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Burning Man festival sells out for the first time ever

August 24, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • A couple are shown at a previous Burning Man festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert National Conservation Area.
A couple are shown at a previous Burning Man festival in Nevada's Black… (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles…)

Has the counterculture Burning Man festival become a little too hot? For the first time in 25 years, the festival that begins Monday in the northwest Nevada desert has sold out -- and organizers are urging fans who don't have tickets not to show up to the gate.

Burning Man 2011 tickets, which ranged from $210 (early birds) to $360 each, sold out July 24.

"We’ve cut off ticket sales early in order to manage our population count over the course of the event, as stipulated by our BLM permit, the  text of which indicates that we must stay below an average of 50,000 people per day over the course of the week," spokeswoman Annie Grace writes in an email.

The Reno Gazette Journal last year reported that a record 51,515 ticket-paying campers attended the festival in the remote Black Rock Desert, which is controlled by the Bureau of Land Management. 

The online advisory about sold-out tickets posted on its website says:

"For those considering venturing out to Black Rock City without a ticket to 'try your luck' purchasing one at or near the entrance to Burning Man, we ask that you do NOT do so, for your own safety and the well-being of the surrounding communities." It also warns the ticket-less that if they do show up, they won't be allowed to stay or camp overnight.

So what if you're burning to see Burning Man? Live webcasts throughout the week (and maybe cause for an impromptu house party?) will be broadcast on Burningman.com.

The event dedicated to "community, art, self-expression and self-reliance" runs through Sept. 5 in the harsh and remote area dubbed "Black Rock City" by festivalgoers. Tens of thousands attend and stay in tents, trailers, motorhomes and other shelters to be part of the under-the-radar art and performance "city."

The art theme for Burning Man 2011: Rites of Passage. How fitting.

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