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A Peek Into One of America’s Most Expensive Experiences: Burning Man

Burning Man is widely known for being one of the most eccentric festival-adjacent experiences in the United States, as a place people flock to every year in the Nevada desert for nine days of shenanigans, art installations, and to live entirely off-the-grid. It’s an experience like no other, where you can release all your inhibitions, dress up in the most outlandish costumes, and literally burn things in the desert. Burning Man is all about being free from society, experiencing life outside of restrictions and capitalism. Yet, for a gathering so rooted in freedom and anti-capitalism, it’s also becoming exorbitantly expensive to attend.

Granted, Burning Man is nine days. Generally, festival type experiences last over a weekend, either three of four days, and cost between $400-$500, unless you upgrade to VIP, which can cost over $800 depending on the experience you want. According to an article from CNBC examining Burning Man, it can cost up to $1500 just to buy a ticket, quite a high price tag for a gathering that seeks to cut ties with traditional society norms. You can read more from the CNBC article here.

The main chunk you spend is on the ticket price, which ranges from $425-1200. It doesn’t include other expenses, such as paying for your camp site, transportation, food, costumes, hygiene items, and travel, which all racks up pretty fast. Since Burners function on a barter system rather than cash, it’s important to arrive completely stocked in order to survive nine days in the desert. Over at Time, they estimate it could cost on average over $2300 for a single attendee when it’s all said and done.

If you’ve ever thought about attending Burning Man, take into consideration the cost and time investment. Though, if you can’t afford to attend, there’s an option to apply for a low-income ticket, which will cost you about $190. This process undergoes an entire application process, requiring you to reveal your job, income, why you want to attend Burning Man, and what you’ll contribute to the experience while you’re there. If you’re convincing enough, you may just obtain one coveted low-cost ticket.

Whether you want to go one time to experience the relatively free-spirited nature with like-minded individuals, or you have things you want to burn, bare in mind that attending Burning Man will cost you a pretty penny. However, what you invest monetarily, you’ll more than make up for with experience.

What are your thoughts on the ticket prices for Burning Man? Have you ever attended this unique experience? Share your thoughts in the comments or on social media!