Nevada, United States. September 10, 2022. Beautiful desert with art objects at sunrise. Beautiful nature festival with people riding bicycles. Burning Man festival.

Burning Man 2024

AUGUST 25, 2024 - SEPTEMBER 02, 2024


This is what it looks like when a festival becomes too big to fail.

The past four years have not been good to Burning Man. First, there were two years of pandemic closures, then the infamous mud swamp of 2023, when torrential rains turned the alkali flats into goo and sparked a mass exodus. Another festival might have called it quits after such a string of losses — after COVID alone, many competitors did just that. But with guests like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, Burning Man is too big to fail. It may even be too big to be Burning Man.

The festival’s premise is simple: what would it look like to build a temporary, unregulated city deep in the Nevada desert, where the laws and norms of society need not apply? Since its move from San Francisco in 1991, (the first event took place five years earlier with a much smaller crowd) Burning Man’s answer to this question has been increasingly clear. It looks like a Martian metropolis of sculptures visible from space. It looks like a pirate in a tutu playing a ukulele. It looks like the Salvador Dalí Museum come to life.

All of this makes for great Instagram content, but with its recent bout of bad luck, Burning Man heads into 2024 in the grip of a midlife crisis. It has even gone so far as to auction off its ostensibly ephemeral artwork for much needed cash. The new question is: how can radical self-reliance be made profitable without mimicking the systems of commerce that the event claims to denounce? This has long been the festival’s central contradiction. The effigy of The Man burned ceremonially each year represents capitalism, labor, greed and power, yet the festival’s average attendee is wealthy, white, middle-aged and male. Perhaps the irony is what gives the image its power. The Man is burning himself.

The Specs

  • Around 75,000 people attend
  • Tickets are $575 each, and vehicle passes are an additional $150
  • Check out our list of quirky roadside attractions to see along the way


Which airport is closest to the festival grounds?

Reno Tahoe International Airport (RNO) is 127 miles away.

What is the bag policy?

There is no official bag policy. Sunscreen, earplugs and lots of water are highly recommended.

Is the festival ADA-accessible?

Accessibility vehicle licenses are issued through the Burning Man DMV. Electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters do not require licensing. Please note that there are no paved surfaces in Black Rock City and the desert terrain can be rough.






BY Jeremiah David Jenkins