As Burning Man evolves, so does the manner by which the art festival sells its tickets, perhaps the most sensitive subject among "burners."
For the 2014 edition, which will take place August 25-31 at Black Rock Desert near Gerlach, Nevada, Burning Man will conduct three major, first-come-first-served ticket onsales via Ticketfly, and all will require pre-registration.
On January 16 at noon, and until January 20 at noon, would-be attendees can register for a pre-sale that begins on January 22, where 3,000 tickets will be available for the strategically inflated price of $650 for those who want to avoid the individual, or general sale. There will be a limit of four tickets per purchaser, while supply lasts.
During the February 26 individual/general onsale -- pre-registration takes place February 20-23 -- 38,000 tickets will be available for $380 (limit two). Then, on Aug. 6, the OMG sale (pre-registration: July 31-August 4; two-ticket limit) releases 1,000 tickets to the previously unlucky and procrastinators.
Other sales include a directed-group sale, which is largely for approved groups and/or theme camp participants; one for low-income participants; and another for vehicle passes. The latter pass is new, aimed at encouraging more carpooling, given the traffic problems with getting in and out of the playa. All vehicles going into the festival must carry one (35,000 at $40 each), and will be available during each of the ticket onsales, sharing the same per-purchaser limit as one's respective onsale (i.e. four vehicle passes in the pre-sale, two for the individual sale, etc.).
Burning Man has announced a multi-pronged plan at addressing ingress and egress, which can be read here.
The changes in the ticketing program reflect the fest's growing attendance, and sensitivity toward veteran burners and artists that help provide continuity and infrastructure with their creative projects (which include art installations, theme camps, art cars and mutant vehicles). In 2012, that portion of the Burning Man community faced being largely shut out of the festival when organizers initially experimented with a ticket lottery system. The directed-group onsale helps ensure their participation. Furthermore, the capacity has been increased to 70,000, thanks to a new permit established by the Bureau of Land Management, who has jurisdiction over Black Rock Desert.
Each Burning Man boasts a different art theme to inspire participants' creativity, and this year's is "caravansary" -- a "bizaar of the bizarre," as organizers describe it, which encourages participants to give "goods and services" to their fellow burners. Burning Man operates on a "gifting" economy, and with the exception of ice and coffee, items and services cannot be bought on the playa. You can read more about the 2014 theme here.