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How much does Burning Man cost? Expenses Add Up Quickly

  • Burning Man may be “decommodified”, but attending it is still quite expensive.
  • The 9-day festival cost most Burners at least $800 this year just for a ticket and vehicle pass.
  • Transportation, food, and other survival-related supplies can easily drive the cost up into the thousands.

Burning Man only sells ice cream on site, but make no mistake: Burners always pay a small fortune to be there.

The typically nine-day event in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, about 120 miles north of Reno, attracts tens of thousands of attendees each year and costs them at least $630 for a ticket, including taxes and fees. – with total costs that easily explode. by thousands.

Survival supplies aren’t something to scoff at either. This year, a storm ruined the festivities, turning much of the famous playa to mud and stranding attendees.

Here’s a more in-depth look at the expenses you have to meet as a burner.

Tickets alone are not cheap

Most tickets sold directly by Burning Man are $575 each this year, according to the event’s website. (There are 5,000 tickets available at a reduced price of $225 for those in financial difficulty, and “FOMO” tickets priced at $1,500 and $2,750 for Burners who wish to reserve their place two months before the opening of the main sale.) Vehicle passes, which are required for each vehicle entering Black Rock City cost $150 each; for burners who qualify for reduced fares due to financial hardship, vehicle passes are $75 each.

All tickets are subject to the 9% Nevada Live Entertainment Tax; on $575 tickets, this tax amounts to $51.75 each. Tickets and vehicle passes are subject to a fee of $4 each. There is also a 3.4% credit card processing fee on purchase subtotals.

In total, that means the Burners are shelling out at least $800 between tickets, vehicle passes, fees and taxes if they participate alone. However, many people carpool, which means you can split the cost of the vehicle pass, but the ticket and its taxes and fees alone will cost you around $630.

Transportation and accommodation can easily cost thousands of dollars

Columns of vehicles leave Burning Man.

Many Burning Man attendees opt for an RV, which can be expensive to rent.

Matt Mills McKnight/Reuters

Don’t forget that you actually have to get to the beach. And you also have to figure out where you’re going to sleep for 9 days.

Burners from other parts of the country will likely have to pay for airfare or other transportation costs to Reno and then take additional transportation from Reno Airport to Black Rock City. Some attendees of the festival, popular with influencers and the wealthy tech elite, even fly on private jets, which were the subject of protests during this year’s Burning Man.

Once there, there is also the question of food, water and accommodation. A Burning Man veteran recommends allowing $10 a day for food, water and supplies when cooked in a communal kitchen for a group, which would add up to an additional $90. In keeping with the festival’s emphasis on “radical self-reliance,” Burners should also budget for supplies such as shade structures, sleeping gear and toiletries. A list of recommended survival supplies on the Burning Man website could easily run to $100 or more.

Burning Man list of recommended items to bring.

A screenshot from the Burning Man website showing items “you should probably bring”.

burning man

As for accommodation, many people pitch tents, rent motorhomes or even stay in yurts.

RV rentals can easily cost you thousands of dollars: several RV rental websites estimate that even a basic rental will cost between $5,500 and $7,000, and if you’re staying with other campers , larger motorhomes start at around $10,000.

Burning Man Yurt

Yurts in an old Burning Man.

Aly Weisman/Business Insider

A website advertising yurts for Burning Man lists structures priced between $3,000 and $11,500. Many attendees often camp together, sometimes paying a premium price to do so: One luxury camp was infamously charging up to $100,000 for accommodations, including a private chef, before Burning Man shut it down.

Smaller, optional expenses can add up

Black Rock City, the temporary town built once a year, is huge and can take a while to walk through. Many people choose to bring or rent a bicycle to get around, as driving is prohibited on the playa except when arriving or departing. the festival. Burning Man approved bike shops offer rentals from $80 to $125+ for the duration of the festival.

Then there’s also Burning Man’s free mode. Another central tenet of the festival is self-expression, and attendees are known to wear flamboyant outfits and costumes, with people dressing up in steampunk or sci-fi outfits. It’s entirely optional and you can always DIY something unique out of what you already own, but if you’re starting from scratch or want a more elaborate costume, that’s yet another expense to consider.

Burning Man Costume

A Burning Man participant and his costume in front of dozens of bikes on the playa.

Aly Weisman/Business Insider

It’s not required, but since giving gifts is one of Burning Man’s 10 core principles, it’s common for participants to also factor into their budget equations what gifts to bring and share with each other. .

Add it all up, and Burning Man can easily cost you between $1,000 and $2,000, unless you’ve gotten a lot creative and found a way to earn some pennies and carpool – and even then, you’re looking at hundreds of dollars.

Let’s just hope next year’s Burners get more for their money than a giant mud pool.


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