Why is Burning Man so expensive?
I'm not saying people don't enjoy themselves but someone is making a HUGE profit... I estimate the 2010 take will be around 10-12 million on ticket sales alone. Now consider all the sets are largely created by participants and there are volunteers I'll bet these guys are raking in around 7-9 million in net profit after expenditures... like I said someone has turned this into a hugely profitable event and isn't that against what Burning Man is supposed to be?
- Andrew TLv 49 years agoFavorite Answer
Burning Man isn't the Rainbow Gathering. It isn't supposed to be. Yes, Burning Man has a gift economy/non-commercial atmosphere at the event, but it's no secret that the only way that works is via front-loading. Nobody spends money at the festival; they do all their spending before they show up.
Burning Man tickets aren't out of line with similar events. I'm pretty sure Coachella is charging 200+ for a ticket that doesn't even include camping. Yes, Coachella is paying for bands and Burning Man isn't. However, Burning Man runs for a week, so per day ticket cost is lower than comparable events, and there is artwork funded out of the ticket price.
If you really care, you can see records of expenses from previous years:
While they don't give a figure of actual income, it appears that almost all of it accounted for. 2008 expenditures were $14,091,000. There were 49,599 attendees with a maximum ticket price of $295. That yields $14,631,705. Keep in mind that $295 was the max price, average price was probably closer to $250, so they may have had a loss in 2008. Of course, there were probably some tickets sold that went unused, but really, there isn't a huge profit unaccounted for. There is a 3,000,000, payroll but divide that by 50 full time people (who live in a very expensive city) and many part time workers (who are paid a pittance), and nobody is getting rich off of it.