Burning Man ticket fiasco creates an uncertain future

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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.

Comments

just so we're clear on what happened last year. there was no excess of tickets.

the week before the burn. i sold a ticket to a friend at face value. there were at 5+ other people who wanted it.

I put an ad up on craiglist to see what the demand was like in the 'real world'. at $525, I had 25 voicemails in 45 minutes before my ad was flagged and taken off of craigslist.

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

There was also NO SHORTAGE.

Tickets were on sale for 6 months.

That is plenty of time and tickets.

The only people who had problems were procrastinators.
Thanks to them THEY made their problem everyone's.

Pretty typical.
What happened last year was NO EXCUSE for implementing this FAILED "LOOTERY"

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 5:15 am

and then do you think what is going to happen?

Posted by hellonathan on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

This does not work, in the end, in July/August, even loyal ethos touting burners - WILL buy tickets at excessive scalped prices, or face not going - often, not a personal option. So that argument is mute and can't be logically pushed as "well if we just". PEOPLE DON'T WORK THAT WAY, scalping will win that argument.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

We volunteer most years with BRAF and we didn't get tickets. It made me wonder how many BM groups who rely on volunteers (center camp cafe, lamp lighters, etc.) won't be able to get the help they need. Oh well. I am one of those non-panicking people who is waiting to see what will happen.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

I have volunteered in each of the last 10 years and putting in untold hours working with an average of 15 days on the playa each year. I have always bought my own ticket ........ I guess it's good to screw the volunteers! At least that is how I feel now, let's see how they work without US.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 9:48 pm

Burning Man is/was Amazing!!! Now it's too big to fit all the amazing people that want to go in that space, right? Let's create another Burning Man inspired event! Will it be exactly the same? No. Will it be as enormous/famous as Burning Man? No, but there is potential to take what was amazing about Burning Man and start something new with it. Just saying, I'm down if you are. :)

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:06 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

I would encourage every burner who got tickets to burn them. Boycot is the only power and we are a big community. WE are burning man, not the organizing crew, not Larry or anyone else. If we do not show up, BM will be a lot different. We bring the art, the mood, the community and the experience and without us BM is nothing. If we do that as a community, this year event will be a lot different, without the arts, cars, events and experience. Therefore I promise you that the BM crew will ask us to comeback next year and assure you that people who care and make BM as we know will have tickets. 400$ is cheap to get our home back. Boycoting and destroying acces for some by not reselling tickets is the only power we have. Burners, family and friend; burn your ticket; mine is already gone and see you all next year.
TheMilkMan

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 11:56 am

Could not agree more! We got tix, and we're just pissed at the whole system. It wasn't the people who gamed the system, it was the organizers who are gaming the participants and taking the volunteers for granted. BOYCOTT THE BURN

Posted by Zodiac on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 10:13 am

$h!t you got balls man... mine was only $240, and i would consider not going, but when push comes to shove, i'd probably use the ticket, or sell it at face to a friend wanting to go.

i've considered boycotting this year's event but selling the ticket

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

So have you burned your ticket yet?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

And much to the no doubt bitter unhappiness of the posters here, it will probably go well.
So new people got in. Bummer.
So some tickets are on Ebay. Bummer.
So entitlement syndrome slams up against radical self reliance.. NOT surprising....

Posted by Kit on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 10:25 am

uh, yeah...I didn't think so.

Posted by Amii on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

Please explain how the ticket lottery is radically self reliant.

Posted by Amii on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

Although I'd never be interested in the grand hipster fest "Burning Man", I do feel sorry for some of my libtard friends who go every year ... one crew only got tickets for about 30% of the members, and they are completely overwhelmed by the dilemma.

This (however) is what you get......

when you combine the stupidity of the government bureaucracy who apparently will not give BM permits for more people...and this is completely stupid since they run a tight ship and leave the place perfectly clean.

and secondly, you have a bunch of hipster libtards running the show, who are either completely stupid, ie: still denying that this is a gigantic profitable enterprise (which it is), or they are completely cynical and this scheme has made them even more money.

either way....bad form....

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.

anyone who really believes that the people running this show are not becoming wealthy off of an event that has a budget of 15 million dollars is delusional.

oh well....live and learn ;)

Posted by nyctreeman on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 10:08 am

Well, despite the libtard nonsense, and despite his ignorance of the actual event (there are plenty of conservtards there, dude), there are salient points to be found in NYCtreeman’s comment.

This IS what you get. Burning Man is a festival that brings a great deal of money to the LLC and the various businesses and governmental bodies that profit from it. Burning Man is also profoundly meaningful to most of the people that go to it. And the LLC has confused the line between those two realities in ways that helped create this fiasco.

They took full advantage, nay, they fostered the volunteer aspect in such a way that spectators of the event provide most of the goods and services that vendors would provide at other events for a profit. Then when they decided to change their ticket structure they gave no consideration to that fact. If the Oregon Fair went to a lottery ticket structure the vendors would be unaffected. The show would go on.

I agree that the clash of ideologies played a significant role in this fiasco.

Posted by Amii on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

As a long-time burner (and a conservative) I agree with Amii.

I would go a step farther and say that the clash of ideologies existed within the LLC itself: they tried to design a system with one foot in the default world and one in BRC and unfortunately misread both.

A lottery designed to interface with the default world yet expecting people to act according to a Burner ethos was naive to say the least.

And forgetting that the theme/art camps are what makes BRC what it is and that they cannot survive the random deletion of key members was shortsighted: if a random collection of people in the desert could create a Burning Man event we wouldn't need Middle East Peace talks!!!

I have hope this will all get sorted out (and that I can get a ticket) but I am quite disappointed and a bit disillusioned at this point and very worried about the future of this event.

Posted by JO3 on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

JO3 said it perfectly: they tried to set up this process with one foot in the default world and one foot in BRC.

Amongst my Burner friends (only ~10% of whom seem to have gotten a ticket), there has been a resounding cry of "I told you so"s, and this is the exact sentiment that seemed the most poignant.

They expected Burners to behave in the same communal, others-before-oneself manner in which we act on-playa. But it was extremely short-sighted and naive (at the least) to assume that the ticket lottery would have people following the same ethos.

Even if we didn't have to deal with non-Burner scalpers looking for a profit, there would still be a shortage due to all of the fear they created through the lottery system. And when people have to choose between (a) making sure they get to experience something so extremely important to them, or (b) giving everyone else in the universe [including non-Burners] an equal chance... Obviously the people have spoken.

Posted by InTheDefault on Feb. 06, 2012 @ 11:32 am

You're a retard.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

why insult the mentally disabled by comparing him to this ass?

Posted by marke on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

nyctreeman - you need to seriously get over yourself.

You've never been to the event, you don't know anything about how the org is run, and you are full of assumptions based on a worldview that starts with cynicism and a total lack of comprehension that not everyone does, or should, see things the way you do.

From that grand platform of total ignorance, you're going to inform those who do go to the event and who do care about developing a community based on principles other than greed and selfishness that they should wake up and willingly swill your bitter brew of pathetic, superiority-complex driven views?

News flash. You're an a**hole. Most people who tell you they like you, actually don't. Guaranteed. Oh, and you're not as successful as you think you are, and you don't know as much as you think you do, and really, you're the kind of person who has destroyed the best part of what being a "Conservative" used to mean. Nice work.

I'm a veteran Burner, and I'll be happy to let you know that we're not all a bunch of commie, hippy, libtards. I fight for my country, and fight for idiots like you to be able to say whatever the f*ck you want. However, that doesn't make you right, it just makes you free to say it.

Enjoy your freedom bought with other people's blood, while you sit there smugly thinking you're entitled to it. Meanwhile, I'm going to hang out with the people who are trying to take their freedom and do something beautiful with it, instead of trash-talking other Americans because they don't fit a particular world-view.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 11:19 am

I'm sure you know everything about it and the people who go there, not having been there yourself.

I'm a 44-y.o. pilot and former Marine who exercises my 1st AND 2nd Amendment, and I attend Burning Man as often as possible. You may have a point but you lost my respect. Come call me a libtard.

Are all Yankees as opinionated, arrogant clueless as you?

Posted by Dienekes on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 11:18 am

Typical America Hater Conservative, speaking about something they've never experienced or know nothing about. Inconvient things like "Facts" and "Reality" often intrude onto the wee little brains of these scumbags, anything that inteferes with the knowledge he gets from having his lips wrapped around the schlongs of his America Hating Hero's (Limpdick, Gingrich, Perry, _______) causes a reality distortion in his puny little dick brain.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 11:14 am

You Conservative America-Hater types are a hoot, you really are.

Seeing as how you've never actually BEEN to Burning Man, one must love how you speak from such authority about an event you're completely ignorant of. Then again, would one really expect anything less from a Conservative wanker? to talk out their ass about subjects they know nothing about?

The org screwed up. plain and simple, but this does not make the event Commercial. After going for 11 years, I can tell you that the event has stuck to its core principles throughout, even if it has grown in size.

But .. no... no... You America Hater types have no use for inconvient things like "Facts" or actually experiencing something on your own. You would much rather have your brain progammed by fat ass clowns like Rush Limpdick.

Posted by Guest NotATeabaggerWanker on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 11:10 am

There are just as many (if not more) Liberal America Haters.

Everyone here should get over themselves.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 5:20 am

I feel sorry for your *libtard* friends..do they know you hate them so much?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 11:00 am

Right? Also, how do burners = hipsters? People shouldn't use derogatory slang if they have no idea what the meaning is.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 11:46 am

No one has mentioned the $420 pre sale tickets. 100% of the people I know were awarded these tickets, for a total of 28 tickets in our small theme camp.

In the regular sale about 20% of those that entered were awarded tickets.

28 out of 3,000 tickets is a lot. I wonder if all those that requested pre sale tickets were awarded them and therefore the main lottery had less tickets to sell...

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 9:08 am

I have friends who registered for the $420 pre-sale, and weren't awarded tickets. So not everyone who registered for that got them. They were automatically rolled over to the main lottery (all three tiers) and didn't get them at that point either.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

Steve, please stop plugging your inane book every time you report on Burning Man.
You are using the news of the event for your own gain-enough already.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 8:41 am

I wonder how many murders will occur as a result of the demand for drugs by attendees. And I dont mean at burning man i mean in the streets... from bogata to brooklyn. How many sassafras trees will be cut down to supply the mdma. How many gallons of diesel will be burned to get people out there. I personally see little difference between burning man and las vegas. I say stay home and enrich your communities right where you live. But do as you will.

S.

Posted by Guest: S. on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 8:01 am

OMG! bahahahh! MDMA doesn't come from the sassafras tree. Just because MDA (not MDMA btw) is sometimes, called "Sass" doesn't mean it comes from the tree idiot. It's a designer drug, mean one that is made by man, as in chemists. Wow. The idiocracy of America is astounding.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 8:42 am

Yes....yes it is a designer drug. Made from Sassafras extract (along with some other ingredients). I'm a chemist, I know. So do some research or your will contribute to the 'idiocracy of American'.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2012 @ 10:18 am

keep denying the fact that large amounts of drugs are consumed at BM and that this year has been a record setting year for murders in Mexico, most of which are drug related. Keep not hearing the pleas of politicians and citizens from south of our borders to stop the drug use. But I am sure that because its under the veil of art that its ok. You all sound worse then Obey or Marc Ecco. Like homie before me said..."first world problems". The fact you have to resort to ad hominem is pretty interesting. Your an American too, and if your not you probably wish you were, so if I am an idiot then either your part responsible for that or its something you see and wish to become.
I am sick and tired of the killing that happens as a result of Americas drug use and as a recovering alcoholic (nearing three years sober) I dont by the "lets blame the gov's war on drugs" mentality that many people believe in. If it is not marginalized people killing each other with guns its people like Philip Morris or Anheuser-Busch killing people silently.

S.

Sober in Oakland

Posted by Guest: S. on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 10:11 am

Uh, you need safrole to synthesize MDA and ultimately MDMA which comes from the bark of a sassafras tree.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 10:40 am

Actually you are wrong. Unfortunately, they do cut down sasafrass trees to make MDMA. Check out the new documentary about it, I believe on History Channel

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 10:03 am

Check out the new documentary on The History Channel about how alien "exoterrestrials" helped build the pyramids.

Posted by Dienekes on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 11:21 am

I have no knowledge of MDA/MDMA beyond a couple enjoyable episodes in the early nineties....

...but the History Channel? They lost any sort of legitimate reputation with me with their ridiculous bigfoot and aliens documentaries.

Posted by Amii on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 11:07 am

#firstworldproblems

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 7:54 am

It's possible SF attracts an unusually high percentage of whiners who come to the west coast in search of a better life. In many cases, life must not have been so great where they were living before or they wouldn't have moved here in the first place. When things don't go their way, whiners seem to rely on the tired tactics of calling people names, acting out, and whining even louder. And the SFBG blog has an unenviable history of attacting some of us who have taken whining, misery and negativity to an entirely new level. If only 90% of the world's population had such problems as not getting a ticket to Burning Man. The horror!

Maybe it's an insight into humans in general - a propensity to bitch, complain and whine - or maybe it's just a glimpse into the souls of the unfortunate ones who didn't get enough attention and love growing up who need to let the world know how unfair life is when things don't work out as planned.

Whatever the reason for the whining, it's beyond hilarious that some of these "self-reliant, hyper-creative and visionary" Burner types, who honor us with their presence 51 weeks out of the year, can't come up with something interesting, fun and different to do in those years they can't get a ticket to one of their favorite events.

If the environment isn't sustainable for a larger group, you'd think these self-reliant, hyper-creative and visionary types would understand the environmental limitations and create their own wonderful event, finding a bunch of other creative people who also didn't get a ticket and maybe find other friends and colleagues who prefer smaller gatherings than being around 50,000 people for a week (many of whom are possibly looky-loos anyway).

There are millions of acres of BLM and Forest Service land that don't get many visitors during the year that would be perfect for offshoots to the Black Rock experience.

These offshoot gatherings would be the perfect metaphor for the story of all species migration: a population gets too crowded in one place and some of species - often the youngest members - look for other places to grow, thrive and build a sustainable community consistent with the new external environment.

The journalists at SFBG often write about sustainability. How many people can SF and California reasonably accomodate? Can off-leash dogs and thriving natural environments co-exist? What are the true environmental costs for clothing, feeding and housing the population? And once natural limits are reached, who gets to decide who stays and how much they have to pay for the priviledge of staying, who gets to join the elites, and who has to go?

Like others are saying, it seems inconsistent for The BM Management to idealize Burning Man as this great collective, cooperative experience and then turn around and market the tickets through the most ruthless process possible, rewarding the speculators, deal-makers and economic elites who can afford to pay the highest prices.

It seems like a good year for some to spend $400 somewhere else and create something new and different, with better humanistic values. Let the profiteers and the top 20% of the economic elites who can afford the $1,500 tickets have their fun at Black Rock for the week.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

Just wow.

I never knew one could so skillfully translate masturbation to text, but I believe you just did it.

Did you clean your keyboard once you were done?

Posted by BZ on Feb. 05, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

Official BMorg News Release - 02.03.12 10am PST

"For those who supported Burning Man for many years and were not picked for
Lottery tickets, fuck you. Don't whine, either. We think other Burners will be
kind enough to sell you a ticket at cost but that is not likely. We're not
"home" on the playa yet; Reality Camp rules still apply. Scammers and scalpers
have plenty of tickets. More than they need, really. There will be a big
resale market most likely on Craigslist, eBay, StubHub, etc. You can purchase a
ticket now for $650-$1500 each but don't buy from those nasty people. Bad,
Burner. Bad.

The Burning Man LLC, now referred to as Big Burner, has your best interests in
mind. Big Burner launches a new Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) on Feb 22 to reap more profit. We won't give you the STEP specifics yet but, rest
assured, fees will be added to each ticket transaction. This is for your safety
and protection. In the past, participants purchased tickets on a first come,
first serve basis. Call it radical self-reliance if you will. Bad, Burner.
Bad. Use our new, untested STEP program. Trust us. We're looking out for you
and know what is best.

Now, we don't want to be too greedy but know you are anxious to spend whatever
it takes for a Burning Man ticket. 10,000 additional tickets will go on sale
directly from BM on March 28 at noon. They're only $390 each but, again, this
is your last chance for a ticket. Otherwise, go fend for yourself in the unsafe
and unkind world of scalpers. Buy NOW.

Big Burner also enjoys your sob stories. Tell us how pathetic and poor your
life has become. Grovel on your hands and knees. We may grant you a low income ticket. 4000 low income tickets can be applied for on Feb 15.
http://tickets.burningman.com."

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 7:47 am

The sky is falling the sky is falling!!

Posted by Yellfire on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 7:15 am

"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." Marian Goodell

Did she get that from an official book of "things pseudo hippy corporate w*****s say to appease the angry masses" or did she make it up on the spot?

Posted by Dylanos on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 6:00 am

Loyal burners by virtue of prior attendance and whatever effort in time and energy they might contribute to making the burn better for all deserve the first opportunity for tickets. Call it entitlement if you will, but it really should be a given gift and not a gamble that may exclude those that are the true heartbeats of the community! You just do not encourage gifting when you close the gate on the best potential gift givers. The lottery will put out burner flames and create ashes of discontent!

Posted by Mehl Renner on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 5:54 am

Events like this grow. I went many years ago we were in Utah and ran into some folks camping. They suggested we check out Burning Man. We were like what's that after talking woth them about we decided to check it out. We loaded up with provisions, lots of water and off we went a detour from our moubtain bike trip to Moab. Well I'm sure glad we did what an experience, we got tickets at the gate and it was quite a bit smaller than it is now,but that's what happens with amazing experiences. Everybody tells their friends about it and now they want to go. It's jist progress and I find it somewhat hypocritical of peopl to being calling others newbies. That is unfortunate. I agree that a lottery was a bad idea but I believe the Borg had the best intentions they just didn't think it through. But at the same time maybe that's what it takes more "newbies" getting this experience to go put and be better humans. I think the BORG need to have a seperate group of tickets for the special camps with each camp having amaximum number of tickets as well as tickets for the Art groups because they are a large part of the experience. But come on I went in 97 and I was a"Newbie" Burning Man is about more than just seeing the same people it's about ideas and growth and moving on. Maybe it's time to create some more events and reach mpre people with the message. Progress is a bitch but it's also inevitable. I'm surprised it tool this long Shamballah completely transformed in under 10 years. Burners consider yourselves lucky.

SNP Calgary Ab Canada

P.S. The Jersey Shore Brats and Housewives of whereve along with. Lindsay Lohan won't last 2 days. Not evryone can be a Burner. If all is lost throw your own it jist tales some land ,determination,perserverance and an idea. That's how Burning Man started. Good Luck,

Posted by S.N.P on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 5:33 am

Glad you had a great time at Burning Man, and I'm not sure if you are responding to comments here, but it doesn't seem like you are completely privvy to the issue.

First, newbies is a joyous moniker - Burners love newbies, and newbies are burners. There may be some grousing right now but that's because the LLC scapegoated newbies by using them as an excuse for this ticket fiasco. All we heard when we voiced our concerns - now verified - was that it would give newbies a chance to experience the burn. Newbies have never lacked the chance to experience the burn, though, and people with legitimate concerns are perfectly aware of that.

What is at issue is that this event relies heavily on volunteer effort in the form a theme camps to entertain all the lovely burners including in great part newbies. The lottery is about as anti-theme camp as you can get, and newbies are going to have a hard time being entertained in a flat landscape with no theme camps.

If they want to have a lottery, they should provide the entertainment, and then all the whining about whining-about-the-lottery might actually be legitimate.

Posted by Amii on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 11:24 am

DUDE! If you have something to say, and you want people to understand it, use GRAMMAR!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 10:12 am

When bm brings out another 20 thousand tickets, the people now selling them for 1500 euro will loose a lot of money as then they aren't worth anything anymore !!!

Posted by Angel from hell on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 4:47 am