Earlier this year, Burning Man brass came out against the reputation their festival had begun to receive as little more than an Instagram backdrop for the rich. In a blog post published in February, Marian Goodell, CEO of the Nonprofit Burning Man, came out against the "alarming changes in the culture of Burning Man in Black Rock City." Her qualms included preferential treatment for "hot girls," prepackaged festival experiences aimed solely at the one percent, influencers and companies peddling products, and essentially anything that flew in the face of the festival's original goals of "decommodification" and equality. Goodell promised to make changed, but of course her statement wasn't a ban on, say, rich people, models, and influencers, and they certainly didn't stay away from the just concluded 2019 edition of the festival.
Everyone from Paris Hilton to the woman 16th in line for the Monegasque throne showed up. As Vanity Fair points out, hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio also dropped by. As for the peddling of products? Well, Diplo showed up in a private jet emblazoned in the Popeyes logo with bags full of (assumably) those chicken sandwiches. Here, a lot at all the VIPs and notables who went all out for Burning Man this year.
Professional event attender Paris Hilton had her social media time working overtime to create a series of animated GIFs out of her snapshots from the festival. In case you're doubting if Hilton was actually there or just photoshopped herself in, well, she did appear on Diplo's Instagram as well in a picture that wasn't run through Adobe CreativeSuite.
Pauline Ducruet of the Monaco Royal Family
Pauline Ducruet, Princess Stephanie's daughter (and Grace Kelly's granddaughter) took a ride through the desert in a rainbow tutu.
The Victoria's Secret model wore a series of increasingly Burning Man-appropriate custom looks throughout the week.
Diplo showed up in the Popeye's private jet (apparently a thing that actually exists, and a reminder that despite it's Louisiana's marketing the chicken joint is now headquartered in Miami, a place where people think DJs and private jets are the epitome of existence), and then later hung out with Hilton.
DJ duo Simihaze had a grand old time.
Alexina Graham, another veteran of the Victoria's Secret runway, let it all hangout at Nevada.
Georgia Fowler and Poppy Delevingne
With no plans for a Victora's Secret fashion show this year, we guess the Angels are free to spread their wings, so no surprise that Georgia Fowler also showed up, accompanied by Poppy Delevingne.
Ray Dalio, the 70-year-old hedge funder with a reported $18.7 billion, showed up in a rainbow-hued fur coat.