set to music. So why is this different? I feel it’s because in all of those other videos I’ve seen, I feel it is a celebration of this crazy thing we do, and inspires folks to participate. This video feels like exactly the opposite. It feels like someone taking the hard work of Burners and using it to promote THEMSELVES.
I won’t get started on how their music sounds like the worst sort of “LA Industry Bait”, the music could be mind blowing and I’d still be upset that someone felt it was OK to violate the event rules for personal gain.
Here is a copy of the message I sent to them, I hope one of the band members actually reads it:
An Open Letter to the band Ceasefire,
I am sure that you are receiving a lot of angry messages today over your recent Music Video “In the Dead of Night”. I want you to know that I am not angry, but I am very disappointed.
I am disappointed because I am a musician and performer myself, and a Burner, and to be honest I expected better of you. I would expect a group of artists to understand how important it is to an artist that their work is represented honestly.
All those Art installations and Art Cars out there on the Playa? That was a gift to the community, and to the world. Those artists did NOT work long hours, in back breaking heat, hauling tons of gear to the desert to create a backdrop to your music video. The fact that you used it as such, in SPITE of the fact that this type of commodification is expressly prohibited on your ticket, makes me disappointed.
More than anything, I’m ashamed of you for taking the work of the thousands of participants at Burning Man who spend 365 days planning for their next one and cheapening it with your attempt to promote yourselves. It is selfish, and dishonest, two qualities I am pretty sure you didn’t start out making music wanting to promote.