India’s free-thinkers, unite! For we finally have for you a budget plan that will take you all the way from India to Burning Man.
Burning Man remains the holy meeting point for radical members of the counterculture movement – people who, for some days, shun the normalcy of society and engage in an environment that leaves limitations and rules at bay. Creative inspiration and absolute abandon rule the nine days of the festival at Black Rock City in the Nevada Desert, where self-expression is insurmountable.
India, too, has its share of liberated minds, who’d fit in perfectly in the Burner community, and find much respite from the rather clogged up sentiment here. So, if you’re itching to make a Burning Man trip happen. but aren’t sure of how you can manage one on a limited budget, then allow us to sort you out.
1. Burning Man returns to claim its ever pertinent creative spot at Black Rock City in Nevada Desert from August 28 to September 5 this year. Now, buying tickets to Burning Man is so inexpensive affair, but should you really require, it can be affordable.
Burning Man has a number of ticket offers that can be availed. But to access any of them, you must first make yourself a profile on the website here. It is only with this profile that you can register for a ticket sale, and manage to snag yourself a Burning Man entry pass. To understand the differential pricing listed on the website, you must understand how Burning Man functions. The expenses related to organising the festival in Black Rock City have increased, although Burning Man itself is now allowed to sell more tickets than usual due to their permit with the Bureau of Land Management. In addition to this, the festival has been imposed with a hefty Life Entertainment Tax with significantly affects ticket prices. This means than an additional charge of 9% will be levied on each ticket, and should the matter be sorted between Burning Man officials and the Taxation department, this will be refunded. Until then, this additional expense is also one to consider.
Because of its 2016 Theme celebrating the work of genius Leonardo Da Vinci, Burning Man has for generous patrons the Leonardo da Vinci Art Tickets priced at $1200. The ticket will award the buyers no extra benefits, but will help Burning Man officials bridge the increase in expenses. These tickets and the $990 tickets were available on pre-sale, the registration of which is now over.
The registration for the Direct Group Sale, according to the site, ‘targets specific collaborative groups within the community. This is to ensure that critical theme camp, art installation, mutant vehicle crews and other core Black Rock City infrastructure providers gain access to tickets.” So, if you’re a lone traveler, or are intending to go to Burning Man with friends, these tickets aren’t for you.
The tickets that you will be looking at are Main sale tickets priced at $390. The registration for these tickets opens on March 16 and shuts on March 18 at 12 pm noon, which makes it 12:30 am for India, the following day. The registration will allow you to purchase the ticket on the day of the sale which is March 23. The sale, likewise, begins at 12 pm which would be 12:30 am of March 24 for Indian buyers. Please note, that with the tax, this ticket will come up to $424 or roughly INR 29,000.
If you find that too steep, Burning Man does provide a low income ticket priced at $190, and with tax $207 or INR 14, 125. You can apply for a low income ticket from March 2nd, but to be cleared for it, you must send an application with your income statements and/or mortgage statements or student loans, anything that would prove that your inability to purchase the $390 ticket.
2. From RVs to Tents to crashing in other camps, the number of stay options at Burning Man are aplenty.
Booking an RV, while a really amazing idea, is expensive. You can book an RV at Burning Man for $2000 for 10 days, which would come up to INR 1,36,520. This, excluding the fuel prices. But with the RV, you get to be protected from Black Rock City’s extreme weather, replete with sand storms and gusty winds, and you get to drive away from the Playa for a night of good sleep.
But should that prove really expensive, you can pitch your tent at Burning Man. But since tents are really lightweight, and not as resistant to gusts of sand, it would do you well to read this really helpful piece on Burning Man’s website. But, if you’d be traveling from India, buying a tent may not be the best idea for you. Although you should be able to buy a tent for under $150 or INR 10,333.
But, you can stay at Burning Man entirely free with goodwill, and managing a bed at any of the many common spots on the Playa. That would make you and your luggage a little vulnerable, but hey, if you take adequate care, and rough it up a little, that would mean spending not a single penny at all.
This really fun article about 5 places to sleep at Burning Man without a camp might just unveil your adventurous side!
3. It might cost you much less to book an RV of your own. A typical trailer will cost you about $1000 or INR 68,000 for two weeks, plus fuel, thereby costing you a lot less than the Burning Man RVs. This option would bode well, whether you’re going alone, or with a friend or two. But to make sure you make enough friends, snag along a chair or two, to invite guests to hang with you.
You can also book a U-haul for it’s much cheaper, although not as good looking. But you’d find that to be a lot cheaper than an RV.
4. The best stay option would be to set base at any of the theme camps where prices vary. You’d find more information closer to the Burning Man date when theme camps are more or less decided.
This Reddit will be mighty helpful to find a camp you’d like to stay at. You will also find yourself in touch with Burning Man veterans who can guide and help you. These camps expect you to contribute to their management, and will cost you anywhere between $100-300 during the entirety of your Burning Man stay. That will integrate you into the real Burning Man experience.
5. The closest international airport to Burning Man is the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. And traveling from India all the way to the west coast is not cheap.
If you book today, a round-way trip will cost you anyway around INR 90,000. This price will become really hefty around the festival’s schedule due to the air-traffic, so you might want to secure you flight as soon you snag your ticket.
To get from the airport, you can book a Burner Express ticket on the site, which is a shuttle service costing anywhere around $70 one way. Make sure you fulfill their limited amount of luggage, for you will be charged extra for anything you carry in excess. Book a slot most conducive to your flight, but make sure you’re there two hours in advance.
6. After sitting on a flight from India to Reno, it would feel impossible to begin the long drive to Burning Man.
On reaching Reno, you will find several places to stay for about $40 a night, where you can pick up on supplies before entering the Playa.
7. Black Rock City is a huge ground to cover during Burning Man. What you can instead do is buy a bicycle to make this easier. You will find cycles online for under $70, which you can sell off after the Burning Man experience for about $20-30, therebye reducing your exhaustion by a million.
8. Put aside about $100-150 and stock your supplies.
Markets do not exist in Burning Man. There is no gross commercialisation at the festival. So make sure you have enough food, water, alcohol and whatever else you please for the total number of days you intend to spend at the festival. Do not worry if you run out of supplies because generous Burners are always eager to share. But if you have commodities in excess, lend the same generosity to others.
9. Petty expenditure to avail a decently comfortable experience could come up to $100.
You will need to purchase items that will keep you protected in the desert. From sand goggles to gas for the stove in your RV, you might feel the need to spend some cash outside Black Rock City. So make sure you keep the option of $100 handy.
10. Overall expenditure
Burning Man is not a festival experience meant for luxury. It’s one where you must harden it out, and live the vagabond life. Because of the several options to the festival experience, the price range would differ depending on what you choose.
The cheapest option would look something like this :
Air Ticket + Main Pass of $424 + Stay for free at common camps + Shuttle Service + Food and alcohol + Petty expenditure = INR 1,60,000
With a theme camp tent option
Air Ticket + Main Pass of $424 + Stay at theme camp for $200 + Shuttle Service + Food and alcohol + Petty expenditure = INR 1,75,000
With a rented RV of your own
Air Ticket + Main Pass of $424 + RV for $1000 + Food and alcohol + Petty expenditure = INR 2,30,000
Renting an RV at Burning Man
Air Ticket + Main Pass of $424 + RV for $2000 + Shuttle Service + Food and alcohol + Petty expenditure = INR 2,75,000
Note: Burning Man isn’t an experience that needs to be experienced for the entire duration of the 10 days that it is held. It is a lifestyle, a community that will welcome you for three days also, if that’s all you want. That would considerably reduce the expenditure, bring it down to less than INR 1,50,000.