Burning Man tickets going fast and smoothly

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By Steven T. Jones
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Tickets to Burning Man 2010, with its art theme of “Metropolis: The Life of Cities,” went on sale today and they’re going quick, with the first tier of 9,000 tickets for $210 selling out in about 100 minutes and the second tier’s $240 tickets (same quantity) selling out a few hours later.

And unlike in previous years, when glitches and crashes caused frustrations among those who waited in online lines for hours, today was basically problem-free. “Things were super smooth,” says Burning Man’s communications manager, Andie Grace. “There was just so much preparation.”

The next batch of tickets goes for $280 each, with the price moving to $300 after 9,000 tickets or March 31, whichever comes first. Black Rock City LLC, the San Francisco company that stages Burning Man, encourages people to get their tickets early so they commit to spending time acclimating to the culture and preparing to create a marvelous city in the desert near Gerlach, Nevada.

As I’ve reported, there’s lots of excitement for this year’s event among lovers of cities, with the Metropolis theme seeming appropriate for an event that started on Baker Beach in 1986 and has grown into a unique temporary city of nearly 50,000 souls. The frontier has become a city, with a vibrant year-round culture that's particularly evident here in the Bay Area.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm about the theme and the art conversations that are out there,” Grace said.

Illustration by Dominic Tinio