Who Actually Attends Burning Man?

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the average burning man attendee

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Photo Credit: Bry Ulrick

Who are the people who attend Burning Man? A quick survey of demographics gathered by organizers reveals the demographic skews toward affluent, college-educated white men—but more people of color (POC) are attending in recent years.

The Labor Day tradition for some draws people from all over the world, but what do those people look like? The festival organizers recently released their demographics findings from the 2022 festival—attended by more than 75,000 people. While that’s an impressive attendance figure, it’s down from the 79,000 people who attended in 2019 (and pre-pandemic).

In 2022, around 16% of attendees had a household income of $300,000 a year or more, up from the 7% in 2013. 34% of attendees reported a graduate degree or more in 2022, another rise from the 24% in 2013. 81% of attendees identified as non-hispanic white—no surprise for a festival that formed an internal anti-racism group. The share of POC attending the festival has risen from 7% in 2013 to 13% in 2022. Another constant? The festival remains popular among people from California. Around 38% of attendees in 2022 said they were from California, while just 4% said they resided in the festival’s home state of Nevada.

Median Burning Age of Burning Man Attendees

Most attendees of the festival skew young, with the median age hovering in the mid-30s for festival goers since 2013. The age is skewing upwards as more and more burners who attend the festival and then re-join the festivities in the desert the next year (as older attendees) is rising.

Who Actually Attends Burning Man | Richmcculley

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Who Actually Attends Burning Man | Richmcculley

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Household Income of Burning Man Attendees in 2021

Attendees of the festival in the Nevada desert tend to come from affluent households. As previously mentioned, around 16% of attendees of the festival in 2022 came from households with an income of at least 300,000 per year.

who attends burning man

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who attends burning man

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Photo Credit: Black Rock City Census

Where Are Burning Man Attendees From?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 38% of people who enjoy the festival are from California, making up a large enough portion of U.S. attendees to be reported on their own. Around 42% of attendees are from other states in the U.S. Only 4% of attendees are from the festival’s native state of Nevada—while a small percentage of Canadians seem to like to party in the desert, too.

who attends burning man

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who attends burning man

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Photo Credit: Black Rock City Census

How Educated Are Burning Man Attendees?

By and large, most of the attendees of the Burning Man Festival report having at least a bachelor’s degree or more. Organizers didn’t contrast this statistic against past attendees, so we don’t know if the audience is skewing more educated or less. Only 25% of people reported only having a high school diploma or equivalent.

who attends burning man

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who attends burning man

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Photo Credit: Black Rock City Census