New Gate Opening Time for Burning Man 2016

In a move designed to alleviate the crush of traffic on Gate Road at the start of the event, Burning Man and the Bureau of Land Management have agreed to begin allowing vehicles to enter Black Rock City at 12:01 am Sunday, August 28.

The official start of the event is still 6 pm Sunday. We’re asking everyone to use the extra time to focus on getting your camp set up, and to refrain from getting your freak on until the official start Sunday evening.

Keep in mind traffic on Highway 447 is heaviest in the early afternoon and evening. (Think about it: You wake up, grab a leisurely breakfast, do some last minute shopping and then hit the road — just like 49,999 other people who show up on Sunday and Monday!)

Help us help you by timing your arrival “off peak”. We promise a good time will be had by all (starting at 6 pm Sunday).

Top photo by Chayna Girling

About the author: Burning Man Project

Burning Man Project

The official voice of the Burning Man organization, managed by Burning Man Project's Communications Team.

36 Comments on “New Gate Opening Time for Burning Man 2016

  • Charles Bryce says:


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    • Jonesing for the dust says:

      For those theme camps from the east coast that cannot get to the gate before Saturday evening without taking an extra day of vacation, the new gate opening will result in a much longer trip into the playa. That sucks, especially given how long it takes to get there from the east coast as it is. The fix here is for Bman to provide a dedicated lane from the start of gate road for EA’s with passes. Also to provide a dedicated lane into Will Call for EA pass holders.

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      • Jerey says:

        This is awesome news! The more we can spread out the incoming traffic, the better it is for everyone.

        LOL @ all the sparkle ponies with some variation of “But I want to abuse my EE pass and use it to come 4 hours early and skip the line, like I always do!”
        Sorry guys. If you really needed your EE pass, you’d be coming up way earlier than Saturday night. Otherwise you’re just using it so that you don’t have to wait in line like everyone else does.

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  • squishelle says:

    Including a link within the article to the superbly helpful full JRS Transportation Edition would be helpful for readers:

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  • Diana O says:

    This just makes it more difficult for theme camps to actually get there prior to gate opening. We still do extra work to help contribute, but we’ll now have to sit in more traffic (or take more time off work). Not sure this is a great solution. It just moves the traffic crush one day earlier.

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    • Jub says:

      theme camps get early entry tickets to set everything up…
      you can come in literally a week early, theme camps dont give a hoot about this change…

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      • JOHN GOULD says:

        The hell I don’t… U must be talking about the 4 guys in the tent with a keg… Now we loose a day? Shit…

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      • Diana O says:

        Some camps do “give a hoot” about this. Most of us don’t have endless vacation days in the default world. Between travel, set-up, actual playa time, break down, and travel back, there’s not a whole lot of extra wiggle room. I suspect traffic on 447 will be a problem, but it would be nice if EA passes at least had a separate entry lane once we hit playa. Food for thought.

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  • Peaches says:

    This sucks for artists setting up small pieces on the playa with only 1 day early entry.

    Last year with the whiteout Sat. we could do nothing. If we didn’t have Sunday AM to work unhindered, we would never have made it.

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  • Brad says:

    so you can drive into gate road at midnight Sat night but the gates dont open until 6pm. Who came up with this OMG. Just made it extra hard us to get our camp and art up before the masses arrive. Genius. Im with Peaches, we have no wriggle room now and less early entry passes also. If the offical party doesn’t start until 6pm Sunday, open the gates at 6pm Sunday

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    • Some Guy says:

      No, that is exactly not what it says.

      Sunday morning 12:01 AM the Gate crew will begin scanning tickets and vehicle passes and searching your poorly packed RV for stowaways. They will then let you into the city to find yourself a camping spot.

      The event doesn’t start until 6:00 PM Sunday but you can be in the city setting up for 18 hours before that.

      This is exactly what happened at 10:00 AM Sunday last year which was 8 hours before event start.

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  • Digital-punk says:


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  • Both Balls says:

    It never ceases to amaze me the amount of illiterate burners who feel the need to squawk their displeasure whenever news comes out. This doesn’t affect theme camps who have EA, this doesn’t affect artists who have 1 day EA passes for their art-projects, it allows those who can, arrive at midnight on Sunday instead of 10 am Sunday morning to alleviate traffic on the highway.

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    • Diana O says:

      But don’t you think it’ll affect the number of cars/traffic on 447 and upon entry for folks with Saturday EA passes? There’ll likely still be a traffic back-up, it’ll just happen earlier.

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    • Bob C says:

      Yep, it never ceases to amaze me the number of Burners that don’t use reason to understand the consequences of changes like this and then rail on any fellow Burner who doesn’t toe the company line or drink the koolaid.

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  • Ben Zero says:

    Scratch a burner, find a complaint.

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  • Chuckie says:

    If the scanning gate crew expedited preapproved setup crews infront of early burners there would be no problems.

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  • Magnum says:

    Give someone something to complain about and they will.

    Quit whining. You get an extra 18 hours of playa time.

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  • Victoria Rose says:

    I have early entry…or I did until you just negated it by opening early….boo.

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  • Joshua says:

    “We’re asking everyone to use the extra time to focus on getting your camp set up, and to refrain from getting your freak on until the official start Sunday evening.”

    Typically get my freak on at Walmart but ok.

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    • nick says:

      lol haaha jaja
      BMORG seems to be trying to communicate a message to us: set up your stuff early, let’s get this going at 6 pm sharp! after all we are paying taxes now!

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  • Yeti says:

    I’m part of a theme camp and our EA pass is for Saturday. We typically arrive on playa Saturday around 8p. It seems this is going to be much more difficult now if traffic starts building up on 447 when we’re getting there. This could mean that our EA pass doesn’t really get us in early and we’ll be behind in getting camp set up. I sure hope that’s not the case but it doesn’t look good.

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  • OMGlenn says:

    I think this is a fantastic deal! Here’s hoping for less time on pavement, more time on playa!

    Honestly, the easiest time we had getting to gate road was 2 years ago when they made a third of ppl have to pick up their tix at will call.

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  • Rio says:

    So, we get gifted an extra half day at a life changing event that only lasts a week out of the year and people complain?

    Come on. This is awesome news.

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  • Jimmy-in-Dallas says:

    No tickets (again, year 3). No vehicle pass (again) ! Going to the cool mountains instead (again).

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  • A says:

    They always open sooner than scheduled, so Saturday’s the new drive day.

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  • Chris says:

    Reading these comments reaffirm why I haven’t been to burning man. I want to go so badly…SO BADLY, but behind the facade of ‘radical self reliance’ is a bunch of entitled, bickering people.

    ‘I like to arrive 4 hours early with my EA pass but now I cant.’ Poor you!

    That Israeli burn mentioned in the most recent JRS sounds promising right about now. Yes, I’m going to start planning for that.

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  • Pat O says:

    I can’t see anticipating a problem before a problem actually exists. Your less than a month away from the event. Be happy! Remember!! Not everyone who want’s to go, gets to go. Your Sooooo… LUCKY!!! Enjoy the total experience. If your plans not working, get a better plan.

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  • Papa Dean says:

    What periods are early entry (aka early access, EE, EA) passes good for? Is there a link to FAQs? My camp has said that I would be getting one, but I don’t know where to pick it up, whether it’s hard copy or electronic, and how early it lets me in. Thanks.

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  • Pamela says:

    So we can go in at midnight 12:01am on Sat night Sun Morning?

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  • David Demo says:

    Can anyone provide a reasonably informed estimate about what the entry gate wait time might be for arrival on Saturday (8/27) around 3:00 pm using an EA pass?

    (Of course, weather conditions are always a factor I know – I heard there was a 5-hour wait last year at that time, but there was a bad dust storm that day which I presume was part of the reason)


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  • Gringo Starr says:

    This is a great idea all around. Open that window of arrival so that 40K people have all night and day to arrive, lessening the the crush of late afternoon and evening. But it’s always fun in line, hanging out with happy neighbors after a 13 hour drive. It’s a Burner line, after all… and adventure awaits.

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