Burning Man’s New Revenue Streams

People have complained about the cost of Burning Man tickets for years, and we’ve listened.

So we’ve spent the last couple months investigating new revenue streams that would allow us to reduce ticket prices (which are our only major source of revenue) while maintaining the operational budget necessary to produce the Burning Man event and continue growing our culture around the world. After much discussion and deliberation at Burning Man Headquarters, we’ve decided to move forward with the first of these initiatives.

You’ll notice some of these changes reflected on the Burning Man website homepage starting today, and you’ll see them in Black Rock City as well at this year.

We realize that this change represents a significant evolution of Burning Man’s cultural ethos, and as such, we welcome your feedback about it at revenue here: revenue (at) burningman.com.

UPDATE: Happy April Fools’ Day everybody!

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase first attended Burning Man 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art HQ) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004-2009, then transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009 to become Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He's the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Voices of Burning Man blog, and content manager for Burning Man’s websites. He also manages the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social networking efforts.

50 thoughts on “Burning Man’s New Revenue Streams

  • I’m looking forward to having a Strawberry Frappacino at Starbuck’s Center Camp, and I think the Gold Bond Powder First Aid Pavillion will be a great addition.

    Not so sure about the Mystic Tan booth they’re having at the Temple, though.

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  • I for one Love this Idea. One day out of seven Iam sure some crazy Idiot will Burn one of these Signs down … While My GF ( Niff Niff) hates the idea of Burningman going corporate , I for one Dont mind. Maybe if things keep going this way I can Finally Get a Project funded for a change ! The BURNING SQUID is coming this year on the PLAYA!!!

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  • And with this we are left with 9 principles instead of 10… R.I.P #3:

    Decommodification
    In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transact…ions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

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  • Hey, how can Burning Man use all those corporate logo trademarks, but I can’t call anything “Burning xxx” or use The Man logo? Oh, right “tradmark fair use” for the purpose of parody.

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  • I am excited about this! Finally, each night after my wanderings I can find my way back to camp by the glow of my favorite late night fast food sign – just like I do in the default world!

    They could even have a whole camp based on late night fast food! It would be just like a shopping mall. How cool! Yeah, they should get rid of those loud camps at 2 & 10 o’clock and replace them with food pavilions.

    I wonder how we’ll buy anything though since we’re still not using money. Maybe I’ll be able to trade my little vials of sacred vegan organic playa dust?

    Is there any way BMOrg could post the corporations they’ve already contracted with? Our camp is low on funds this year and we’re looking for a corporate sponsor. We talked with 7-11 but they told us BMOrg had already started contract negotiations with them. We’ve got an offer from Girls Gone Wild that looks promising.

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  • Woohoo! I just contacted a couple of the local stores here, and they agreed to finance my trip to Burning Man by placing big banners on the side of my trailer. I’m also making a whole bunch of cheap trinkets to sell and some of those cheap surgical knives you get at county fairs. Only, mine will all have the Man on them, making them “special.” I bet I actually make money this year!

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  • i feel pricing is not to bad but also feel lower reserve tickets should be offered to theme camps who leave there sites in the green the year before as they are the life’s blood of the playa. it seems that most who get lower tier tickets are scalpers and people who have nothing else on there mind but going to party, they should reward those who make it special and take care to leave things as they were when they arrived

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  • No, No, No, I understand that it is a Commercial World but the next thing I smell is the fresh scent of a “BIG MAC” as I open my eyes at BRC. How Sad That while we sit for hours going into and leaving our World we have to see Home Depot and Marlboro Man Cigarette Ads.

    If people want to go and be a part of the Other World we need to plan, to save, and then to savor the experience.

    Shame on You

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  • I agree with Morgan. Home Depot should be sponsoring BM, not the other way around. I’d like to see some classy adult services billboards on the playa though.

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  • let the artists in for free. they’ll bring everything you need. cuz ya see, regular people give tons of shit to artists so they can have a good time. everything but money of course, for some strange reason. let the artists in and stop wasting money trying to buy the stuff you need. get it? good.

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  • Great!!! now I can get RONA and HOME DEPOT to sponsor our camp this year!! We will be taste testing vodkas from Smirnoff in our dome and eating white chocolate treats from Godiva. Cheers!

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  • oh….you guys. you got me. i admit it. i was like NO WAY…NEVER. then i was like Well.. you know tickets are expensive…..(NO WAY ii yelled inside my own mind) its not worth it its against everything we stand….finally ten hours later curiosity killed my kitty. the coup de gras was whene i clicked on the BM site to see a walmart ad deadcenter. and i bout it i was like sure why not??? lots of burners goto walmart in reno where (where else i should have been thinkin) GOOD ONE you got me!

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  • This is a great news for i have just placed a order for condoms from china with the burning man logo on them.They will sell like hot cakes on the playa.

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  • Well, I just think we need to make sure that a fair system is developed, one that enhances not only the revenue stream of the BM corporation, but also of the burners.

    I like the idea of getting corporations to give us free booze and free food. However, there need to be rules about that because you know how those corporations are. They will be putting up great big signs but only giving out itty bitty samples of chocolate, vodka, etc. We can’t let them get away with that kind of crap. There has to be rules to keep corporate greed in check (and burners well fed and drunk).

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  • You know, LLC can charge a recurring monthly fee to turn-off ads for that retro ad-free experience, just like Mom used to make.

    De-commodify your commodification! Operators standing by….

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  • I surely hope that this is a hoax. I should think the spirit of BM alone would make it unnecessary to mention the risk of corporations ultimately controlling some, or even all, aspects of BM as a result of such a misstep.

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  • don’t write your two ears upon the meanings of gewed and evol. merely, open thine third ear, and allow the righteous future to crystallize itself.
    …….WHAT THE PHVCK ARE WE DOING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT?………
    …oh, we were just invoking the magic of the universe, and look what happened….. how many burners does it take to clean up the mess? and what do we learn from all of this? operators sweeping by….

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