Is it Burning Man if the DJs aren't there? Or, at least, if a third of them can't perform?
Many musical acts -- or, better put, their managers -- were slow to get tickets for the playa, so they may not be performing. Remember: Burning Man has sold out for the first time in its history.
And the performers who could be outside, looking in are some pretty big acts, according to the SF Bay Guardian.
Among the big acts that are still ticketless are Shpongle, Infected Mushroom, Freq Nasty, EOTO, Mimosa, Adam Ohana, and Andy C, many of which are managed by Coast 2 Coast Entertainment, which helped book many of its artists on the playa but waited too long to buy tickets for them, many of whom have been on tour and unable to put the time into preparing for Burning Man.
Burning Man expert Steven T. Jones (his book on it is here) points out that these electronic artists are not qualified for grants, tickets or other support that the other artists are.
Thing is, the DJs are a large -- if not largest -- reason that popularity has skyrocketed for playa attendance. Thick irony for a festival that some see headed away from its true countercultural, unique status among crowd-based experiences.