They don't let you watch the man burn!!!

Ms Hook and I drove out to Burning Man yesterday to sit along the highway and watch the man burn. We took a picnic dinner with us and planned on a nice sit and watch.
But, it seems the runners of the event have already thought about this. BLM has made all the land around Black Rock City (which is what they call the gathering area) off limits. So, no parking, no watching - unless you want to pay the $350 fee to get in. One of the event people came around about 8:00ish and told us (very nicely and very apologetic) the BLM people would be coming around passing out tickets. He had this nice little hand drawn map that showed the off limits areas and sure enough we were in the shaded out area.

But we did spend a couple of hours looking it over from a couple of miles away.

Next year I’m gonna be there.

Obligatory Wikipedia article for those who may have wondered what the OP was on about (or confused it with the newly opened movie).
BLM = Bureau of Land Management

$350 to get into Burning Man?!!

Seems sad that you have to pay $350 to have a glimpse of Burning Man…but, I don’t know the particulars. Perhaps the festival has to deal with many headaches to keep it going.

Tomndebb, wow, noted that you clarified a term in a not busy thread. Yer on the job.

It’s cheaper if you buy well ahead. Don’t matter, my fat pink ass is there next year. It’s only money and life is short.

My first reaction is, “BLM sucks!” But I’m a native Coloradoan, so that’s kind of a knee-jerk reaction to the way the BLM has basically fucked up the West from its inception (the BLM’s, not the West’s.) Burning Man is one of those things that kind of needs to be made available to all Americans, but I recognize that it takes only a few fucksticks to ruin it for everyone. Still, if everyone who attends could be made to understand that you accept complete responsibility for your own actions and welfare while there, I think the communal nature of the whole thing would result in amazingly few tragedies. But, then, I’ve always been an optimist.

The official Burning Man site is (perhaps not surprisingly) overloaded and unavailable at the moment, and the “buy tickets” site no longer shows this year’s pricing structure, so I can’t currently provide cites for the following explanation. [A few of my friends and neighbors are “burners”, but I can’t ask them because of course they’re rather busy just at the moment…]

My understanding is that, in order to make it more of a participation than a spectacle, the pricing structure is heavily weighted so that not only does it cost much less if you book in advance, but also it costs less the earlier you arrive at the Playa. In other words, they specifically want to encourage people to arrive a week or so before the Man is burnt (because those people will become part of the experience), and discourage people who want to show up on the last night purely as spectators; with this in mind, they charge the latter exorbitant rates.

No offense intended, SandyHook: that’s just my impression of how they price it (I hope to be able to provide cites once becomes accessible again). It’s certainly the opposite of a hotel – imagine if it were cheaper to stay for a week than just for a day! – but they do it to encourage participation. And they can do it because Black Rock Desert is comparatively remote: it’s not likely that a busy San Franciscan would “game the system” by zipping up to Black Rock on opening day, signing in at the cheap rate, then going back to work in SF for a week and heading up to the desert again for the climactic Burning of the Man.