More Burning Man 2012 Tickets Becoming Available

On June 12 we announced that the BLM awarded Black Rock City LLC a one-year permit to hold Burning Man on the Black Rock Desert in 2012. We’re happy to report that in response to growing interest in the event, we were able to work with the BLM to increase the maximum population of Black Rock City to 60,900 participants in 2012.

Shiny Happy People, 2006. Photo by Jared Mechaber

Counter to misleading media coverage of this announcement, this does not mean that there will be 10,000 additional tickets available. In preparing for this year’s event we were working with a peak population of 58,000. Through the pre-sale last December, the main sale in February, the low-income ticket program, and the Directed Ticket Distribution process, we have officially allocated 57,000 tickets.

And now that we have a permit that allows for a maximum population of 60,900, it leaves us with a little bit of breathing room and a welcome opportunity to get more tickets out into our community, while thwarting scalpers who hope to capitalize off of the popularity of our event (to the detriment of our participants).

Our intention is to sell a number of tickets just shy of the population cap allowed by our permit. We want to be certain that we’re not in danger of exceeding that number … if we exceed our population cap in 2012 we could trigger sanctions that would seriously endanger the future of the event on the Black Rock Desert, and we all want to avoid that scenario!

After carefully considering input from our community, consulting with ticketing experts on best practices, and much discussion, we are pleased to announce that:

Today (Sunday, July 8) 1,000 additional $390 tickets will be placed into the Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP). This will get tickets to many of those who were not awarded tickets in the Main Sale, registered for STEP, and have been waiting patiently in the queue. (There continues to be a consistent trickle of tickets bought and sold through STEP, and the pace may increase as the summer wears on and people change their plans.)

And that’s not all…

1,000 additional $390 tickets will be made available to the general public through a first-come first-serve online private sale on August 3 at noon PST. You need not have registered for the sale in January, or signed up for STEP—anyone may participate in the sale, but you must request access to the private sale during a 12-hour sign up period between 10am PST and 10pm PST on Wednesday, August 1. When you sign up, you’ll be asked for your name, your email address, and your zip or postal code. You will then be added to the list of people allowed into the private sale. Your email address will be your key to enter the sale. The sale will take place online on Friday, August 3, at 12 noon PST. Tickets are one per person, will all be held at Will Call, and are not available for name changes (this is necessary to prevent these precious tickets from ending up in the hands of scalpers). Full information will be posted on

This sale will provide an opportunity to those who had hoped to buy tickets in the Open Sale that was planned for March and later canceled, while serving to put a damper on the scalper market by injecting tickets into the open market after physical tickets have been mailed out. Those feeling pressured to opt for a scalped ticket will now have an opportunity to get one at face value.

We’ve chosen this combined allocation because it serves those waiting patiently in the STEP queue, undermines the scalper market, and protects our ability to hold the Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert for years to come. We know this ticket news won’t put a ticket in the hand of every Burner who wants one, but we are working tirelessly to get as many folks to the playa this year as possible. We look forward to seeing you in Black Rock City, or in one of the many other places around the world where the Burning Man culture is being manifested.

About the author: Maid Marian

Marian Goodell has been a member of the 6-person ownership structure of Burning Man since late 1996. Goodell has been Burning Man's Director of Business and Communications since 1997; and in 2003 she added oversight of the Department of Public Works. The Communications activities under Goodell’s jurisdiction include media relations, print production, and the Jackrabbit Speaks email newsletter; her Business duties include management of accounting, legal, government relations, and administrative processes. Her oversight of the organization's technology infrastructure has included the development of an internal document repository, the Burning Man web site, several blogs, and an image gallery. In 1997 she worked with Burning Man participants to create the Burning Man Regional Network. Goodell holds a BA in Creative Writing from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland and an MFA in photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

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