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

What amazes me is why this was not foreseen. First we have in our community as mentioned earlier, the minds to do this right.

Second, all of our names are in the data base. I know because they send me a post card each year.

How hard would it be to set up a system that ask past burners if they wanted to buy a ticket?

How obvious was it that burners were going to buy more than two tickets if they could, so their camp mates could come.

I don't know of anyone(12 year burner, this would have been 13)that had any plans for the extra tickets they didn't get, except to sell them at face value to fellow burners that either couldn't buy now, or didn't.

Not sure if people like that got kicked out, but the ones i know that tried that got none! Surely it would be anticipated that we'd want to help each other!

Now that Marian confirms that it's about one third, we have to seriously consider alternatives. Most of us in theme camps simply can not go through yet another anxiety laced ordeal. First it was placement. Then it was Early Arrival passes. Now we don't even know if we get in? All so we can build a city.

I realize, and know that the community of Black Rock City is not the LLC. We are an amazing group of people that surmount all sorts of odds to make this happen(and if you haven't been for 10 or more days in a row, believe me, you can't know what i'm talking about)build the city, and give away whatever art, love, or other gifts many of us work on all year to bring. There is, or must be a breaking point.

Many of us are indeed contemplating alternative situations. Why? Because we need each other. We are after all burners, and we do have an ethos. The majority of ones I know, do not and will not buy scalped tickets, we just won't. It would be like selling our souls.

We will find a way to be together again. It might not be called BRC any more, but damn it, you can't keep a good burner down.

I'm pretty sure if a bunch of rich sparkle ponies show up, it will be kewl for them for a while, but without the vibrancy of the city, burning the man, and a few art pieces are not going to cut it. Then the worst weather of Burning Man history will come, something that will rival 2001's condition Alpha, and that will be it.

2013 no one but hard core burners will want to come. That is, if we didn't figure out something better to do.

Either way, LLC has a lot of work to do to try to convince us to come back, build the city, make it work, and keep the faith.

To say our faith is shaken I think at this point is an understatement.

Courage.

Posted by deanaoxo on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 2:58 am

I don't know you, but I love you! I will burn with you anywhere! My home state of New Mexico is planning a CORE effigy this year...only one couple (2) out of 137 members got their tickets, that I currently know of. Even though I was dumped by the lottery, I plan to still be a vital member of our CORE community.

I built a beautiful art car for the playa last year. I greeted on Monday morning, and I took as many people "home" on late nights, early mornings as I could. I gifted all kinds of people with art tours and opportunities to go deep playa. I fed Temple Crew at sunrise on Sunday morning. I offered my car for a day of touring handicapped burners through ARTERY. I came from the heart on all of this...it was my gift! This year, I won't even be able to bring my car...and oddly, I offered it as a BRAF auction item for a night on the car, with 11 guests of the winning bidder, to help raise money for the foundation. I have already spent $$$$ upgrading the car since the last burn and had commenced to create a piece for the camp. It is my only trip of the year and it costs me more money than I really care to admit. I am an artist, it is my mecca, it is my tribe.

I don't belong to a large theme camp...but I have. I contributed art in that setting for 2 years, volunteered as a Temple Guardian for a few and then built the art car. Only 1 person in my 10 people camp got a ticket. We are devastated, naturally. But, I suppose it is time to let that go...and still I wonder, wasn't I relevant in that setting? What will the Esplanade look like???

I will get myself "okay" with it, because...that is my nature. I'm not angry, totally...but I am dismayed. It is a real, true, sadness. I only signed up for 2 tickets, which I would have used...at the price I could afford.

We are talking about annexing in New Mexico and creating our own scene that perhaps our neighbors will want to come and share with us. But I have playa family from all over the globe. Will I see them again???

Oh, the places you'll go at Burning Man! I still can go to those places...I helped create them, they are mine. Not sure who I am leaving the rest to, but whomever you are out there...tend the garden, or it simply, will not grow.

Dr. Plaia

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 7:53 am

Doc, of all the posts I read so far yours has touch me deeply.
Commitment and integrity are the soul of burning man theme camps. The most basic element of the community that is Black Rock City. And there is no reason why a new comminity can not spring up anywhere one pleases to build a new home.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 06, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

Thank you.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 11:53 am

feel your pain - well written note - very very sad situation...for all the work you have done, all the art & volunteerism & gifting. I know they are trying to be egalitarian, but the 1/3 tickets obtained translates to our camp, too. Really takes the joy out of it.

Posted by Guest oh kay on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 10:05 am

Not that I have any personal investment in this debacle (no prior or planned involvement in the event), but your two main complaints seem to be that

A: not enough return-burners got their ticket, implying that the community, for all its expressed and practice openness, turns to resentment when threatened (which sounds an awful lot like some of the organizations which many burners oppose)

and following that,

B: that people willing to pay an extra thousand dollars for a ticket are more likely to be "newbie", by which I infer somehow not on the same level as a return burner who won the lottery. Apparently, having an extra grand that a person is willing to spend on this event (not to mention the other costs of attendance, which are certainly considerable... especially if you "pay dues and work long hours"... how much more than the face value of ticket does this add up to? a grand?) completely excludes you from valuing the experience as worth an extra grand and likely lumps you in as either spoiled or in a high enough income bracket to seem alien to your typical burner.

these both seem to me as very self-contradictory and hastily emotional arguments. although it is apparent that beneath your articulations you do have some valid complaints (as many do, including most of my friends), this really seems like no way to help your case, and is probably more harmful than good, especially in as public a forum as a local paper.

Posted by mn925sc on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 1:55 am

I think you missed my point. Yes, it may be an emotional argument that I'd rather build Black Rock City with people who worked their way in rather than just buying their way in, but quality matters. The qualities of the participants create the character of the city, and it takes time for new arrivals to acculturate and learn how to contribute to this project and its ethos. It's important to have new blood, but if those newbies are there simply because they had the resources to buy through way in (in violation of the principle of only paying face value for tickets), and they displace those who have worked for years to help shape this culture, well, then I see nothing wrong with deciding to skip it this year. And I know that I'm not alone in that feeling.

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

very well said

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 7:40 am

I'm all for the free market and value determining cost. But the objection isn't to the price of the scalped tickets (though many complaints about the price of tickets in the first place do exist). I personally would be willing to pay over a thousand dollars for a ticket. But not for a ticket bought purely for the purposes of making a profit, because I am a burner and this runs contrary to the entire point of Burning Man. I value the festival, its one of the highlights of my year. But offered the choice between betraying its principles and not attending, I will fore-go the pleasure.

The stance that a new person might unwittingly do this not realising the consequences is not disparagement of new people, it is the practical assumption that someone who has not experienced Burning Man might not understand why this is such a bad idea. The logical progression of this chain of events is that scalpers are encouraged, veteran burners are discouraged, and the percentage of people buying tickets from scalpers increases in a vicious cycle. To take this logic to its ultimate conclusion, eventually the event with wither and die because the people most willing to create art and be involved are also those least willing to facilitate scalpers making a profit.

The implication that the Burner community's reaction makes us as bad as any group opposed by burners is somewhat laughable, since the burning man community as a whole probably couldn't agree on what colour to paint a ceiling not to mind who to oppose. Not to mention that of course the reaction is bad, because like anyone we want our community to _survive_, and it can't do that if its population is slowly eroded by the inevitable creep of a group of worthless middlemen skimming off the ticket sales. People are having visions of an influx of clueless rich people with far fewer other burners to help them discover the essence of the burn experience - that isn't what we want the community to be, and I don't see the problem with expressing it.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 2:47 am

First come-first serve kept tickets out of the hands of scalpers and ticket hoarders. Like everyone else, they would have to sit in the queue waiting for their turn, and if they wanted to try again they had to get in the back of the line, or enlist the aid of other people to sit on their computers for hours.

The lottery allowed these same scalpers and hoarders weeks to casually add as many name and credit card numbers as they could to the system, then just kick back and wait to see how many tickets would roll in.

MANY PEOPLE SAID FOR MONTHS THIS IS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN. BUT THE BORG IS SO INSULATED, SO NAIVE, AND SO ARISTOCRATIC...THEY WON'T LISTEN TO ANYONE.

I'm one of those who received tickets. About 30% of my camp has tickets. But not one person who is an early arrival builder for us has a ticket so far. The people who drive our shipping containers to the playa do not have tickets. We haven't a clue what we are going to do.

I'll wait for the next sale, STEP, and any stray tickets to turn up in our camp or through other sources. But if it doesn't look promising for our camp after these attempts to get our people out there...I'm one that will probably sell and stay home also.

The Borg have absolutely ruined this years burn.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 1:38 am

lame.

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

"First come-first serve kept tickets out of the hands of scalpers and ticket hoarders"

Do your research!

"The Borg have absolutely ruined this years burn."

The Borg have helped make this year's burn.

Thanks!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 2:06 am

Redo! The BORG needs to admit they made a mistake, refund paid for tickets' absorb the fees for refunding, and start again. there's time. This event is more than a party, it's home for a lot of people.

As a business the BORG should have a cushion - after all it's not as if they're making $100k each per year, right?! roflmao

Take a note from Nike, Just do it. Do the refund!

Posted by PrarieGal on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 1:28 am

I am new to this community. I still have parental duties which preclude a trip to BRC this year, but looked to the future. If there is a database which allows the LLC to send burners of previous years correspondence, surely that database could be utilized to help. Also, tickets should be registered to the attendee at purchase. Since there is now an "official aftermarket" then if people determine that they cannot attend, they can turn that ticket back in for resale. What about the burners who would like to sell their ticket to a fellow burner? Perhaps the ticket could be turned in with another person's name on it as the requested buyer if the seller is a previous attendee (therefore highly unlikely to engage in the distasteful practice of scalping).

Is it feasible that the LLC could at this point contact all lottery winners and require immediate registration of tickets to actual ticket holders, with a deadline given (short time frame, a week or two, perhaps?). If not "registered", the tickets would revert back into the resale pool and credit cards would be refunded.

Forcing a scalper to immediately cough up a person's name who is going would be pretty difficult. They could simply send an email to all ticket winners that has a link embedded in it which will take them to a "personalization screen" which allows them to register the tickets to an actual human being.

Since the next block of tickets don't go on sale til late March, if an actual burner misses the deadline, (and they are a previous attendee) they can always appeal to have their tickets reinstated and register them at that point.

Any system won't be 100% fail-safe and of COURSE it's annoying and inconvenient. The ticket sale is kind of like...an aquifer. It's easier to NOT pollute in the first place, but it's too late for that (this year), so now it's time to shift into remediation mode. Cleaning up does take a LOT MORE EFFORT than not getting it dirty in the first place, but if the remediation is strategically developed to fit the situation, success is possible. Maybe for 2013, the LLC will re-think the idea that "pre-registering" at purchase is "too much trouble".

Posted by Entropybabe on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 4:34 am

Hey, I heard it's gonna be rubbish this year

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 1:28 am

Glastonbury Festival in the UK solved the Scapler problem by having a 'first come first served' ticket sale secured with a non refundable £50 deposit, followed by several resales of tickets that were handed back after the initial sale due to people finding out they could not attend / flaking or financial obligations meaning the balance was not cleared by the deadline.

When registering for tickets had to create a profile when purchasing tickets that included a photo, the name and photo were printed onto the ticket thus meaning scalping pointless. You could apply for unto 4 tickets but everyone you were applying for needed to have registered on the system and created a profile. You also had to specify who you were buying the tickets for.

If a 'little*' festival here in the UK can do it then i am sure that the people at burning man can do it for 58,000 people

Simple

*oh, when I say 'little' I actually mean around 177,500 people (135,000 general tickets, 37,500 crew/ guest and 5,000 day passes)

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:59 am

Completely unorganized and a bad-wait for it-waiiiit for it-business model, and make no bones, as much I love being on the Playa and embracing the life there, SELLING tickets is a BUSINESS and this lottery/whatever you want to classify it as, is simply put: A nightmare of logistics, ill planning, bad response and lackluster implementation, no matter how you "spin" it. It could have been unfathomably better and they know it.... :/

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:53 am

I was awarded two tickets and I am willing to have them taken back if BMORG will just wipe the slate clean and refund the CCs... The only way is to start over!!! The suggestion from an earlier post of contacting past Burners and giving them first option would be a great start. I have only gone two years and the first year I bought my ticket at an outlet and last year it was gifted to me. This said, if they start over and offer tickets to "tried and true" Burners, then I may not even get tickets this second go around. I am willing to run that risk because I have faith that my Family will find a way to bring me Home!! If they choose to start over and go this route, which I see as the only possible salvation for this beloved event, then technically, based on sales and population of 2010/2011 there should be a fair amount of tickets left to sell in a standard open sale in a couple months once they get this all straightened out. I want to stay positive and state that I do not feel the BMORG was acting in a malicious manner by attempting the lottery system, they just didn't truly understand what they were up against with the technology that is available for people to take advantage of situations like this. Greed rules the default world and sadly it has made a strong attempt to encroach on Black Rock City... I say NO and ask with ferverent respect that BMORG consider starting over with the interest of the history of this event in mind. This is not a step backwards for the inevitable growth and positive change in BRC. Let's consider this "redo" a witty and creative approach to cleaning up this mess! Peace and Respect to all involved and I plan to see ALL of My Family in Black Rock City 2012.... New 2012 theme... DETERMINATION... One last thing, a single ticket price to everyone of $300, no more tiers... I am sure BMORG can make this number work!!

Posted by TakeMeHome on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:31 am

if she thinks that this fiasco is not due to a spike in demand. Why the hell would scalpers get into the market in the first place if there was't a significant misalignment between the equilibrium price of tickets (that balances supply & demand) and the selling price of tickets.

Pick up an economics book people.

Despite our beloved "gift economy", BM indeed operates as a subset of a capitalist, free-market economy.... and in a time where consumer preferences and growth trends spread like wildfires. They expand with geometric acceleration.

Look at how technology can mobilize scores of people to congregate around common values and goals... like toppling governments. You honestly don't think that there are that many people interested in attending... have you seen the high quality YouTube videos of last year's Temple of Transition?

That being said, I think it's really smart to look at the bottle necks operational risks of exodus before naively increasing the size of the event. Praise for the smarty-pants smart enough to fight for that issue to be on the agenda.

Personally, I like how Harvey's is pointing to the theme of Fertility. Theme camps must rethink and reinvent themselves to survive... scores of people (myself included) will be attracted to the regional events for the first time... and who know what other cross-pollination will occur in the world as smart, hard-working, and creative talent is redistributed to other parts of the world during the year - instead of planning for BM.

Well, good luck to all my brothers & sisters out there. May you enjoy the infinite abundance of this finite reality.

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

Im thinking the reason they got into it in the first place is they were betting that so would other scalpers, thus limiting supply artificially. As long as enough of scalpers buy tickets, they all benefit.

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

Who as you know attended last year's Burning Man and was a popular figure on the Playa in her latex pasties, Kim Jong-il mask and scarlet fringed boots.

Supervisor Kim told me firstly how happy she was I took time out of my incredibly busy schedule working on my hotly anticipated memoirs and my comedy show to talk with her.

"Burning man is every man!" was how she began our discussion. While concurring I wanted to know what she would do as the Supervisor of one of SF's most Burner-heavy districts: "I plan on introducing a strongly-worded resolution next week expressing the will of my constituents to be availed of tickets and of the importance of this event to my district and to San Francisco at-large. As an attendee of last year's festival I know first-hand the joys of working with a tribe, the positivity of mixing my sweat with others on the Playa and most importantly - the power of communal spirit-bonding in an event which smashes bourgeois ideas of what brings people together."

I must say I developed my first non-Viagra assisted woody in decades at the thought of the scrumptious Jane Kim shaking her sweat-covered booty on the Playa in the Supreme Leader's likeness and furry boots. I also realized I must more closely examine my own latent homosexuality as it became clear it was Kim Jong-il's likeness which was causing a stirring down below and not Jane Kim herself - a subject best covered at the Brownnose Chronicles available at www.brownnosebeat.com. But it's clear Burning Man has an advocate in this Korean Mati-Hari and she's not backing down anytime soon!

Go Giants!

H

Posted by h. Brownnose on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

? Ew. What the he'll was that?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

Seems to me, the population cap could be raised. The bottleneck is exodus - the bulk of 50.000 people leaving on one day. Simply give us two days for exodus. Open the event a day earlier, and burn the Man on Friday and the Temple on Saturday.

Posted by Guest Elliot on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

I'm pretty sure that the US Bureau of Livestock and Mines won't let them have more than 50,000 participants onsite. Maybe that's because of Exodus concerns, but that's an externally-imposed limitation.

Getting that cap extended seems like a really good long-term solution, but I'm pretty sure there's nothing they can do for 2012.

Additionally, there is some point past which the event's growth causes irreversible environmental damage. Some critics say the event is already way past that point, but even if it's not, it will get there eventually. Maybe it's time to solve that problem now.

Posted by NobodobodoN on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 8:31 am

love this idea. I also thought of it as a possible scenario. I wonder what kinds of operational, legal & financial challenges come with a simple change in schedule.

Posted by Amir on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 12:29 am

Invite only.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

Why doesn't BM email everyone who won tickets and ask them to provide names for the person who will use the ticket(s). If the ticket winners cannot do so (as in the case of scalpers), the ticket order will be canceled and money refunded. Those tickets could then be re-sold thru STEP. I predict we would see many tickets returned to legitimate Burners and scalpers put out of business.

Posted by Christopher on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

Great idea!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

$700 for each!! limit 8. vi mc amx - and no fucking checks.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

I'll take 4 . . . I can re-sell those for twice as much. How do we get in touch?!

Posted by NeonRon on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 7:38 am

Up your nose with a $20 hose, fucktard.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 6:02 am

KARMA IS

Posted by Karma Is on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 3:42 am

ass hat

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

Greed kills everything that is original and beautiful! That's a shame! Maybe all the burners should show up on the Playa and occupy it! It's the burners who made the event special and known worldwide! Might as well sell it to MTV or Donald Trump! Yuppies are like a virus, anything they touch gets cheap, loses its luster and dies! Just like all these downtowns around the country that got renovated and fixed by young artists and bohemians just to be kicked out by yuppies with bigger pocket books! Maybe we should start our own local mini-Burning mans festivals around the country! The spirit and the concept should be kept alive despite blind capitalism!
Burners of the world unite!

Peace

Posted by Mostafa Ouaffi on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

Mostafa,

"...local mini-Burning mans festivals around the country" already exist. They're called "regional events." For instance, there's Flipside (Texas), Nowhere (Barcelona, Spain) and Collidiscope (Hawaii). While not all regional groups host mini-Burning Man festivals, many do and the others organize activities or outings for area burners throughout the year. There are well over 100 regional groups around the world, located on five continents. It's likely that a regional group already exists in your area. If not, learn how to start one here: http://regionals.burningman.com/regionals_intro.html

Cheers

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

I think it's always been apparent that managing Burning Man, as big as it is now, is above their skill level. The ticket fiasco is just another example. Sorry I'm not overflowing with confidence because you "put your heads together".

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

Occupy Burning Man?
Black Roc Anarchist?

http://www.oaklandmofo.com/blog/occupy-burning-man-2012-tickets-lottery-...

Anyways, as well all know it's toast. Major theme camps are already throwing in the towel as they and we should.
Fertility 2.0 = Frat kegger party.

Posted by Need Burning Man Tickets on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

I don't know why Burning Man Org and Burning Man attendees are so focused scalpers. The percentage of tickets that end up in scalpers hands are small, maybe .5%, if that. Scalpers would have to sit on tickets for 6 months before they could resell the tickets, so I don't think they are buy a bunch of tickets and reselling them.

If there are any Scalpers, it's people who go to Burning Man grabbing a couple of extra tickets and reselling them at a small markup. Nothing to worth screwing up the ticket selling process for.

Posted by 8th year for me on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

Okay . . . figure this one out for me . . . 7 out of 50 people in our Theme Camp got tickets . . . 43 did not! but "Eddie's Tickets" in Studio City, California with a office of only 3 employees have 25 tickets available for 900-1900 dollars. Hmmm...I guess scalpers were just they're just luckier, right?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:05 pm

I used to be the record/music business many, many moons ago. Ticket brokers/scalpels were collude to sell tickets...if they have 25 tickets I would imagine that it is amongst multiple dealers - maybe 6-8. I sincerely believe the problem was viral success of " oh the places you'll go...", last years sell out and an improving economy with a lot of new minted generation x,y,z er's that sadly are looking for a party.

My hope is that they study the concerted effort it takes to survive BM, and they bail in the long run and tickets get spread out. I have faith, we are 8 months away and our city is going through growing pains.

Disclosure - I didn't get a pair per my 2nd Tier request for tickets but my Lover got two at $240 so as of now we are going

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

I don't think we will know the full extent of scalping until after the physical tickets are mailed out, but preliminary informal surveys suggest that as few as one-third of last year's participants who entered the lottery this year won tickets, implying that as many as two-thirds wound up in the hands of scalpers. It should be noted that Nevada has no laws against ticket scalping, so we can expect the freeway exits in Sparks to be lined with people hawking Burning Man tickets, which may or may not be authentic. I strongly recommend that concerned people lobby the State of Nevada to enact a strict ban on ticket scalping in time to head off this problem.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

I find this oft repeated comment ludicrous.Why do scalpers want tickets ?
Because they think people will buy them.
Why will people buy the tickets at a scalped rate ?
Because more people want to attend than there are tickets available.
(disclosure, I do NOT have a ticket)
So according to all the complaining former Burners, there are only two kinds of people - "Real Burners who have Attended in the Past" and "Scalpers".
There couldn't possibly be WAY more people who want to go because they've never been?
There couldn't possibly be a bunch of us who thought - gee, 2012 would be a GREAT first Burn to attend, I'll save up and prepare and be sure I know what I'm getting into?

40,000 tickets ? That's not very many, and given that 50,000 people attended last year what are the odds that another 100,000 actually want to go ?

If the Burn is a private party, go to.
But the spirit of welcoming and letting the City be what is must be a concept only available on the playa as well - as long as you're a returning Burner and therefore "deserve" tickets..

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

Nevada has a scalping law. I saw a dude get busted for selling a face value, extra ticket at the Reno Fairgrounds. He finally got it dropped after an appeal, but who needs it. Not more poorly thought out and written laws?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 1:00 am

The Nevada State Legislature meets every 2 years. Nothing will be passed and enacted before BM 2012.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

Create a BRC State Dept that issues photo passports instead of tickets with strict policies on exchange.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

Ha! That could be really cool!

If they got clever... which on the look of this year seems to be unlikely, you could just get it stamped every year which would be pretty neat.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 1:19 am

I was unable to get a ticket last year so it was the first year I missed. I was unwilling to pay the inflatted prices. This year, I am extremely happy that I was awarded a ticket!

I am very grateful for that ticket but I am also sad because so many of my burner friends did not get a ticket.

If Burning man increased the BLM cap it would solve so many issues including getting rid of the scalpers! There would no longer be lack or fear of not getting a ticket. Right now there is so much fear in the community. We all want to go home... burning man means so much more then just a party in the desert to true burners. Its going home. A vacation away from the default world. It the place that our hearts resided and we become reborn to deal with another year of default. Its our gua and energy center.

Please please please increase the cap. We will deal with the issues it creates as all burners do, with creative style and love.

We all deserve the right to go home!

Love you all and may I see you all on the playa!

Goddess Rebecca

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

It's a shame that Burning Man is changing because of popularity, but it is the way of the world. The people (like myself) who don't want to pay big prices for what used to feel amazing precisely because it was non-commercial should give it a miss. Things move in cycles and I'm looking forward to finding another festival experience that is just starting out, and is at grass roots stage now that embodies the wonderful ethos of what Burning Man was. It's not the fault of the organisers, or the scalpers, it's the way of the world.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

For the past 5 years, I would race to my computer on a certain day in January, go to the BM website and refresh over and over until I stood in line, sometimes for hours. I'd purchase my ticket and KNEW I was going. I would book off my vacation time from work then start getting prepared for the amazing experience which I KNEW lies ahead. For the next 7 months I was able to get my vehicle prepared for the long 1000 mile drive from Canada ( I won't mention the 2 transmissions I lost ) and save up my cash for the things I would need for my trip, camp, medical coverage and emergencies (like losing another transmission). This was no easy feat since I work a shitty job that pays nothing but after all... it IS Burning Man... my favorite place to get away to.

This year's ticket sales have completely funked up my plans (like I'm the only one, lol). I almost feel like BMORG did not really think to take into consideration those burners who travel long distances or come from other countries to get there.
I am sad to know this year I will be missing my "far away family" from "home". Those same nut jobs and weirdos I have come to know and love but only get to see them when we meet up with each other at Center Camp or the temple. I just don't know what to say about the whole lottery thing really. I am not really one who likes change but knows I must except change for personal growth. With this change though, I see slight signs of death. So many people I know are not going due to this change. We have so many less options now to get tickets (ie: no outlets, no gate sales) and I refuse to pay some greedy snake for a way overly inflated priced ticket. That doesn't seem fair, now does it. I WANT to go so bad and have been unlucky in the lottery, meanwhile Jack-off Joe buys 8 and sells them for double the price just because he was lucky but really doesn't give a bunk about the event. I seem to not quite be understand this concept very well. I never claimed to be smart, I just wanted a ticket.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

Im a 12 year burner I feel there is plenty of $400 tickets I'm not willing to pay for.. I spend tons of cash and time putting together my camp of 50. Burning Man also pinged on the highest level u were will to pay so the vast majority of tickets went for $400. Boy they are the cashing in this year..

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 8:24 pm