Written by Sangye
Edited by Scribble
Only the most naive newbie or the most desperately-optimistic hippie would plan to show up at the Burning Man Gate without a ticket in hand, hoping to find a surplus of tickets at the Box Office or a kindly scalper waiting for someone to relieve him of a pair.
Garnering a ticket for an event has become an annual ritual involving elaborate planning, camping out on the phone on sale-days, worming your way into the right theme camps’ directed ticket sale or slaving away for years to get a DPW pass. The difficulty in obtaining tickets these days has led people into believing that there must be a thriving black market for tickets. As noted in earlier posts, there is a rise in the median income of attendees which further exacerbates this suspicion. So in 2014, we asked Burners specifically where they got their tickets, how much did they spend to get it, and how much did they spend overall to attend the event to understand whether the overall costs were rising for people.
Tickets can range anywhere from $190.00 for low income tickets to $800.00 for pre-sale tickets. However, the majority of attendees buy their tickets for $390.00 per ticket. The graph below shows 79% of us paid face value for our tickets. Despite a few people selling tickets for $1,000.00 or more online, the community stubbornly protects the ideal if you resale your ticket you should not make money off that sale! I also feel it’s commendable to the community that 10% of our participants were gifted their tickets.
I know you can find Burning Man tickets for sale on line from several ticket sales outlets and private parties, so it might surprise you that, in 2014, less than 1% reported buying their ticket from a 3rd party vendor. When you look at where people bought their tickets, 72% bought them from the Burning Man organization and that number includes STEP. When people bought resale tickets, up to 19% of them purchased them from someone they knew.
You’ve paid the price of admission how much more is it going to cost you to get yourself to Burning Man for a week. According to the 2014 Census 68% of us spent anywhere from $500.00 to $2,500.00 to attend. That’s not too bad considering you cannot buy anything other than ice and coffee once you are “home” in Black Rock City. For 7 days in the desert, participants are paying from just under $100.00-a-day, up to $350-a-day for food, lodging, drink, transportation, et cetera. Thirteen percent spent less than $500 for 7 days or about $72 a day, and 19% of participants spent anywhere from $350 to over $700 a day. On average Burning Man is priced within what the average American spends on a vacation. According to www.usatoday.com travel section, most of us will spend an average of $150 to $200 a day on vacation. I will admit when questioned by family and friends is going to Burning Man worth all the time, effort and cost? My answer has always been without hesitation, “yes”.