How many theme camps can dance on the head of a Burning Man ticket?

They all want tickets

Have you come up with a theory about how Burning Man should handle ticket sales yet?

If not, congratulations:  you’re the only one.

My blogging colleague Jon Mitchell wrote about a pre-Halloween brain-eating session to discuss how Burning Man should handle ticket sales to groups – if it does that at all.  I attended that meeting because there was an open bar, and am pleased to report that their signature cocktail was a combination of black vodka, blue Curacao, and Sprite.  It was delicious.  Especially when you really stirred it around so the layers mixed.

The other thing I noticed was that of the 30-some people in attendance, there were 40-some theories about how Burning Man could best handle ticket sales – it was as though “radical incompatibility” were the 11th principle.

My impression is that discussions were equally convoluted at the Burning Man staff retreat.  I wasn’t there (I’m a volunteer), so I can only confirm that while the Org staff were out talking about the future of Burning Man I opened a bottle of 25 year tawny port which had a taste of leather and chocolate on the back palate.

There are no questions in this world as inflammatory and divisive as questions of identity – which is why what should be the bland and technocratic discussion of how to sell tickets gets so many people so worked up so fast.  How we handle ticket demand is widely seen as an indicator of who we are.  Burning Man is the participants – and the participants are the people with tickets.  Aren’t they?

Everyone wants Burning Man to get this right.  Burning Man has to get this right.

But what is right?

There are a million ways to distribute 50,000 tickets to 50,000 people that will leave everybody happy.  But there is no way to distribute 50,000 tickets to 50,0001 people that will leave everybody feeling good.  And if 60,000 people want tickets?  70,000?  And then scalpers try to buy 15,000 more?

If 85,000 people are trying to get 50,000 Burning Man tickets there is no system that will not leave over a third of them feeling gyped.  It’s mathematically impossible.

So what’s the “right” answer?  Lottery?  First-come-first-serve?  Essay contest?  Fashion show?  Trial by Ordeal?

Whatever it is, there is no solution that will keep a significant number of people from feeling cheated … or from trying to game the system.

I don’t pretend to have answers to the purely functional question of how we pick a system to distribute tickets in the future – and I don’t believe anyone who says they do.  Because I honestly have no idea of all the factors that are in play … and neither do you.

How many more tickets can be gained through negotiations with the federal government?  How many more people per year can the Black Rock Desert sustain without damaging the environment?  How much bigger can Black Rock City get before it’s logistically impossible for it to be intimate?  Are there other locations that would adequately support Burning Man?  Would they be available?  How much money would be required?  Can regional events really substitute for That Thing In The Desert?  Is it possible to have more than one a year?

And on, and on, and on …

Everybody has a right to an opinion, but very few of us actually have anything close to the accurate information needed to plan the Burning Man ticket system well.  I don’t know.  You don’t know.  The people making angry Facebook postings have no idea – but dammit, they’re angry and it’s Facebook!  What else are they going to do?

Not being on Facebook, the only intellectually honest thing for me to do is to leave that to the people who actually keep track, and maybe ask “how can I help?”

But as for the philosophical issue – as for the question of who our ticketing system makes us as a community – that I have a suggestion about.  I’d go so far as to say I’m passionate about it,  the way I feel about a good port.

Burning Man is at risk of going through an Inverse Protestant Reformation.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  Pretentious.  But, bear with me.  We like to think of Burning Man as a new and unique thing in the history of the world, and I’m mostly there with you, but those who don’t learn from history are destined to listen to people repeat it.

The position of the European Church in the 16th century was that there are two requirements to get to paradise:  one is by faith (wanting to be saved) and the other is by doing good works.  The Church, of course, was the final arbiter on earth of which works are good enough to get someone into heaven.  Human institutions being corruptible, this eventually led to the selling of indulgences:  basically a chance to buy, buy, buy your sins away by investing in an art project.  A rich man might have to go through the eye of a needle to get to heaven, but by 1516 they could commission a really enormous needle.

The Protestant position so forcefully advocated by Martin Luther was that good works are bullshit.  Not only are they subject to ego and corruption and benefit the wealthy, but their whole premise is flawed:  no achievement makes any man more worthy than another.  God alone decides who gets to go to heaven, and so all we can do is have faith.  “Faith alone” is the criteria for salvation under Protestant theology.

Theologically Burning Man, from its very beginning, has been a strictly Protestant affair.  The only real requirement was to want it enough.  At first that was easy, because the San Francisco beach is very accessible by bus.  Then it went out to the desert, and you had to want it more – but even so, all you had to do was get there.  Then it started selling tickets, which added some additional cash to the equation, but it was still just a variation on the same theme:  if you want it enough, you can come.  No one who wanted it enough to buy a ticket and undergo the pilgrimage would be turned away.

Everyone was supposed to be actively participating, that’s a huge part our “theology,” but there were no mechanisms to judge that.  No arbiter you could turn to, to say “I like your theme camp, but you can’t dance to it,” and expect them to offer the final word.  Now sure, as time went on you could be turned down for an art grant or given a terrible spot for a theme camp … but if someone wanted it enough they would not be turned away, and they could still do what they wanted.

Burning Man’s credo was “Faith alone.”  No one’s good works made them special.  We all stink after a week in the desert.

Many of the ticket schemes proposed by Burners risk changing that.

Now that tickets are a scarce commodity, many established Burners are demanding that newer Burners go to the back of the line.  Many theme camps are insisting that they deserve preferential treatment and be made whole, at the ultimate expense of solo burners, art car makers, and other theme camps.  Burners of all stripes are insisting that good works be counted in their favor.  They’re saying faith alone … the desire to go to Burning Man and be a part of this community … now counts for much less.

They demand salvation through works – and they are demanding that there be a hierarchy in order to make it happen.  They don’t call it a “Catholic” hierarchy, but ultimately that’s what they want.  When they are abstract guidelines, the 10 Principles are simply principles;  when they are applied by an organization invested with moral authority, the 10 principles become ecclesiastical objects that determine the fate of members of the community.

Thus we have an Inverse Protestant Reformation:  a popular movement of free spirits insisting that a previously non-judgmental body turn itself into an ecclesiastical hierarchy.

These new “Catholic” Burners may get what they want, but the Org has resisted it.  Indeed, the whole purpose of the lottery system was to prevent it from having to take on that kind of responsibility and make those judgment calls.  That’s another way this is an Inverse Protestant Reformation:  the Church in Rome was desperate to cling to its power; the Burning Man office in San Francisco has tried like hell not to pick it up.

I don’t blame them.  They see the danger in becoming arbiters of who’s “burnier-than-thou” quite clearly, because they’ve spent the last decade trying to avoid it.  But now, at this moment, they don’t know what else to do.  Much of the community is demanding it, and the Org has to put this largely volunteer run event together.  It’s not just art cars and theme camps:  the volunteer infrastructure at Burning Man is enormous.  Want ice?  Most of that work is done by volunteers.  Want Center Camp?  Thousands of volunteers.  Want medical tents, vehicle registration, Playa Info, and so much more?  Mostly volunteers.

My aesthetic tastes may be Catholic, but as a burner I’m a radical fideist (faith only):  I would like to be storming the barricades on Market Street shouting “Don’t do it!  There’s a better way!”

But I’ve got nothing – nothing except faith that we, the people of Burning Man, can be better than this.  That we can actually raise our consciousness just enough to accept that you can participate in Burning Man without necessarily going in any given year.

Hopefully it won’t come to that, because if you have to ask “can we raise our consciousness?” the answer is almost always “No.”  History is immutable on this point.

So hopefully Larry will pull a rabbit out of his Stetson that lets everyone who wants to go, go.  I’m rooting for it.  That’s the best solution.  But in the meantime my advice to the Org … which means no more or less than any of yours … is to not offer tickets to camps.  Do not give established camps, no matter how amazing, precedent over new Burners who could bring something we’ve never seen before.  Good works are their own reward:  do not let them influence your decision.  Gifting with the expectation of special treatment in return is really bartering.

Instead let Burners rise to the challenge.  Let camps who don’t have enough people with tickets recruit from Burners with tickets who don’t have camps;  let new people have an even shot at getting through the gate.  Let new ideas rise, and new structures emerge;  let us connect in new ways.

If in response more people focus on the Regionals, or new events entirely, God bless ‘em.  That’s all part of the plan.

What isn’t part of the plan is forcing Burning Man to decide who is a “good” Burner and who is a “bad” one.  What isn’t part of the plan is a checklist that pits sound camps vs. art installations vs. mutant vehicles vs. clowns distributing snow-cones.

Change has come to Burning Man … again … and we can’t prevent it.  (And would we if we could?)  But we can use it as an opportunity to be better than we are.

I don’t believe in much in this world, but I believe the ideal of Burning Man is worth working for.  I believe we can use that ideal to organize in new ways without closing ourselves off to new people.

What else have we been rehearsing for all these years?

Caveat is the Volunteer Coordinator for Media Mecca at Burning Man.  His opinions are in no way statements of the Burning Man organization.  Contact him at Caveat (at) Burningman.com

About the author: Caveat Magister

Caveat grew up wanting to be a Russian novelist, but the closest he ever came was getting personally insulted by the first democratically elected president of Poland. Now the volunteer coordinator for Burning Man's Media Team (itself a volunteer position), Caveat has been messing with Burners for the last five years, and has a hard time believing some of the stuff they've let him get away with. He is a publisher at Omnibucket.com, served as editor of Chicken John’s philosophical autobiography “The Book of the Is,” and archives his publications and personal blogs at www.TheWachsGallery.com.

75 thoughts on “How many theme camps can dance on the head of a Burning Man ticket?

  • Thanks for the article. I like the funky little details;) I really dig the idea of stopping entrance on wed. Keeping those clean, shiney haired, buzz killing, beaming headlight busters true to burning man by showing up and participating the whole week. It drives me BONKERS when people are driving in the streets looking for camping spots on FRIDAY! Seriously! With HEADLIGHTS?!? Psh! We are family. We come together as family and build a city for an entire week. It is a collective art piece that we should all be there for. You shouldn’t be allowed to come in after all the works done and still put your name on the project. Ya dig? Thank you!

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  • Perhaps tickets valid for certain durations? Such as if you intend to stay the entire week you get one type ticket, if you intend to arrive Friday night and leave Sunday morning you don’t get or get a different type ticket. Maybe the tickets expire after a certain time and date if entry is not made by the registered time? I dunno but my plans for returning in full force with an art car and contributing more are hampered by my fears of not being able to get a ticket :-/

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  • I liked the 2011 year scheme. Just a well supported queue. Wait in line, and keep selling until each tier is sold out. Limit the number each person can buy at a time. Simple. It may not be elegant or modern but it makes sense.

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  • i agree with this post 100%. no burnier-than-thou anointing by the BMORG. i say this as someone who’s attended every burn since 1996, and who has a camp i dearly love and want every one to be able to attend. the only fair way is to make sure everyone has an equal chance, from the top down to the freshest virgin burner on the playa.

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  • well said sir!!
    The Mayan calendar ends…..not for the end of the world, but for the end of this consciousness. WE are ALL meatbags of energy that eventually goes back home. Our time here is to reflect that we have learned that we are ALL the same, even with our respective differences. Quit whining about fair….work to make it fair!!! Because we all want it FAIR!! Yet once we realize we all are after the same thing….we can work to the same goal, whatever it may be!!! And if you dont like my goal…..work with the person who has similar goals…..but somehow…..I think we will all see each other in the end!!!

    Burning man is …. to me…..the celebration of our similarities despite our differences (which, typically, are ego driven….)

    Peace to ALL
    Namaste’

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  • Can we stop pretending that the event sells out every year? Every August, there are plenty of tickets around to be had. So obviously, there is more supply than demand. Just make it first come first served and be done with it. All this hype about how to get tickets to the right people makes it sound like there are not enough tickets to go around. There are plenty. Every year. Let’s not believe all the hype. Geez.

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  • Non Tranferrable is not a good idea. I met dozen’s of people in 2012 that were there with a significant other. What if a person by a ticket for there partner then is no longer with them on August 26th. Shouldn’t they be allowed to bring someone else. I hope My girlfriend is still with me for 2013, it wouldn’t be the same without her but if she can’t go for some reason, I’d like to bring a good bud. I understand not wanting scalpers to make money off of burning man, but just “GOING” to the event is what it is all about. I don’t care if i have to spend a few extra buck. I don’t want to and it goes against everything i believe about burning man. But I NEED TO GO HOME TO THE PLAYA – Bottom line!

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  • I have an easy solution but it will take a year to impliment. I took a different route home this year going via Reno. What I saw sickened and disgusted me…. Miles of trash dumped from Gerlach all the way to Reno. So my suggestion is this. Burners always have cell phone cameras available and the lines are long, so when you see these cars dumping trash take a picture and send it to the Borg. The borg can scan tickets AND plates at the door and in 2014 NONE of these burners virgin or othewise are allowed to buy tickets. Judging by the bags of trash i saw heading out that should reduce qualified demand by about 10,000 tickets.

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  • Heres a thought. This is combining my idea and that of another comment from this board in a way that is interesting to think about…

    Selling tickets in waves is a good idea.

    10,000 tickets for sale at $450 in January, 4 tickets per sale
    10,000 tickets for sale at $400 in February, 4 tickets per sale
    10,000 tickets for sale at $350 in March, 2 tickets per sale
    10,000 tickets for sale at $300 in April, 2 tickets per sale
    10,000 tickets for sale at $250 in June, 2 tickets per sale
    10,000 tickets for sale at $200 in July, solo ticket sales only

    But in addition, what if it was required to electronically submit an essay about what burning man means to you? maybe also a photo? almost like screening process… no one who belongs there would mind. I feel like this would create an extra obstacle for scalpers and villians, and who knows, you could put together something really cool about what burning man means to its people :)

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  • First come-first served with 2 ticket limit -one price ticket. Establish a wait list for those who did not get their order in but still want a chance at a ticket. Buyers will receive receipt with barcode which is linked with their name at BM hq. Actual tickets will be issued 3-4 weeks before events begin. If buyer desires to not use tickets may sell the barcoded receipt back to BM only. who will then offer it to next person on wait list. No refunds on barcoded receipts or actual tickets after tickets distributed. Actual tickets will only be in the buyers hands for less than three weeks which should severly limit scalpers but still give buyers time to sell or gift tickets to friends.

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  • Put names on tickets. First come first served.

    If you can’t go – put you ticket back in the pool. Get your money back minus a fee, and the next person in line can have it.

    Done.

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  • I don’t envy the organisers the decisions they will have to make regarding the tickets,Burning Man is a completely different entity in 2012-2013 than it was in my first year,there were 8 thousand people and the Man was standing on bails of straw….there was an opera with what seemed like hundreds of people at 3 in the morning……there were camels….no money,no commercialism,no inhibitions,pure unadulterated fun…I didn’t want to leave,the last year I was there it had grown to 30 thousand and now it’s 50 thousand, it must be a logistical nightmare.

    The fact remains there is a permit for 50 thousand and that’s the bottom line,the semantics of how to distribute that 50 thousand between theme camps and Burners is for others to decide,but surely the fairest and easiest solution for us the Burners is first come first served.

    Please decide soon,I’m aching to come back to Cali,to see my friends, to sit and watch the sun come up over the Black Rock Desert with something delicious from Humboldt County in my hand,and there are many people round the world like me who have their own logistical problems,I’m Irish, live in Moscow and I need to make plans,take the emphasis and energy away from scalpers and the like and focus on Burning Man.

    Peace and Love to all and see you on the playa…. BURN baby BURN )'(

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  • Non-transferrable tickets sound good at first blush, but…. In 2011 a friend and I, coming from different parts of the country, were going to meet at BRC. Enroute, I had vehicle issues and he had medical problems. We both had to return to our respective homes. Using Craigs list we were able to get our tickets to others who could attend. If our tickets had been non-transferrable, these new ticket holders would have lost out on the Burning Man experience.

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  • It sounds like all the first come first serve people are not involved with the task of creating and building a theme camp, providing services for a large amount of people, nor envisioning the labor of a specialized volunteer.

    BMORG must allot tickets to their infrastructure…this should not be negotiable. And those ticket prices should be lower tiered pricing. Camps who spend $$$$$ to make BMAN the place it has become, SHOULD be Rewarded. If BMORG invites a theme camp, volunteer, performer, mutant art person, artist…to return…then they should supply them with tickets to accomplish their design, plan, work load, or art.

    Why should a virgin burner or party mode burner get priority on low cost tickets, when certain Burners create major scenes, labor for months, present shows and music, provide major art exhibits…and do so with a major financial cost…gifting to BMORG…to make their event incredible. Every other festival PAYS for such services or gives out FREE volunteer tickets!! A profit making business that does not give the best perks to those who create and build their vision…would not make any sense.
    Burning Man needs to either GIVE the infrastructure free or very low cost tickets. Then no matter what happens in the scheme of ticket servicing…at least…there will be a quality BRC!!!

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  • well for my thoughts – and it doesn’t really cover camps or groups but as someone who paid $1100 per ticket in 2012 on Stubhub – yes thats right, $1,100 (because we had to book our air tickets and work leave in February and didn’t get any tickets in the lottery) I would like to leave the scalpers/fortune takers out of the system and go with names printed on tickets and if you need to sell them then they have to go back into the system where they are re-sold for face value with the new name printed on them (like camp conduit and others have suggested).

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  • Reading through these comments, I see something missing: how to handle theme camps. One of the biggest complaints about last year is that only a fraction of theme camp particpants got tickets in the initial lottery, really screwing up the camp planning process. I see the following options for handling this:
    1. Theme camp tickets. Camps apply for placement very early and those that get picked get guarenteed tickets. I really hate this idea because it forces the organizers to choose who is worthy enough for tickets. It will also drive new partipants toward existing camps.
    2. Theme camp lottery. Camps apply for a special round of lottery tickets, and only a certain fraction get them. People will probably scream that certain favorite camps may not be at any given Burn, but I like this idea. It allows new camps to get in, bringing new ideas and new blood.
    3. First come, first served. If tickets are non-transferrable except to other camp members (and others can’t transfer at all) this will probably work. Open transfer will become a scalper feeding frenzy.
    4. General lottery with tickets picked in big blocks. The big blocks allow theme camps to enter as a unit and get all their tickets at once. This system was used at Firefly (the New England Regional) this year and worked well.

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  • Did you ever wonder what BRC would be like without preferentially-treated theme camps and mutant vehicles? *GASP…WRINGS HANDS…SOBS*

    Making special ticketing concessions for theme camps seems to be one of the big sticking points here…minimizing theme camp participation might just result in something amazing. Same could be said for the mutant vehicles. They haven’t always been there…I wonder what would fill the vacuum?

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  • DRAGON PiLOT AND OTHERS…take away all the 1500 theme camps…and mutant vehicles…and keeping with the ideal of scrapping all preferential treatment…which would mean eliminating the art projects too. Then you will see plenty of available tickets for sale during those scarcely attended years…thousands upon thousands of them. At least until they reinstate what took Bman from a couple of thousand people to the great event it has now become.

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  • Sell your tickets the old way, half through the websites and half through the real world distributors. No one is allowed to buy more than one ticket per person and you have your name assigned to the ticket…. If for some reason you can’t go to Burning Man, you turn your ticket in to the Burning Man company and they resell it to a new person, and assign them your name and then they refund you the money… This would eliminate the scalping issues. Theme Camps, registered ones and proving what they bring to the playa would put in a list of essential camp personnel to be assigned tickets outside the first come first served deal… You can’t have Burning Man without the camps and they can’t run their show without their people. However, each camp should be alloted X amount of people, this is not a scam for everyone to go on the Theme Camp ride… reasonable numbers people. All tickets should be to assigned names and you provide your identification at the Gate. The low income ticket people have to do that and there is no way to scalp a low income ticket other than if you are the identical twin of the person who holds the ticket. The event is going to have to expand and that is just the way it is, more people are going to have to allowed to go up to 100,000 which should be the absolute cap on the population. Scalpers must be eliminated. Name assigned tickets only available through transfer through the Burning Man Company. I have been going for the last five years, you can’t have Burning Man without the Theme Camps and the big art projects.

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  • *Speaking from the perspective of someone that runs a small-medium sized camp (40+ people).

    Another great article on a very complicated subject. I’ll highlight this to be the crux of the argument/ point of view

    “They’re saying faith alone … the desire to go to Burning Man and be a part of this community … now counts for much less.”

    Faith will always be the driving force behind Burning Man. Not faith in Gods. Faith in yourself. If you want to go, you’ll find a way. That will never change. The statistics drop from X Amount of People who want to go, Vs. X amount of People that will do whatever it takes to get there. The struggle to get out there, to get organized, has always been there. The climb is a little higher now, that’s all. As long as the tickets are distributed, we will find a way to find a way.

    While the Protestant Reformation is an interesting framework for the article, we’re obviously not taking into account that this isn’t heaven. It’s a city in the desert. Unlike heaven, you actually have to build it. Theme camps and Art installations are the power tools. That doesn’t entitle entry alone, faith does. It got 20+ people out there who didn’t get tickets in the lottery, and it’ll get more out next year.

    I think you’ve come up with the solution. Have faith. Distribute the tickets, and simply understand that the people who want to be there, will be there.

    God exists, I just don’t believe in him. I do however, believe in you.

    Frog, Platypus & The Band

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  • Lot’s of interesting comments and it’s all worth reading. Last year I thought about elaborate ticket sales plans but have realized none would work. Non-transferable tickets.. too easy to get around. Just use a fake Romainian name and dummy up a fake Romainian drivers license. How would the volunteers at the gate know.

    In the good old days, if you suddenly could not go, you were lucky to sell your ticket, you typically had to give it away. Any one with a plan already had a ticket.

    What I like:
    A single price for all tickets. I resent paying more just because I didn’t win. I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t simply gloat over scoring a cheaper ticket.
    Release a ticket block late. Maybe 4000 tickets in July and then more in August. That will truly mess with scalpers to the point where they are not a factor. Make it clear that if you are just thinking about BM, this is the time to buy, not early when you may be stuck with a ticket you cannot sell.
    Charge a late comer fee at the gate for arrivals after Thursday midnight. Maybe $400 per vehicle. This will cut demand for tickets. This is not implemented if the main block of tickets doesn’t sell out. So control ticket sales by use restrictions that can be removed if demand is dampened too much. Another way could be to sell early round tickets based on the day you want to enter. People who plan, like theme camps, know.

    Last year I believe that it was the sense that you couldn’t loose if you got in the lottery. If you went, great, if not, you could sell your ticket at a profit. We burners were thinking like scalpers. It didn’t work out that way, but I saw a lot of tickets change hands, most at face value. I’m pretty sure that won’t happen again this year and that a lottery like last year will be a success.

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  • There is no circumstance where a lottery will work. So much bad will was created that it still lingers. It was a catastrophic idea last year and would be so in any year. Burning Man is hard to do. Sorry, but that’s the way it is and has been. There is a reason Radical self-reliance is a principle. The ticket price is almost irrelevant. It is one of the smallest of all the costs to attend the event. The tickets are priced in tiers for one reason only: To drive up demand and sell out as soon as possible. It makes perfect sense. The Org needs money to put the thing on and they need it as early as possible to pay for everything. The lottery was designed to drive an hysterical demand to get all the money in January, and guess what? It worked!

    Don’t be fooled by all the excuses of fairness, equal access and such. These are the same subterfuge and lipstick on a pig found in your garden variety political campaigns. It’s about MONEY. Oh come on, don’t look so shocked.

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  • I may have a different perspective. I have been a leader of theme camps since 2004 and a participant since 2000. Over the years we have built community. This did not happen over night, it took time. We have invested in infrastructure, and developed art and interaction. Community has a foundation of experience-without that you are starting over every time. We start planning our camp as soon as we leave the playa. Last year we were uncertain whether our crew (or the other campers who help fund our camp and perform) would be ticketed. This made it difficult to plan and start working. We have always included new people. However with many camps only having 20-25% ticketed, it may be difficult to find that many new, dependable, available or experienced burners to pull off a camp. At the very least, it would make it difficult to plan ahead which can make the difference between good art and great art! I know of several major art projects that would not have been on the playa if it were not for those 10,000 tickets. These pieces take time to plan, and people are less willing to commit time and money if they are unticketed. Less than 17% of the tickets went to artists, theme camps and art cars. Most camps and artists had 20-25% of their crew ticketed. Many of these people have spent years of time, money and effort to build BRC, with no thought of reward. Instead of thinking of people wanting special treatment, perhaps it could be thought of as honoring the artists, community builders and elders. BM used criteria to decide who wold get tickets. Consider those 10,000 tickets are an investment in our community. It is worth committing those tickets you know are going to produce good fruit. They go directly into making BRC happen. Oregon Country Fair has an elder program for people who have served 20 years to honor their elders for their service. Last year almost half the tickets went to new burners, which is good and inclusive and brings new ideas and energy. New camps were placed. I know that some groups may have “gamed” the system. We were lucky and only asked for one ticket. A totally random lottery would certainly change the event. This is a social experiment. What kind of community do we want to build? Is 17% of the tickets available worth ensuring that art and established communities have time and a crew to continue to grow and build on the foundation we have all contributed to? I hope it is. Volunteers such as greeters who work a certain number of shifts for the burningman organization are garanteed tickets for next year. Fire conclave gets reduced ticket prices and some free tickets. What are theme camps, art installations and art cars worth?

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