Burning Man’s first years at Bakers Beach involved no requests for donations. However, upon moving to Black Rock Desert, the organizers began to try to collect money.
1990: The first year (Zone trip #4).
No donation requested. RSVP requested.
The first year the man came to the playa, 1990, there was no fee.
A $15 payment was requested, which would register one for the event, with the fee being sent to Larry Harvey’s home address. A “hat was passed” (Bob Gridley walked around asking for donations) and, according to John Law, several hundred dollars were collected.
$25; registration requested. (On the playa people were asked to pay $2 per person per day.)
$25 or $40, depending on how registered; registration required. First year “tickets” were issued - a numbered envelope granting admission.
$30 (listed as a donation). Registration required. Ticket again issued in the form of the envelope used to send the map and basic playa information.
$35; ticket issued. The bar code and black dots were meaningless. Included a photograph by Larry Harvey’s brother Stewart (a professional photographer based in Portland).
$35; ticket issued. Included meaningless “security stamps”. Featured a photograph of the Man taken by William Helsel.
$65. Ticket issued, including removable ticket stub, with functioning bar code.
$65 to $100. Ticketing done via TicketWeb.
$65 to $100
$95 to 200
$165 to $200
$135 to $200
Ticketing by InHouseTicketing.com; first year in the modern format of tickets.
2002 tickets were designed by L.A. graphic artist Mark Matthews, aka SpaceCat
Mark represents the playa as a body of water and depicts an Asian flute player sailing on it in a boat, with the man floating in the distance. He also created a large mural for center camp that year (150 ft).
$145 to $225. Ticket included holographic features on lettering and center of maze.
Low income ticket program first introduced.
Burning Man 2006: Hope & Fear event ticket designed by Bunnie Reiss
Burning Man 2008: American Dream event ticket by Buck Down
Burning Man 2012: Fertility 2.0 event ticket designed by Cory & Catska Ench
Burning Man 2013: Cargo Cult event ticket designed by Spencer Cathcart
I tried to make the ticket look like a boarding pass to the spaceship that was the pedestal of this years man. It also has a military/war feeling to reflect the Cargo Cult Theme. The details on the ticket that you can't see are all stats, facts and the location of planet earth. Most importantly; there are no rules in graphic design. I broke more than I could count and if you understand Burning Man, you would understand that a consistent group of typefaces, colours, and grids makes no sense. This is far from a corporate design system.