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While there are insane amounts of information online about preparing for Burning Man, there was one question I had a hard time finding a straight answer to. Exactly how much does Burning Man cost? I’m providing my own personal dollar for dollar cost breakdown here in hopes that it helps someone else prepare for The Playa.

I traveled with a group of four others, so the hotel, U-Haul and grocery costs were my share of a five-sway split.

The Cost of Burning Man

The Cost of Burning Man

Getting There

Hotels: $53

We had two nights in hotels before Burning Man, and one after. I am so grateful for that extra time we gave ourselves. on the West Coast. It gave us tons of time to prepare ahead of time, and then to regroup just the five of us to reconnect before heading back to the real world. I was in charge of this aspect and booked us a cheap motel the first night and a room at the Peppermill in Reno using a generous Burner discount (find a list of offers here) the second night. Our final night we stayed at the Four Points in Sacramento which had a pool and free airport shuttles, and I was able to cash in 7,000 Starwood points for one of the rooms, cutting the cost in half.

Flight: $410

I was feeling some envy towards West coast Burners when we bought our pricey flight tickets. Southwest ended up being a lifesaver for us, as we were allowed two checked bags each and therefore could pack as many essentials (sleeping bags, a tent, etc.) as possible. Had I planned ahead and applied for the Southwest Chase credit card offer I could have scored a mostly-free flight — I’ve already started working on building miles for next time.

Getting to Burning Man

Other Transport: $81

My bus ticket from Albany to NYC was $20, and I prepaid for a shuttle from Port Authority to the airport for $13, and patted myself on the back for being so thrifty. Then I pulled into Port Authority to a text from the others saying they were already at the airport, and realized I had the time of the flight wrong — too bad I’m such an inexperienced traveler who wouldn’t know better than to, ya know, double check that kind of thing. I made my flight thanks to a miracle and a $48 cab ride.

Meals En Route: $40

We didn’t do any big elaborate meals, but we stopped for Starbucks and grabbed quick meals in the days after and leading up to the event.

U-Haul: $81

Funny enough, the cost of getting from Albany to the airport in New York City was the same price I paid for my share of a weekly U-Haul rental. We couldn’t afford an RV and car rental agencies won’t rent anything but a sedan to drivers under 25, so this was effectively our only option to get to and from Black Rock City. It worked out so well — it was cheap, we had plenty of space, and there was room in the back to blow up an air mattress and sleep after a shift at the wheel.

Getting to Burning Man

Getting to Burning Man

Essentials

Ticket: $392

I bought my ticket back in January through the official Burning Man individual ticket lottery. I was in Thailand at the time and due to the time change I had to stay up until 4am in order to make it through the virtual line once sales opened. Tickets sold out in about nine hours, making the process of doing jumping jacks in the hallway of a hostel to stay awake totally worth it.

There are no day passes available to Burning Man — unless you get your hands on one of the rare 50% off limited income tickets, this is the price you will pay.

Burning Man 2013 Tickets

Camp Dues: $150

I attended with a registered theme camp, which is an optional choice. My camp, Thunder Gumbo, built an art car and so we all paid dues that helped fund the project. I heard of camp dues that ranged from $100-400, and provided various perks like showers, communal meals, camp mixers, etc.

Burning Man Camp Dues

Bicycle: $50

I consider a bicycle an essential of Burning Man — I don’t know how you’d do it without one! My friend in charge of bikes found us $65 mountain bikes on Craigslist, which we picked up in Reno. As soon as we had reception on our way out of Burning Man I scanned Craigslist again for anyone looking to buy back bikes. We found a woman who offered us $15 for each, lowering our effective “rental” price for the week to $50.

Don’t forget to light your bike — battery powered LED lights are a must.

Buying a Bike for Burning Man

Supplies

Groceries, Alcohol and Water: $140

We made one stop at Sam’s Club and one stop at Trader Joe’s and stocked up on food, water, and alcohol. We bought too much of everything, but better to have too much than not enough. We ended up throwing away tons of produce, packing up whatever we could (I left with a full bottle of vodka, packets of oatmeal and more) and donating the rest. In the future I would aim to keep this at $100, knowing what we know now.

Sam’s Club was a lifesaver in keeping this total down. My mom’s boyfriend lent us his membership card, which no one glanced twice at. I recommend asking around if anyone you know is a member — this is the time to buy in bulk.

Costumes: $89

I have a pretty heavy costume artillery in storage, so I didn’t need much. Still, I picked up some essentials like $20 boots, $25 goggles, and some fun extras like gold suspenders, glittery makeup, etc. Some of those were frivolous indulgences and others were good investments for future Burns and events.

Burning Man Costumes

Burning Man Costumes

Petty Cash: $40

We made a great decision to have petty cash envelope that we each put $40 into and used for gas, cab rides to and from the U-Haul, and ice at Center Camp. It was such a lifesaver.

Camp Supplies: $42

While our group was great at pulling together resources we already had like tents and sleeping bags, we did have to make some group purchases of things like air mattresses, blankets and pillows, gas for the stove, a mirror for the camp, etc. I ended up taking home one of the air mattresses, which basically paid for itself.

Burning Man Camp

Total Cost for ten days: $1,568

The biggest way to cut costs to Burning Man would obviously be to just live within driving distance — it would cut out flight and vehicle and bike rental, and ostensibly you wouldn’t have to buy so many supplies upon arrival. In the future I think I might be able to do it for a little less now that I have learned a few lessons and purchased a few essentials. But considering the distance we had to travel I think we did great, and I’m happy with what I spent for a first Burn — stupid last minute cab ride aside.

There’s one thing I know for sure — it was money extremely well spent.

Was that more or less than you expected? If you’ve been to Burning Man, please share your own experience in the comments below!

Other posts in this series:
What the %*&$ is Burning Man?
Ten Reflections on the Ten Principles of Burning Man
Surviving Burning Man
The Dark Side of Burning Man
Burning Man by Night

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136 Comments...
  • Erica
    September 27 2013

    Thanks for the insight into Burning Man! I was actually talk to a couple about it during my flight to the UK. it’s definitely one of those kind of mysterious things if you’ve never been there kind of things- at least it is to me πŸ™‚

    • Alex
      September 27 2013

      Absolutely! Hence my attempt to lift the curtain πŸ™‚

  • Carmen Allan-Petale
    September 27 2013

    We really wanted to go to Burning Man but the ticket price put us off. However, we’ve since watched the Couchsurfing documentary and learned more about the sharing way of life and now I really want to go. Great tips, thanks.
    Carmen Allan-Petale recently posted..Photo essay: Yellowstone in pictures

    • Alex
      September 30 2013

      I know how you feel, initially I was put off by that big number as well. But then I consider the fact that people routinely pay $100 for a single night of a concert, and my friends in Europe tell me it’s actually cheap compared to festival tickets there!

      • JJ
        August 2 2014

        No it’s not. In EU it’s about 100EUR (but early bird ticket go for as little as 50/60 EUR) for a 6 days festival, with the major exception of Boom, which is probably the closest thing to BM, and which costs 120/140EUR. Boom however has a lineup that BM can only dream of. Festivals such as Ozora, Lost Theory, Momento Demento, Freaqs of Nature come for about 80/100EUR. Obviously the production values of these festivals are very high, but BM looks like something different altogether. Definitely worth a try once in a life time, but yeah, tickets ARE extremely expensive.

        • Alex
          August 3 2014

          Having just returned from Tomorrowland myself (I assume you are referring to Tomorrowland when you say Boom?) WOW — Burning Man was way cheaper! In the end though I think the ticket cost of Burning Man is very much offset by how affordable the other aspects can be if necessary.

          • Sorin
            July 3 2015

            When he said BOOM, he was refering to BOOM festival in Portugal, not tomorrowland which is in Belgium. There is a very big difference between these 2 festivals since Tomorrowland focuses on cheap electronic music (EDM – along with all the most expensive DJs around) and masses of people, while BOOM is something NOT FOCUSED ON PROFIT, but on value (it is completely different and way cheaper than Tomorrowland).

            So if you ever get the chance to go to BOOM, do it, it’s much more worth it than Tomorrowland (this is a bit subjective though :)).

          • Alex
            July 7 2015

            Ah, thanks for clarifying Sorin! I have lots to learn about the festivals of the world, indeed πŸ™‚

      • josh
        September 2 2014

        your soo right im going 2015 thanks for the insight

    • Reporter
      September 16 2015

      Think about the contradiction: You are being asked to buy a $392 ticket and $150 camp fee to learn about “The Sharing Way of Life”? Who’s sharing and who’s making a bundle? Burning Man is a ripoff of the real thing, the absolutely free Rainbow Gathering held every year in a different state or country. People there really do share. They even find each other in order to form permanent communities. Try Googling http://www.welcomehome.org/rainbow/ and see what you get. Best of Luck. Here’s to a future of sharing and community!

      • Alex
        September 17 2015

        Well, the camp fee I paid went directly to building my camp’s art car. The camp leader spent multiple times that personally. No one was making a bundle there! I don’t mind paying something to attend Burning Man — after all, someone has to pay for the land permits, and someone has to pay for the porta potties!

  • Dad
    September 28 2013

    Well done….sure it will be helpful to any future Burning Man participant.

    • Alex
      September 30 2013

      Thanks Dad… maybe you’ll be one of them someday! πŸ˜€

  • Rika | Cubicle Throwdown
    September 28 2013

    I’ve always wondered how those flying in got all their camping gear to the Burn. Not being able to drive makes a huge increase in price, although I’ve always driven (either in an RV or personal SUV) and these days I’m sure the gas costs close to your flight cost!
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..Vancouver Review: Eating My Way Through Vancouver

    • Alex
      September 30 2013

      Yeah again Southwest was a lifesaver, allowing us to fly in with sleeping bags and tents and whatnot! Had we not flown with them we would have paid a fortune in either renting those items or paying baggage fees.

    • Melissa Coffey
      March 4 2014

      East coasters either drive or they fly and pay cargo to ship their stuff in with other burners. Usually $250 for 2 rough totes, a bike, and a tent… THen camp dues are often up to $350 especially if they include water/meals/grey water disposal or shower/portapotty.

      I think this number is low. I got a lot of funding last year but still paid $1k to go to BM, My first year was the most, over $2k because I needed a new tent and such. I have never rented a car, and thin that flying into the playa is worth the $400 to avoid exodus/entry from reno airport which is often a total of 18+ hours of the trip and is exhausting. I’d rather do that in 1.5 hours and have an aerial view.

      I also highly recommend the after parties at the sands hotel and sharing a room at $100+ with friends so you can rehydrate and share the bliss as you recharge and have amazing after playa meals and beds.

      • Alex
        March 5 2014

        Melissa I think flying in would be an amazing splurge… I might have to consider saving up for that for my next burn! While I didn’t mind exodus/entry (I think I had mentally prepared for it!) I think the aerial views would be amazing. However, I guess you’d have to have friends to bring all your gear and luggage.

  • Camels & Chocolate
    September 28 2013

    Wow, that is PRICEY. So funny that a hippie festival costs so much–I wonder how so many people afford it? I knew the tickets were that much, but just didn’t think about all the other expenses. My running buddy goes every year with an established camp that owns a school bus and builds all sort of contraptions so after seeing this cost breakdown, I’m guessing her bill is closer to $3,000. Zoiks! Great post, though. I love your budget breakdowns.
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted..Nashville, Lately

    • Kris
      September 29 2013

      I think this is a major misconception. Its not a hippie festival. You’ll find more engineers, doctors, lawyers and CEOs than you will “Hippies.” You have to have your s*it together to go to the big burn, especially for those of us that come from the east coast.

      There many that make sure to distinguish themselves “I’m a burner, nit a hippie.”

      Also, about getting your stuff to the desert: Many of communities in the larger cities rent train containers and sell shares based on the size you need so you load and pick up there.

      • Marie Vlasic
        March 3 2014

        Camels, this is NOT a “Hippie” festival. I’ll be honest, I am not a fan of hippies, and I would never attend a “hippie” festival. This is an ARTS event. The majority of my theme-camp mates are professionals: Lawyers, business owners, journalists, executives, etc. The misconceptions abound that BM is a sex-crazed, drug-induced hippie fest, and this is simply NOT TRUE. I am a 45 year-old professional fine artist, and this will be my 5th year on the Playa. It is an experience unlike any other. You just have to experience it to understand. It should be on everyone’s bucket list. And yes, it is expensive (I share an RV and will spend well over $2000 this year) and yes, it is worth every penny. Alex, thank you for a great article that will help a lot of first-timers.

        • Alex
          March 5 2014

          Marie, you might like this other post I wrote that I think addresses a lot of what you are saying in your comment:

          What the %*&$ is Burning Man?
          πŸ™‚

        • Tzaphon
          May 10 2014

          Don’t you mean,it should be on every “professionals” bucket list? From your comments I get the feeling that lowly people like me wouldn’t be made to feel welcomed in your non-hippy fest.

        • Tzaphon
          May 10 2014

          BM was on my “bucket list”,of things to do before I die,but I get this feeling from the tone of your comments that this “professionals” friendly,non-hippy fest would be a little to pretentious for people of standing,like me.Oh well,there’s always MOMA.

          • Alex
            May 11 2014

            Tzaphon, I’m sorry that’s what you’ve taken away from my Burning Man coverage. ALL people are welcome! I suggest you take a look at some of my other posts. Burning Man is pretty pretension-free πŸ™‚

    • Alex
      September 30 2013

      Well, believe me, a lot of people spend a lot less! (And a lot of people, such as those in RV camps, spend a lot more!) Burning Man does have several thousand low income tickets available and plenty of people drive their own vehicles in filled with camping gear they borrowed/already owned, which would shave our price almost in half instantly.

      For me it stung — I definitely am not used to spending $1,500 in ten days of traveling! My parents, on the other hand, thought it was a pretty good deal!

  • Jacquie @ Must for Wanderlust
    September 28 2013

    I think that was slightly more than I expected but looks like it was totally worth it! & your costumes… Super adorable. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚
    Jacquie @ Must for Wanderlust recently posted..Music for the Gypsy Life (16 Tracks!)

    • Alex
      September 30 2013

      Yeah, $150 a day is definitely an investment! Agreed though… worth it!

  • debby
    September 29 2013

    I come from Boston, and buy a share in a container truck to ship my stuff (where stuff = everything but perishable food), which adds a couple hundred dollars, but means I can take the bus from Reno or SF, cutting out renting a car/van.

    • Alex
      September 30 2013

      That sounds like a good compromise. Still, I guess that means adhering to someone else’s schedule though, so you’d have to give up flexibility!

      • debby
        October 1 2013

        Actually, it’s very flexible: I have to be packed a couple of weeks before leaving, which gives me time to remember whatever I forgot and bring with me. The containers show up in my village the Wednesday before the gates open, and leave Tues/Weds after it ends, showing up in Boston a couple of weeks later, so I have time to recover before cleaning All the Things. Plus, I have a huge canvas tent; no way to bring that on a plane without huge fees, ignoring everything else. Or maybe I’m just saying that the container schedule works for me :-).

        • Alex
          October 1 2013

          Nice! I’m glad it was brought up in the comments so that anyone using this post for research purposes will know of another option. Thank you!

    • Double Dee
      March 4 2014

      We car-a-van from Chicago, and I highly recommend driving from this far away. We pack as many large vehicles (sprinter vans, busses, etc) and our burn starts days before we leave, as people assemble for the pilgramage. The entire trip is one big extension of the burn.

      • Alex
        March 5 2014

        That’s awesome! I really enjoyed our days before and after the burn in California. It was great to have that extra time with my crew and get hyped up/decompress all together.

    • sbon
      March 4 2014

      I also come from Boston and buy 2 shares (i.e. 2 large plastic bins) from the container truck. My artist friends usually buy more shares. Additionally, my camp owns a storage container that lives in Reno year-round and houses: furniture, bar (breaks down flat), PVC pipes for shade structures, shade fabrics & cords, tools, decorations, bikes, etc. Our camp dues include costs for Reno container, water barrels, food, and other entertainment expenses, since it is a theme camp.

      I agree that $1500-2000 is average for me including tickets, flights, hotels, car rental, car wash (major necessity after the burn), and other expenses.

      Great job on the breakdown, Alex. I remember being surprised at how much I spent my first year and then being able to cut back in following years since I already had my baseline gear and costumes.

      • Alex
        March 5 2014

        Thanks, sbon! I will be curious to see how things change for my second burn (hopefully 2015!)

        On one hand, I now have the boots and goggles and Camelbak and blah blah blah. Also, we bought way too much food and alcohol and I would cut back on that. However, I can also see myself joining a camp with higher dues or going for an RV.

      • Renee
        April 1 2016

        I know it’s been a while since you posted this, but I’m gathering info on storing our camp’s infrastructure in Reno. Any chance I can pick your brain? πŸ™‚

  • ZipperStardust
    September 29 2013

    This is about accurate for pricing… My boyfriend and I found a friend with some extra space in a cargo container to be shipped from Boston to bring some of our larger gear – so that really saved us some trouble.
    But I literally worked as a stripper for a few days to get the cash together! Totally worth it ! πŸ™‚

    • Alex
      September 30 2013

      I had never heard of this cargo container system… sounds like a great idea for those unable to split an RV or U-Haul with a group of five like I could.

      • debby
        October 1 2013

        For me, it means not having to get my stuff to Reno to the rental RV/truck at all, and since I have at least 20 cubic feet of stuff I generally like to ship (no bike, even), it means not having to pay overage on airplane luggage.

  • LadyAmalthea
    September 29 2013

    I would consider this assessment to be accurate. For my virgin burn, I had to build from the ground up – all camping gear, survival stuff, playthings were bought – and my total still came out about the same… and I drove out. I tell folks in my area that the initial cost is going to be between $1500 to $3000. I expect subsequent years will cost less now that I know what’s truly essential. I spent a year and a half researching, preparing, and saving up money for the pilgrimage. Kris is absolutely correct when he says you have to have your shit together if you’re journeying from the East Coast. It’s challenging, to say the least (PS – it’s good to be thrifty, learn how to beg, borrow, and steal!)

    I think you did a great job with breaking down the cost. Every Burner on the East Coast should read it; I wish I could have.

    • Alex
      September 30 2013

      Thanks for sharing your story! My group was lucky to borrow quite a bit from family and friends (a six person tent, a cooking stove, some sleeping bags, etc.) And I bought several things that I won’t have to buy again in the future like boots and a Camelbak. The planning will definitely get easier as time goes on!

  • Britany
    September 30 2013

    Sounds like it was totally worth the cost. Love your gold costume!
    Britany recently posted..Bring the Road Home: Decorate a Frame with Loose Change

    • Alex
      September 30 2013

      Thanks Britany! That was a compilation of a gold dress I found in my sister’s giveaway pile and a mask and wings I had from a peacock Halloween costume!

  • Heather
    September 30 2013

    That’s more than I expected…but I live on the west coast. Makes me think maybe I should make it into a road trip and drive down, save on flight money and pick up the camping stuff and a bike along the way! Great summary, thanks so much. It will be very helpful for when I finally see the Burn.
    Heather recently posted..Tips for Volunteering at Beakerhead

    • Alex
      September 30 2013

      You’d also save on the car rental, and you’d be able to pack all your camping gear! Good luck Heather!

    • Melissa Coffey
      March 4 2014

      you can totally get another camp mate to get your groceries or opt for food plans. really, minimize the reno lines and traffic. hitch a ride from the airport for $50 or less… but NEVER hitch with a non burner- you can’t get through the gates with a driver that has no ticket!!!! I ended up walking with my 8 gallons of extra water and all of my massive fire tools one year and missed one of our circus shows, all in the dark. ughhh I was so grumpy

      • Alex
        March 5 2014

        Oh Melissa, that sounds awful! If I had passed you by, I definitely would have given you a ride πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading!

  • Ardun
    September 30 2013

    I’m so jealous! I saw some great shots from burning man and have now added it to the bucket list. Thanks for the cost breakdown πŸ™‚
    Ardun recently posted..Casarte Takubamba Hostel- Sucre, Bolivia

    • Alex
      September 30 2013

      No problem, Ardun! Glad you liked it!

  • TammyOnTheMove
    October 1 2013

    Wow, I didn’t expect it to be that pricey. That entrance fee is pretty steep. But I guess it is one of those once in a lifetime experiences that is well worth the money.
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..Icebreaker shirt review and exclusive giveaway

    • Alex
      October 1 2013

      This comment section definitely shows that I have frugal readers (and I love it!) Because I think for some people, $150 per day for a festival vacation would be a steal. For me, it’s only for bucket-list worthy events!

  • Sky
    October 1 2013

    Thanks for the breakdown – I never considered half of the things you mentioned. Like other commenters said, you definitely need to have your sh*t together to go from the East Coast!

    Also I like your price comparison to concerts – $1500 sounds like a lot but considering I spent $100 or more to go concerts semi-frequently, it sounds more reasonable.
    Sky recently posted..September Faves and October Intentions

    • Alex
      October 1 2013

      Yeah, and my friends in Europe all couldn’t believe I was complaining about it. They told me to try Glastonbury on for a try, and then see if I was moaning about prices! Ha.

  • Kevin Post
    October 1 2013

    That sounds about right. You’re always going to spend more your first time. I’ve always been told to just enjoy and (try to) absorb it all the first time and the second time one has to figure out what to give back.

    Thanks for writing this Alex.
    Kevin Post recently posted..How to get the most out of Turkish lessons on italki

    • Alex
      October 1 2013

      I’m glad to hear you say that Kevin! That was my approach in a lot of ways… I can’t wait to go back a second time! I feel I learned so much from my virgin burn.

  • Jamie
    November 6 2013

    What about the cost for Shampoo and Laundry detergent strong enough to get the dirt out of your hair haha. I hear the sand storms are gnarly! Love your costumes, so cute.
    Jamie recently posted..Australia’s Whitsundays and South Molle Island: A photo journal

    • Alex
      November 7 2013

      Well, I actually just washed my hair once in the entire week I was there! That was not one of the highlights, I admit πŸ™‚

    • sbon
      March 4 2014

      Jamie, the playa dust comes out of one’s hair and clothes surprisingly easily. I don’t shower on playa; I brush my hair daily to keep out the gnarls and clean up with baby wipes when necessary. The downfall is that playa dust may potentially stain white clothing and I can never get it off my black boots afterwards. Those are my permanent BM boots πŸ™‚

  • Mike Mitchell
    March 3 2014

    After 5 trips to the playa, and 1 more this year….I NEVER want to know how much I’ve spent for my Burning Man Experiences. If I see that number, I may very well crap myself & faint!

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Ha, I can imagine a lot of people feel that way… and that’s why it is so hard to find info about it! And I can empathize! However I’ve been a lifelong super budgeter (meaning I love setting up spreadsheets and crunching numbers) and based on how much search traffic this post gets, I think it’s a topic a lot of people are really interested in. Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

      • MikeMitchell
        March 5 2014

        Actually, each year has not cost my a dime. I was just whining.

        Here’s how it goes down….I buy a step van or school bus each year for BM. I strip it out and convert it into a “hillbilly” RV for the trip. They have minor creature comforts: regular queen sized bed, inside shower & toilet, kitchenette, and guest seating area/parlor.

        I get anywhere from 5-7 riders/passengers to pay $100 each. I pick them up & their gear at their front porch, get them to the playa safely, then return then to their front porch with all their gear home safely.

        Once I get home, the bus or step van goes on craigslist, and I sell it for a few nickels over my cost. Then I start shopping for another bus for the following year!

        This covers the costs for: my ticket, food & drink, fuel for the journey, and enough money to buy & fix up the next rig,
        I made a deal with myself…If I lost money, I couldn’t go the following year. I’ve never missed a year, except last year when I opted for Kauai, and a house on the beach.
        Back this year for my last burn.

        It’s a big world out there, and I’m going to get me some!

        IF you’re on the playa this year, look for DEAR Camp (Department of Experimentation And Research). IF we get our usual Placement, we should be in the area of: 7:15-7:30 & G, H, or I. Look for my bus CHLAMYDIA PLAYATANIUM! 30′ school bus (All yellow with hand-painted black Polynesian graphics). My playa name will be on my license plates: IM PIKO…Hawaiian for bellybutton!

        • Alex
          March 5 2014

          So, just curious? Why do you make a new one every year? I’m guessing fun/creativity, but maybe there is something I’m missing? πŸ™‚

          Wish I could say I’d drop by but I’m taking 2014 off. Already making plans for 2015 though. Hawaii is one of my favorite places on earth so I think we’d have loads to chat about!

          • Mike
            March 5 2014

            yes, creative outlet to have a different rig each year.

            also, since i do come out with a little profit, it allows me to try different things with each bus. all improvements are basic, but the layouts are different in each bus. searching for the next bus satisfies the hunter in me. the selling is an art as well….the bargaining, etc…

            hawaii…i grew up on oahu (kaneohe & pearl harbor) as a youngster, then san diego, then lake tahoe. now the great nw.

            if you every have plans for portland, oregon, or the surrounding area, please look me up. i’d like to host you and tilt back a beer or two.

  • Dan Drelich
    March 3 2014

    First time burner. Traveled and shared expenses with my three brothers. RV was most expensive single item (drove from LA and gas was a killer).Each of us spent aprox. $2,400. Since it was our first year, we paid for items likely to be reused in 2015! Hoping to rent from Salt Lake and keep costs closer to $2,000. By the way we all flew in from the east coast….another high ticket item.

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Yeah, I think to RV or not to RV is a big question… and has one of the biggest impacts on your budget. Because of our ages an RV wasn’t an option for us (couldn’t get a rental) but honestly we probably would have passed anyway due to budgetary constraints. However, I plan to be back to the Playa in 2015 and I am strongly considering going in on one as I think it would have a huge impact on my enjoyment of the week!

  • Ric Crawford
    March 3 2014

    I’ve been a Burner since ’99 and I just don’t think of the costs involved. I know it is an important consideration and the money has to come from somewhere. Me, I sold my soul to the Devil and my First Born to a troop of Lithuanian Gypsies for Burn money for life. You may not have to do that. Or the short story, I scrape and save to make the trip and so far, have made it on bit less than $2K. One year I didn’t get tickets. That year I cried. I live 51 weeks of the year for just one week.

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      I know talking about money definitely isn’t the fun part of Burning Man — for that, check out my other posts πŸ™‚

      But I know a lot of would-be Burners are on limited resources and hopefully this post and all the amazing comments can help them figure out a way to make it work! For example, selling your first born to a troop of Lithuanian Gypsies.

      πŸ˜‰

  • Jarosaurus Rex
    March 3 2014

    this will be my third burn and i think i spent under $750 my first year. but then again i was only there from thursday till sunday night, and i live in CA so i didn’t have as much travel expenses. my second burn i know i spent about $1000 but i was there for the whole burn. and i built a structure for our camp. I’m expecting about the same ($1000) if not less this year, but i feel like through out the year i acquire stuff for the burn that i don’t account into the costs. but i use the stuff year round so i don’t know if i can directly attribute the cost of those items to just burning man.

    Also the way i look at it is that Burning Man is my vacation. if you go anywhere for “vacation” you usually expect to spend about $2000-$3000 for travel, food, lodging, and excursions for a week long vacation. sure its not as glamorous as a vacation on the beach in hawaii but its a vacation that you will never forget and one where there is always something fun and interesting to see and do. its a vacation that will change you in such a profound way that i would be willing to spend any amount of money for that experience.

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      I agree, I would guess many who gasp at spending $1,500 on ten days of festival-going would spend a lot more if they were jetting to the Caribbean for a ten day vacation! And while you might leave vacation with a tan, you’ll leave Burning Man with so much more.

  • Deborah
    March 3 2014

    As a SF Bay Area person, I have only the cost of gas as a transportation expense. Plus ticket. Plus food. I do not join a theme camp, but bring everything I need…eg. shower, cooking gear, water. So, for all you in-state attendees who are trying to calculate your expenses… MY overall expenses are usually under $600. for the week+ of this yearly adventure, (granted that I either own or borrow any additional gear that I might need.) On one hand, almost a hundred dollars a day sounds like a lot… but when I compare it to other festivals….

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Hey Deborah, thanks for commenting and sharing that! I tried to speculate how much you’d save by living within reasonable driving distance but I got too jealous so I stopped πŸ™‚ Good to know!

  • M
    March 3 2014

    I’ve gone a couple times, and despite living on the West Coast (LA), I spent about the same amount my first time and bit less the second time.

    Few reasons why:
    -I don’t personally own a car, so I’ve contributed to rentals along with the gas, adding a hitch to a car, cleaning fees before handing off rentals, etc.
    -So far my camp dues have ranged from $40-$200
    -I had some camping supplies, but I still needed to fill some gaps. The second year I bought some of the stuff I realized I really needed if I wasn’t going to rely on others.
    -Already owned a bike
    -Probably spent more the first year on clothes since I didn’t have as much. I learned to sew with a sewing machine between the first and second times, so I could make what I needed instead of spending money the second time around..
    -The second year I did some more splurging on food. I wanted more fruits and veggies in my diet for the week, which came with a higher price at times, but it was so worth it to me.

    But the time! The time it takes to really prepare and contribute is nearly as important as saving the money! I’ve worked on art/sewing projects for Burning Man that cost me very little in supplies, but a great deal in time, but still it was so worth it!
    M recently posted..29 faces, group 6!

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      So true about budgeting your time as well! I can’t even begin to calculate the hours I spent researching Burning Man in preparation for my first time on the Playa, not to mention flight and hotel research and booking (my assignment for the group!) Sadly I didn’t get to make much as I returned from Indonesia just a week before the burn, and I was only able to contribute one day to my camp’s art car construction.

  • DaveD
    March 3 2014

    It has gotten more expensive for me each year. You’re blissfully unprepared the first year. Wait until you invest in that canvas tent, yurt, more costumes, generator, etc. Oh, and then you start building an art car…

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Dave, my brain was exploding once I arrived at BRC with all the things I wanted to build and create for future burns πŸ™‚

      This year I gifted packets of joss (a special energy powder from Indonesia, where I was living and returned from just a week before the burn) which were very popular… but I’ve got bigger dreams for the future!

  • JennX
    March 3 2014

    I am lucky enough to live within driving distance and I scored a ticket. This is my first year. I am so excited! Loved reading your account. Thank you! Hope to see ya on the playa.

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Hey JennX! Sad to say I won’t be returning to the playa in 2014. I decided to attend Tomorrowland in Europe, and I can’t manage two festivals in one summer! However I absolutely hope to be back in 2015.

      You might want to check out my post Surviving Burning Man for some first-timer tips! Enjoy!

  • Sassy
    March 3 2014

    Hi,
    thanks for putting this breakdown out there. I sympathize with several comments people have left, with the two extremes being 1) never really calculate exactly what you spend, because it’s gonna be a good deal even though the number will seem high, and 2) be wise about what you spend your money on.

    So here’s the deal as i see it as a 6-time burner: I would never spend this much money on a “vacation.” I routinely spend approximately $2000 to go, from ticket to fuel to supplies to costumes. Burning Man is not a vacation. It’s not a hippie festival. It’s a gift culture. It’s a way of life, and you give what you can. For me, this is about 8% of my annual income. I consider it like a “tithe”. If people want to walk in and be part of it because they take on the values of BM, I have plenty to share. If they have plenty of money and they go on the cheap, i assume the next year, they’ll be creative on ways they will put back more to gifting.

    I drive from the west coast, bring all my gear, and always end up spending the same approximate $2000, just shifting what I put it toward. For example, how much is contributing to wood-fired pizza at our Habitat for Insanity? Priceless.

    Just come as you are, with what you have, and we’ll take care of the rest.

    • TwoHott
      March 4 2014

      Love you Sassy! We have been about same number of times as you and second everything you say. How much does it cost is like — how much can you give? I’ve camped with some cool gals that have done it for $1k each. An awesome couple we met from New, Zealand did it for $6.5k. We average about $2k each. Kinda steep? Yea. Worth it? Hell yea. Watching the temple you help build burn, reflected in the eyes of the participants, F***G priceless!

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Hey Sassy and TwoHott! I really love these comments and they remind me so much of what made Burning Man most magical for me: the culture of generosity. (You might like my other post, Ten Reflections on the Ten Principles of Burning Man). This year I just had something simple to gift — I returned from three months in Indonesia a week before the burn and I brought a hundred of these packets of local energy powder that locals religiously chase down with vodka shots! Seriously, just try to buy a shot in Gili Trawangan without getting a little packet of energy powder delivered alongside it. Anyway, it was silly but it was fun to show and share the tradition of a place that’s really special to me. And, ya know, a little extra energy never hurts on the Playa!

      I was humbled by the gifting culture and the generosity people showed with their time at Burning Man. It inspired me greatly and I think I’ll do things quite differently next time (for example, I plan to spend a few days of the week volunteering) and try to find something more significant to gift.

  • Nat
    March 4 2014

    Thats not gonna do it for us Im afraid..We would be travelling from Europe, Belgium to be specific. We’d love to come, but will sadly probably have to wait until we will live in the US, if ever… An 11 h flight, 9h time difference, being European making it hard to rent out an RV, knowing noone with cards for reduced grocery shops or hotel stays..yeah πŸ˜€ We really want to come and do it. I think a good doubling of the price should do it a bit better πŸ™‚ Greatings to all you lovely burners from far away πŸ™‚

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Nat, people come to Burning Man from all over the world, so it is possible! However I do agree costs will be much higher. I’m actually planning my own sojourn to Belgium for Tomorrowland this summer, so I can sympathize!

  • Toby
    March 4 2014

    Thanks very much for the info. A few of us hope to come over in 2015 from the UK.

    I presume when you say U-Haul this means a truck of some description? This sounds like a good idea to keep the cost down. It also makes me wonder if we could ship over some gear a few weeks before to save on airplane luggage and fees. Worth looking into.

    $1,500 for 10 days is pretty reasonable IMO!

    Regards to all.

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Hey Toby! A U-Haul is actually technically a moving truck (check out their website to see the different options). For us it was perfect.

      But WARNING. U-Haul is not Burning Man friendly! If you search “U-Haul for Burning Man” or similar you will see pages of warnings about burners turning up and being denied their reservation, having to pay exorbitant fees, etc. We were nervous (had they denied our reservation we would have been screwed) but we didn’t have any trouble. We told the rental agency we were using it to help our Grandma move and they didn’t press us. Maybe we were under less scrutiny as we were renting from Sacramento rather than Reno. Good luck!

  • Davoid
    March 4 2014

    Nice piece. I’m with your parents: $1500 for a 10-day “vacation” is cheap! I put vacation in quotes because of the amount of work BM inspires (and requires) you to do. Soooo worth it, though.

    I came from the East Coast my first time, too (I do list “proximity to BM” as one of many reasons I moved west). I was able to get by spending less than $1000, though plane and entry tickets were much cheaper then. Certainly, $150 for camp fees can be avoided, and don’t forget that you’d be spending money on food and drink during that week even if you were at home, and definitely more if you were vacationing elsewhere and eating out the whole time. Now, putting a price tag on the amount of, to put it rather drily, “goods and services” available to you that week courtesy of others, I think the ultimate value gets put into a better perspective.

    My first year I had a three hour digeridoo lesson as someone’s gift to me and others, just for one example. I ate an omelet that I earned by imitating an orgasm. I wandered through the equivalent of scores of interactive museums, experienced countless shows, DJs, circuses, performances, endless displays of beauty both man-made and natural. I’ve received pro-level body healing, been attended to by medical professionals when I needed stitches and then subsequent changes of dressing, attended lectures, had countless free drinks handed to me with a smile (or a growl)…all while having my head exploded by the openness and freakiness and creativity and productivity and attitude of the community in that temporary city on the moon. Can’t calculate a price for all that, but watch out: you’ll be super-inspired to do your equivalent of those things for others, and you’ll be willing to spend money preparing to do so!

    When I finally got to Burning Man that first year, after so much time and money and preparation, it was so freaking jaw-droppingly amazing that I said to myself, “It’s only Tuesday, and it’s _already_ worth every penny I’ve spent. Good lord- It’s only TUESDAY!!!”

    YMMV, but if anyone’s really curious about the event, find a way to make it happen!

    • Nancy
      March 4 2014

      Davoid, great job encapsulating a BM experience. Gave me chills! I’m returning after a 7 year gap (and a 3 year gap before that) and am over the moon about it.

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      I know how you feel πŸ™‚ Summing up my experience (and introducing it to a lot of my readers who had never heard of it before) was a challenge but I did try in this post which you might enjoy.

      And now that I am gearing up for my first European music festival, Tomorrowland, I am more impressed than ever with the value of Burning Man. The food, drinks, entertainment, and knowledge that is shared so freely and Burning Man is worth loads… but is ultimately priceless!

  • WD
    March 4 2014

    Initial costs are higher. I recommend virgins find a camp with some creature comforts as they explore the finer point of thriving at the burn. Should not be wearing peacock feathers though. Read your Jackrabbit!

    • Gypsy!
      March 4 2014

      Thank you WD. I was waiting for someone to mention the feathers! No feathers people.

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Whoops! I actually religiously read every JRS and remembered setting aside my boa when I was packing as I knew it wasn’t allowed… but I guess these wings somehow slipped my mind. In my defense, I had just arrived back from Indonesia and was packing under the influence of extreme jetlag πŸ™‚ Thank you for the warning — I’ll keep the wings away next time!

  • I’ve been to Burning Man something like 8 times now, and I pay about the same each time. I think the cheapest I did (also from a non-big city in New York) was around $900 by using Amtrak rail points and using a Burning Man-affiliated bus service from Reno.

    One thing I think is important for anyone using this blog post as a reference is that many theme camps are free, and there is no need to join a theme camp or pay any “camp dues” to attend Burning Manβ€”even if you get the benefit of meals and a shower.

    For those on a budget, I found the best way to save money is to go with another person. In many cases, this halves the cost (hotel rooms, Amtrak roomettes, car use/rental, etc.)
    Jason “Zhust” Olshefsky recently posted..Rekindling the Old Site

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      I think I would have been far too intimidated to go without a camp my first year, so for me the fees were well worth it! (And I did note joining one optional in the post as well!) However, in the future I think I will look for a camp where access to a shower is included πŸ™‚ I know for so many people it’s no problem to go a week without one, but what can I say, clean hair makes this girl happy.

  • The Captain
    March 4 2014

    Im a 41yo NYC professional and my burns started as 3-people-in-a-tent experience, but has evolved into a 200+ camp with full kitchen, bar, showers, shade structures and art cars over the past 7 years. Initial costs can be higher unless you can get/borrow all equipment or join a medium sized established group/camp. For me it’s always been in the $2000-2500 range, including ticket, flight, shared RV, fuel, decent food (everyone gets way too much), hotels before and after, and the slow accumulation of equipment–sound systems, various Trifucta structures, teepee, tools, coolers, bikes, shade structures, large kitchen, generators, etc. We now keep the majority of our things in two storage units in Reno, the cost covered by camp dues (about 150) and NYC fundraiser parties by some of our more creative Trifuctan campmates. It can be serious work; It is an amazing time; It is totally worth it. Costumes=creativity, and should be cool, comfortable and functional (hots days, cold nights). My first year a $5 round lace tablecloth from target became my frilly, comfortable daytime skirt. I take vacation time to do it every year, it costs the same a ‘normal’ vacation would cost, and for me it is medicine, or therapy, or a reminder that our everyday life is not the only life possible.

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Loved reading your story! I agree with your description… I would never describe Burning Man as a vacation (to me vacations involve laying on the beach all day with a book in one hand and a fruity drink in the other, also, daily showers!) I’d describe Burning Man as an experience, one that will probably change the way you look at quite a few aspects of your life and the world around you.

      Also, clothes — ugh. I did NOT prepare for the cold at night well, in fact I think it was one of my biggest rookie mistakes. I was miserably cold as soon as the sun went down. I need to get creative for next time!

  • Charlee
    March 4 2014

    I live in Texas now but grew up on the west coast. I visit family on Labor Day every year so I would fly into Reno and there would be Burners traveling around the same time! I told my kids (now adults) that I was going to Burning Man before I die! Last year my 3 children took me to Burning Man! My oldest son has a friend who’s parents have gone 12 years….they took us into their camp! We had the most amazing time! We spent too much money as virgin burners, but my son also picked up an old travel trailer for $3000 in which even AC worked …. So we were too comfortable! The gas to tow it from Portland and back was a lot. The rest of us flew back to Texas. We are skipping a year so we can save up again! Burning Man is the greatest experience where you will meet people from all over the world and make lifelong friends!

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Charlee, this comment makes me really happy. My dad has said he too wants to get to Burning Man someday… I hope he does, and you’ve inspired me that maybe I should be the one to bring him! I’m so glad you had such a great experience.

  • Kerry
    March 4 2014

    5000 with a art car with flame affects. Burningman is not cheap but it’s all well worth the cost.

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Nice! I really enjoyed being in a camp with an art car. It is amazing what people can build!

  • Susieclue
    March 4 2014

    There’s another way to do it: Find a theme camp that’s set up for long distance travelers. Ours provides everything except for alcohol (including bikes, tents, sleeping bags, a communal kitchen, ice chests,) we shop for the internationals (or nationals) and trek the whole kit and kaboodle out to the playa. We’re based in Reno so it’s easy for folks to fly in, do their last minute personal shopping on the bus, and take the bus to/from the airport. Check the eplaya boards and post there. Magic happens when you extend your hand.

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Hey Susieclue, that sounds awesome! Do you mind sharing the name of your theme camp for anyone reading who might be interested? And also so I can stop by next time? πŸ™‚ Sounds like fun!

      • Susieclue
        March 5 2014

        The name of our themecamp is Black Rock Fun Jet and we usually camp within Snowflake Village. We’re trying to get back on the Esplanade this year but if not, we’ll be with the Village, usually around 8 and E. Come by and say hi and spin our Wheel of Destination. If you’re coming from far away and want to explore being part of the camp, that’s good, too. It’s especially welcoming for shy people. I went to BM the first time on my own and I know how it feels.

        • Alex
          March 8 2014

          That sounds amazing… I’ll be sure to stop by and say hi in 2015!

        • Jodie
          January 30 2016

          Hey Susieclue – I know your post is a couple of y ears old so not sure if this reply will be seen! Your camp sounds like the perfect camp for me. I’m going to be coming from Australia after 7 weeks in Europe, planning to go solo so want to avoid driving an RV by myself and will have really limited gear with me! Will this camp be running in 2016 and when do they normally recruit campers?

    • aimo * playa phunk*
      July 28 2017

      i’m a burner from afar. Amsterdam. Wanna go for second time to burning man, but downing cost. So hope to hear whats the name of your camp this year 2017 and costs and availability? Going with burner bus i think. greet aimo

  • Laura L-Slice
    March 5 2014

    I am French, and going to Burning Man for the 3 past years costed me a lot of money, you American people are very lucky, especially the Bay Area Folks! πŸ™‚ because this is so addictive…I had 3 incredible summers (I also visited a lot of magic places in the US, Burning Man was always part of big road trip)and I don’t regret a single dollar (or euro). But buying a flight to the West Coast of US, having enough vacation to come so far away and gather enough money…it’s quite a challenge. It totally worth it, not a doubt. This year, for the first time in 3 years, I won’t be able to make it…breaks my heart…especially when I look at the photos…so sad not to be back home this year!

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      I know how you feel! I scored tickets to Tomorrowland this year and there’s no way I can balance the cost of a major European festival with Burning Man in the same summer. Fingers crossed I’ll be back in 2015!

  • Deborah
    March 5 2014

    Hi Alex, Just a further note on my previous post… while I may only spend about $600 for my gas, ticket, food, etc…. I do build an interactive artwork for the event. The costs for that vary quite a bit! In addition, I like to treat my crew well with coffee, and food, and treats. In fact, I gift them little goodies all year long in gratitude for all the assistance they contribute to creating the artwork: packing, towing, building, unbuilding, and repacking all the components. I did not put any of those costs into my basic overhead costs of $600. – because building artwork, and treating my crew, is a separate factor to consider from the ticket, gas, etc. Just thought this info was noteworthy.

    • Alex
      March 5 2014

      Thanks for the additional info, Deborah. I’m sure the cost of creating something like that can probably be overwhelming but I’m sure the reward you get for doing it is even more so. Thank you for contributing to making the Playa such a special, creativity filled place!

  • Mac
    March 7 2014

    Thanks for posting this, I get asked this a lot!! This is very useful. Just one negative comment, feathers are not recommended on the playa.

    • Alex
      March 8 2014

      Hey Mac, you are right! As I mentioned elsewhere in the comments, that was a real brain fart. I remember setting aside my boa when I was packing as I knew it wasn’t allowed… but I guess these wings somehow slipped my mind. In my defense, I had just arrived back from Indonesia and was packing under the influence of extreme jetlag πŸ™‚ I’ll keep the wings away next time!

  • sue
    May 14 2014

    the ‘festival’ nature of BM, by virtue makes it ‘hippie-esque’ like any other festival. They all revolve around being out in nature, music, art (and yes drugs..this includes weed and alcohol), and a slight focus on conservations, ‘leave no trace’all part of the hippie manifesto. However, the evolution and growth of many of these festivals has led them to become quite commercialized and mainstream, such that ‘professionals’ think of it as a week of partying, analogous to spring break for college kids. Or large pop artists performing at such festivals as coachella. The growth of BM has led to people coming from all over the world, although this can have positive implications (such as an international visitors partaking in festivities) it can have detrimental environmental impacts, such as emissions of cars idling(entry and exodus), emissions from planes flying into black rock, food waste etc. I have heard the under cover narcs are a buzz kill as well. All that being said I personally enjoy smaller festivals more, however BM is on the list, I will always try something once, and I would like to experience BM, despite its over inflated reputation.

    • Alex
      May 15 2014

      I think it has that reputation for a reason πŸ™‚ Hope you get the chance to check it out someday!

  • Mary
    June 22 2014

    Hey Alex!

    I’m attending Burning Man for the first time this year and we’re considering joining up with Thunder Gumbo. How was your experience with them?

    • Alex
      June 23 2014

      Hey Mary! Have you read through all my Burning Man posts? I’d recommend it because I give some insight into my camp experience in a few of them! It’s hard to know what camp will be a good fit for you without knowing your details though, because it so depends. Is it your first time? Do you have friends in TG? What are your goals/objectives for Burning Man? All those would definitely influence my answer πŸ™‚

  • Gael
    July 7 2014

    Super Info!!! Je voulais y aller cette annΓ©e mais un peu tard!! 2015 Here i go… πŸ™‚

    • Alex
      July 8 2014

      Enjoy Gael! I’ll be there in spirit πŸ™‚

  • Damo
    August 19 2014

    Hi guys, I have a spare ticket and survival guide to this years 2014 Burning Man for sale (yes really). Very sadly have had to cancel at last minute due too family issues so my friends are going to have the time of their lives without me πŸ™ I remembered this site from previous visits it helped me allot so I would like to give back, seemed the perfect place to find real Burners not the Ebay masses who lets face it we dont want there…although all are welcome most of that ilk go for the music and drugs (which although have their merits) as a 40 year old veteran Burner i go for more gentler reasons πŸ™‚ – I am in South London UK and can meet you ASAP – Contact me on 07956212401. Peace and light rising x

    • Alex
      August 19 2014

      Best of luck selling the ticket Damo! Are you looking for face value?

  • Gianna
    October 21 2014

    Awesome post!

    Are you planning on going to coachella? I’m thinking of going this year, but haven’t been able to find a post like this one detailing everything. I’ve also never camped at a festival before…I always copped out and got a room haha would you recommend camping? Id be coming from NY so idk how id bring a tent on the plane lol

    • Alex
      October 22 2014

      I’ve yet to be bitten by the Coachella bug, Gianna! I’m not sure about the logistics of going as I’ve never looked into it. Southwest has two free checked bags though… that’s how we hauled all our stuff to Burning Man from New York. Good luck!

  • Taylor
    November 26 2014

    Thanks for the advice, I’ll be passing this along to my friends! We’ve been looking into going one of these years but finding a cost breakdown was tricky. I think you did a great job though, we just did Tomorrowworld and paid $1300 when it was all said and done for 4 days so this seems like a very reasonable price well worth the experience. Definitely going with an RV would significantly cut costs since we’ll be coming from Philly but I’m glad you mentioned the U-Haul, sounds like a life saver for anyone that flies in.

    • Alex
      November 28 2014

      Actually, I think coming with an RV would INCREASE costs rather than lower them. Even if you’re not buying a flight, the RV rental rates are really high and the amount of gas they need would add up fast. But you can’t beat the comfort! Glad this post was helpful.

  • erin
    January 3 2015

    so you park your car in the designated parking area, and then you go into the festival and set up your living space??

    • Alex
      January 3 2015

      Actually, we drove right onto the Playa and parked our U Haul right in our campsite! I’m not sure if that’s how everyone does it, though. (We definitely we’re breaking any rules — tons of others did as we did.)

  • ratty
    January 29 2016

    I go every year and would gladly spend only $1,500 for ttitd. Veteran burners will tell you, “Don’t go. It sucks.” 2015 tickets sold out in about 20 minutes. That was the main sale of 40,000 tickets. It’s harder to get a ticket every year so all you ‘music festival’ fans should just forget the burn and go to electric cartwheel mushroom faire.
    ratty recently posted..From Britney to Burning Man and Beyond: Starting in Sin City

    • Alex
      February 1 2016

      Indeed, tickets are very hard to get. I’m grateful that both years I’ve wanted to go, tickets have come my way! And maybe those music festival fans will have their minds cracked wide open by all there is to learn from Burning Man πŸ™‚

  • Amir
    August 7 2016

    Hi Alex. Thanks for sharing your story. Would you mind telling me where you got those goggles from? They look really nice and functional. Other googgles are too hot for me.

    • Alex
      August 8 2016

      Hey Amir, I ordered them on Amazon! Good luck!

  • Brian
    December 25 2016

    You didnt say how much did gas cost you, driving cross country.

    • Alex
      December 27 2016

      Hey Brian! Actually I mentioned in the post that I flew in from New York, and the price of the flight was included in the totals πŸ™‚ Hope that clears things up!

      • Brian
        December 27 2016

        Should I join a camp or village???

        • Alex
          December 29 2016

          Hey Brian! That’s a really personal decision. I’ve done Burning Man once with a camp and once without and they are both wonderful experiences. Personally I enjoyed the structure of being part of a camp but some others might prefer the freedom and no responsibilities of doing it on their own. Truly, you can’t go wrong! Best of luck!

  • Gabrielle Thornton
    August 18 2017

    How did you keep the UHaul clean afterward. Were there any damages at all?

    • Alex
      September 17 2017

      Hey Gabrielle! No, we weren’t charged a dime. We went to an industrial self car wash and cleaned the thing out within an inch of its life — which was cheap to do. Highly recommend building that into your schedule!

  • DustyLashes
    March 6 2014

    It is a gifting community, far different than bartering. πŸ™‚

  • Alex
    March 8 2014

    I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions I heard about Burning Man! I wrote about it in my “Ten Reflections on the Ten Principles of Burning Man” post… you might enjoy it!

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