Frustrations rise with skyrocketing prices for scalped Burning Man tickets

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Burning Man tickets that cost $210-$360 have been selling for several times that amount.

In the wake of yesterday's announcement that Burning Man tickets have sold out for the first time, scalpers have been offering tickets online for several times their face values – some for as much as $5,000 each – frustrating burners and raising difficult questions about what the laws of supply and demand are doing to a community that eschews “commodification” as one of its core principles.

Members of Black Rock City LLC have been worried about this problem since back in January when tickets first started selling briskly. When I asked BRC board members Larry Harvey and Marian Goodell about the possibility of its selling out early, they each asked me not to publicize that possibility because they were worried about scalpers making runs on tickets.

A few months ago, they announced that tickets wouldn't be available at the gate, and they began to put out word through registered theme camps and occasional notices in the Jack Rabbit Speaks newsletter that selling out was a possibility and that those planning to attend should buy their tickets now.

“I feel bad if anyone was caught unaware, but they should have known,” Goodell told me yesterday.

But if the high prices being asked for Burning Man tickets on sites like eBay and StubHub are any indication, it seems that those looking to profit off the event were just waiting for the announcement that tickets had sold out. High ticket prices are also likely to add incentive to the regular ticket scams that occur, resulting in the likelihood of people getting stuck outside the gate at this far-flung locale.

BRC spokesperson Will Chase addressed that possibility in a post on the Burning Blog yesterday: “For those considering venturing out to Black Rock City without a ticket to 'try your luck' purchasing one at or near the entrance to Burning Man, we ask that you do NOT do so, for your own safety and the well-being of the surrounding communities. The Black Rock Desert is an extremely remote, inhospitable environment with limited resources, minimal facilities, and few camping opportunities in the vicinity.”

Longtime burner Chicken John Rinaldi, who has turned into a staunch critic of the way BRC is governed in recent years, said burners who don't have much money will be tempted to sell their tickets if they really start going for thousands of dollars and he said BRC should have consulted the larger community about the issue.

“They don't have a plan. They knew it was going to sell out and they didn't have a plan,” said Rinaldi, who has also been critical of BRC's plans for converting to a nonprofit with little input from the community about process or potential new governance models. “It was another missed opportunity for Larry to engage with his community...This is going to be a fucking disaster.”

As for what steps BRC is taking to discourage price gouging by scalpers, whether they are beefing up security to better fight off gate-crashers, and responses to criticisms rippling through online discussions among burners about “gentrification” of the event and related concerns, we're still waiting for responses from BRC members who we expect to interview over the coming days.

So check back for updates on this blog and in next week's special Guardian issue on Burning Man, which celebrates its silver anniversary this year.

Comments

With every tix having it's own serial #, why couldn't the Borg create its own on-line after market tix site and announce that anyone caught reselling in other areas (eBay, craigslist, stubhub - would have their serial numbers dishonored at the gate. Then post a list of all dishonored tix so potential purchasers could confirm validity of tix. Seems like their are options to disallow scalping and it's a bit shocking that no precautions were taken.

Senor W Ley

Posted by Guest on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

Who cares?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

you care enough to ask who cares

Posted by Guest on Aug. 01, 2011 @ 11:14 am

Could turn into another Woodstock!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

For a bunch of people who hate on sound camps...from Opulent Temple to Root Society to Nexus...BMORG's first camp sure seems to be DAMNED CERTAIN they don't want to learn any of the lessons the sounds camps have had to pay for in blood, sweat, and tears.
Responsible promoters are, first and foremost, TRANSPARENT: Meaning: they tell you, look, the event's gonna sell out. Here's how many tickets are left, GET THEM NOW.
Do we see this on First Camp's part? No, we don't. "Oh, they should have known". No, we really, really shouldn't, since they didn't say a.) how many tickets were left; b.) that there was a maximum amount; c.) that there'd be a cutoff date.

Irresponsible and unforgivable. This, people, is a group of folks who think they can not say anything, and push off responsibility for running their event on everyone else. And when the shit comes down...oh, blame everyone else. For "shoulda knowing" things that they...oh...shoulda made transparent.

If people are hating on you, First Camp, you should just take it, Because you deserve it. You PHAIL. Completely.

Next year, it's LIB and Coachella for me. You don't deserve my money. Or my art.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

MOOPulent Temple and the rest of the spectator-rich loud sound camps, don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2012 @ 12:29 am

Burning Man this year faces a security nightmare that only a tough security force can handle.

There will be hundreds of homeless vagabonds from all across the country, many on drugs, who expect to crash Burning Man. I’ve already seen them in public places in SF, talking about their trek to Burning Man.

There will also be hundreds of regular participants from previous years who put off buying tickets until it was too late in the game, not realizing there would be a ticket crunch this year. They, too, will come, expecting to get in somehow, as they have in the past.

Also, Burning Man has now become the sort of glossy, highly hyped, big-bucks icon that can easily become the target for a deranged person intent on causing explosive harm to others.

To deal with these problems responsibly, Burning Man will need to have a tough security force of its own. This force will have to turn aside effectively the many who don’t have the high-priced tickets.

It will have to ensure that no dangerous weapons or explosives are brought to the site. And it will need to have the resources to respond quickly to acts of violent destructiveness.

Burning Man is now just another name for The System.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 9:27 am

so true and while you are at it dont forget your $300 TAX or so the 3000 or so cops you will be partying with and oh yeah every stupified candy raver in the world alongside every trustafarian from Cali and beyond .
I think ill smoke a bowl watch mad max and go on a $3000 doller vacation somewhere away from all the clicky fuax furr wearing posers.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

Is it too late to rename the festival Whining Man?

Posted by Chromefields on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 10:46 am
Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 10:57 am

i just saw an ebay bid end at $10,100.00. seriously.

it wasn't worth it when tix were $200.

Posted by Guest no name on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

Fake bid by someone trying to ruin the potential scalpers auction. A lot of people are doing that to the tickets listed on ebay... good for them

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

for the sake of safety, they really should decide to reopen the cashiers and sell tickets... is the desert really too small for an extra 10.000 people? with 400.000$ extra they certainly could bring some extra portal potties ...

Posted by Guest on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

At the same time, Burning Man pays no taxes to the state of Nevada.

Only drug dealers have it this good.

Click here:

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/jul/27/burning-man-festival-sells-o...

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

It has nothing to do, whatsoever, with your beef with local progressives or the political scene in SF. It's a wonderful experience where thousands of people come together peacefully and to express themselves while creating amazing art and music. It's really unfair of you to drag Burning Man into your beef with Steven or the local progressive movement - the two have nothing to do with one another.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

Thanks, Lucretia, for your post above.

Burning Man is a legit topic on which to comment because there is a thread about it on this website. All people (you and I included) are free to post or not, to read or not.

We on this chatboard are not the only ones commenting on this topic. Articles are appearing in various venues about Burning Man. It's become a burning topic.

It's a burning topic because it is transitioning from a countercultural assembly of artists and creative people into a mega-capitalist enterprise and quasi-religious movement. Very serious questions about money and security are on the horizon.

In other words, we're dealing here with a fascinating topic.

It's never an appropriate response to any fascinating topic to try and shut down open discussion.

Let all the voices (including yours and mine) be heard!

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

With which you can disagree but I don't think it's valid or reasonable. But of course you can have your say.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

...but Burning Man has EVERYTHING to do with the local progressive movement. I agree with you about Arthur's tiresome trolling of course. He's just a joyless wretch and mostly I feel sorry for him. But the cognitive dissonance in your reasoning (again) is just so fun to watch. You like Burning Man... but you hate progressives. Oh, how to reconcile the two! Well, you just split the two issues. But of course!

And yet, that split has little bearing on reality. Yes, Burning Man welcomes people of all political stripes. In fact some right wing Republican friends of mine are going this year. And yes, the event is not overtly political.

But there's no denying that it has a strongly progressive foundation. It was created by local counterculture artists. Most of the attendees are progressive. Many of them are political activists as well. In fact most of the art and music community is progressive. And the values underpinning the event are progressive values. It's an attempt at a whole different social organization built around progressive values.

You can separate out Burning Man into its different components. You can divorce yourself from those values and still enjoy the event. And that's Ok. But what you need to understand, is that without those values, it wouldn't exist.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

A synthesis of free expression and free choice which produces amazing things as a result.

That is the polar opposite of everything local progressives are about. They want to restrict free choice and free expression unless the outcome of either is something with which they feel comfortable. That is the antithesis of Burning Man.

I don't "hate" progressives. I disagree with them. Big difference.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

I beg to differ. Progressives are all about free choice and free expression.

But there's no denying that Burning Man was started by progressives, that it's populated primarily (though certainly not exclusively) by progressives, and that it is framed by progressive values (gee, anti-consumerism?).

Why is it so hard to admit that you enjoy something that progressives have created?

Posted by Greg on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 10:20 pm

buying goldfish, owning a handgun, joining ROTC, plastic bags, soda and water bottles in city hall, standing in front of nightclubs or circumcision.

THEN they don't consider any of those "free expression."

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

Buying goldfish? I'm OK with that. Tim said he was OK with that. Even the guy who's idea it supposedly grew out of seems to be saying that he's OK with buying goldfish. Other than a couple commissioners whose political identity is unknown (for all we know they're Newsom moderates), I don't know of anybody who thinks we should ban goldfish.

Owning a handgun? Although I don't like guns personally, I also tend to lean toward the opinion that it's dangerous to have a state where only the police have guns.

Joining ROTC? None of the progressives I know have ever taken a position that people shouldn't be able to join ROTC. Now having the *schools* spend *our money* on funding *J*ROTC... that's another matter. I'm all for youth rights -if they want to join even *J*ROTC, they should be able to do that. But 1) Students should have all the information available to them -counter-recruiters alongside recruiters; 2) they should do it on their own time, after school, not as part of the school curriculum substituting other classes like phys ed; and 3) the school should not provide money or facilities. But that's very different from saying they shouldn't be free to join.

Plastic bags? Meh. I was actually not big on that idea when it was first proposed, but I'm warming up to it. I think society has a right to regulate the production of things that are destroying the environment. There's a gyre of plastic bags the size of Texas that has accumulated in the Pacific. It's leaching poison into the ocean and killing bird and marine life. It's sort of like the ban on DDT. If your idea of "free expression" consists of the right to destroy the world that we both live in with things like DDT and plastic bags, then yeah, count me out on that one. You don't have a right to come take a crap in the middle of my living room either. I'm not down with THAT much "freedom of expression."

Soda and water bottles at City Hall? I don't think soda and water bottles are banned at City Hall. I've seen people drinking soda at City Hall. Nobody has ever confiscated my water bottle.

Standing in front of nightclubs? From what I've heard, this is a mod thing -part of the campaign by anti-fun types to crack down on nightclubs. I'm totally against that. Those are YOUR peeps, the Arthur Evans types and all.

Circumcision? I'm arguing for CHOICE. Let the person who's body it is decide. You were arguing exactly the opposite! This is a quasi-Orwellian argument coming from you.

Sounds like progressives are all about freedom of expression and free choice, and you're just the opposite.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Thats why progressives wanted to make it so that kids and their parents couldn't make the free choice to let the kids join JROTC.

What a created world to live in.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

You know what I think?
They aren't really about free choice at all!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 12:30 am

Thats an interesting world view that Greg puts forth.

"Let us be us, while we get to tell you what to do."

I have an anti- interest in burning man, but have no interest in telling those people what to do with their spare time or commenting on what they do in their spare time. Burning man holds zero interest to me, I even wonder why so many people care what these people are up to.

Greg on the other hand is a burner apologist for what many people find... well... whatever, while he wants to tell us all what to do. He's bothered that people don't like his choice in freedoms, while lecturing us all on how he wants to limit ours.

unilateral ravings of an entitled 12 year old.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

The philosophy you outline above has zero resemblance to anything I've ever put forth.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

I attend all the decompression parties and love the event and everything it stands for. I have only positive things to say about it. I decouple that from the local progressive movement and I know many other Burners who feel the same way.

Greg, you constantly take issue with what you call my "cognitive dissonance" when in reality you seem to have a hard time accepting that there are others out there who may share some of your ideas but not others - like me. That's called "diversity of thought" and it seems to be extremely difficult for you (and other commenters) to accept. It's entirely possible to occasionally enjoy drugs and respect the police for the hard job they undertake every day and the difficult choices they make. It's entirely possible to be pro-Israel and pro-human rights. One can be a responsible parent and still enjoy late nights out dancing to house music.

These choices aren't as a result of "cognitive dissonance." They're called being human.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 10:37 pm

What's with the Straw Man proliferation today?

Some of the examples you cite above seem pretty reasonable. I've cited many others that are just bizarre and totally inconsistent on their face. One of my favorites is your position(s) on the death penalty.

Quote:
"The Snaps is for it AND against it."

But back to Burning Man. You say above that you "love the event and everything it stands for." Well, one of the (many) things the event stands for is an alternative, non-capitalist social organization. I'm not saying this is THE raison d'etre of the event, but it's certainly a major part of it. And you, Lucretia, are certainly no anti-capitalist. So obviously you don't love *everything* it stands for.

And yes, some burners do decouple it from progressivism. I know a few myself. But the fact that they decouple the political aspects and still manage to enjoy the event doesn't change the fact that what they're "decoupling" is still there.

The difference between my conservative friends who are going, and you, is this: They at least understand that the event was created by progressives, is populated by progressives, and is built on progressive values. They may not agree with any of it but still enjoy the event, just like I may appreciate the architecture of a Catholic Cathedral without believing in Catholicism.

You, on the other hand, are so blinded by your hatred of progressives that you can't bring yourself to acknowledge that they are responsible for something wonderful. That's where the cognitive dissonance lies. It would be as if in order to appreciate the architecture of a Catholic Cathedral, I would first have to convince myself that it had nothing to do with the Catholic Church. That's the same level of absurdity as arguing, as you do, that the progressive movement has nothing to do with Burning Man.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

translation

"I Greg get to define what is reasonable, that is my opinion as fact so you're wrong and thus my naked hypocrisy is moot"

Most of the burners I have ever met, dating back to the mid 90's, have zero interest in politics.

I worked with a guy who talked me into going to one of his burner warm ups in 99, I doubt anyone of that group had much interest beyond talking a lot while super super high. Not that I care, but opining that burning man is peopled by a majority of progressives seems a bit far fetched.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

Not with a comment like this:

"Most of the burners I have ever met, dating back to the mid 90's, have zero interest in politics."

Burning Man itself is a political act, btw. It's not electoral politics, but radical self-expression and experimenting with an alternative social organization -these are inherently political acts.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 11:59 pm

pass the bong then, because you have just described anyone with a hobby.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 6:03 am

Matlock says that most burners have no interest in politics. Secretia says that it has nothing to do with local progressive activists, even though the event was founded by progressives and is largely populated by progressives. I disagree. So I went to the BRC census to see what burners said about themselves.

The last census where they released political affiliation information was 2005, but that gives you a pretty good idea.

US Political affiliation:
37% Democrat
23% Not affiliated
11% empty/unclear
9% Not eligible (there are a fair number of foreign burners)
9% Green
5% Republican
More Greens than Republicans? That's a more progressive profile than San Francisco.

Did you vote in 2004?
76% yes
8% no
10% not eligible
Seems like burners are more interested in electoral politics than the US or San Francisco as a whole.

Are you/have you ever been an activist?
54% yes
39% no
That's a lot of self-described activists

Posted by Greg on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 7:42 am

" I guess I just care more about people than corporations

I haven't thought too deeply about the implications of limiting a corporation's right to peddle poison and trinkets. On the one hand, I guess you could couch it as a free speech issue... of sorts. On the other hand, there should be limits on corporate "freedom" that don't necessarily apply to people. I don't really care that much where corporations can peddle their junk -not sure if I agree with these particular limits or not, but either way it's not a big deal to me.

What is a big deal is civil liberties for people. The right of people to be secure from being profiled, searched, harrassed, and arrested at the whim of the police, is certainly more important than the question of whether or not corporations have sufficient venues to peddle their garbage.

* reply

Posted by Greg on Sep. 19, 2010 @ 10:33 pm"

Posted by matlock on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 12:05 am

in recalling that you are for the happy meal idiocy of your fellow progressive a$$-hats?

I think this is a Definitional game, you have defined your righteousness
one way, while you have defined away the views of others another way. The classical double standard that progressives so obsess about with Born Again Christians, and fall into so easily themselves.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

When he's against it - it's not progressive

He's definitely a regular denizen of The Guardian because that's Tim and Steven's philosophy as well.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 6:27 am

You are mixing up cause and effect. Burning Man attracts intelligent, creative and empathic people, and intelligent, creative and empathic people tend to not be conservative, or Republican, or followers of mainstream religions.

Reality has a well-known Liberal bias.

Posted by Tripod on Jul. 29, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

I've spent about $2000 dollars in Nevada over the past 4 years of going to burning man. I think that's my "taxes" for your state.

I can name quite a few corporations who have it better. I don't know any drug dealers do you?

Posted by MadMadius on Aug. 06, 2011 @ 10:58 pm

here, here.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

I've read Vagabond & Ayatollah Arthur Evans' comments. Contrary to his expressed intent, he is being dishonest again.

He is here to live out his Religion of Hate and Fear. I hear and read his fear about Burning Man, as he is continually tortured and possessed with homeless people. That was also most clear during the sit-lie debate.

But since Vagabond & Ayatollah Arthur Evans is not going to Burning Man, why does Burning Man concern him? An analogy: if progressives lose in upcoming elections, how will that affect him, since he is nothing close to being a progressive?

The immature taunting toddler is out of control.

Vagabond & Ayatollah Arthur Evans creates fictional hear-say stories about supposed "vagabond homeless people" such as this paragraph:

"There will be hundreds of homeless vagabonds from all across the country, many on drugs, who expect to crash Burning Man. I’ve already seen them in public places in SF, talking about their trek to Burning Man."

Even the worst tabloid publication would not write such smut.

It is not this topic of Burning Man he finds a "fascinating topic." He is fascinated because it gives him another fascinating platform on which to fascinate in his continued word play. He uses the same practice when it comes to progressives. He employs Hate and Fear-mongering, his religion. There is nothing fascinating about Hate and Fear. Both are a cancer.

Vagabond & Ayatollah Evans is insane and I mean that literally. It is not fascinating to continually express fear and hate and create fictional stories to support one's Religion of Hate, Fear and Insanity.

I am for freedom of speech, but I strongly urge the Guardian to consider banning him. He is sick. He is not stable and now he's trying to stir up even more trouble against homeless people and Burning Man. Freedom of speech is one thing. Hate speech wrapped in word play is another. It is not "fascinating."

Let's be reasonable, fascinating, sensible, cogent, coherent, intelligent, intellectual, civil, adult, and mature. None of which Vagabond & Ayatollah Evans can be, because an insane and sick person can't be any of those traits. They just expect that from others.

It's time that Vagabond and Ayatollah Arthur Evans is banned from this site. Even though he is not required to frequent this site, he has complained many times about the Guardian and how it has deteriorated in quality. That can be remedied by his removal from the site. The site will instantly improve. That will be fascinating.

Let's be reasonable. Let's be sensible.

Posted by Artor Evons on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

Burning Man is an example of what Ivan Illich called “institutional nemesis.”

This is the processes whereby an institution or group turns into the opposite of what it professes. It is a common phenomenon in human history.

For example:

In the early 1960s, when I lived in Greenwich Village, there was a local, independent paper called The Village Voice. It championed independent journalism and attacked the media chains.

Today The Village Voice is the root link in a chain of newspapers across the U.S. The local franchise is SF Weekly. It was recently found to have engaged in unfair competition against SF’s own local, independent paper, The Guardian. Institutional nemesis.

Another example:

In the 1970s, SF progressivism was a popular movement that sought to challenge the political establishment and confront stupid, compromised politicians.

Today SF progressivism is a sect, entrenched in the political establishment and promoting the careers of stupid, compromised politicians. Institutional nemesis.

Another example:

Early Christianity was a loose confederation of autonomous congregations, persecuted by authorities, and consisting mostly of the lower classes.

Within a few hundred years, Christianity became an authoritarian hierarchy, persecuting dissidents, and replete with great wealth and power. Institutional nemesis.

And right now, we are watching Burning Man. It started out as the creation of a few creative souls devoted to artistic expression and freedom from the patterns of the dominant system.

It is now turning into a rich corporate entity concerned about mega-management, profitability, and security. Institutional nemesis.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

One comment follows:

You say:

"This is the processes whereby an institution or group turns into the opposite of what it professes. It is a common phenomenon in human history."

It's not just an institution or group. A person can become the opposite of what he or she professes. You are an example of that.

You have also become the opposite of what you were in the 1960s and 1970s. You have devolved one-hundred-and-eighty degrees from the person you were in those years.

It's a fascinating nemesis.

Posted by Artor Evons on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

Well said. Well said.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

“one eBayer is offering a 10-pack of tickets and a helicopter ride in from Reno for $95,000.”

Click here:

http://blogs.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/2011/07/burning_man_2011_sold_o...

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Let's be reasonable and sensible.

Why do you care anything about Burning Man? You don't participate in it.

Do you go around looking for issues to get involved in that have nothing to do with you?

What....A.....Nut....

Posted by Artor Evons on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

Nobody goes to Burning Man anymore because it's so crowded.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

The capitalist system has a way of turning everything into a commodity even when the original intent is otherwise.

That's now happening with Burning Man. Most people who already have Burning Man tickets will soon realize that they can sell them for many times their value if they want to.

Many won't want to sell. Others, however, will realize that they can easily turn an investment of a few hundred dollars into one of a few thousand through a single transaction. That's a good deal, especially in hard economic times.

There's a jet-set market ready and eager to grab up the tickets. People from all over the world who have money are big fans of Burning Man. Many are willing to pay exorbitant prices for the privilege. They want to be part of Burning Man Chic.

Soon the organizers themselves will come to a startling realization: If they sell tickets to future gathers at their real market value, rather than the current, relatively low prices, they'll make a killing.

At current prices, the organizers stand to make from ten to nineteen million dollars. But if they sold the same 50,000 tickets at, say, $1,500 a piece, they would score $75 million.

Current organizers may want to forgo such huge profits. However, there will be profit-seeking hawks watching them from the outside. They will be willing to take great risks to themselves in order to do whatever is necessary to displace and remove such reticent profiteers with themselves. That's how capitalism works.

The bell of Burning Man capitalism has sounded. It cannot be unrung.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

So in love with his own pointless musings, he doesn't realize how others see him.
As a self packaged turd in an online box.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 7:30 pm
Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 8:34 pm
Posted by Guest on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

I've been thinking about the very first comment on this thread, and the more I think about it, the more that sounds like a really good idea. Too bad no one thought about it for this year.

It's certainly not the first event to sell out. But I guess it speaks to Burning Man's popularity now that some tickets are selling for the price of scalped Superbowl tickets. I guess they just underestimated their own popularity.

At this point, it's hard to do the right thing even if you wanted to. If I had an extra ticket, I wouldn't sell it at more than face value. But how could I be sure that whomever I sold it to isn't just some scalper themselves? This is why an exchange run by Burning Man sounds like a good idea. My first thought was that it wouldn't work. People would complain that the organization is exerting too much control. But the current situation certainly makes the notion seem more appealing.

(And no I don't have an extra ticket. I bought two and we're both planning to go. Sorry.)

But all that aside, I think folks should take a chill pill. It may not be as bad as people are making it out to be. I just scanned Craigslist and found 3 ads selling tickets either at face value or in one case, in exchange for work on his car (he had a gift ticket and he wasn't asking money for it). So most people are being cool. The reason you don't see many of those ads is that they probably disappear within minutes, because there are so many more people looking to buy.

I suspect that in the end, there will be a few rich tourists willing to pay big bucks to be there, but I'm guessing they'll be a tiny minority. In fact, I think that the fact that tickets sold out a month before the event will probably mean less tourists and more participants than usual.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 10:05 pm