Burning Man Tickets Have Sold Out: Your Questions Answered

Now that tickets for Burning Man have sold out for the first time in our 25-year history, we’ve been getting a lot of questions from folks in the community … here are the most common ones, answered:

Q. How many tickets have been sold?
A. We don’t release ticket sales data, which is annually a different number from the population that actually comes to BRC. We’ve cut off ticket sales early in order to manage our population count over the course of the event, as stipulated by our BLM permit.

Q. So how many people will be at the event?
A. A lot of variables affect who actually shows up each year on which day. We project that if the event is any larger than last year’s peak, it won’t be by much, and it’s our responsibility to try to keep it in line with that to comply this year’s permit. (more…)

What happens if you show up at the Gate with no ticket?

Not the Burning Man Gate

Since Burning Man tickets have sold out for the first time in our 25-year history (ticket sales were stopped in order to manage our population count over the course of the event, as stipulated by our BLM permit), it’s more important than ever that our community knows and understands Burning Man’s longstanding Gate policy. Here’s what you need to know:

– There are no tickets for sale at the Gate. You will be turned away and not allowed entry if you show up without a ticket.

– If you are giving someone a ride to Burning Man, including ride shares and hitchhikers, please be sure they have a ticket or you may end up driving back to Reno to drop them off. Leaving them at the Gate or in Gerlach is not an option. Washoe County Sheriff will be watching out for people loitering in or around Gerlach.

– Harboring stowaways or assisting people sneaking in is as bad as sneaking in yourself. Any vehicle with stowaways or assisting people sneaking in will have the whole vehicle refused entry with no refund of tickets.

– Anyone caught trying to sneak in to the event or causing a disruption at the Gate or Box Office is subject to citation, fine, and arrest by the BLM.

Finally, we expect long lines coming into the event and going out during Exodus, so arriving or leaving at non-peak times — and exercising patience — is advised.

If you have further questions about the Gate and Exodus, see our Gate FAQ.

Can the regionals pick up the ticket sale slack – and transform Burning Man?

Burning Man is still sold out.

To the extent that you learn about a community during a crisis, I wonder what our reaction so far says about us.

Many are mocking the ticket seekers, suggesting this is a kind of Darwinian victory:  if you can’t get your ticket you don’t deserve to get there.  The Onion parodied Burning Man with a similar conceit about eight years ago.  It was funny then, but it still wasn’t original.

It’s less funny now, because it’s become apparent that some very good people are being left on the outside:  people who clearly have a lot to offer.  People who would be a benefit to the entire community – and I don’t just mean “big name DJs.”  In fact, I’m not talking about them at all.  However few tickets there are, Burning Man will never run out of DJs.

But we have run out of space.  In my previous post I suggested that 21st century Burning Man was a culture of abundance, and this is our first meaningful encounter with scarcity.  I made a few suggestions about what to do about it.

Many people writing in the comments section had much better ideas than I did.  But by far the most trenchant idea proposed was this:  the future of Burning Man belongs to the regionals.

They got what I’d missed:   the ticket limit is potentially a catalyst turning the regionals from followers to co-conspirators.  “Burning Man” itself would become a kind of pilgrimage site that the faithful try to get to once in a while, but “Burning Man” culture would be led by dozens of regional events around the globe.

How you feel about that might depend on your experiences with the regionals.  It does for me.  Would you mind sticking around while I explain this? (more…)

Experts Share Tips: Artists and Media Relations On Playa

This year, The Burning Man Media Team is working as never before to support the artists of Burning Man. We’ve providing Media Relations support so that artists can get the word out to their local communities and to the greater world about the amazing work they’re bringing to the playa this year.

We recognize that most of the time, artists are so busy working on their art and fundraising that they don’t often have time to create a strategy for getting the word out about their pieces. This is where the Media Team has stepped up to help. Planning with the Media Team in advance can ensure that artists’ teams and our city’s amazing artwork get the spotlights they deserve, and that the presence of hundreds of journalists is a realized opportunity for Black Rock City’s art makers.

A group of top notch Media Relations professionals—all Burners—recently put a webcast on for artists bringing their gifts to the burn this year. Hosted by Los Angeles Burning Man Regional Contact Athena Demos, the panel’s focus was preparation for the Playa, and how to promote your art, your team and yourself during Burning Man. Here, we present you with our panel materials.

This audio file contains excerpts from our panelists. Read on for contact information for the Media Team, tips, a checklist, and videos of Burning Man Art Department and Media Team staff members and Art PR expert Paul Klein about on-playa Media Relations.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Cynthia Washburn, Poetic Kinetics (www.poetickinetics.com), Lynn Hasty, Green Galactic (www.greengalactic.com), Lucinda Michele, New Media Producer, Clear Channel Communications (www.clearchannel.com), Linda McWilliams, Reporter, LA Weekly (www.laweekly.com), Martin Burns, Reporter, Fox News Los Angeles (www.myfoxla.com)


• Make contact with art-pr@burningman.com to make sure our team knows about you and your work.
• Provide a folder of material for journalists (including press release, still pictures, contact information)
• Check in with Media Mecca on Playa and ask about Happy Hours and chances to meet journalists.
• Ask us about Media Mecca “Interview Training” advice so you give the best interview possible, if the opportunity arises.


__ Make a plan
__ Ask someone in your team to specialize in Public Relations for the art and team.
__ Write list of what makes your project newsworthy or special
__ Write good press release on your project.
__ Bring thumb drive with images of your build, your plans, any background info.
__ Bring camera and take some shots of your build and team.
__ Be reachable in case reporter expresses an interest.
__ Be ready with prompt follow up for reporter after event.
__ Produce press kit (including release, still photos, artist bio, team list) and provide
multiple copies to Media Mecca and your own PR specialist.
__ Attend Happy Hours (4:30-6pm) M-F at Media Mecca (Center Camp)

The folks at Media Mecca are ready to help you think through and act on this checklist. Please feel free to contact us via art-pr@burningman.com if you would like our Media Relations support.

ANDIE GRACE, Manager of Communications and the Regional Network, Burning Man

CRIMSON ROSE, Managing Art Director, Burning Man

BETTIE JUNE, Associate Director of Art Management, Burning Man

TOM LAPORTE, Manager, Media Mecca, Burning Man

MEGHAN RUTIGLIANO, Media Team Manager, Burning Man

PAUL KLEIN, Klein Artist Works (www.kleinartistworks.com)

Special thanks to our panelists, to Andie Grace, Crimson Rose, and Bettie June, Paul Klein, Paynie, The Red Loft (www.theredloft.com), John Fenoglio, Athena Demos (www.laburningman.com), Patrick Shearn, Kristoffer Taylor (www.streamguys.com), Stu Smith, Jim Graham (www.jgpr.com), Tom LaPorte and Meghan Rutigliano

Burning Man’s Culture gets spit on by scarcity: what do we do after we’ve run out of tickets?

Worse things have happened to people than not getting tickets.

Has someone hit you up for tickets yet?

Man … this is brutal.

I’ve been getting slammed with requests all day even though my relationship with Burning Man is so small that, if you were to look at Burning Man’s organizational chart, you’d need an electron microscope to see my name.  Which would be misspelled.  For people who are actually on the inside, I’ve been told, it’s been a flood of biblical proportions – one that might go on for 40 days and 40 nights.

Meanwhile the scalpers have sharpened their scalpels:  Burning Man tickets have been selling for north of $800 on eBay.  It’s as if Jerry Garcia had come back to play one more concert, with Justin Bieber.  Admit it:  you’d feel terrible about shelling out $800 bucks to see that, but you would.

Some of the people left out of the dust are newbies who planned for everything but the gate.  They bought their airfare, they got the time off work … but just never got around to buying a ticket.  Some are old Burning Man hands who ignored the warning signs:  months of rumors, a special note in Jack Rabbit Speaks, and constant questioning from friends about whether they’re in or out this year.  Either way, their disappointment is understandable but the reaction seems outsized:  things sell out, right?

Maybe.  But on the other hand, why wouldn’t people assume that they can get in?  Burning Man is founded on the notion that there’s a place for everybody:  it’s the kind of event where people just show up.  It grew from a rag-tag party where all 100 people knew each other to a 50,000 person happening because people just kept showing up unannounced.  Hell, a small legion of assholes showed up every year at the gate without a ticket, food, or water, under the assumption that the most hostile environment in the world will provide.  And it did.

That’s just the way it works:  you show up and if you run out of something you know the people at the next camp will let you use theirs.  Or there will be a theme camp giving it away.  Or a naked hula hooper will want you to have it.  For over a decade now Burning Man has been a culture of abundance.  The Man never runs out.

What we’re seeing now may be 21st century Burning Man’s first serious encounter with a culture of scarcity. (more…)

Find your Friends on Playa with the BurnerMap

Want to find your friends on playa? Yeah, well, traditionally, it’s a crapshoot at best … you head out, run around all over the place, find amazing things along the way, meet new fabulous people to tickle your fancy (and whatever else), end up riding on a flame-throwing gazelle for a while, and … wait … where were we going again? Is that the sun coming up? Where are my pants?

While you can’t beat the serendipitous nature of trying to accomplish a goal (pffft) in Black Rock City, there is a solution if you actually want to find your friends out there. At least it’ll help aim you in the right direction, anyway (the rest is up to you … good luck with that).

The BurnerMap in Action

An intrepid Burner named Morgasm joined up with a few friends to create the BurnerMap. You can add your playa address to the map, and (the particularly nifty thing is that) only your Facebook friends can see where you are, so your privacy is maintained within the Facebook framework. (Don’t like Facebook? We understand. But still, suck it up … this is cool.)

And of course, in true Burner fashion, a “long-time Burner” is waging an awesome and vehement condemnation of such a flagrant trampling of our God-given right to spontaneity and serendipity!!! Arrrrrgh!!! To which we say: Damn straight! Unpack the pitchforks, Martha, grab the gasoline and the lighter (the wand-style one, in the drawer next to the stove … I think that one still has some fuel in it. No? Crap.) and let’s burn that damn thing!

Or, y’know, print it out and use it, if that’s how you wanna roll.

Note to my friends: if you show up at my camp pantsless on a flame-throwing gazelle, you’d better be packin’ whiskey.

Tickets For Burning Man 2011 Sold Out

Tickets for Burning Man 2011 have sold out. For the first time in 25 years of holding the Burning Man event, we have had to cut off ticket sales before the event. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which oversees the Black Rock Desert National Conservation Area, requires us to manage growth in line with the previous year’s population in order to comply with our use permit. As a result, Burning Man has exercised its oft-stated right to cap ticket sales.

Tickets will NOT be sold at the Burning Man Gate, nor at Walk-In Outlets. If you don’t have a ticket, do NOT show up at the Gate. If you choose to purchase tickets from a third party, please take precautions to ensure their authenticity before you purchase them to avoid counterfeits and scams. If you are selling your ticket, we strongly encourage you to sell it at face value, or better yet, gift it! Information on how to buy and sell third-party tickets more safely can be found here on our tickets page.

For those considering venturing out to Black Rock City without a ticket to “try your luck” purchasing one at or near the entrance to Burning Man, we ask that you do NOT do so, for your own safety and the well-being of the surrounding communities. The Black Rock Desert is an extremely remote, inhospitable environment with limited resources, minimal facilities, and few camping opportunities in the vicinity. You will NOT be allowed to camp overnight anywhere near the event site, and the nearest campgrounds are over an hour’s drive away.

Initiations and Salutations

I’ve always liked the Burma Shave sign that reads something along the lines of, “It isn’t that Burning Man is getting smaller, it is that you are getting bigger”

My dear fellow blogger, Mr. C. Magister has proposed a question regarding this year’s theme I believe is fairly summarized as: Are we truly a movement that even can partake in ritual due to our penchant for chaos?. I would not claim to be an expert on such things, and yes, Burning Man may be nothing more than a huge party in the desert, however, with all deference to my colleague in psychic crime up here, I would like to take the liberty to suggest that I suspect there is more to this Burning Man thing we’ve created than meets the eye. I don’t believe that ritual implies orderliness, but rather I believe that the Rites of Passage is more a concept of a transition from one state of being to another.

Getting there 98
You never forget your first burn whether you return again to the playa or not. It makes an impression. When Mr. LH quotes the works of Arnold van Gennep and Raoul Vaneigem in this year’s theme, is it possible that those two tomes read together suggest, as in Rites of Passage, the movement from one status, through separation, transition and reincorporation, into another state of being and as Mr Vaneigem elucidates, on the whys and results of such a revolution of being.

Being a relative late comer and having arrived in a very Nebulous year, the longer I attend the less of a late bloomer I become and the more I appreciate the wild wind up to leaving for Black Rock City. But I remember being a tender neophyte full of anticipation. A veritable pre-initiate.

Nebulous Entity by Larry Harvey
I like to think we are all at first beckoned by the Siren’s call of one of our more eccentric friend’s insistent beseechings of “You GOTTA check it out”. At the moment you make that preliminal decision to depart and traipse to some god forsaken dry lake bed of unforeseen consequence, the ritual of initiation begins and the journey there has been aptly explored by one or two of us up here and elsewhere. Plan, make, buy, load, get the hell out of dodge, leave your town behind to journey to somewhere unknown. It is just a roadtrip to make the celestial border jump from freeway to two lane to where the pavement ends and it is there that things become interesting.

You are off the road and right onto the Anteroom off the pavement where you begin splashing around in nihilist dust, then you approach the GATE, where one could conceivably imagine a magic portico of emperors where ‘“guardians of the threshold take on monumental proportions”. “Winged dragons. A sphinx, other monsters” are sometimes parked off by Will Call. It is a place where you don’t fuck with the people who fuck with you and if you do, you fail the test, you can’t pay the Stygian toll dumbass. Is this a ritual? I have no idea.

After GATE has impressed you with the fact that if you thought you were at some Kind Brother hippie vibe love circle jerk where we all sit around singing Kumbaya you were mistaken, and if you mess up you really *could* die, you drive into the Narthex where you learn your first rule is slow the fuck down as you receive your meditation on those Burma Shave signs. Then you are to the Greeters where you used to be pulled from your car if you were a virgin and lost your pants to be ass smacked several times then to have your provisions pilfered. Now I believe they ring a bell before pilfering your provisions. Welcome Home.

Once inside the City you realize that at every threshold there is another invitation to initiation.