Burning Man’s Billionaires: Meet the world’s richest festivalgoers


As attendees at this year’s Burning Man finally begin their mass exodus after being stranded amid intense flooding, Forbes Australia looks back at the billionaires who’ve shown face in years prior.
Image: Getty

Burning Man festival, which is held annually in Nevada, United States, is a week-long desert camp-out that dates back to 1986. It’s known for bizarre costumes, metres-tall sculptures and, importantly, no phones and no cash. There are theatre performances, concerts, art exhibitions, yoga classes and – this year – intense flooding.

Some-70,000 festival attendees were told to conserve food, water and fuel after floods tore through Black Rock City, closing down roads. Videos of actor Chris Rock and DJ Diplo hit social media amid the chaos, showing the extent of the muddy situation. But as stranded attendees finally made their way out of the festival grounds to dry land on September 5, Forbes Australia looks back at other famous and wealthy attendees.

This years theme for Burning Man is the "American Dream: and what better sign which is displayed on the playa then one similiar to the one ftom Las Vegas. (Photo by Frederic Larson/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
Meet the 10 billionaires who’ve been to Burning Man. Image source: Frederic Larson/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images
Elon Musk

This may not come as a huge surprise to readers, but billionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk, worth US$257 billion at the time of writing, has been to Burning Man. He told a publication in 2014 that, ‘If you haven’t been, you just don’t get’.

Mark Zuckerberg

Again, not all that surprising that the founder of Meta, formerly Facebook, has been to the desert festival. What may come as a surprise is that Zuckerberg. who’s worth US$108 billion, was, in fact, serving grilled cheese sandwiches to attendees while he was there.

Dustin Moskovitz

Zuckerberg’s Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, worth US$18.4 billion, has also been. Moskovitz actually wrote about the experience in an op-ed for Medium in 2013. That was his fifth consecutive year as a ‘Burner’.

“I was sure the “real” burners wanted nothing to do with me,” he wrote in the piece, reflecting on his first year. Moskovitz confirmed in the piece that Zuckerberg was serving grilled cheeses.

“Along with its other inhabitants, he helped pitch his own tent,” he added.


Larry Page, Sergey Brin

Co-founders of Google, Page and Brin are worth about US$115 billion and US$109 billion respectively. Both have attended the festival multiple times, and would run a free shuttle bus to the event for their employees. In fact, they would go on to find their future CEO at the event.

Eric Schmidt

… Which bring us here. Worth nearly US$20 billion, Eric Schmidt is the former CEO and chairman of Google, and has the festival to thank for his position. Schmidt was the only finalist that had been to the event. “We thought [that] was an important criterion,” Brin said at the time.

Drew Houston

Dropbox founder Drew Houston, worth US$2.1 billion, also reportedly attended Burning Man back in 2014.

Attendees dance during the annual Burning Man Festival in the early morning of September 5, 2023. Thousands of revelers stuck in the mud for days at the Burning Man festival in the US state of Nevada were told they could finally trek home on September 4, 2023, after torrential rain had prompted shelter-in-place orders. With the sun shining on the colorful makeshift community of 70,000 people called Black Rock City, the roads opened Monday afternoon, kicking off the official exit process known as the "Exodus." (Photo by Julie JAMMOT / AFP) (Photo by JULIE JAMMOT/AFP via Getty Images)
Burning Man. Image source: Julie Jammot/AFP via Getty Images
Ray Dalio

American investor and hedge fund manager Ray Dalio reportedly attended Burning Man back in 2019 – in bell-bottoms and a blue fur coat, no less. Dalio, worth U$20 billion, Tweeted at the time that the event, ‘Reminds me of Woodstock with better art (installations) and less good music’.

Jeff Bezos

Amazon founder Bezos, who’s worth a reported US$160 billion, has been going to the festival since as early as 1999, according to Forbes. But sightings of the billionaire are reportedly not uncommon.

Garrett Camp

By the time it was reported that Uber co-founder Camp, worth a reported US$3.6 billion, attended Burning Man back in 2013, he’d been 11 times.

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