I've been to that playa (Black Rock Desert) many times, just never during Burning Man. I'd like to go some day... I like that it's not just a hipster congregation surrounding a bunch of lame bands, and the art projects seem cool. Though the nude 50+ year olds, condensed/organized camps, and entrance ticket sound a bit contrived.
It's odd to me how the folks in that article were mourning its decline since the 'early days', as if it were impossible to ever experience again.... there are millions of vacant acres in the Great Basin, wouldn't be too difficult to amass a large group and go do some crazy shit out there, whenever you wanted.