Noise complaints are not an issue you would expect to associate with Burning Man, the week-long, outsider arts festival that takes place in Nevada’s remote Black Rock Desert. But that is exactly what happened after the event’s namesake ritual on the last Saturday in August of 2014, the 28th version of Burning Man. The symbolic torching of an oversized effigy designed by festival co-founder Larry Harvey is the culmination of the gathering for many of the 65,000+ freaks, geeks and free-spirited revelers for whom the festival has become a global destination. It is a bacchanalian end-zone dance full of banging beats and fireworks, which continues well past the break of dawn, celebrating the survival of what can be a grueling existential slog in the elements. But last year, the evening’s Dionysian abandon left detractors in its aftermath, incensed with the volume and vibe of the party. The criticisms not only raised questions about music’s place at Burning Man, it also drew lines in the meaning of the event’s “radical self-expression” ethos.
“We do not expect to hear a DJ exhorting a crowd in a way