What is Burning Man?

What is Burning Man?

Burning Man is the most magical place on earth. Not to be confused with a festival, Burning Man is a community gathering of sorts, where people come together, create, play and share for 7 wonderful days in the Nevada Desert. I have been lucky enough to head over twice and wanted to share some insights into how Burning Man works and how you can get tickets for next year...

Burning Man 2023 is coming up starting on the 27th August and going through to 4th September.

Burning Man

How to get tickets to Burning Man:

Tickets go on sale early in the year, the first thing you'll need to do is set yourself up with a Burner Profile and then try your very hardest to get through when they're released around March/ April. The event usually sells out in minutes. If you miss out on buying through the website release, the next best way is to reach out to the grapevine as tickets do come up. So if you want to go along this year, it's not too late (through word of mouth) but you do need to have a Burner Profile set up so you can change the ticket ownership to you. Both times I've been I didn't actually have a ticket until a week or so before heading over! 

Next thing you'll need to do is find yourself a camp. You don't have to have a camp but if you do, it will be a little support network which I'd highly recommend having.  Again, the best way I recommend you to do this, is through your network. A camp will provide you with a little home for the week. Somewhere to park your RV or whatever home you'll be staying. Some camps have cooking rosters so you can get dinner each night. Some camps all contribute and build a big piece of art in the Playa. Some camps have art cars that drive around and have DJs, some camps have Madonna parties, some camps have shamanic snacking circles.The list goes on! Exploring the millions of camps are the best bit about Burning Man. 

Gold Sequin Shorts at Burning Man

Picture Above: Wearing Gold Sparklebutt Sequin Shorts

Do I need to take something to trade at Burning Man?

This is a question I always get asked when someone finds out I have been before. The answer is NO! One of the 10 Burning Man principles is 'Radical Gifting' this means you could gift anything you want, whenever you want. It means that someone could offer you something as big as a plane ride around the festival or something as small as a trinket from their home town. It's up to you what 'gift' means to you. But it's SUCH a fun part of the event because you never know what the Playa will provide! 

Gold Sparklebutt Sequin Shorts at Burning Man

Picture Above: Wearing Gold Sparklebutt Sequin Shorts

How to dress at Burning Man?

This is something I wasn't fully prepared for the first time I went. Because it's in the desert so it's hot but it's not a sweaty hot (like Africa Burn) it's a dry heat which is weirdly more comfortable. You can wear whatever you want, you can be fully naked if you want too (no one will bat an eyelid). Another Burning Man principle is 'Radical Self-Expression' so I suggest you fully embody that Sparklebutt value and be your most expressive self ever! 

As Burning Man is in the desert something you will come up against are sandstorms. These can get pretty gnarly and go on for hours sometimes. So you will need some googles or at least glasses so you see. And always carry something on you to cover your mouth so you can breathe. Being stuck in a sandstorm can be pretty intense so make sure you'll be safe. 

When the sun goes down it gets COLD. The first time I went I absolutely froze and ended up wearing all my clothes and blankets to stay warm. Take warm things, hats, gloves (you'll be cycling and cold hands on bikes aren't fun) - take layers! I recommend taking thin thermal layers, so when the sun comes back up you can layer down without having to carry big bulky bits around with you. 

Plane Ride at Burning Man

How do you stay clean at Burning Man?

This bit is up to you - if you're in an RV with a shower then you can use that. Some camps have communal showering areas - with plastic grounding so that the water can evaporate during the day. Nothing is allowed pollute the playa and all water and rubbish has to be taken home with you - including shower water. There are also some camp that gift showers - if you can find them! 

But more importantly. You're not going to be clean. Get comfortable with the dust, it's going to be everywhere. 

I took a ziplock bag with clean clothes to leave Burning Man in and it's a top tip!

PS. On the first night of our first BM adventure, my ex and I left the windows down in our RV ON PURPOSE to let air in. Needless to say the entire van was filled with dust for the rest of the week haha. Don't do that - some people even tape up their windows to try and keep the dust out. 

Sparklebutt sequin shorts at Burning Man

Picture Above: Wearing Gold Sparklebutt Sequin Shorts

What does Burning Man cost?

Burning Man tickets range from $575 to $2,750 USD depending on which sale you purchase the ticket in. Camp fees are an additional cost and again it really depends on the camp you're in and what they're providing. This could range from USD$200 - $1000 up. You'll also need to factor in your RV, yurt or tent (if you're hiring a vehicle often you'll also have to pay a Burning Man cleaning fee. And you need to take all your food, drink and water for the week too which can be another around $800(depending on your team set up). So it's not a cheap adventure, I think you couldddd do it on £3000 (including flights from the UK), but I promise you it will change your life! 

Bouncing castle art car at Burning Man

Hope that answers some of your Burning Man questions - if you have any more unanswered questions, please let me know! 

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