Burning Man 2012 Tickets: After the Main Sale

The registration period for the Burning Man 2012 ticket Main Sale wrapped up last Sunday night, and our ticket vendor is currently de-duping and cleaning up the registrant database (including removing known scammers), before we do the drawing for the three pricing tiers on January 31 and February 1.

And guess what? Turns out, people are VERY EAGER to go to Burning Man this year. So much so, in fact, that they found creative ways to increase their odds of getting tickets in the Main Sale. As a result, there are a lot more tickets being requested than there are tickets available — an inordinately large number, in fact, and far more than we projected even after last year’s sold-out event. It seems that people a) likely got their friends, family and campmates to order tickets as well, and/or b) requested more tickets than they actually need.

So the unfortunate net result is that there will be a lot of people who aren’t awarded tickets from the Main Sale … BUT DO NOT FEAR!! Because this means that there will be a large number of tickets in circulation within the existing community, tickets that simply need to be redistributed to those who need them. Based on our analysis, we hold a strong belief that things will settle out over the course of time, once that redistribution takes place, such that most everybody who wants a ticket will find their way to one.

In order to facilitate the redistribution of those extra tickets now in circulation, we have set up the Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP). The STEP is a web-based system that will allow Burners to sell their unneeded tickets, and Burners wanting tickets to access them. This will allow for safe and secure transactions in a central place for community-monitored, face-value resales. This is in addition to 10,000 tickets going on sale on a first-come first-served basis in our March 28th Open Sale.

We would like to reinforce that we all share responsibility for preventing the scalping of Burning Man tickets. Burners can commit to only selling their tickets at face value, and to never buying tickets above face value. Friends don’t let friends buy from scalpers! We can work together by using STEP, keeping a vigilant eye out for scams and inflated-price vending, and reporting known scammers on our ePlaya ticketing thread.

Burning Man actively discourages the use of secondary resources (eBay, Craigslist, StubHub, etc.) for the resale of tickets, and we encourage those who do not obtain tickets from the Main Sale/Open Sale to utilize community-centric sources to keep a handle on this process together. Please use STEP and/or direct local connections to known Burners to find the tickets you seek. We will post information on how to access and use STEP next week.

So, folks, it’s up to all of us to decide how this all plays out … we can work together in our communities to ensure that most everybody who wants a ticket to Burning Man can get one, and avoid falling prey to third-party price gouging. Just as we’re able to create the world’s largest Leave No Trace event — against all odds, in the middle of the remote desert — we can see this challenge through together as well.

As always, you can find full ticket information on the Burning Man tickets page, and you can be sure to stay informed by subscribing to the Jackrabbit Speaks email newsletter.

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase is Burning Man's Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He's the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Voices of Burning Man blog, and content manager for Burning Man’s web properties. He also oversees the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social media presence. Will first attended Burning Man in 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art HQ) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004 until he transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009.

859 thoughts on “Burning Man 2012 Tickets: After the Main Sale

  • After reading the above article, I am very concerned!!! Burning Man is very much a FAMILY event for us! Both of my parents have attended for many years, as well as brother. Currently, my father is living with my husband and I. I registered for 2 tickets (for my husband & I) and my dad requested 2 tickets (for him and a friend), so I am wondering if we were possibly removed from the drawing b/c of you comments above re: “family members registering for tickets to increase odds”??? We only requested the tickets that we needed for our entire family to attend the event!!!! I have not been able to attend BM for a couple years b/c I had a baby 3 years ago AND I desperately want to get back ‘home’ to BM this year. I am very worried that we will not able to get tickets!!!!

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  • i under stand y the lottery but it is not a good way to weed out the sparers but like u know their is a group of people that have decanted their lives to burning man over ten years in my case we contribute in more ways the one i am just saying maybe just one ticket person in a walk n stores by create card only so u can keep track of who is buying. all in good faith thank u for your time

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  • What a joke.

    The llc causes a panic with an ill-considered change for which they gave the general public little warning (most participants don’t frequent the blogs and bulletins), and now not only are they surprised at the results, but they are telling ticket winners – who followed the llc’s rules – what to do and how with their extra tickets.

    Tell me again how this was supposed to simplify things?

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  • How did you not know that if you had a lottery people would sign up multiple times? That was my first thought when this was announced. You should really consider giving priority to people who have attended in the past (i.e. email addresses that have bought tickets before), and people who have made significant contributions in the past via theme camps and art projects.

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  • Really BM? First, you tell us not to worry when you announce the ticket policy change to a lottery. There will be plenty of tickets. Don’t see it as a lottery. Now you say many won’t get tickets in the initial round, but DO NOT FEAR those that purchased too many will simply redistribute them. What a load of crap. Further, what about those that can’t afford the play the risky game you have now created. The texture of the event is so dependent on a strong demographic of folks that can barely afford the tickets at the lowest of the tier prices under the previous ticket sales policy. Take some responsibility for crying out loud. In my view, all is not well and I find little comfort in BM’s “analysis” and “strong belief” all will settle out just hunky dory. I love this event, but I do not love BM’s continued effort to increased greed and aim for the higher bottom line

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  • We’re making it depend on chance. Guess what: people are going to try to improve their odds. How can you be surprised?
    Instead of thinking up this stupid system it would have been wiser to negotiate more with local authorities to increase the maximum number of attendants.

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  • I used to work at a company that would give insultingly low raises, and then put a positive spin on it by saying “but you can always work overtime”.

    In both cases, the message is “We screwed you, but you can compensate!”

    Does anyone on the BORG end of this actually think anyone is happy about this?

    Horrible idea that many people said was horrible and turned out to be horrible.

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  • The lottery was a terrible decision when the old process worked just fine. What percentage of tickets under the old system were scalped? A tiny percentage.

    What percentage of burners are going through stress and worrying that their tickets will go to scalpers? Way above 50%.

    It’s simple – you buy a ticket when they go on sale if you want to attend. What was unfair about that?

    It’s not too late to cancel this terrible lottery and go back to what works.

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  • This is complete bulls shit. I had some faith in the process initially, but now that you released this information I have lost all hope. This event means so much to so many people and now many of us aren’t going to get tickets? You are splitting up friends and families. Referring to what Danna said, what if only some members of families and groups of friends/theme camps get tickets while the others don’t? This system is completely unfair. You guys are leading your event into the ground. People that have dedicated their lives to this event like myself will consider not going when we can’t get tickets at a reasonable price. I would do a lot of things to go to Burning Man, but I am a starving graduate student and your ticket prices are already breaking my bank. What happens when you guys lose your loyal community base because they can’t go because you didn’t allow them tickets?? If this kind of ticket purchasing process is implemented again in the future, I foresee you guys running your own event in the ground. With all this money you guys will be making, you should hire a real IT staff to handle this problem efficiently. I understand all of you who are working on this are working very hard and have good intentions, and i have the upmost respect for everything you all have done in the past, but this was an extremely bad decision on all accounts. I guess we’ll have to see how this goes…

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  • So, I have been a Burner since 98 (missed a couple of years with health issues),
    and now I am ready to bring my art project and chances are slim of getting a
    ticket. Your plan of selling Christmas tickets as gifts sucks, how many of those
    people participated or were they just spectators? You are throwing out long time
    Burners and groups for what? Maybe just an experiment with loyal Burners?
    See who you can piss off? Is this like term limits where you throw out the long
    time workers to bring in new people without a clue? Couldn’t you just sell tickets
    until they are all gone and let the existing Burners decide for themselves if they
    want to go badly enough to buy early? Isn’t the future of the event dependent
    on the Burners who participated in the past? Isn’t there enough room on the
    Playa for more people? You have set up a system that rewards cheaters. Isn’t
    that a wrong turn for a community? You have snatched defeat from the jaws
    of victory and lots of us are pissed.

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  • I agree 100% with the negative sentiment about how crappily this whole ticket sale shift has been conceived and implemented.

    You went to an idiotic lottery rigamarole system as a dubious solution to a dubious problem, and not only has it utterly failed to make life easier or fairer for anyone (IMHO lining up early, being on the ball, and planning in advance was way more fair than the randomized gamble frenzy that this policy has caused), but all you’ve effectively done is transfer the onus of properly managing ticket distribution from the festival org to the attendees themselves.

    What a stupid gaffe you’ve caused. Don’t do this again next year—sell tickets the normal way, and outsource the process to an experienced fulfillment supplier if you can’t handle the tech and process yourselves, rather than litmus-testing asinine experiments like this on your attendees.

    The experience ON THE PLAYA should be freed from the constraints of logic and orthagonal thinking, but the bloody ticket sales process should not.

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  • People are requesting more tickets than they need and asking family and friends to order tickets for them as well?!?! Gee, didn’t see that one coming. I appreciate all the time and effort you guys have put into making this system, but all the different sale dates and tiers make it needlessly complex.

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  • Substantial changes in the way a community operates is always a tough pill to swallow. The changes are here now, deal with it people. It’s not a right, it’s a privilege.

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  • Of course people would try to increase their odds. That’s the biggest problem with an open lottery system. There is no way to regulate entries to one per person and no way to enforce any rules. As long as you have multiple credit cards, you can enter as many times as you want. I actually do not know anyone who registered for 1 ticket. Everyone went ahead and registered for 2 or more, just in case one of their friends didn’t win a ticket in the lotto. My only hope is that everyone who ends up with extra tickets uses this STEP program, and that the BORG actually tracks the tickets, how many people are selling their tickets, the reason they are selling them (ended up with extras vs. can’t go) and compares the data to the initial ticket sales.

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  • I think the lottery was a good/bad idea. BUT, i do not think there should be ANY priority. This will be my first year, I missed out last year because of the sell out… so how would it be far for new people if your only taking those who have gone already? everyone is missing the point of BM. I really like the STEP idea because A LOT of people wont be able to go probably, once we start to get closer to the date. But besides that..maybe you guys should increase the capacities…it is ONE BIG DESERT. we can all fit =} I just hope I get a ticket. The only downside about this lottery thing is people had to stash away cash & keep in on hold in there account, waiting for the transaction to go through..alot of people cant do that because they live day to day or week to week..but this is your event, just make sure we all get there & have a good time!

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  • I too am in the same boat when it comes to family purchasing tickets. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out… This would be my 6th year of going, but if I don’t get tickets, I’m not sure I’ll be back. My fiance and I met the night of the burn so this will be our 5th anniversary. Hope we can celebrate in the place that is so sacred to the start of our future.

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  • Relax. It’s all gonna be OK. If you want to be at Burning Man, you probably will be. There will be angels there, and many fascinating sights and sounds, and fine beverages on tap at Home Brew. The man will warm you when it burns. And … well … if not … maybe this is the year I drive up the coast instead.

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  • “Substantial changes in the way a community operates is always a tough pill to swallow. The changes are here now, deal with it people. It’s not a right, it’s a privilege.”

    Yes. It’s a privilege that we pay dearly for, both in terms of ticket prices and time+effort.

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable to be irate about the fact that the attendees—who make the festival what it is—seem to be pretty low on the totem pole of consideration that went into the planning and implementation of these changes.

    You’re right that the changes are here—and if we don’t make noise about it, they’ll *stay here*, and not be replaced with a rational, sane system in future years.

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  • >> (most participants don’t frequent the blogs and bulletins)

    then most participants should learn a lesson and at minimum subscribe to JackRabbitSpeaks?

    I am not making a scathing judgement on this year’s ticketing process until it’s all played out, but c’mon- there is no excuse to not keep yourself in the loop, particularly if the events matters so much to you.

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  • Now I’m really worried. I had faith in your new method in the beginning, but this message really got me upset.

    I’m hoping to come to BM this year for the second time all the way from Israel, and was way too naive to think about ‘raising the odds’. But unlike places such as the Bay area or other burners’ concentrations, we don’t have a community that’s large enough for tickets to circulate efficiently in it. So now I’m going to possibly have to buy it from scalpers online for a price way too high, when I can already barely afford the costs of the tickets I’m registered for… Or, more likely – I will just give up.

    Way to go for encouraging diversity!

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  • If the lottery system stays in place in the future, it will need to be changed in order to combat this sort of result. I say next year if there is a lottery, don’t charge the cards immediately. Send a confirmation to the winners of the first tier. Ask them to confirm their purchase within 24 hours. If they don’t confirm, those tickets go back into the pool to be resold. That way tickets go to people who are using them, people have a bit of time to figure out how many they need, and if someone already has tickets, they dont have to go through the process of reselling them. The ticket selling process may take longer, but it will make more sense.

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  • The only result I can see from this lottery is increased anxiety for those that want to go this year. Groups that are working to bring large camps or art to the playa as well as families will have to wait until a week or two before the event to get tickets for those that lost out in the lottery. There was a lot of ticket hoarding last year and my guess is it will be worse this year. I don’t any benefit to thise of us that have to get get tickets. The benefit goes to the BMORG so the ticketing system doesn’t go belly up. Cut the frenzy by getting rid of the tiered pricing or at least close the gap between tiers.

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  • This is ridiculous. The fact That it is even necessary to write an article about how people who actually want to go to burningman can track down tickets through other sources than the llc itself is insane. The old process was simple and made sense. Those who wanted a ticket bought one until they were sold out. Just like any other event. You have over complicated a perfect system and put a strain on your most loyal burners. Not a good move.

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  • Why the ticket lottery makes me want to skip this year..

    You’ve taken a system that was ultimately the fairest (first come, first serve) and turned it into a more elitist system. It seems to me to go against the core principles of the event, up to now. It flavors the whole thing in a negative way.

    You’ve introduced a paralyzing uncertainty to even going to bm. I had been thinking since last year that I would finally create a large scale piece for the playa this next time. Then the ticket lotto system was rolled out with no warning or input from the peons. And suddenly there is a real possibility that I might not even be allowed in the gate. So, all planning on the art piece stopped. That’s just one example, and I’m sure there are many other plans completely on hold until we can be sure that we’ll have the people to make whatever we’re planning happen. So I would guess that this will cut down on the large art installations and theme camps participating this year. Well done!

    Financially the lotto system rewards the elite who don’t have to worry about room on their credit cards. If the richer among us want to go, they can. If the poorer among us want to go, good luck. So the end result is to encourage more wealthy people to go, but these are not usually the artist types. So, end result: Less art. Well done!

    Scalping won’t be lessened with the new system. Scalpers (and hoarders) will rush to get as many of the two lower tier tickets as possible. They will enlist their friends and minions to buy all of the lower tiers to re-distribute to their friends or sell on ebay. So, your stated goal of reducing ticket scalping will fail. Well done!

    Charge date sucks too. You say the card will be charged ‘on or before’ February 1. That’s a huge distinction! First of the month means there are funds there. End of the month likely means there aren’t. Well done!

    The manner in which the decision to move to the lotto system was announced was terrible. You released a vague idea of how the new system will work, but left out all the pertinent details. How about involving the actual interested parties (Us. Out here. Remember us, the people who actually make the event what it is?) Yeah, you had no interest in involving us in the decision to completely change how we get our tickets. Nice.

    Everything about this has dampened my enthusiasm for the event. I’m hoping it fails spectacularly and you realize there are other, better solutions.

    I have only enough funds, guaranteed, at the end of any given month to allow me to sign up for one lowest tier ticket. I’ll do that and see what happens. If that fails, I’ll try the open market, at the same price. If both fail, I’ll say Screw it, and never look back.

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  • Let’s hope they go back to “first come first served” next year, so that the people who REEEEEELLY want to go are the first in line. Surely there must be a technological solution to scalper-bots, like maybe a CAPTCHA code and requiring a unique IP address or something.

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  • This is such a hassle and already stressful 8 months in advance. What was wrong with the old fashion, buy a ticket when they go on sale until they sell out way…

    ugh i sure hope i can make it this year. =(

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  • Everyone asked their parents, sisters, brothers, mothers to join the lottery in hopes of increasing their chances. Seems to me that everyone already planned on not getting a ticket, have a little faith people.

    With that said, my girlfriend applied for two tickets(she seems to have better luck than I do), and now I sit here patiently waiting to be picked. I just hope this doesn’t work out like grade school, cuz yup you guessed it, I’m the fat kid :)

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  • All the while, the BMorg:

    * Rolls around in a huge pile of money they just made.
    * Dreams of new ways to make First Camp better for themselves. (How’s the full stocked, top shelf, never empty bar working out? We can’t tell. First Camp is a gated community paid by everyone else.)
    * Orders more air-conditioned “work” trailers and sleeping rooms for BMorg members.
    * Increases the portions and quality of FREE food (i.e. steak/salmon) at the BMorg commissary
    * Thinks all is rainbows and kittens at HQ.

    Who looks like the 1% now?

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  • Enough with the radical entitlement! The “old” way of selling tickets only worked better for everyone because Burning Man never sold out immediately. That reality is sadly in the past. You can either choose to unite and strengthen the community at large or let it fragment us and ruin the spirit of the event. The organizers are in the unenviable position of having zero options that will satisfy everyone.

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  • Seems to me this lottery created more problems than it solved, since the original problem seemed pretty specific: All you had to do was get a ticket vendor or system that could handle the volume of purchases when needed in the early stages of ticket sales. Ever think of going back and doing that next year?

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  • At first… I thought this might work… the lottery was similar to getting a “wristband” to buy tickets for concerts back in the day at the local record shop….

    But… for the “wristband” system (which might actually be a good idea for future years), you could only get 1 wristband per person, and then sales happened in real time.

    The mystery here seems to have 1.) hyped the sale in general and 2.) encourage double/triple registrations (for those w/ cash on hand… which is certainly not everyone!).

    All the hype will probably hurt low-income folks most, who 1.) couldn’t gamble w/ multiple regs, and 2.) Won’t like paying top-tier prices (or scalped costs).

    …still SMILING. Burning Man is nothing to cry over…. but we’ll see how this pans out.

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  • Others have said it better so I’ll just quickly add my +1 to this being a terribly designed process.

    You’re seriously surprised that everyone got their friends and family to order tickets out of fear from tickets running out? A 5th grader could have predicted that.

    Someone earlier posted that the uncertainty of getting tickets for song is going to put a lot of art projects and planning on hold. Couldn’t agree more unfortunately.

    As to JD above and others: Most of the complaints on this page don’t sound “entitled” to me. People aren’t pissed about not getting tickets so much as they are about a badly designed, unfair and convoluted process.

    I sincerely hope that this system gets fixed next year because so far this year it’s a disaster.

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  • I sincerely hope you learn from this and never put us through this kind of stress and anxiety again. What a colossal cock-up. Your intentions, as always, were amazing and pure, but just as an FYI this has been an awful process for the people who just want to go Home.

    People who have attended before and contributed should get priority. There could be a virgin process… an essay! hahaha.

    I trust you. I have faith I’ll get there. But it would be nice to not feel like Mom and Dad were going to have a full table at Thanksgiving this year because they invited too many of the neighbors and I’m forced to camp outside and peek through the window.

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  • so the reason people requested the extra amount of tickets is cause the registration period was way to long. think about it last year when tickets went on sale, only a certain number of people where able to dedicate there time to watch there computer all day and get tickets. some did it from work and others just couldn’t, but this year people had a whole two weeks to say “i wanna go to burning man this year. ill just register since i dont have the time.” and thats what messed everything up, after that it only got worse. and if people are ordering from the same server or address get rid of them. i only entered once and so should they. except familys of course but the guy using random cards should be out. this sucks I BOUGHT AN ART CAR to build this year! I hope i get my tickets. damm

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    Burning Man has succeeded in devising a system that artificially increases demand, pricing, and makes it less likely for YOU — the participants– to attend!

    Tickets will be more in higher demand, more expensive, and more difficult to get than if there were just a plain ole general sale!

    And BETTER YET: Burning Man has balked at creating a truly fair system and has passed the buck onto those who will receive more tickets than they need. Placing the burden on the “WINNERS”, to come up with an ethical and fair method of distributing those tickets that they obtained by somewhat unethical means.



    Take some time to listen to our opinions and integrate them into OUR event.

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  • I’m a long-time burner (since ’98) and am entitled to nothing. With that said, I never in my wildest dreams thought the ticket process could get worse. It did. This could have been easily solved with a ticketing partner who could handle the volume. It is clear the BMorg does not understand or is truly incompetent to continue managing ticket sales. They fail us year after year. The only conclusion I can draw after all this time is the BMorg just does not care about participants anymore. Maybe it’s all about the money now. I suspect it so but can’t prove it. In the end, my voice really doesn’t amount to much to the BMorg. They will continue to reap the profits as long as we let it happen.

    Looking back, I helped build this community with my time, money and art. I literally started a Regional Burner community here in the States with 11 friends years ago and continue to actively participate and lead to this day. Here is my take-away. Burning Man is nothing more than a shell to what it once was. This lottery system and money grab proves the Principles are long forgotten.

    My advice: attend and enjoy your Regional burns while you can and seriously consider ditching BM given this shameful display of stupidity.

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  • The low income tickets are non-transferable.

    Why can’t the ticket be linked to a name? I hate to say it but in this day and age it’s the only way to keep the sale honest.

    There are plenty of methods that have been used to artists in the past that ensure that the core group of fans can attend their concerts/shows/ect.

    It is upsetting how rashly this whole thing was thrown together. I only asked for one ticket, and I hope I get it.

    -Dust Virgin

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  • It is obvious everyone is upset about this, and the lottery system created more problems than it fixed.

    I THINK THE BEST SOLUTION IS to Re-Do the ticketing system for THIS YEAR. it might sound like a drag because you guys spent lots of time working on this lottery system, but in the long term of things its going to save you and the loyal burner community lots of problems.


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  • As pointed out before, the ultimate loser to this mess is the event itself. Why? Because the large scale art will suffer. Who is gonna pour their blood, sweat, tears, and time into an art project, when the uncertainty of a ticket extends months after they *needed* to start on the project? It’s clear that not everyone who wants to, can go, but the repercussions of the lottery system are extending quite far indeed, and they are not good.
    Let’s face it, it’s a real clusterf*ck.

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  • Since you’re already setting up an internal system for peer-to-peer ticket sales (STEP), why don’t you make it the ONLY place where you can transfer a ticket?

    Low-income tickets are non-transferable. Obviously, things come up, and this wouldn’t work with normal tickets, but what if you made normal tickets non-transferable except through your internal system, and the tickets could put up for sale at face value or less?

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  • I find it amazing that the llc did not anticipate the increase in people trying to get tickets through the half baked lottery system. I have loved the years I have gone and volunteered. I thought about registering myself for 2 tickets, and having someone else register as well, just in case. After thinking about it I decided to just see if a ticket comes my way for this year, if not I will not be back. It sucks that I have been so turned off from an event I used to love.

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  • Hello all, as someone who has already dedicated part of his life to successfully developing a facet of our desert culture (in contrast to those who were “about to” build a big project, theme camp, art-car etc.) I’d like to BUT in here briefly.

    Yes the event known as Burning Man is a big deal. It’s THE ONE. No doubt about it. At the same time though, did anyone notice the CORE projects ringing the man last year? Each represented a regional burn or organization that you could easily gain entry to and probably build your amazing art at (aka your valuable contribution).

    The theme this year is fertility TWO POINT O!!! GO FORTH! MULTIPLY! Expend your creative energies at your regionals, in your communities, in your daily lives. Don’t save it all up for the most creatively impacted ghetto in the world (BRC). If you don’t understand how pigeon-holing yourselves into a situation where someone else has near-total control over what you’ve “devoted your lives to” I think you might not have learned as much as you thought about radical self-reliance during those many years …

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  • BM, I understand you were thinking you were doing us a favor with a Ridiculous system when it only makes sense to just sell the tickets at one price for all, no hardship, no natives no nothing just one price and sell until they run out. I just don’t get this thinking you are being PC with your system when people are just what they have always been. Human

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  • First thank you for creating an amazing time in my life!!
    For ten years I have worked hard, saved my money to go home each year.
    BM has changed mine, my son’s, and now my new bride’s life. We love everything about it.

    But….. really, how could you think that a lottery would fix the problems of ticket day or procrastinators? Ticket day: not sure what they know that you don’t but Ticketmaster seems to handle selling out 90,000 seat arenas in 30 minutes without a melt down. And it was not my fault that some people procrastinated and did not get their tickets!!??!!

    Lotteries are never fair to the low income, the odds will always lean in favor of the ones with more money. And for you to say, that tickets will all magically be redistributed to those who need them is an out and out lie!! You may hope that we buy that, BUT WE DON’T. The scalpers are rubbing their hands as I write thinking of how much they can get. $2,500….. $3,000?? we shall see. Oh no wait… they will all do the right thing and sell them (STEP) my mistake.

    I always thought ticket day was one of the fun parts of BM……

    Remember: IF IT IS NOT BROKE DON’T !$%& WITH IT!!!!

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  • WOW! After months of burners telling BM people that they were going to buy more tickets than they need just to make sure of getting enough for themselves, they are surprised at the number of tickets requested. DUH!

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  • Knew this would cause more problems than it solved, I have worked for Ticketmaster for over 30 years and watched the biggest ticketing company in the world try many solutions to stop scalping over the years, and none have worked but one which is seldom used, but would be perfect for your event. Tickets should be sold with the purchaser’s Name and address printed on the ticket, when you arrive at the event you must present matching I.D. (Licence, State I.D., Passport, Etc.), “No Exceptions”.
    If you cannot attend the event, Burning Man would issue a refund and the ticket would go back into the pool of tickets available to the public. That’s It!, problem solved. Might want to consider this for next year.

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  • You know, thinking about it, all the changes that Burning Man org did for the ticketing process benefited whom? Burning Man.org! This plan has nothing to do with making it easier for the people who attend the event, and everything about making it easier for BMORG.

    For months, people have proposed a simple solution: You buy one ticket, it has your name on it. When you get to the gate you show your ticket and an ID. If you can’t go, return it to BMORG for a refund-minus handling fee, and the ticket goes back into the pool to be distributed again.

    But that would involve WORK for BMORG!

    Now everyone has a bad taste in their mouths just as we should be getting more and more excited in the man burning in 200 days. This is terrible.

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  • Being from Australia and having missed out in the first round it is very disappointing that my boyfriend and all my friend did get theirs in the first round and now I hear the odds of me getting one aren’t good?!?!?! Surely splitting up friends and family isn’t what I thought BM was all about?!?!

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  • While the old ticket sale system had it’s faults, the New and Improved system of uncertainty has been gamed from the start. Under the old method if you really – really wanted to have a ticket you ensured that you were early in the process. Now if you really – really – really want a ticket and you are not one of the chosen few we can rely on the Good Will of those who have gamed the new system to treat us fairly? I may have been born at night, but I was not born last night.

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    It’s not too late.

    You didn’t listen when everyone in the BM community chimed in and told you it was a bad idea. You assured us that you had thought it all through. You really could not have predicted that people would register two or three times? Everyone else could. Now I don’t trust that you’ve thought it through. I think the scalping market is going to be HUGE. Is that the kind of people you want at BM? People who can afford $1,500 tickets and are willing to pay it to scapers? Last year the tickets sold out in something like 9 or 10 months…now the tickets will be sold out in the spring. You have a loyal crowd of people who plan in advance and for years made BM a wonderful, loving place to be…how is BM going to change if only rich people can afford it? How is BM going to change if burners don’t feel comfortable enough working on art projects? Why don’t you listen to the community? Well, you can now. Stop the lottery. You don’t want to reward the people who plan ahead, get their shit together, and buy tickets when they go on sale–will you be happy having BM filled with the people who don’t do any of those things?

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  • Wow! I popped in to remind myself of when the selection of the 3 tiers was happening. Silly me, I thought the lottery idea was a good one, a LOT less stressful than trying to get tickets within a short window wityh everyone trying to jam on a server. I registered for 2 tickets, one for me and one for my mate, figuring that was what a repsonisble member of the community would do. I’m really just shocked and appalled at all the negativity here. You reap what you sow. I agrre with the comment that those who need to and should be there will end up with the tickets. Try projecting some positive energy. You’ll be amazed at what comes your way.

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  • I certainly understood the pricing levels back when it was a way to encourage early purchasing. But now with 30,000 plus people ready to purchase tickets in January, why would some of the tickets sod on the same day be $240, others $320, and even $390? Why not instead sell 40,000 tickets at $330 and let everyone ready to buy on day one to get the same price. Instead we have this mess, If I don’t get my ticket through this crazy process, I will be taking the year off and looking for something else to participate in.

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  • I really dislike the stress coming with this rigged system.
    We want to come over from Europe with a group but have to wait (and not only until right after the lottery it seems now..) to see if all our friends make it in; there’s plane tickets to be bought, vehicles, and a lot more, to be arranged! We dont have the time to see ” if tickets will be redistributed to everyone eventually”; what if this doesnt happen? what if the majority of those to-redistribute- tickets end up with scalpers? We cant spend over $1000pp on plane tickets with only half a promise we’ll get a ticket eventually. And while we’re waiting other costs keep rising (plane tickets, chances of getting a vehicle, etc…)
    Sad and anxious times :(

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  • Having dealt with procuring tickets to events that sell out quickly many times in the past, I really don’t think the old way would hold up this year. A more robust ticketing system would only ensure that the event sold out faster, and still leave plenty of disappointed burners at the end of the day? Why?

    1) Over half the tickets sold on the first day last year, it’s fair to assume all these people will be back in line.

    2) A lot of the procrastinators were procrastinators because they could be since the event had never sold out before. I don’t think anybody involved in the event last year was unaware of the hysterics that occurred in the month proceeding Burning Man after it sold out. All of these people are in line on time this year.

    3) New people from natural growth of the event.

    4) Scalpers – They had almost no presence last year because the event took so long to sell out. This year there is more demand than supply from the get go. That means profit. They have been getting tickets for longer than you have in this format and they are far better at it.

    It’s a sucky situation no matter what you do. Non-transferable is what I favor, but that brings up a chorus of people who wish to gift, help a friend come at the last minute, blah blah blah. The lottery isn’t perfect, but it really isn’t any worse than what we had before.

    Burning Man is a sellout event now. There’s really nothing anybody can do to change that (aside from not going) and it will be fundamentally different because of this fact.

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  • My husband & I were planning on going to Burning Man this year, and that would require TWO tickets. I briefly thought about having both of us put in, to up our odds, but then thought better of it, realizing that if everyone did that, it would only result in *exactly* the situation we are now in. So, only I put in for 2 tickets and I put in for the middle price (because that’s what we could afford).
    This whole redistribution theory reeks of the “trickle down” effect (we all know how well that works out). So sure, I can spend the next few months tracking down tickets, through STEP or whatever this bullshit system is, or friends or friends of friends, and maybe even resort to craigslist. But you know what? Fuck that. We had plans of doing some art/theme camp this year, but we are not about to sink funds into any project unless we know that we are going. And our plans would require us to start those projects NOW.
    I did what I was supposed to, I wasn’t greedy – didn’t request more tickets than I needed (although in retrospect, perhaps I should have), I was honest about the price I could pay and it still sounds like I’m going to get stiffed. I’ve purchased tickets to Burning Man every year since 2000, but haven’t gone every year. I’ve never once sold my tickets at above face value (and usually end up eating the fees & shipping too). I’m feeling pretty disenchanted right now, and mostly feel like I’m done with Burning Man. Maybe I’ll feel differently if I’m awarded tickets – or maybe not, when I find out that some of my campmates (some planning to come from as far as Hong Kong) aren’t awarded tickets.
    Question: Did the BORG members have to put in for the lottery too?

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  • Maybe the lottery is a bad idea but I am willing to see how it plays out. Perhaps it was an over-reaction to last year’s sell out even though it took months for the event to actually sell out. Also, I do not believe those who requested tickets via proxies in order to help their odds are playing fair and do NOT have a good argument justifying their actions as basic human nature. They contributed to the mess that people are now complaining about.

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  • Alright! Bitching and complaining doesn’t usually solve anything! Suggestions and feedback is always helpful and usually welcome. Perhaps it just isn’t meant for you to attend BM this year if you are not selected in the lottery. Perhaps you could discover one of the many other festivals/gatherings that happen in this country. PEACE.

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  • I have to admit that as a hard core participant in large scale BM art projects, I actually have significantly less desire to go this year, specifically because of this lottery. I bought my tickets last year during the higher pre-sale period, simply because I wanted to be certain that I could attend.
    If I don’t secure my ticket within a reasonable time frame I’m going to scrap it (along with this year’s plans for my project) I am normally a huge BM defender but I have to jump ship on this one – you guys stepped in it, and I think the quality of projects this year is going to suffer. My advice would be to set up a waiting list in (STEP) that gives priority to those able to demonstrate a history of active participation in enhancing the Burning Man experience

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  • Crossposting my 2¢ from fb since that post is already buried:

    The demand now exceeds supply. This was an inevitable event, and we are experiencing the effects right now. The limited supply is not due to Larry and Co. wanting to throw the most exclusive party of the year. The limited supply is due to our BLM permit and more importantly the Two-Lane Road which constricts flow of people on to and off of the playa.

    If you want to blame Burning Man for something, blame them for spreading our culture far and wide. The current situation is directly a result of the growing popularity, fame, and appeal of the main event of the year.

    This is a good thing! Burning Man, that thing in the desert, does not have much room for growth. From here on out, barring some serious highway expansion, there will be more people that want to go BM than get to (and this was always the case, anyway.) But there is room for growth: Regionals!

    What is limiting supply of regionals? Not much. Effort and initiative and organization.

    I’m not saying if I _somehow_ don’t get a ticket this year I’ll just attend some regionals and be satisfied. I want playa all up in my orifices as much as the next person. But I see Burning Man as a privilege, not a right, and appreciate it as such.

    Relax, everybody. It’s gonna work out.
    ♥ LPB

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  • By the way, I haven’t been able to afford to get back to BM. Last year I attempted once again but it didn’t work out so instead I went to the Oregon Country Fair and Rainbow Gathering. Not only did I see a different part of the US, I met new people and had a new adventure!
    This year I submitted for two tickets and hope I am selected but if I am not, I have a back up plan and will try again next year!

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  • This whole thing feels like when Apple hypes up the next iThing…. “Yes, I won! I got in the door!” People waiting breathlessly to see iif they have won a LOTTERY..? I don’t have the answer to how you deal with increasing ticket sales (Increasing amount of burners, isn’t that what we are going for?) But casino psychology seems as far away from Burning Man mentality as you can possibly get.

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  • Cant wait until I get to sell the 100 tickets I bought (50% loto win rate using 2 x 100 prepaid credit cards) at 300% face!

    Goona be a good year in the dust!

    Rolling in dough!


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  • My initial thought on halting scalping was to issue tickets with name, address etc and must show Id @ the gate. I just read a post from someone who says they used to work @ ticketmaster and that this was the only method that truly eliminated the potential for scalping. Good to know my thinking was not that naive. Too bad I can’t say the same about BMORGs in regards to this years ticketing ‘solution’.

    Also.. BM community is great and all but we’re still human and it seems that the good intentions of buying the highest price ticket you can afford hasn’t ever really worked since it is those with the ability to sit at their computers on sale day that get the lowest price and those who are really struggling to make it happen most often have to wait until the last minute thus paying the highest price. Whatever system you decide upon in the future, eliminate pricing tiers. I have discussed this with many friends who agree.

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  • Here’s my two cents on a solution (for next year)
    1. one price.
    2. non-transferable.
    3. if people end up that they can’t go, they can sell them on a managed website the only allows people to sell them at face value.
    4. tickets will be printed a few weeks prior to the event with photos of the owners on them (provided when purchased)

    This is San Francisco, we have the technology. Also, Glastonbury Festival seems to manage this process well. Maybe ask them for a little advice?

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  • Freaktastic fools – listen up – thishits pop-u-lar which muss mean we wailin out some righteous grooves. dig?

    gamble gamble gamble sure might taste sour too-day, but the sugar is comm-you-nity and its essplodin lemonade all over the place.

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  • And here I thought there’d be no problem. I’d leisurely register for tickets, check off all three levels, and be pretty much guaranteed to get 2 tix at one of the levels. Wrong! This new system allows too many people to register, as opposed to the old way where would buy your tickets live online, and could only get two. This system guarantees more speculators and scalpers would try to reserve large amounts for resale.

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  • This is really frustrating. How can the org be surprised that there were inflated ticket sale? This was the PRIMARY discussion point among my friends and I when discussing the lottery. It was literally the VERY FIRST THING we were worried about and we don’t have access to any of your data.

    I put in for one ticket at the first tier only. It’s all I can afford at the moment and if I don’t get a ticket in the lottery because the org didn’t even *consider* that people would be buying more tickets then they needed, then it is indeed a shame .

    I really hope the STEP project works. A WORD OF WARNING: STEP had better be fee-free or else your ticketing scheme will truly reap the whilrlwind of community opinion.

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  • Ok I don’t know if I’ll win or not but obviously as I had the right to sign up for 2 tickets, I did so. My brother might come, and if not one of my campmates might have lost. Similarly, all my campmates signed up for 2 so we can distribute them within the camp.

    Since pretty much everyone HAD to do this this year, you’re going to auction 2 tickets for every person who wants to attend… I guess somebody hadn’t though this through before. While it’s true that tickets will get re-distributed, it’s also true that this process is a whole uncomfortable mess, especially for people who like to plan ahead.

    How about next year we can opt-in to named tickets? Then verify with ID on entry. Those tickets couldn’t be re-sold but burning man org could create a process whereby they could be recycled if not needed – for a full or partial refund. The advantage would be that there would be no scalpers. That re-sales would be forced through BMOrg, which enforces at-face-value sales. And that everyone who wants to buy a ticket can do so.

    The minor inconvenience of having to present an ID on entry – I read somewhere that some might be “uncomfortable” with that – is acceptable IMO. I mean BMOrg could clearly ensure that all personal data is safe and secure, and is destroyed post event. It’s not that hard. Driving license for US citizens, passports for everyone else (they need it to get in the country anyway). Simple.

    The current process reminds me of why I don’t use ebay… most of the time I don’t want to gamble, I just want to buy something.

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  • I have yet to see a single post in support of this lottery system. I favor the single ticket price system. If the main problem is scalping, printing the name on the ticket would be the sensible solution. Except that would create a problem for gift tickets. But overall, this was clearly a bad

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  • Clearly the lottery was a complete disaster. It was unfair from the start, and now its created a worse mess than the one the BOrg imagined.

    If the BOrg had just stuck with the same ticketing process they had in 2010, everything would have been fine. The burners that had their act together would buy their one or two tickets and that would be it. No panic buying and over requesting tickets. No feelings of alienation and powerlessness. No having to listen to bs conjoling by the BOrg. No feeling pissed off rather than excited.

    I feel even more cheated and disrespected now.

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  • I think priority should be given to the burners who have attended in the past. Its sad to think the ones who have loved burning man and made it what it is today will have no choice but to buy from greedy scalpers. This lottery has me litterally worried sick.

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  • 1) Create lottery practically designed to encourage trying to ‘game’ the system
    2) Promote the hell out of it, so everyone will try to buy more than they need
    3) ????
    4) Scalpers profit, the rest of us get screwed


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  • As I was reading JRS about all the ticket crap a little thought came to mind that maybe BM is really a Hunger Game and in this chapter we all pitted against each other for a limited resource…..a ticket. BM looks like art imitating life, or rather BM imitating society, instead of BM being a model for community building. Disappointing

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  • Now I’m more worried because of the comments than because of the lottery. It sounds like the Blackrock is going to be filled with 50,000 angry people.

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  • carolyn wells, your comment got my mind !!! Lottery will destroy spirit of BM !! If ..if I got there this year I will look on others like on “winners” !! They are killing the whole idea of Burning Man. They try to made us like animals hungry animals fighting for food.

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  • Never been to BM but coming all the way from Europe, needing a lot of preparation and shit tons of costs just to BE there (excluding any art projects, which will be, most likely be part of going there anyway, duh?), this system does not seem to fulfill the purpose. I also understand that families, groups and whole theme camps want to be together, but please consider new Burners and people from outside the US who have a much harder time getting there and preparing for the event, making this truly an international and multicultural experience :)

    Nevertheless, good luck to everyone getting tickets. Peace

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  • We want the old system back. Send in money in the mail. The first year I ever went I bought at the door in 2000. It has been my love to be at home on the playa every year since. Some years its easier to afford going but I must say I am worried I might not get a ticket at a price I can afford. To stop going to an event in which I have actively participated in for 12 years is hard to imagine. Now like regionals, I never attend the same one year after year. I would love if we could all just buy one ticket with our name on it. You can use the same credit card and buy one for a partner too with a name on it. the name then can transfer if needed with a signed paper. simple. Burning Man don’t fuck us all over.

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  • Proposed for 2013:
    Sell tickets first-come-first-serve in separate tier blocks (e.g. 5 tiers, 5 blocks of 10,000, over 5 months). Start with the most EXPENSIVE TIER FIRST, with the cheapest tier last.

    *Scalpers will tend to stay out until the later, cheaper tiers.
    *Gotta go? Expect to buy at the higher prices early on.
    *Can’t afford the early tiers, you take a chance on cheaper tiers later.
    *No one buys more tickets than they need – zero hoarders.
    *Want to discourage scalpers, make just the cheapest tier(s) all or some of: will call, by name, with ID, non-transferable.

    Sounds counter-intuitive but it really is not.
    >Old system: Low cost tiers early to promote early sales. No longer required.
    >New system: High cost tiers early to spread sales out.

    The 2012 system just turned a bunch of great burners into a bunch of desperate gambling hoarders. Friends don’t do that to friends, but they just did, because they love Burning Man so much they got scared, and scared people do bad things. Please, let’s have a no fear 2013.

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  • Really, you guys messed up. The old system was working just fine. The enthusiastic burners put in their request early and got tickets. The newbies or on the fence crowd waited a bit until they were gone. This is the organic way of how the tickets should be distributed and what you did was introduce an element of fear into the process and people freaked out. Admit your mistake and go back to the old way for next year. It will be a lot less stressful for you and for us.

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  • Fact is, right now I can only afford one ticket at the cheapest rate. From what I gather from your post, my chances are slim to none that I’ll obtain this golden ticket. This process just feels wrong and it’s exhausting. Please, let’s go back to the original way of doing things.

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  • This is absolutely sad, there’s no other word for it. Many burners who have always prepared ahead of time, are going to be left without tickets. This lottery has caused an even worse panick. The fact that they thought this was actually a solution is laughable.

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  • As usual it’s Snipe Time against BMorg.

    Last year there was a problem of scalpers grabbing too many tickets through the open sale policy resulting in shortages that drove up prices on the secondary market. Taking tickets hostage allowed scalpers to tax Burners looking to find a sold-out ticket.

    People of good will and intentions within BMorg have devised a lottery system to try to thwart the scalpers. Unfortunately, and I’m sure they knew this would also happen, too many people (Burners) requested more tickets than they needed to improve their odds at the lottery figuring they’d resell the extra ones if they got them.

    Unless we can increase the size of BRC – and giving the state of the infrastructure we shouldn’t – there’s going to be some scarcity. So which would you prefer? A system where your choice is to buy your tickets at a huge markup from scalpers, or one where you’ll be buying them from fellow Burners at face value?

    This is the world people. Any system can, and will be gamed. We’d best deal with it. If we all agree to use STEP to re-distribute excess tickets, and reject the scalpers, we’ll create a culture in which useless profiteering cannot thrive. This is the only way to stop the scalpers.

    Also it’s the first year and there’s always a learning curve. I’m sure the system will be improved for next year. Let’s stay positive (and not just save that for the one week we’re on the Playa).

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  • Carolyn Wells has it.
    Kran has it.

    After 12 years in a row, I had faith that the Borg knew what it was doing. Now I am sad because I think I’m right… But not it the way I wanted to be proven right.

    Burning Man has never looked more like Uncle Sam. So, so sad.

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  • Kevin,

    You present your argument for the lottery as if there’s no other way. But there are many other solutions.

    The STEP plan will fail unless it’s a required method for transferring tickets.

    If everyone were so damn ethical, we wouldn’t need a STEP program to resell tickets that were obtained by people who bought/won more than they were “allowed”.

    Anything that comes of this lottery is FRUIT OF A ROTTEN TREE!


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  • The lottery may be crappy…. but outrageous prices BM is not! Seriously people… look at the work the BMorg does through out the year, volunteers, infrastructure, set up and take down. Let’s get perspective! Look at the prices of Coachella!!

    I’ll be heartbroken if I don’t get tickets, but to claim that the entire event is a sham with already excessive high prices is a weak argument. Not sure what the answer is to make this process fair and allow the ‘true burners’ access.

    Just remember that opinions will be heard when they are rational, well explained and based on truth. Throwing the entire organization/ event off the bridge will not result in positive change for those upset with the lottery system.

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  • I am sad to hear this lottery system isn’t working well, but not surprised. I only signed up for one ticket. Hope I get one! I won’t be ruined if I don’t get a ticket, just frees up money for other fun summer options.

    I do support the idea of scrapping the lottery system and going with a non-transfer ticket system. That seems like the best way to stop scalpers. Hope they re-think this and go for that option in the future.

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  • Well.. I didn’t think to try and up the odds by having other people lottery it up for me. My gf and I, this was going to be our first year. It’s a big commitment for us coming down from Calgary and all. Due to our finances, we didn’t opt in for all tiers of tickets either. Guess this might not be our year after all. Much rather have seen first come first serve.

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  • I will add this as an amendment to my previous comment; the lottery will probably turn out to be too easily gamed to work much better than the first-come ticketing system either. Ultimately I expect we will, and should go to, a Name-on-Ticket system, non-transferable except to be surrendered back to BMorg at face value for resale. There’s almost no opportunity to game that system. Yes it will require presenting id to enter and that may present a problem to people really living off the the grid but if they already have a credit card with which to buy a ticket one suspects they’re on the grid enough to have, or get, an id.

    But all the carping at BMorg does bug me. Would it really hurt to assume they’re Burners too just trying to do the best they can with a difficult situation? I’m only a two-time burner but I think that for what I got, for what I paid, BRC is the greatest bargain on earth. This event wouldn’t happen by itself and I’m so glad there’s an organization that takes care of making it possible.

    Let’s assume they are us; not Ticketmaster, not your boss, not the 1%, not the other ‘man’, and let’s be supportive. It will get better.

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  • From the beginning of this sick idea, any of you have thought about foreigners ?? We can’t get physically the tickets, but we have to get it from the playa by the will-call system (you can’t imagine how we were stressed last year, not to be registered, when we came and said “my name is…”). SO WHAT ABOUT US, the non-american burner, in this system ?? We can’t even imagine getting one from an alternate way of sale like ebay or something like this (and I think this year this will be one of the last chance to get one…). The fact is that I take all my holidays for going to Burning Man and America, I have to organize all my -very expensive- travel from France… if I don’t have tickets, i don’t even know what I’m going to do this summer !
    First come first serve was way fairer than that… yeah, it sucks, and this only prove that many of us were right when we said this was going to be a big fail !

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  • I have never been before and am super pumped to go. its not fair that i should have to pay more cuz i can afford it. I am willing to pay alot go to cuz I really want to go. you should really do a one price scale and Void any ticket you see outside the forum and keep the money from scalpers and rerelease the tickets to the public. if scalpers risk losing money there is no point in scalping. /agree with ^

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  • As a 15 yr attendee of Burning Man I will not be attending this year. Our camp has built several major art projects on the playa (funded by Burning Man) and I participate in a theme camp placed on the Esplanade that is over 8 yrs old. Screw you Burning Man. Way to leave out the starving artist and people who plan for this all year long. We are all super glad that people who can afford to buy 10 tickets with no price cap can do so. Guess what? They always could. Now, you are totally screwing the rest of the world who lives paycheck to paycheck. My camp, of over 100 people, who by the way, 20% of us work for Burning Man, is PISSED!!!! A lot of us will not be returning. How can you expect a theme camp to exist if some of us don’t get tickets in your lottery. What the hell were you guys thinking? I don’t even care to try to get in to your elitist bs fake ass community. Good luck. BTW your DPW appreciation party next year…gonna be different.

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  • I wasn’t against the lottery from the beginning, but it looks like it didn’t work out so well… There has to be a way to award the people who actually go and not the douches trying to capitalize reselling tickets.

    The only good idea I have is to have an open registration for tickets for the following year ON PLAYA. So… You bring your ID (since we need them anyways to drink now) and register yourself for a ticket for the following year, and the first tier or a guaranteed large percentage of tickets go to people who who actually go to Burning Man.

    I’ve been hearing a lot of complaining but no solutions. Here’s mine, what does anyone think?

    And for the record, whenever funds are available I buy an extra ticket to resell at face value, or gift, as I did last year. Let’s keep the magic alive.

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  • The people who dreamed up this lottery crap are just plain stupid. You have created a fatal uncertainty in the minds of the people that make Burning Man what it is – the serial participants who provide the energy that creates the magic landscape. Without confidence that we can attend, we won’t put in the time and effort to build all the beautiful and varied things that give the event its sense of wonder.
    You have destroyed what goodwill remained in the community after you already watered down the event by devolving it into a 24/7 rave party for 20 year olds who spend all their time looking for their next high and think dangling a light stick around their neck is a costume.
    What was once a unique world of creativity, originality, and self expression has turned into a dystopia of precisely the commodification that you tried to avoid.
    I guess you’re planning to sell the event to Kraft Foods or something so you can cash out. To hell with all the fancy philosophy that you’ve been spouting for 20 years, that was just to reel in the suckers. Once the cash is in the bank, the principles are out the window.

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  • It’s my own fault, I’m sure, but I didn’t even hear about a lottery. I expected to get a ticket in January, as usual…. I’m very bummed to hear a lottery was introduced, putting some people into a feverishly competitive mode with all the expected results…. Despite the warnings, people will scalp the tickets and profiteer because human nature (often) $mells opportunity and others who intended to go as they have for years will have only this last option. I think you are naively unrealistic to think there will be a “perfect redistribution” of the extra tickets….

    Like others here, I just wanted to buy a ticket and wish there would be a “re-do.” Old system please.

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  • This whole newfangled “ticket distribution” scheme is a very thinly disguised surefire way to avoid being forced to take responsibility for your ticket selling mistakes of the past, especially last year’s queue crash and subsequent mountain of complaints very rightly brought upon you. Congratulations: you found a way to sell tickets so that NOBODY can even KNOW if you made a mistake with their order, much less hold Burningman accountable for it! You were worried about your own asses, not thinking through, as usual, about the consequences of your actions. Surprised… REALLY? And now you’ve got a WORSE problem on your hands: The scalpers have won… and the demographic you have attracted will profane the event. I put my order into the lottery, but fully expect NOT to get tickets. And, I won’t feel so bad about missing Burningman this year.

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  • Folks, I’m in the UK, getting married at BM this year with numerous guests planning to attend and a huge art project underway and I’ve invested $1000’s into this year already one way or another. But I’m not freaking out. Some of what is happening is inevitable: Burning Man is the coolest thing in the world and sooner or later too many people were going to find out about that. The only news we’ve had is that the minority of those who currently applied might not get a ticket straight away. Let’s not all start assuming worst-case scenarios when it’s not happened. That’s not the BM spirit I know and love. Personally, I think the current system is a better idea than the website meltdown of previous years and I think the good folks of BM are doing the best they can with something that has no template and grows in strange & unpredictable ways.
    Love to all and hope to see you out on the playa this year.

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  • I’m not too worried about it.. if I get a ticket, I’ll be happy. If not, I’ll plan to use my energy and money towards another project. How about focusing on regionals?

    The system that they have now if flawed, and made it over complex. I like how they announced that they will rely on a “2nd market to distribute tickets to the people that need them”. They expect burners to all sell their tickets on their exchange website at face value.. yeah.. that’s going to happen. It’s going to be a scalper’s paradise once the tickets are actually mailed.

    I have a solution.. go back to the old way, or do something more like the regionals or low income tickets work… Get a bunch of volunteers who are willing to read letters, and have EVERYONE who wants to go to burning man write a short letter explaining why they want to go. In return, they will get a “code” that they can use to unlock the registration process. It would take a LOT of volunteers, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to find willing PARTICIPANTS! It would be a neat project too.. you could take some of the best letters, and incorporate them into an art project or something..

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  • Even better.. what if you released a system before the man burns this year.. Require a letter to be mailed before July this year if you want to go next year. Take all the letters, and hand them out when people cross the gate. 5/person or so until they are gone. Then have them cast their vote before they leave. Maybe..

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  • Ohhh…. I never thought that I could be…stuck outside of the gates in misery…but suddenly I start to see…Harvey’s hypocrisy…cause i want a golden ticket…and so on.

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  • 1. Stop sounding so entitled. This will be my 3rd year and I’ve never felt that I was entitled to anything at Burning Man. It is what I bring to it, what I make of it and my attitude towards it. They don’t owe me anything, especially a ticket. (ok, maybe they do owe me a clean PortaPotty and quicker way out)

    2. Just cause you’ve been before with a theme camp and art. Who cares? What about someone with a great NEW theme camp or great NEW art? Is it legacy Burning Man or evolving Burning Man? Do the Rolling Stones give a s…t how many times I’ve seen them in the past in order to get a ticket?

    3. If it really is the MOST important thing you do all year then man up and stop drinking beer for a couple weeks or make some cheap meals at home or blow off that next reggae show and save some money to buy the tickets during the first lottery. That’s exactly what my wife and I did – we are not wealthy – but we saved and bought tickets early and now we have no worries. Precisely because Burning Man is important to us, we were willing to make a little extra sacrifice to go. That’s just the way it works – with almost everything everywhere.

    4. A lot of people here don’t seem to understand that Burning Man has been put into a very difficult situation. Maybe the lottery wasn’t the best idea but maybe it was best choice out of many bad options. Sometimes there just isn’t room for everybody at the table and a few unlucky souls have to find something else to do. Burning Man lives in my heart and my head and I smile every time I think about being there. I had a great life before it and I will have a great life if it ended tomorrow.

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  • Random thoughts . . . . .

    1. Demand has exceeded supply, and thus a new reality exists.

    2. After last year’s sellout, I had assumed BMORG would simply upgrade their computers to handle the peak, and leave it at that. After all, the 2011 tickets did not sell out until summertime in any case. The snooze you lose rule would be good enough, and I’d bet they would not sell all 50,000 in one day. If they did so be it. Deal done, in January. Deal with it.
    This system is creating uncertainty and is drawing it out over many weeks if not month’s time. Angst, frustration, planning uncertainties, foiled plans, and hostility are understandable results.

    3. Burning Man is experimental, and it is reborn every year. At this time things do not seem to be going well, and the bitter bile being expressed here is not entirely unjustified. It is what it is for this year. I still have a measure of judgement reserved, this has not played out yet, wait until August, then decide. BMORG does learn and grow. Tough to say wait until next year, but, well, most certainly next year they will do it differently. The overly large city layout in 2008 happened just once. They learned.
    My experience as a volunteer since 2005 has exposed me to enough of the core BMORG personalities to know that they pay attention, and adapt. The Event has been through way worse crises in its history than this ticket situation.

    4.IMHO at this time, they overreacted to the supply / demand situation, and are experiencing some pretty big bumps in the road of their own making. I do admit to a fair degree of personal mystification over this whole procedure they have cooked up.

    5. I am curious just what price level tickets would rise to in order to keep demand in line with supply in a free market scenario. I am sentimentally opposed to this idea, and BMORG’s motive to attempt to constrain ticket prices is laudable and noble, and has my support. Imagine the bitching and moaning if they did the Capitalist Republican thing and just started jacking up the price by hundreds of dollars. Burning Man emphatically is not meant to be a creature of market forces, and that is good. Scalpers absolutely need to be shut out.

    6. Looks to me like BMORG has unintentionally and artificially amplified the shortage mentality by an order of magnitude ( or two ) and now have to deal with the panic and the stampede.

    7. If I were king of the world (or Larry Harvey) Here would be my 2013 ticket selling plan.
    Holiday gift ticket would be the most expensive ones and limited supply.
    The low income write in application / justification tickets would be expanded somewhat.
    A single standard ticket price would be established.
    First come, first served online sales.
    Name printed on ticket with I.D at gate.

    8. A bit unrelated, but the gate in particular and greeters station need to be expanded to expedite getting into BRC. IMHO 50,000 is just about the limit that one lane of asphalt can handle.

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  • Just a thought: lots of anger directed at BMorg amidst a lot of uncertainty. It strikes me though that this is a learning experience for the community. When we look back at our decisions, we might see that many of us tried to control more resources than we could rightfully consume. Seems a bit antithetical to the ethos.

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  • I really love going to Burning Man each year. I really hope I can go this year! I was hoping to take my friend Mel for the first time, but I have a real fear that will not not be able to get tickets. I think this lottery system is a BIG FAILURE! I know the old way was not perfect, but it was a lot better then this lottery system! I really hope the people who get all the extra tickets don’t try to sell them for a kings fortune!

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  • After reading all the comments, it is interesting that no one mentioned that Gerlach residents did not have to registert like the rest of us. Also let’s say you give out all 40,000 tickets in this lottery then tell me how you have 10,000 tickets left? Based on simple math if you subtract out the low income tickets, the tickets that BM gives to certain people free there is no way 10,000 tickets are left over. I love BM and like all true burners want to go home. It is disappointing to know that BM does not tell the truth and changes the rules in the middle. Was the board of BM asleep and dreamed this crazy idea of a lottery? Maybe there should be more intelligent people on the board who can stay awake.

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  • Why the hell didn’t BM just outsource the ticket buying bandwidth to something in the cloud and let the old system work itself out? It baffles me why they restructured the entire ticketing system and freaked out tons of people when they could have just invested in 48 hours of beefy EC2 hosting and avoided all that crashing / server-side bullshit.

    Also, do you really think this isn’t going to create another scalping situation like what occurred last year? That you’re not going to see tickets going on eBay or CL for at least twice the price? You’ve created a fear-based economy, and you’re going to see the community react as such.

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  • BMorg listen up! Dump the lottery system now before you charge anyone’s cards! It’s pissing everyone off and leading to all sorts of unexpected and undesirable effects. People are hoarding tickets, scalping and prices will go through the roof keeping many long time burners away, and all kinds of theme camps and art projects are at risk due to the uncertainty. No one is going to listen to your starry-eyed idea about the STEP system. You blew it big time. Rewind and return to the standard online ticket purchase system with ONE PRICE FOR EVERYONE. Just send out an email to everyone who submitted an order telling them that the lottery system is being abandoned and their purchase requests are void, and announce a new date in February for online ticket purchases. This is the only way to recover from this debacle and earn back the respect and trust of the community.

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  • The STEP system is completely asinine. People aren’t going to subscribe en masse to some silly community resale system just because someone at BMorg is living in a pot-induced utopia. No one is going to say “I won’t buy a ticket if I can’t get one at face value, I’ll just stay home instead.” They will buy a ticket any way they can so they can go. People who were greedy enough to sign up for more tickets than they needed in order to improve their chances aren’t going to suddenty find nirvana and be all misty eyed as they sell their tix at face value through some hairbrained community bulletin board. They will post an ad on Craigslist and collect the cash from the first buyer. Do it enough times and you get to go for free, while all the other unlucky saps subsidized your ticket by paying a jacked up price.

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  • If I worked at BMorg I’d quit rather than face the wrath of every single burner I meet for the next foreseeable future. It’s not just us burners who are angry and bewildered, the entire nation will hear about this through the media. This lottery debacle will overshadow anything else people say about Burning Man for years.

    The only way out of this is for Larry Harvey himself to issue a personal apology to the community for this travesty, push the reset button, and start over. The CEO is the public face of the organization and must take personal responsibility when something goes wrong and work to make it right. Larry, your reputation, and that of Burning Man, are in the toilet if you don’t.

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  • I heard a week ago that BM did not even have the BLM permit. Is this “over registering” that BM refers to just a way to stall giving out tickets so they don’t have to do 40,000 refunds if they don’t get the permit? I know that BM gives out art grants and gives a lt back to the communities but really BM you can’t tell me you don’t make enough profit after all is said and done to have money to beef up your IT system or out source the selling of tickets. Are your asses so greedy you all forgot the true meaning of burning man? Shame on you!!

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  • I just spent over an hour reading all of the posts here.. I added up all the happy people vs all the pissed off people…

    Result…. Over 90% of Burners responding here are pissed and completely unhappy about this new system..Most people responding seem to be seasoned Burners who are behind Theme Camps and Art Cars (the flesh and bones of BMan)….

    So if this were a democracy…. It would be like Ron Paul winning and election with 90% of the vote and still loosing to Obama with 10% of the vote…

    Win: BMorg, Scalpers
    Loose: Loyal Burners, Honest Burners, New Burners…

    With such an overwhelming negative sentiment towards this brilliant new system (if already to late this year) GET RID OF IT NEXT YEAR…

    New System….
    What are the odds of everyone in a 20+ person theme camp getting tickets in the lottery??? Next to nothing!!!!

    Old System:
    Assuming all members planned in advance…
    What are the odds of everyone in a 20+ person theme camp getting tickets??? Very likely.. Almost a guarantee if you decided you wanted to go by March…

    I wish there was a way to put this ticket system up on FAIL.com

    BMorg must realize this was a bad idea by now?

    ANY response from the Bman folks???!!!

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  • My biggest issue with the lottery system is that it’s very difficult for families (like ours) that come from a lower-economic background. We live paycheck-to-paycheck and we save all year for our one big vacation: The Burn.
    Forcing us to buy tickets in January, right after the holiday season when pretty much everyone is broke, was bad timing anyway. It’s the lowest-income month, too, as both the businesses we work for cut hours and tips because no one’s spending money.
    Giving us a window of almost a month: from registration start to actual charge on the cards – was way too much. Giving us a vague window (23rd-1st) was also too much. I get paid every two weeks. I have to keep careful track of when my paycheck arrives and when my bills go out. But this month I’ve had a huge chunk of cash sitting in my account that I don’t have real control over.
    How much will it cost? When? Is there an extra $100 I can buy groceries with, or will the tax and service charges overdraw my account? I don’t know. Hopefully not.
    Thankfully our bank’s spend limit is more than the highest price we registered for, but what about the folks who have to call their bank every other day to insure that the charge won’t get denied? We’re Burners, but we also have lives: jobs and families that deserve more attention than this month-long (or more) ticket fiasco is allowing.
    Yes, it takes money and effort to go to Burning Man. Yes, it’s a privilege that I’m happy to work my ass off for all year.
    But did you have to make me feel like I’m poor AND oppressed?
    We only registered for two tickets for the two of us, one time, up to second tier. Maybe we’ll be in the lucky percentage, but with other folks buying up all they could (with help from “family and friends”) I know our odds are greatly reduced. Not to mention the rest of the folks in our camp that we depend on to share the costs of getting there…
    So now I have 2 options: I can continue to leave that money sitting in the bank when we’re still struggling through a too-tight, too-close-to-the-line January, while I fight for tickets through STEP or whatever; OR I can buy the highest-priced tickets during the last sale – which I’ll probably have to take a day off of work to participate in so I can sit close to my computer and insure that I’ll get tickets before they sell out.
    Simply put, this system is really and truly NOT FAIR, and is another example of the class warfare that is rampant in our country.
    I think the fix was pretty simple. People bum-rushed the first-dale sale last year because that’s how you get the cheapest tickets. If you averaged out the ticket prices and made it the same amount for everybody, then you wouldn’t have to deal with the influx of numbers on one day. It still took months – during which time there were plenty of warnings – for the tickets to sell out.
    Yes, that would mean that some people would have to pay more because NO ONE would get the lowest tier tickets. So what? I think that’s fair. It evens the playing field, the tickets will sell over a period of time and the opportunity for everyone to get one will be much greater. Having the cheapest tickets go on sale – and sell out – in January STILL favors people that have more money to spend, while those of us who are struggling to recover from the holidays have to wait and buy the more expensive ones once we can afford it.
    I say this again, as if we went big on the holidays. We didn’t. Our son got 1 toy from us, and we didn’t get anything for each other. I took a week off to visit my family – my husband stayed home to work. And it still wiped us out – especially because all our available extra cash had to sit there and wait for the ticket sales. Lame.
    And all of this concern over the scalpers is silly. Yes, obviously the ticketing people need to deny any suspicious purchases, yadda yadda. No matter what the sale system is, they won’t go away entirely, but the only people who will go to them are the ones who didn’t get tickets in the months they were on sale legally, and are stupid enough to pay a scalper’s prices. That’s not your problem, it’s theirs. The only way to completely stymie the scalpers is for the entire community to stop buying from them. But as you may have noticed, people really, really want to go to Burning Man – at any price.
    This ridiculous system that, what?, 60,000+ people participated in only proves that.

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  • I can understand why the lottery system was chosen this year, but I feel like there are better solutions available, several of which have already been mentioned. My only real criticism of this system is the fact that it makes folks who don’t need to worry about money MUCH easier to get a ticket than those folks with less money. It’s making an event that’s already becoming classist, moreso.

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  • Actually, no, people are not any more eager to go to Burning Man this year than in previous years. It’s sounds like what’s happening is BRC is sitting around saying, “Hey guys, let’s implement a super exclusive, unbalanced system where lots of people are at risk of not getting tickets, and not expect a rush on the first batch.”

    The only reason for the higher demand is the fear and paranoia YOU have instilled in your customers.

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  • BMOrg, have you read these comments? Have you gotten the message regarding public opinion here? Have you considered a most urgent change in PR staffing, if nothing else?

    To those who say I should attend my regional burn: My regional burn sucks, it is a mound of dub-step crap, a rave, with little to no art, variety, or nutritional value.

    The most rational solution for us is to blow off the burner community altogether and find a new venue for creation.

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  • How many burners are going to be split up because of this. My Pink Fuzzy Monkey with Superhero underwear campo will crumble if we loose our core mates. Our neighbors will be with out that burner effect when they first arrive. We have always adopted virgins when they first arrive on the playa. We have made a great international camp and now it is sad to say that we might now be going home this year. I will not buy a ticket above face value, nor will I help my mates buy a ticket above face value. We have a group of Israelis and Icelandic people already with tickets. Yet, there camp might be with out. This is could be a horrible burn. Burners with out tickets will mean less art, less theme camps, and less participation. Non- Transferable tickets please.

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  • This is stupid… Yeah in a perfect world everyone will use this STEP system, but that’s not gonna happen.

    BM tickets should only have one price and should go on sale through a ticketing system that won’t crash.

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  • I’ve fallen here and was engrossed by the discussion!

    As a regular Glastonbury Festival goer in England I’d like to throw in a comment about the photos on tickets (mentioned above). They work brilliantly in some aspects – almost all ‘scalping’ has been removed but there are other issues (if you fall sick three days before that’s your money down the pan no matter how badly your best friend wants to go on your ticket – they can’t!). Also a lot of Glasto goers don’t like the photos (it also means you need to be internet savy or post a pic in the mail) and has creepy big brother issues.

    Their system is run by a third party and they still have an awful lot to learn in balancing demand on servers on the big ticket day as you upload a picture and register but the ticket sale is done first come first serve so registering doesn’t get you a ticket necessarily.

    So no ticketing solution is perfect – a lottery was a brave attempt to keep things fair, give some slack to the organisers. Organisers – forgive the upset people they are showing amazing passion they obvious love what you do.

    I’ve never been to BM – I hope to one day and I hope you all get your golden tickets in the end.

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  • I just have to vent a little bit. Burning man organizers. You’ve screwed up majorly. So much so that it makes alot of the people who have contributed to the event for several years not want to go anymore. Of course things like this are going to happen. You know what the end results will be? You are actually driving the re-sale value of a ticket up much higher. By decreasing availability of supply, you then increase demand, and that means value goes up. It’s basic economics. Scalpers know that. Many people now see this as an opportunity to make big bucks, and have likely used any means necessary to try and get as many tickets as possible.

    The old system worked fine, and would have continued to work just fine. There will always be scalpers. Probably would have been a few less the old way because most people who wanted Burning Man tickets would have had equal opportunity to get them. Now only the most wealthy of burning man participants have good opportunity to get tickets. Most will go to people like scalpers who found 10 different way to apply for the lottery.

    The end result is this. The major camps that make burning so great won’t be able to be what they once were. It’s no longer practical to get the 100 people it takes to support your giant sound camp to burning man in a cost effective manner. You’ve changed this event forever from something we could all participate in equally to something only the rich can afford.

    Personally, I put in for tickets, but I don’t have high hopes of getting them. I, like most people these days, live pay check to pay check. This month I’ve been struggling to pay my bills and afford to eat, because suddenly, right after the holidays have tapped me out financially, I need to have $800 sitting in my bank for 3 weeks, just waiting to maybe have it taken out for 2 burning man tickets. That plus my rent is my entire monthly pay. $800 means I would get the best odds of getting a ticket, 3x that of just putting in for the lowest tier. Truthfully, I need to eat and I have bills to pay, so I can’t set $800 aside. All I could afford to put in for was the lowest tier. What do i think my odds of getting a ticket are? Well with this new revelation, I’d say I have about a 25% chance. Am I the only one in this position? I doubt it. So where does that leave me? Try to save $400 over the next month or so and fight 40,000 people for 10,000 high priced tickets? Hope I can get a ticket from the few honest people who will use your program to sell tickets and not just say they bought them at the $400 level. Buy one of the inevitable many inflated scalped tickets? None of this is very appealing.

    I feel as if you’ve totally alienated the little people who get together to make burning man so big. You’ve made it into a high dollar tourist destination. I know your intentions were good, but in reality your methods are extremely flawed. You’ve truly sold out Burning Man.

    I’ve never had trouble getting an affordable ticket before. I simply loged on to purchase one the instant they went on sale. In my opinion, the bets thing you could possibly do is cancel the lottery system, and announce a date a couple months from now that ticket sales will start again and be run the old way.

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  • I worked my fanny off the last two years to create my first mutant vehicle, First Evolution Chicken Coupe than The rites of passage Stork delivering a baby. Usually I’m half way into my mutent creation by January for this coming year….but not this time.
    We can ONLY go at the lowest cost. We would patently wait in computer line last years to get the tickets that we could afford.
    My mutent golf cart sits sadly with nothing done. This was a Poor, Poor injustice to the whole event.

    What you’ve done is…..
    Take (capitalism) the early bird who works hard to get a ticket….. to ( Socialism) “fairness crap”…. and what do you get?
    Black market tickets…. Welcome to Russia. Let me guess, you voted for Obama

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  • Here’s one proposed solution, articulated by a few others above, that might go something like this:

    – STOP the lottery for this year. There’s still time. And STOP the STEP nonsense; that is another debacle in the making that will only extend the misery and lack of certainty.

    – ESTABLISH SCALP-RESISTANT TICKETS. Institute purchaser name or name/photo identifier on each ticket. That will add some cost to ticket production and management, but with BM tix averaging around $300 each, the extra protections will be proportionally rather modest.

    – LIMIT 2 TICKETS PER PURCHASER. Even if someone tries multiple credit cards, those attempts can be denied. A robust ticketing system can handle that.

    – SIMPLIFY THE TIERS. Remove most of the pricing tiers. Maintain just one “hardship/scholarship” tier to 5-7% of the 50,000 max that are possible (if the Bureau of Land Mgmt approves that many). Sell and manage these tickets in a separate process, requiring more compliance controls. Yes, that will create admin effort, but it will be finite and manageable.

    – REQUIRE PHOTO ID AND MATCHING TICKET AT THE GATE. Most folks are going to need their drivers license anyway; ditto for passport for international burners.

    Airlines use a system of single purchasers, but each ticket must be for a single traveler. Seems like that can work for BM, too. There are robust solutions from ticketing providers to do all the above. Use a ticket provider that can handle the volume and personalization.

    Maybe it’s time to ask for more ideas. Here’s one thought: perhaps it’s possible to establish two separate events (BM1 in early August, BM2 in late August) that are close enough in time so that most of the same monumental art can remain available, even if they are “managed” by different teams. That might also ease ticket scarcity, since it’s not just the raw number of hopeful attendees, but also the fact of a single main event that creates the scarcity. If the Bureau of Land Mgmt saw the benefit (less human impact per event), maybe they’d support it.

    The BM organization and volunteers have done a heroic job with the project over the years. And yes, thousands of burners have grown the caring and creative value that makes BM rare, if not unique in the human experience. So, I’m hoping that the vitriol can slow down here because it’s self-defeating. Are the lottery and STEP plan a travesty? YES they are, but more condemnation and second guessing motivations isn’t going to help. We need to learn guidance, patience, and be willing to institute that “good ol’ playa attitude” out here in the “other” world.

    And finally, I hate to say this, but there’s no way to create total fairness; the event is costly and not everyone can always afford it. Not everyone has the money in January– a bad economic month for many people. Attendance is limited by forces outside of BM control. Yet, tix really need to be available early enough for serious planning. And scarcity is now hitting home; BM has now achieved a coveted status: more people want to go than are allowed. So we need to accept real constraints, even about our beloved event that tries to challenge and change reality. Ain’t the truth dusty?

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  • Way to go BMORG! You tried to reinvent the wheel with your bullshit exclusive ticket purchase system that benefits the rich, gives no priority to past participants, pisses everyone off and doesn’t prevent scalping!! Nice going you greedy morons!!

    1. $300 single ticket price (no tiers)
    2. 2 tickets per person max
    3. Name on ticket (show matching ID for admittance)
    4. Refunds or exchange at Participating BM ticket outlet.
    5. Cancel Lottery.


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  • I think my name says it all…. this too shall pass… nothing is ruining Burning Man… let’s not forget that there are 40k tickets being sold in this round with another 10k left later. Prespective all…. perspective.

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  • Im a bit confused as to how one would purchase a ticket to this event. i’m not really new to the whole BM thing, i have seen video’s and read many many articles on it, and i would really like to go this year, and bring my parents as going is on their bucket list =)

    I am a fire spinner and would love to go as many of the spinners i have learned from via youtube go here every year. i will be calling the number in the morning to ask more, but i thought i would comment because this page kind of confused me on tickets =]

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  • The day they posted that this lottery was going to happen I posted that this would lead to scalping by ticket brokers, ticket brokers are pros at this they simply have a number of credit cards and enter many times. Wait and see, many tickets will be found at these brokers, tickets that the BMORG sold them stupidly by thinking this lottery was a good thing, it was not a problem last year, this is going to be a total dog and pony show this year! welcome the fuck home suckers! )'(

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  • the main thing is this….

    IF you get lucky and have an extra ticket… WHO is that extra special person you would want to share your BRC time with…..

    Who in your life means the most to you. Then, Ask them….

    If they are already going… then continue,

    learn thru this experience who is important to you…..

    It is a way to build stronger connections…

    Then ask those you love who THEY wish could go…….

    And SO On

    And so on…

    until you have no tickets but a life of dear friends who love you EVEN MORE for asking them….

    GET IT?

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  • I’ll be 67 this year, and wanted to go at least 10 years. I have been to BM 4 years and a member of a theme camp which has a Mutant Vehicle, they aren’t called Art Cars any longer! We have already bought another vehicle to mutate, and now don’t know if members that are involved in the camp and vehicles will get tickets. I have been a volunteer at DMV and was poised to do more volunteer work this year. Maybe not after all! This mess really leaves a bad taste in my mouth! Everyone at BMORG says, “DON’T WORRY”!!!! STEP is a good name for the extra way of transfering tickets, because that’s what you did, stepped in it! I’m sure they don’t, because they have a way for entry already!! I was niaieve in thinking BMORG really gave a shit about anyone, except themselves getting more money. My wife and I are retired, so we don’t have a inordinate amount of money to spend, but still wanted to experience the playa many more times. Don’t know if we feel quite the same after this mess. So much for all the burner experience goody shit!

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  • I hope that people who have abused has to take too many places will not do because it’s not player! I’ve never been and it’s a dream for me! I hope it will sort and reward people honest! big hugs burning team!!!!

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  • I can’t help but feel that this is BMORG’s way of spin doctoring. –Hey everyone! We didn’t think this new ticketing system all the way through and now so many people requested tickets that we’re going to put it on you to go out and find the ones people don’t actually want but are now stuck with. Oh, and you can just manifest a ticket. That’ll totally work.– Yeah. Good job. FAIL.

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  • We suppose that this is the opportunity for a NEW event? Ideas anyone?
    If we cant all go than we want to go where all can attend and not shop the scalpers.
    Looks like Burning Man burnt out after it’s 25th year with the Lottery “cleaver Thinker”

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  • No one in these comments asked for the real number of tickets queries… 60000 ? 100000??? If only we could just have something like an idea of our chances to get one of this so-desired tickets…

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  • This is NOT working theres tix on EBAY for $1600.00 !!!! any one want to start a indiana burn ?? your name should be on the tix or do a will call that the credit card that paid for the tix is produced that would stifel the scalpers Plus the BMV needs to do some thing about the drivers on the hudge rolling partys many people had close calls with speeding ones !

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  • There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said. But I will try nonetheless. ;)

    Clearly, unequivocally, the lottery has failed. People are rightfully upset – 90% disapproval says it all…

    Names on tickets IS the answer. It is the only system that will stop the scalping issue in its tracks, and people are clearly willing to accept it.

    – Yes it does mean checking ID’s on the way in
    – Yes it means offering a refund system
    – Yes it kills spontaneity, ‘stand-ins’ and gifting of tickets
    – Yes it means a minority of people could lose out (last minute can’t go’s, etc)

    These are minor prices to pay compared to the BADWILL that is happening now.

    How many people have said above that they support names on tickets? How many people have said they *don’t want names on tickets? The answer is clear.


    1. Stop the Auction. It’s not too late for this year and the goodwill will be epic.
    2. Names on tickets for all attendees is the future. Revert to first-come, first served.
    3. If someone can’t go, offer a full (or near-full) refund up to 2 weeks before the event.
    4. Make the refunded tickets available for general sale through recycling.

    Other thoughts to consider…

    It’s entirely possible to offer refunds without needing the physical ticket returned (by electronically cancelling the ticket), but this would require handheld devices at the gate. There are other potential problems too, and the safest system will be to require the ticket returned.

    For international visitors the system is simple. Their tickets do not need to be returned. (They don’t have them in the first place).

    Any attempt to use a modified STEP system to allow changing the names on tickets (Renaming) will introduce scalping problems again. For example… Scalper sits there with desperate burner wanting ticket… Scalper takes money from burner… Scalper renames ticket for burner using STEP.

    The idea expressed in comments above to allow early registration for next years tickets on Playa (to give some level of preference to previous attendees) has merit. Some people can’t afford to go every year however, and go every other year for example.

    Building or using a database of previous Burners and using that to weight preference in a first or second tier of released tickets (the Previous Burners release) should be part of the overall solution. It’s unlikely to attract criticism if it’s only 20% of the overall tickets. People who’ve been to Burning Man before (because of the nature of the event) do feel they have extra privilege to go again. They’re people you *want* to continue going in future. Right now many are deserting BM.

    Having names on tickets will allow you to sell more than 2 tickets per person. This will greatly benefit groups and families.

    I feel the main lesson learned from this costly experiment is that people don’t like ‘black boxes’. The lottery was a black-box. It was not transparent and when people see a ‘system’ and one that is actually called “a lottery” – they try to game it. You turned the tickets into a game, a game which right now everyone seems to be losing.

    The first-come, first-served approach is simple, is easy to understand for people, and is as old as the hills. You should build on what works, not replace it with something new.

    Overall, there ARE feasible solutions to this crisis. I really hope that internal politics, personalities and the clearly huge amount of time and effort invested in this failed lottery system… do not get in the way of ditching it… and doing the right thing. You should create a giant wooden lottery ticket this year on the Playa…

    and burn it.

    Good luck… the negativity can be turned around…


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  • How but QRC square !! BM ORG sent you unique QRC, you print it or keep on your Android device , quick reading/verify on the gate green light.. GO !! No tickets printing ,no hologram no ID no all this crap. Issue 50K qrc this is it . No lotto no auction one …low price :-)) because they save a lot of green !!! Cmon dinozaurs from BMORG this is 21 century !! BTW no charging for shipping and handling just sent me my QRC !! please

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  • How but QRC square !! BM ORG sent you unique QRC, you print it or keep on your Android device , quick reading/verify on the gate green light.. GO !! No tickets printing ,no hologram no ID no all this crap. Issue 50K qrc this is it . No lotto no auction one …low price :-)) because they save a lot of green !!! Cmon dinozaurs from BMORG this is 21 century !! BTW no charging for shipping and handling just sent me my QRC !! please

    well looks like they remove my previous comment ???

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  • Wow- homegrown beautiful event establishes their own guidelines and those who live by corporate order want to complain about their chance to attend. Antithetical to purpose me thinks. I want to attend but accept universe rules the opportunity. D

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  • RE. isn’t it joeyisit Says:?

    Interesting,isn’t it? Trying to circumvent free market forces is pretty difficult.

    It does remind me of our government, and in a good way. The (much venerated, idolized, idealized and worshiped) free market is like a nuclear reactor, or a wild horse. Without care, control, and direction these forces will run wild and kill and injure people.
    Name a nation with a large strong prosperous middle class that has little or no government.
    With out the organization – the governance of the BMORG, there would be no Burning Man event.

    Would you have BMORG just squeeze everyone with $500, $600, $900 tickets to bring demand into line with supply? I mean I have friends who are of the political persuasion that BMORG is a fool not to exploit those market forces to make more profit!

    I happen to think trying to keep Burning Man accessible to as many people as possible is a noble goal. In reality it already is quite elitist in that only those who can afford the ticket, food, whatever camping gear & transportation can actually be there. I suspect if we let the market decide, the event would become an exclusive, diamond encrusted hollow parody of itself, much like certain old mining towns here in Colorado’s mountains that are now inhabited by shieks, CEOs, and other assorted billionaires.

    Of course who am I kidding? Burning Man is already a parody of its former self.

    What are your ideas of how to manage ticket sales?

    What is your vision for the Burning Man event?

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  • Lets see what happens when the schollarship tickets become avilable.
    Cool I’m gunna make lots of money!
    I’m good at making fake paychecks!
    Thanks Burning Man!

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  • Tried to solve a small, unaticipated problem that every popular event suffers.
    Had months to come up with a solution.
    The first solution offered was branded by the people most affected as potentially a spectacular failure.
    Alternative solutions were ignored or discounted.
    The elite moved forward with a bad idea, because it was their idea.
    Now those most likely to be successful are those who are best at gaming the system.
    It is the American way, or at least that part of it that the 99 percent despise.
    And following that pattern, you expect to be absolved of blame, because you claim ignorance.
    You are not ignorant. You are obtuse.
    The only thing missing from this scenario is your getting huge bonuses for f#$*ing over the majority.
    Any chance you are tracking back emails to punish those who complain by bumping those with a voice to a higher priced category or denying them tickets at all?

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  • Has anyone commented on the fact that you were not able to select which tiers you wanted to be in? (Sorry couldn’t read them all.) I thought that was going to be possible when the lottery was first announced, but then it wasn’t, it was just pick the highest price you are willing to pay so EVERYONE was in the first tier, even if they could afford a higher priced ticket. I only registered for a $240 ticket (and yes I registered for 2 in case a camp mate didn’t get one, duh). But one of my camp mates would have registered for only the $320 tier, because she can afford it and would have liked to have left the lower priced tickets for those that can’t afford $320, like myself. This should be an option.

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  • Hmmm, if we all were to boycott BM in 2013 we could see if they would crumble. I have already decided they don’t need my cash in 2013. Since Larry Harvy is so happy with us contributing to his retirement, we should cut his retirement to nothing. Without us….BM is nothing. Tired of jumping through their hoops? Do something about it!

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  • I personally think the Lottery system sucks as a buyer; from a business point of view its brilliant.

    the Borg get to sell all the tickets really quickly and let the resellers argue it out on how to redistribute the tickets. From Burning Man point of view – they sell all the tickets and get all that money in early and none of this selling tickets for months up to the festival issues.

    Do you think they will give this new ticket selling system up – hell no. Lottery sucks but I bet it’s here to stay.

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  • Nothing but a bunch of Idiots could have come up with this lottery system, No doubt the list of long time comers, previous ticket holders should have had no changes in any process,, guess I will be sitting this one out,,,,,,, thanks for bringing in the govermental way of thoughts

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  • I’m wondering how my ticket request will shake out? I’ve attended the last 5 years, participated/volunteered, but I might have messed up by requesting 2 tickets. One of the tickets is for my son, who’s never attended, (spent one year deployed)., and can finally go.. In hindsight I would have asked my son to request his own ticket….

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    Wow! Wouldn’t that be nice!

    So here is the idea to redistribute ‘hoarded’ tickets before STEP and with BMorg’s best effort to eliminate the scalpers …

    * BMorg announces to all lottery winners they have one week to decline/cancel any over-purchased tickets for a full refund so BMorg can return those tickets back to the pool where BMorg can do its best to get them to burners instead of scalpers. (I think one week should be enough for most winners to check how their campmates and burner friends did in the lottery, and hopefully, enough to reconsider the temptations of scalping.)

    * BMorg announces to all lottery losers they have a week or two to renew their existing order for a Second Chance Lottery.

    I just hate the notion that the fear of scarcity has driven good burners to, at best hoard, at worst scalp. Here is a chance to correct the error with “no harm, no foul”, just a simple re-think and return/refund. I also believe BMorg is better capable of eliminating scalpers than STEP, where scalpers will look to slip in amongst us to buy face value tickets from good burners. And if the tempted can receive some redemption, our whole world just got a little bit better.

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  • I just know Rush Limbaugh will be laughing his ass off when he hears about this.
    EXACTLY…A perfect example….of how Liberals get a bad name.

    Take a system that worked just fine…
    Regulate it out of peoples reach.
    Now have to create a new govermental branch to fix it.
    You really fucked the pooch this time.

    I’ve done NOTHING to create my art car this year, Usually half done by this time of year.
    Will our camp mates make it?
    Cant run my Mutent vehicle with out them.
    Done…..see ya.
    and F U

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  • I have been “flagging” comments on this article hoping they get to BM… I certainly hope they do… they are very important for them to know… First, they should not sell the tickets until after the tax returns… second, they should print the name of the person on the ticket (which so many other festivals do)… and third… they need to have a new comer system… and a theme camper system… So that new people have a chance to go and the theme camps are not missing their crew because they did not “win” the lottery!!! I have been 14 years and this is sad. I doubt I will get a ticket this year, but I want to go… I am not putting down the man or woman who came up with the lotto idea, I am just upset how they are implementing it. I know many theme camps that are struggling to get all their camp-mates tickets – including mine!!! In fact, I have rich people that want to buy from scalpers because they are so pissed off at this!!! BurningMan, lets think things through and ponder the ideas I suggested…. RIGHT????!!!!

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  • Ok ,,,so you sensored my last comment,

    Freedom of expression????

    Nudity is ok, but my works are not?
    I’m seeing the true colors now of MB.

    Baby (%^&^%#%^) Green

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  • So, what youre saying is:

    To make a fair solution to the ticket problem, you created the ideal black market conditions, so that the rich people – who can actually pay which ever insane price the tickets will go for….

    -instead of letting the most loyal and dedicated, who wants to buy a long time in advance do so, and the weekend-burners be the ones to take the risk of waiting to buy ’till the end.

    I sincerely hope that those in charge of ticket sales will learn from this.

    There is no such thing as fair in lottery, only an invitation to cheat, and take advantage of fellow burners.

    It has been a sad experience – Let’s do better next year!

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  • 11 year veteran, theme camp and art car owner, but will we get enough tickets for our group? Who knows.

    The old system worked fine. The event did not sell out until late July last year! Even if it sold out in late June this year, that would have been fine for those that got their tickets early. An increased number of tickets also would have pushed the ‘sold out’ date back, probably into July.

    But no, stress and unrest are rampant. This is a debacle. Promotes hoarding. I am depressed and pissed at the same time.

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  • Well Fugg…..We dun outgrown our britches. Sure I am sad/pissed too, but instead of expressing my anger, I’m thinking the next step is to push for Burners to do the right thing and give their extras to STEP or sell them at cost. This will be a true test of integrity.

    Hopefully the people will work together and we can all spread the word for a successful post sale ticket market.

    At this point, we need another Youtube movie to go viral about how true burners will deal with extra tickets in the right way. Someone needs to get creative….The Dr Seuss video was all peaches and roses.
    Its never sexy to preach to people though…..however I hope it pans out and people treat the resales as one of the 10 Principles and do it right.

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  • Pretty simple how to fix this for next year. Just make tickets non-transferable… Every ticket has to be earmarmked for a specific individual and can only admit said individual. If this individual cannot attend for one reason or another they can obtain a face value refund by submitting their ticket to STEP for redistribution to another eager Burner. Problem solved. You’re welcome…

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  • You have made 2012 suck so far for my camp. People are waiting for their tax returns and everyone is broke because it became a camp effort to get our 11 tickets. We only went for 11 instead 22 like my friends camp did.I hope the playa provides for us broke ass bitches. Oh, and BTW I like to sleep, and now I have lost sleep because of this BS. So FU

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  • if i don’t get a ticket i will be disappointed.

    and i’m really sad for those creative spirits who now cannot plan their works because of sheer uncertainty. if this kills the art what’s the point of going? who wants to hang out in a desert with a bunch of pissed off people who have nothing to look at but playa dust?


    consider this

    maybe we can work together to make it all work out. maybe, if the spirit of burning man is legit, and the community lives and breathes the values they talk about, maybe that community can look after the most loyal contributors.

    sure some will be disappointed. that is life
    sure someone will turn a profit. that’s america

    but is there any doubt that, when the dust settles, 50,000 eager free-spirits will converge in the desert to celebrate a week of unconventional living and creative freedom?

    why not look at this as an opportunity to reach out and make connections with each other before the big event? if this really is a community, let’s help each other work this out so as many of us who want to go can go.

    after the lottery is done, call your friends and family and camp mates. network and reach out and share what you don’t need and ask for what you do.


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  • You know – no one is overreacting here. The system is bogus in so many ways. The only people who I’ve heard not sincerely worried about it are people we have a lot of money, and are not overly invested in the event.

    My friend Q, who I’ve known since the fifth grade, lives for Burning Man. Before I bought him his first ticket to attend 6 years ago – he’d been practicing for Burning Man his whole life. He is an incredible, brilliant person – who brings so much to the playa in the form of art, humor, and pure magic. He’s the real fucking deal. But guess who buys his ticket every year? ME! I work in the public schools, so I don’t have a lot of money to do this, but of course it’s worth buying Q his ticket annually. I give it to him as a birthday present, and it ensures he will attend. He could never afford his own ticket – because despite being brilliant, he lives at the poverty level – with no insurance, and living check to check.

    He’s just one of several people we’ve sponsored to BM because we know they wouldn’t come at the prohibitive lower tier cost. Paying the final price for any ticket – like when you could buy them at the gate for 360 or whatever – always seemed crazy to me – I could never afford that.

    Every year after my first burn (2004) I have taken the morning off to purchase tickets at 10 a.m. – I have always obtained them – even though I have had to endure system crashes, and frozen cues – learning that taking the morning off wasn’t enough time to purchase tickets, as the flawed system became a day’s event. But guess what??? I still defended the fucked up process because it was not ticket master, and it seemed to work out in the end…

    Last year we called some campmates in August – not only are these campmates, but they bring a huge percentage of our infrastructure – and we told them they better purchase their tickets – just to be safe. And in two days they were sold out! Without them we wouldn’t have had the amazing camp we had last year. A camp that was the culmination of years of work, a camp that jelled, that was stunning – that was refuge to a ranger who had to came and sat in one of our hammocks at sunset and cried because he had just been on a call with a very difficult tripper, who had to be rolled in an ambulance – and we received him.

    My Turkish friends who were married on the playa in 2007 can only afford tickets at the lowest tier. They like me have always been able to purchase them confidently in January. Not this year. If they don’t get tickets they will go to scholarship ticket route – do you know how backed up THAT will be this year, because of all of the people who can’t afford the more expensive tickets, and will likely get kicked off of the lottery…

    My friends who fly form Brooklyn every year – who FINALLY got a storage unit in my town – to store their burn gear – simply can’t afford upper tier tickets. For the past years they have come, gone in early to set up our theme camp and help with art installations. They bring art, masks, and so much with them every year, and are two of the most amazing people on this earth. Let’s hope they get tickets. They were visiting last year on the day the tickets went on sale – we ordered only what we needed, and had them secured. Not this year….

    By the way – NONE of the people I mention here placed more than one order. I didn’t even think that way. And I think that many people who are opportunists and do that – will also try to sell their tickets for more – humans can be that way.

    Will Chase is a friend of a friend of mine – he said he’s a nice guy. I’m sure that true. But Will – please don’t try to placate a bad situation by posting shit that speculates a fix to a very flawed system crafted by your organization. It’s patronizing and unrealistic. Redistribution, really? As a good friend of mine used to say, “and it would be really cool if chocolate milkshakes came out of drinking fountains, but….”

    Am I the only one that thinks if you can go in to a system and clean out scammers – that can’t you go into that same system and make sure that certain people get tickets? Like the elite, and the connected? There is nothing random about that…

    I love Burning Man – it is the best week of my life. Simply put – that’s because of the people I am fortunate to live with for that week. We are a family. Our camp is elegant, gorgeous, and adds greatly to the event. We are spirited, open, and are not the elite. We are real, salt of the earth, politically radical, kind people.

    Keeping my fingers crossed seems futile, because no matter how you slice it – someone is gonna get screwed.

    It’s not home if your family isn’t there.

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  • If I were willing/able to make my Mutent Vehicle this year…..

    I would make a Huge moving pile of steaming Dung!!!!!
    Flies swarming about in the shape of entry tickets!
    I’ll call it Lulu’s BM Lottery Potty!
    Have to leave it to your imagination…Change of heart.

    I don’t expect the passion in the art and camps this year…
    We will take this year off and see how 2013 unfolds.

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  • Redistribution??? Yeah at an inflated price I bet, and what is it that you were trying to avoid??? Scalpers selling tickets they don’t plan to use themselves at an inflated price?? Not sure what is going to happen this year, but it sounds like a big disappointment for a lot of dedicated burners. Hope the mass exodus hasn’t already begun before the first stake has been driven into the playa. Shame to see a great thing fall apart for the very thing this whole event and community stand against – monetary greed!

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  • Why can’t we just buy the tickets online? I live in Australia, and we live in a global community as burners…so how will the people living outside the states find their way to getting a ticket based on community spirit?

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  • How about socialism. Jesus! This whole ticket lottery is more like a non affluent family being able to afford some ice cream for desert on some special occasion where it’s rationed out oh so carefully to each family member. What percentage of the whole are actually scammers? What happened to the idea that if you want a ticket, you get on your computer the moment they go on sale and buy one. And can you really weed out the ones who intend to resell their ticket? I have a feeling that many scammers from last year ended up sitting their product because their price was too high. Hopefully many of them can’t afford to do that again this year. They were all over ebay and craig’s list even during the event. I’m sorry, there are just some things you cannot control. When I want to see some music event that I know will sell out, I’m waiting until that second they go on sale and I seem to do just fine. Beyond that, what are the costs to run this system where you are sitting on so many people’s c/c info that won’t even be used? Now there is a huge liability as well. Hackers seem to find their way into anything with financial info. I like to get my info in, get the transaction done and get out. As a ticket buyer, one is a tax payer of Black Rock City. So me, as a taxpayer of Black Rock City, don’t like my hard earned tax dollars going to experimental projects that can potentially become disastrous.

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  • So let me see if I’ve got this right: BMorg thinks a lottery that restricts ticket purchases to credit card internet users only is more fair and equitable than a first come, first served internet, walk-up or mail in system. Then, when the most creative group of people in the world figure out ways to “game” the system…it’s their fault. Now, in its ultimate wisdom, BMorg is going to “weed out known scammers”?? Based on what we’ve seen, I’m not so sure I have faith in the orgs methods…what constitutes “scammer”?? Would two different names and credit cards at the same address be scammers (Lookout roommates and family members) I love Burning Man, I love Burners and I do hope I get selected for the one ticket I requested in the price range that I could afford…but if not, I’ll move on and spend my vacation somewhere else with people that mean just as much to me.

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  • HUMmmmmm So what neXt ……. i know of several long time Burners about to give up & not put the money into something that my exclude them just by chance …. what ever happened to “Radical Self Reliance” …One should never break their own ethics !!!

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  • I’ve been reading the comment for the past few days and have noticed a trend, a trend in which I hope BMorg will also take notice. For one the lottery system doesn’t seem to be a very viable and organized way of processing the ticket sales and another that it seems to bring out a bit of anger in the wonderful people who partake. Main Issues to address:

    1. Scalpers have obviously increased:
    This should have been obvious from the first announcement of the lottery system. I will admit that the majority of ticket sales most likely did go to honest burners. However (to quote the idiom) by sticking ones head in the sand wont make the obvious non-existent. Your scalper numbers must have increased from hundreds to a near thousand. Maybe even more.

    2.Given the uncertainty, we find ways to increase the odds:
    Also a no-brainer, given the true uncertainty of the lottery system of course we’ll figure out ways to have friends & family to help out. Which then leads to a mild mass panic and hysteria in which you have a flood of purchases all at once. Even if this years ticket sales is ironed out and pushed forward without forethought is leaves many scattered souls on the side. Many of which seems to gain nothing but flack by making comments

    3.Im confused…where’s the love?
    Far be it for me to tell people how to feel. I understand just how frustrating waiting for a ticket, not knowing if your camp or friends can go and truly if even I can go is. I also understand how frustrating it is to see for about every thirty comments there’s one who pipes in with “where’s the love?” or “this is the way it is so deal with it” or “bunch of whiners”. My question is this, in a festival that celebrates community and harmony where do those comments help? Now I also agree the frivolously negative comments even blatantly derogatory towards BMorg are non productive. The point of community is the ability to communicate with those whom are in charge, whether it be a tribunal group of leaders or democratic vote from the whole.
    Communication means that the masses are allowed to vent, to express frustration/dislike of certain decisions that were made. Communication also means being clear, concise, and as courteous as possible. Burners are all people of love.

    So as a burner I express out of love that I am frustrated, I am upset and even disappointed in what this lottery system has created. I’ll assume it is to late to fix this year and we’ll all have to truck on with what has been established. However please do not let all of the words expressed towards this system go unheard. Please do not read them only to cast them aside with the thought of ‘we know best, so deal with it’.
    Thank you, and may love find you on the Playa.

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  • Okay – STEP sounds great. Now the next thing to do for next year… keep the lottery system (it weeds out scalpers) but, add the only thing missing here – ticket numbers to one specific name and email address. If you had names attached to every individual ticket, one person is granted one ticket. Then, after all the tickets are sold and certain people can no longer go… STEP steps in and facilitates the platform to transition the individual tickets from one individual person to another individual person. Anyone attempting to gauge prices on third party sites will be tracked by their ticket numbers and banned from future Burning Man events and have that ticket number banned entirely so their ticket is null and void. Once a ticket is null and void, STEP can create a new ticket number to be posted on the STEP program for another person waiting in the cue. This would be easy to program as well since all the parameters would be based to the ticket number.

    I don’t think we need to be angry with BM. It’s a big issue that’s never been encountered before but more importantly, the burn will go on and it will be great. Like it always is. But probably more importantly too, it was better next year ; )


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  • Just to be clear: All I wished to express is my mild annoyance that BMorg is throwing the blame back on the Burners who tried to play along with their (The orgs) new and highly fallible system. Sounds like Radical Self Denial to me. How about this: First come, first served, one price, two ticket limit sold through the same venues as previously sold. Walk up locations, internet sales and mail order…Or if you want to go one step further…convert tickets to “reservations” that are refundable to a certain date, but NOT TRANSFERABLE. Reservations are tied to an individual’s name and as such, identification would be required to “check in”…

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  • This conversation reminds me of the occasional intense squabbles we have at church. It will work out – it always does and everyone will find a positive outcome if that is what you’re center on. It will. And then please shoot the optimist! :-)

    Like what JD says above.

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  • Just another long time Burner registering disappointment with the lottery. So many good ideas for a better way expressed in this thread. If I don’t get into the lottery I am skipping this year’s burn. Im menopausal so maybe Fertility 2.0 isn’t my scene. love to all–

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  • This lottery is a great way of turning off your most devoted attendees. What a load of crap. Just sell the freakin tickets and bag the clever chump solutions. sheesh already.

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  • Also, for those of you who are confident that the old system was just fine, fear not. At the end of march there will be 10,000 tickets sold in the same manner as they always were. This will take place after 43,000 tickets (holiday + general sale) have already been sold and distributed throughout the masses via the secondary market, at which point you will practically be assured of your tickets.

    Personally, the more I think about it, the more I believe that as long as there are more people wanting to come than tickets available, that tickets should not be transferable. I’m aware of the arguments against such a system, but if Burning Man really is something special and more than just another commercial event, I think the sacrifice is necessary to maintain the purity of the event…

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  • Please sign our petition!

    The drawing for the main sale is scheduled for January 31st and February 1st, however we urge the festival organizers to consider a do-over of the main ticket sale and establish a more transparent first-come first-served system.

    As of now, no credit cards have been charged, therefore we feel that it’s not too late to ask the ticket vendor to stop and discard the existing registrations (except those already processed during the November-December pre-sale).

    The members of the Burning Man community have been very vocal about expressing their dissatisfaction with the lottery system since it was first announced, and have proposed numerous superior alternative solutions. However, the organizers have not been listening and many participants have tried to game the system by registering multiple times to boost their chances of obtaining tickets. This was foreseen by the entire community, and has unfortunately resulted in unnecessary efforts to “de-dupe” the database, which will likely yield many “false positive” registrations being incorrectly discarded.

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  • I’m reading all comments as they are posted on this thread since the BMorg announced this so bad information… All these emotions : sadness, disapointment, … It was my first burn last year, i came from France to live that wonderful experience, i can’t imagine not to live it another Time this year, but i fear that the mood would not be exactly the same…
    What are you doing BMorg ??? Couldnt you just apologize for the mess, or just say something since 3 days ? You maybe should have say nothing, cause you just spread stress all over BM community !

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  • This might ease a few heads out there..


    Burning Man ticket update, straight from the ticketing team at this past weekends all staff meeting.

    On Tuesday or Wednesday people who registered will get an email telling them if they got tickets. If you did get tickets, the email will tell you how to register for STEP (secure ticket exchange program)

    People who end up with more tickets than then need have the option before the tickets are ever mailed, to sell them back to Burning Man. They get a refund.

    Burning Man will take those tickets sold back and redistribute them to people who opt in to the STEP program. You must opt in, it is not automatic.

    This way tickets people don’t want/need stay out of scalpers hands and people looking for tickets need not meet some stranger in a parking with hundreds of dollars in cash. The STEP program will operate up until physical tickets are mailed out this summer.

    Then there is still the secondary sale in March with 10K tickets sold the old fashioned way, first come first served.

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  • Thank you STEP Working, for this update. It is appreciated.

    Question: what is to prevent scalpers from simply opting-in with STEP as a participant who didn’t get tickets in the main lottery?

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  • The NEW Burning Man ticketing system is the craziest thing I have ever seen. It’s beyond ridiculous! Now you have implemented a STEP program? Are you kidding? What happened to the days of simplicity. If you want a ticket… Buy one! If you don’t get one then maybe next year you will be first in line. All the confusion with the way things work now makes me not even want to bother and am totally turned off of the whole process!

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  • “Burning Man ticket update, straight from the ticketing team at this past weekends all staff meeting…”

    Wow. So that’s the extent of the official response, huh? Wow.

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  • This was a horrible way to sell tickets. We have to go through all this hassle to have our money ready so far ahead of time.. then, we still are not guaranteed a ticket!

    This ticket system has the potential to single handedly destroy the nature of the entire event.

    They are hoping for the best and that miraculously people wont scalp this tickets for higher than face value… but, comeon, GET REAL! OF COURSE PEOPLE WJILL SCALP THEM!!

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  • It is truly unfortunate to see so many ignorant complaints posted here. Many of these posts sound like they came from 12 year olds who only have the brainpower to say mean things rather than give constructive feedback. Really?

    The “Org” is not the enemy and they did not come up with this system to screw us. The old system was NOT fair to many in our community, who did not have the ability to sit at a computer all day. Most people who bought the lowest priced tier did not do so because that’s all they could afford. At least now allocation is truly fair because it is random. Is this new system the best possible? Maybe not, but at least they are trying something new to see if it will work better for the community at large (remember all the bitching last year?).

    And to those who suggest unlimited numbers of tickets…you have no idea the chain of logistical problems that will cause. Take a breath, see what happens and then offer your constructive feedback.

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  • How about if I have money and tickets are available then I can buy one? What’s wrong with that? It worked great ALL previous years. There is no reason to punish Burners who plan ahead to accommodate those who don’t. I don’t feel sorry for people who waited until the last minute to buy a ticket last year and ended up screwing themselves. Now, all art projects are on hold since nobody knows who is getting a ticket and who isn’t. I was hoping to make this my 9th year since 2002 but I’m not into playing games. If I am selected to purchase my ticket via the ill-conceived lottery system, then I’m in. If not, then it’s been fun and time to move on to something else. I won’t be spending one second chasing down a ticket. I hope the people who take the places of myself and my camp are contributors for the sake of the event.

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  • Making these complex ticket systems doesn’t protect people from scalpers. They just make it harder for actual attendees to get their tickets fairly. Any system is going to have it’s holes and ticket scalpers make a living out of taking advantage of these systems to the loss of the attendees. As a community we just need to stop paying excessive prices to scalpers, we need to report scalpers, make comments when they are trying to charge too much for tickets and in general police the scalpers ourselves. It would be better I think instead of having a complex system that doesn’t even allow for cash purchases why dont we go to selling these tickets in person one at a time at venues? When everything happens online there is no way to police it and scalpers are only going to be able to go into a store so many times and try to buy the ticket before it is noticed that their ID is already on the database. Make people show ID and only allow two tickets per ID>

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  • I’m all for fair distribution, and I hope that a ticket will make it my way…i just hope its not for twice the asking price!! I applied for two tickets, one for me…and one for my fiance. I’m hoping it wont cost over a grand to get us tickets!

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  • Well…Face it,,, every girl has her price….Including me.
    Our group of 40 are having our first, hopefully last, lottery party!

    We will be watching the market driven ticket price.
    We will see how many of us win..
    We will then decide as a group to hold or sell…
    We will then plan another group gathering.

    Looking for ideas, places…

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  • Don’t buy the double priced tickets!! Wait it out and buy your ticket from a REAL BURNER who is selling it properly for the price on the ticket? Anytime you buy these overpriced tickets you are helping the scalpers make money.

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  • why can’t you just sell out of tickets every year like every other event on the planet?

    what’s wrong with letting the people who don’t fuck around until the last minute to buy tix actually get them?

    why did you have to come up with this ridiculous solution to a non-existent problem?

    don’t you guys have anything better to focus on (like maybe coming up with the theme instead of it coming half a year late?)

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  • Why don’t they just stop sending out tickets? All tickets must be claimed at door with proper ID. This insures that no one person can collect more than there fair share of tickets. THis would take a lot of time at the door and I’m sure a couple people would figure out around it but still the amount of scalping would be severley limited if they didn’t send out tickets. Tickets can only be scalped if people have an opportunity to sell them.

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  • I just want to know why the hell they are punishing the non-procrastinators just because people who didn’t buy their tickets soon enough last year threw big hissy fits? If there’s nothing more that I hate about the matrix and the retail world it’s that it constantly teaches ADULTS to act like TODDLERS in order to get what they want/stuff for free despite the very same people having spent years teaching their children that screaming and crying and stomping their feet will get them nothing. Yet here we are suffering beneath the feet of those stomping them because they waited until the end of July 2011 to try and buy their ticket only to find it sold out despite several warnings that there was a cap on ticket sales last year.

    Seriously people this new ticketing system was flawed in SO many ways…it’s going to be such a shame that so many dedicated burners won’t get to go and even more of a shame to see how many people do who aren’t truly home.

    I understand that BM has it’s thing against scalpers bc you don’t want to see anyone profit from the tickets etc…but you are seriously punishing the actual burners here! You are focusing too deeply on a problem that lies on the outskirts of our community that once again only troubles those who procrastinate. Don’t take the whole city down in order to bring justice to those who don’t even hold their home high enough to secure their entry early…I bet you majority of them would’ve realized last year that they learned their lesson and cannot wait until 4 weeks before the event to buy a ticket.

    Scalpers are out of our hands, even this shitty system cannot prevent them from making a profit…if anything else you helped them make two or three times as much.

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  • Has there been any word from Mr Harvey about this situation and all the fretting?
    Is the plan just to ride it out and let everyone get it out of there system? i wonder if there will be a dis-pleasure demonstration at the gate or groups of people with Got A Ticket signs. This is a sociologists dream. i wonder why the managers of this event never worried or planned for a sellout? Surely the writing was on the wall for years. I am very saddened by this whole thing. Bummer!

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  • this new system sucks. The only people singing its praise are those connected to the BMorg or don’t have to buy a ticket for entry. Scalping is already a reality. Radical self-reliance is now replaced with STEP program. Seems Big Burner is lookin’ out for the us all. Will they eventually wipe our ass in the filthy BM port-o-potties? I’d take that over this feces-covered Lottery.

    It’s amazing the amount of denial these dope smoking clowns are putting on us. Puff, puff, pass out already. Go back to the old ticketing system and **work with a company who has their shit together!**

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  • The saying goes if its not broke don’t fix it. Amazing for 25 years and over 50,000 people they finally sold out and people were upset about it.
    Can only keep a good thing quite till the whole world wants to come and who can blame them. Once you have touch the palaya you will always urn to go home it calls you.

    Lets hope if there is a next year for they say the world will end this year. They will have the Bugs fixed and getting a ticket to go home will be not such a nail bitter and a unknown dent in the pocket book.

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  • They want us to start our own events and take over the world people…we have grown too big. But they can’t exactly say this. AND it’s kind of a loyalty test I bet as well. And a cleverness test…is that a word? Yes Cleverness.

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  • I really hope it’s going to work out because as you say first come first served! I played that once the first day of sales 1h after opening of the primary sales and still no news! I think the person who has taken lot of tickets are not gamers at all and will penalize a lot of people! in addition we see on ebay already tickets between 600 and 1300 dollar. This was not normal and no honest people! people without good mentalité! not a reall burners!!!

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  • love all the angst and hand wringing, it sure ups the ante for attending this year! however, i just want to point out the one thing that seems to be the elephant in the room here…

    complain all you want but the fact is on the BM fb page there are over THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND members (312,002 as of this post)!!! yikes!! think about that. this isn’t about scalpers anymore or worrying if someone in your camp might not be able to go. :(

    no, this is about 300,000 people (the VAST majority of them first timers obviously) trying to all get tickets for an event that can only handle 50,000 people.
    so maybe that viral video on youtube/fb (oh the places you WON’T go haha) has done more to harm the community than celebrate it.

    so forget all that talk about the good old days of ticket sales, that period is over. what use to be mostly underground and then slightly just above underground is now unfortunately full on mainstream. no matter how you slice, there is WAY too much demand for tickets this year. anyway, just how i sees it…

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  • > what use to be mostly underground and then slightly just above underground
    > is now unfortunately full on mainstream

    I’ve been hearing this since I first attended in 1998, for what that’s worth. I was part of this problem, since I learned about the event from news reports. That 300K number is telling, but how many of those realistically could attend? It does tend to underscore the emphasis on the regional events in the 2012 theme and lots of Org communications in recent years.

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  • Congratulations for implementing your scarcity mentality and getting your unexpected consequences. You can say many things but you can NOT say that you were not told this would end badly.

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  • Wow I eagerly logged on to see if there was an email from BM with good news about tickets. Now i’m worried cause I DIDN’T ask family and friends to bid for me. I asked for two tickets for my and my girlfriend and will once again most likely be left out. We had all out stuff bought (food etc.) Last year and were’nt able to get a ticket for less than $1000 so we opted not to attend.

    So Sad to see things turning out the way they are…

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  • I say we step back in time and do it like we did in the good ol days! NO ONLINE SALES! Go stand in line for a few days at the record store and first come first serve. 2 ticket max per person. Maybe that’s to simple.

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  • It seems that a lot of people are forgetting a few things:

    The main sale is not over. You did not already miss out.
    There is still the Secondary Open Sale in late March.
    There will be tickets resold at face value.
    Not everyone with extra tickets is a scalper.

    And as for tickets already being sold for $600 to $1600:
    Supply is extremely low right now – They JUST started announcing tickets.
    Demand is moderately high – Everyone is afraid they wont get a ticket.

    The prices WILL drop, and continue to drop as the market becomes more saturated. There will be face value sales. This is likely the highest prices will be until close to the event, when there are yet again very few unclaimed tickets, and a huge demand from last minuters.

    So don’t worry too much, this isn’t your last chance, and if you are adamant on going and persistent on searching, you’ll find a way. The extra work will just make the journey much more exciting.

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  • >do it like we did in the good ol days! NO ONLINE SALES!
    > Go stand in line for a few days at the record store and first come first serve.

    MEGA SUPER IDEA !! A big thank from all foreign burners…! Btw, almost nobody’s thinking about us….

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  • I live in a 5 person household that includes teenage children. The only way to get 5 tickets is to register 3 times. And of course, since we all live together, we all have the same address. As a 10 year Burning Man veteran, it’s appalling to think this might prevent me and my family from getting tickets in the lottery.

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  • Another thing i’d like to say : BMorg should forbid “week-end burners”… Burning man is an experience you have to live during the whole week ! And those burners represent 95% of moops, as i did not saw so many moops until the friday. Those people are buying an important percentage of tickets, and i think it’s good not for them, not for “real” burners, and not BMorg… Close the gates from the tuesday !! We could have maybe 15 or 20% more tickets available !

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  • I agree this lottery is a foolish and inequitable system (and said as much in the survey prior to booking)

    since everyone gets checked on entry for contraband as it is, Non-Transferable tickets matched to ID# or CC# or photo (or DNA ;-) (as per Glastonbury etc) have to be the way forward (for next year, of course)

    Meanwhile I guess we all need to chill and accept that if we’re meant to be there this year then it will be

    see you on the dust…ojala!

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  • The best idea I have read so far is make them all non-transferrable like the low-income tickets. If they are non-transferrable then people won’t buy them unless they burn.

    Unfortunately the folks in Frisco didn’t ask our opinions. It woulda been nice if they took this opprotunity to hold some discussion and come to a concencous about what’s est for the community. No forums, no chats, no idea builders…just a complete over-the-top, totalitarian, and unneccessary reaction to a “sell-out” year. I read last year the only reason they didn’t have enough tickets is because they had an issue with contracts with BLM and couldn’t increase the normal percentage of ticket sales last year. They were stuck selling same amoutn of tickets as they did for 2010 burn. Just doesn’t make any sence why they would do this after one abnornmal year that had more to do with BLM and NV than anything else….

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  • This is a terrific case study in the futility of attempting to micromanage inexorable market forces.

    The problem here is not the BORG it is, IMO, the limitation on number of participants imposed by our federal government.

    (Although the market solution would be to allow ticket prices to rise to the point only 50,000 or less would chose to go.)

    Given the size of the playa however, if burning man were “capped” at 100,000 or more, we’d not be having these discussions or concerns.

    (I realize the infrastructure, especially the two lane highway, is a limiting factor, but tickets could also be designed for a two-day admission and exit window).

    so IMO it’s the BLM and horrid federal management that restricts attendance (as well the kind of military-equipped SWAT team like police force that’s uncalled for) that is the problem and what we should protest against.

    BTW — I also support (logical, keeping-the-peace) law enforcement; I support LEAP http://www.leap.cc/ “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition” (and I’ve never smoked pot or anything else; I’m just against the crime that the War on Drugs causes; as well as the costs of the imprisonment of otherwise innocent drug users . . .

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  • And tell me again why virtually every ticket put into STEP isn’t going to be bought by a scalper?

    Since the pre-Christmas sale was to test out the system, with 54 tix already on StubHub ($640 minimum, and 12 at $1250 to $1500), what should have been learned is that the lottery won’t stop scalpers. Duh. Like no one saw that coming.

    The other thing that is clear from the comments is that a great many people don’t expect to be able to win the lottery, so they have put their art/art car/theme camp/international travel plans on hold. Larry, you have created lots of new problems without really solving any of the old problems. Time to rethink this.

    Since the idea of tiers was to allow those with some money to help those with less (“Buy at the highest price you can afford.”), and it’s no longer possible to opt out of the lowest tier, why have any tiers?

    Come on guys. This isn’t that hard:

    1) Cancel lottery and planned March sale before announcing any results.

    2) New sale ASAP, first come first served, using a provider that can handle the bandwidth. All 40k from lottery + tix to have sold in March. 2 tix max per sale, registered to individuals.

    3) One price for all, around $325-$350 (average selling price for current tix plus March tix).

    4) Transferable only by faxing ID of initial buyer and new buyer to BORG. Scalper has to create phony ID to get around this, a criminal offense and a lot of work.

    5) Allow someone with 2 tix in his own name to bring a guest, provided they arrive together.

    The current system rewards 3 groups of people: Those with enough money to go into the lottery through multiple friends and relatives (impossible to filter without an unacceptable level of false positives), those who know someone in the first group, and scalpers. The core group of burns past are the ones who get nailed, for the most part. Even those lucky enough to win at the lottery will have paid a high price in terms of angst.

    And if you must persist with this madness, then how about asking people at the gate if they bought a ticket from someone else and what they paid. If significantly over face (to allow for shipping, etc.), then use the s/n to ID the original buyer and put them on a black list for 2013 sales. Explain this is to punish the initial seller, with no penalty to the buyer. After all, the buyer isn’t responsible for this insanity.

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  • This is amazing to me. I consider Burning Man to be a cutting edge organization that utilizes the latest tracking and internet technology. When you purchase tickets for Burning Man, your information is stored and you are placed on the mailing list for events and upcoming ticket sales. Seems to me, it would be quite easy to first offer tickets to people in the Burning Man community who have attended in the past and hold a lottery for the newcomers. At least this way you insure the stability and culture of the Burning Man. Now, being a lottery and with the event now reaching international status, thousands of party animals will want to attend what they think is one of the world’s largest parties. It’s taken many years to create a Burning Man community, selling tickets as if it were the Superbowl changes the the Burning Man ideal. Shame on Burning Man and shame on the misinformed person who’s idea this was. Get it right.

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  • i totally agree with Mars Black: “Seems to me, it would be quite easy to first offer tickets to people in the Burning Man community who have attended in the past and hold a lottery for the newcomers.”

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  • Radical self reliance? Um, your words BM?

    You have destroyed ones ability to be self reliant.
    We are subjects of your governmental regulatory “Fairness Crap”
    Must have been a decision made while on your hybrid Pot

    Without relying on my teem, I can’t produce my gift to others…and my Mom. Guided art tours in The Interactive Gospel Picaso bus that contains a ramp for my disabled 92 year old Mother? What reliance will she have that someone else will offer her a ramp for her wheel chair?

    Come with me as I explain this to my Mom.

    (My Mom is the gal who knits a pot holder a day, all year, then sends each one up a kite string, so it drops and sails down to the delight of some unsuspecting burner)

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  • I have 4 tickets that I purchased in the presale because I knew the current situation was inevitable. Do I want to pay $420 for my ticket? Of course not. Should I only sell my remaining tix at face value… I assert that it is my right to sell at a profit to subsidize my trip. It would have been nice to buy at the lowest tier but that is unrealistic.

    The problem with this whole “face value” philosophy is that we are not in the desert. We are in the default world and the unfortunate fact is that there are vultures with dirty little minds are going to capitalize on the fact that the value to participants is greater than the prices that are charged.

    If BM wants to prevent this next year, I suggest they issue vouchers to participants at Black Rock City in 2012 for use in 2013. This will prevent wolves from slaughtering the lambs.

    As for my other tix, I have not decided what I will do. I may sell them for a profit, sell them to campmates at face value or simply gift them. I am leaning towards gifting them for Prima Nocte rights.

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  • I am not one to suggest a plan that would fix this nightmare we are encountering, but the lottery seems like a very unfair and upsetting experience. Last year was my first year to BM and it was an experience of a lifetime! I vowed to go back every year possible. This year i plan on bringing one of my friends from North Carolina with me, however now it seems that this all may be in jeopardy. I am currently sitting at my computer watching my bank account to see if i was luck enough to get tickets or not! I don’t understand what was wrong with the system used last year? Yes it did crash when tickets went on sale but the majority(more so than in the lottery this year) were returning burners or very dedicated virgins.
    Again I have no great fix all plan to suggest but something should be done to make this simply thing of purchasing tickets not interfere with the atmosphere of friendship and family that burning man is all about!

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  • Just wondering, but has anyone actually gotten a ticket yet? I’ve noticed that the money I put aside for tickets hasn’t been touched, and its Jan 31. . .Just wondering. . . I guess I didn’t make the lottery?

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  • I read a comment on this thread entitled “STEP workings” which laid out the gist of how STEP will work.

    If that’s true, then this whole lottery process was asinine. All it did was waste electronic banking infrastructure, put art projects on hold, and increase the number of unwanted tickets available for scalping if the buyer chooses not to use STEP.


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  • We should prioritize sales to people who have been to Burning Man before, then sell to everybody else. Your priority would be based on the number of times you’ve gone in the past.

    Experienced playa veterans are the people you want back.

    It would be up to Burning Man to vet people’s claims to having attended in the past – but you can do that any time during the year. Past sales reciepts in your name, even pictures of the person at the event.

    Not hard.

    This “throw the tickets into a crowd and let them sort it out themselves’ thing is a good way to keep loyal burners out of the event.

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  • I am hoping for the best when it comes to the lottery but I am a bit nervous that if I do not get a ticket then I’m not sure what to do with my thousands of dollars of equipment that I have in storage with the new storage container system from last year. I’ve invested so much into Burning Man for the past ten years and I am afraid that if I do not get a ticket that what am I to do with my equipment and supplies you are storing for our camp? I’m just a concerned and confused burner…

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  • Just got word that one of our camp just got 2 tix at tier 3 which, numerical progression aside, concerns me. If she’s already confirmed for 2 $390 tix, does that mean that all of the lower cost tix are already gone? Or does that mean that she’s one of the first to get pulled and BMORG is charging her the highest price point she offered? Either way, not great news for the camp.

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  • @Decker: Looks like they may possibly be moving backwards then? From $390 in the lottery system to the lowest tier. I’m guessing that makes it easier for the algorithm to get to the lowest tier from the final pool of available tickets. It’s also good to know that tickets are going out (albeit slowly).

    I do find it sad that many people feel entitled to the event, and are willing to exclude others to get in. There is a lot of hypocrisy in those ideas (you know – radical inclusion being the first principal). Maybe this change is a good time to re-evaluate what we individuals truly believe in?

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  • So, I just got my 2 $390 tickets. What really upsets me is that I entered the lottery in January and paid the same amount as I would have buying tier 3 tickets in June last year. Also, I now have $28 in my bank account. Sure, I knew based on the fact that the drawing was the same time rent was due, I might not be able to pay rent on time. It was worth it to me. I just think it’s pretty effed up to put people in that kind of financial jeopardy. Now I’m scared my husband will get his tickets as well and we’ll be in the hole for an additional $800.

    I should be happy to have gotten my tickets. Due to this new process, I’m now broke, scared and sad. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation.

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  • this was a reunion year – its been 5 years since our whole crew gets together. We come from Miami, Denver, Toronto, Portland, San Fran, Bay area and us here in Socal.. How are we all supposed to get tickets? How lame it will be if only half of our camp gets in .. all that time, energy and money wasted due to some incredible bad ticket management… I wonder how many in the Bay Area alone will be looking for tickets — my guess — several thousand people …
    Guess I should stop and really think about tickets first – why build something rad if it only sits in my garage …. the girls have been creating outfits – boys have been doing bicycle mod’s — everyone should stop until we can secure tickets for the whole camp … how lame — (insert deflating balloon sound here)

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  • I just looked at Craigslist Orange County and found this…..

    2 Burning Man Tickets – Read All Details – $1000 (Orange County)
    Date: 2012-01-31, 3:59PM PST
    Reply to: az5ed-2828319714@sale.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

    I have two Burning Man 2012 tickets available for purchase. Each ticket is $1000. All tickets to Burning Man are being mailed in June 2012. However, you and I can enter into a LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT in which we will memorialize the agreement in writing and we will both sign. Each will have a copy of the contract.

    In order to purchase the two tickets, I am requiring $200 per ticket at the time of entering into the contract. I will have available my confirmation that I do in fact have two tickets and that they will be delivered in June of 2012. I will provide a copy of the confirmation with the contract.

    If interested, please write me with your number and location. I prefer to sell to someone in Orange / LA area because I think it will be most beneficial to both parties to be able to meet in person.

    Thank You.

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  • Clusterf**k! That’s all this is. One mistake and poor decision piling on top of another. Just stop!. Please, for the love of Burning Man, stop this idiocy. No amount of PR bull is going to smooth this over. You screwed it up, just admit that, and actually take the COMMUNITY’S advice for once! You’re here to do as we say, not the other way around. If you destroy the community, the event will continue, but the spirit will be gone or moved elsewhere. And this is definitely going a long way toward destroying the community. Tread carefully, organizers.

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  • Just got home from work and found my pre-paid visa has pending charges i have no idea where they came from and putting me $30 dollars under the needed amount for $390 tickets. Really wish there was a way to change the card number on file or change to a e-check. Now I have to add money to it and hope the a$$hole that stole my card number doesn’t buy anything before any lottery charges. Looks i have to risk losing $800 dollars and my tickets if i want a decent chance and might have to save up again for a long shot in the march sale. FML

    Also to the people saying priority vouchers should be given on playa this year need to consider all the dedicated burners who don’t get their ticket this year will be in the same predicament we all our right now.

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  • Oh no :(

    My campmates and I were planning to meet up for the first time in a few years (I miss you guys, if you’re reading this!!!!) and we’ve been planning this for well over a year. We’ve invested about a thousand man-woman-cat-etc-hours into the coming Burn. Now it appears a couple of us are unwilling to attend due to this horrible (sorry to be so rude, but it is) setup, and myself and my sister might not be able to afford the tickets we “win”. There are several other issues I could bring up here that are affecting us majorly and really ruining our preparations and artistic contribution plans. Our awesome art car is already off the table because of this, among other things! I made a career move to make this happen, and now I’m regretting that too.

    I am still trying to go, if I’m lucky enough, and if I sacrifice enough to cover the price hikes, but it already won’t be the same without our whole camp and the feeling of community already seems to have deflated quite a bit. These aren’t trivial things. Tens of thousands of people’s lives have been messed with.

    I’m almost ashamed to be part of something so horribly planned and executed. I don’t want to be harsh but this is really disgusting and apparently I’m not the only one who thinks that way. For each comment here, there are 10 more who agree but didn’t make a post.

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  • To those saying “don’t whine, everything always works out”. No, it doesn’t. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out, and for tens of thousands of people, it’s isn’t working out.

    I feel sickened that Burners are being blamed for what has happened and is continuing to happen with this issue. We want to BURN – we don’t want to be doing THIS.

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  • Let’s search out these P.O.S. scalpers that already have tickets on the net for over $1000 a ticket and KICK THE LIVING SH……………….Oh,…………. we’re not that kind of community, got a little carried away there, sorry!

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  • This year the ticket sale created a lot of stress for Burners,especially those running theme camps. It push the logistic nightmare and preparation time etc down the road. I agree with many Burners that if BM wants the festival to be great–allow theme camps Burners to have guarantee number of tickets kind of system. Besides, BM has the database of the theme camps and their contacts, etc.

    This year many stress related to get just a ticket.

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  • We put in for two low tier tickets. And at this point i am not feeling to confident. It would have been Our 7th year. I just don’t just throw my C card to any one and tell them to charge as you please. I am sure, as we almost did, that a lot of people put two or three cards in the lotto so they will want to sell them. But who is Legitimate? It will be a scammers holiday.

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  • I really feel like the lottery this year was a bad idea. None of my friends who registered using an international address for their credit cards received any ticket confirmations? 0 out of 10 registrations? This is really not a very nice situation for a group of great people living in Bali to not go! Very disappointed. Honestly don’t have much hope for the reallocation of tickets program! I love you burning man but this is really not a great system and you have let a lot of people down

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  • How, how, how do we register for STEP as non-ticket holders? Seriously, with this amount of anticipation, why haven’t the steps been posted on how to sign up for STEP?

    “Burning Man will take those tickets sold back and redistribute them to people who opt in to the STEP program. You must opt in, it is not automatic.

    This way tickets people don’t want/need stay out of scalpers hands and people looking for tickets need not meet some stranger in a parking with hundreds of dollars in cash. The STEP program will operate up until physical tickets are mailed out this summer.

    Then there is still the secondary sale in March with 10K tickets sold the old fashioned way, first come first served.”

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  • When we registered, it asked the most we could pay. Of course they are awarding the highest priced tickets first. It’s what is best for BMorg, virtually guarantees they will sell all the tickets. If they placed the folks willing to pay $390 in the hat with folks only willing to pay $240, some of the $390 people would get $240 tix and the $240 people left couldn’t buy the $390 tix left over.

    But the lucky ones won’t get chosen for $390 and will still be in the pool for $320 and maybe even for $240. But by the time they get to $240 (Wednesday) they will have added all remaining registrants to the pool and the odds may decrease.

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  • Wow! I can believe how silly this lottery system is! It seems way over thought and ineffective as an effort to discourage scalping. Some scalping will occur regardless of what is done. Why not keep things first come first serve. Scalping could be controlled well enough by simply confirming ticket sales by e-mail with buyers, and then waiting until several weeks before the burn to mail out tickets. Sure, some scalping would occur. It will with this system too!

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  • On one hand I’m a little surprised by the vitrol on some of the comments, but on the other I understand the frustration. This lottery was not well laid out. But honestly kids, the folks at BM are not trying rip people off, make gobs of cash, destroy the event, blah blah blah. They have the very difficult job of trying to manage a unique event with unique participants. And none of us like change- that’s human nature. Go ahead and give feedback, but it pains me to see such nasty comments.
    Increase # of participants as a solution? Ummm, have you BEEN in Exodus lately?? I’m GLAD the org is keeping #s down until they figure out that little headache.
    But my dearest lovelies at the org, PLEASE rethink this lottery. As many people have pointed out it was PAINFULLY obvious that burners were going to request the maximum. Why? Because we go home to be with family. My gorgeous, playful, sexy, warped and chosen family. And I want them all with me on the playa- ESPECIALLY my campmates. We are a little eco system to ourselves and NEED eachother. You left us little choice but to all request the maximum, and it kinda disturbs me that the current “demand” seems to have come as some sort of surprise. Regardless there are some nice suggestions here. If you keep the lottery in the future here’s an improvement: authorize one tier every other day and not charging credit cards immediately; instead, send out authorizations good for 24 hours. Yes, it would extend the ticket sales over time, but in those 24 hours my little family would work out who got authorizations and exactly how many tickets we need, buying at the highest price we could manage, and leave the lower price for those who absolutely couldn’t afford or for the newbies.
    But realize the lottery isn’t foiling scalpers. It’s 10 hours into the lottery and there are already around 60 tickets on StubHub, going for 1,500 a piece at highest tier!!!!! The ONLY way to effectively squash this behavior is assign a name on each ticket (like the airlines). Then go through BM to transfer (for a fee to cover the org cost). Yes, yes, I realize this would cause an issue with gates and ID- and yes, I’ve been in that long line at midnight on Sun night back to Gerlach. But it’s the only sure fire way.
    OK, kids. I still haven’t been awarded tixs, and yes my OCD has been in full swing checking email all day. But I’m not going to bed too worried. I WILL be kissing your sweet playa dusted cheeks when we all go home. To the newbies- don’t despair and don’t get discouraged. Come join us- and you will never be the same again.

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  • My friend said he’s been notified that he’s gotten 2 $390. tickets. I also signed up indicating I’d pay up to the highest level (390) but I haven’t heard anything yet. Don’t know what’s going on. Are they awarding highest first, then doing the lower lotteries?

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  • Every person (including myself) I know that gotten aproved in this “lottery”, got exactly what their highest tier was. I have not seen ONE person that got a cheapest tier. There was no drawing, and were not falling for your LIES bmorg! Way to spit in the face of the community. Do you actually think we are a bunch of idiots that couldn’t figure out your rediculous coke head schemes? I plan on scalping my tix on ebay now, because this event is OVER, because of its stupid organizers.

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  • “Let’s search out these P.O.S. scalpers that already have tickets on the net for over $1000 a ticket and KICK THE LIVING SH……………….Oh,…………. we’re not that kind of community, got a little carried away there, sorry!”

    No, but the FiretrUCK tards who post on Craigslist we can flag the crap out of their ads so to make their selling more difficult. Please join me in flagging this ad “prohibited”


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  • lulz!! if you would have read the info you would know that monday was the highest tier lottery, today was the mid tier and tomorrow will be the lowest tier lottery.

    so consider your troll a FAIL.


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  • “BUT DO NOT FEAR!! Because this means that there will be a large number of tickets in circulation within the existing community, tickets that simply need to be redistributed to those who need them.”


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  • All I can say about the new ticket system is that it encourages people who can to game the system. At least I stood a chance of getting a ticket in the old system. Here is a perfect example of what I hoped I wouldn’t be seeing the first day of the sale. Given that I didn’t get an email yet, I was thrilled to find out some had already gotten emails and were already looking to get more than twice the face value for them. Please pass this along to someone who might learn from it for the next time around. Thanks


    SF Bay Area Craigslist tonight.
    Jan 31 – Burning Man ticket – $500(each) tickets – by owner
    Jan 31 – Two Burning Man tickets – $650(each) tickets – by owner

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  • So the lottery system as envisioned has backfired. Not surprising as it’s an idea which is coming out of an BMorg compromise. That much is obvious.

    Here is what you need to do next year: do a real lottery. No transferable tickets. One ticket per person. It’s as simple as that. Yes some ‘key’ people won’t be able to attend but truth be told they can take a break for a year. What’s more important is to stop the ticket scalping which as you will find out this year will make BM an elitist event with no art and no heart.

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  • Well, the pattern seems to be as such: Those in the $390 tier will have the greatest chance at tickets. Those in the $320 tier will compete with those in the $390 tier. Those in the $240 tier will compete with everyone. Good luck all. I hope you all have good karma and good things happen to you. I am in the $320 tier, so I haven’t heard anything yet. Unfortunately, the competition at the $240 tier is gonna be rough. . .

    If it’s not meant to be this year, I hope all of you are good to each other always.

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  • It may be a screwed up system, but thanks for the tickets!! At least you can rest assured that I will honor the principles of BM no matter what and only sell my tickets for face value to a friend or through BM or if I can afford to, gift them to a friend in need.


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  • Just got confirmation e-mail for 2 tix at $240 tier! Hang in there a little longer and good luck to all of you! (Except the most negative haters, of course. Y’all need to go to Coachella)

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  • Is there any way we could start a long-time burner database? People could register and get Burner I.D. numbers or something. That way the long-time burners are always allowed ONE ticket to themselves (and any children if needed) and then newbies can do the lottery. Just an idea, I would hate not to be able to go :(

    Love you guys!
    Have a beautiful day <3

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  • 4 pairs requested by me and friends:

    1 pair at $240 awarded

    my pair at $240 — nothing (would have been my 9th year)

    1 pair at $320 awarded

    1 pair at $320 — only one awarded. Not sure what he’s going to do about his wife.

    All that were awarded went at max price bid.

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  • At first I went with the idea of the lottery, but, alas, as I sit here hoping and wondering (and starting to fear that I may not get tickets), my thoughts have changed. Four out of our 10 campers got tickets in the early sale, the rest of us are at the mercy of… What?
    I have no idea how the lottery is laid out. Is it one BIG lottery that goes through the night or are there two separate lotteries? Will the STEP thing REALLY work? It’s insane sitting and waiting, not knowing if we are 2 of the ‘lucky’ ones. I would rather sit and be #15,312 waiting online but knowing I’m getting a ticket as I did last year. Let’s hope this is the first and last lottery…

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  • this just went up on ebay..

    Buy Now Price for 2 tickets $5000

    this is what the add says

    Just got 2 tickets to Burningman 2012 through the lottery ticket system. Tickets to the event are only available through the lottery and there are no guarantees that anyone will get them. When the event sold out last year tickets went for as much as 10,000 / pair. It’s the greatest event in earth. Bummed I can’t go – but glad that you can ;)

    Tickets will not be mailed to me until June 2012. I will mail them overnight to you as soon as they reach me. This means that you will get your paper tickets at the same time as everyone else – not before. Please understand all this before bidding.

    7 days after this auction ends you will receive a voucher redeemable for two tickets. After June you will receive the two actual tickets by FedEx standard overnight.

    Please save any negative commentary for yourself. I have been to burningman enough to be free from any guilt from selling tickets for what they’re worth. It’s a commercial event with limited capacity. Free market in full effect :)

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  • This is total crap! Call up Comic-Con to figure out how to run an event. Shesh they do 150,000 people in a much more civilized manner. Rather than set up a large community and say it’s on us to stop scalping do it yourselves!!! It’s not hard to do. Only let people buy tickets under their name. Limit the ticket to one per person. If the people change their mind offer a refund with small fee added each month it gets closer to the event. Say 5 dollars so it encourages people to dump them early if they can’t go, or eat the ticket. Then put those tickets back in the que line of people waiting. This selling 4 tickets BS is creating the issue. I will support buying an over priced ticket as I spent 1800 last year on 2 tickets because I want to go and I have a good job. So if you make these damn issues don’t expect me to not do what it takes to get a ticket if they are out there. Take some personal responsibly and work smarter not harder guys. Come on.

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  • Burning Man is lame now. Sorry, but it’s lived its glory. I felt it last year. The burn’s not the same. All the true burners with love in their hearts felt it. It’s time to move on and create something more special somewhere else.

    All good things must come to an end, and sadly, IMHO, the end of Burning Man came last year.

    It’s sad, but bittersweet. Here’s to finding adventure in the world and creating a new place for all of us true burners to come together once again!

    I love and miss my true family and I hope that one day we will again be able to dance freely, together, with no one judging us or keeping us from doing ANYTHING we want to.

    Peace, love, and playa dust…


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  • Just got my confirmation for tickets! Wahoo 2 for $240! So my sister and I are covered. Now I just hope my roommate didn’t get booted from the system for having the same address as he hasn’t gotten a confirmation yet… Time will tell.

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  • Yea! I liked back in the old days when you can just sleep around with the guy who built the burning man in the first place and get one of his six free tickets!

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  • No email confirmation… no charge on my card… at least get it over with and send me an email saying I was denied! I would go on a long rant about how I hate this new system, but everyone has already said it all…

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  • I live in the UK and woke up this morning with a message to urgently call my bank. When I finally got through they proudly informed me that they had blocked someone called ‘Burning Man’ trying to use my card late at night. Does anyone know if this means I have now missed out?! please say no : (

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  • Reading all of these comments makes me sad, and this system makes me angry. I got my tix for me and my girl, but dont feel great about it like I have in the past. I really hope burningman figures out something else then this terrible system next year. This in no way comes close to stopping scalpers. Its time for burningman to actually listen its community. I will have an amazing 7th burn this year, but will never go again if this same ticket system is in place next year. And that goes for any other system just as unfair and rediculous.

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  • I registered for 1 ticket, i still haven’t heard anything… does this mean i haven’t got one or should i just keep waiting? It seems like a lot of people have had notification by now.

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  • So the good thing is most of my “family” that are going got their tickets, however i still have not recieved notice either way…looks like i get to wait till march to find out if i am going this year, this process has become so stressful that i almost dont want to go now…

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  • I am left really disappointed, I live in the UK and have been working on getting some of my friends to come to the burning man for the last 13years. This year I have managed to persuade some friends to come as it is one of theirs 40the birthday, as we could only place a request for 2 the result is that they have their tickets and I have not this also makes things harder if we have to wait till the open sale not only will we have to pay more on top of the plane tickets and equipment hire we will probably have to pay more on the flights as they go up nearer the time, this was going to be a once in a life time experience for us … I am Really, Really disappointed

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  • I put in for one ticket, at the lowest tier. It’s still higher than I can actually afford, but I’m too nervous about not getting a ticket via the low-income program. Now looks like I need to be nervous about getting a ticket at all.

    Perhaps to fix this mess, instead of just awarding tickets who get drawn, recontact these people and see if they really need the ticket? If someone put in multiple times through multiple members and get more than they need, they may be willing to let the ticket go now. Then you can redraw from the lottery.

    Still haven’t heard anything about my ticket …

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  • Add me to the list of people who think the old system was fine. People who can get their act together to buy tickets the first day or two of the sale should be rewarded with tickets at that point in time.

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  • Final totals for me and friends:

    6 tix req. at $240. 2 granted.
    4 tix req at $320. 3 granted.

    All notifications were received by midnight last night. Appears if you haven’t gotten a notification yet, you’re fucked.

    Questions for the group:

    a) Did you get any tix at less than the max you said you were able to pay?

    b) Did you get a notification that was e-mailed after midnight pacific time?

    c) Did you get just one ticket after requesting 2?

    d) If so, was it also a situation with 2 people with the same last name at a single address?

    Of our 5 tix issued, 4 went to people with common last names living in different cities with no prior BM history. Of our 5 tix apparently denied, all shared a more unusual last name and lived at same or close location.

    Of the 5 people asking for pairs, the one long-term burner with history of volunteering to work in Cafe’, art car builder, and contact for a registered theme camp got nothing. The 2 virgins were 4 for 4. Such an amazingly fucked up system.

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  • Yes — the old system worked FINE. First come, first serve, so the people who are most on top of their game and committed will get their tickets. The event sold out last year in July; this lottery made the event sell out in January and exploded the secondary scalper’s market.

    Thumbs way down.

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  • what a farce, a reaction without any thought….pure burner material. short sighted cash grab by the burning man brainless trust. blathering out one side of their two faces not to sell tickets in the secondary market while blathering out the other side of their face to sell tickets in the secondary market that THEY HAVE CREATED.

    disgustingly transparent lack of care or concern for the community. complete lack of respect for those who have made burning man execs wealthy beyond belief. putrid performance and even less impressive out reach to the community.

    very very disappointing.

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  • Great, so that basically means I will overpay my ticket. Since all the cheaper ticket entries would be way overbooked and that will automatically put me in a more expensive ticket level.

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  • I also don’t understand why the results for the top tier tickets are already known while people only subscribing to lower tier ones don’t know the outcome yet.

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  • STEP is not going to work! There are already scalpers selling their tickets. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t sell their tickets for more money? Burning Man is expensive, people have always bought extra tickets and sold them for a profit to help pay for their Burn!

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  • While its not perfect, I APPLAUD this effort to control the distribution of tickets. The lottery as designed may not be the best method, but it’s a solid first effort to ensure fairness. If people have better ideas why don’t they speak up?

    Would people prefer if BMorg just handed the problem over to Ticketmaster? I doubt it. Then we’d all be buying from scalpers.

    Maybe there is a way to combines an online lottery and an in-person purchase. Thr lottery would be similar to the one that just happened, and it would entitle the buyer to show up at a ticket office in person on a certain day to present ID and buy a ticket. This wouldn’t work for all purchases, but it could work for most.

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  • By the time tickets recirculate IF enough do and IF you win youre barley getting enough time to prepare for the event.
    This years just going to be botched and a mess.

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  • I can’t believe I didn’t get tickets. I have bought tickets every year online for my girlfriend and I for the last 6 years. This would have been my 7th year. Every year I bring my art car and have camped and participated with various theme camps. On the survey I said I could pay the highest price for tickets because I can afford it.

    Why didn’t I get tickets?One of my friends got 6 tickets… And he’s definitely not going to use your STEP system, nobody will use the STEP system.

    Burning Man should just use Ticket Master and sell ALL tickets for $360.

    You know what? I’ll just go to Symbiosis instead.

    Last year I got paid to bring my art car to EDC – PAID!!! And yes, they gave my 3 guests and I infinite booze and all access passes and let me fist pump on stage with David Guetta, Skrillex, Afrojack, and Bassnectar.

    Thank you Burning Man, for showing me the glory of the art car. Now I will use it to get into every mega rave on the planet, Ultra, EDC, Coachella, Shambala… I’m never going back to Burning Man. You’ve turned your back on your roots. Maybe Dr. Dre really did start Burning Man.

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  • We just had someone say on our private Burning Man camp thread: “Seems like things have gotten too big for them to manage properly. So, I’ll probably just pass on going this year.”

    This is heartbreaking. All the RVs are already booked, plans to expand our tower made, but we don’t even have tickets? The thing that I loved about my first year last year was the great organization and problem solving I saw there. Nice way to undermine that…. and I assume if we want to go we will be paying scalpers now.

    Major epic fail of a whole new order. I’ve held off judging this process until I saw the above post.

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  • Yuri, about 9 posts above me, pretty well summed up this shit show BM created, so it bears repeating…

    Yuri Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 8:44 am
    Yes — the old system worked FINE. First come, first serve, so the people who are most on top of their game and committed will get their tickets. The event sold out last year in July; this lottery made the event sell out in January and exploded the secondary scalper’s market.

    Thumbs way down.

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  • If anyone sees tic on sale for more than face value anywhere….craigslist, ebay, etc. flag the post and try hard to get it removed. Make it extrememly difficult for them to scalp the tix by taking down their posts!!! Hopefully they have to swallow what they paid since they aren’t going anyway and they wont pull the same BS next year

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  • Through all this mess I envision the BM “community members” responsible for the ticketing system all sitting around somewhere, watching this b.s. unfold, saying to each other calmly… don’t worry, this will work itself out… (reply in unison from two others) yess… it will work itself out.

    You guys had MANY other examples of well-functioning ticketing systems from around the world to use as your template, systems that thwart scalpers and distribute tickets to far greater numbers of participants than BM… yet you chose this aberration.

    But hey, you guys knew better.

    Peace out, you can have it. It’s not worth the stress or the middle finger to those of us committed enough to get out tickets early. It’s fucking simple guys. First come, first served.

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  • Asking again:

    a) Did you get any tix at less than the max you said you were able to pay?

    b) Did you get a notification that was e-mailed after midnight pacific time?

    c) Did you get just one ticket after requesting 2?

    d) If so, was it also a situation with 2 people with the same last name at a single address?

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  • VERY disappointed in this process. We have attended for a few years now. We are in a theme camp and participate as much as possible. It is what we look forward to all year. And now we may not get to go because of a “lottery”? This really doesn’t seem to be in the spirit of what Burningman is about.

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  • Screw this. Total and complete clusterf**k. Had a ticket last year, but a conflict arose and had to sell my ticket (at face value). Registered at lowest tier this year for 1 ticket. Haven’t heard anything. Assuming I didn’t get a ticket, and I don’t really care. It’s a bullshit system. I’ll just go on vacation instead.

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  • My friend is awarded a pair, I’m still waiting to see if I’m “lucky” in this lottery draw. I want to start planning for this years Burning Man soon, not sit in limbo stressing how I am getting a ticket.

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  • I’m pretty upset at this whole thing. For many years my friends who are loyal burners have tried to get me to go. I’m finally in a position to join them, but alas no word on what’s going on with tickets. I entered the registration as soon as it was announced. I have two coworkers who put in at 11pm on the VERY LAST DAY and weren’t even sure what is was about and iffy about going at all and they got 2 tickets at the $240. WTF? What were these people thinking? I tried putting all the negative feeling in the back of my mind until I at least saw what happened today. Now it’s all flowing the surface. Trying to stay optimistic for the remainder of the day. I’m wishing everyone the best with their tickets, though…

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  • “Fairness” CRAP….is what it is!

    You take away our ability to be self reliant!

    You create re-distrubution “Fairness” CRAP!

    So How’s that whole “Hope-Y , Change-Y thing working out for ya?

    WE are GONE,,,,hear us! GONE! Us ladies will find another Titty parade.

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  • I can’t even be sad and resigned to not going and then get over it.

    There is still the resale bullshit, the server race in march, my friends who will “keep an eye out” for me, and somebody else’s ruined plans at the last minute to hope to benefit from.

    FUCK THIS. I can’t even give up and make other plans until forever from now. This is gonna be the longest heartbreak ever.

    I lose. Screw you, BMORG. I wouldn’t riot about a sold out event. But I’m mad about this playing with my heart let me tell you.

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  • I received an email confirmation dated Jan 31 at 8:54 pm EST which would be 5:54 pm PST. I had requested 1 ticket at the $320 max level, and I got a $320 ticket (Total Charge = $339.00 USD)

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  • Thanks Fred. Pattern seems to be:

    a) If you won the lottery, you already got your letter. No letter means you lose.

    b) Everyone got charged the maximum they said they were willing to pay. The implication you would have a chance at tickets on a lower tier was a lie.

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  • Tally up another person who is disappointed in this years ticket sales. You are basically saying “sorry but people bought more tickets than expected so now you will have to buy them at more than face value.” You do realize that you just opened this event up to be bastardized by the capitalist bullshit that burning man was originally against right? Now if we want to go we have to buy off scalpers who scammed the system to get more than the allotted two tickets who will sell them for double what the face value is, if not more. Heartbroken is a good term for how I feel.

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  • My original comment with the link is still waiting to be approved, but there currently over 80 tickets, ranging between $625 and $1,500 each on Stub Hub.

    Please, no one buy them – force them to use the STEP program when it comes out.

    … although, people will buy them, and this will reward and encourage scalpers.

    I just want one ticket at face value.

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  • yesterday: “Don’t call the LOTTERY a failure, we’ve got to give it a chance to work.”

    today: “Don’t call STEP a failure, we’ve got to give it a chance to work.”

    tomorrow: “Don’t call this year’s BURN a failure — you weren’t even there!”

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  • So far this is the word from my friends:

    Me: requested one ticket at $240 –> no ticket
    Friend + gf: requested two tickets at $320/240 –> two tickets at $320
    Friend: requested one ticket at 390/320/240 –> one ticket at $390
    Friend + gf: requested two tickets at $320/240 –> no tickets

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  • So much for self-reliance. I can radically rely on myself to be at a web page, or an office, or wherever the hell you want me to be when tickets go on sale. That’s how I’ve gotten my tickets in the past and it’s worked fine. Your lottery pretty much negates any possibility of relying on myself to get a ticket if I play my cards right. At least then if I don’t get one I’ll understand I only have myself to blame.

    To all you people exhorting others to report above-face ticket sales, refuse to buy them, police craigslist to get ads pulled, blah blah blah… what planet are you on??? Seriously.

    Scalpers paradise is what this whole fiasco is. Maybe I’ll turn to scalping BM tix next year in protest. I’ve got at least five friends I can get to register for tix next year to increase my lottery odds. It’d be a lot less stressful and more rewarding to make a cool grand or two and flip BMORG the virtual finger from a beach in Rio.

    … or you guys can just do the rational thing next year and institute a policy of 1-ticket-per-person and IDs at the gate. Then nobody would be able to scalp your tickets.

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  • CPA fried of mine (who has still not received the status notification email) had this to say about the new system:
    the new system generated fear
    which meant it was ALWAYS going to sell out
    look at it from their side
    instead of waiting nearly 9 months to get the cash
    they have 90% of it now
    which they can invest and make even more $$ off, so 50k tickets
    by an average of $340, invested in a short term deposit
    at 1%, compounding monthly, I get about $1 million

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  • I express my opinion with great reluctance, bur seeing all these comments makes me want to contribute….. Look at all these negative remarks. So many of them express stress, frustration, opposition and despair. Although BMORG may have had good intentions, the end result is anger and chaos and probably doesn’t solve the intended problem. Seven of our 150 campmates have checked in and said they got tickets ut they would ALL have tickets now under the old system. This is very sad. A long time Camp may be dissolved and an art project and art car cancelled. This is the last thing we had anticipated. I myself, live for Burningman. It is my vacation from work, not some Island or Disneyland and it will not be the same without the group of people that I have come to love and share Burningman with. Some of my campmates have already been offered tickets from private parties at higher than face value. This means some people have been awarded tickets above the permitted allotment.
    It seems the message here is that if you’re gambling, which a lottery is, do your best to increase your odds. If you want two, apply for ten. I believe that it is foolish to think that someone who would scam the system to begin with would then play by the rules and essentially admit to the STEP program that they scammed the system and have tickets they should not have for resale. Think about that. And consider the laws of supply and demand would probably outweigh the rules of morality. Why would anyone sell something for $240 when they could get $540. Sure a few folks may play the STEP game, but we should all realize that the majority will not. I have always put in my time on ticket sale day to get tickets and waited through avoidable server crashes, but at least my effort resulted in knowing that I got my tickets. At this moment I have none and wonder if I any longer have the desire to compete for them knowing that many of my friends will not be there.
    I am sorry BMORG, but this lottery system has resulted in a clusterfck. It is not fair to those who would put in an effort to simply buy tickets at the onset and make their plans to attend accordingly. I believe that this will result in a degradation of the quality of the event and eliminate longtime Burners who have and continue to make extraordinary efforts to produce art and encampments that make Burningman the unique experience that it has been for many years (ten for me).
    It is with much regret that I express my disappointment to you and urge yo to abandon this system and find another way to deal with what you perceive as a problem. First come, first serve and single price tickets is my vote and I urge you to simplify this system to make is less unpleasant for so many.

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  • I feel like I was just uninvited to what I thought was my party. Suddenly any creative discussion about Burning Man with my camp seems ridiculous… all I can think about is “I want a ticket.” I’m not throwing down $$ on anything before I have some idea if I can go… especially given the trust that BMorg has broken and instability that has been created.

    Sad and bad feelings abound.

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  • It’s unfortunate you can’t revoke everyone’s tickets and start over. In spite of the hassle, non-transferable tickets seem to me to be a far better system than whatever this was supposed to be. Even if things sort themselves out to some extent, I can’t imagine what the BM event will be like this year with the significant disruption this system is already causing. The camp I’m connected to seems to have significantly less tickets as a whole than they need, not more. Such a sad problem.

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  • I read all the complants but I somewhat don’t understand why people don’t grasp the concept of a limited ticket event. Say everyone wanted to go to a concert, well guess what, it has limited tickets. It might sell out. If it did, they you might not go. Happens in the real world all the time. But I don’t write to the event management and bitch they didn’t make it easy for me to get tickets. i also don’t complain that scalpers got all the good seats and now I have to pay a premium if I want to attend.

    I am just stoked I get to go to Burning Man every once in awhile. I am guess what some years, it doesn’t work out.

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  • Congrats to our friends who won tickets, so glad for you!

    People, please request to BM that the STEP tickets and the remaining tickets being sold to be non-transferable and held at will call. Otherwise, the scalpers will have a field day and many of our friends will not be able to make it to the playa.

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  • Ignore part of my last remark. I do think they should have setup an assigned ticket program, where you had a specific ticket with your name on it. I realize the extra overhead but it would have eliminated scaping.

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  • OK I got my one ticket at the highest level I said I would pay. Does this new system suck daa yaa. This will be my 9th year. If this is the same way they do it next year then I will sit out year number 10. The Burningman organization will not listen to any of us because they now how to do it. The best way to get their attention is that next year a large portion of us suck it up and deceide not to go. If they go from 50,000 down to 20,000 then they will get this straightened out. As long as they get a sell out every year they will sit back in their chairs with their feet up on the desk and thumb their collective noses at us. As they are doing that they will continue sending out e-mails saying every thing is working just peachy.

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  • Looking at when people got their confirmation emails, it appears that they drew for the $390 tier first and went to the lower tiers after that. At least folks who could only afford $240 might’ve had a slightly better chance with some of those willing to pay more being drawn out of the pool early on. I really couldn’t afford $390 either, but thanks to my Visa card and a whole lot of luck, we got our ticket confirmation yesterday.

    I feel really sick for everyone who got fucked by this system and the greedy bastards who are hogging/scalping tickets. I hope those of you who really want to go can find tickets and not get ripped off.

    I had resigned myself to not going after this announcement about the lottery came out. I didn’t even feel very happy when I got the confirmation, just kind of relieved. It’s like that stupid saying “if you love something, let it go…”

    I have a deep feeling that this is the last year for Burning Man…. and isn’t the world supposed to end in December anyway?

    Lotsa love for all of you!

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  • Kevin Ells

    I agree with what you say but that is not what BM did this year. Instead of doing it the way they have in the past which is what concert people do they went to a lottery system. Have you ever seen a concert make you buy the highest priced tickets first. I have no problem sitting at my computer waiting on the que but I do resent a stupid lottery, especially the way this one was set up, and their continue sending out e-mails telling everybody that it will all work out.

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    Please give us the option to sell our tickets to a SPECIFIC PERSON! There should be the ‘first come first served’ option, but also a “friends exchange” where you can sell directly to another person through the managed system.

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  • I know the BMorg had good intentions with the lottery system ideal but the only results I have found are that a lot of my friends did not get tickets and they have been going to Burning Man a long time longer than I have. They have huge artwork and artcars that they bring back every year and now they might not be able to go because of the lottery system. The other idea that this would prevent people from scalping tickets obviously failed, they’re for sale on stubhub already, 82 tickets left! They’re selling for as much as $1500. After last years sell out, you had to know scalpers would be getting in line just like everyone else. You get A for effort but an F on actuality.

    I got my tickets and I was really looking forward to going, but if none of my friends make it to playa, is it really worth the trip?

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  • dag.. lessee.. theme announced last week instead the days directly following the burn. only ordered 2 for me and my hubby..didn’t get them..i think we’ll gather our friends, some of which we made at past burns and go somewhere else.. like not a desert..yeah.. i think that’s what we’ll do..

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  • Stupid, stupid system. Why couldn’t you use the same open sale system you always use every January, where I always get a ticket on that very day? First come, first served. Fair. This system is a mess.

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  • i don’t necessarily think a huge population of the “ticket hopefuls” tried to scam the system. i’m sure a huge protion of the population entered the lottery system thinking they *might* go but won’t really know until the event is closer, bank accounts have settled, and plans have been made. These people propbably entered just in case, and a great deal of them will need to unload tickets. That doesn’t make it any easier or reassure me (out here on the east coast) that I will get a ticket. I’ve always bought early and had my ticket in hand in the past. Now i’ve been penalized for the scaplers’ wrong-doings. sucks! makes it really hard to commit to an art car/project or camp when you won’t know until after Mar. 28th and beyond if you’ll even get a ticket. i loved the “early bird gets the worm” system and didn’t mind getting booted out and having to log back in due to the volume of ticket hopefuls buying tickets all at once. no big deal. this lottery bull shit is a big deal. i’m a 4-year burner who is pissed!
    happy burn to all of you that did get main sale tickets. i hope to see you on the playa…

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  • U guys are hella lame with this lottery system.. why fix what aint broke. first come first serve , that s the way you do business. people that have the money want immediate service. you don t see mcdonald s auctioning hambugers or best buy auctioning of tv s. they have the product available you purchase it. this is a sure way to lose people interest in going if they have to jump through hoops..

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  • Can’t believe how complicated BMorg has made this. So complicated that they have to create a whole new website for post-sale ticket exchange. How is that possibly simpler than just doing this correctly from the beginning?

    Hope you guys haven’t already damaged the event, but that’s sure what it sounds like.

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  • ps- i only ordered 2, 1 for me and 1 for my friend… that’s what most of my burner friends have reported as their M.O. for the lottery.

    pps- and there are a ton of tickets already on stubhub.com ($625-$1500)…. so sad!

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  • How come only 800 some people signed the petition to stop the lottery? We all hate it. Now I’m just waiting to see if I got tickets for my husband and me. I just love being powerless in this process. It really brings forth the spirit of Freedom proclaimed on the Welcome Home BM website.

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  • i’m so sad. got no tickets!! i’m coming from switzerland and already booked the flights.. last time in 2008 it was so mutch easier.
    it would be so happy to get some tickets..

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  • I propose the following:

    1. Make tickets non transferable outside STEP, thus every ticket purchased would be associated with a valid ID or passport, and checked at the gate. Allow only one ticket per valid ID (two per purchase).

    2. Allow ticket transfers via STEP at face value only, to another ID… non transferable outside STEP.

    3. Revise the lottery so that existing participants (same ID as last year only) are given a chance to purchase tickets in january before the public lottery. Tickets left over from january can be given out via lottery.

    Seems like the above accomplishes what you are trying to do while protecting those who have already made the substatial investment in the event already. No scalping, no speculation, and a lottery for those wishing to join a capacity restricted event based on availability.

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  • Words of healing for those with out tickets (including myself)

    Honestly, If there was a year to miss…this is it! Really!
    The passion, Standing Art and Art cars will not be there!

    With all of the camps/ families becoming SHELLS of what was …and could be…..
    Can you see it? standing about WITHOUT your kin? your camp has only 3 out of 4 polls, your Art car is missing 2 wheels and 4 crew to run it. Days talking about the Lottery. Staring at dust without art. Your wallet that much emptier. No live music.

    (soft music) Breath….Zanex….bla.bla,bla

    BM.org….Not enough words to express the darkness

    R.I.P. Camp Irish Fiddle.

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  • How should I justify shelling out $800 for a “canvas” of an art car if I don’t know whether I will be able to get tickets, and how long after I know I have tickets will I have time to work on my car? My point is that a lot of what makes Burningman great is a result of careful planning and sacrifice over the course of the year (for us ant-types, as opposed to grasshoppers). I’m too poor to spend a couple of hundred hours designing and building a car in addition to a grand or two to let it sit in the weather for another year, or to turn it over to some lucky recipient at the gate. For me, this is a FAIL. I will admit to having sour grapes, though.

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  • There are over 650 Burning Man tickets available in Stubhub right now, ranging in price from $650 to $1,500. Burning Man your lottery system has been compromised. The community you have created has been alienated.

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  • Looks like the approach failed… Already 100+ tickets on ebay $700-$2000 each. Considering last year you could buy a ticket at face value all the way thru June.

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  • stubhub has so many tickets for sale some for 1500 dollars… One question did you really not see this coming BMORG? This was my fear from the moment I saw it was a lottery system… I had plans of coming home this year since I couldn’t make it last year… but alas I feel we have all been foiled by the capitalist system that destroys everything good.

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  • Sigh. No single ticket for me. Just got the notice:

    We’re really sorry to inform you that your entry was not selected in the Main Sale to purchase Burning Man 2012 tickets. But remember this isn’t the end – you still have other options for acquiring tickets!

    The next chance to buy is directly through the Open Sale, which begins March 28, 2012. There are 10,000 tickets that will be offered in that sale at $390 each. The Open Sale is a first-come, first-served, no-registration-required sale.

    We will also open our new resale system, the Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP), for the buying and selling of secondhand tickets starting February 22. We expect that a fair number of tickets will be redistributed within the participant community (as happens every year), and we ask that you use the STEP system to do so, avoiding sites like eBay, Craigslist, or ticket resale sites, so we can maintain a central source for tickets and discourage scalping. Full details will be posted on tickets.burningman.com and through the Jack Rabbit Speaks email newsletter.
    Please help us discourage scalpers. Don’t buy or sell Burning Man tickets above face value.

    Since you were among those unable to secure tickets through this Main Sale drawing, you will get priority in signing up for the STEP system’s first-come, first-served process. Please watch for an email before the end of February with details about how you can participate in this program.

    Burning Man Tickets

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  • just saw this on an official post……

    Yes, all 40,000 tickets have been awarded and confirmations sent out to those individuals. Emails are going out now to those who did not receive tickets.

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  • @IamAloha
    Wasn’t the 1st come 1st serve ticket purchase process in years past capitalist system? Fair heathy competition. One where we could choose how much to pay for tickets. I’ve thought the new lottery system was a commie system from the start. I have no freedom in the process. Looks like this system has collapsed also.

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  • I am extremely frustrated with this process. Burningman is an oxymoron. It has become a very exclusive event. Why can you not do like airlines do and register tickets to names, not-for-resale?! I just. dont. get it.

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  • I did everything I was asked to do. I was there at noon signing out for the lottery, I made sure not to spend the money I saved for my ticket, I reviewed my e-mail tons of times, got VERY stressed…. not a very BM experience. The whole experience has been HORRIBLE… but I thought that experiencing “that amazing vibe of BM was worth the trouble”… I am very sad to see that my “protected and fair space called Burning Man,” has been taken by those people making lots of money with the BM tickets… while laughing about EVERYTHING BURNING MAN MEANS. BM began as a loving way to heal a loved one’s heart, a being that felt hopeless. TODAY MY HEART IS WOUNDED….and I have no hope to enjoy that “one week” that gives me a taste of a loving and fair world.

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  • @IamAloha – Get over it. If anything, blame this on the post-hippies that run BMORG, not a “capitalist system that destroys everything good.”

    This process is insulting to those of us who get online when tickets go on sale and get our stuff taken care of. This lottery thing blows, and put blame where it belongs.

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  • Clover, I wasn’t referring to regular Ticket sales, more so the after effect where scalpers will now be selling tickets for double triple and quadruple the face value of the ticket. the original process was a first come first serve which was fair because if you didn’t get a ticket because you missed the date or didn’t have the money at the time of the sale it was your fault. But now if you want to go to burning man you will be forced to pay well over what it should cost. This is the capitalist system that I am talking about, the one that brings destruction to amazing events like burning man and makes it an event for the elitists who have the money to spend thousands of dollars on one ticket.
    Sorry if there was confusion in my post.

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  • I really hope that BMORG reads this comment thread and graps what a truly horrble idea the lottery system is and makes the mature decision to admit that it was a mistake and not repeat this process next year.

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  • Just got my email that my registration was NOT selected for the lottery. Just saw ads on Ebay for tickets going for more than $1000 each. Yes, this system is MUCH more fair…

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  • Jim, I wouldn’t put blame on the people that run Burning Man, they were trying a new system to make it fair for everyone, it failed, but only because of the greed developed by a capitalist system. there is no sense in blaming anyone. I am just upset and disappointed thats all….

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  • Stubhub is an eBay company0 results 28 results from $687

    Stubhub ticketsLearn about StubHub
    StubHub was founded in 2000, and has been an eBay company since 2007.
    StubHub is the world’s largest ticket marketplace, giving fans a safe, convenient place to get tickets to the games, concerts, and theater shows they want to see, and an easy way to sell their tickets when they can’t go.
    So, what makes StubHub different from eBay?
    Choice -Interactive seat maps, instant electronic delivery, and the largest selection of tickets anywhere make it easy to find the seats you want
    Service -StubHub manages all transactions, so you never have to deal with the seller, and their industry-leading FanProtect™ Guarantee lets you shop with 100% confidence
    Sort by :…Price : lowest first
    Price : lowest first
    Price : highest first
    Section : A to Z
    Section : Z to A
    Quantity : lowest first
    Quantity : highest first
    Row : lowest first
    Row : highest first

    DropdownMenu Open Start of layerDropdownMenu End of layer

    All prices set by sellers

    Section Row Qty. Price
    General Admission N/A 2 $687.50ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 2 $700.69ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission GA 2 $700.70ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 6 $701.79ea

    Excludes shipping
    general admission GA 2 $701.80ea

    Excludes shipping
    GENERAL ADMISSION GA 2 $702.89ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 1 $702.90ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission Pass GA 2 $704.00ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission Pass GA 1 $706.20ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 4 $707.30ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 2 $734.36ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 2 $742.50ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 2 $764.50ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 4 $768.90ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 4 $783.86ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 3 $791.56ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission Pass GA 3 $825.00ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 1 $880.00ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 8 $907.50ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 4 $927.30ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission Pass GA 4 $935.00ea

    Excludes shipping
    GA FESTIVAL PASS 1 2 $990.00ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 2 $990.00ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 1 $1,099.99ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 2 $1,153.90ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 4 $1,375.00ea

    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 2 $1,424.50ea

    Excludes shipping
    FESTIVAL PASS GA 8 $1,650.00ea

    Excludes shipping

    Items per page:25|50|100|200
    previous pagepage1 next page

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  • From all the comments, I’m wondering if BMORG just set themselves up for one major class action lawsuit. If they drew the $390 lottery first, then the lower lotteries I see this as grounds. The initial website asked how much you were willing to pay up to or some words like that. That implies that you would get a chance at a lower price. But from the comments it seems that there were $390 tickets awarded yesterday and $240 tickets some time after that. This would imply that the person selected for the $390 didnt have a chance at the $240. I thought that it would be more like everyone entered in the $240, those that were not selected and said they would pay $320 would then be drawn and lastly those left that had said they would pay $390 were drawn from. It would be interesting to know just how exactly the lottery was executed that was fair and legal.

    Oh, and yes I am still waiting for some kind of notification. But with all the reports of camp breakups, theme’s diminishing, and such, maybe this is the year to not attend.

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  • Fertility 2012………will always be remembered as the Year Burningman told me to go fuck myself. 9 years of my life dedicated to spreading Love and Harmony with the ideaology that it multiplies infinitivley…. Has finally been conquered by the Capitalistic and Cruel World. I guess its time to wake up and begin screwing over my fellow man for my own gain. Fuck this Shit…… Iam OUT.

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  • Law suit?? What a waste of time and money. We just need to find some place else to go next year. If we don’t sign up for the lottery next year and they don’t have the numbers then they will stop the lottery. That is unless they say what a great success it was this year. I’m beting on them saying what a great success it was.

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  • Really people?? You think that just because there are ads for tickets up on eBay and Stubhub that that means that the process has failed?
    Three things:
    1. Those ads are NOT real. They don’t have tickets. They buy then AFTER some sucker agrees to buy one, and that’s IF it’s a real ticket in the first place.
    2. These same ads go up every year. Nothing has changed.
    3. It was always a lottery! Who got lucky and got into the server first. You were fighting against the people that would get their friends and family to log in to buy (same as now) and you were fighting the impossible to beat automated systems of pro scalpers.

    There will be art, mutant vehicles, theme camps and parties, just like every year.
    Bunch of uninformed, illogical crybabies. Sheesh o_0

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  • I am heartbroken. No tickets. I didn’t go last year, because I was in the middle of chemo and so gave my tickets away. I needed to get out of the default world this year. I am hanging up my tutu.

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  • Usually about this time I’m excited for Burning man. Now I’m just helpless demoralized and disenfranchised. I’m glad all the scalpers are happy. I say we go down and picket in front of Burning man HQ since they don’t seem to reading this blog.

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  • @Jacob: Because an airplane does not hold 50k+ people. You think the wait at the gate is long now? The logistics of checking all those tickets doesn’t work.
    Plus being stuck with a ticket if you need to re-sell it.

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  • I agree with Jacob. Non-transferable tickets is the way to go, first-come, first-served.

    If someone can’t go, they can only sell it back to bmorg (or via bmorg), which will sell it and transfer the name.

    This should eliminate issues from scalpers (as they can’t transfer to buyers), people buying more tickets than they need (to ensure they get a ticket), and people not getting tickets unless there is a true shortage (and they likely didn’t prepare and buy when they went on sale).

    This would turn the gates into a massive will-call, but they could do like i’ve seen for concerts. Front gate staff would have PDAs with scanners, individuals would have printed receipts with barcodes, when the barcode is scanned, it brings up the individuals names for verification, and disables that barcode for future use…

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  • Half of our camp doesn’t have tickets. We are not a rich camp, but we are a fucking gorgeous one – salt of the earth – veteran burners. Many of us have needed lower tier tickets, annually. We ALL never had a problem getting them (despite your system glitches) in the past. Now we are looking at tickets, if we can find them, for a much higher price, some simply can’t do it. Your system did NOT work. And to the people who are saying – what are you whining about – there are 10,000 tickets left – please keep in mind that the discrepancy between the prices is prohibitive for some, and Burning Man just took a step toward elitism.

    And as far as STEP goes – thanks for creating another system so we can deal with a problem your organization created. Why on earth do you think this won’t be inundated with scalpers too?

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  • They already have bar code scanners for early entry so there would be no big overhead cost. As much time as they waste searching vehicles by volunters and not law enforcement it would not take that much more time reading a bar code. If they can put the name on an envlope it would not be that hard to put them on a ticket. There are not that many tickets on sale on Stubhub oe Ebay at this time. I don’t consider less than 100 between them a problem, yet.

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  • You people for some reason still have this strange idea that “It’s all the scalpers fault that I can’t go!”

    Noooo… it’s our fault. There are too many of us that want to go and not enough spots in the contract with BLM. Simple math, some people that want to go will not be able to buy a ticket. Period.

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  • lottery fail! congratulations BM: http://www.stubhub.com/burning-man-festival-tickets/burning-man-8-27-2012-4016620/

    not sure why they wouldnt just make the tickets have your name on them and you have to bring ID like a plane ticket? or at least the credit card it was purchased on like many other venues. not many scalpers willing to drive to gerlach to will call a ticket, if you want to sell a ticket you would have to use the Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) which would then change the name on the ticket… my 2c

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  • @Dr Cy Greenhill
    Two things:

    1. If the jump in price is the breaking point for them, then then shouldn’t be going in the first place. This is a luxury, not a need.

    2. They do know about the 4000 low-income and scholarship tickets, right? o_0

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  • My rejection email states “you will get priority in signing up for the STEP system’s first-come, first-served process…”

    It’s not “first-come, first-served” if some people get priority. I’m really questioning the fundamental philosophy of Burning Man and how it is being managed/administered.

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  • Wow. This has turned into an epic clusterfuck. How many themecamps only have a fraction of their members? How much more time will they have to devote to just maybe securing a ticket, and at what cost?

    And this was all predicted beforehand… sundered themecamps, thousands of pissed off long time burners.

    The whole process feels like the result of groupthink, but of course I don’t know. It’s hard to see how else this could have been viewed as a really awesome plan.

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  • So NOT happy right now. Way to go BM. I have just heard from almost every participant in our theme camp and so far not a single one of us won the “lottery”…
    Last year was my 10th year at BM. I am a business owner and I have never wittnessed an organization screw themselves as bad as they did just now. Based on all the feedback, I am not alone.
    Since BM is built on the very pricipals they just destroyed, I am deeply sadened to watch such a good thing die.
    Even more sad is that I am sure I will get a ticket one way or another, but I do not expect that it will be the same experience as the heart and soul of BM has been lost. Those that attend will mirror the organization which means there will be a lot of people attending that will not share the ORIGINAL core values.

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  • Dear BM organizers:
    Perhaps this is a good time to respond to us nonticketholders in a more honest way, and perhaps admit that you messed up. The integrity of the festival depends on it.
    If this is the seed the festival is supposed to grow from then how can it be anything other than vapid and shallow. All great things comes from an idea, and that idea is dangerously close to being corrupted, if it hasn’t already. I truly hope BM can overcome this!

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  • Well, the lottery system worked for two out of eight in Wonder Camp. What a giant stupid idea this ticket system has turned out to be besides paying MORE for our two tickets ($390.00 ea). Our camp volunteers for many things at BM. Not in the mood to do that, now. This really sucks. Stupid idea…….
    The Wonder Wagon may not be returning to the playa.

    Does anyone that had anything to do with the ticket failure read these posts?

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  • @Sparkle Pony
    The system is fair. Random lottery. Just a different random lottery than the one before of “let’s see who can get luck and get into the server queue!”

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  • Get in FREE! Yes! Free.
    There is no entry fee in you drop in via parachute.
    (the cost of the drop? unsure)
    Have 20% of camp drive in the infrastructure and have the other 80% drop in from above!

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  • How about a reference that says skydivers get in free. I’ve never seen that before (except for a post somewhere far above). My guess is that someone would be there to greet you on landing, asking for a ticket.

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  • Rejections still going out. Mine arrived 90 seconds ago.

    It does say rejectees will get “priority” in “the STEP system’s first-come, first-served process.” FCFS, like year’s past with a server queue? Probably not.

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  • maybe everyone who didn’t get a ticket (or even those that did) should come to the Rainbow Gathering this summer and form a Burners Camp. no tickets at all are needed, or even possible!

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  • Well, i did not get the 2 tix i requested. my bfriend did not get the 2 tix he requested. we have 4 people lined up to go and we asked for what we needed – not more. oh well. guess not going.

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  • Wow, this is amazing. I registered within minutes of the ticket site going live. My neighbor registered more than a day later and he got both the tickets he wanted at $320 each. I got zippo.

    Your lottery system is a shambles and the postings on various sites are not good. Sadly I doubt your STEP program will yield the number of fairly-priced tickets you think it will. Your optimism about it is, sadly, naive, I think. And the scalping has already begun. So thousands of Burners like me who are loyal to the sharing and community intent of BM are getting hosed.

    This was going to be my last year attending BM (full moon!) and now I might not even get that experience.

    Messed up, folks. Really, really messed up.

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  • @badger:

    So how does that first round of tickets fit into your “It’s all fair” rubric? You know, the 3,000 $420 tickets before the lottery- to make sure the folks with the most can get in.

    Your analogy to the previous years’ lotteries is false. This year people leveraged their chances by entering the lottery multiple times, according to bmorg. The old system did not make people panic into placing multiple orders, and also made it unnecessary (and difficult) to do so. Your chances of going were directly proportional to your desire and preparedness- now it’s just random. Dealing with the server was analogous to standing in a long ticket line for a popular event. The current system is like dumping tickets out of a helicopter (except for those $420 early richie tix). Additionally, people with fewer resources could put in more effort at the beginning- ie, by getting into that server line- and increase their chances of getting a low-cost ticket. Where is that mechanism now? It doesn’t exist.

    So uhh.. drop that “It’s just the same as last year!” hoo-haw. It’s not.

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  • Guys this SUCKS.

    Karmic powers have chosen to again make my Burn an ‘adventure’…

    Last year somehow I ended up with 4 extra tickets. What did I do with them.

    I drove out to Gate on Tuesday and “MIRACLED” 4 people.

    2 tix i ‘gifted’ straight out, no money.

    2 i sold, one for $80 (its all she had) the other for face value (he had LE stickers on his Escalade)





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  • I got mine and I almost feel bad about that. Most of my friends were denied. I got screwed last year when the servers crashed and now they steal my friends. The Man doesn’t just need to burn this year, It’s time for him to suffer and pay for his sins as well. It does feel as though “the times they are a changing”,and with this whole fertility theme, it seems as though there’s been a miscarriage, at least of justice.

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  • Does anyone know of people out there that have won enough tickets within their group or theme camp to cover everyone, thus giving them extra with the intention of selling back to STEP???

    Some yeses here might ease some minds…

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  • @David Wolfgang-Kimball

    The “holiday” tickets? Cry me a river… There were 50 THOUSAND tickets up for grabs not counting those, (10k still to be sold).

    Bull. People were having friends and family enter the opening day queue in previous years to get tickets.

    You’re confusing getting a ticket with getting a “low cost” ticket. You want reward for your effort? Go out and get a ticket just like thousands did last year after they sold out.

    A random drawing is fairer than trying to compete with automated systems. It is still a lottery.

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  • Agree profoundly with ALL who are agonized over this year’s “random selection” ticketing process! What a bleeding drag! SO STRESSFUL!! A completely frustrating exercise in futility …. What was once a joyous, nearly year-long evolution of planning and creativity, has been put on hold, and made, at best, UNSURE! On my end, only ONE person in my entire camp, who registered, actually GOT LUCKY and got a ticket! Forget about my friends in England who are willing to turn their lives upside down to get out here!! NO TICKET LUCK!! SO, How do we go about planning for this year, NOW?? How do we plan for the time we need to take off work? DO WE Wait until MAY, hope we get lucky??! Hope some of the tickets get redistributed. WHO’S going to assist in this redistribution process?? How much are we going to be able to get done in only a few short months when we used to have over six months to plan things and collect resources??! HOW DO we plan for pooling our resources while we are still unsure about who’s getting to go or NOT?? I guess, we don’t!! WE were so excited, building a mutant vehicle for this coming year. Planned the whole project and purchased certain components …. Now our collective resources are split up and made insecure!! Guess we just scrap the whole thing altogether! WOW!! What a waste! WHAT A DRAG!! Makes me sick!! NEVER experienced such a cruel and painful, sticky mess as this year’s ticketing lottery! What a sad, sad joke to so many who have faithfully come to BM year after year, and each year brought more to share, more to explore, more to enjoy!! Maybe this will go down in history as the single greatest of all BM BLUNDERS –> which far exceeds last year’s ticketing screw up which never got close to being this kind of sad and disappointing situation –> blows the stupid exodus-queque of 2010 clean out of the water!! Certainly gets my vote as the biggest and best BM mess-up of all time!! WHO is it who DECIDES ON THESE THINGS??!! I must agree with all those who suggest: FORGETTING and FORGOING the stupid TIERS, selling all the tickets at the same mid-range cost, excluding a set amount of low income tix! First come, first served!! IT JUST seems too simple!! Seems like somebody up there in the higher ranks just doesn’t like IT simple! TOO BAD for the rest of US! Wonder what the rest of us will be doing this Labor DAY weekend?? I SURE WISH I KNEW!!!

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  • Step right up get your tickets at STUBHUB

    Burning Man Festival Tickets 08/27/12 (Gerlach)
    eral Admission N/A 2


    Excludes shipping
    General Admission GA 2


    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 2


    Excludes shipping
    General Admission N/A 6


    Excludes shipping
    general admission GA 2


    Excludes shipping


    Excludes shipping

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  • This new system SUCKS! Half of our camp already received notice that they did not get tickets. I didn’t get mine either! Nice going BM organizers. This messed up system will likely scar this charished event for ever.

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  • Out of all my campmates, only 2 got tickets and they are the newbies. Guess they will have to learn what to do on their own. :( Oh – and of course at the highest tier.

    The amount of tickets that are already available on CL and Stubhub should be a testament to how this process does not work.

    I am in shock and deeply saddened. All of our projects for this year are canceled.

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  • ALAN: Thanks and how many of those tickets at STUBHUB ARE GOING TO BE LEGIT?

    One of the tickets I sold last year went to a LE looking guy, who had bought a ticket online for $740 and it was a fake!

    Next year only people with BURNING MAN Tattooed on their forehead will be issued tickets!!!

    God I am so angry about this I could hug someone!!!

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  • @afroblue
    Damage control? What, was I hired by BM and wasn’t told? lol
    If you people are really this weepy about all this, go create your own event. o_0 No one is going to miss a bunch of whiners.

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  • @Cameron Herold
    There there is still 10,000 more in the oh so missed “old way”, plus there is always a large secondary market. Don’t give up hope just yet. :)

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  • Didn’t get tickets… I’ve gone every year for 8 years.. I always buy my tickets on the first day they’re on sale because I’m committed. This lottery is a joke.

    The only real solution is to get the permit expanded to significantly more than people who want to attend. Now that scalpers know there is money to be made on a burning man ticket, they will buy them up, and many of them have software that will buy them up much faster than burners can click their mouse buttons. A first come first serve system won’t work if there is a limited supply of tickets.

    The only solution I can think of that makes this not a total fuckup is if BMOrg actually got their permit expanded so that everybody that wants to go will actually be able to go this year, but by not telling people the scalpers buy up tens of thousands of tickets, which in the end will probably be selling for far less than first tier because there are like 30K tickets that were purchased by people who had no intention of going. This would be a good way to fund the necessary infrastructure enhancements that the BLM will undoubtedly make BM pay for to expand their permit. Roads aren’t cheap.

    That being said, I know the trouble friends had to go through and prices they had to pay last year to get tickets on the secondary market. It will be worse this year. If that is what I really have to do to attend this year, i’ll just take a year off.

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  • *sigh*… i have been attending, performing and contributing(art, theme camp, mutant vehicle etc.) Burning man for 6+ years straight… and each year i have seen more and more weekend warriors, tourists and non-contributors. What a sad affair… and a broken system. So far our entire theme camp has been awarded 4 tickets out of 30+. What a discouraging evolution. Scalpers, tourists, weekend warriors, lottery sales? Fear tactics causing hopefuls to register as many times as possible? I registered 1 time and 1 time only for me and my GF in the concept of fair practise… how naive right? Well perhaps i might “luck out” in the general sale or STEP. Scalpers are already listing tickets for ludicrous prices… as for now… no tickets, no theme camp, no mutant art car, no performances. Have fun with the tourists and all your profit BM.org. ~sincerely, Disenchanted.

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  • BM.org needs to politely ask stubhub and craigslist to decline listing Burning Man tickets for sale. They are both SF based companies… I bet they both have a bunch of employees as pissed about not getting tickets as the rest of us are. If they say no, let the community know.. I’m willing to bet you can get a few hundred burners to ‘occupy’ their offices until they change their mind.

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  • You know what? to Hell with the event! Just come out to 4th of Juplaya it way more fun and no real rules just ask someone who has gone it’s crazy like 1994. there are other times to visit not just Burning Bullshit!

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  • Wow,

    Out of our camp of 10, we were not able to get ONE single pair of tickets in the lotto. I am a long time burner and this process is one giant cluster. I am convinced that the scalpers have used their minions to overwhelm the system and get a lions share of the tickets. You are also relying on the kindness of others with the STEP program. How will that possibly stave off scalping? Here is my suggestion for next year:

    Tickets available on a first-come, first serve basis.
    You get two tickets per person which will include your name printed on each ticket. you HAVE to show your ID to gain entry and the name on the ticket must match.
    If you can’t go, then you can return your ticket to BM before a certain time period. You get a full refund, and the ticket(s) are recirculated into the box office for a final sale where the process repeats itself.


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  • This badger dude seems to be a troll. it’s just a bit weak and unkind to call people who are sad about not getting tickets ‘whiners’ and mocking them. plenty of unhappiness going around already, no need to add to it, unless other peoples’ unhappiness is your kink.

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  • @Maximus

    Agree 100%, register with a name and match/check it at door. It’s dead simple. I don’t understand their motives behind this shit and they haven’t done a good job of explaining it. Don’t buy a ticket if you don’t plan on going, and the only way to recompense your money if you break a leg or some shit: sell back to BM who can than re-assign.


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  • ONE PERSON ONE TICKET! NON TRANSFERABLE! Just like airlines do, simple and easy.


    BADGER, nice work on the damage control, only people really do have cause to be unhappy, there are no winners in this situation, sadly this has the potential to ‘wreck’ BM. Its a terrible terrible system that has breed an atmosphere of ‘scarcity’ that makes people do wack things!

    I AM SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING PULLING THE PLUG ON MY BURN THIS YEAR! I really did not think that we’d all be in this kinda mess early Feb…

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  • @pants afirepa
    Not a troll, nor is it a kink. Just a long time burner who will be out there sweating my ass off building so you have something to go see, who is tired of the doom-n-gloom idiots.

    You would know exactly who I am if you spent any time on ePlaya like the rest of us who give a damn about this event the rest of the year. Ya’ll are acting like all the tickets are gone and there is no hope left. You really going to give up so easily?

    You want tickets? Go get them. Sheesh
    (I just love how you assume I’m a guy. lol )

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  • So sad really. As third time burners who make the trek over from the UK, we were planning our wedding this year at the playa, the most sacred of special places. But alas no tickets, either for us, or the majority of our camp/wedding guests. Four lucky ones in our group have tickets, 9 unlucky so far… Who knows, maybe it will all work out with STEP and the final Open sale, but as so many of us coming from abroad, my gut is this crazy idea of ours to get married at BM, sharing this magical place with all our nearest and dearest perhaps wasn’t supposed to be. Not sure this is the vibe BMORG wanted to create, but there we go, time will tell if it all works out.

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  • @badger

    I can’t help but be suspicious as the select dozen or so of my friends that did get tickets not a single one was a lower tier ticket. every ticket won was top dollar. Furthermore, if the purpose to eliminate scalping this is obviously not the solution. Mistakes were made. Motives I question.

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  • Badger Cut it out Fool!

    You would know exactly who I am if you spent any time on ePlaya like the rest of us who give a damn about this event the rest of the year.
    I know who you are and you ain’t No Body so let the people vent and stop being an ASS HAT.

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  • Are you SHITTING ME? We didn’t read one positive comment to the crap open lottery system you created this year. We even agreed to the buy the highest-priced tickets if necessary to contribute our fair share. How naive ARE you that you actually believe that scalpers wouldn;t jump on this like a vulture on a carcass. We’ve lost faith in you, along with the angry hordes who also followed your rules and got absolutely NOTHING. Gee, if we have $1,600 fucking dollars each we can go to EBay–here’s their listing less than 30 minutes after ticket selection stopped. Thanks so fucking much.


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  • The system IS broken. It rewards:

    a) those with enough money to enter multiple times,

    b) those who know people in group a,

    c) scalpers (14 tix currently on Stubhub between $1250 and $1500), and

    d) a few people who got lucky.

    It punishes everyone else and has torn apart families. Those who do go will find much less art as a result.

    It was also presented as a system where you had a chance at tix at a lower price than the max you said you would pay. Do you know anyone who didn’t get charged their maximum-possible price? Not one person on here has said they’ve heard of that happening. So the Borg lied to us and then fucked us. Sounds broken to me.

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  • @badger

    no one thinks they are a troll- that’s a title that’s given to you. it’s like ugliness.

    and don’t bother burner-dicksizing (whatever your gender) either- my first bman was 1996, I’ve had esplanade placement 5x, and I used to *run* the e-playa for bmorg. your holier-than-everyone attitude is unjustified.

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  • @Sallie Mander
    I guess logic and fact now equals being and asshat? Better than being an emotional moron for not getting a ticket in the 1st or 2nd round of sales to go on vacation.
    Get your priorities straight.

    @leopard (the natural predator of the badger)
    I haven’t been on eplaya in a few weeks, so I haven’t heard anything about people getting low tier tickets yet. I would be very very surprised if the org were so stupid as to think they could get away with something like that.
    Scalpers were not the target though it was a nice side benefit. The target of all this was to stop the servers from melting down like they do every year in the first day rush.
    Any other “reason” they give is just so much spin and crap. ;)

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  • I am disappointed. It simply should not be this difficult to go home. Myself and a co-worker were on the edge of our seats all day, filled with excitement and apprehension, as we hit refresh staring at our email accounts. Neither one of us were chosen. I realize that this is not the last chance…but still! I have a water bottle on my desk right now with a sticker from Metropolis 2010 that sums up this experience so far…OMG WTF. I don’t even remember what camp it was from, but it is so apt.

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  • Did you guys really think this system would be better? Everyone told it was bad since the beginning and nobody wanted to hear the people. There are already tickets in Ebay for $1500….this system just creates more demand…. either you are all brainless or you just don’t care anymore for BRC….. thank you, for nothing! Someone should bring this to big news and just make fun of this ridiculous system and the joke that BM is turning to.

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  • I am a 12yr consecutive Burner and organizer of our camp of 10-15 My now 64yr old Mother has been for 7yrs. We travel 2400km to go HOME every year and have made the commitment in January to buy tickets and plan ahead. It always worked.

    My Mother and I entered this year’s “lotto”, ONE time, at $240 to help offset our travel costs and we didn’t “win”. Only ONE person in our camp was awarded a ticket. Waiting for the Secondary Sale = $800 (shipping)+ for the 2 of us. Not an option with our travel costs.

    This is a very sad day for me.
    This DIDN’T work.
    I am so disappointed in what was created.
    I can’t believe it has come to this.

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  • Hopefully your STEP system will force folks to ONLY return/purchase tickets via your site and make it not feasible to transfer tickets otherwise. It would be nice to stop folks from scalping tickets. Burning man could make some cash on exchange transaction rather than letting folks that just “entered” into the BM community becase the pre-sale presented an opportunity for scalping at higher prices.

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  • ok so i didn’t get tickets either. i put in for one only. no shenanigans with friends and family ordering extra. i lost out.

    at first i was sad. i’ve been checking my email constantly since 1/23, desperately hoping for good news.

    then i got angry. i registered in the first couple of days of this lottery. if it had been an open sale i’d have my damn ticket. easy.

    then i decided, screw it i’ll use my time and money for something else this summer. never mind i already special ordered parts for my steampunk mask.

    then i came to a realization. i really really want to go. i want this experience. i want to walk naked on the playa.

    i can’t afford scalper prices so i won’t be buying tickets through stub hub or craigslist or ebay. even if i could afford to pay those prices i wouldn’t want to support those whose greed is pissing all over what this event is about.

    so i’m going to sign up for STEP and see if that works out. if not, you can bet i’ll be sitting at my keyboard ready to hit enter the second the open sale starts.

    i really hope to see you guys out there.

    @Pinky McBlinkenstein
    “God I am so angry about this I could hug someone!!!”

    if i make it to the desert, i’ll be looking for you pinky. i could use a hug!

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  • The entire core of my camp (i.e. the people who own the equipment, plan the camp, and do all the work) got denied include myself. We usually buy our tickets the first day they go on sale. A few spectators made it in. They always buy their tickets late. I’m taking this year off since it’s shaping up to be a disaster. Nice work, BMORG!

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  • I don’t like lying and cheating….

    But if i look at the ebay prices for a bm ticket.
    I wish i would also tried to make my chances bigger, and did some multiple personalitty scam….cause i have the feeling a lot of non burners did…

    Last year in july it was sold out, so why the hell was it necessary to create this lottery thing…..?

    So now i bought my plane ticket (Europe) and rented a RV…..money all down the drain!
    Thanks BMORG

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  • I am on point for a five year, service oriented theme camp (we wash hair) with a community of approx. 50. Of these, only a handful appear to have been selected by random drawing.

    Which leaves our entire tribe considering (for the first time) what it would be like to just not go…. (Or be represented by the handful)….. After building a community that has discovered that the heart of burning man is service…. and participation….

    Do we draw up the camp plan? Do we put in the effort for placement ? Work with our placer for space we “might” need ? With the looming cloud over our heads that we might not get the tickets to do what we are promising to do… (That feels unethical)…..

    Wait until March 28 ? That is getting late for the kind of logistics and financial commitments that it takes…

    Frankly, I’m stumped… And a bit intimidated at the juggling that is going to be required….

    But I’m choosing to hold the intention that this gets corrected somehow….


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  • This sucks. Last year I was online on the second day the I got two tickets. This year I get nothing! I’m so sad and upset. REALLY? How hard is it to sell 50,000 tickets? I could use a hug too.

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  • a) Did anyone get a ticket for $240?
    b) Did anyone get a ticket for a Tier lower than they committed to pay?

    Maybe they didn’t sell any tickets for $240 and “magically” everyone who needs them will get them for $390 in the Open Sale. New Math, BMorg style.

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  • Way to go you fucking PUKES. Whatever happened to the self reliance. In years past it was those that wanted to put out the effort to stay in front of there computers and get in line. Servers crashed and the waits at times cost more ( because you had to cut work to pull it off ) than the tickets. That was all cool because it was OUR fucking choice not some stupid fucking computer picking random names. Our ability to choose and make our own destiny has been taken away from us. I know of at least three camps ( “participating camps”), not the yuppy wagon train circling of the motor homes to keep out the riff-raff types, that have become more prevalent in the last few years, that don’t have enough members now to pull it off.

    Nice work “New Non Profit”. You should have left it alone. I say FUCK THE MAN. I hope your non profit dies a slow agonizing death, and we can get back to a “for profit” system that works. Maybe I can go to the FUCK THE MAN burn getting organized right now on faceplant. I here they just sell tickets the normal way.

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  • So far I do not know anyone who got tickets. All of my friends have received their rejection emails. I do know that the owners of the great art car boat Christina did not get tickets…what a shame if they can’t go to the burn because of this stupid lottery. With tickets already on stub hub, it looks like the demographic of the attendees will have a huge shift towards the wealthy few who can afford to pay 600-$1500 for a ticket. Way to fuck up a good thing!
    I bet there will be a lot of people sneaking in this year, and I don’t think anyone will rat them out.

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  • Curious is correct. Don’t you know that NON PROFIT is just how they explain a huge payroll for those at the top. I’m sure they will still want to capitalize on all the free labor that burners happily donate in order to have a succesful event. Ohhh wait just a fucking minute…. all those burners cant go cause they weren’t THE CHOSEN PEOPLE

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  • My Burningman family has been torn asunder!

    The very few in my camp who managed to get tickets are unwilling to
    leave the rest of their less fortunate family behind; and without the combined resources of all our camp mates, it is no longer feasible for us to provide the level of interaction and participation that we have been able to give to the community as a whole in previous years.

    Our group has sadly decided to put our souls into another event this year.

    I fear that even those who do attend this year will find less art, less volunteers to make essential services occur and less heart and spirit on the playa.

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  • I can’t wait to max out every one of my fucking credit cards to buy STEP tickets and fuck you Burners once again with $1000 tickets on eBay. Shit, I might not even ship the ticket(s) to you after the sale.

    Thank you, BMOrg, for screwing over this 14 year veteran.

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  • The greatest problem with the system that I see is that it takes no effort to sign up for the lottery. Most of the tickets I have gotten in the past I have gotten in person, in a store, paying cash, to a live person. It took planning to get the time, the cash and the effort to find out where the tickets were being sold.

    This system makes no such demands on the buyer and therefore your commitment to the event is irrelevant. The physical sale of tickets in the major metropolitan areas probably requires more effort on the part of BMorg, but it also requires effort on the part of the buyer. You really have to want to go to travel 50 miles to buy a ticket like I have for many years.

    I am hoping against hope that those that control this event will see that by making it first come-first served it will weed out the casual and reward the organized and committed. Will there be scalping? Of course, there has been the scalping of tickets for as long as there has been events. You cannot defeat supply and demand. But even if 10% of the tickets are scalped you still have 45,000 people who made the effort, planned the time, and got their s**t together to obtain tickets.

    I feel the saddest for the foreign burners. It is so hard to plan and get to the event from overseas. One of the memories that stays with me was the night a group from Ireland, about 15 of them, made it all the way to the burn exhausted. That night after all of us around them had made them food and gotten them fed, they gathered as a group dead tired and started to sing Irish folk tunes, A capella. And their voices floated over the windless night and into the heart of the playa.

    Change happens. It is my hope that the ‘event in the desert’ as Harvey calls it can retain its core. We’ll see.

    I hope to see all of you there somehow, someway

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  • I really want to know who the people are out there exactly that actually received tickets.

    In years past, facebook was ALIVE with everyone all sitting online, waiting, counting down the number and eventually having a huge celebration by the end of the day. Frankly, when the lottery was announced, I instantly got nostalgic about that process but figured, eh, with it selling out last year, maybe this is best.

    Cut to today:

    I have been going for seven consecutive years. One of my close friends runs a theme camp with about 70 core members.

    I do not have ONE, not ONE single person in my entire extended burner family of eight years who got a ticket.

    I do not have ONE, not ONE single person who KNOWS someone who got a ticket.

    Im looking here, eplaya, twitter, facebook and the only thing I see are people bitching about not getting tickets. Fine, thats to be expected I guess playing some realistic devils advocate. BUT. Where the F are the people celebrating their ticket score like all of us would do year after year. Celebrating tickets was a huge thing with all my friends, it was always my favorite day of the winter, you know that little internet celebration brought us all together from around the world and got the wheels really turning on the burn. But there is just NONE of that.

    How in the holy F is that possible????? With 40,000 tickets or however may over 10K sold, how can there be this incredible silence from all the people who scored tickets??? The only thing I have seen today is people bemoaning.

    I dont know about anyone else, but however irrational it is, and I know it is, I am truly hurt, to the core of my heart by all of this.

    No, Im not one of those “this is my event, to hell with all newbies” types, I dont mind the weekend set that comes on Friday, none of that, its all good fun for all of us. But Ive invested so much of who I am emotionally into this event and for year after year after year. I did everything that was asked. And this is the respect that we get?

    It would be one thing if I didnt get a ticket and everyone else did. Im a grown up. Bad luck happens.

    It would be one thing if half the people I know got a ticket. I would likely have something to say about that but could still be realistic about the new system and have some kind of open mind.

    But how is it at all feasable that EVERY SINGLE BURNER I KNOW, from at least seven or eight countries on definitely three different continents, not ONE of us gets a ticket? About 60 of us, from all over the world? How is that even possible?

    How is it possible that of all of us that didnt get tickets, we dont even have a single friend between us who got a ticket?


    Im not even trying to be some kind of conspiratorial ass about this, Im just flat out flabbergasted trying to understand what happened.

    And it has really raised so many questions about why we go, we are all long timers, we’ve seen the man burn. We’ve fought each other in the Thunderdome. We just go there really, at this point, ultimately, to see each other. and not one of us has a ticket. We are seriously just thinking of all just taking a trip together somewhere dusty. Im not sure if I want to go at all if only a handful of us get tickets.

    My friends camp, they threw in the towel today. It was brewing, but this was the straw that broke that camel. They probably would have pulled it together had it not been for this debacle.

    I dont understand how there is going to be any large scale art.
    I dont understand how there are going to be any big theme camps.

    This is turning out to be a huge reboot for Black Rock City. Great way to honor Rod.

    What we are going to have is a completely splintered and disjointed BRC this year, and I would be pretty surprised if there was any big art, I cant see how that is possible.

    Will it be great? Yeah sure. The people that go will have an awesome time, Im sure. How can you go there an not have a good time. But we built this place and while it is certainly not MINE, I really feel like something has been taken away from me and that namely is the family I love so much that we worked so hard to build there.

    so Im faced with a choice. Hope that this turns out right or invest in my family directly and organize an off playa excursion for us for a week. We can all afford to go somewhere rad and that makes so much more sense. It is hard to invest hope into a thing that is so horribly mismanaged thinking that this will work itself out.

    The only thing that bums me out the most is that I am not alone in thinking ANY of this. We ALL are thinking these points as a group, and a large group, and all of us are SOOOO different off playa. Thats the really heartbreaking part of this.

    Will we get tickets? Eh, I dont know how much that even matters right now. I really dont.

    We are all feeling incredibly lost today. I always felt that burning man was important to me, but I never knew how important burning man was until today. And you know, I dont wear outfits there, I dont own fur, I dont braid shit into my hair…

    Its just so sad, and that sadness is very slowly turning into disgust. I never saw this coming, not in a million years did I see this happening at all.

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  • I didn’t get tickets –
    You have created so much negative energy and tainted my only vacation. I am upset and now have to jump through hoops to try to get there this year. They wont be ‘my’ tickets they will be someone else’s that i bought second hand.

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  • @ Curious

    “a) Did anyone get a ticket for $240?
    b) Did anyone get a ticket for a Tier lower than they committed to pay?”

    Yes. Friend got 2. Many people posting above got $240 tix.

    NO ONE has said they even heard of anyone getting tickets for less than the maximum they said they were willing to pay, despite the Borg’s implication to the contrary.

    @ Playa Ninny


    Too late. They made an offer, which was accepted by those who won, and the BORG has now taken their money. That means there is now a binding contract. To unilaterally revoke that contract, even with refunds, would result in a slam-dunk class-action lawsuit loss. Revocation would be unfair to those who got lucky and think they have tickets coming.

    Make no mistake — this was the worst possible system imaginable. Still, cancellation would be like telling the Megabucks lottery winner they aren’t going to get their money after all because the people who played and lost didn’t like the result. Our only hope is that they get it right next year — first-come-first-served, with names on tickets.

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  • @ blech

    “WHO GOT THE TICKETS?” Did anyone get tickets?

    Read the posts and you will see many people got tickets. Between me and 4 friends, we got 5 tickets (all but one asked for 2, so we were 5 for 9).

    Why no celebration?

    Because we who did get tickets are all very afraid that the event will be a hollow shell of itself this year, devoid of the major camps and so much more that has been taken for granted in the past, and with many fewer art projects, all thrown together in a few weeks, rather than the many months that is normal. And we know that so many of our friends will not be going because they lost in this ridiculous scheme. This has the potential to be the worst burn in history, and anyone who doesn’t believe that is delusional.

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  • I’m only slightly disappointed I didn’t get a ticket. I thought I’d be more upset considering my entire tiny camp is now reduced further and our experience will be ruined since many of us will probably not make it. I’m only slightly disappointed that what seemed like a wonderful community event for people to share and experience such amazing creativity has now turned into nothing more than Disneyland in the desert. I’m only slightly disappointed that last year was my first burn and because of this incorporated version of it, it will probably be my last. I was only slightly disappointed by how extremely clueless the Burning Man organizers are but now I’m going to use the time and money that I would have spent to experience bigger and better events by people who care about the what the movement is about in a whole and not just their bottom lines. I’m going to use that money and time to see the world without boundaries. Sorry BM, but you messed this one up.

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    I HAVE HEARD OF 2 TICKETS GETTING AWARDED TO MY A GOOD FRIEND AT $240, and I am sure he will be paying for them on his PLATINUM AMEX!

    WHAT THE FUCK HAS HAPPENED? I feel like crying, actually I already am… its like when the big bulldozers approached “home tree” in Avatar… The Playa is crying :(

    HUGS! Come get your HUGS!!!

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  • And what is going to happen March 28th? Are you telling me that your new web based ticketing system is so hi-tech that spammers aren’t going to be able to seize the system and buy all the tickets. If it happened to Ticketmaster, it can certainly happen to your so-called STEP platform.

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  • Hey…Guess what?? Scalpers and those who work for them have computers and credit cards and maybe…just maybe, they were smart enough to figure out how to get into the lottery too. I don’t really think anyone seriously believed this system had anything to do with stopping scalpers.

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  • I was lucky enough to get a ticket (thanks) but I’m sad that lots of my former campmates didn’t. I think the big screw up with this lottery was allowing people to buy 2 per person. It should have been limited to 1 per person per credit card and a limit per household. I dunno. It just seems like now scalpers will screw over BM. check out: http://www.ebay.com/tickets/Burning-Man-Festival-Tickets-08-27-12-Gerlach-/112053555?_selTab=sh&_dmpt=US_Tickets_all_in_one&_pcategid=1306&_pcatid=846&_refkw=burning+man+tickets&_trkparms=65%253A12%257C66%253A2%257C39%253A1%257C72%253A5656&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

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  • Only 6 people from our tiny 40 person camp got tickets. None of those people were the organizers, BM volunteers or art car builders. I wonder how many other camps were dessimated by the worst event organizing ever. Maybe I could understanding if this was BMs first year and it was as big as Coachella. Oh wait, it’s pretty damn big and it’s been around for a few decades. Think they would have thought of improving on things by now.

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  • Hey why don’t we all just sit back and do the math and you will find the KEY… all that Money just sitting there Feb 1st gaining intere$t . so do the math x 40+


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  • I really want to know what they are going to do to prevent a run on the system for the resale and open sale? How do you eliminate spammers and scammers without knowing who they are? How do you stop sophisticated hackers from bogging down the ticketing platform before the true Burners can get a chance to “fairly” purchase desired tickets? Any answers?

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  • Well, how did this little experiment work out? This was to be my 15th burn, now I don’t know. One thing is for certain, buying low and selling high, looks like the scalpers will have a profitable year. As far as the step system goes, keep on smoking that pipe, those tickets are gold. The truth is scalpers will scalp and the will be some “burners” that will finance their trip with those extra “golden tickets. Guess we all learned little lesson about being fair and the ugly truth about the human animal.
    Maybe next year BM should be truly fair. Take the total cost of putting on the event and divide it by the number of tickets available and THAT IS THE PRICE OF THE TICKET. Take it or leave it, its a sold out event, the plane is full, why are they encouraging scalpers by offering discount tickets? Seems that there is a lot of money to be made in this “commerce free” event. And before you tell me you cant afford a higher priced ticket, while sipping your 3rd latte at Starbucks………

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  • Ten Principles
    Radical Inclusion
    Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

    Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

    In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

    Radical Self-reliance
    Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

    Radical Self-expression
    Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

    Communal Effort
    Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

    Civic Responsibility
    We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

    Leaving No Trace
    Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

    Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

    Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

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  • So, my gf and I got tix, but out of the 50 ish people I know that go to the Burn every year for as long as I’ve known them… only a couple got tickets. Maybe 8 in total. All the people I know that did get tickets, most of them are relative newbies too. All the veteran Burners I know, ALL of them are SOL so far.

    I was really hoping to have a veteran crew of close friends to help guide me and my gf through our first burn.

    Hope STEP pulls through, assuming any of the vets even still want to come..

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  • the lottery system has been a total failure in my opinion. as many as maybe 100,000+ people registered for tickets. a great deal of those people i will guarantee have no intention of going to the playa, instead they just wanted to get tickets that they could then turn for lots of cash. the lottery in my opinion just makes it easier for a bunch of people who really dont give a fuck about what the Burn is all about to make money by scamming people who really want to continue their trips home.
    the survey that we all had to fill out was a total scam i think. just about every veteran of the Burn i know that filled it out truthfully did not receive tickets. one friend that wasnt truthful on the survey and said it was their first time got tickets quickly….WTF is up with that?
    if this method is continued in the future for ticket sales then i probably will not be participating. its time to create a new festival in the middle of nowhere without any of this stupid BS!

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  • Radical Inclusion
    Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

    the first of the Principles

    Burning Man fail

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  • @ Blech;
    We are here. Some of us got tickets. The reason we aren’t posting is because we don’t want to gloat. I feel bad for so many who have gone every year, and have camps, who didn’t get tickets.
    This will be our first year, and so far, haven’t heard from any of our burner friends that they got tickets. So here we will be – orphans & newbies, out there with a bunch of other newbies and pissed off veterans who only have a small portion of their camp. This is probably the only year I’ll get to go, since only every 6-7 years does school start after Labor Day (I’m a teacher). Weird year to be my only one.
    I’m sorry everyone who wants to can’t go :-(

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  • I was on trying to get tickets within the first 5 minutes they went on sale. This lottery system for tickets sucks. I really want to go. I did not get a ticket. Now I have to stress out about getting a ticket later. Why are they doing this? The whole ticket sale was a disaster. I hope they dont do it like this next year.

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  • Thinking you can now control the gray market nightmare you created by admonishing the market-forces-that-be to not purchase at above face value is astonishing arrogance. You have no idea what you’re doing to your brand. This will be a Netflix-level case study in what not to do as an organization. In essence, you have turned your advocates into your enemies in one swell foop. This year’s event will be either A) Attended by gawkers looking at a sideshow or B) A sobering and humbling experience for BMorg. You have changed the experience for a significant number of us and recklessly burned the trust that most enterprises would pay to acquire. Shame on your arrogance. Shame on you for solving a ticketing problem with political maneuvering. Shame on you for introducing a scarcity mentality. Shame on you for implementing a complex plan to drive up average ticket pricing earlier in your selling season. Shame on you for not listening to the outrage coming directly from participants and thinking you can centrally manage something that belonged to all of us. Congratulations. You showed us who is boss.

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  • I deserve to go. I am entitled to go. I’m more important that others. I’m not bringing my little toys. BM will never be the same without my camp. I’m special. I can’t afford my rent but they owe me a ticket. My camp is the only one that matters. Ten years makes me something others aren’t. F…K all you wanna be narcissistic jerks. BURNING MAN IS ABOUT EVERYONE AND NO ONE…and that’s what makes it so special.

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  • We were one of the lucky ones, got two tickets at our requested ticket level…and we had no other proxies…yippee…oh, but crap, all most all of our 30+ camp mates have reported no tickets…thus we have no camp…the increased risk of the lottery system has sucked all the air out of long time loyal burners being able to make firm plans to attend since the risk of no ticket has gone up..the STEP process is a band aid to fix the poorly conceived lottery system. Human nature unfortunately has taken hold to increase an individual’s probability of getting a ticket. How naive to expect most people with extra tickets obtained via proxy won’t scalp them, despite the idealistic nature of the community leaders. There are now almost 100 tickets for sale on Stub Hub Feb. 1. Really guys and gals who dreamed up this lottery system, you really need to revert to a first come, first served system where people who queue up and pay their dough will get rewarded. Last year really worked pretty well, despite the glitches, especially when you look at the fear and loathing you have generated this year.

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  • What an odd, strange experiment you created. No one I know got tickets. And we were all people used to buying tickets early, because Burning Man means a lot to us – 7 years, 10 years, 15 years – we would plan ahead, get tickets first, then take the next exciting steps in planning for what we all know is a unique experience. But this experiment – this LOTTERY – changed the dynamics completely. It was like announcing to the world: “Rare Commodity!! Get this ticket now – as many as you can, by any means – Your one chance is now – You can sell it if you don’t want it!!” – and with one devastating week of commerce you have changed the landscape of Home completely. It does not feel like home to me right now at all. I am interested in what merchant services you use – where they are invested – at .035%/ transaction, that is around a sweet $455,000 in one fell swoop. I am sure there was some negotiating for this windfall -…let’s hear it for complete greed. I feel dirty, sad and used.

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  • Burning Man is an expensive event. Between the tickets, plane tickets, food, gear, art, booze, etc. I usually end up dropping $1500-2000 on the week.

    Having to pay $600-700 per ticket to buy on the secondary market isn’t ideal, but really isn’t going to stop me. Nor will it stop most other burners once they get past the frustration at a poorly run process and start planning.

    People are frustrated because the ticket tiers in the lottery system really made no sense. Previously people who really had their shit together and wanted to ensure they had their ducks in a row could do so early and also save some cash in the process. This year rewarded people looking to scam the system rather than people who wanted to ensure they could make it to the festival.

    Hindsight is 20/20, and hopefully 2013 sales will reflect a much improved process:

    1. Flat ticket rates at a higher dollar amount (say $400) to prevent a run on the early ticket tiers and ensuing sense of panic.

    2. Names registered to tickets. One person can buy up to 4 tickets, but that person needs to be among the 4 people that show up with the tickets.

    3. Structured Resell program. The only way to sell tickets is through BM at face value. You get your money back, they resell to someone else. Otherwise you have to show up in person with the ticket.

    4. Expanded scholarship/ low income programs. This should be affordable with all the extra money from the higher priced tickets and reduced headaches of the main ticket sale process.

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  • Ah well. I got the rejection e-mail that said I wasn’t chosen for tix. I may go with the next sale, but probably won’t try STEP. I may go to Sturgis instead. . . I’ve been wanting to check out that scene all my life as well. I do believe in all of you, and know that those who make it will still provide enough for all to have a good time. If there are no art sculptures – well, we are all art. That’s all I have to say.

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  • by and far the worst to come of this random selection is the fracturing of groups/camps. should make for interesting playa society with much smaller groups perhaps, but may find yourself with a big ol desert of tents and not too much in the way of massive projects. at least in the ticket rush the dedicated groups could rally and get the whole group in.

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  • ARTery…sorry, I wont be working 60+ hours for you this year.
    Rangers…might want to get someone to cover my shifts.
    The Forgotten City…Just bought my ticket, what can I do to help out?
    Saguaro Man…Just bought my ticket, what can I do to help out?

    BMorg. You screwed the pooch on this one…you might want to call over to Grateful Dead ticket sales and ask them how they managed to do it for almost 40 years while keeping their entire family happy…Ciao and good luck with it.

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  • this entire horrible system is simply to aLlow tickets to be transferable. why? why does bmorg care more about tickets being able to be transfered than allowing the dedicated burners to commit to buying their tickets?
    its simple. make tickets 1 per person non transferable id shown at the gate period. airlines do it, for christ sakes and no one has any expectations to be able to sell their tickets, this would solve every single problem. scalpers would be rendered powerless and futile! there would be no buying frenzy because if your not positive you could go you wouldn’t buy until you were.
    ill never understand why all this bullshit was created just so tickets could be sold 2nd party or transferred.
    BMORG you surely fucked up big time and you owe us all an apology, the worst part is that YOU have created so much hate, animosity and resentment at a gathering thats about love and brother/sisterhood. way to go.
    you have split my camp into pieces and i doubt you give a shit because your going to sell out and make millions.
    words cant express how angry and hurt i am right now. you should be ashamed at this mess you’ve created all so people could transfer their tickets!

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  • We already have scaplers asking $200 to hold a contracted ticket till june. On top of that, there asking $1000 per ticket. That $200 you spent to hold the tickets for that time is not part of the $1000. $1200 for a ticket. If I had an extra ticket and I put it on the burningman site for the same price i bought if for, Who’s to say a scalpers not going to buy my ticket and sell it to someone else for $1200. The scalpers have to be like these fucking guys are stupid.

    When you were table topping this lottery thing was everyone in the room on M or did at least one person raise there hand and say…..I have a question…..are you fucking high????????

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  • Who was the idiot at burningman that implemented this lottery system? Should be strung up an slapped silly, talk about a sure-fire way to screw up a great event. Same situation here as others, I am a member of a significant art car camp that has transported thousands of burners around the playa – I hear today that less than 1/3 of out camp members received tickets!!

    Thanks a lot!!

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  • I would love to know how many requests they got. From the sound of many collective camps posting here and on e playa, and accepting that they are accurate and can be considered an accurate sample, I would guess they got at least 100,000 ticket requests. 200,000 would be believable.

    Sure would like to get into BMORG’s mind right about now. I have to wonder if they are shitting their pants or not. I would guess they are. The Burner community certainly is.

    This whole affair potentially will shake the whole BM culture to its foundations. If every major camp is as fragmented as those who are posting in the forums. OMG!!

    I am very curious what the “Vibe” will be out there this year. It most certainly will be different.

    Good luck BMORG, you are in a tough place!

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  • We, The camp of pink ladies hooters and leggy birds are not returning. 8 got tickets out of 50.
    The whining sound of those who procrastinated last year …””whah Fairness whah” has sent the migratory flock looking for greener pastures.

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  • The last thing you will ever see is a comment form the borg taking any responsibility at all for this…just read the article above. The first thing they did was turn it on the participants and their crafty-creative ways to game the system. It was an inherently weak system to begin with…a very amateur move that seems to have hurt the most loyal participants the most…It turned preparation and self reliance into a game of chance. I’m glad to be moving on…I enjoyed all my years on the Playa…volunteering introduced me to some of the most amazing people who will be life long friends…we’re just going to do our thing elsewhere now. I didn’t leave Burning Man; Burning Man left me.

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  • I was able to get my ticket but it doesn’t fell fun like it did in the past. Will Burningman be different this year probably. Will it be better probably not. If they do this lottery next year I won’t be even trying to get one. There are a lot of great national parks I rather go to than go through this mess again. I wonder how long it will take BMorg to make a statment about how great this lottery worked out? They already may a great fanfare about how they squelched all the people who put in more than once. Right. Maybe they will come out of the hole they crawled into and make some kind of statement.

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  • This is what they must have meant with the end of the Mayan Calendar.
    I would hate to be on the B.ORG teem. How embarrassing.
    If there was ever a year to miss..this would be it. OVERPRICED chaos with little art, cars and happiness…

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  • I’m kind of glad I didn’t get a ticket. This years event will be smothered in bad karma, resentment, and a majority of attendees longing for their absent loved ones.

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  • This is awesome. I haven’t seen this much good will destroyed in such a short period since Sandusky took down the Penn St. program. Time to tear down the institution of Burningman and start anew. IT ALL MUST BURN!!!!!

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  • @ liza lasse, Barbie death village and wine bistro will be there, we are figuring out how to get our people tickets atm. A LOT of members were not selected but we will make it work… Thank you BMorg for making this a very tiresome and annoying year.

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  • Ironically, even though it appears that the event has sold out, there will probably be less attendees. As people are finding out that half their campmates don’t have tickets, planning becomes impossible, and I suspect that many people will sell their tickets back. So the problem won’t really be a lack of tickets in the end. Many of the attendees will probably be new, and those willing and able to spend well above face value. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It will surely be an interesting year and maybe some great alliances will be formed out of neccesity. One thing’s for sure, it won’t be the same as before. But shouldn’t that be cause for excitement? I’m a bit appalled at all the veteran burners that are reacting as if the event belongs to them, and are completely dismissing the fact that something authentic can still flourish from this change.

    Having said all of the above, I understand the frustration. I do feel there is something not quite right about this year. The recycled theme is uninspired. It sounds like a new iphone or diet drink. Burning Man Lite! Half the calories, same great taste? The complicated ticketing system has only underscored this sense emptiness.

    But I also think that a lot of people are over-reacting just a little bit. Maybe it’s time for all the veteran burners to take a vacation. THINK OF ALL THE PLACES YOU CAN GO IN THE WORLD AND TAKE THE BURNING MAN ETHOS THERE! It is all about you, after all.

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  • Last year I was surprised by the amount of people who came and did not have a sense of what Burning Man was really about. With the lottery I think even less of the growing family of Burning Man will make it. More people will come to Burning Man without veterans and the community feel will be lost on them.

    I brought three people to experience my Home in 2011. One friend commented that the temple burn was hauntingly beautiful and said he had never felt more emotionally connected to anyone in his entire life, now he had a group of people he considered to be lifelong family.

    This year none of us got tickets. Our family is scattered across three states and this is the only time of year we all come together.

    After I did not get the only 2 tickets I registered for I did in fact go on craigslist and stub hub and ebay in my panic to get my family back together. I cannot afford the prices I saw on these sites or the 10,000 tickets @ $390 to be sold in March. I am extremely upset. My family is divided. I will consider not going any year in the future, but resort to coming up with a tradition I CAN COUNT ON if the ticketing system remains this way.

    Please do not exclude or deter your loyal burners by continuing this method of ticket distribution. I want to come Home.

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  • Lets all hope a bunch of people f***ed-up entering credit card numbers, expiration dates, and security codes…those people would be out because cards cant be charged, therefore tickets not awarded…then those tickets forwarded to the next sale.

    Otherwise…who got all the f’n tickets?! One person out of 30 of my crew won the lottery for (2) tickets…one. Really? I’m sure you all thought as we all did, that if we all applied for two tickets, there should have been more awarded no??


    And you scalpers…karma is a bitch…a G for a ticket? Ridiculous…


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  • Interesting to see how this STEP / “Don’t buy tickets for more than face value” idealistic thinking plays out.

    And Yes, I’m on the outside looking in =/

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  • I encourage everyone who was lucky enough to get a ticket to sell it for as much as you can. Try every avenue possible to maximize revenue. Burning Man has turned into something that we do not want to be a part of anymore. Let us move on…

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  • U2pilot I’ve been up @ 4th of Juplaya for the last 6 years and it Rocks Who needs that event… and it cost $0.00 but I can print up tickets For the 4th of Juplaya to give to Stub Hub. They did not Sell all them Damm tickets today..something ain’t right! Greed has Taken over The BMORG it’s clear to see and smell.

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  • Wow, Will, I don’t envy your position. You’ve graciously provided us with witty announcements over the years, and for that we’re forever grateful. But fact is, the tone of your posting here is one of panic. You guys turned a deaf ear to the community when we told you to PRIORITIZE STOPPING THE SCALPERS, and now it looks like the scalpers are the very ones who “won” your silly little lottery. Out of over a hundred campmates of mine who applied, only THREE were awarded tickets, and all at the highest price. Smells a bit fishy, if you ask me.

    So now you tell US not to panic. True, a lot of people are probably feeling a bit too entitled and will never be satisfied. But fact is, it’s something we’ve invested great amounts of time and resources into this event, and now it looks like a leap of faith for us to even plan for it, especially those who travel thousands of miles to be there.

    Perhaps you could take some of that pile of money you just made and put it to some good use. It has been suggested to you TIME AND TIME AGAIN to simply print names on the tickets and make them non-transferable except through the STEP program. It seems that will be the only way to make this work, folks.


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  • We could all put our artful expression, renegade ways (which BM is no longer a container for) and our desire for a gift economy into something, say, like Occupy Wall Street.

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  • Because BM org is changing so drastically–does anyone else get the feeling that this casting off was calculated? Include the uninitiated to the old ways, cast off or fragment the continuum…

    Genius if so.

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  • PLEASE repeal this bullshit lottery system for the old first-come, first-serve system which didn’t explode the entire community apart!

    People say…well then, we’ll just go on vacation somewhere else. But that vacation spot, however sweet it may be, doesn’t hold a candle to the utopian Burning Man experience! We all know this, which is why we come back year after year, happily- gleefully- blissfully- splurging our hard-earned moneys on tickets, supplies, shelter, etc..

    Is it all really falling apart because of a piece of shit ticketing system?!

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  • I just bought a concert ticket for a show that sold out within minutes. The promoters knew this would happen but to make things fair and prevent scalping a maximum of two tickets could be purchased per credit card. Upon entrance, the purchaser must show ID since his/her name is on the tickets. The purchaser can bring any person they want with them for the second ticket.

    Why can’t BM do something similar? Or if the purchaser ends up not being able to make it they can resell the tickets, but only through the BM website and only at face value?

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  • Instead of the last 10,000 tickets being sold first come, first serve, to scalperbots, what if BMorg used their creativity to try to bring the theme camps and projects back together. They know the registered camps and many projects from previous years, accept applications from them for $390 tickets to make their groups whole. That would take a huge motivated market away from scalpers while making the event much more whole again. Missing the experienced movers and shakers, breaking the spirit of the community, could leave BM full of newbie gawkers with nothing to gawk at but each other, asking what’s so great about a hot, dusty, empty desert. Even alloting just 2,000 tickets this way could make the event twice as whole. Else, they may have just cooked the golden goose.

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  • Kran– couldn’t agree more. You are obviously far more creative than the BMorg was, what an excellent idea!

    From everything I’ve read, maybe 20%, if that, of the people in most peoples’ groups (including my own) have been successful in attaining tickets. So now who are the 80% that have gotten tickets? If people were really asking family and friends to enter the lottery, then wouldn’t they be counting themselves in the “I got mine” bunch? Notice the significant lack of this and then tell me there will still be tickets for STEP. I’m willing to bet that STEP will not offer nearly as many tickets as the BMorg dreamers may think. I mean, look at all the tickets that are already showing up on Craigslist and StubHub for hundreds of dollars more than face value. This is sick.

    Moreover, this is sad. Welcome to Corporate Burning Man. Listen to the community: the people who don’t have tickets are unhappy for obvious reasons, and the people who do have tickets are also unhappy because none of their friends have tickets! Do the math: NO ONE IS HAPPY.

    I hope the BMorg realizes and admits that this was a HUGE mistake.

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  • Killing fields? Massacre? Whole groups, camps and projects slaughtered? Too much damage to be put back together with a STEP here and a scalper ticket there?

    An old dude once told me, “I am here to fix the problem, not the blame.” That time has come again. Whine over. Get up, shake it off, get together, discuss, be creative, make proposals to fix the camps and projects. It is time to defend your dreams and ambitions to the man. Too many newbies won’t bring enough to their first burn. Remind BMorg of what they are missing if you don’t come, but be creative about it. BMorg may just realize in time what they took for granted – we make the man burn with our dreams and intensity, and we turn virgins into burners.

    What would a theme camp or art project ticket application process look like? Maybe: a history of the group, essays, photo and Facebook documentation of projects at past Burning Man events, a current roster of who needs to go, how many have tickets, who and how many tickets are needed (at $390 each) to make the group successful, etc. Do it now while the human beings of BMorg have two months to reconsider if they really, really, want to do all of the last 10,000 tickets first come, first serve – or bend a little and make an accommodation for making some theme camps and art projects whole by allocating the sale of some of those tickets.

    If you are a true burner, make positive energy flow through you (and around you) like Doctor Megavolt, Master of Lightning!

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  • Looks like it’s the end of the BM…. at least it starts with now everybody hating the BM org…. before everybody was thankful and proud to have them, but now it seems they are just making fun of burners….

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  • 8 tickets for us. 8.

    Anyway you do the numbers, and with all the other camps reporting similar situations, it can’t even out, with just 10.000 left.

    Not sure how you are going to have a Burning Man, seems like even the man couldn’t get a ticket this year, but theme camps are in big trouble.

    and we use to worry about getting enough early arrival passes. pfffft.

    I can’t wait to see what the community, the true heart of Burning Man, come up with for a Plan B.

    Remember folks, we are Burning Man, the org, is the org. We make the event what it is, and without us, there is no event.


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    Ok, results of a search on the first day of official scalping….
    Stubhub => 86 tickets in large blocks, 82 over $700, top price $1650.
    VividSeats => 38 tickets in large blocks, 30 over $1000, top price $1720.
    TicketsNow => 23 tickets over $1000, Many large blocks (8 or more) at $1527.
    To be clear, these prices are for a single ticket.

    Knew it was coming, this is just the beginning. The only viable thing is for NO ONE to buy these ripoffs and force these bastards to go through BMs STEP program for face value. If not, this event will become just like Rock Concerts. Any event producer prices their tickets based on “Scalper” rates or “What the Market will Bear.” We need to start the biggest fight this country has seen since the Civil War. Pass the word.

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  • 2011 burners were pissed with servers that didn’t work. 2012 burners are pissed with BM organization which brains or heart didn’t work….BM org forgot BM principles and that they need to care for burners instead of make a joke out of them….

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  • First off, we are supposed to be a community and as a community it is our duty to take care for one another. I feel BMO has let us, the participants, down. I have attended Burning Man for the past four years. Why would someone who has never been to Burning Man be given first choice over someone who has partcipated in making Burning Man what it is for the past four years. I’m sure there are other people who have attended more years than I have who did not get tickets. This is heart breaking for all of us. This is supposed to be about community and what BMO has done is abandon the people who compose the infrastructure. I hope that next year there will be a system in place that makes sense because this doesn’t.

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  • Looking all around and the feelings, it looks like 2012 will be the worst burn ever…. every year everyone says “oh best burn ever”….2012 will just be the opposite, started with the joke of not having a theme, then they have a theme that was already used once (? like the world is running out of themes !), then the great lottery ticket idea, and now all the mess that BM ORG told it would be avoided with the new system, was just increased….

    BIG FAILURE!!! I wish BM org was a democracy…but it’s just another screw up capitalistic organization….

    BTW great video in youtube about the ticket system: http://youtu.be/lhsePT97aIs

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  • Looking all around and the feelings, it looks like 2012 will be the worst burn ever…. every year everyone says “oh best burn ever”….2012 will just be the opposite, started with the joke of not having a theme, then they have a theme that was already used once (? like the world is running out of themes !), then the great lottery ticket idea, and now all the mess that BM ORG told it would be avoided with the new system, was just increased….

    BIG FAILURE!!! I wish BM org was a democracy…but it’s just another screw up capitalistic organization….

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  • At this point of ticket confusion It would be a smart move for BM to come out with an official statement. Whether it be statistical, Mia culpa, or just encouragement. The silence from BM as opposed to the noise the posters are making is way too much like the people and government in the default world. So, who do we support? Our camp (Wonder Camp) has decided to support our fellow wonder campers first. If all of our camp doesn’t get tickets then we will all put our tickets up for sale. However, we are going to work as hard as our little wonder campers can to acquire the tickets for our camp because for us this could be our last year. The emotional roller coaster that BM has put all our Burner brothers and sisters through is just plain wrong. We can not go through this again. The event has lost its spirit and ethos. I feel like my parents abandoned me on the side of the road and are gone in a cloud of playa dust.

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  • Wow. There are some harsh comments, and huge accusations here- from a community of love, inclusion, blah blah blah. I am disgusted by the vein of entitlement that seems to run through many of the “veteran” burners, as if BM would cease to be as awesome if your jaded ass did not get the ticket that moses promised you when you parted the playa with your art car and your theme camp. “virgins” have just as much of a right to be there as you- in fact, I would rather share the playa with an open hearted virgin than a jaded old veteran.

    Seriously- there are LOTS of tickets in circulation, chances are you will get one. Of course, what if you don’t? I suggest taking a year off- and looking at where all this fucking rage and selfishness is coming from within yourself. I would rather see you in 2013 with genuine inclusiveness in your heart.

    Chill the fuck out- thanks.

    Big love.

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  • Craig – this is wrong and you know it. There is no sense of entitlement coming from us. The spirit of the event has been damaged. It is obvious you are showing no compassion for your fellow burners. Why do you attend?

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  • Totally agree with all the comets. The only scalper here is the corporation itself.
    Yes I did get rejected, and even it can afford the higher price, i refuse to play this game

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  • @Craig – you are so right. I said this last night and I’ll re-post.

    I deserve to go. I am entitled to go. I’m more important than others. I’m not bringing my little toys. BM will never be the same without my camp. I’m special. I can’t afford my rent but they owe me a ticket. My camp is the only one that matters. Ten years makes me something others aren’t. F…K all you me me me narcissistic jerks. BURNING MAN IS ABOUT EVERYONE AND NO ONE…and that’s what makes it so special.

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  • Mary – This is not capitalism, this is greed and shortsightedness, plain and simple.

    Craig – Without the veterans, the virgins have no one there to teach them to be Burners, to be self reliant, and to clean up after themselves. Look at the mess left by the unenculturated ravers at 1130.

    This lottery was a bad idea and it is hurting many camps and individuals who have worked hard and contributed much. I would expect this sort of behavior from Disney World, with their $8 bottles of water, but not the Burning Man organization.

    People who were honest about the number of tickets they needed, in keeping with the Burning Man ethos of self reliance and integrity toward others, are the ones hardest hit, and those who were greedy and thought only of themselves by registering for far more tickets than they needed, are being rewarded. Doesn’t say much for the net culture that might be found out on the Playa this year, especially without conscientious veterans there to help educate the virgins.

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  • best post may be this one by bob west Says: February 1st, 2012 at 9:41 pm . . . .

    i’m thinking the same thing and maybe this will mean less generators & ppl will enjoy the desert scenery & artwork. (i go to sleep early most nights and wake up for sunrise, i also camp alone, many of the theme camps i camp next to are rude . . . only one i really like is Opulent Temple.)

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  • After 7 years of continuous attendance we were your advocates. Now we are not. If you are a movement then you need to nurture your core. If you are an alt-culture happening you need to focus on your purpose and your target customer. If you are a pop culture side show you need to exploit your 15 minutes and create a lottery ticket system so A) the slackers in your audience can drag the proactive folks down to their level and/or B) bring in entirely new audience segments that can fuel your buzz, growth, and wealth.

    You have not done well with these questions:

    • What is the purpose of my organization?
    • Who do we serve?
    • What does my customer consider value?
    • How does s/he buy?
    • Where does s/he buy?
    • What is the promise that is implicit in every interaction with my customer?

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  • Bob West and Craig,

    Your missing the point dudes. Burning man is the PEOPLE, ARTISTS, CAMPS, that you so love to “look at” when your on the playa and in the city. What are you two dudes planning on giving out there huh?? Whats your gift to the city?

    Were all waiting to hear what YOUR gifts are…

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  • All 6 couples in our long time Burner family lost the lottery. We did not submit proxy applications for tics. We did not restrict our request to the lower price tier. Nothing to report that hasn’t already been said.

    It would be nice to hear from those who successfully manipulated the system to their advantage.

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  • The only solution I see that BMORG can do right now is to announce that all tickets sent out will have the purchasers name on them. Photo ID matching the ticket name will have to be shown at the gate by the holder or the purchaser for the ticket to be valid. This way all the scalper and extra tickets will have to be sent into STEP. Considering the vehicle inspection time that is spent, checking an ID is a short task. I still think there will be folks who will not get a ticket as it will be another sold out event. But at least the above would stop the scalpers and recover all the extra tickets immediately to be resold to the camps and burners that need them.

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  • OK, maybe this could be a genius move on BM part to squash the scalpers once and for all….? Stay with me….perhaps after the STEP program and the next round of ticket sales all of the folks that didn’t get tickets during the main sale receive tickets. And…..there are tickets left over. Not a sell out. Then the people trying to profit on eBay are left with tickets that they can’t sell except at or below face value. Are you buying in to this concept? It’s all I’ve got. I am attempting to extinguish my negative energy concerning BM. I’m gonna chill and hope this is another bit of social justice magic brought to us by Larry Harvey and crew. 

    But I like puppet shows and bedtime stories, too.

     Keep the faith. – Driver

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  • BMorg knew this was going to back fire when they announced that they have received an un fathomable amount of lottery entries. they should have pulled the plug right then and there rather than continue on with this horrible idea.
    i want complete transparency from BMorg. how many entries did they receive? how can we keep reading how camps of 80 plus people only got a handful of tickets over and over. this whole thing is sounding incredible suspicious and still not a comment from the powers that created this disaster and all for what…..? so fucking tickets can be transferable. this all makes zero sense. why does BM care so much that tickets can be transferable?
    one ticket[per order, name on ticket, ID at the gate. DONE. every problem solved! is that so fucking complicated to have come up with?

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  • @Guava

    Unfortunately, I am not missing the point. Obviously, BM is the art, the camps, etc. That’s not my point. My camp contributes to that pool of stuff to look at and gifts to give. My point is that, it seems, for many people there is this sense that without them, BM will not be the same for others. But what I really think is that it will not be the same for them. Hence the self-centered lashings out. If my camp was locked out, well then I guess I just need to explore someplace different, some other activity that may in the end be just as interesting as BM.

    BM is not a right to which you are born because you have contributed before. BM is a fluid place where things pop into and out of existence kind of like on a quantum scale. It’s OK if it is different, even radically so…and a true Burner would welcome that. By claiming that you have a certain inheritance to the Playa or a certain special privileged position amongst the group, you are claiming that for some reason you belong where others don’t. This is not the BM ethos.

    Perhaps the ultimate gift is to give someone else the experience of going to BM…even if they will not get to see your unimaginably awesome camp….and your unimaginably awesome self.

    I would give that gift.

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  • one man one ticket one price

    BMorg earns millions – tens of millions – from this event – hire someone who does tickets. non transferable non refundable. duh.

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  • Quava – What does fo schizzle mean? I’m not sure if that is a positive or negative comment. Maybe I just fell off the turnip truck or something.

    All this finger pointing and negative energy sucks even if the system is wrong. What was it that Rodney King said during the LA riots? I can’t remember.

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  • I have to agree with the masses on the non transferable – non refundable – name on ticket approach. This year is a disaster. I’ve put out calls to all my burner friends who tried to get tickets. The total that managed it……. Zero. (0) Goose egg. Not a one!

    That’s just bad.

    And asking people to fairly redistribute goes beyond naive into just plain stupidity. Not to mention this statement, “that they found creative ways to increase their odds of getting tickets in the Main Sale”. Seriously, if they know that, then delete the duplicates.

    But really, truly. Please hire staff that knows how to run something this big. Not announcing the theme till just now, and at that using a rerun! (there are so many themes undone. It’s only been 26 years. It’s not that hard). Having a ticket system that’s begging to be abused by scalpers. Even little things, like update your timeline page. You still haven’t added 2010 and 2011!

    It’s seems like a) the staff are tired of their jobs and are just phoning it in, or b) someone’s making a lot money out of this now, or c) both of the above.

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  • Has it occurred to anyone that BMorg is completely happy and satisfied with the results of this experiment? They have sold all their tickets, perhaps at a higher price than with the old system, and now have the petrie dish of the various secondary markets to determine the true value of the tickets. By observing how many are sold at face value with the STEP vs how many are sold by scalpers, and for what average price, perhaps they will be recalibrating the price of admission with whatever new system they use going forward based on this information. Face it, they don’t need the continuity of the community for this event to succeed. As long as they generate maximum income, they will be able to subsidize more art and artists (and there will never be a shortage of artists looking for subsidy). Besides, change and evolution is part of life. Things don’t stay the same forever, and people, theme camps, art cars, and community members come and go. Maybe they want the demographic to shift slightly upwards (financially) in order to subsidize more art.
    Just a thought amid all the angst…..

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  • PS….

    StubHub has 89 available, costing $615 – $1500
    Ticket Liquidator has 39, costing $631 to $1669
    Tickets Now has 26, costing $570 to $1527

    And that’s just what I found with a quick search. I’m also guessing that these people are hoping to sell quick while the fury’s on. But I imagine way more are holding onto their tickets (which of course don’t even exist yet but in the ether) until the fire has dies down to avoid retribution and get more for their tickets. Do I hear $2000 a ticket?

    Anyone up for occupy Black Rock City??

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  • Hello there…

    I know this ticketing issue has been a huge bone of contention for a lot of people and I respect the fact that you folks at HQ were just trying to work out the kinks after last year’s upset. Burning Man is still an experiment and I guess that holds true when it comes to managing sales and thwarting scalpers, etc…

    Here’s my situation. 2012 would be my 5th BM (1 at Baker Beach; 4 in the desert). I’m not a regular participant because I just can’t afford to be. But, I’ve been in and around this scene since the beginning. The ONE thing that has been missing from my experiences in the desert has been a partner; my best friend. This person is magic personified and yet, she doesn’t have a credit card and she’s never been to Burning Man. So, instead of registering for one ticket, (as is what I’ve done in the past), I registered for two. One for me and one as my gift to the person who would finally COMPLETE my Burning Man experience.

    I’m not insisting that I be given special treatment. Just wanted you to hear from one of the people you sent a rejection letter to. I won’t be able to attend at $405 per ticket (in 2010 I paid $160 for my ticket after volunteering for a friend of OURS at Pre-Compression). I won’t be able to give BM as a gift to my favorite person in the world; someone who had plans to contribute all the magic in her heart for the experience of a lifetime.

    I’m just very sad about this.

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  • I speak on behalf of Everyone in my camp when I say we’d even agree to pay more for a ticket if the system was fair. If a ticket was issued like an airline ticket, and attached to an individual, it would eliminate scalpers altogether and give everyone a fair shot. Of 15 people I know that registered, only 1 got a ticket. Each of us registered for ourselves and not to increase our odds.

    I own and operate a design and development studio in Venice, CA. I will gladly develop and donate a ticketing system for BMORG that is both bulletproof and fair. If its not too late, my offer still stands.

    STEP cannot possibly work because EVERYONE knows someone who doesnt have a ticket. In my group and my circle, I dont know anyone who would use STEP given this fiasco.

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  • The following is on the BM Ticket page:


    STRONGLY urge the BM Org to NOT allow this to happen. The scalpers are merely laying in wait and certainly thousands of the remaining 10,000 tickets will wind up in their greedy hands.

    SUGGESTION: BM should allow only a max of 2 per person. And also implement for the final 10,000 tickets a non-transferable, name-on-ticket approach along with checking ID’s at the gate. That would mean only the Burners who REALLY will attend have a better shot at getting tickets.

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  • This lottery system has now made our camp impossible! Every year, for over a decade now, we have 15+ of the same people at our camp, long time friends traveling from 3 other states and Canada. NONE of us got tickets! The only person to get a ticket was a newbie first time friend of a friend of our camp. Explain that one, the first timer got a ticket but the rest of us 15+ loyal burners who do a theme camp and have gone for over 10 years are now screwed. There is no way now to plan and organize and build our camp when there is no way we can all get tickets, at least not at a fair price.

    The hostility, disappointment and sadness everyone in our camp feels at what has happened to 2012’s Burn thanks to greed, has caused all of us to rethink even going, not just this year, but ever again. All this lottery did was created a scalping frenzy in which people (not us) are going to pay upwards of $1,000 just to get a ticket. The idea that the BM organization actually thinks people are going to use their STEP program is a fucking joke! Scalping for insanely jacked up priced has already begun.

    Thanks Burningman for screwing up not only a system that worked perfectly fine for over a decade, but making all of us loose our faith and love for the organization.

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  • Wow. I managed one ticket, but no-one else in my immediate party got one. Where did they all go? It is going to be a lost opportunity for me if my family can’t afford the most certainly inflated prices that available tickets will go for. Last year everyone was able to participate. This experiment was a failure. So sad for all of the other people who won’t be able to make it this year for the same reasons. There has to be a better way.

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  • One ticket per person. One price for all tickets. Enough of the caste system. I got a ticket but am unable to celebrate because of my friends who did not. My girlfriend even had 3 denial emails sent to her despite only signing-up for one ticket.

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  • @Bob West

    YOur still missing the point Bob…it’s about the way the ticket sales are being distributed…the person with the most credit cards and email addresses wins man…you dont see that?? That’s fair to you?? This is why people are upset here…rightfully so man.


    I’m all about virgins coming, we have new people (good friends) every year that come Bob.


    GET IT??

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  • Just wondering why we got TWO rejection letters? We signed up for, requested and got denied one set of tickets for ourselves, no one else, just me and my husband. Both rejections came in my husband’s name. What would have happened had we “won” the lottery? We would have been charged twice for the same ticket? Or would have gotten 4 tickets??
    Last year was our first year, I spent 12 hours on the computer getting shunted down in the line every hour or so (I was #3456 when I first got on in the am right at opening). Got to BM had a fabulous time and decided to make it an annual.
    This year the lottery was announced, signed up immediately and waited patiently. We were of course disappointed. Prices went WAY up. We sat down, discussed it, and then came to the conclusion, maybe BM is not for us.
    Sad to say, I doubt we will be back.

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  • HEY BOB WEST!!!!

    From Rebecca Sands above:

    StubHub has 89 available, costing $615 – $1500
    Ticket Liquidator has 39, costing $631 to $1669
    Tickets Now has 26, costing $570 to $1527

    And that’s just what I found with a quick search. I’m also guessing that these people are hoping to sell quick while the fury’s on. But I imagine way more are holding onto their tickets (which of course don’t even exist yet but in the ether) until the fire has dies down to avoid retribution and get more for their tickets. Do I hear $2000 a ticket?

    Anyone up for occupy Black Rock City??


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  • Please, just admit you made a mistake, recall this process and start over. You will have a bigger logistical nightmare keeping people out of BRC than recalling this process and doing a normal sale. It’s not too late to do it right.

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  • What BMorg doesn’t get along with those who critize those who complain about not getting a ticket is that going takes a lot of planning. People come from all over the country and the world. The old ticket system worked. Why didn’t work was the companys sever that crashed. You mean to tell me they couldn’t find a company with a big enough server? With all these companies that sell tickets to concerts and sell out in 10 minutes obviously their servers don’t crash. The people at BMorg are not stupid people. They knew exactly what they were doing and obviously want to take Burningman in a different direction. They knew that theme camps would be broken up because everyone in the camp would not get tickets. People do get use to doing things together especially when they come from different locals for this one event. I know the people at my camp come from both northern and southern California. If it had not been for Burningman I would have never meet these great fun people. It is time for BMorg to come clean as to why they change the ticket process because it was not as they have stated. The only fair way to stop the scalping is to print the name on the tickets. With computers and programs out there this would not be a huge exspense as some have said. It will be an interesting burn this year. Do you think a protest will be organized to march on the headquarters on the playa? Now that will be interesting to see. All we need to do is set a date and time.

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  • Most of my camp has turned our ticket rejection into two regional events in may (The Forgotten City and Saguaro Man) and we’ve planned a kick-ass camping trip into the Grand Canyon during the Burn timeframe. Of course we will be adhering to good Burner etiquette and principles. In 24hrs, we made this bullshit right. It’s really not that hard to walk away and create anew )'( You all that got tickets…have blast on the Playa…I’ll miss you.

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  • Our crew are mostly all first-timers. We all wanted to go for years, but never got a chance. so, we were really excited about this year, BUT only 1 out of 10 people got tickets. Others got rejection letters… seems like BM is for 1%…
    and yes, why not to sell 1 ticket per person, ID check at the gate, resale allowed only on STEP only for face value?
    its so discouraging read all those frustrated comments. Make me not want to try in 3rd round…

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  • No matter how you decide to distribute a scarce commodity, someone will always get the short stick, someone will always game the system and someone will always be unhappy. Life is funny that way.

    The lottery is a terrible experiment in trying to be fair just ask all the people who have never won the Powerball. BM tried something different and it worked for some and not for others. They probably won’t do it again, but it has been done. If this event truly does define your life then find a way to make it work for you. It’s frustrating, yes, but no one has slammed the door shut in your face and told you that you can’t go. They’ve put up hurdles but nothing that seems insurmountable. I suggest that you all take a deep breath, sit back and think this through. How do I make a bad situation better? How do I make my dream come true? How do I be radically self reliant and get myself to the event? Stop wasting time trying to undo what has been done. There’s plenty of time for that next year. Use your energy to make your experience a good one. It’s bad, I agree, but I won’t let it define what I love.

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  • My girlfriend and I each applied for a single ticket. I got one, she didn’t, and only about 10 percent of our camp did.

    I can tell you, having a single ticket when none of your friends isn’t much comfort.

    BMorg still has a chance to respond and demonstrate that you actually give a shit about the people who make the event what it is. But if the next Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter has the same tone-deaf disregard for its audience as the above post, I’m going to be gifting torches and pitchforks this year.

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  • Joanna: Hi :-) I don’t really have an emailing list. But, you can “friend” our camp, Fucking Flamingos, on Facebook…we keep up a pretty lively conversation there. You can also “friend” me, Ian Wender at FB as well. We were all pretty pissed, but decided to do something about it. It is, after all, the people that make Burning Man…as important as the Playa/location is…it’s the people I most want to be with…there fore, Burning Man just became portable.

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  • Scalpers have managed to get a lot of tickets. I just looked at few ticket resale sites like Vivid seats, stub hub, Tickets Now, all selling burningmam tickets for $570.00 to $1700.00 a ticket. I refuse to be scalped. I am going to keep trying to get 2 tickets through burningman site. I am very dissapointed at the way they sold ticket by this lottery system. Veteran burners and theme camps are torn apart. Who ever came up with idea messed up bad, but I am a forgiving person, everyone makes mistakes, but this is a big one.

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  • There are a lot of pissed off people who didn’t get their Burning Man tickets. Fair ticket distribution is something I have pondered for many years in regard to many concerts I’ve attended, most significantly Grateful Dead concerts. I found it very ironic how Deadheads would speak of community and fellowship with their brother and sister Deadheads, but when it came to getting tickets to popular concerts were the demand greatly exceeded the supply, it became a competition. It then became a divided group of the “haves” and the “have nots”.

    Now the same thing is happening within the Burning Man community. How to distribute tickets is a very difficult process and I do not envy the BMorg in their position of trying to find a fair way to distribute a finite supply of tickets. Many argue that those who have attend BM in the past, particularly those who have attended for many years, should receive a prior over virgins. I can certainly see their point; after all why should a newbie have the same chances of getting a ticket as a ten-year veteran. Establishing some kind of priority system validates people’s sense of entitlement, and creates a class-system within the BM community. However, having an equal lottery system, as has been implemented, is alienating many long-time Burners. The question remains, what is fair?

    The BM community is no longer inclusive. Now, not only do you have to have the mean to purchase a ticket, you now have be selected for the privilege of attending BM. That means BM can no longer be guided by one of the Ten Principles, the number one principle of Radical Inclusion: anyone may be a part of BM. We welcome and respect the strange. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community. Well that is no longer true, is it? You told your friends about BM, and they told their friends, and look where we are…all struggling to get tickets.

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  • Pretty obvious what the sentiment is here. My camp of 11 years & 80+ burners is pretty much decimated. The ratio of ‘gots’ to ‘not-gots’ is about 1 to 3-1/2. Some of my peeps have already bailed out, and the level of discontent matches what’s here.

    In one fell swoop, Burning Man has put itself in the position of ‘The Man’, showing disregard for its supporters with an unbelievably short sighted ticketing plan. Bad Man. In the default world, someone would get fired for this fiasco.

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  • Out of 22-25 people of our camp, 15 got their tickets. I think we are doing great compared to so many other camps. I will not be going this year, partially because of the lottery mayhem, because I didn’t get my ticket, but also because I feel a 7 year cycle ended for me last year.

    I went as a virgin to the playa in 2005 because I was seeking a relationship with a man who was a burner. It failed miserably, in fact I ended up in another relationship there that lasted a year and was the Worst of my life. But I fell in love with the most amazing place in the world and after that first year I always had my ticket the first day and would take off work to sit at home waiting to hit the button.

    Last year I met “the one” at Burning Man and I am so grateful that I met him at one of my favorite places in the world. It feels like the playa gave me what I have been seeking my entire life and maybe it’s time to just appreciate what I have received and let someone else have the experience. I feel sure that, if this fiasco doesn’t sink the ship entirely, I will be back with my sweetie in 2013.

    To those who say “there are lots of tickets out there”, I am not so sure. That is to be revealed. And that is the problem– there’s a lot of time between now and when we will know if the STEP program can supply the tickets needed to re-unite family. That uncertainty fuels the hurt.

    I have certainly experienced the entire range of feelings expressed in this thread. If you refuse to hear people’s feelings with compassion for their pain, and pain is the feeling driving all the anger here, I think this reveals more about how intolerant you are of your own negative feelings than anything. Maybe you might look at that when you get through judging.

    People move through their hurt and anger at different paces and minimizing the hurt is a good way of causing more. It not the way to facilitate peace. “I understand you are hurt and empathize” will bring a hurting person into equanimity, although maybe not at a pace you judge fast enough. When has “just get over it” ever helped anyone get over “it”?

    Let’s focus on reducing the hurt here, with love and compassion, so that our fellow burners can regain their amazing creative capacities by accessing their calm and resourced minds.

    I am so sorry, my dear fellow burners, that you are hurting right now.

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  • Joanna: Sorry, it may be a closed group that I have to invite you in to…don’t know if one of the admins set that up. Are you searchable by your posted name as above. FNJ was our prototype a few years ago…didn’t even know it was still up.

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  • P.S., I started skydiving so that I could jump into the playa. This was going to be my first year landing in the desert. It costs a good chunk to do it. So, $405 per ticket already sucks up my jump tickets.

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  • Well no tickets for us here in New Zealand, so that ends our trip for four. We cannot afford to wait for the possibility of getting late tickets especially when we have to arrange international flights, accomodation and transport on top of all of this. It is sad that so much uncertaintly has now been added to this event

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  • Well, here is another fine mess you’ve gotten me into Stanley.

    Being considerably older than most of you young Burners, I have to reluctantly say “what a mess”. It took my wife, and me, several years to educate friends that the Burning Man event was a truly wonderful experience. Unlike anything else that we have enjoyed in our 70 plus years on this planet. Unfortunately our plans to enjoy our Theme Camp are rapidly diminishing for many of the above stated reasons. Sad.

    But here we are…..now what to do. I would humbly suggest to the well-meaning folks that are the decision makers for the event to IMMEDIATELY get out in front of this and frankly explain why the ticket sale that has happened, can not be un-done. Issue everyone a credit to their Visa and start over. Sell all tickets through the internet……issue the tickets with a name imprinted on the ticket and require a photo I.D. to enter the event. (one that obviously matches the tickets in your possession). If this is not possible EXPLAIN why it is not possible. Is it because the legal team has said that you have created a contract, of sorts, with the people that currently, have a ticket or logistically it cannot be “un-done” according to a contract with Master Card………whatever the reason is, investigate the options and report all related facts to your unhappy campers.

    My wife and I have resigned ourselves to the fact that we have most likely enjoyed our last Burning Man experience, however, there is still time to make this right for the many thousands that are disappointed and deserve a concerted effort from the Burning Man Management Team.

    Your motives were worthy, even though these results should have been predictable ; that is the sadness that I believe most of us are feeling.

    Respectfully submitted.

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  • Hi Ya’all! I’m just as disappointed as everyone else with the outcome of the lottery! I signed up mere minutes after they opened up the gates. I only requested one ticket because I’m the only one I need to be responsible for. Had they kept the old system I would have gotten a ticket for sure. Well that chance is gone and now I’m gonna have to cross my fingers that I can get a ticket when the open sale comes up! We need to get the organizers to limit the open sales to one I repeat one ticket per person. We should all be responsible for getting our own tickets. By allowing participants/scalpers to purchase up to 4 tickets per order they are just opening the door for scalpers to get their hands on more tickets! I’m not the only one who can do the math! That means only 2500 orders could potentially happen. Please be sensible and limit the number to 1 per person in the open sale. Increase our odds of getting there don’t decrease them! Let’s work together to put some sense back into the system!

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  • Ollie

    It doesn’t need to be undone. They can still put the names on the tickets and you will immediately see all the tickets on the other web sites removed and they will go to the Burninman site and sell the tickets at the price they paid. Not really a problem to do it because they are what five months out from when they said they were going to send them out. They can still fix most of this if they truly want to.

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  • STEP is more open to scalping than the lottery. I agree everyone deserves a chance at going to burningman, but fracturing and excluding the best contributors on the playa is changing the burn for the worse. As far as I’m concerned that party out in Black Rock City is just another big business shit show this year; but the ethos that burningman has represented doesn’t die with the festival, this critical mass was created by us and we have the power to evolve past this. How amazing a rebirth would be, BORG not involved! A dream.

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  • Well, it seems to me the perfect time to break off from the main group and set up camp somewhere else on the playa. Maybe a little closer to the hot springs like the old days. So, how many people can camp out there without requiring a permit? I personally know two theme camps that were devastated with denials and I am sure there are many more. We can be the unofficial burn without all the rules, like the old days:) I loved it back then.

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  • Thank you Sparkle Pony…..Let’s have some faith that “they truly want to”. I guess what I was hoping to say is that TIME is of the essence. We have Camp-Mates that must declare their vacation dates NOW or not be able to arrange their time off later. And of course our friends are reluctant to declare these dates off from their jobs IF we are not certain that our entire group can be accommodated this year……especially when 3 of our folks are attempting to arrange all of the usual details associated with Burning Man along with travel plans from Australia.

    I’ll be quiet now and sit back and have faith in our decision makers.


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