BRC Census Population Analysis, 2013-2019

Event Logistics

Ticket Source, Participant Expenses, Impacts on Nevada State, and Other Recreation


Ticket Source

The exact wording of this question has changed over the years, to match the ticket sale logistics for each given year. The bar plot directly below displays 2019 data, followed by a separate line plot with data from 2014 through 2019.

Burning Man Ticket Source

Error bars indicate the upper and lower bounds of the 95% confidence intervals.

* "Directed Group Sale" refers to ticket sales for theme camps, art projects, mutant vehicles, or staff/volunteers.

2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019
Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %
Directed Group Sale* NA NA   21.5 1.0   24.0 1.0   27.3 1.2   29.4 1.2   35.8 1.2
Main Sale/OMG Sale 68.1 1.0   45.0 1.2   39.4 1.4   27.6 1.2   25.8 1.2   22.9 1.2
Someone I Know 18.7 0.8   21.5 1.0   19.7 1.2   18.5 1.0   15.4 1.0   14.5 1.0
Staff NA NA   NA NA   NA NA   NA NA   5.6 0.6   6.6 0.6
Low Income Program NA NA   5.0 0.6   6.7 0.8   6.3 0.6   6.1 0.6   5.4 0.6
FOMO Sale NA NA   NA NA   NA NA   NA NA   NA NA   3.9 0.6
Gift NA NA   NA NA   NA NA   NA NA   3.1 0.4   3.6 0.4
Other 6.0 0.6   2.3 0.4   2.9 0.4   3.8 0.6   3.3 0.4   2.2 0.4
BxBplus NA NA   NA NA   NA NA   NA NA   NA NA   1.8 0.4
STEP (Secure Ticket Exchange Program) 3.9 0.4   0.6 0.2   3.2 0.6   1.8 0.4   0.7 0.2   1.6 0.4
A Stranger 2.1 0.2   3.3 0.4   3.1 0.6   3.0 0.6   2.9 0.4   1.2 0.4
Third Party Reseller 0.7 0.2   0.6 0.2   0.9 0.2   0.7 0.2   0.8 0.2   0.5 0.2
Kids Ticket NA NA   0.1 0.0   0.0 0.0   0.2 0.2   NA NA   0.0 0.0
No Ticket (Stowed Away/Snuck In) 0.3 0.2   NA NA   0.1 0.2   0.0 0.0   0.0 0.0   0.0 0.0
Unknown 0.1 0.0   0.1 0.0   NA NA   NA NA   NA NA   NA NA
Pre-Sale/Burner Profiles NA NA   NA NA   NA NA   10.9 0.8   6.9 0.6   NA NA

Participant Expenses

Burning Man Ticket Cost

Error bars indicate the upper and lower bounds of the 95% confidence intervals.

2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019
Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %
Face Value 79.1 0.8   87.3 0.8   86.6 1.0   86.6 1.0   86.0 0.8   91.6 0.7
Gift 9.8 0.6   7.6 0.6   7.8 0.6   9.3 0.8   9.4 0.8   5.8 0.6
More Than Face Value 1.8 0.2   2.8 0.4   2.5 0.4   1.9 0.4   2.5 0.4   1.4 0.3
Less Than Face Value 3.8 0.4   1.3 0.2   1.7 0.4   0.9 0.2   0.9 0.2   0.7 0.2
Other 5.2 0.4   0.8 0.2   1.0 0.2   1.1 0.2   1.0 0.2   0.5 0.2
I Don’t Know 0.2 0.2   0.2 0.0   0.3 0.2   0.2 0.2   0.2 0.2   0.2 0.1

Participant Expenses

Spending for Burning Man

Year 2014* 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Median $1,300 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,650
80th Percentile $2,500 $2,600 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000

* The 2014 online survey asked about spending ranges, but did not ask for total amount spent, so percentile data for 2014 was estimated differently than for 2015-18.

Participant Expenses

Spending Ranges for Burning Man*

Error bars indicate the upper and lower bounds of the 95% confidence intervals.

* The exact wording of the question in the online survey was, "How much did you spend this year to go to Black Rock City and return, including fuel, camp dues, food, lodging, airfare, supplies, etc. (but not including your ticket to the event)? If you shared expenses with a group, only include the portion of expenses that you contributed. Give your best estimate in USD."

2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019
Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %
$0-$250 2.3 0.4   2.3 0.4   2.4 0.4   2.2 0.4   1.5 0.4   1.2 0.2
$250-$500 10.8 0.6   6.1 0.6   5.5 0.6   5.6 0.6   4.0 0.6   3.8 0.4
$500-$1,000 28.8 1.0   19.3 1.0   18.1 1.0   16.5 1.0   16.7 1.0   15.4 1.0
$1,000-$2,500 38.9 1.0   46.8 1.2   46.1 1.4   45.8 1.4   47.7 1.4   47.7 1.4
$2,500-$5,000 14.5 0.8   18.7 1.0   20.6 1.2   22.1 1.2   22.4 1.2   23.3 1.2
$5,000+ 4.8 0.4   6.8 0.6   7.4 0.8   7.8 0.8   7.7 0.8   8.6 0.8

Impacts on Nevada State

Spending Ranges for Burning Man in Nevada State

Error bars indicate the upper and lower bounds of the 95% confidence intervals.

2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019
Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %
$0-$250 33.9 1.0   36.3 1.0   39.3 1.2   41.2 1.4   39.4 1.4   37.7 1.4   35.0 1.4
$250-$500 27.6 0.8   24.5 1.0   23.4 1.0   21.2 1.2   21.5 1.2   21.5 1.2   22.0 1.2
$500-$1,000 20.0 0.8   22.4 0.8   20.6 1.0   20.8 1.2   21.4 1.2   22.6 1.2   22.7 1.2
$1,000-$2,500 12.9 0.6   13.7 0.8   13.5 0.8   13.1 1.0   14.0 1.0   14.8 1.0   15.7 1.0
$2,500-$5,000 4.1 0.4   2.3 0.4   2.6 0.4   2.8 0.6   2.7 0.6   2.6 0.4   3.6 0.6
$5,000+ 1.6 0.2   0.8 0.2   0.7 0.2   0.9 0.4   0.9 0.2   0.9 0.2   1.0 0.2

Impacts on Nevada State

Spending in Nevada State for Burning Man, by Category (Average USD)

Error bars indicate the upper and lower bounds of the 95% confidence intervals.

2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019
Average MoE +/- %   Average MoE +/- %   Average MoE +/- %   Average MoE +/- %   Average MoE +/- %   Average MoE +/- %
Fun $125 16.9   $112 11.8   $107 12.1   $116 13.8   $109 8.2   $109 8.2
Survival $89 4.7   $93 5.1   $102 8   $108 8.7   $116 31   $116 31
Fuel $147 9.6   $135 21.2   $114 4.4   $112 4   $131 5.5   $131 5.5
Lodging $122 9.5   $127 13.3   $149 18.1   $156 18   $149 15   $149 15
Food $156 6.6   $150 5.1   $163 13.6   $175 37.5   $158 8.1   $158 8.1
Total $640 28.1   $617 32.3   $635 40.2   $667 51.4   $663 44.7   $663 44.7

Impacts on Nevada State

NV Cities and Communities Visited en Route to/from Black Rock City*

Error bars indicate the upper and lower bounds of the 95% confidence intervals.

* The plot above and table below display data for any Nevada community or city reported by 0.3% or more or the 2019 BRC population. Because this data is collected qualitatively (with survey respondents manually typing city and community names into an open textbox within the survey), it is likely that these estimates are lower than the true number of visitors to each of the named cities and communities.

† The color indicates the year-over-year percentage change (i.e. percentage of respondents in 2019 over the percentage of respondents in 2018 minus 100).

‡ The size indicates the percentage of respondents who reported visiting a community

2018   2019
Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %
Reno 44.9 1.4   45.2 1.4
Gerlach 13.0 1.0   13.2 1.0
Fernley 12.5 0.8   13.1 0.8
Sparks 7.1 0.6   7.5 0.8
Empire 4.2 0.6   4.3 0.6
Lake Tahoe 3.1 0.6   4.1 0.6
Winnemucca 3.4 0.4   3.1 0.4
Nixon 3.4 0.4   3.0 0.4
Las Vegas 4.2 0.6   2.5 0.4
Carson City 2.4 0.4   2.3 0.4
Fallon 2.6 0.4   2.2 0.4
Wadsworth 2.2 0.4   1.9 0.4
Pyramid Lake 1.1 0.2   1.3 0.2
Cedarville 1.0 0.2   1.3 0.2
Tonopah 1.6 0.4   1.3 0.2
Elko 1.1 0.4   1.1 0.2
Lovelock 0.4 0.2   0.7 0.2
Hawthorne 0.8 0.2   0.7 0.2
Beatty 0.9 0.2   0.7 0.2
Wendover 0.8 0.2   0.6 0.2
Truckee 0.4 0.2   0.6 0.2
Goldfield 0.3 0.2   0.1 0.0

Impacts on Nevada State

Intent to Return to the Black Rock Desert Outside of Burning Man

Error bars indicate the upper and lower bounds of the 95% confidence intervals.

2017   2018   2019
Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %
No 46.1 1.6   47.2 1.4   46.6 1.4
Maybe 37.8 1.6   36.2 1.4   35.4 1.4
Yes 16.1 1.2   16.6 1.0   18.0 1.0

Impacts on Nevada State

Recreational Activities on Public Lands Within 30 Miles of Black Rock City en Route To/From Burning Man*

Error bars indicate the upper and lower bounds of the 95% confidence intervals.

* Participants selected all option(s) that applied.

2017   2018   2019
Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %
Burning Man Only 86.9 1.2   90.0 1.0   87.9 1.0
Camping 5.6 0.8   4.4 0.8   4.4 0.6
Hiking 4.2 0.8   2.7 0.6   3.9 0.6
Boating/Swimming 3.5 0.6   2.9 0.6   3.9 0.6
Hot Springs 3.9 0.6   2.9 0.6   3.3 0.6
Other 2.0 0.4   1.6 0.4   1.4 0.4
Wind Sailing 0.1 0.2   0.0 0.0   0.1 0.0

Other Recreation

Visits to Parks and/or Recreation Areas en Route to/from BRC*

Error bars indicate the upper and lower bounds of the 95% confidence intervals.

* This question in the online survey specifically inquired about visits during "this year."

2015   2016   2017   2018   2019
Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %   Percent MoE +/- %
2+ Visits 10.4 0.8   9.1 0.8   10.8 1.0   9.2 0.8   9.2 0.8
1 Visit 17.0 1.0   15.8 1.0   17.2 1.0   15.1 1.0   16.9 1.0
None 70.8 1.2   73.3 1.4   70.4 1.4   74.6 1.2   72.5 1.2
Not Sure 1.8 0.4   1.8 0.4   1.6 0.4   1.2 0.4   1.4 0.4

The 2013 and 2014 online surveys included differently worded questions about park visits, so direct comparison is impossible. In 2013 and 2014 respectively, 68.8% (+/- 1.0) and 73.5% (+/- 0.9) of participants did not visit any parks or recreation areas, and 2.9% (+/- 0.4) and 1.7% (+/- 0.3) were not sure.


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