Burning Man was just cancelled for the first time ever. Here’s how much people are willing to spend on the ‘commerce-free’ festival, from $425 tickets to $14,000 private planes.

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Burning Man is free inside, but it can cost thousands to prepare for it. jon collier/Flickr

Burning Man has been cancelled for the first time ever due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the end of every August, everyone from “hippies” to billionaires – who all call themselves Burners – gather in the middle of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert known as “the playa.”

But Black Rock City, the temporary city of Burning Man, won’t be there this year. Instead, Black Rock City will be build in The Multiverse, meaning it will be held virtually, according to Burning Man’s official website.

“That’s the theme for 2020 so we’re going to lean into it,” it reads. “Who’d have believed it would come true? We look forward to welcoming you to Virtual Black Rock City 2020. We’re not sure how it’s going to come out; it will likely be messy and awkward with mistakes. It will also likely be engaging, connective, and fun.”

The organisation behind Burning Man is offering refunds, but is recommending that those who already bought their passes consider donating the money to the Burning Man Foundation.

Burning Man is a free community inside – instead of booking entertainment, it encourages participants to perform for the community free of charge. It also doesn’t sell goods. But the cost of attending Burning Man can come to thousands of dollars between tickets, transportation, accommodations, supplies, and costumes.

Here’s how much it really costs to attend Burning Man.


Revenue numbers for 2019 weren’t available, but Burning Man earned about $US46 million in revenue in 2018, according to its federal tax documents.

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Source: Reno Gazette Journal


The cost of admission to Burning Man depends on when you buy tickets. Pre-sale tickets cost $US1,400, main sale tickets run for $US425, and late registration tickets cost $US550. Kids 12 and under can attend for free.

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Source: Burning Man


Burning Man also offers a low-income ticket program — approved applicants can purchase tickets for $US210 each.

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Source: Burning Man


Vehicle passes cost $US100 for each car you drive in.

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Source: Burning Man


There are also transportation costs. Bus tickets can average from $US75 to $US107, plus fees for luggage or bikes. Plane tickets can range anywhere from $US384 to $US1,195 depending on where you’re flying from. Some rich attendees fly in on private planes, which can cost upwards of $US14,000.

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Source: CNBC


Many burners fly into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Here, the cost of a rental car for the first four days of Burning Man in 2019 cost anywhere from $US25 to $US58 a day in August 2019.

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Source: Expedia


However, some rental companies charge a $US100 to $US150 cleaning fee since the cars get dusty from festival grounds.

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Source: EDM Festival Insider


For those looking to stay in an RV, CNBC estimates a 22-foot RV to cost $US7,460 to rent for the week. One Burner said on a Quora forum an RV rental cost them $US4,000 back in 2014.

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Source: CNBC, EDM Festival Insider


There are also costumes. One Burner told CNBC she spent $US108 on costumes, which typically involve goggles, boots, and dust masks. On Etsy, attendees can grab light-up leg warmers for $US70 or tie-dye faux fur coats for $US350.

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Source: CNBC, EDM Festival Insider


The cost to attend Burning Man overall varies greatly. CNBC estimated the total cost of attending could range from $US1,300 to camp in a tent to $US20,000 to glamp in an RV. That also includes transportation, food, camp fees, costumes, and gifts.

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Source: CNBC


Money estimated a four-day trip to cost $US2,218. That includes $US227 for camping, $US360 for toys and camp decor, $US226 for survival supplies, $US318 for food and drinks, and $US1,087 to get there.

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Source: Money


But it’s a little different if you’re a billionaire — some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names have attended. In 2014, a Bay Area venture capitalist created a festival within Black Rock City that featured air-conditioned tents, showers, WiFi, and attendants — for $US16,500 a week.

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Source: Bloomberg


No matter who you are, once inside Burning Man, there are no prices with the exception of coffee and ice (the latter is $US3). Burning Man is based on a sharing community and is “commerce-free.”

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Source: EDM Festival Insider