So I recently re-watched "Groove", a movie from 2000 about an underground party in San Francisco. It's been 18 years since that movie, and it's been 5 since I last went to Burning Man, and I was thinking about how commercial and mainstream raves have become. But here was a good scene, and it sums up my years in the festival and the last years when I really contributed. I've been both of these people:
Guy: Why do you do this to yourself? Don't even get paid, risk getting arrested, for what?
Ernie: You don't know?
Ernie: The Nod.
Guy: The Nod?
Ernie: Happens to me at least once every party. Some guy comes up to me and says "Thank you for making this happen... I needed this. This really meant something to me." And they nod... and I nod back.
Guy: [scoffs] ... That's it?
Ernie: That's it.