Setting aside Nevada's general aversion to taxation and Burning Man's newly minted non-profit status, a 9 percent tax on admissions to large-scale live entertainment events has now been approved by state lawmakers. As KRON 4 reports, all events in venues with a capacity of 15,000 or more will have to pay up regardless of their for-profit, non-profit or, "what is money, really?" status.
Burning Man, which this year runs from August 30th to September 7th, attracted a 2014 crowd of 65,922 according to the Herald Sun. With ticket prices at $390, the new tax, which goes into effect in October and will therefore begin to take its toll on next year's event, will tack on about $35 per head.
"Kind of a big deal," one concerned Burner wrote on Reddit in response to the news. "That's nearly $3 million in additional taxes starting with 2016 ticket sales" he noted while others bemoaned the expense. "We certainly understand the Nevada Legislature's need to identify revenue sources, but we believe this change to the Live Entertainment Tax is misguided," said a spokesman for Burning Man according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey is said to have hinted that burners, who contribute more than $40 million to the Nevada economy each year, could even relocate in response to the new tax. The Burning Man participants of Reddit (there is a significant statistical overlap) seemed to think of it as an "idle threat."
But with many attendees comfortably able to pay the current cost for pretending money doesn't matter — and a small subset of the burning classes willing to shell out $2,200 to be airlifted to their temporary desert dwelling — is it really "a big deal"? Perhaps in the sense that it further emphasizes a pay-to-play class element at an event which prides itself on a leveling of outside socioeconomic factors.
So, has the price tag for Burning Man become to much for you? Perhaps you'd just like a taste of what's to come this year? Simply take two tabs, wave a dirty duster over your head, and watch the following drone footage from last year. It's free! As you're coming down, feel free to scroll through this photo album of same.