Burning Man is not about the money. Well, partially. While there, I hardly touched any.
You can’t buy much there. It’s about gifting, giving and getting… a different kind of exchanges.
The only thing you can actually buy there with your Dollars is coffee at the Center Camp, and ice blocks or cubes at the three Arctic Camps, for your drinks or to keep the food fresh.
The rest is given for free, the drinks, coffees, spontaneous massages, parties…
It was funny to see how fast my brain adjusted to that. When we were back in Reno and I queued up for my morning Latte, I was surprised to actually having to give money for it…
On the other hand, Burning man ain’t cheap! The ticket alone came in at 398 $. And then there are the camp costs.
I was lucky that I joined a well established camp. They guys had a lot of stuff in store from previous years, be it the tarps or the shade structures…
We had a very detailed spreadsheet with the camp expenses and our individual costs. I tried to break it down into my budget categories, but It won’t be as precise as usual.
As a camp of eight people, we spent 8600 $, for transport (rental of the mini-van and the U-haul, gas), food, the parties we threw for the playa, accommodation in Reno, replacement stuff for the tree houses and infrastructure for the camp (replacing tent poles, deco, the solar panels and batteries, etc, etc.)
It’s incredible what you need in order to survive 8 days in the desert!
My share for that was 1075$. On top of that, I had to buy the ticket, and a number of things I needed for the camp, as for example snacks and drinks I brought, the air mattress, headlights, dust goggles, ext, etc…
Luckily, Brandon lend me his tent, Dennis gave me his bike…
In total, here’s the breakdown:
310 € Burning Man Ticket
300 € Transport (car rentals, fuel, etc)
265 € Supermarket (my food, desert stuff, costumes, mattress…)
215 € Camp Food
210 € Camp & Tree house infrastructure
85 € Camp Accommodation in Reno
85 € Tree House Parties (drinks and sarongs)
In total, I spend 1470 € on these 12 days. That’s quite a bit more than I expected and projected, but it’s still ok.
I just have to keep the rest of my expenses in San Francisco down. It’s clear I won’t be splashing out much during the rest of this stop.
Luckily, Renato and Dennis accommodate me here for free. If I had used Airbnb in San Francisco, my budget would have gotten me a couch or a sleeping bag, at best.