Final Burning Man ticket sale brings total to 61,000 sold for $23 mil

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With the final official Burning Man ticket sale going off without a hitch yesterday, Bay Area burners are now in mad preparation mode, with DPW setup crews arriving on the playa this week, early art crews heading out next week, and everyone else anxiously awaiting the official start of the annual Nevada desert bacchanal in 27 days.

With the US Bureau of Land Management recently awarded the event a permit and population cap of 68,000 — a big jump from last year’s 60,000 cap — Black Rock City LLC decided to bump up yesterday’s “OMG! Sale” ticket offering from the initially planned 1,000 up to 4,000.

“The sales yesterday went breathtakingly smoothly,” event spokesperson Jim Graham tells the Guardian.

Yesterday’s ticket sales brings the total number of tickets sold up to 61,000. Accounting for the expensive early sale tickets (3,000 at $650 each), low-income tickets (4,000 at $190), and 54,000 at this year’s standard $380 price, that brings the LLC’s gross revenue from ticket sales (not counting fees) to $23.23 million. The LLC also gives away thousands of tickets each year to volunteers, art crews, and VIPs.

No wonder this ambitious organization could afford to hire Graham as yet another official spokeperson, joining Megan Miller (US Sen. Barbara Boxer’s former flak) and longtime spokesperson Marian Goodell, an LLC board member.  

After last year’s stressful scramble for tickets, availability seems to be pretty good this year. Craigslist has lots of tickets still available for face value, and while Stubhub is still listing 223 tickets starting at $550 each (burners consider it bad form to charge more than face value), anecdotal evidence suggests that’s just wishful thinking by scalpers still hoping for a big score.

My advice: don’t pay more than face value, and if you’re willing to wait until the very last minute, you’ll probably get one for even cheaper than that.

Or as Graham told us, “Everybody who wants to get to the event will certainly get a ticket.”