In years prior at precisely this time, would be on the road to Burning Man. It is being held in spirit and in the digital realm this year because of COVID-19. There are still several ways to participate:
Tribute from the 2018 Burn from one of my favorite art cars:
The Burn becomes an annual reminder, a hyperfocus on the experience of disconnecting for over a week from the default world. It’s a time to reflect, to collectively let go of emotional baggage, and to test self resilience once again in the desert.
It starts with a period of preparation, “getting ready to get ready”, and the physical form of acquiring a ticket (or at will-call), and a separate vehicle pass. (Important to mention there is a sky diver and pilot entry at Black Rock City Airport [88NV], but cannot personally comment on any further details.)
Then there’s the actual miles traveled to reach Nevada, and the formal entry through the gates into the city once a scanned ticket is granted access; what a relief when this happens. Logistics is always such a key element to the Burn, often being difficult from the very beginning; no two journeys nor caravans to reach and depart the playa are ever the same.
Last year’s 2019 Metamorphosis would be the first experience gaining early access on build crew with a theme camp, to help build a part of the city and contribute to it coming up around us. Doors open for this phase on Thursday 00:01, a minute after midnight, and a full 72 hours ahead of general admission. We rolled in and landed on playa at sunrise.
Joining a theme camp is rad, there’s infrastructure and campmates, but keep in mind you’re still on your own for event tickets and transportation. For the general population, there’s 3 phases of direct ticket sales to get in on. As far as how it looks on the calendar, the Burn occurs the entire final week of August, with the Man burning on Saturday night and the Temple on Sunday, with the festival officially coming to a close at Monday noon, on Labor Day.
FOMO tickets (early bird) first go on sale in mid-March, then there’s the main ticket sale online in mid-April, and lastly the OMG sale towards the end of July. After that, available tickets must come out of the secondary market (or transferred to will-call) as the published list of voided tickets grows. You can probably imagine the supply and demand curve leading up to the opening, where tickets are not available at the door, and how rife with shenanigans the secondary market becomes during the countdown.
FOMO tickets are the closest to surefire a method of having ticket in hand without stressing the remaining sales. There is of course a price, and limit 2 per transaction: 2019 was on the order of $1000USD/ea, plus fees. 2020 which was sold at $1500/ea, but refunded after it was announced the Burn would be cancelled due to COVID-19 cancellation.
Main ticket sale goess live globally at noon PST timezone, meaning the rest of the world is up at odd hours, smashing the refresh button in attempts to confirm their place in the digital queue. All ticket purchasing must be done with a Burner account, which requires prior registration, and then an invite is sent to participate in the ticket sale; this secondary authentication ends up delaying those that attempt to register and purchase tickets on the same day (and possibly buying up already limited tickets).
The same limit exists for main sale tickets, 2 tickets + 1 vehicle pass per transaction. Payments are processed online and charged right away. The physical tickets and vehicle pass sticker are put in the mail sometime in July, and come as a care package including BRC map, survival guide, various flyers, and a gift of hard candy.