When I first participated in Burning Life, it was a marvelous celebration of art and fire, run by actual participants from Burning Man. It was a timeout from the real world - even in grid terms - as residents left behind their virtual routines and estates to become a part of a desert community for a time.
The one problem I had from that year (and still do after their recurrence for the playa offerings for SL9B) was a clear violation of their principles with a camp for the Church of the SubGenius. No org or group representation, mich less a trademarked entity, has any business on the playa ever. Reporting them in 2009 fell on deaf ears as did the presence of a role play Starfleet group, who proudly flew their flag at their campsite and repeatedly slipped recruitment materials into their freebie packs.
Then 2010, the first year of Burn2 with a considerably smaller playa with a fine artistic spirit to make up for it. The atmosphere was spoiled this time by the Lamplighter group, who were more into their campsite's bath house and holding events there than what they were there for. The People did their duty for them, walking down the roads toward the temple & drumming through the night.
Last year it became officially associated with Burning Man. However I met with a disturbing moment when - at the first open house to pitch for land purchases - they held a dance observed by a horned creature with hooves, sitting on a fiery throne. Now what are people supposed to think about that? Personally I wouldn't dance for such an entity's enjoyment, much less indulge them with any act of subserviance. I just left. If that was their idea of a celebration or party they could have it. Someone had sponsored me (I still believe it was Kev, as he was always enthusiastic and encouraging of my art) so I put something introspective and markedly smaller as a build than the Freudian overcompensation all around me. Remember: the difference between a big build and a small build is the desire to scale it up. The primcount and resources are the same after that. There was an effort to make amends with the playa community regarding the Lamplighters this time around, but the end result was a group who wouldn't teleport when walking was impossible, lamplighters leaving for bed on the way or during (why show up in the first place?), and the meager handful remaining arrived about fifteen minutes before sunrise. It was a bit of a joke really. Putting them up against what I experienced in 2009 there's no comparison.
Yet another thing: Burn2 was no longer a special event. Burn2 held events and festivals and weekends at the drop of a hat, often opposite major goings on such as the 7Seas Fishiversary AND 7Seas Fall Fishing Festival. While I'm sure this was to get more mileage from the sims, it devalued Burn2 as anything special. Burn2 in October? Big deal. There's one of a sort every 2 months.
This comes to SL's equivalent to Burning Man this year, and their pitch next week to attract parcel purchases. A questionaire was sent yesterday with a web poll to vote on a theme. I had a real "wtf" moment from that. All this time Burning Life and Burn2 served to bring Burning Man to Second Life. The only reason it was held after was so that RL Burners would have the opportunity to participate in Second Life as well. This means for all these years it's shared the same principles (even if it didn't always practice them) and the same theme. My guess is that someone may have been anxious over the Fertility theme and was afraid the playa would be overrun with female anatomy. That would be some reason eh? We've had evolution, rebirth... what a terrible thing to respect tradition and follow suit with Burning Man.
Are we to assume that Burning Man is no longer associated with Burn2? If this is the case then there should have been some sort of notice or disclaimer on burn2.org. Because this is it. It's over if they even consider such a thing. Then they become nothing more than a bunch of hippy pyro's getting their virtual kicks. I mean really...