Checklist for campers (including talent)

Sorry this is so long but all the items are necessary.

You can't get into Burning Man without a ticket purchased in advance (note there are fees on top of ticket price and there is a low income options). Tickets are only available during the online sales, applying for a low income ticket, or through Craiglist, etc. resale, or if and only if all else fails, there is a chance that you can get a ticket from our pool of 'extra tickets'.  ERR ON THE SIDE OF GETTING A TICKET or getting on our waiting list for one.  If you change your mind or cannot go, we will buy your unused ticket (assuming you've kept in touch with us).   Read all the details in the Tickets section below.

2) You must register with us.  ERR ON THE SIDE OF REGISTERING (we ask how probable you feel your attendance is) - it makes our job of contacting and coordinating MUCH easier, and earlier registered individuals may be given an advantage over later registered individuals in some situations.  Let us know if you need us to supply a bicycle, tent, sleeping bag or mattress (for those of you who cannot bring your own - we only store a limited number).  We will be creating a food plan, and asking about everyone's needs for personal and equipment transportation.  Then looking at everyone's transport capabilities, we will dole out transport responsibilities (food, water, equipment, people, instruments, etc).  There will be some redundancy in this plan but we will be depending on everyone fulfilling their transportation and purchasing assignments.  
3) Get announcements and join the discussion by way of emailand/or at our Facebook page. (The announcements are duplicated there). 

4) We are asking for a camping fee to cover camping costs such as food, shade structures and water
.  This may be lower if you supply your own or eat at another camp.
Our camping fee also helps pay for "art" related costs: the floor and storage container, sound system, decorations and other infrastructure/ overhead costs.

If BM tickets and/or transportation and/or our camping fee are an insurmountable barrier, please let us know and (we can't say from year to year)we might be able to find a generous benefactor who can help your out (this is much more likely if you are contributing talent).

Please send checks to: Contraburners c/o Matt Mathis, 248 Walker drive unit 25, Mountain View CA 94043.

5) We are also asking all campers (including talent) who have the resources to contribute either extra tickets or $400 each.  Burning Man is a gift economy – we don’t take money ‘at the door’ and neither does any other camp.  So we count on a higher level of support from those who can afford it, to bring in any musicians and callers and (if there is enough money) any dancers who can not.  

Even with such a donation, total camp costs (including ticket purchases) end up being far cheaper than other comparable vacations such as spending a week in Europe or on a cruise.  And you are getting the amazing, one of a kind experience created by the millions of hours of labor, and the estimated one billion dollars (if you include infrastructure) that Burners are investing in Burning Man every year in an attempt to be as entertaining and as generous as possible to each other.

Matt Mathis about how to make tax deductible donations - we are a 501c3 non profit.  Any gifted money in excess of what is needed for subsidizing talent and dancers in need will be added to a fund that will allow us to expand our equipment and storage in future years.  If this fund exceeds future needs we will lower the number of people and the amount we ask for.

Please send checks to: Contraburners c/o Matt Mathis, 248 Walker drive unit 25, Mountain View CA 94043.

6) The Playa is dangerous and the ticket reminds you that you could die.  You MUST read and follow the burning man survival guide.  You must also read our web page on how to prepare and protect yourself.  

7) You must help with setting up camp, cooking, etc. as described in the camper expectations section of the Draft Charter. Those who can be working before and after the event are especially appreciated, and early arrival has the benefit of fewer hours in line getting into the gate, and of being part of the Playa-wide creativity-frenzy.  Contact 
Matt Mathis ASAP if you want to have the possibility of getting an early arrival pass.

8) Remember that the Playa is meant to be a playground for radical self expression. You should think about what you want to do with that opportunity. :)

9) Be prepared to exercise your best patience and people skills under sometimes uncomfortable and stressful conditions, and reconcile yourself to the fact that arbitrary decisions and a certain amount of inequity are inevitable.  We will all be at the mercy of the weather which can be merciless.  We will do the best we can.   Remember - it is only a dance at Burning Man :)


When you first contact us about joining the camp, tell us whether or not you have a ticket.  If you don't, we will discuss with you whether or not we can offer you the possibility of buying, (or if we have the resources, and you really do not) being gifted, a ticket from our pool of 'extra tickets'.  It is possible that you may come to us after all the tickets in our pool are already reserved for musicians and callers and dancers who haven’t yet succeeded in getting a ticket on their own. If so we will put you on our waiting list, but fear not - there is a very good chance that a few tickets will be freed up by changes of plans, and/or you or another ticket purchaser in the group will succeed. 

In these times of extreme ticket scarcity, we have to strive for as big a pool as possible of 'extra tickets' particularly for the talent who need support, and for the would- be- campers who learn about us, or discover their ability to camp with us late in the game after the best opportunities for buying tickets have passed.  

Because demand is now much higher than supply, the online sales are selling out so quickly that most would-be purchasers are ending up with nothing.  So we need EVERYONE in the camp (INCLUDING people with tickets we are holding for them) to pursue all the possible remaining options to buy tickets - both through online sales - last one in August - and through Craigslist, etc. (other options for June and earlier at  

IF NEEDED, WE WILL FRONT YOU THE MONEY  AHEAD OF TIME FOR TICKET PURCHASES.  AND OF COURSE WE WILL BUY TICKETS THAT YOU DISCOVER LATER YOU CAN'T USE.   Purchasers should always if possible buy two (the maximum number of) tickets (which means that if you are one of a couple, both of you should try to purchase two).

If you are uncertain you can go, ERR ON THE SIDE OF TRYING TO BUY TICKETS!  If you don't try to buy now and decide later you want to go, there probably won't be any tickets for you.  And of course extra tickets help us - any we don't need can be sold easily even (really especially easily) at the last minute.  

Everyone should pursue all the avenues for getting a ticket described at

You can be notified of Craigslist listings automatically by email, or by apps on your phone - go here for all Craigslist advice.    

Everyone buying tickets during an online sale MUST register at  (Do not assume that any previous year's registration is still valid - go back and try to log on.)  In 2014, forty thousand tickets sold in about 5 minutes, and a large number of people were shut out. 2015 has been much worse. (In 2016 it became more like a defacto lottery where timing didn't matter - we never know what they will fo from year to year.)  YOU HONESTLY DON’T HAVE A CHANCE unless you A) created an account at well ahead of the sales. B) are using an up-to-date computer connected to a good network C) click in the first few seconds and D) the name and address on your card, in your Burning Man profile and in your Ticketfly account all match EXACTLY.   They advise against using a smartphone. There are rumors that two people using two credit cards with the same billing address who buy tickets in the same sale could have the purchase blocked,  This has not been our experience but if you can use cards with different billing addresses, it might be safer.  Note that all sales start at noon Pacific Time/ 3pm Eastern time. 

For all ticket questions contact Matt Mathis who has the unenviable task of sorting all this out.  Tell Matt as soon as possible if for NEXT YEAR you want to BE ALMOST CERTAIN OF BEING ABLE TO PURCHASE (UP TO TWO) TICKETS.  This involves becoming one of our core members (which entails early arrival and/or extra responsibilities) and therefore being able to take part in the (much less competitive) Directed Group Sale (which was created to guarantee that camps could get enough tickets to be able to operate).

Treat tickets like cash – there is no recourse for loss.