Don’t Sneak In

burning_man suitsIf you don’t have your ticket to Caravansary by noon tomorrow, your best hope is to either “win the OMG lottery” on August 6, or “buy a ticket on the Internet”. Since the event sold out in 44 minutes in the general sale 5 months ago, there is a premium for tickets on the secondary market, like there is for every other sold out event in the world. It’s a fairly basic principle of Economics that is called “Supply and Demand”. It’s the same principle that lets BMOrg sell tickets at $650 $380 for a concert they don’t book any talent for. For some reason, Burnier-than-thous consider you to be “not a true Burner” if you follow this ancient and well established Principle of Supply and Demand. This group turns a loving, collectivist blind eye to the fact that the guy who founded the festival city counter-culture movement party and wrote their much younger Principles as a guideline (not rules), Larry Harvey,  has told everyone repeatedly “we never said we’re against capitalism” and has just opened a gas station in Black Rock City (at 10 & L).

If you have an extra ticket and you want to sell it, you have to get it into STEP by noon tomorrow and take a $500 loss – according to BMOrg’s Cultural Rule Enforcers; or, according to us, sell it online to someone who wants to go, make their day and make yourself a profit. If there are any Burnier-than-thous around you whining “you can’t sell your ticket above $380, it’s against Burning Man’s values”, our recommendation is sell tomorrow when BMOrg have left you with no other choice but the secondary market, take some of the profit and use it to make a donation of $100 to the Burning Man Project, BRAF, Black Rock Solar, Burners Without Borders, or the Orgy Dome, the “second home” to more than 10% of Black Rock City’s population. Then you can ask the Burnier-than-thous “how much did you donate to the Burner community?” and listen to the chirping of tickets, I mean crickets.

If you don’t win the lottery, and refuse to buy tickets for above $380 even from BMOrg themselves (who are above The Law of The Sacred Principles, not operating under them)…then you’re probably SOL on going to Burning Man this year. Unless, that is, you use a tool called “GOOGLE” that is closely linked to Burning Man, and discover this site, from 2011:


Re-blogged from Unofficial Networks:

So, You Want To Poach Burning Man? Can You Really Sneak In?

 By: August 28, 2011 1:10 pm


Photo credit: Burning Man from the air, with a jumper about to poach?

Who doesn’t? It may not be “the Burning Man way”, but people do it every year, have done it ever since they started charging for entry, and with ticket sales sold out for the first time ever this year, you better believe someone is trying to sneak in right this second.

The question is, how do you do it? Not to mention, what’s the likelihood of getting caught? Well, the long story short is it’s very possible, but not as easy as it seems. And you definitely don’t want to end up like this guy.

Photo Credit:

First off, yes, people have done it, people do do it, but you have you have to ask yourself, is it really worth it? AND What am I willing to go through to make it happen? Those are big questions, and if you’re still down, here we go.

The Fence-The whole perimeter of Burning Man is marked off by an orange fence. It goes far and wide, but still, you’d think it’d be easy to just walk across the desert, hop the fence, and walk right in, right? The problem is there’s mucho law enforcement out there and they are pretty much there to make sure you don’t sneak in. There’s not that many roads that lead into the event either, so figuring out how to negotiate where to drive (Route 34?), leave a car, then walk in undetected is a lot harder than it might seem. If you’ve been to Burning Man you might have a better idea, but if you haven’t, this is one of your major hurdles to jump.

Night Rangers-If you choose to poach during the day you’d have to have some Burners out there near the edge of the fence to blend in. If you go at night, duh, of course you’re going to try to go at night, it’s waaaay too hot during the day for this kinda shit, law enforcement use infrared lights and night vision to find you. No joke, or so the rumor goes.  Even volunteers have radar equipment that searches for anyone way out at the perimeter.

Poach the Entry Gate-You can try sneaking in at the gate, there’s some classic stories out there, but the gate checkers do a ruthless job of going through your vehicle (see above picture of messed up kid trying to get in). They make you open the back of your truck or SUV. They make you open your roof box. They might even just make you get of your RV and go through every little nook and cranny to make sure no one is sneaking in. Big coolers in there? They’ll open them. Burning Man as an event goes big to make sure the only people that get in pay their way. Even still, people do sneak in…or so the stories go.

You Can Do It!-There’s stories upon stories, and most of them state that nowadays it’s 100x harder than it was in the past to poach. Still, the stories are hilarious and might get some creative juices flowing. Some guy apparently drove in a water truck one year. He basically made it in, but then was spotted spraying water out in front of his ride like a dumbass and got caught by a ranger. He probably would’ve been fine if he wasn’t such a dumbass, but where are you gonna get a water truck?

Stealth Army Style-A popular place to try and sneak in is from the east side of the desert. While the prefered method would be to casually take your time and hope you don’t get spotted by the night rangers, this guy decided to crawl on his belly, for miles, to try and poach in. He had all his stuff with him to, which is another thing to remember because when you show up to Burning Man, you have to have all your own supplies as ice and coffee are the only things sold there. Back to the story, the rangers were watching him the whole time. As the story goes, he got to the fence, where again, he had been watched the whole time, and  was popped. But because the rangers were so impressed with his patience to stay on his belly that long, they let him in!

The stories run deep, and no matter which way you look at it the poach in is tough, and there’s a lot of people looking for you if you try. But it also seems that if you do it right, you might get some respect and maybe get let in, or maybe if you’re ninja enough, you’ll just get in anyway. You’ll never know unless you try, and then it goes back to if it’s worth it for you to try?

The truth is it’s really a pretty good deal for a weeks worth of camping and what goes on out there for the face value of a ticket. The problem this year is the lack of tickets, even though people try and sneak in every year. There will be crashers this year, like every year, but probably even more this year. We wish you poachers all good luck on your desert pursuits, and if you have a good story to share, we’re all ears.

One last thing to consider, even though we’ve also heard the rangers patrol the skies in some way (yeah, like, how?), dropping in from the air might just be the way to go. It’s been done, and again, we’ve heard they look, but right time, right place, a big huck out of some form of aircraft, and fly safely into a camp full of goodness? Now that sounds like party time!

Photo Credit:


Don’t sneak in, Burners. I can’t think of a way to say that more clearly. We warned you, so if anyone tries and gets caught, it’s nothing to do with us – blame Google. Or, take the Burnier-than-thou endorsed high ground, and miss out. You can boast to everyone how “you’re doing it right” at Burning Man: by not going to it. Or, buy a ticket on the Internet – and tune out anyone telling you that’s some sort of sin.



22 comments on “Don’t Sneak In

  1. Pingback: Don’t Sneak In! 2016 | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

  2. One year at sunrise we watched a fellow zig zagging on his bike wasted way out beyond the fence line, and we saw the perimeter trucks coming fast from both sides and this guy he wasnt carring at all, then just as the perimeter trucks were on him, the sun rise hit the playa and BAM was pure light and the guy , he just disappeared and those perimeter guys were buzzing back and forth all over and just could not see him… Was pretty ridiculous!

  3. Get dropped off on the road before sunrise (be quick, stay low, carry minimal) and crawl through the sage to the edge of the playa. In the hazy light period just as the sun peeks over the horizon, stand up and walk in. Hard to see normally during that time but too bright for night vision. Infrared probably still see ya but the operators are probably thinking their shift is done. Walk casual, be dressed ranger-ish, and carry a radio and act like you are using it. Even better if you actually have a buddy on the other end of that radio inside the perimeter looking out for you. As soon as you reach populated area, run like hell to be somewhere else. Worked for me (inspired by my military training in infiltration). For the record, I bought a ticket but lost it in Reno shopping and therefore no ethical issue despite having had strong principles about this sort of thing. Now that the BMORG and BM in general has become blatantly profit-driven and that BM has become largely another bucket-list festival for douchebags a la Thailand Full Moon festivals, fuck it. Of course, still much less stressful and risky to buy a ticket but if you’re the adventurous sort, best of luck to ya.

  4. If it is just supply and demand, then why don’t they sell the tickets for $500 or $600 to start with? Obviously if they sold out in 44 minutes, the demand is high enough to jack the price to hell. Bet they would sell out in 2-4 hours at double the cost. Or maybe it needs to get bigger and let in more people.

    • stay tuned…the population is fixed for the next few years, but the ticket prices aren’t. I suspect all these “secret $650” shenanigans are seeding the market for major price increases next year. If your revenues are $30 million, and your costs are $25 million, and you could sell 70,000 tickets at $650 – that’s $45.5 million, with the same costs. You just went from $5 million profit to $20.5 million profit – a 400% increase. It appears the demand is there, and the idea that “Burning Man will just fill up with rich people” is ludicrous at this point. It’s always been full of rich people.

  5. After 10 consecutive years, I’m having a hard time understanding why anyone would want to go in the first place. The only real reason I can think of is ‘curiosity’, which accounts for half of the population (virgins). But the other half… seriously, you folks still want to go to this thing?

    For me, at this point, you could not pay me enough money to actually go to BM again. I would rather spend a week watching re-runs UK Border Patrol than to step foot in BRC again.

  6. This series of articles reads like that series in the 70’s in Pravda on why the State knows what’s best for it’s citizens and why you should be a good little Soviet.

  7. one fine year i missed the main entrance and drove in & 9 o’clock right through the whole law enforcement camp ,past the greeters & into the event with 2 cars following me ,i had a ticket ,but know one else did ,just gifting ideas

  8. If you’re approving selling tickets above face value then you just plain suck and are part of the problem.

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