Buying Burning Man Tickets
The Official Ticket Process
Burning Man will sell approximately 70,000 tickets for 2019. For those buying tickets directly from Burning Man, there will be three ticket sale opportunities. First, a pre-sale phase, where tickets can be purchased for approximately $1,400. Next, the main sale will feature tickets for approximately $425. Finally, a small number of tickets will be sold shortly before the event at the “OMG Sale”, at approximately $550.
Camps will be allocated almost half of the tickets in 2019, and are sold at the $425 price tier (this allocation occurs before any other ticket sales). Camps are then free to give away or sell those tickets at face values.
Around 4,500 “low income” tickets are also sold at approximately $210 - note, in 2016 these tickets didn’t sell out until shortly before the event. Last year there was higher demand, but in 2019 they increased the allocation almost 20%. It is critical to make an application immediately upon the window opening, as these are also first come, first served tickets.
All sales require a Burner Profile. Sign up or log in here to update it.
The 70,000 will be divided as follows (prices includes taxes and fees):
FO’MO Sale: 4,000 tickets at $1,400
Directed Group Sale: 32,000 tickets at $425. 15,000 vehicle passes
Main Sale: 23,000 tickets at $425. 10,000 vehicle passes available at $80
OMG Sale: 3,000 tickets at $550. 1,500 vehicle passes available at $80
Low Income: An additional 4,500 tickets are offered as part of the low income program at $210
Note: Total attendance at Burning Man is expected to be close to 80,000, which includes staff, vendors, BLM, law enforcement, etc. Also, more than 70,000 tickets are sold, as event organizers add a small number of additional tickets to account for no shows, early departures and late arrivals.
Note: All ticket sales are subject to taxes and fees, of around 12% plus a $15 per order domestic delivery charge.
All times are pacific time zone. All time windows begin and end at noon, pacific time:
February 12, 2019 to February 22, 2019. Group sale application form open for registration
February 27: Directed group sales start
March 13, 2019 to March 15, 2019, Registration for FO’MO sale
March 20, 2019. FO’MO sale open at $1,400. (2 ticket limit at each price. 1 vehicle pass limit.)
April 3, 2019 to April 5, 2019. Main sale ($425) registration
April 10, 2019. Main sale
July 24, 2019 to July 26, 2019. OMG sale registration
July 31, 2019. OMG sale
Your first method to get a ticket to Burning Man is to buy one directly through the org in one of the ticket sales described above. Here’s an article on strategies to get tickets during the main sale (scroll about half-way down).
Everyone is going to tell you, “Don't Panic”, tickets will free up, you'll get one. Don't pay above face value!
That's what they told me... and they were right. I didn't get tickets via any of the sales, but I had tickets sold to me by a friend and had so many feelers out that I found tickets for some other friends as well. All changed hands at face value, although I did gift something to every person who parted with a ticket. However, 2018 was a challenging year to get tickets, with the usual flood of last minute tickets reduced to a very small stream.
Here are other strategies to obtain a ticket to Burning Man:
Buy the $1,400 tickets. If you are willing to fork over a premium price, you are more likely to get tickets directly through the organization. These are expected to sell out quickly in 2019, as the number of tickets available at this price were dramatically cut (as many went to scalpers, it is believed).
Submit a Low Income Ticket Application. If you are a low income individual, this is a good avenue to get tickets, and surprisingly often ignored.
Join a camp with a ticket allocation. There are camps that are looking for members and have ticket allocations. Start reaching out to any camp that resonates with you and be upfront about your need for a ticket. The Burning Man board has set a new course toward emphasizing formal camps as a way to have more influence over Burning Man culture, so watch for more and more tickets being allocated toward camps in the coming years.
Note: International camps often are both in need of feet on the street in the US and have more tickets than for which they have demand. Reach out to as many as you can, either with interest of joining (ideally!), or at a minimum with an offer to help out with logistics in the US. Camping with a camp of non-US people would likely be an interesting experience, and helping them move gear, do groundwork before they arrive, etc., is a service that is needed. Reach out to enough of these camps, and you will get face value tickets, and help support a camp that has logistical issues and is contributing to the diverse experience that is Burning Man.
Get every friend to do the ticket lottery. If you get extra tickets, you have no problem getting them to deserving folk and your odds are pretty good if you have four people applying of getting at least one pair.
Watch eBay like a hawk for face value tickets. They are sold almost every day close to the burn. They will pop up as a “Buy It Now”, and will be purchased almost immediately. So you will need a bot or a motivated refresh finger to get one of these golden tickets.
Watch Craigslist for face value tickets. If you are in the SF Bay Area, they pop up now and then. Outside of San Francisco it’s far less likely, but in Portland and Seattle a few pop up every year. Insist on getting full ID and contact information from the seller to ensure that the tickets are genuine, haven’t been declared lost or otherwise been canceled. Any honest seller will happily provide this (they may not be willing to provide it until you are ready to hand over cash, to avoid you reporting their tickets to BM for cancellation). Pay via an electronic service, so you have extra protection if you need to go after a fraudulent seller.
Pay above face value, either on eBay or StubHub. A few thoughts on this. First, I believe that there is far less chance of fraud on eBay or StubHub than on Craigslist, and better recourse in both circumstances for fraud. StubHub offers an outright guarantee against fraud. EBay offers certain guarantees as well, but it’s a bit less robust in its protection.
StubHub. StubHub tickets are generally more expensive than eBay once you figure in the service charge. StubHub offers a full guaranty against fraudulent tickets: you will either (a) get replacement tickets or (b) get your money back. StubHub purchases tickets each year to Burning Man and has in the past replaced fraudulent tickets at the gate, for at least one buyer I talked with at the event. However, StubHub is not free from risk. A common issue is that a seller sells tickets to you, you wait for delivery, and they fail to deliver. StubHub will give you a refund, and charge the seller a fee. The problem is that if you purchased your tickets in July, and then needed to replace them in mid-August, you may find that the tickets went from $900 to $1500. StubHub will not give any credit or refund in this situation.
EBay. EBay offers a guarantee against fraud. However, there are reports of ticket scammers sending an empty envelope to buyers, and eBay refusing to take any action against the seller. So if you do buy on eBay, make a video of you opening the envelope when it arrives, and carefully filming the tickets inside, including the numbers. If the tickets have been voided or are fraudulent, eBay will likely provide a recourse.
Other ideas to stay safe with aftermarket tickets:
Pay with tickets using PayPal, which since 2015 has provided some coverage against fraud for intangible goods. You must specify when making the purchase that it’s a commercial transaction. Never agree to specify the PayPal transaction is a “gift”, which eliminates buyer protection. If someone asks you to do this, I would avoid the transaction entirely.
Read the Burning Man FAQ on buying tickets.
Buy your tickets before the OMG sale…. prices jump immediately after the sale.