DT is traveling at the moment, so he asked me to post this for him, to go further in depth on this year's price increase.

From DT via email:

DEF CON 20 this year is going to be an incredible event, and to make it ++good I have increased the price to $200 this year only.

For our 20th we plan to do more, bigger, and for the most people ever. We have some bigger music acts to re-launch the Black and White Balls. We have increased what we pay the speakers and given support to the teams that qualify for CTF while also expanding it to 20 teams for DEF CON 20. We have some special speakers, special events, extra support for official contests, and secret surprises I don't want to give away yet (Like a Jason Scott DEF CON documentary. Shhhhh!) At the same time we need to upgrade our infrastructure, with our radio system EOL about a decade ago, legit radio spectrum, more LCD projectors, and the wireless network that is needing an upgrade to handle all the expanded traffic.

Moving to the Rio last year increased our operating costs, and once the final bill came in surprise! It cost more than expected by a long shot. Part of that is learning the new space, and part is just that things cost more in a nicer location - so costs for attendees would have to jump a bit anyway. We have never accepted sponsorships, and aren't starting now, so we can't hide the price increases by trying to charge sponsors more and attendees the same.

Also there is _no way_ we are going to run out of badges this year.

So it will be $200 this year to make this all happen, and for DEF CON 21 ("Legal at last") the price will come back down to something less, $160 or $180 depending on what happens with inflation and costs between now and then.

Thanks for all of your support over the years and really making DEF CON a giant community conference. Without everyone involved we would never have made it 20 years!

The Dark Tangent