Arrivals and Departures

Sometimes, it can seem like getting into Burning Man can take forever! At times there are even major delays – just this past year the gate was closed for an entire day due to rain. Although the large majority of Burners do make the long, slow drive along the playa to the entrance gate, that is not the only way into Black Rock City. In our survey of Burners, we learned that about 4% of the community does not enter through the front gate in private vehicles.


The Burner Express Bus accounts for nearly half of the entrances not through a private vehicle at the front gate. Additionally, 0.8% of you, or about 500 people, entered through the airport, while the remainder used other transportation methods or shuttles. So, although the front gate sees nearly everybody, about 2,500 people total have other transportation methods.

Of those who do travel by private vehicle, the breakdown of vehicle choice is fairly even among two distinct groups. First, about equal numbers of vehicle users travel by car, RV, SUV, or trucks with trailers, at 20% each. About 10% use a pickup. And bus, semi-trucks, motorcyclists, and walk-ins account for a small minority of vehicle users. Based on peak population numbers of 66,000, about 900 people arrived without a vehicle.2014.ArrivalsVehicleType

Looking at the number of people per vehicle, most cars arrived with two people, while about 40% arrived with three or more; this carpooling was perhaps driven by the limited availability of car passes.2014.ArrivalsNumberInVehicle

Getting into the city itself is not the only part of the journey. For many people, driving from home to the event is doable, albeit long; however, many people cannot drive because to do so is unrealistic (if from the East Coast) or impossible (if international). As a result, the Reno airport sees a great deal of traffic from Burners flying into a convenient location prior to making their way to Black Rock City.

Most people who flew for some part of their journey arrived in Reno, at 9.7% of the BRC population. The next most common, and the largest nearby airport hub, was San Francisco International (SFO), with just slightly less at 9.1%. The remainder spread out among other California/Nevada airports. Finally, 0.9% flew into the BRC airport, matching those who stated they flew directly rather than drive (shown in the first figure, above).2014.ArrivalsAirport

Finally, now that we have an idea about how Burners get to BRC, what about the timeline? The population of Black Rock City was asked about their arrival and departure days. The figure below shows when people arrived at the event itself, and when they left at the end. There is a large spike on the first day for regular arrivals (Sunday), but notably, over 25% of the population of BRC arrived Monday or later, perhaps due to the large rainstorm that delayed many entries. On the other end of the spectrum, Sunday proved to be the most popular time to depart, after the burning of the Man. Even so, nearly 50% stayed until Monday or later, witnessing the Temple burn and to help clean up after the event.2014.ArrivalsDepartures

Written by David DiTullio

Edited by Steven Michael Crane (Indiana)


Camping by RV in 2014 )'(

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A few years back I found a playa wife who has an RV, and in our wedding vows that we took at the Church of Elvis, she granted me one day a year to come and stay with her in her RV. So now each Burn I show up in her camp on Saturday afternoon. She lets me in to her air conditioned parlor, bakes me banana bread, lets me shower, lets me sleep in a queen size bed and she washes my clothes. We all can’t be as lucky as this all the time on playa but I get to have it for one day.

RV are expensive – the price tag, the gas, the storage place when not in use, the upkeep – the cost is noticeable. This expense is reflected in our data showing RV ownership according to income. The probability of having an RV is 55.8% for those who make over $300k a year. If you made a $100k  to $150k, the probability is down to 36%. Those earning $50k a are 25.6% likely to camp in an RV, and that drops to 17.9% among those earning $25k a year. And believe it or not, 17.5% of people who make less than $7.5k a year show up to the event in an RV. But the most impressive fact was that 21.8% who reported no income at all also stay in an RV.


2014 data also show that 35.6% of virgins stay in RVs, and folks with 1 or 2 burns under their belts use RVs at a rate of 20.6%.  Veteran Burners with 3 to 4 burns were 13.6%  likely to have an RV and those with 5 to 7 burns were 13.6% likely to camp in an RV.  I would think the older you get the more needy you get for the comforts of default world but only 8.9 % of the people with 11 or more Burns own RVs.


The probability of having an RV by gender from the 2014 census data is 29% for female, 28% for male, and 24% for those who identified a fluid gender.


Meanwhile, by marital status,  40% of RV owners were married, 54% were not, and 6% of RV owners claimed to be married sometimes. While the probability of having an RV by marital status was 41.4% among the married, 23.2% among the unmarried, and 25.6% among the “sometimes” married, which brings me back to my one day on playa of marital bliss.



Written by Crow

Edited by Steven Michael Crane (Indiana)