Burning Man ticket fiasco creates an uncertain future

The Burning Man community is ablaze with frustrations and doubts over this year's event.

UPDATED WITH LLC RESPONSES BELOW   Is it the end of Burning Man as we know it? That's certainly the way things are looking to thousands of longtime burners who didn't get tickets when the results of a controversial new ticket lottery system were announced on Tuesday evening, particularly as big picture information emerged in online discussions yesterday.

[SFBG update: Will theme camps receive the remaining tickets?]

Personally, I was awarded the maximum two tickets I requested at the $320 level (my sister already claimed the other, so don't even ask), but I'm feeling a little survivor's guilt as I hear from the vast majority of my burner friends who didn't get tickets. And if it wasn't already clear that scalpers have effectively gamed the new system, that became apparent yesterday when batches of up to eight tickets were listed for as much as $1,500 each on eBay and other online outlets.

As I've attended Burning Man since 2001 and covered it for the Guardian and my book, The Tribes of Burning Man, I've become involved with many camps and collectives over the years. So over the last couple days, I've been privy to lots of online discussions and surveys, and it appears that only about a third of burners who registered for tickets actually received them (organizers have refused to say how many people registered for the 40,000 tickets sold this week, so it's tough to assess whether scalpers were more effective than burners at buying them).

The huge number of burners without tickets is a big problem for theme camps and art collectives that rely heavily on their members to pay dues and work long hours to prepare often elaborate camps, art cars, or installations, some of which are now in doubt. Many people are so frustrated that they've pledged not to attend this year, and even those of us that did get tickets are questioning whether we want to go if some of our favorite people aren't – particularly if they're replaced by rich newbies willing to spend a grand on a ticket.

Theme camps are the basic building blocks of Black Rock City – a central tenet of my book and regular claim of event organizers – and the work they do to build their camps and plan fundraisers to pay for them has already begun, only with far more uncertainty than usual this year. And that will also exacerbate a tension that already exists between grant-funded art projects (which usually get free tickets for their volunteer builders) and big camps that don't qualify for tickets, such as sound camps or independently funded art projects.

For now, most burners seem to be willing to wait a beat or two – as Black Rock City LLC is urging, a message that I willingly helped disseminate and that I support – to see whether enough extra tickets purchased by community-minded burners are offered for sale at face value using an aftermarket ticket exchange the LLC is hurriedly setting up right now. Some camps and projects have created internal ticket exchanges to try to take care of their own first. And there's still the secondary ticket sale with the last 10,000 tickets coming on March 28.

But the frustrations are palpable, and there is widespread concern that Burning Man has jumped the shark and will be changed by the series of official missteps in the last year. Dozens of people have independently asked why, after the event sold out last year and scalpers made a killing, the LLC didn't require each ticket to be registered to an individual and transferred only through a regulated aftermarket system, which would prevent gouging by scalpers. I've asked organizers that same question each of the last two years, and I was only told that it seemed like too much trouble and that things would work out.

Well, most burners don't think things are working out very well. Many are still willing to wait and see, and this certainly is a resourceful community, so perhaps things seem more bleak now than they will in a month or two when playa preparations really kick into gear. But if not, the LLC could be facing a real crisis of confidence in its leadership of an event that we all help create, and perhaps even an open rebellion of its core members.

Many longtime burners are already making other vacation plans for this year, some are even pondering plans to create alternative events, and there are a significant number of them who have tapped the spirit of these political times and suggested it's time to “Occupy Burning Man” or “Occupy Black Rock City.”

Whatever happens, the Year of the Dragon seems to have brought with it the old Chinese proverb: may you live in interesting times. I'll continue covering new developments in this most interesting of years, so stay in touch.

Sincerely, Scribe

UPDATE (5 PM): LLC board member Marian Goodell just returned my call and said the organization leaders huddled up today to work on solutions to problems raised by the ticket shortfalls. "We're genuinely really putting our heads together today. We're listening, we really are," she said. "It's very real for us, I get it."

She recognizes that it's a big problem for established theme camps and art collectives having tickets for only about a third of their members, a figure that she also confirmed. "It's clear that the theme camps and art projects are a significant part of the community, and this situation is causing problems for them," she said. "That's the part that will hurt us if we don't take another look at this."

Goodell also acknowledges that it doesn't appear there are as many tickets available within those established burner networks as she had hoped would be the case: "I doesn't look like camps are sitting on a lot of tickets." But she also said that she doesn't think the lion's share went to scalpers. "We don't think there are 10,000 people out there looking to scalp tickets," she said. "Putting them up for sale is not the same thing as them being sold." She reiterated her appeal that people don't use scalpers for tickets but wait for community-based sources and solutions.

But Goodell said it was too late to re-do this week's lottery -- "not possible," she said -- even though the physical tickets won't be mailed out until June. She said the LLC has divided up information-gathering tasks now and will regroup soon to decide how to proceed, with options including tweaks to the rules for the March 28 ticket sale or working with the BLM to bump up the population cap, an option that would raise other problems.

"We have many different challenges: scalping, community development, and population," Goodell said, reiterating her concern that increasing the population would make logistical problems like the long exodus wait even worse. But whether that's even a possibility will depend on the Environmental Impact Statement that is expected to be completed in March.


Yes burn them!



Everyone, let me come home. Please.
If I have to skydive in this year 100 pecent un prepared I know I can survive this hectic ticket lottery.
Lottery my a**

Posted by GuestBillion Washington on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
It's the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Tiket pesawat murah on Jun. 16, 2012 @ 9:36 am

From what I can gather it looks like only about 1/5 of the theme camps that I know have received tickets, not the 1/3 mentioned in this article. And no one I know has any left over tickets to sell to friends. Burning Man is a place where my campmates meet once a year, from all over the country, and since we're down so many tickets we have created an alternative venue to rendezvous at. I'm one of the few that is receiving a ticket and I'm grateful for that but I will miss my friends who will not be there. And through all the comments and conversations I'm optimistic that it's going to be another amazing Burn, just different than what most us had anticipated.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

If you don't think the vast majority of tickets went to scalpers- look at the San Jose Radiohead show for April 11 in San Jose- sold out in 20 seconds. We were online at exactly 10am to get tix and none were left. Scalpers have computers and special algorithms designed to manipulate ticket systems. They had 2 weeks to prefect their method for the Burn lottery. It's scalpers. I'm sorry. (I almost cried about Radiohead too)

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 9:10 am

I've been in contact with every major ticket agency on the net over the past 3 hours. Gave them an idea for capitalizing on this that will actually help us...
This is the gist of my message. Now if enough of us echo this to them, who knows?

Just a serious suggestion. There is an intense internet firestorm over companies reselling Burning Man tickets. Burning Man isn't like other events you resell. Your company is often mentioned in these bad publicity situations. Bad, I know, but here exists an opportunity for your company to make history. Pull all listings for BM tickets, publisize your decision, and garner intense good will from the public. This publicity will be worth many times the fees you get from offering these tickets. Many other resale companies are already considering this suggestion, if you get on the stick you can cash in and be the first. The rest will be seen as johny-come-latelies. Take this seriously, the opportunity is there for the taking.

Do something, and stop complaining. We all know the problems.

Posted by Bull Bunny on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

If you don't think the vast majority of tickets went to scalpers- look at the San Jose Radiohead show for April 11 in San Jose- sold out in 20 seconds. We were online at exactly 10am to get tix and none were left. Scalpers have computers and special algorithms designed to manipulate ticket systems. They had 2 weeks to prefect their method for the Burn lottery. It's scalpers. I'm sorry. (I almost cried about Radiohead too)

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 9:09 am

I appreciate and accept this comment: as a conservative who believes in profit and free enterprise, I do find it amusing when things like this force the liberal idiots who really believe that it's all about non-commercialism, freedom, blah blah blah....to run face first into the brick wall of the real world.

now read it like this:
Burners who really believe that it's all about non-commercialism, freedom....to face the real world.

His name-calling isn't the most important part of his mssg. There is truth to his point of view.

Three days into this mess- and I am a ticket recipient- I now have woken up. This is a for-profit event, made powerful by each of is who has helped to make it so.

Transparency is not BMOrg's responsibility. Paying for the continuation of their business is.

As mentioned over and over here- the option of creating an event is available to us all, if we decide to put our minds to it. I believe BMOrg has been saying the same thing all along.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 9:03 am

Considering that about a quarter of the DFW people that ordered tickets at all price levels got them, and the theme camps coming from here have less than a quarter of the people the need to run them, it is going to be a sad year.
That being said, the only thing we as a group have decided would work is if the tickets you purchased were in your name and non transferable.
So, like at Flipside you would have to show your ID at the gate that matches the name on the ticket.

You could buy 2 tickets at a time.

At registration you would list the theme camp you are with or how you are volunteering so that you do get your ticket. These are the people that make BM what it is and should be first in line.

If you can't use your ticket then you would sell the ticket back to BM for the face price of the ticket and it would be resold and reissued with a new name.

If you wanted to gift a ticket you would have to do it at the gate with the person you are gifting it to and both you and them would have to have ID's. I doubt any scalpers are going to send all these different people with their name or purchase information to the BM gate to scalp tickets. It would cost too much for them.

There could also be an option to leave extra tickets at the gate as a gift for a random stranger. Where the gate/ticket people could award people coming up to the gate with a ticket if they made it up there and were actually going in.

I'm sure that scalpers would figure someway around this, but as far as I can see this would insure that the veteran burners that make all the magic, art, fun and infrastructure happen, get tickets and cut down on scalping tremendously.

Would this be more work and cost more money? Yes. However, if consider what this yer is going to be like with little infrastructure, very little finished art or complete theme camps, I think it is a small price to pay.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 8:40 am

Great Art and art investments by many left in question, why spend all that money to not have a secure entry? Artist bringing art should get a green pass ticket for them and crew....they put in their plan the foundation votes on the value of the piece worth free entry and those folks are the upper tier of creatives...sets the bar high...maybe even the public votes whose in free art wise....we all have that option and it's not just for the elite! Either way more support for the ARTIST that make the venue better packaged. Even some of the proven ART PHOTOGRAPHERS and FILM makers could be considered.....as their works have shed a lot of light on to the community at whole. Good luck with all those details. Why invest all that money into art cars and art if you can't secure a ticket? The pecking order seems to have its head on the block....I wonder if the playa will have as much real art on it this year if tickets are not within reach? FREE TICKETS FOR THOSE ART projects that are seriously selected for the playa.....BM GIFT BACK.

Posted by Diesel on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 7:52 am

This anger is eating away at something that is so important to all of us- the future of burningman. I do not understand the rage that is focused on the organizers. Most of what I hear and read are rants from super-pissed of people that didn't get a ticket. Being pissed is legitimate, especially when you are an integral part.

However, I don't hear anyone promoting the regulation of ticket re-sales. Nor do I hear anyone organizing against greedy scalpers. Mostly people are so pissed off at the "org" without looking at what I see as the cause- its us the participants. Why can't we withhold judgment. For a time. Curb our anger. Work together to solve this?

MOST people pick up after themselves at burningman. MOST people don't throw M.O.O.P. into the port-a-potties. They do this because their community makes a point of asking them not to. Why then, is the community not asking people to:

1. Buy the amount of tickets they actually need.
2. Buy tickets at a price point that represents what they can TRULY afford.
3. Sell extra tickets at face value.
4. Promote these concepts to others?

If we can't, I fear we are no better than the systems so many of us look down on.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 7:28 am

Check out e-playa.

Posted by Amii on Feb. 08, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

Yes I agree with your post (The anger is eating away...)
To be honest I thought the ticket system sucked as I presumed everyone and their mates would be buying tickets to secure a ticket for them selves and if they had extra redistribute the excess to their mates with in their camps. For example a couple could both go online and buy 2 tickets each and it'll give then double the chance of securing a ticket if they both managed to get a ticket they would have 2 left over for their mates. If only one of the couple scored they still got their tickets. I really thought it an unfair system...when the organisers were only trying to make it a fair system...

Anyway what's done is done...CHANGE IS HEALTHY....
For those long time burners who didn't score tickets i'm sad for you. However don't be mad at the new burners who also want to experience something incredibly unique and special. It's selfish of those of you who are already dissing the experience of those genuinely wonderful people who have never been and are extremely excited about it...BM 2012 could be bigger and better than anything done before. Maybe it will be slightly different to all the other years but it is the people you surround your self with who will make it special and the attitude you take with you. The people heading this year i'm sure are as enthusiastic, loving, generous and full of fun...let go of the old and welcome the change. It's only positive if we look at it in a collective positive light...Welcome NEW BURNERS, the experience will be just as amazing. Don't let the rants from pissed off people get to you....IT WILL BE THE BEST BURN EVER!!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

BMORG sends an email to all "Lottery Winners" that requires a name and I.D. for each ticket received in the lottery. A couple of weeks to reply after which all un-named tickets go back into the system for sale automatically. This will kill scalpers/hoarders and put the tickets back into the community in time for people to make their plans for attendance. Future sales (limit 2 per order), require name and I.D. as well. So it costs a little more to print tickets, BMORG can afford it in order to save the event.

Posted by Bull Bunny on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 10:41 am

Good attitude. However, have a quick look around at the websites that list Burner's comments and suggestions. Virtually every suggestion you've listed is central to most comments. We all know that:
Over-ordering tickets is rampant among Burner's wanting to improve their chances in the lottery. These gamers aren't on the net celebrating their victory or adding to surveys. They're quietly making their plans and distributing their ill-gotten prizes. Karma is a bitch and she'll be visiting them soon.
Scalpers saw the sell-out last year, all the publicity and jumped at the opportunity. Non-transferable tickets attached to an individual would in fact solve most of this. No veteran Burner would buy from such an outlet, not to mention the $2000 price tags are beyond the ability of most to pay.
More tickets will be offered for sale by BMORG soon but without the changes discussed over-ordering/scalping will dominate again.
Those with an abundance of extra tickets are going to wait till the tickets actually arrive in the mail so they can finalize their plans, I doubt that any will appear on the BM resale site.
In any case, all this, even if it somehow works out, doesn't give big theme camps/artists time to prepare.anything of value.
BMORG could do something right away. A simple email to lottery winners requiring a name to go with each ticket. A time limit of a month to comply before the tickets are turned back over to the sales system. Tickets could make their way back into the hands of legitimate Burners in time to make plans.

Posted by Oddosan on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 9:54 am

I hear you...I get a sense that much of the disappointed are viewing the organizers as "The Man" and that all fault lies with them because of their self serving ways. It seems the lottery system was their best guess at the most fair way to get the tickets out, and who could have predicted it would have played out this way? I think they were expecting most people to play "fair", as they always have in imploring people to pay the ticket amount they think they can afford with the tier system and to not give business to scalpers. Unfortunately too many people worked the system to their personal benefit, and at the expense of the greater good. I hate to think of the worse case scenario would be to the culture of Burning Man, and I also expect corrections to the system as we live and learn with the lottery system this year. I think we need to send supportive energy to the organizers and encourage them positively.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 9:05 am

You're joking right? If you've been on eplaya at all since the lottery system was announced this EXACT scenario has been put forth myriad times. The organizers were well aware of the flaws in the system that made it even more vulnerable to scalpers than the first come first served method. It wasn't people who gamed the system, it was scalpers. The proof is in the fact that sites such as StubHub were reselling blocks of 86 tickets as of Feb. 1.

Posted by Zodiac on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 10:01 am

I knew it would lead to this once "Malcolm In The Middle" did that Burning Man episode. It was only a matter of time.

Posted by Choderus on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 12:36 am

I think the people the were unable to buy tickets should all stand together, meet in black rock outside the fence, then all at the same time, rush it....There's no way it can be stopped!!! BURNING MAN MOB!!!!

Posted by Don Wiechers on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

i love your idea!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Guest dina on Feb. 06, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

great idea ! as veterans burners with 7 burns (kids have 5 burns) we are now seriously reassessing whether we should go or want to go ....

sad day,

Posted by Guestresponse on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

Great idea, the Nevada Police are already licking their hairy lips. They'll make 10 times the money they make on the speed traps.

Posted by Bull Bunny on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

While I appreciate the frustration (I didn't get a ticket either), there are 3 words to explain why a Burning Man Mob (providing anyone is actually serious about such a strategy) is a verrrrrrrrry bad idea: British Soccer Match. People "dying to go to BM" would undoubtedly not just be a phrase.

A much more peaceful and effective method of communicating our unhappiness with this ridiculous lottery might be found by looking at whathas just occurred with the Komen Foundation fiasco and resultant rapid reversal in the face of an outraged public. Money talks...and BM is no exception (how ironic that the actual event itself is supposed to be money-free!). I, for one, am now planning a different fabulous experience for the end of August....sailboating down the coast of Mexico, anyone???

Posted by Guest Maia of the Playa on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 4:57 am

Listen, I`ve been to burning man several times and love it!!!! I know all about it and get it, but seriousely.... some of you need to get over yourselves. Its a HUGE festival and more to the point a HUGE party. You will live without it!!!!! The name, size and place dont make the event, the people do. Throw a party, and if you need to, join or start a cult! Just sayìn!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

it's not just a party. you have no idea what you are talking about. But that isn't even the point. The lottery basically split apart the large theme camps that make up with Burning Man is. Without them, it's going to be just a bunch of clueless first timers running amok.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 12:20 am

So you've been, but that doesn't mean you get it... which obviously you don't. Which is ok. Maybe you just attended the party, but there is more there. For those who understand this what is happening with our community is devestating. Yes we will survive, but that doesn't mean there isn't a very real sense of loss here.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

I didn't get a ticket. Boo hoo. The actual problem, however, is that Buddha Camp is gone for this year. Lots of other theme camps are gone too. BMorg contributes to the ticket scalping which is illegal in Clark County, Nevada. BMorg needs to pressure Ebay, et.al., to stop the advertising of scalped tickets. Also, BMorg does not put ticket prices on tickets which is also illegal. I don't know how to communicate with BNorg, not that they will listen.

Perhaps we can cut a deal with the Paiute Indian Reservation. The reservation is just South of BM and has a LAKE with WATER and lots of flat land. As its own Nation, no permit is needed from the stinking BLM. As a six time burner, I want to swim a few laps at 4pm. Also our money will go directly to the Nation for whatever they need. I tried to get BMorg to move to the reservation. I'll give them a call tomorrow. Right now you can camp out with a user fee. I can see the Nation selling us food, drinks, cheap cigarettes and trinkets, and provide a living for people with few opportunities. Bobu Hasegawa de Vegas, J.D.

Posted by Guest Robert Hasegawa on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

Clark County has nothing to do with the Burn, except lots of people pass through it on their way there.

The burn is held inside Pershing County, but Washoe County also has their hand in the jar for vague proximity reasons.

I contacted the tribe in November stating an attendance estimate of only 50 and they sent me an event permit. They seemed open to the prospect, and this was before the theme camps started dropping like flies.

We are also looking at another locale about 200 miles away. But we decided either way it would be best for 2013 to make it right, and to give us a chance to say our last goodbyes (as a theme camp anyway) to BRC community.

Posted by Amii on Feb. 08, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

That is a wonderful idea, the best that has been thrown out there. You know the powers that be could not have anyone come up with something better. It is that pride thing.

Posted by GuestNAncy hIll on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 11:07 am

Best idea I've heard yet!

Posted by Polyanna La Tigra on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

I believe what goes around comes around.Things just seem to work out no matter how bad it looks.Burning Man will go on regardless of problems that may come up: Scalpers, Complainers, to many people or any other thing you can think of. The future is ours, so stop complaining about every little thing that is insignificant.Burning man will go on. A concerned burner

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

why not just make the whole thing a giant free event. see how many people actually show up.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

because that is a very bad idea. it would turn into a douchebag fest, with no control, respect for others, or the land.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 12:21 am

Bad art in the desert was a nice idea, whose time has now passed.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

... is for the org to annul this lottery entirely - refund the credit cards and say, "sorry! that didn't work. let's try again!" Pay the $100-200K needed to set up a ticketing system where every ticket is personalized and can't be transferred except through bman's lovely new STEP system. Yes, check IDs at the gate!

This of course, requires money and courage. In my opinion, the org has both. They kept the event going after the cleanup fiascos in 1997 and 1999. They saw it through the NCA challenge. This situation is a mess but it can surely be cleaned up... if the org is willing.

One twist is that this would require the 10K or so burners who DID get tickets through the lottery to give them up. In the current scarcity-mode, this may take some courage on their part, even though a personalized-ticketing system will almost certainly get them a ticket anyway. I think, as a group, burners HAVE the courage and the enlightened self-interest!

If you DID get a ticket and you agree that the lottery should be annulled, please let your favorite LLC member know! (politely of course! they're not having a good day.)

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

I like this idea too. And I did get a ticket. I'd sacrifice it for the greater good of burning man for sure.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

Your comment makes so much sense. Thank you for writing it. I did get a ticket. And in response to previous comments I believe that I do "get burningman".

I have been to the playa many, many times and I would happily give my ticket back in favor of a more equitable way to redistribute them.

And, yes, I will contact someone official and share with them my views. Thank you for suggesting it.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 6:49 am

IF, and that's a big IF, the BMorg's aim was to thwart scalpers with this new system (and not an avoidance of an insufficient ticket vendor that can't do what Ticketmaster and tons of others do every day for the same price) then they certainly made the most moronic and foolish decision.

Scalpers, normally, would get in line like everyone else and buy tickets. Formulating separate emails for each purchase. Something that takes time and is difficult with the small window to purchase tickets on the first day of sales. Before the good (profitable) tiers sell out. It requires a LOT of employees sitting on a computer for those first few hours.

Instead, with this new system, BMorg has effectively made it easier for scalpers to obtain tickets and have a firm grasp of control of BM tickets. By giving those scalpers two weeks to register thousands of fake names and accounts. It's not surprising that only 1/3 of tickets sold through the lottery went to veteran burners. Which are normally the only people in line on opening day. If one was to look at the figures for opening day the normal requested amount of tickets is almost a quarter of the estimated 90,000 requests for this year. Where did these extra 60,000+ 'burners' come from? Was Current TV's coverage of the event last year so spectacular that the marketing campaign finally worked better then it did back in '06 when it started? Yes, that must be it. But the broadcasting of the world's most infamous underground culture event is another story all in it's own.

With somewhere in the range of $7.5 million in salaries per year (2010 afterburn report) one would think that a corporation could not only have competent employees that would be capable of making good decisions but also projecting the fallout they may cause. Consider if any other event that people buy tickets to did this (Sports, Concerts, Theater, Festivals etc.) what the repercussions would be.

Already gone public with saying everything but the direct conclusion, the facts surrounding the transition of BM, LLC to the new Not-for-profit and that undisclosed six way split of the liquidation of Burning Man, LLC it seems that selling out fast and furiously is most important to the wallets of the 'owners' of BM. Regardless of what the 'Principles' are.

Yes, this is the end of BM as we knew it. See you at the Regional Burn (which will soon be independent of BM so not to further a world wide marketing campaign to create more One Percenters).

Posted by Chicago Poochie on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

The only solution is to tie tickets to named individuals with physical descriptions at the point of sale, not be able to transfer them and photo ID check. Can't make it? Tough. Want to profit? Tough. No photo ID? Tough.

The only game to bust this would be to sell fake ID's along with the tickets. Do you think scalpers are going to buy the tickets and then get the buyers to show up for a photo session?

"For Sale 1x burning man ticket. You must be white, 6', blue eyes, 140lbs, aged around 25 and be able to show up at my mother's house for me to to try and make a shitty fake ID. Your burning man name will be Bob Downe."

Posted by hellonathan on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 2:27 pm


Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

Why doesn't someone smarter than me set a scam to purchase all the stub hub, ebay, ect. tickets. I don't have the computer saavy but damn we got some good anarchists in this group. Make these resellers regret their new business venture. I love the idea of messing with them. Heh heh heh

Posted by guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

HA! nOw tHAtS THE SPIRIT i REMEMBER....'97 '98 '99...

Posted by Guest on Feb. 09, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

My company, which regularly sells supplies to Burners before the event, which is our biggest selling season, tries to give back to the community by funding some of those unfunded art projects and we've been successful in bringing ungranted art and unticketed artists to the playa in the past. Essentially, we're integral the experience of Burning Man but not part of the organization that runs it. This works out great for everyone involved, we profit, we enrich the Burn, and we act in freedom to do what we want. The org gives us space, gives us some power, and let's us borrow a forklift and maybe some DPW folk for elbow grease.Essentially now, we're relegated to being shut out of that happy confluence that makes the Burn work. We'll still profit, but the folks we bring to the playa usually will not. Scalpers, however large their impact, aren't adding any value to the Burn. Ironically, we're now in the same boat as the scalpers, we'll indirectly make money off the Burn, be we aren't adding anything to it. That kind of sucks, and doesn't do anything for our PR.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

Strange that Stephen T. Jones can not get a press pass to this ridiculously overpriced event for our Dot com gentry!

Posted by Richard on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

Have we heard from BMorg as to their rational for using the lottery system and not making name specific ticketing?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

I've heard a lot of rationale for not going with name specific ticketing, but all I've heard about using the lottery in the first place has been, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

Posted by Amii on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

The "Exodus" should be spread out for another day or two if necessary to handle the extra cars if there was more.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

Here's a simple solution to the conundrum. Create a Burner currency. Let's call it the Burning Dollar.

Anyone who volunteers for a Burner event, whether it be Burning Man, contribution to the creation of artwork, contributions to a theme camp, or contribution to an official Burning Man regional event, gets one Burning Dollar for every hour of work they contribute.

To buy a ticket you need to redeem your Burning Dollars in order to buy tickets. The more Burning Dollars you have, the better chance you have of securing a ticket, which means you get rewarded for your involvement. This would also give an additional incentive for people to get more involved in Regional Burns.


Tier One... 100 Burning Dollars gets you first choice of tickets (and you can choose one of the three tiers based on your income). A two week window allows organizers to determine how many tickets have been sold to first tier Burners.

Tier Two: 50 Burning Dollars gets you 2nd choice of tickets.

Tier Three: 20 Burning Dollars gets you 3rd choice

Tier Four: 10 Burning Dollars gets you 4th choice

Tier Five: Remaining tickets made available by lottery.

Erik the Red,

Former treasurer of Vancouver Regional Burning Man group.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

Has the BMorg giving their reasoning for doing a lottery?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

As a long time burner who entered the second lottery and did not "win", I am going to try again in March. If I do not "win" a ticket then, like last year, I will recommend to all of the campers involved in my large theme camp to BUY and SELL TICKETS ONLY AT FACE VALUE.

If we all decide to buy and sell our tickets at face value we can send a important message to ourselves, the new and the old. Let us all choose to NOT participate in the BM ticket for profit business. Remember last year? There were many face value tickets available right before the Burn. Can we trust that they will be available this year? Who is to say?

This system will not be turned around this year. Buy and sell tickets at face value. It is something we can all do. And choosing to do that as a Burning Man community will make a huge difference.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

Agreed. That's how I went last year.

There will be a buying frenzy at some point, spurred along by the profiteers, but those determined to go need not get caught up it. Be patient.

I returned in 2011 after skipping three Burns. Before 2007, there was no such thing as a markup at BRC.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 05, 2012 @ 9:55 am