Where does your unSCruz ticket money go?

unSCruz 2023. Photo by Jon Chown

General ticket prices for unSCruz increased $20 from last year to $200 for 2024. RV/Vehicle passes stayed the same at $300. You may ask, “Where does this money go? How does the money get spent? How does something as amazing as unSCruz even happen?”

Well, you can always get a good look at the finances for each unSCruz event by looking at the unSCruz Afterburn Reports. The unSCruz event is put on by Santa Cruz Burners, a 501c3 organization—an open-book, non-profit entity. 

Putting together such a fantastic event each year like unSCruz entails considerable expenses (and volunteer hours). For example, if you take a look at the 2023 Afterburn Report, you can see that over $300,000 was spent on production costs (which includes such expenses as venue, security, medical, infrastructure, etc). 

In addition to the production costs, more than $170,000 was spent on donations for art grants and fuel for fire art and shows. Art is what provides unSCruz and other Burning Man events such a rich tapestry for our shared experience. unSCruz has the long-term goal of providing as much in art grants as it incurs in production costs. That goal wasn’t reached in 2023, but the organization will keep trying to get there. 

Aside from the financials, the Afterburn Reports are also an excellent source of information about the event – what worked well, what didn’t, what needs improvement – all reported by the volunteer department heads, based on their experience at the event and all the useful feedback they received from their volunteers and the event participants. These reports offer a fantastic look under the hood into all that goes into putting on such an incredible event. 

Want to be a part of putting together unSCruz and perhaps earn a reduced or even free ticket? Consider volunteering!

Any questions about financials or how this all happens? Contact the unSCruz producers.

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