Gearing up for Black Rock City 2020: Ticketing Info

As we move into the new year and begin opening our spreadsheets, it’s time to talk tickets for That Thing In The Desert. For many people, acquiring a ticket to Black Rock City is the beginning of the journey; it’s when it all starts to feel real. Lots of the other planning components tend to fall into place a little easier once you have a ticket. There are some important things to note as we head into the 2020 ticketing season, so here’s the update many of you have been waiting for.

We know the 2019 Main Sale did not go well for many of you. Over the last nine months, we’ve done a thorough review of what happened, and have taken steps to ensure this year goes more smoothly. Our Ticketing and Technology teams have been hard at work exploring ways to ensure the stability of our systems and the efficiency and accountability of our fulfillment process, and to make the ticket-buying process less stressful and more equitable. We are giving careful consideration of what to change and what not to change to lessen risk and improve outcomes.

You’ll still need to create or update your Burner Profile, there will still be a pre-registration period through your Profile, and there will be a sale date. The order of the sales will be the same as last year: Directed Group Sale (DGS), FOMO, Main Sale, Directed Group Sale 2, and OMG. You will still be able to buy a maximum of two (2) tickets and one (1) vehicle pass during the Directed Group, FOMO, Main, and OMG Sales.

You will notice some changes including an increase in the Main Sale and DGS ticket prices (now $475), due in large part to the fact that the cost of building a fully functioning temporary city in the desert increases yearly. In 2019, we faced additional costs related to the years-long Environmental Impact Statement process, and we also made strategic investments to further our nonprofit mission. Please see our recently published 990 and this page for more info about where money from ticket sales goes, and our Annual Report for more information about our work beyond the playa.

You will also see an increase in the cost for a vehicle pass (now $140). We have to begin taking concrete steps towards a sustainable event and global culture, and we hope this increase will encourage many of you to carpool, or consider hopping on the Burner Express.

Low-Income tickets will remain $210 each, and FOMO tickets will remain $1,400 each.

In all of our ticketing decisions, we continue to try to find the right balance. We created the Directed Group Sale in 2013 to ensure Black Rock City’s core contributors have access to the event. That year we also created Burner Profiles to make the process smoother. As part of our Cultural Course Correcting initiative, we told you about our increase in DGS and Low Income ticket numbers.

The Low-Income Ticket Program aims to promote Radical Inclusion so the event is accessible to more participants; the FOMO Sale encourages those who can afford higher-price tickets to contribute at that level and help to subsidize lower priced sales; and the OMG Sale is our attempt to help Burners get to Black Rock City at the last minute. We’ve also published pieces to help you know more about how you can help the fight against scalpers.

There’s no perfect solution for an event where demand for access far outpaces availability of tickets, but we do our best to create a fair system that ensures a wide variety of people are able to participate in Black Rock City each year. We hope to see you in 2020! If not in Black Rock City, then at one of more than 100 official Regional Events around the world, or through a Burners Without Borders project. Let’s make Burning Man happen everywhere!

Details for this year’s sales are now available at tickets.burningman.org.

Want stay in the loop about ticket and event information, and start preparing for your time in the desert? Check out these resources:


Top photo by SN Jacobson

About the author: Burning Man Project

Burning Man Project

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

58 Comments on “Gearing up for Black Rock City 2020: Ticketing Info

  • Matt says:

    You mention an increase to ticket prices and vehicle passes – what are the new prices going to be?

    Report comment

    • wraith says:

      So business as usual, price goes up and we get a handwave of hope that the same issues that have plagued the main sale for most of a decade don’t predictably happen exactly the same way yet again?

      Report comment

  • John Barleycorn says:

    Super-exciting! I can feeling the electricity already.

    Report comment

  • Gerry says:

    I cannot wait! Thank you for the update

    Report comment

  • Tracy Lewis says:

    $140.00 for a vehicle pass? And your suggestion is take the bus? How the hell does a camp builder take the Burner bus with all the items needed to build the camp? It’s bad enough you raised the pass for everyone but don’t you think the people actually putting the city together should get a break? Just like free!

    Report comment

    • Dr. Bungee says:

      My thoughts exactly. As a camp lead/main builder, I bring a huge pile of stuff out to the playa every year. My 5th wheel is packed with metal tubing, shade material, solar panels, lights, batteries, and about 2000′ of bungee cords. It would be so much easier to just bring what I can fit on the burner bus, and let others do the work of creating BRC. The problem is, if everyone did that, there would be no BRC.

      The time and expense required to bring an interactive camp to BM, gets greater every year. So too does the competition for placement and DGS. Not wanting to sound like an old fart, which I am, but I long for a simpler burn, when there were not so many hurdles to overcome just to bring some fun shit to the playa.

      Report comment

      • Jack says:

        >The problem is, if everyone did that, there would be no BRC.

        It’s not a problem if everyone takes the bus because DPW builds the city. I’m tired of building stuff out there, it’s really just taking work away from DPW.

        Report comment

      • Teal says:

        Well said Dr. Bungee. The rate that the cost of tickets and passes keep going up is unsustainable for many attendees. They should raise the cost of the FOMO tickets, since that is what the plug and play camps buy. Soon they will be the only ones out there…

        Report comment

  • Nemesis says:

    Hopefully doing something about the ticket supplier. I and others I know didn’t get a successful delivery of tickets. Had to have those cancelled and new ones issued at Box Office. A signature and insurance on delivery would be nice options.

    Report comment

    • KenDoll says:

      Funny thing if you look back at your receipts from last year, you paid for delivery confirmation/insurance/signature required … at least I know I did as part of the shipping and handling fees, only to have it arrive in my mailbox like any old post worth ~$3,000!!!!

      Report comment

  • John turner says:

    Do you mean to have the OMG vehicle pass at $100, as opposed to the $140 in other sales? Odd pricing drop….

    Report comment

  • PissedBurner says:

    The vehicle pass remains a revolting cash grab.

    Report comment

  • Patrick McConnell says:

    Hello my name is Patrick McConnell, i was taking a shot at it, and i am deciding to fill out this form in hopes of manifesting a Burning Man ticket. I would be my first time attending burning man. I have veen in the festival scene for a while working hard for both Lighting in a Bottle and Lucidity. If theres any way that the universe would be kind enough to bless me with a ticket i would be so greatful. One Love!

    Report comment

  • You are doing well! With over 100,000 (low estimate) ticket inquiries representing all of our special characteristics……you are doing just fine. Those disenchanted as I was last year, well perhaps we could offer to assist. For many living the principles are just as important as the ticket…sort of. Santee

    Report comment

  • Kevin says:

    In the last two years the Org has reduced the amount of tickets in the main sale by a total of 6,000 tickets. This represents a 23% reduction in the amount of available tickets toward people who do not have DGS available.

    Last year such a large number of camps applied for placement that a journal article/email went out by the Org commenting on this. I would suggest to you that the camp placement requests are being driven by ticket scarcity and DGS has morphed into the only way to be assured the ability to purchase tickets which was not the original intention of DGS.

    DGS typically only covers a fraction of the ticketing needs of a camp and with the the reduction in availability of tickets in the main sale will make it even more difficult to fill numbers.

    I recognize and do believe the Org will solve the technology issues that typically plague a change to a new vendor. You have very competent people working very hard on it, but I would put it to you that for the Burner “having things run smoothly” is actually getting a ticket and from that standpoint it is unlikely to run smoothly for a vast majority of burners.

    This is a problem of ticket scarcity, compounded by Org policy decisions, Unless the Org corrects one or really both it is likely to only get worse over the coming years. If we extrapolate out the changes: in three years there will only be 11,000 tickets in main sale and in six years only 2,000 tickets available. How will that be radically inclusive of new burners and camps or will it allow the old established camps to push down any new startups?

    Regards,

    Kevin

    Report comment

  • Jazz says:

    I don’t have the time or inclination to try to get a ticket. I just look hot. Guys always buy me a ticket. Plus, they bring everything out there. I just have to show up and look great… maybe a handjob or the dude gets to watch me take a shower. I love liberal men.

    Don’t forget to like and subscribe!

    Report comment

  • Evelyn says:

    The org needs to seriously revisit the drop of the main sales. Free camping is an awesome experience and free campers are the most radical. Hard enough, they also have to suffer the vehicle pass price increase as riding bus is not an option.

    #stopfavoringthemecamps

    Report comment

    • Cindy says:

      Broke hippies wandering around on the playa, asking camps for meat and or cheese. Everything is free if you spend the whole week asking for assistance.

      Moochers coming into camp all smiles and laughing at everything anyone says while scoping out where the good stuff is stored. It’s like feeding stray cats and they always talk in terms of ‘borrowing’ this and that. Bro, can I borrow a can of soup? Can I borrow a can opener? Oh, I don’t like this kind of soup (after opening it). Do you know how hard it is dealing with an opened can of soup all week? It starts to rot and needs contained in several plastic bags and then finally goes into the big bag of shit that beggars started to eat and left behind as a gift to the person who gave it to them as a gift.

      How are you going to carry meat and cheese if you’re naked and high on ether? Get out of my shower!

      Report comment

  • SinglePly says:

    It is now clear that Burning Man 2020 will be ruined and the worst ever even though we’ll still be able to sneak in illegal drugs and guns.

    Report comment

  • Meme McSelfie says:

    So if I do a DGS on a directed 990 plan, can I plan a sidestep around the FOMO and/or OMG? Can I avoid BLM and/or a EIS if I FMP my BGS? Do I need to 1099 the BED if I QSL the QMP? Will I be radically included if I prefer tabs over spaces? Will I get a ticket if I run faster than 5 mph? Is it possible to rehash everything for another year? Inquiring mind want to know! I can’t miss out on the next episode of All My Geriatric Children!

    Report comment

  • Li Chen Wu says:

    What is the FOMO sale? Fear Of Moving On? Will there be a special rate for Corona Virus suffers? They will be a protected class.

    Report comment

  • Dr. Bungee says:

    Registration for DGS begins on Feb. 13, which is only 12 days from now. As a camp lead, should I be concerned that I have not heard a peep from placement about this? Did we fall out of favor for not being “interactive” enough? There are so many ways to contribute to BRC that are not easy to quantify. Having officially sanctioned events, like a high tea or bacon feed, are all good, but if these are the only criterior that placement uses to deem who is worthy, they are missing a lot of what makes Burning Man so special. Spontanious interactions lie at the heart of BM. Having a camp that’s always welcoming, and has many memorable visits every year, may be hard to place on an application, but has tremendous value.

    Report comment

  • Rubymermaid says:

    I’m confused, is the Vehicle Pass now subject to the 9% NV live entertainment fee?

    Report comment

  • ANUJ SHAH says:

    Hey this is my first time I am applying to get in burning man . It has always been my dream to visit and be a part of this festival . Somewhere in my bucket list actually . Would be great to get a ticket for my 2 kids ( age 10 and 11 ) and my wife
    Thank u

    Report comment

  • Devyn says:

    What is the “Directed Group Sale 2”?

    Report comment

    • Mar says:

      a second round of DGS tickets for camps that have been placed. Previously, your DGS tickets were allotted regardless of whether you apply for placement that year or not. This way, you get some tickets for being placed last year and more tickets if you’re placed this year.
      Last year, my camp was able to buy 20 DGS tickets for 35 campers… this year we’ve been offered 6. We’re still going to apply for placement but it might all fall through if we can’t get enough tickets for our campers to actually come and build the damn camp.

      Pretty demoralizing when you have 35 folks who want to make a cool thing and you can’t guarantee that more than 6 folks can actually come.

      Report comment

  • Ar says:

    One day, just one day, I’ll actually make it to this for real.

    Report comment

  • Chris says:

    I so excited. I found out about burning man Right AFter it ended last year. I have been waiting for ticket info. So they countdown truly begins. I am SOOOO EXCITED

    Report comment

  • Derry says:

    As a nine-time Burner, I have not been able to purchase a ticket in the last seven tries. Nearly every time I am waiting in the queue and the system “Times out” and I am, once again, left out. I am an individual buyer, and not buying as part of a consortium of friends who get together and buy as many tickets a they can, then they sell off the tickets they don’t need…. one of which is probably mine. It is so depressing. I just want to get my tenth Burn in, then I’ll quietly fade away with my memories.

    Report comment

  • Celina says:

    So as a new mayor of a “new camp” of previously existed camps and camp mates (took a 3 year hiatus)… do we all need to go in on main sale and hope to get tickets and if not are we crossing fingers to get approved as a camp and can get the rest of our team members in the second group sale?

    Report comment

  • Paulina says:

    Logistics of applying for a low income tickets with two kids: a 12 year old and a 13 year old. I am a single mom and I want to take my two daughters for a Burning Man style Bat Mitzvah. This is our first time and the only way we can go if we score those Low Income tickets. Lucky for us, the 12 year old will be free if I get a ticket but the 13 year old is already an adult. (ha ha and a Bat Mitzvah!) So is she supposed to apply for her completely own separate ticket all by herself? With what documentation? My tax return? Any advise would be appreciated.

    Report comment

  • Jen says:

    By sustainable, I assume you mean unaffordable for most people except the tech workers in the bay area or low income. Feels eerily similar to the screwing that the middle class gets from our government.

    Report comment

  • Moonspice says:

    Ah ah comments are hilarious, i wonder if this is still a partecipative event to attend or a new battleground to go to fight for…

    Report comment

  • PurpleFlame says:

    I’m thoroughly disgusted with the every year price increases and the vehicle pass which doesnt make a shit of difference , the only it’s good for is the org.people to have better income.

    Report comment

  • jim black says:

    Well, after 15 yrs, you have finally priced me & my wife out of attending any more. A sum of $1100 just to get in the gate is outrageous ! We people, the ones that helped build BM into what is it today, are now pushed aside for the wealthy. I don’t qualify for the low income tickets so not much I can do. I know your costs go up every year but this is too much. It was fun while it lasted but it seems Greed has taken over.

    Report comment

  • the dude says:

    Wondering when you need to let Group sales know you are putting your camp on vacation for a year. Does anyone know? thinking we may take a year off – although already having FOMO – damm

    Report comment

  • Wovoka says:

    A ticket to spend 3-4 hours with Lady Gaga will set you back $600 & a runway seat to watch Beyonce & Jay-Z love it up tops $800 (just looked it up) – and you gripe about paying same for a glorious, week-long, annual reunion with 80,000 of your sweating, laughing, back-slapping closest friends? Let’s get real now…

    Report comment

  • Naked Dave says:

    I know that many of us burners are tired off hearing about the good old days (first burn was 2001), so I won’t bore you with that detail if I can help it, but I only see one way that these issues which have been pointed out so clearly with comments on this, and many other posts, will be remedied. BRC has to fail. Sorry that is painful to hear, and even to say, but it’s seemingly the only way to force the org to get their heads out of their collective asses. I have spoken with .org members in the past few years and they are so far out of touch with their actual event that it is amazing that it happens at all. The long term burners are the only way this event is as special as it is every year, and if they withdraw it fails. If they are priced out or forced out of the most basic requirement of driving to the playa with art and structures that are needed, the event fails or at the least is drastically minimized. The org thinks they have everything addressed that needs their attention, but by the time they see an issue it has snowballed out of control. Case and point, plug and play camps just for one. How many years did it have to go on before it was addressed? I know that organizers think they are entitled to their own camps with plenty of meals and showers, they’re working, but I would put out the challenge for them to fight for tix and camp in free camping just like many of us. You would see what makes this event special has nothing to do with you.

    Report comment

  • JD Cox says:

    Hi everyone,

    This year will be my first attempt at getting a Burning Man ticket and vehicle pass. Can anyone confirm how it works for International folks? If I purchase both are they able to be posted to an Australian address? And do I need to know the vertical details at the time of purchase or does a pass just allow the vehicle at the time to enter etc?

    Thanks for any help you can offer, I did read the FAQ but apologies if I missed the answer!

    Report comment

  • Michele says:

    BM Ticket Sales process is just like Ground Hog Day, every year.
    I sure hope the org has their collective shit together this time, as HOPE is all true burners have to live for when it comes to tickets.
    Cheers family! It will all work out. It always does.
    Burn bright!

    Report comment

  • Burner NL says:

    “Teal says: February 6, 2020 at 4:15 pm
    Well said Dr. Bungee. The rate that the cost of tickets and passes keep going up is unsustainable for many attendees. They should raise the cost of the FOMO tickets, since that is what the plug and play camps buy. Soon they will be the only ones out there…”

    NO!!. lots of burners from overseas have to plan and make reservations long before the tickets go on sale. In order to have a reasonable price for airline tickets and RV reservation, I make my reservations already in October, so 5 or 6 months before the BM tickets go on sale. There is almost no RV available in April and the airline tickets are way higher in price. On top of this, the main sale is a very limited chance to purchase a ticked, so I buy the FOMO tickets. Also because I can not go to BRC every year, but once every four years or so. When I want can go, I can not have my chance on a BM ticket only being dependent on the main sale. The lower reservation cost does compensate some of the higher price of the FOMO. Not all, but half or so.

    Report comment

  • Burner NL says:

    “Ruby mermaid says: February 9, 2020 at 12:17 pm
    I believe all international orders minus Canada have to pick up there tickets at will call at the time of the event and the vehicle pass is for any vehicle, you don’t have to specify at time of purchase.”

    No, international orders are being shipped all over the world. Europe, Asia, etc. Maybe not to countries with some domestic issues like Iraq. But for Australia it will be no problem. You will receive an email to make a choice for shipment to your home address, after the purchase with option Will call.

    Report comment

  • Erik says:

    “We have to begin taking concrete steps towards a sustainable event and global culture”

    No, we don’t. That is just something that the author thinks. Using ticket prices incentivize other free individuals into making choices you desire is not very much in the burning man spirit. Letting people do what they damn well please, and charging enough to cover costs, is.

    Report comment

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.