Black Rock City LLC, the San Francisco company that puts on Nevada's most popular summer retreat every year, has just agreed to shell out at least $605,000 a year over the next ten years to the Pershing County Sheriff's Department.
The $605 grand per year will go to cover security and other services provided by the county sheriff's department as well as services Black Rock City LLC provides itself, the Associated Press reports today. BRC will also be reimbursing the department and the local district attorney for the cost of prosecuting any crimes that happen (or are spotted by authorities, at least) out on the Playa, meaning there could be an incentive for the county to actually crack down at some point. BRC will also be taking out a $1 million insurance policy for the event.
The agreement between Burning Man and The Man will settle a lawsuit in which festival organizers claimed the county was violating their First Amendment rights by charging a $1.50 fee per visitor. The final amount the festival will pay every year will be based on a sliding scale tied to attendance. Federal officials estimated this year's event drew over 61,000 attendees (although it was permitted for a total of 68,000). With the new agreement, BRC will pay up to $975,000 if the festival ever balloons to 90,000 attendees.
Increased festival costs are likely to cause a bump in ticket prices as well. After doing away with the much maligned tiered pricing scheme of previous years, tickets to the 2013 Cargo Cult fête cost a flat $380. But you can't really put a price on the epic networking opportunities, can you.