Ticket Rites

It began with the first day of sales with “Ticket-tastrophy.”
And most recently we had “The Great Sell Out.” (If I’ve learned anything from “Carmageddon” it’s that inciting panic requires a catchy name.)

Yep, the rites of passage began long before we started packing this year. And just like a crazy dust storm, each of these challenges tests us and teaches us.

In these videos I address some of the fear and anger swirling around as well as highlight some of the lessons to be found in all this.

“Burning Man ‘News'” – Aug. 2, 2011

“Sellouts, Scalpers, & Surrender” July 26, 2011

As mentioned in the 1st video, it is important to resist the urge to focus on just the negative stories. The news wants to focus on the scalpers. But there are also amazing Burners who are selling their tickets at face value…even though the market value is much higher. Why? Because their values are more important than their wallets. THAT IS AWESOME. We will survive this social dust storm just fine.

These views are solely the views of Halcyon and do not represent the opinions of The Burning Man Organization or Major League Baseball.

About the author: John "Halcyon" Styn

Halcyon is a 17-year Burning Man participant and founder of Pink Heart camp. He is author of "Love more. Fear less." and producer of the Burning Man short film, "The Pink Path." He's won Webby awards for his over-the-top personal site CockyBastard.com & his "Love On Demand" video podcast HugNation.com. He hosted the defunct NBC.com web series "Fears. Regrets. Desires." and frequently speaks about Gratitude & Gifting. In 2010, Halcyon co-founded the San Diego based "1st Saturdays" homeless outreach program based on Burning Man Principles and the idea of "Service Without Sacrifice." You can find his digital home at www.JohnStyn.com.

23 thoughts on “Ticket Rites

  • Anybody else find Halcyon’s west-coast hippy naval gazing really annoying after a while? A 35 minute monologue analyzing community response to sold out tickets?!?

    Less talking about the art. More doing of the art.

    Namaste, motherfuckers.

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  • Halcyon, I really enjoy what you do and I love hearing what you have to say. It warms my heart and gives me energy.
    A big part of why your work is so pheonomenal is because your not trying to please everyone. Thank you for being real!

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  • There ARE such things as “hitting stop,” and “going outside,” and “clicking on cute pictures of kittens instead,” if you find belly-button-lint-spotting not your cuppa. But if you’ve got a serious playa jones going on, why not a little Halcyon until we can get the real thing?

    I’m just saying, Dusty Buttons…

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  • Whenever I find myself being judgmental about someone else’s behavior, it’s usually a good cue that I’m secretly afraid that I’m that way, too. Either that, or it’s something that I don’t want to accept about myself. Embrace your inner navel-gazer, Dustin. Ha.

    I think Halcyon is a great community-builder and does really good things out in the world.

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  • Hahahah! Yeah, let’s have a conversation analyzing a comment about excessive navel gazing. As entertaining as that might be, I’m guessing the irony would be lost on most of you.

    Halycon is a longtime burner and great artist (most of what I’ve seen anyway). As such, I figure he knows that someone being critical of one of his pieces doesn’t mean he sucks, or that the critic is a judgmental hater.

    Just because I don’t like someone’s “art” doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do it – or that I shouldn’t respond to to it honestly. It’s a big world (playa), people. There really is enough room for all of us.

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  • well said Halcyon. I really hope I run into you out there on the playa so I can give you a big hug. :)

    and by the way, your plants are beautiful. I can’t stop checking out your pothos over your right shoulder. I have a little plant envy! :)

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  • I like listening to your pep talk because it helps me tune into playa culture without being there yet. That bit about running from bears though, you don’t run from bears, you hit the ground, play dead and hope you survive. I think what you are saying is that allowing fear to override joy and happiness is like running from bears, a good way to maul your spirit.

    Ah well, so many words, but just one world.

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  • I hope I get to meet you this burn, man! I’ve so enjoyed your videos year-round for a little playa inspiration when I’m feeling particularly dust-bereft. Thanks for your insightful and cheerful posts.

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  • …how bout if the kid killed someone out of cold blood? would you discard him to the side then?…get real,a line must be drawn at times…even at your almighty sacred burn.

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  • …and you can not leave the old laws you have known for the week.those laws are still subject to arrest by the world we live in now. plus when you enter the burn you are handed a rule book.hunh? …i will give you this,you sure can sell a “crap cone” and make a living at it!

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  • …you said you would not discard your kid for smoking and banish him away,but what if your kid killed someone out of cold blood,sort of like this scene is killing itself,would you banish them then or would you say oh that’s alright ? what if a scalper bought up tickets and sold them for thousands extra and used the money for the place he has to dwell everyday not just one week out his life? what if he used the money to help children? japan relief? african famine? is he still an asshole for doing that? think outside the box? you should think outside the playa.

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  • Lets go have a GOOD TIME!

    I’m completely with Halcyon with regard to going out there and concentrating on all the GOOD that the Playa will deliver. This will be my 6th year. We have a small theme camp that people seem to really enjoy “when we’re open.” The whole week is an awesome experience!
    Yes there have been changes even since I started going that I’m not a fan of, such as: Seems like more drunken fraternity fools (and I used to be one); too many camps giving out cans of beer; tons of kids going just for a DJ with no plans to “participate.”
    AND I’m aware of some of the changes “the old timers” don’t like: Too many people with plush “rock star” motor homes; people paying others to build art cars; “kids” that don’t get it.
    What I say (even to myself if I start getting irritated) move 100 feet that way and say hey to the next whacked out cool looking burner in a costume. There are so many ways to have a great time (and to contribute to someone else good time) its totally on you if you let yourself get worried about whats not going right.
    Tommy – its simply too easy to complain. You don’t impress me and certainly don’t influence me.
    Great moments last year:
    Arriving just AFTER a dust storm on Saturday, our first year before the open and finding an almost empty city.
    Hunkering down during a rain storm (where did THAT come from) with neighbors in a Huka Tent.
    Jumping on an Art Car and partying with the “owners” for about 4 hours Sat before the open
    Delivering a “shoe shine” foot massage along with shot of tequila in our theme camp and hearing “I think that was the coolest thing anyone has done for me all week”
    Chatting with a beautiful early 30’s topless woman on her first burn who said her favorite thing so far was the fact she was walking around topless and felt COMPLETELY SAFE because of the people and the environment.
    Man I could go on for days. I’m gonna go find it again in a couple weeks.
    See you on the Playa!

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  • Well, we just sold our tickets at face value to four extremely grateful people. This will be the first time we’ve missed a burn in seven years and quite frankly we’ve enjoyed it enough to take a break and allow others the experience. There will be plenty of parties to attend during that week, anyway, so if you don’t have a ticket take part in one!

    That said, look for tickets to pop up after Tuesday or Wednesday during Burn week at rock bottom prices as the scalpers get nervous about being stuck with them. If you can stand to miss a couple days, you might even score one for UNDER face value and turn their bad vibes right back on them.

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  • I can’t believe BMORG folded over to the whining of the theme camps and now other folks who have never experienced BM are SOL. Seriously people, so what if the theme camps can’t do their bigger-than-life build? We go to the see the Man burn, to see the Temple and the art…I bet that if the theme camps were smaller, we’d all have a grand ol’ time anyway…as I’m sure was the case back in the day when it was 3000 people instead of 50,000+ people.

    Personally, I would rather see Burning Man get more exclusive…like have it be a Citizenship-based participation where people have to apply for citizenship and earn their right to be a citizen. Think http://www.klout.com for Burners, and you have to volunteer with core infrastructure and get the head of the camp/group to sign off on your work. Thus you build a social reputation and prove your skills to be a contributor of a sustainable city. Environmental training should be mandatory and application/s of the Code of Conduct (per the Tribal Convergence and Gathering of the Tribes) should be considered for shared resources and welcoming guests.

    I know some of you will have a hard time with this, but how can you build a model of sustainability and give back to the organization that makes it all possible. A friend of mine ran over a girl who decided to take a nap under an art bus after getting fucked up and dancing all night. Needless to say, this girl got run over. There’s also something to be said about gigantic theme camps who house over 300 people and have a core team of 7 doing all of the work. Not fun!

    If Burning Man is the magical city that is talked about like Shangrila, then people should have respect when they visit and earn their invitation. If Burning Man were to leave Black Rock City and be hosted at undisclosed locations around the world, I support that, as I support only citizens finding out where it’s at and being invited to participate. Evolution requires that the rules of the game change. There’s too many people going now, and not enough focus on the spirituality and reason of why the Man burns.

    My thoughts anyway…

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