Hello Dark Skies – Singularity community. Got a few minutes?

Here is the latest news in regards to our permits and the BLM. Feel free to forward this public press release wherever you’d like.


  • DS/Sing is going to cost between $25 and $29K to produce.
  • The initial draft of the accounting (pre-event) is posted here
  • It’s still pretty rough and is lacking a bunch of stuff, but you’ll see the nexus of what this takes.
  • We post this in advance of the event because we want YOU the community to buy into this thing and see what it takes to produce it.
  • Realize that nobody is getting rich here. And we want you to buy tickets, too!
  • How’s that for blatant honesty?
  • It’s an extremely risky venture at best producing these events.
  • Our ONLY source of income comes from YOU buying tickets to the event.


  • BLM Law Enforcement (LE) is asking for $34,600 in LE fees for the May event.
  • Event budget – <>$27K, LE fees – $34k. See a problem here?

After being approved for the upcoming May event this past December, we have received a “Cost Recovery Estimate” in February from BLM that is far in excess of the entire event’s gross budget.


We are prepared to file an appeal with the BLM in Sacramento and Washington to contest these fees, and concurrently file an application for a ‘stay’ to keep our permitting process moving forward during the appeal process, which could take up to two years. We intend to show that BLM is in error in its cost estimate for our little event, and further, that bias, prejudice, and unfair treatment has occurred numerous times at our events. Those of you who’ve receive citations know what we’re talking about here. They simply “don’t like” us (yes, that is a quote!), but that has no bearing on the facts unfortunately.

We have a meeting scheduled with BLM for this Thursday here in the Las Vegas office to begin this process and attempt to talk some sense into these guys. I/E: How can you charge more than the event brings in for LE alone? Maybe we’ll just hire cops and not have any potties? For that matter, maybe the cops will let us s**t in their armored Chevy Suburban cruisers out on Roach Lake? Dunno. We’re pretty sure that we will prevail in this effort, and it’s a very challenging and productive time right now and a lot of work is going on behind the scenes on many levels to make the May event happen. This letter is keeping you all in the loop. This letter is pulling back that curtain. Many of you just want to come to the event, set up and have fun, and we love that and we love you, but many of you also want to know what’s going on behind the scenes, too. Many of you find this process fascinating, you nerds. That’s what this letter is about.

What does this situation mean? Is Dark Skies – The Singularity Event getting canceled? Moved? Turned into a Pentecostal Snake show? Are we going full on commercial and hiring the Chilli Peppers to pay for the cops? NO WAY! That will never happen. The May event is ON and we’re doing it on Roach Lake, May 17-20, just like we always have. What this means quite frankly is that we have to jump through yet more hoops in order to use the land that we own and pay for, from the Bureaucracy that we pay for, too. We know our rights, we have the facts, and we have YOUR support in producing one of the best events on the west coast. And that feels pretty damn good guys. We also have some of Burning Man’s resources now being brought to bear on this situation as well and we are extremely grateful for that. Additional resources are coming on line even as we speak. The reason is, that we are ethical and responsible; the facts are that we are in the right, and that BLM is simply wrong in trying to over regulate us and regulate us out of existence. BLM’s Cost Recovery Estimate is simply in error.


  • What do we need from you guys now?
  • What can you do to help? Well for starters, we are NOT going to start a letter writing campaign.
  • And, we are not going start calling BLM and whining about this situation.
  • Also, no picket lines or clown, bunny, or santa rampages at their offices either; it will do no good at this point, trust us.

We need to work collectively as a group within the letter of the law and BLM’s regulations to find a solution to this problem. This is not the time for emotions, this is the time for clear rational action and we are about to do just that. Again, we’re not asking you to DO anything at this point except buy tickets; we just really want everyone reading this to more fully understand what goes into events of this type. One can only imagine the pain the Burningman has gone through in figuring this out over the past 20+ years. Anyone who thinks this is easy should give it a try sometime. G’head, we dare you.


Want some more info? Ok then, in the spirit of both community and true open source here is the basis for our complaint and for what will become the appeal should that unfortunate action become necessary. And we really hope it can be avoided at our meeting in two days. This is our rationale for appealing fees in excess of the event’s total budget. We allege the following:

  1. That BLM is over-charging us for Law Enforcement for our event far in excess of that called for in other events of this type. BLM standards for “all ages family events” are one law enforcement officer per 1000 participants. Our current ratio is 1/90. (see #7 below)
  2. That a history of abuse, bias, and discrimination exists and that our event is being treated differently than any other events of this type. This affects us adversely and therefore a stay should be granted to allow the permitting to proceed.
  3. That arbitrary and capricious standard?s are being applied to us on many levels.
  4. That we have a history of just one stipulation violation in four previous events on the same site, which was minor and promptly corrected (fireworks). Therefore there is no reason to have three observers as part of our cost recovery estimate or stipulations. (see #7 below)
  5. That though we have complained in writing to BLM about abuse and dereliction of duties by LE on two different occasions, those complaints went unanswered and ignored and instead we find ourselves in the current situation.
  6. That BLM is attempting to charge us an amount, greater than the total gross budget of our event. This precludes the event from ever happening. This not only violates our civil rights, but that it negates BLM’s mandate to preserve our public lands for public use. In short, we believe BLM is attempting to regulate us out of existence and exclude us while allowing other events of this type to occur. This affects us adversely and therefore a stay should be granted to allow the permitting to proceed.
  7. That in our four events held on this site, and contrary to BLM’s own internal regulations, no After Action Reports have been filed for any of our events, and that therefore, this shows neither precedent nor reason for our user fees being increased for event number 5 by a factor of over 1600%. This affects us adversely and therefore a stay should be granted to allow the permitting to proceed.
  8. That the closure area that BLM is requiring us to adhere to is 350 times larger than Burningman’s per capita. This huge closure area is completely unworkable for an event of this size. We wish to be held to the same standard as Burningman in this regard. Precedent has been set for these types of events. This affects us adversely and therefore a stay should be granted to allow the permitting to proceed.

As you can see, we’ve done quite a bit of work on this matter and we’re fairly confidant that we will prevail once the facts supporting these claims have been presented, and rest assured that we do have the documentation to back this stuff up.

If any of YOU have anything to add to this please contact us OFF LIST and get involved. This is going out to too many lists (worldwide) to have public dialogs on all of them, though we would be happy to discuss it on the main Dark Skies/Singularity list.

And remember that BLM and LE is already on most of our lists anyway in case you hadn’t guessed. (Hi guys)
We’re not looking for emotional or hostile responses. This is not “fight the man” time, but your ideas are certainly welcome and encouraged.

What are we missing here?

That’s pretty much it. Fun reading, huh?


  • Now for some good news!
  • We have over a dozen theme camps signed on.
  • We have a truck load of art on the way from L.A.
  • We’re going to have a massive art gallery in center camp, (whoo hoo!).
  • We also have major pyro and fire art coming in from all over the west coast,
  • Tickets sold in 8 states so far.

YOUR SUPPORT is the key to making this all happen. Thank you all! To be quite honest, what we need is to sell tickets and we have been selling pretty well so far so thank you for that, too. The current count is somewhere around 180 tickets sold in advance, which puts us farther ahead than any other event we’ve done and well on the way to reaching our cap, which will be somewhere around 600 or 700 people. Please visit the Dark Skies / Vegas Artists website to learn more about Dark Skies / The Singularity Event and to sign up to help out on site. Volunteers are the key to making this work so please get involved.

Thank you again for your continued support of YOUR southwest regional burn. Thank you for buying tickets. Thank you for helping. And thank you for daring to dream big with us and make this happen, in this wonderful venue, and on this level of both complexity and content. With your love and support, this is going to completely and totally rock. Because as we’ve always said since May of ’05: “we just found the site, it is YOU who make the event so special”.
And you do.

Much dusty love,
The Singularity Core

Cameron Grant: Las Vegas BM Regional Director

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