San Francisco organizers of the acclaimed counterculture event “Burning Man” reported they will offer the final 500 tickets to attend the Burning Man event in the Nevada desert this year for only $1,200 each. Earlier this week, newspaper reports circulated about eager customers scooping up the 30,000 passes to attend this year’s festivities within a stunning 35-minute period. Costing a mere $425 (excluding taxes and associated fees), the tickets offered to early buyers generated an impressive tally of $12,750,000- a rather impressive sum for an artistic protest against contemporary commercialism.
The Burning Man event began in 1986. It originally attracted only a few hundred participants and spectators. Held in the midst of the California desert, the enclave relocated to income tax-free Nevada several years ago. As word of the spectacle spread, Burning Man’s fame increased. Since 2011, the event has sold out. This year, the sponsors also collected $80 (and additional taxes and fees) for the sale of some 10,000 auto passes.
The Burning Man website bills the event as a “radical ritual” and a gathering of a culture dedicated to “possibility”. The desert celebration every year attracts many prominent artists. This year, some have received payments to participate in erecting a dazzling array of temporary structures, including temples, alters and totems.
Recently, academics have begun incorporating Burning Man into formal studies programs. Since 2010, a group of Burning Nerds has formed to document various aspects of the event for scholarly purposes. Burning Man now offers a formal book list and maintains an archive. Sociologists in particular have gravitated towards covering this unusual desert conclave.
Reportedly, last year the Burning Man festivities attracted some 70,000 advance registrations from people interested in attending. With only 30,0000 regular tickets available this year, many people hoping to see the event will likely need to await next year’s gathering. The sponsors do plan on offering some Low Income Tickets.