No money is exchanged at Burning Man - but here are the 2 things you can actually buy
According to one of the The 10 Principles of Burning Man, the festival "is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value."
While the idea sounds lovely, it also means that festival-goers must come prepared with whatever they need because there's no corner store to pick up a forgotten toothbrush, extra food, or goggles to fight dust storms.But there are two luxuries that attendees can buy - ice and coffee.
Inside Center Camp Café - a popular, centrally located social hub - people can wait in long lines to get their caffeine fix.
If you want an iced chai, however, you better be prepared to shell out $4.
Abuse and advice are free, but baristas are usually so busy they barely have time to make pleasantries.
At Burning Man, everything you bring into the desert festival must also come back out - including any liquids like coffee, tea, and even dirty dish and shower water.
Other than coffee and tea, ice is the only other luxury available for purchase. A rarity in the desert, ice allows attendees to "keep your food, beverages, and heads cool during the long hot desert days, as well as putting an icy tinkle in your evening cocktails," boasts the site.
Also available at Center Camp, the proceeds from ice sales go "directly to Gerlach-area charities and community groups."While purchasing a coffee means you also buy a cup, gifting beverages outside of Center Camp works a little differently.
A common gift throughout the playa is alcohol, as long as you show an ID to prove you're 21 years old and can provide your own cup.
In 2014, North American companies reportedly spent $1.23 billion to sponsor music venues, festivals, and tours.But not Burning Man.
According to the third principle of the festival: "In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience."