Burning Man 2013 Ticket Sales

Yeah, it’s like that …

We’re excited to announce the sales plan for tickets to Burning Man 2013. Burning Man is making 58,000 tickets available, 3,000 of which were already made available through the Holiday Sale. Details regarding the remaining 55,0000 are outlined below. You’ll notice we’re doing things differently this year. We’ve listened, we’ve learned a lot and we’ve worked hard to come up with a plan that we believe will meet the needs of the greatest number of people possible.

We’ve included the general gist below, but you can find all the nitty-gritty details on tickets.burningman.com, and answers to your questions in our Ticketing FAQ and spiffy new online ticketing forum.

PLEASE NOTE: Pre-registration is required in order to gain access to any of our sales for 2013. Once you’ve registered you will be able to participate in the first-come first-served sales. So … here’s the plan:

55,000 Tickets for Burning Man 2013 will be sold as follows (details below):

1. Directed Group Sale (10,000 tickets) – January 30 (Pre-registration required)
2. Individual Sale (40,000 tickets) – February 13 (Pre-registration required, February 6-10)
3. Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) – February 28-July 31
4. OMG Last Chance Sale (1000+ tickets) – August 7 (Pre-registration required, August 2-5)
5. Low Income Ticket Program (4,000 tickets) – Application required


Directed Group Sale: 10,000 tickets
We are once again taking steps to ensure critical theme camp, art installation, and mutant vehicle crews gain access to tickets. In addition to supporting the core social infrastructure of Black Rock City, providing these groups with access to tickets early on will decrease demand (and therefore competition) for tickets in the main Individual Sale. 10,000 tickets at $380 each will be offered to these core crews on Wednesday, January 30. Group leaders will receive an email on Friday, January 11, 2013 with detailed information about how to provide their core group members with access to the Directed Group Sale. These tickets are transferable and eligible for STEP.

Individual Sale: 40,000 tickets
The Individual sale will make 40,000 tickets available at $380 each, with a maximum of 2 tickets per person. To participate in the Individual Sale, you must pre-register between Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 12pm (noon) PST and Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 12pm (noon) PST. Detailed information about how to register for this sale will be available in mid-January at http://tickets.burningman.com. This first-come first-served sale begins at 12pm (noon) PST on Wednesday, February 13th. These tickets are transferable and eligible for STEP.

NOTE: There will not be tiered pricing for this sale – all 40,000 tickets are $380. (If you’re curious about how this compares with the ticket prices for major festivals, please see “Where Does My Ticket Money Go?“.)

Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)
We’re bringing back STEP to facilitate the secure, safe, hassle-free exchange of tickets. People wishing to purchase tickets may register to enter the STEP queue starting Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12pm PST at http://tickets.burningman.com. When tickets are put into STEP by ticket holders, the person at the front of the queue will be offered the opportunity to purchase them (maximum of 2 tickets per person). STEP will close on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 12pm PST. Stay tuned to the Jackrabbit Speaks email newsletter for details about the STEP process. Tickets bought through STEP are transferable, but they are ONLY available for pickup at Will Call.

OMG Last Chance Sale: 1,000 tickets
For those who decide at the last minute that they Absolutely Must Go To Burning Man, and to further combat scalpers, we will sell 1000 tickets at $380 each, maximum of 2 tickets per person. In order to participate, you must pre-register between Friday, August 2 at 12pm (noon) PST and Monday, August 5, 2013 at 12pm (noon). Details for how to register will be available at http://tickets.burningman.com. This first-come first-served sale starts Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 12pm PST. Tickets purchased through the OMG sale are transferable but will not be shipped — they are held for pick up at Will Call only.

Low Income Ticket Program: 4,000 tickets
Our Low Income Ticket program starts accepting applications on January 10, 2013 and will provide 4,000 tickets ($190/each) to those who provide proof of financial hardship, while supplies last. Our Ticketing department reviews each application and awards tickets to those who are best able to demonstrate need. Applicants should receive a response within 4-6 weeks of submitting their application. Visit our ticketing page for information about how to apply. These tickets are non-transferrable and must be purchased and picked up at Will Call in Black Rock City.


Ticket Fulfillment – June 03 – July 15
Shipping tickets in the summer allows folks a longer window to buy and sell tickets through our Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP), helps put a damper on the scalper market, limits the amount of time scammers have to counterfeit tickets and sell them to unsuspecting Burners, and allows us to include a printed Survival Guide with each ticket. Tickets purchased in the Holiday Sale, the Directed Group Sale and the Individual Sale will start shipping in early June. We cannot give you an exact delivery date since that depends on where they are being sent, the USPS, and other factors outside of our control. But rest assured: you will receive an email when your tickets have shipped.

Don’t Panic! A Word About the After-Market
Each year, we see a lively after-market kick up during the summer, when many tickets change hands as people realize they can’t make the trip to BRC — and others realize they can. If you’re unable to get a ticket through one of the above means, don’t panic! The likelihood of your being able to acquire a ticket is quite good if you keep your ear to the ground and tap into your community. In 2012 tickets to the event became available in August, as they do each year.

What About Scalpers?
A big worry about tickets in 2012 was that scalpers had scooped up a huge number of Burning Man tickets. However, our research shows that less than 1.5% of the total tickets in circulation were available on scalper sites, which is extraordinarily low for an event as large as ours. In order to thwart scalpers this year, we will be weeding out known scalpers through the pre-registration process, and spoiling the market by selling 1000+ tickets on August 7th. But ultimately, stopping scalpers is up to you. As long as there’s no demand, they’ll be stuck with their supply.

Why Not Implement Identity-based Ticketing (Non-Transferable, Name-on-Ticket)?
There are valid points on both sides of this question, and it’s something we’ve thought about and discussed at length. In addition to logistical and administrative challenges (including increased wait times at the gate), non-transferable tickets would put an end to the acts of gifting that frequently happen with Burning Man tickets — we don’t want to see that tradition die. For more information, see this blog post from Larry Harvey.




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.

144 thoughts on “Burning Man 2013 Ticket Sales

  • Thank you for eliminating those tiers. That was a major source of problems every year, both in the initial rush on ticket day, in tracking ticket numbers and their price on the market, and in reducing the cost for many of us that ended up in the highest tier. Well done!

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  • Looks like a solid plan that’s tons better than last year. Although, I don’t suspect scalping will be nearly the same issue it was in 2012, regardless.

    Good job at trying to avert the problems experienced last year, and addressing the concerns of the core group of builders and artists.

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  • Glad to see the tiered pricing go away. The low priced tickets never did go to “the people who need them most.” They went to whoever got in the queue first. I hope things go better this year than last year’s fiasco.

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  • Screw Directed Group Sales. If there’s a large theme camp Burning Man can’t live without, then make them staff and give them free tickets. Otherwise, they can fend for themselves. Either that or drop “radical inclusion” from the list of principles.

    As for the rest, I’ll withhold judgement until I see how it works. Last year demand was up, supply was up (once the BLM increased the limit from 50K to 60K) and yet attendance was down. That tells me it was pretty much a clusterfuck. I’ll wait and see whether before I decide whether or not it’s still a clusterfuck.

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  • I am proud to call Burning Man my home and I appreciate the thoughtfulness and hard work of the think tank that collaborated on keeping things legit. Much love.

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  • Unlike some people, directed ticket sales really worry me. Such sales state, very clearly, that certain activities regarding Burning Man are more valued than others. Many people probably agree with that statement. It poses a big risk to the community because it promotes acting in ways that have been valued in the past rather than creating something new. Why spend time and effort on some awesome new camp/artwork/experience, when joining an established one instead will increase the odds of getting a ticket? Also look at this Burning Blog post: http://blog.burningman.com/2012/11/participate/how-many-theme-camps-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-burning-man-ticket/

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  • Good job all,

    “David” without the theme camps, this event wouldn’t work well at all. It would be nothing more than a frat boy party scene. Much like 2012 in fact. 2012 was pretty lame compared to prior years.

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  • I disagree that 2012 was more of a “frat party scene” than previous years. But then again, with >50K people, there’s bound to be a variety of experiences. For my part, I met a lot of smaller camps (maybe a half dozen or so people each) where I could actually make friends with the whole camp. I don’t really understand how large theme camps prevent frat boy behavior. Perhaps you can explain that to me?

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  • i dont see why the directed tickets again. it’s not like certain camps or art cars HAVE to be there every year. giving them preferential treatment like that is something that keeps the burn from changing naturally, as it always has. let some camps go and new camps come.

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  • ok.. great plan EXCEPT! the ridiculous price of the tickets. This is DOUBLE what I have EVER spent on a ticket.. 8 years now.. So why not adopt his policy and make all the prices in the 2nd tier median? Seriously this feels like rape. $250 or $300 is PLENTY for a ticket…especially at at least 55,000 sold.. and probably more..

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  • Sure,

    With a 40 to 50 percent noob attendance. These folks don’t know what to expect, don’t know what or how to contribute to the event. I don’t blame them. They have no idea what they’re getting into. One cannot expect them to come to an event like this and hit the ground running. The first year or two should be an exploratory event. Find out if and how the event works with you. Then they can make the decision whether or not they want to participate and not spectate based upon their experiences.

    If a noob accompanies a large theme camp they should receive proper indoctrination on the ethics of BM from their peers. That is not to say that large theme camps are above all. Typically, larger theme camps are indicative of experience. They have grown with time. Based upon that theory, I believe it will help to dampen the dreaded frat boy mentality if they are part of a theme camp as opposed to showing up to get drunk and try to get laid.
    Just because a camp is large or small doesn’t mean you have make friends with everyone in that camp. I was part of a large theme camp last year. I met and made friends with only a handful of those in which we camped with. I made more friends by working at the event, interfacing with the public and theme camps. Working the event was a blast. There are a lot of fascinating and creative people at BM
    I feel justified in my statement since I worked with a broad spectrum of people at BM.

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  • Directed Group Sales suck. Why is your theme camp better than my theme camp? I probably went to Burning Man before you did, back when “Radical Self Inclusion” meant everyone was welcome. I guess everyone outside of Directed Group Sales is just a spectator.

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  • $380 for 8 days equals about $47 a day. Savvanah I would suggest looking into all the permits, fees and other legal/political crap BMORG has to deal with before complaining. Especially before using such a horrible word like rape.

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  • Agreed with removing the tiered price system. And $380 does seem high but the market certainly seems to bear it. Comparing the ticket price with other events though seems bogus. Those events pay for and provide the entertainment. We participants provide the entertainment at BM. I know some money goes to artists but according to the 2010 financials that was about $500k. Less than $10 per participant. I hope the lion’s share of this year’s average ticket increase goes to the artists.

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  • Thanks for ensuring we visionary, crazy folks who build art cars and theme camps, at great personal expense just for Burning Man, and who create much of the wonder and art of Burning Man don’t have to stress about getting tickets this year. This isn’t about cronyism or elitism, it is about being able to bring our art to Burning Man for the benefit of all.

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  • SAVANNAH: Quit whining!

    7 day festival of awesome – this is a great price, amazing price all around and anyone who cannot with a year or planning scrounge up $380 is not worth having around to mooch off everyone anyway!

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  • @Justin: agree that is isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison with other festivals. Thing people tend to overlook is that yes, those festivals “provide the entertainment” their ticket prices are hugely subsidized by corporate sponsors. If attendees had to pay the actual cost per person to produce any of the other large festivals I bet they wouldn’t be nearly as large…considering Burning Man is 100% funded by ticket sales I think it’s pretty reasonable.

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  • Thank you Burning Man. Tickets sound reasonably priced.
    I look forward to bringing a huge shipment of love and appreciation to show you just how much youve changed my life. Dont listen to the haters they have probably never been if there saying its not worth $380. I believe in you thank you for believing in me.
    See you soon! xo

    Ps! can we stop comparing the purchase of a ticket You think is expensive to the experience of being raped. Thanks

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  • To answer a common question, YES THE BORG VALUES THE LARGE THEME CAMPS MORE THAN OTHER attendees. Isn’t that clear? As clear as the obvious fact that there isn’t anything truly cool or deserving of extra consideration that is made by a team of less than say…5 people.

    What isn’t clear to me is why they still charge admission for these absolutely vital theme camps. Give them free tickets, jack up the cost on the boring customers/attendees. I think they could easily pay $475 each.

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  • “I still think it’s pretty shitty to give preferential treatment to theme camps. It smacks of elitism and cronyism.”

    Eletism and cronyism? At Burning Man? Perish the thought!

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  • This has always been my perspective: You’re not paying $380 for a party; rather, you’re paying $1 for 380 parties. Every year I have always (voluntarily I might add) paid the top price for tickets. From what I can see, my ticket price just went down! I’m no fan of the BMOrg and really do believe that the Peter Principle prevails when Larry and his sycophantic minions get together, but with the exception of way too many low-income tickets (there should be none in my opinion, but “scholarship” tickets–which as far as I’m concerned may as well be free–I’m all in favor of; yeah, yeah, I’m a Libertarian) they got it right this time. Scoop me up a slice of that Humble Pie.

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  • Please don’t be negative about this fellow travelers. Everyone who is supposed to go to Burning Man will go to Burning Man in 2013. Just like all the years before. (What a hippie!)

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  • i say do away with the holiday sale, do away with the low income sale; everyone should be on the same boat when it comes to tickets, except i do understand the need for the “core” to have tickets… but 10,000? offer work scholarships. while $380+fees is reasonable to some, it’s disappointing that in recent years the ticket cost has escalated beyond what seems warranted.

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  • Don’t lots of those ‘theme camps’ include groups that do some great service to our wonderful city. Maybe not all of them…. I’m sure Center Camp, Artica, Playa Info, DPW, Recycle Camp, Greeters & Gate are on that direct list in addition to some awesome theme camps like BDC, Comfort & Joy, Nectar Village, Anonymous Village and the list goes on with potential options. Not everyone in those ‘huge camps’ gets staff tix, ya know?

    Also, volunteering does not get you a discounted ticket. You get hugs for volunteering.

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  • This is a vast improvement. Well thought out and considerate over last year’s debacle. I especially like your approach toward allotting 10000 tickets to ensure theme camps are out in full force. Kudos BMLLC, sounds like a good plan.

    Now, you just need to pull it off….

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  • “Everyone who is supposed to go to Burning Man will go to Burning Man in 2013. Just like all the years before.”

    FUCK THAT! Last year, of my personal friends who had been there in previous years and wanted to go in 2012, over a third of them couldn’t go. Don’t you dare tell me that they just weren’t “supposed to go”–you don’t have the right to judge that.

    I’m still withholding judgement for this year until I see how it actually plays out. But fuck that. Fuck it in the ass with a splintering stick until its festering, infected colon develops gangrene and it dies. With all due respect.

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  • Sounds great, BMORG – well done.

    2012 was the year where scalpers were going to become a problem as it was the first year after the first sold-out year, 2011. As confusing and downright idiotic the system was last year, it certainly spoiled the party for scalpers – towards the end many tickets were available below face value! The combination of active anti-scalping measures, the 1000 last minute tickets, and the fact that 2012 was a net loss for scalpers will make this year extremely unattractive for scalpers. So while I was a proponent of named tickets, I agree that it’s not necessary for ’13.

    I still think the 10k dedicated tickets is a mistake. Nobody should be considered a must-have for BM. BM is a community event. Even if all the theme camps didn’t come, amazing things would happen. And I wish BMORG had the balls to let that play out. But they don’t, I understand.

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  • @puppymeat there were so many tickets available just before the event, I find it hard to believe. Craigslist was full of at-or-below face value tickets!

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  • Yes, there were a lot of face-value tickets available–ONE WEEK before the event. That’s how I got my ticket. I was lucky that I was between jobs and had enough savings to do that. My friends who didn’t make it either had already given up by then and made alternate plans or simply couldn’t get time off work at such short notice.

    By all accounts, demand was way up last year. And supply was also up (after BLM increased the limit from 50K to 60K.) However, peak attendance was actually DOWN. I find it impossible to believe that everyone who wanted to go actually did.

    But then, I suppose we’re all entitled to our beliefs. And I’m fine with that, just as long as we all recognize they’re nothing more than that–just beliefs.

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  • @nikolaus heger – It’s hard for people outside of the SF/Reno/LA/Sac/LV region to quickly buy a ticket then rent a last minute car or flight after they’ve requested time off because ‘their grandma is sick?’ to then pack and organize themselves in a matter of days and then fly or drive cross country or across continents… Maybe it’s just my thought process.

    I think this is a much better process.

    I also think that there are camps that should make should their dedicated folks are there. Are you going to build the 2013 temple? Are you going to take over for Media Mecca or Artica and work there for us since they didn’t get tickets. How about something as simple as Rangers… A lot of those folks pay for their tickets and work hard all week long.. Same with gate, exodus, lamplighters, center camp staff, playa info, perimeter and the list goes on… This is before touching on all the awesome theme camps that entertain us all week long.

    Many of those camps were struggling this past year after the lottery and made it by thanks to the 10k allotment. Maybe there will be an overabundance of people volunteering instead of passing out at bars this year. We shall see with time.

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  • “$380 for 8 days equals about $47 a day. ”

    I’m sure I’m just bitter but that barely seems worth it for the kind of event they throw. I’m sure if this would have been my first time it wouldn’t seem to crazy, but having been 4 times now it feels like they’re getting ready to milk this for all it’s worth. The venue is done, over with, the idea that the event should be continued to be capped at such a small number for the number of people who want to attend it should have been a bigger priority. I don’t even know how much of that ticket increase goes to more cops, but I saw some of the most unprofessional police work out there and to be blunt I don’t go on vacation to hang out with a bunch of cops, I really really don’t, and while I get the aspect that they’re needed for security, I think I’d rather go to a place where that much security isn’t even needed. I hate to ruin anyone else’s parade, I really hope people have fun there, and chances are you won’t even have interactions with police beyond sirens and speeding everywhere, but to me, I’d rather not experience that again, not at that price.

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  • @Richard Hawten
    No, Megadeth won’t be there — unless they buy a ticket like everybody else. Unlike any other music festival or concert, what you experience at TTITD is because somebody thought it would be really cool, not because somebody was *hired* to be really cool. If you can’t grasp the fundamental difference in that, you’re better off elsewhere anyway; the climate is terrible.

    And for those bitching about the price, as a comparison Lightning in a Bottle is $215 for the weekend, Coachella is $349 for the weekend, Bonnaroo is $225 plus $200 more for an RV pass for the weekend (but they are sold out), Glastonbury is £205 for five days plus additional fees for your car or “campervan” (they’re sold out, too).

    This will be my fifth burn. After my first burn, I knew this was what I wanted to do and I’m one of the volunteers now. 2012 I spent 42 hours working for the event, plus more uncounted hours off-playa. If being an unpaid roadie makes me a sucker, then I’m a sucker.

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  • Stop writing. The BMOrg hippies don’t read these comments. Let me prove it:


    See what I mean?
    Think of my words on February 13th.

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  • If you really wanted to be fair about the direct group ticket purchasing, you should disclose the names of the theme camps and the names of the group leaders to everyone else. We should be able to see who these hand picked elite groups are.
    If its sooooo important to have some of these big theme camps back year after year, then leave it up to the entire community to decide which camps get to have the priveledge and the advantage of buying their tickets before everyone else. Put it up to a vote rather than have the 1% dictate what’s best for the rest of us.

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  • Good Job BMORG. Simple and to the point. No Fuss, no muss, and no insane online wait for the tickets to go on sale. All the way around, Great job.

    For the ones who are crying about the theme camps and the prices…There’s no crying at Burning man. You have no Idea what it takes to bring OT or Death Guild/Thunderdome or any of the other awesome Theme camps to the playa…or the art, or that art car you chased around to get a ride on. They are part of what makes home home. Otherwise it is just a refugee camp in the desert. Besides…without directed sales…the sparkle ponies wouldn’t know how to buy tickets or find the playa.

    Luv and Pirate Kisses,
    Big Bloo

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  • Well, compared to last year this is better. My big hope is that the ticketing computers do not go down.
    The only seriouse issue remaining is the BORG or whoever is now in charge getting a permit to hold the event.
    Yes at this point in time there is no permit, there remains on going litigation (lawsuit) with Pershing county and no announcement that the event shall take place on the black rock playa as it has in the past.
    So sleep well by May they should have something to say about location and surcharges (if any) and other restrictions (if any).

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  • Yes the ticket situation seems to be pretty good. The 1 thing I was kinda hoping for was for the theme camp tickets to be at least a little bit cheaper. Well at least with the ticket situation solved I can now concentrate on creating a moop proof roller disco floor so I can get my state groove on at Burning Man in 2013

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  • Great Job Guys! You gave us competent and thought out answers to each obstacles. You provided us reasonable solutions and moreover, justification as to how you arrived at each of these solutions. I am proud to be a Burner and like many, I admire Borg’s commitment and dedication to resolving these difficult issues that effect our event/community.

    There will always be Haters….again GREAT JOB Guys, you ROCK

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  • Thank you Roller Disco. W/o your core crew there the floor would not be open in time for us EA guinea pigs to test out!

    (raise a glass everyone) Here’s to keeping this price point for at least 2014 before another price hike!

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  • I think David has the right idea. Kudos to him for original and productive thought! Since last year’s announcement of group sales preference, I’ve been saying that any camp that’s actually necessary for Burning Man should get free tickets instead of pretending they’re the same as us for paying their own way while in fact being privileged for getting priority on tickets. But David did the right job of splitting the difference and getting to the important point. Don’t just let us complain about the “privileged” camps, let us know what they are and let us choose (or at least very publicly complain) about which one’s shouldn’t be privileged. I’m fine with saying Playa Info, or Media Mecca, or Antarctica, or Center Camp, etc. should get priority. But Thunderdome…the Temple…Center Camp beverage sales…Barbie Death Camp…other less vital camps…they can suck it up like the rest of us.

    Of course, some will disagree with my cursory list of what is and isn’t vital. And that’s fine. Let the community know…and discuss…and decide. For now we just know that “some large theme camps” get priority and we don’t know which. So when we object to direct sales we don’t know which camps we’re actually objecting to.

    Of course, I still say if any camp is absolutely vital they should simply be given free tickets, and the cost should be pushed on to other–less vital–participants. If all 10,000 direct sales tickets are really vital they can be subsidized by raising the other 40,000 tickets to $475. All the arguments re: “It’s worth it” or “It’s reasonable compared to other festivals” will still hold.

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  • Nothing was said about priority for “large” theme camps, the words used were ” critical theme camps, art installations, and mutant vehicle crews”. I know many smaller, interactive camps ( think neighborhood bars, fun play places) got directed tickets last year. Camp placers made visits to camps to see how much they actually contributed to the experience of other burners. I tend to believe that most people bitchin about directed sales have no idea of what it takes to bring these marvels out to the playa. The time, energy and money spent can be overwhelming. Watching people laugh and play on something you created, and feeling the love and appreciation, makes the investment worthwhile. Listening to non contributors complain that you somehow feel privileged, makes you less likely to put in the effort.
    Nobody can possibly experience everything at BM. To vote on what you believe should be there is absurd. We had maybe a thousand visitors to our camp last year. I think very few left dissapointed. The 52,000+ that never heard of us would probably vote us off the playa. Has BM become a new game of Survivor?

    One last thing. Does a “Spakle Pony” repair holes in drywall? Or maybe you could help USG reopen the Empire plant.

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  • Directed Group Sale: 10,000 tickets
    Prerequisites exist for participation in our community. If we know you and think you are cool enough, we then deem you critical to the event. We are once again taking steps to ensure the Illuminati gain access to tickets at the radical exclusion of 10,000 others who don’t meet our prerequisites. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

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  • @Dr Bungee

    Okay, I retract the word “large” in all my previous posts. Frankly, the fact that “neighborhood bars” and “fun play places” are considered “critical” is even more annoying. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–if a there’s a theme camp that Burning Man really can’t do without, tell us what it is and give them free tickets. I’ll be willing to accept an increase in my ticket price to subsidize actual critical camps.

    For the record, I’ve been to Burning Man every year since 1998. For the vast majority of those years, I ran what I considered a small “theme camp.” I put that in quotes because I never registered it with the Borg so it never got on the map. And it only took myself and a few friends to run it (and usually random volunteers who simply met us on the playa and wanted to hang out with us for a while.) If neighborhood bars and fun play places get priority, I think I should to. But I guaran-fucking-tee I won’t get any direct group sales tickets…because the true spirit of Burning Man is…filling out paperwork.

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  • other than the price seeming a bit high, i think this plan is just about perfect. one thing about the BM community is that they seem to feel entitled and complain about things not being perfect.
    i mean, really? we are complaining about BMorg being elitist? i doubt my camp will get tickets and am ok with that. i’m GLAD that those who are either critical or have been to BM a bunch of times and become a staple will be there. sure seems like if you want a ticket this year and make the effort, you’ll get one. and with much less hassle.

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  • @Freeman (Dodgeball Addiction)

    I’m not sure what you mean by. “i mean, really? we are complaining about BMorg being elitist?” Are you saying that BMorg isn’t elitist? Or are you saying it’s obvious they’re elitist but we shouldn’t complain about it because….? “I mean, really?” isn’t really an argument.

    I, too, am fine with critical camps getting ticketing priority. I’ve even stated before that I’m willing to accept a further ticket price increase in order to fully subsidize tickets for the truly critical camps.

    But as this thread evolved, it became clear that I didn’t know what camps were actually getting the direct sales treatment. And it became clear (as if the 10,000 number didn’t make it clear before) that it includes camps that I would by no means consider critical. Cool, maybe, but critical, no.

    I propose that the names of the camps that wish to receive direct sales tickets be published and the community be allowed to vote on which ones really deserve guaranteed. I realize the logistics of such a plan is difficult to do quickly, so I suggest for this year the BMorg simply publish the names of the direct sales camps, and that can be the start of a debate over whether we should implement a more democratic system of deciding what camps get direct sales next year.

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  • @puppy meat

    It takes about an hour or two to “fill out the paperwork”, but countless hours over many months to plan, build, transport, set up, tear down, and clean up a “theme camp”. I don’t pass judgement on you or any other participants weather registered or not. My experience at BM sounds very similar to yours, and many others. The difference being about 5 years ago, when we started getting more elaborate with our camp, it took us two full days to set up, and a day and a half to tear down and pack up. We decided we needed to get there early, so we would have more than 4 full days of play time, so we took the logical step to register and get EA passes. There are only 6 core members of our camp. and various others who help when they can. The point is, SOMEBODY has to create and build all the fun stuff that all burners get to enjoy. It could be me, or it could be you, it’s supposed to be EVERYBODY brings something to share.
    Last years lottery was a disaster, we all agree with that. The fact that most camps, large and small, did not get the tickets needed to “bring it” to the playa, could have resulted in a severely diminished experience for ALL burners. Lets face it, the first year at BRC, you don’t really know what to expect. You’re doing well if you bring enough food and water to survive, let alone bring something to share with the rest, but it’s very rare that someone creates something awesome on their first trip. Feeling the creative energy is infectious, and you vow to “do something” next year. As time goes on, the momentum builds, and the projects get more complex. I’ve seen camps grow more elaborate each year, but sometimes they wither and die. New energy and ideas are great. Every year we have virgins in our camp, and watching the awe and wonder they experience is exciting for me.
    Sorry for the ramble, but here is the point. Burning Man needs dedicated industrious people to create and build things for everyone to enjoy (as well as run the event). What criteria should they use to determine who these people are? Written proposals, and a track record of actually doing what you say you’re going to do seem like a good idea to me. BMORG has taken on this task, along with many others. Otherwise, we could have 60,000 people wandering around with their cameras, looking for the cool shit, wondering why Burning Man sounded like such great place to check out.

    Hey, we’re not looking for free tickets. But if we’re going to invest all the time, energy and money (the price of the ticket is the small part), we would at the very least, like to know that we are able to go. Hope to see you at BRC, and get to visit your camp.

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  • I agree, the names of the camps receiving direct sales tickets and the number of tickets each camp receives should be posted on the burningman.com website. I can’t go along with giving 10,000 free tickets to these camps if it means a big spike in my ticket. as someone who has attended every burning man since 1998, registering at first chance securing one of the lowest tiers, this year’s $380+fees already seems a lot.

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  • @Dr Bungee

    I made the suggestion of subsidizing tickets for critical camps to illustrate a point–the price of a ticket is not nearly as valuable as the guarantee of getting a ticket. So the fact that you’re “not looking for free tickets” means nothing to me. You’re looking for something far more valuable.

    @richard parker

    Fair enough, everyone has a price point. I’d still be fine with subsidizing the truly “critical” camps. I just don’t think there really are 10,000 critical people. I’m not fine with subsidizing camps that are just really, really cool. In fact, I’m not even fine with giving really, really cool camps priority in ticketing. That’s why I want to know who is getting those. I think we’re pretty much in agreement with this.

    If you guys make it out there, and if I make it out there, look me up at the self-service abortion clinic.

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  • I think the Org has done a great job this time. I applaud the directed group sales, and the removal of ticket tiers. STEP worked quite well last year and it’s nice to see it coming back. The August OMG sale is a very creative way to undermine scalpers (not to mention the availability of so many cheep tickets on the resale market last year). As long as the servers don’t crash at critical times, this should work very well. Going to be a great year!

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  • While I’m glad the org has gotten rid of the lottery, the one (high) price of the tickets seems more than greedy and exclusionary, it also removes any incentive for people to buy tickets early since there is no discount for essentially giving the org a 6 month interest free loan. On top of that, since all tickets are the same high price, early buyers are taking a real risk that they won’t be able to unload their ticket for what they paid for it before the event if it turns out they can’t go. That was one of the main reasons for spending the cash early since it was essentially risk free to unload a cheaper ticket if circumstances changed. Under this system, tickets can only lose value, potentially screwing loyal burners while ensuring the org pulls in maximum cash.

    Why anyone but the wealthiest would want to buy an early ticket now is beyond me. Especially after last year’s debacle, there is every incentive to wait and get a discounted ticket at the last minute from someone who can’t go.

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  • “Details regarding the remaining 55,0000 are outlined below. You’ll notice we’re doing things differently this year.” What? But it worked out so well last year!!! Ah ha ha ha hahahahaha

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  • Maybe $380 seems fair to people who can drop that much cash out of their pocket at one time. People who can’t have to worry that they’re going to fall within the realms of a “low-income” budget or not go, basically. I remember being able to pay around 1-$200. I don’t know what’s been going on in the last few years to make 40k+ people paying $380 a pop seem reasonable.

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  • I know my words might look very unjust to all those people who are not wealthy, but…
    …people who can afford 380$ are more likely to hit the hole when they use the porta-potty. Y’know what I mean?

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  • Im happy with this, and thank you for your hard work! To the people whining about the Directed Group Sale tickets, I get that too. But I fully support the decision to do that…you cant make everyone happy. Burning Man adapts, so should we.


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  • I bought tickets on the Holiday offering, yes they were expensive, but, as per last year they were the only way we could guarrantee 4 tickets and as we are coming from overseas we need the surety of 4 tickets. Perhaps the organisers can think about this.

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  • If you’re on eplaya you saw the word homeostasis. We have ethos that would be affected for the worse if we did not have a system to ensure some groups onto the playa. Some of these groups are listed above.

    The org owes you NO list of names. Shoot, do you want a list of all the low-income and scholarship recipients so that you may attack them after the camps you publicly heckle? How about a list of the names of everyone that ended up in Rampart. More ppl usually requires more staffing in there. Do you want a list of all the folks you were issued citations from LEOS? They may be to blame for Pershing Co. wanting to bump up officer attendance. How about the list of all the officers that work the event? You end up supplementing their room and board.

    Look at the freakin’ MOOP map. It could be possible that the camps in green might get tapped for DD tix. You mofos look for anything to rant about. When there is no art or music on the playa wtf would you do? I enjoy seeing the deep playa art in addition to the temple and CORE projects. Screw Nectar Village right? These damn hippies don’t need a steam bath and place to meditate, bring your own. Who needs tuna on the playa?

    It’s not a two man job to get some of these structures up in time for gate. Invite a virgin to help? Have you heard the stories of the virgins who receive EA passes from camps that are short staffed? Quite a few never show up at camp and screw those in need of help.

    This isn’t your homeowners assc mtg, stop trying to turn it into that. If you hate the plan send CC to the org, not a hate filled rant, or stfu and go elsewhere. That’s the easiest way to put it. Is the system perfect? No. Is it broken? I don’t think so.

    see you on the playa.

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  • I did not ask for a list of names. I asked for a list of camps. And I didn’t ask for it so I could heckle them (although I can understand how someone who doesn’t think highly of his fellow burners might think that). I asked for it so that the entire community could know what camps are considered “critical” to the event and we could have an open debate on that. I also went further to suggest some sort of voting system to decide which camps are critical, but acknowledged with the logistics involved that that should wait until next year.

    Is it too much to ask that a that the community at large be allowed some input into what camps are critical? Especially for an event that crows so loudly about how it’s community built? Or should we leave it to a small cabal to decide which camps are critical and then keep that information secret from us.

    I’ll give you a few examples. I’ve been going since 1998. The Temple first showed up in 2000. For two years, I burned without a temple. When David Best made his first Temple, we all agreed it was pretty fucking cool. But you know what nobody said in 1998 or 1999? “This really isn’t Burning Man without a Temple!” If the Temple disappeared this year…a lot of people would bitch and moan, but it would still be just like Burning Man, but without a temple.

    For that matter, I remember back before they served coffee and other drinks in Center Camp. Don’t get me started, I’ve hardly been back to Center Camp since.

    Back in those days one of my favorite installations was The Maze. For several years, the same group came and made a really fucking cool maze on the playa. Then…they just stopped coming. There was a maze back this year, and it was really good (clever puzzle with different trick doors, etc. but in terms of construction it was nothing like the old mazes. And when The Maze stopped coming …Burning Man went on. It turns out The Maze was cool, but not critical.

    My favorite neighborhood bar was The Black Hole. I loved that place. One year it felt like I spent the entire fucking week there. Then they stopped coming. I heard the guys who ran it passed away. I was sad…but Burning Man went on. It was my favoritest place ever on the playa, and it was not critical.

    I guarantee you that 99% of what you think is critical is not. Let go of it, and you’ll find something else that’s awesome.

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  • @puppymeat
    the “i mean, seriously” was meant to convey that i find it ridiculous that regardless of what BMorg does, people whine and complain like they are entitled. and it’s annoying to me. as someone who has provided free/at-cost services before only to get people whining about this & that… gets frustrating. (yes, i know BM isn’t at-cost.)
    basically, i’m just happy to be going, participating and contributing and i’m happy to know that i’ll be able to get a ticket.

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  • i’m with puppymeat, the groups receiving preferential treatment via the Directed Group Sale should be made known, especially after the Directed Group Sale concludes. i’ve also been to every burning man since 1998 and am perplexed how that could possibly amount to 10,000 people. i would also like to be able to give my input on which groups should be included in the Directed Group Sale. one of my favorite camps enjoyed by many first appeared in 2010 and again in 2011 but despite numerous inquiries were not deemed critical for 2012 and were unable to make it happen.

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  • @Freeman (Dodgeball Addiction)

    Fair enough. I am also someone who has provided free services (admittedly, not services everyone wants, but services nonetheless) for several years, but I did it without ever registering a theme camp. I don’t feel like I’m acting entitled. Or if I am, I think I’m only acting entitled to the same treatment as everyone else. I feel like it’s the people who are collected Direct Group tickets who truly are being–not just acting, but BEING–entitled.

    And I’ve also said that those camps/people who truly are critical to the event should get preferential treatment. I’ve actually proposed the BMorg go beyond direct group sales and make the truly critical contributors staff and give them free tickets. I’ve even said I’d be willing to accept higher ticket prices to cover their costs. I just don’t believe there are 10,000 truly critical contributors to the event.

    I’ve called for the release of those camps that receive direct group sales so that we can have an informed conversation about what camps really are critical. I’ve also said in a previous comment that I don’t really think the Temple is critical (I was there before the Temple, and as cool as the Temple is, the years pre-Temple were cool as hell, too.) I’ll go even further and say I don’t think THE MAN is critical. I suspect most of the community would disagree with me, and I’m fine with that–as long as the conversation happens in the open.

    Also, FWIW, I was mostly struck in these comments by how many people were praising the BMorg for their excellent handling of this. I see myself and a few others questioning the wisdom/spirit of this. My beef has been with direct sales, others have complained about the price point but I’ve specifically been silent on that (and I admit I made a needlessly angry and profanity-riddled comment in response to a comment that offended me) but mostly I see praise of the BMorg. Praise that might, eventually, be warranted but certainly hasn’t been proven yet.

    I also absolutely do think I’m entitled to voice my dissent at the BMorg’s decisions. Just like say…disagreeing with the government’s actions doesn’t make you unpatriotic. Until they replace Radical Inclusion with Radical Agreement, I’ll continue to proudly and patriotically whine and complain.

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  • yeah, hardly anything is “critical” out there if people truly were self reliant. i’m guessing “critical” is probably the wrong word… i see it as “enough theme camps to make burning man what BMorg feels it should be”…
    and personally, i don’t care so much who gets them. i trust they get it right or wrong and i’ll have a fantastic burn either way.

    and by “free/at cost services”, i meant outside of burning man. like free software, etc…

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  • @Freeman (Dodgeball Addiction)

    Fair enough, “critical” might be the wrong word, but it’s the exact word they used in the post.

    As far as trusting them, I trust them about as far as I can throw them. I mean, really! You can’t even trust them to use the right word instead of “critical.”

    Oddly enough, while I’d have an even harder time throwing the entire BM community, I trust them a whole lot more. And since the BMorg at least pays lip service to this being a community-run event, I would think they would trust them, too. That’s why I would want the greater community to have some input in what groups get direct group sales. But that input can’t happen unless we know who is getting them. I want to emphasize, although I’ve talked a lot of shit and made some extreme suggestions, all I really want (this year) is to know who is getting the preferential direct group sales treatment. And I want it so that the community can have an informed discussion about it. That is all.

    Also, outside of Burning Man I volunteer my time at a local museum. That seems like a free service. I’m not a programmer so I can’t donate free software.

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  • @Puppymeat, there are tons of staff who don’t get free tickets. Many get staff-price tickets [usually close to the low-income price], but certainly not all. I did in previous years, but after taking a year off, my department didn’t have enough to go around to all the awesome volunteers that we have.

    I was dismayed by the price last year: I volunteer with one of the departments you deemed worthy and got a Directed ticket, because, well, we were planning to be there–and I was sorry that I hadn’t registered for one at a lower price point! I suppose I may have to pony up a similar amount this year, unless the shifts I did last year were enough to get me a staff-price ticket. Only time will tell. :P

    & later: “…because the true spirit of Burning Man is…filling out paperwork.” Bah haha. Truth. I filled out that Theme Camp App several years. (For a different camp–like Corvus, I’m a glutton for punishment.)

    & As was already pointed out to the Theme-Camp-Complainers: It’s not just for LARGE theme camps; it’s for theme camps of all sizes. Many camps have less than 20 people. & As others have pointed out, it likely includes staff departments, which NEED tons of volunteers.

    I agree it is unfortunate that never-placed long-time camps aren’t “in the system” for getting tickets–but most people applied so that they could get Early Arrival and have time to build [and/or prime real estate]. I don’t know whether camps that were unplaced by choice are from the days when the blocks were few enough to not matter so much, of if their build times were little enough to be negligible. My first year was 2001; the highest-lettered street was F or G, I believe. We were camped on Enlightenment. ;)

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  • Hey puppymeat,

    Do you even know what “radical inclusion” means? It means ANYONE is welcome. You have a “choice” to attend…you are not required to attend.

    It seems that whenever an article, any article, is posted on this site someone thinks its their duty to share their disdain for Burning Man.

    “It sucks”. “Its not like it used to be”. “Its draining the life out of the art community”. “Its run by narcissists”. “Ticketing is unfair”. “Its too expensive”. And so on. The first problem with the whiners is that they can never exactly tell you why it is so bad because whiners just whine to hear their own voice. The second problem is that these same whiners are NEVER willing to do anything to make things better.

    Burning Man is run by a private organization who can choose to do things the way they want. They asked for people’s input, which they were not required to do, and they went with what they thought was a suitable balance.

    If people dont like it then they dont have to attend.

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  • Thanks for not having the main sale on Tuesday the 12th, Mardi Gras. Would have ruined the day for a lot of NOLABurners.

    Now my only question is do I get my Ash Wednesday ashes before or after the allotted sale?

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  • “They asked for people’s input”… when/where did Burning Man ask for people’s input in determining the “critical” groups given preferential ticketing?

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  • Before everyone gets all riled up about Theme camps being allotted tickets, just remember two things; they must still pay for the tickets ($380) and the amount that each camp is allotted does not cover the whole theme camp. I know several 150 member camps that we’re allotted only 35 or 40 tickets last year. The allotted tickets help, but not too much.

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  • @Peter Madden

    Yeah, I thought I knew what “radical inclusion” meant. Everyone’s welcome (if they can manage to make it.) I certainly didn’t say anything close to complaining about being forced to go. Oddly enough, despite the frequently testy conversations I’ve had with others in this thread, YOU are the only person who has made me feel unwelcome.

    I do love Burning Man. That’s why I’ve been back every year since I first went in 1998. I do not, however, love it unconditionally. I feel absolutely free to publicly air my grievances with their decisions. As a side note, I don’t particularly feel like unconditional love is something worth aspiring to–too often it’s indistinguishable from Stockholm Syndrome.

    Now let’s look at the list of “whines” you have a problem with:
    “It sucks”–I have not said this

    “Its not like it used to be”–I don’t think I said this, or at least I didn’t complain about this. I might have mentioned before that it has changed since 1998, but I’m a firm believer in the “evolving social experiment” aspect of BM. Some changes have been good, some have not (IMHO)

    “Its draining the life out of the art community”–I haven’t said this.

    “Its run by narcissists”–I haven’t said this. I think I might have used the word “cabal” to describe them. OTOH, I don’t remember if I deleted that and chose a less loaded word. I guess I’ll give you half a point for this one.

    “Ticketing is unfair”–I guess that’s the blunt crux of my point, although I like to think I’ve been more subtle than that. My gut feeling is it’s unfair, but what I’ve consistently called for is enough transparency that the greater community can discuss what’s fair and (possibly next year) actually have some input/voting system to decide who gets direct group sales tickets and how many. One point for this.

    “Its too expensive”–I have not said that. In fact, I have suggested even higher prices to subsidize the truly critical participants. You are so wrong about this I’m deducting half a point.

    So out of six “whines” only one applies to what I’ve said (kinda…if you have low reading comprehension.) I would give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re griping about all whiners, not just me. But you addressed it to me directly. So please stop ascribing views to me that I have not expressed and do not hold…asshole.

    “The first problem with the whiners is that they can never exactly tell you why it is so bad because whiners just whine to hear their own voice.” I think direct group sales (particularly as opaque as the process is) is bad because it’s (potentially) unfair. It can give preferential treatment to people who are no more deserving than the average participant. Or, at least the average participant who brings something to share with the playa but doesn’t register his or her camp.

    “The second problem is that these same whiners are NEVER willing to do anything to make things better.” I have suggested what to do to make things better–make it more transparent. I do not have the resources to implement it myself. Believe me, if I had a list of all the direct sales recipients (groups, not individual names) and how many direct sales tickets they got, I would publish them in a heartbeat.

    “Burning Man is run by a private organization who can choose to do things the way they want.” Yes, and I am a private individual who can complain as I want. Burning Man is also an organization that routinely crows about their community involvement, so if they refuse to engage the greater community on this aspect, I’m free–and justified–to call them hypocrites. They would also be free to choose to charge $10,000 per ticket, stop providing port-a-potties, and triple the police presence. Just because they can do something doesn’t mean they should.

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  • @Jason

    Great name, all the wisest people I know are Jasons.

    “Before everyone gets all riled up about Theme camps being allotted tickets, just remember two things; they must still pay for the tickets ($380)”

    I think I said earlier that I don’t care too much about the price of tickets. In my opinion, the guarantee of a ticket is something worth much, much more than the price of the ticket. So please realize, if you’re getting a guarantee of a chance to buy a ticket, you’re getting something of value (that I will not get) even if you’re paying full price.

    “…and the amount that each camp is allotted does not cover the whole theme camp. I know several 150 member camps that we’re allotted only 35 or 40 tickets last year. The allotted tickets help, but not too much.”

    This is exactly the type of information I want! But I just want some comprehensive data instead of trickles of anecdotal data. A simple table of what camps/groups got direct sales tickets, how many direct tickets they got, and the full size of the group would be a great start to an informed discussion. People accuse me of getting “riled up” when all I want is enough information to decide if I should be riled up or not.

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  • The easiest way to digest the directed tickets sales is this; These are 10,000 people who are going to attend this event one way or another. Think of this as 10K people who are not going to be fighting for tickets when the ticket window opens. They are not getting free tickets—the price is exactly the same as the general pricing.

    This policy is allowing these camps to start putting together their infrastructures NOW, with assurances that they will have enough people to run things.

    The idea of directing 10,000 for the general price, should only be considered a good thing for the general population, not a negative.

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  • @Shpilkus

    Excellent point, although I don’t think it’s the only way to think about it. I guess I’d quibble with your use of “should only be…” in the last sentence. I’d prefer to use “can be…”

    This is also the main cornerstone of the plan I was referring to when I repeatedly said I’ll withhold judgement. I’m withholding judgement on the logistics, obviously I’ve felt free to judge the morality/fairness of direct group sales. It’s a little funny to say these are 10,000 people who won’t be fighting for tickets because the fight has been rigged so that they’ll win no matter what. I also don’t see it as all that clear that fighting 70,000 people for 50,000 tickets is all that much worse, better, or indifferent than fighting 60,000 people for 40,000 tickets (note: hypothetical numbers for demand are pulled directly out of my ass.)

    Let’s take a closer look at your assumptions. And let’s do that by considering the counterfactual argument of what would happen if there were no direct group sales and these 10,000 people had to fight for tickets with the rest of us. There are three general possible outcomes (and probably variations on each of these.)

    1. The 10,000 people ultimately get less than 10,000 tickets (in the general sale, STEP, OMG sale, and various after-sale markets.) They all fought hard, I’m sure, but like the rest of us some of them simply failed to acquire a ticket. But that also leaves a larger pool of tickets for the rest of us (or, more realistically, it means more of the rest of us were fortunate enough to get tickets. But for the simple math argument that amounts to the same thing.) If that were the situation, then direct sales tickets would be taking tickets out of the hands of the rest of us, and would be considered a loss. (For the sake of this argument a “win” or “loss” simply refers to the chance for regular ticket-seekers to get tickets. I don’t mean for “win” or “loss” to mean anything in regards to the ultimate quality of the event.)

    2. The 10,000 people ultimately get exactly 10,000 tickets. To a first approximation, this is the same as direct sales. Maybe a bit more stress and worry for everyone (certainly a lot more for the 10,000.) Also getting exactly 10,000 tickets might mean they “gamed” the system and got more than 10,000 tickets initially (e.g., both you and your friend go in for two tickets hoping that one of you is successful, as luck would have it you both get two tickets) but dutifully gifted or sold (at cost, of course) their extra ones. This might mean more tickets are directed to their closest friends who aren’t part of the elite 10,000 (effectively increasing the 10,000 to 10,000+.) So maybe there are scenarios where this hurts the rest of us, and direct sales would be considered a slight win. But there are probably alternate scenarios that make this is a slight loss. So to first order 10,000 = 10,000 and it’s a tie.

    3. The 10,000 people get more than 10,000 tickets. Meaning they “game” the system (as I described above, or in some other ways to increase their chances of getting tickets) and they are do not redistribute all of their excess tickets. (example of an easily imagined common scenario–they hold on to their extra ticket for a friend who kinda wants to go. At the last minute, their friend bails and all their efforts to distribute the ticket–craigslist, message boards, etc. (let’s assume it’s so late STEP has already closed)–fail.) Whether that’s really their fault or due to inefficiencies in the after-sale markets is kind of immaterial. The important thing is they end up with more than 10,000 tickets total, and so direct sales is a clear win. It also kind of makes them greedy bastards who would take up more of a precious resource than they could possibly use. (Note: it doesn’t really matter to me if they intended to act like greedy bastards if the outcome is the same.)

    I take it from your comment (“…a good thing for the general population, not a negative.”) that you would envision something like scenario 3. I agree that in that scenario logistically direct sales are a good idea. I’m not as comfortable with the moral implications of appeasing greedy bastards. But I’m more or less fine tossing morality aside in the name of logistics, as long as you recognize that’s what you’re doing.

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  • The group that I camp with is one of the oldest ones on the playa. Last year we did not get directed tickets. I was happy about that since it was at the highest level.
    The entire playing field has been leveled this year by the tier structure being dropped. Now, this larger camps that bring the huge tents, the great entertainment and expensive laser lighting are just being assured that they will have tickets at the same price level as everyone else.

    Last year, the directed tickets were done late in the game, and that annoyed people who thought that they were going to be available for the general population–and they were not.

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  • Puppymeat… It seems like you have all the answers. Please lead us all, Oh Wise One. We worship thee.

    Seriously, how about contacting them directing rather than ranting aimlessly. Do your own research funded by your own person and provide us with your findings. Otherwise please stop the endless whining. Gosh, I hope you aren’t like this on the playa… You clearly aren’t one of my camp mates…

    Like you said about the temple not being critical… I don’t think center camp is critical nor do I think artica or temple guardians or greeters are CRITICAL. Once someone takes your tickets go find your camp. So let’s cut the art project funding, cut the map, cut the temple, cut artica, cut center camp… And bam now we have tickets for $250. Happy now? If you are over 30, I’m sincerely embarrassed for you.

    FOP 220.

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  • So many negative ninnies!

    BMORG did a great job revamping the ticketting system.

    And yes, it is a good idea to ensure tickets are provided for theme camps, because they help create the city and provide the entertainment. These ticket allotments per camp are not huge, merely the minimum needed to pull it off. Camps need certainty to build a solid team and build infrastructure over the following months.

    Besides, there will be plenty of tickets available to burners this year, all at the same price.

    I am disconcerted, however about the overall high ticket price, which is at the high end of “reasonable”. Many in my camp will not be able to go unless they get a low income ticket, which makes things dicey..

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  • I think that is a more than fair price for 7+ days of life changing experience. Coachella costs $320 for 3 days, bonnaroo $290 for 3 days, edc $340 for 3 days, etc… These are all great festivals that I have been to, but in my own personal opinion, they don’t even come close to the bm experience. Theme camps and art cars are the reason the experience is what it is. I personally wouldn’t want to go to a gathering of bm tourists and noobs. I want to be there with people who participate. I think tourists and noobs have their place, but I don’t believe they would want to be there so bad if it wasn’t for the amazing art and music that is bm, and is provided by theme camps, artist groups, and art cars. First things first, let’s set the stage before we open the doors for the guests.

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  • Great job on finding a ticketing solution after last year.

    ” The easiest way to digest the directed tickets sales is this; These are 10,000 people who are going to attend this event one way or another. Think of this as 10K people who are not going to be fighting for tickets when the ticket window opens. They are not getting free tickets—the price is exactly the same as the general pricing.

    This policy is allowing these camps to start putting together their infrastructures NOW, with assurances that they will have enough people to run things. ”

    That is exactly right. Theme camps were encouraged to buy shipping containers ( $2500+ ) and store them in Gerlach ( which requires a monthly rental fee ) for their theme camp infrastructure. If they can’t get tickets, then what? Our theme camp ( Camp D.O.A. ) was offered tickets last year. The key people that own the theme camp infrastructure didn’t get tickets in the lottery. We bought 10 total ( our camp had about 18 people last year ). For that special treatment, we got to buy, haul ( about 780 pounds worth ) and pour $ 4000.00 in very good wine and champagne at Burning Man. And bring our theme camp out ( my 1/2 of which has cost me over $ 10,000 so far ) We make sure we give back 10 fold + for the privlege of getting those tickets. Hope to see you there this year ! We will once again try and pour you the best wine and champagne in Black Rock City.

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  • Ticket prices are too high. Everyone keeps comparing Bman to other festivals (Coachella costs $320 for 3 days, bonnaroo $290 for 3 days, edc $340 for 3 days, etc… ). The difference is that the other festivals don’t ask the attendees to provide the security, operate the gate, provide the art, music and all the entertainment, etc. I think there is an ethical obligation to not profit excessively from the gifts of your community. Burningman jumped the shark on that a while ago. I understand they need more money to pay off the LLC members – fair enough. They’ve earned it. I just hope that once the transition is over tickets prices can be held to more reasonable levels for a while. To everyone who says “look at all the expenses they have”, you need to read up on the economic concept of marginal costs. It doesn’t cost BORG another $380 for each additional participant. Costs haven’t gone up by 600% since I bought my first ticket for $65. The BORG demands transparency from every regional, and yet they’ve never released their own income numbers – just expenditures (and nothing since 2010). Anyways, once they go non-profit, we should get some real transparency and accountability. In the meantime, yes, it’s still worth every penny. But it feels a lot dirtier to pay and contribute my time and art than it used to.

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  • I think the scheme is good. People can (and do) like to make suggestions in an effort to make things better, but I agree there is no perfect way to distribute tickets and any decision will both please and upset people. Although there is some frustration over the directed group sales as being not very radically inclusive, one could argue that this sale helps assure principles such as communal effort or civic responsibility.

    One thing that has perplexed me last year and this year is how closely guarded some of the data associated with ticketing seems to be. Although we all were able to surmise how many people signed up for last year’s lottery from forms and polls of friends, the BMORG didn’t release the numbers. As far as I can tell there’s also no plan on releasing who directed sales were directed to, and how they were chosen. I tend to think that transparency is part of radical inclusion. I have worked a lot on making processes more transparent and I believe it’s essential in a democracy. I know the BMORG is no democracy, but I am somewhat mystified by the lack of transparency.

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  • After my guy n I were rudely invaded in the darkness by 2 BLM “agents” who were cruising around in the “shadows” of a larger than them art car and they getting a whif of some good herb (he is a dual card holder) and myself being a Commercial Driver, I don’t even smoke, after he VOLUNTARILY gave up his lil bit of green to them, after he told them it was his and AFTER we both mentioned my CDL, these 2 pukes agreed to give myself a true playa “gift” in the form of a ticket amounting to $150 under the possesion of marijuana/paraphenalia. oh yea…they told me not to worry about it…just pay the fine and it won’t even show up on my record/or license. We even went to the ACLU out on the playa. They were extremely limited but truly eased our “pain” with a stamp with the statement “I do not codone a search!” which is still visible on my guys guitar as I type. The rest of the event was filled with skepticism. Sat. night we walked out to the Man’s Domain like we have done together in the last 15 YEARS….as we bounced around from art car to art car for the different beats n music…we could not help but notice how BLM agents were (as a clock would go) positioned EVERY 5 -10 minutes with no less than 3 fully ARMED agents. even a K9 here n there After costs for a lawyer,fines,$400 tix(BM waited till 30 days before the event to let the PAIUTE TRIBE know there would be no guest tix), we too can say the Man needs to come down off that steroidal platform it’s on and become a true citizen again. Maybe w/out a damn theme. Wow,what a concept. ),(

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  • How will any of this keep last year’s virgin Frat boys, with Daddy’s trust fund and a big bag of glow sticks, from trashing the Playa and porta-potties with their Bud Light cans? Just saying’

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  • Calculated it out and with just those 55,000 tickets sold, that generates nearl 29 million dollars…
    Damn, where does that money go? Does it really cost that much to put this on or is burning man a corporation in hippie’s clothing?

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  • Really hope Burning Man Org stops using In Ticketing for ticket fulfillment. Especially after the last two years of ridiculous screw ups. You guys should do it yourself!

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  • Re: ticket cost….$380/12 = $31.67. Setting aside $31.67 per month is roughly equivalent to about $1/day. I budget every year for Burning Man, because it’s a priority in my life. And I set aside more every month than just the ticket cost. I set aside enough for our travel expenses, food, water, Playa gifts, bike blinkies, etc. It’s not hard to work out the math, and it’s not hard to prioritize and plan.

    I too have been attending every single year since 1998. And as costs have gone up, I ask myself each year whether it’s still a high priority for me. If the answer is yes, I simply adjust my budget.

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  • Re: ticket cost….$1,000/12 = $83.33. Setting aside $83.33 per month is roughly equivalent to about $3/day. By budgeting every year for Burning Man, setting aside more every month than just the ticket cost, working out the math, prioritizing and planning, everyone should be able to easily afford $1,000 tickets by simply adjusting your budget.

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  • I take back all of the bad things I said about you guys last year. Well done on the revised rules. This makes sense, and isn’t obscenely “over-engineered” like last years rules were. Now just make all tickets assigned to a person, non-transferrable, and required IDs at the gate, and you’ll be 100% there.

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  • Looking forward to seeing you all on the playa this year. Can’t wait to come home.

    Burners old and new, we’ll have a fantastic time. All you go to do a least once in the week is give something – a smile, a hug, a meal, a gift, a dance, a song, a massage, a drink, some sunscreen, some love, whatever you got. We’ve all got something to give.

    I hope you all get the tickets you need. , and can bring the people you need to come with you. I will bring my best friend who hasn’t been, and be with him at the top of the temple, seeing his eyes shine when the sun comes up over those red hills in the morning, and then catch up with him 3 days later when he’s been off on a mission of his own.

    All of us who get to go are lucky fuckers.

    See you all out there,


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  • Individual Ticket Sales sold out in 4 minutes! Wow. As a nine time Burner I have grown weary of the process of buying a ticket. I use to buy tickets in May, June even August with out a problem from Burning Man. The last 5 years has been disappointing. The last time I got tickets was 2011. I was astonished how many 1st Burners I met compared to the early 2000 era. The first year I attended, I saw one police patrol the entire 4 days there. A lot has changed and not for the best of Burning Man, including the ticket process. Time for me to find another adventure and leave BM for the yups.

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  • Doesn’t look like I’ll get to go this year (6 year vet) tickets are just not available. I noticed last year that roughly half of the people it talked to where 1st timers and I remember what it was like the 1st year I went. It takes awhile to to grasp the concept and organize to truly begin to participate. The more you do the better it gets that’s why missing this year hurts. The secondary ticket market (ie Craigslist Ebay etc) are ridiculous I refuse to pay $600 for a standard ticket. I’ve contacted several people about tickets and so far every one of them have been 1st timers who haven’t yet experienced the event but see an opportunity to make a profit. They don’t understand yet what a privilege it is to be able to go. They sell there overpriced tickets to other NOOBs who are willing to pay. I’m all for inclusion but this is the effect, BMorg is really worried about scalpers the pros aren’t doing this. It’s uneducated 1st timers that are creating the ticket issues. It seems we are a victim of our own success. It’s gotten so much harder every year to go that if I don’t go this year our small camp will suffer and I don’t think that I will want to go through this any more. Maybe it’s time that the veterans walk away and let the NOOBs run the show. It doesn’t have to be as big as it is to have the experiences that I enjoy the most at BM. Like I said I’m for inclusion but there needs to be a balance I don’t want it to evolve into clicks and groups, elitism or favoritism. A lot of people have worked hard to contribute and participate that aren’t involved with a theme camp or village it would be nice to know that our concerns are noticed too. Thanks it’s been fun.

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