Burning Man is located 2,500 miles from New York City and this is unlikely to change. Getting there can be a logistical and financial challenge, but the community works together to make it as simple as possible.
Most New Yorkers either fly to Reno (the nearest large city) or California (where you may have a couch to crash on) and rent a car for the week to drive out. One night stays the day before and after at hotels or with friends are recommended. There is a container project which ships cargo en masse from New York City directly to Burning Man run by our local friends at Disorient. More information on shipping containers is here.
How can I make this happen?
For most New Yorkers, it costs north of $1,000 to attend Burning Man, primarily as a result of transportation (car/airfare) costs. If you can get a deal on airfare or don’t have to pay for car rental, you may be able to reduce this significantly.
Tickets to Burning Man currently cost $390. As of 2016 there is an added Nevada entertainment tax. There are many rounds of ticket sales. The first thing you need to have is a Burner Profile, then you will need to log in and register for the sale at the appointed time, then you will need to buy tickets for yourself (and your vehicles) in the actual ticket sale. Discounted tickets and performer tickets are available each spring for $190 through an application process. See the Burning Man Ticket page for more information.
Departure airports are LGA, EWR or JFK. The sooner you get your tickets the better, and sometimes you have to get your plane tickets before your Burning Man tickets.
Transportation to Playa
The Burner Express Bus travels between playa, Reno and San Francisco and ticket sales close in mid-August.
Ideally, you have a good friend on the west coast who is driving out in their car or RV and would love to have you along. If not, get some friends together and split a car rental as many ways as possible.
Car Rental Pro Tips:
- Read your rental and insurance policy carefully and find out what the terms are regarding bringing your rented vehicle out of state.
- Some credit card companies provide supplementary insurance coverage if you use their card. However, they may specifically exclude certain vehicle types such as pick up trucks. Check with them ahead of time to confirm.
- You may be charged significantly more if you are under 25 or are not an American citizen. There are sometimes additional charges depending on your zip code.
- Be sure to return rented vehicles in spotless condition, or you will be charged extra. A lot extra.
- Some have gotten their car rental reservations canceled, so if you can help it, don’t mention where you’re headed.
- Driving to playa, police will ticket and search you for minor infractions and driving even slightly over the speed limit in the towns (and middle of nowhere) surrounding Black Rock. Beware!
- People sometimes take taxis from Reno to playa.
If an RV or trailer isn’t an option, it is advised to use a shade covered tent (without any mesh areas that cannot be zipped closed) or built a hexayurt.
Bring all the water and all the food you need and like to eat that is full of protein and will keep you going. You will want salty things. Tequila is good. Bacon is better.