So much for the lack of drama around ticket sales for Burning Man this year. Today at noon was when 40,000 tickets went on sale to the general public, and while some burners got their tickets in less than an hour, others endured a frustrating wait of several hours and then found themselves unexpectedly kicked out of line.
There was lots of online grumbling about the bad old days when demand for tickets would often crash the servers and griping about why the generally tech-savvy Black Rock City LLC and their inTicketing partners seem to have such a hard time building a more robust system.
“I think there have been some technical difficulties, but we've seen worse,” BRC board member Marian Goodell told the Guardian. She said high demand pushed the system toward a crash, so they slowed the queue and added more servers. “The queue should start moving pretty soon,” she said at 4:30pm.
With people being denied tickets, the rumor circulated online around mid-afternoon that the event had already sold out, as it has each of the last two years, which BRC employees denied. [UPDATE: Tickets sold out that evening, a couple hours after this post wentup.] Some of those who got kicked off received this perplexing message: "At this time Burning Man Tickets does not have any tickets available for purchase for this event. Note: This does not mean this event is sold out. Contact the venue to purchase tickets."
But Goodell said that as of now, there are still tickets available and she wouldn't offer a prediction about whether they will sell out today. For those who don't get tickets now and still want to go, BRC has an online ticket exchange started Feb. 28 and it will make at least another 1,000 tickets available shortly before the late-August event.