Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Lucrative Circus in the Desert: Economics of Burning Man

Version 1 : Received: 22 August 2018 / Approved: 22 August 2018 / Online: 22 August 2018 (14:53:56 UTC)

How to cite: Strielkowski, W. Lucrative Circus in the Desert: Economics of Burning Man. Preprints 2018, 2018080399 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201808.0399.v1). Strielkowski, W. Lucrative Circus in the Desert: Economics of Burning Man. Preprints 2018, 2018080399 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201808.0399.v1).

Abstract

Burning Man is probably the most famous art festival in the world. What started as a bonfire ritual for a small group of friends held on San Francisco beach in 1986, has evolved into an iconic event. Held annually for one week before the Labor Day weekend, the festival attracts over 60,000 participants each year and yields over $8 million in tickets and contributions.This preprint reveals some preliminary results from the economic analysis of Burning Man that is based on the unique data from over 500 surveys collected during several Burning Man events between 2012 and 2018.The paper’s main findings demonstrate that Burning Man is not some hippie get-together with lots of booze and drugs. Instead, it is a lucrative and exclusive event that is attended by bright, wealthy and well-educated people, both from the United States and abroad. A typical Burner is a 32-old childless male with a college degree and an average annual income above $100,000 who attended Burning Man at least two times before and who spends between $5,000 and $6,000 on tickets, fares, gear, and supplies.

Subject Areas

Burning Man, festivals, art, public events, self-reliance, radical expression

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