Bad news for broke Burners: Due to a change in the Nevada tax code by state lawmakers seemingly targeting the massive annual desert event, the price of Burning Man tickets just went up. The price increase was explained to festival-goers last week in a newsletter, and notes the average ticket price jumped from $390 to $424.
This is the first time that Nevada's Live Entertainment Tax will apply to the festival, as CBS 5 reports that Nevada elected officials recently expanded the definition of what events are subject to the tax (likely with Burning Man in mind).
"Keeping prices stable for most participants is especially important this year in light of the Live Entertainment Tax," reads the letter. "We had hoped to resolve this matter before selling tickets so that participants would not have to pay the [9 percent] tax, but the state is taking longer than we expected to issue an opinion. Unfortunately, this means we will have to collect the tax at the time of purchase, as per the law."
Burning Man is a non-profit, and has argued that it should not be subject to the tax as it does "not provide live entertainment as defined by the statute." Rather, the argument goes, the event goers themselves provide the entertainment. Burning Man was hoping to get a decision on whether or not the state agreed before going ahead with ticket sales, but apparently couldn't wait any longer.
It's clear organizers feel unfairly targeted by the state, noting that "all boxing matches, NASCAR races, and professional and college sporting events when the Nevada-based home team is playing have been exempted from SB266, even though those events clearly constitute 'live entertainment.'"
However, it's not all bad news today, as we learned earlier this afternoon via a reporter with Hollywood Reporter that Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller has taken an interest in the desert festival. Maybe you'll see him there this year.
'I didn't know about Burning Man when I did the movie. I hope to go.' 'Mad Max' dir George Miller when asked about movie's likeness to B.M.— Mia Galuppo (@ifiwere2tweet) February 8, 2016