It began with the first day of sales with “Ticket-tastrophy.”
And most recently we had “The Great Sell Out.”(If I’ve learned anything from “Carmageddon” it’s that inciting panic requires a catchy name.)
Yep, the rites of passage began long before we started packing this year. And just like a crazy dust storm, each of these challenges tests us and teaches us.
In these videos I address some of the fear and anger swirling around as well as highlight some of the lessons to be found in all this.
“Burning Man ‘News’” – Aug. 2, 2011
“Sellouts, Scalpers, & Surrender” July 26, 2011
As mentioned in the 1st video, it is important to resist the urge to focus on just the negative stories. The news wants to focus on the scalpers. But there are also amazing Burners who are selling their tickets at face value…even though the market value is much higher. Why? Because their values are more important than their wallets. THAT IS AWESOME. We will survive this social dust storm just fine.
These views are solely the views of Halcyon and do not represent the opinions of The Burning Man Organization or Major League Baseball.
Now that tickets for Burning Man have sold out for the first time in our 25-year history, we’ve been getting a lot of questions from folks in the community … here are the most common ones, answered:
Q. How many tickets have been sold?
A. We don’t release ticket sales data, which is annually a different number from the population that actually comes to BRC. We’ve cut off ticket sales early in order to manage our population count over the course of the event, as stipulated by our BLM permit.
Q. So how many people will be at the event?
A. A lot of variables affect who actually shows up each year on which day. We project that if the event is any larger than last year’s peak, it won’t be by much, and it’s our responsibility to try to keep it in line with that to comply this year’s permit. Read more »
Since Burning Man tickets have sold out for the first time in our 25-year history (ticket sales were stopped in order to manage our population count over the course of the event, as stipulated by our BLM permit), it’s more important than ever that our community knows and understands Burning Man’s longstanding Gate policy. Here’s what you need to know:
- There are no tickets for sale at the Gate. You will be turned away and not allowed entry if you show up without a ticket.
- If you are giving someone a ride to Burning Man, including ride shares and hitchhikers, please be sure they have a ticket or you may end up driving back to Reno to drop them off. Leaving them at the Gate or in Gerlach is not an option. Washoe County Sheriff will be watching out for people loitering in or around Gerlach.
- Harboring stowaways or assisting people sneaking in is as bad as sneaking in yourself. Any vehicle with stowaways or assisting people sneaking in will have the whole vehicle refused entry with no refund of tickets.
- Anyone caught trying to sneak in to the event or causing a disruption at the Gate or Box Office is subject to citation, fine, and arrest by the BLM.
Finally, we expect long lines coming into the event and going out during Exodus, so arriving or leaving at non-peak times — and exercising patience — is advised.
If you have further questions about the Gate and Exodus, see our Gate FAQ.
To the extent that you learn about a community during a crisis, I wonder what our reaction so far says about us.
Many are mocking the ticket seekers, suggesting this is a kind of Darwinian victory: if you can’t get your ticket you don’t deserve to get there. The Onion parodied Burning Man with a similar conceit about eight years ago. It was funny then, but it still wasn’t original.
It’s less funny now, because it’s become apparent that some very good people are being left on the outside: people who clearly have a lot to offer. People who would be a benefit to the entire community – and I don’t just mean “big name DJs.” In fact, I’m not talking about them at all. However few tickets there are, Burning Man will never run out of DJs.
But we have run out of space. In my previous post I suggested that 21st century Burning Man was a culture of abundance, and this is our first meaningful encounter with scarcity. I made a few suggestions about what to do about it.
Many people writing in the comments section had much better ideas than I did. But by far the most trenchant idea proposed was this: the future of Burning Man belongs to the regionals.
They got what I’d missed: the ticket limit is potentially a catalyst turning the regionals from followers to co-conspirators. “Burning Man” itself would become a kind of pilgrimage site that the faithful try to get to once in a while, but “Burning Man” culture would be led by dozens of regional events around the globe.
How you feel about that might depend on your experiences with the regionals. It does for me. Would you mind sticking around while I explain this? Read more »
Tickets for Burning Man 2011 have sold out. For the first time in 25 years of holding the Burning Man event, we have had to cut off ticket sales before the event. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which oversees the Black Rock Desert National Conservation Area, requires us to manage growth in line with the previous year’s population in order to comply with our use permit. As a result, Burning Man has exercised its oft-stated right to cap ticket sales.
Tickets will NOT be sold at the Burning Man Gate, nor at Walk-In Outlets. If you don’t have a ticket, do NOT show up at the Gate. If you choose to purchase tickets from a third party, please take precautions to ensure their authenticity before you purchase them to avoid counterfeits and scams. If you are selling your ticket, we strongly encourage you to sell it at face value, or better yet, gift it! Information on how to buy and sell third-party tickets more safely can be found here on our tickets page.
For those considering venturing out to Black Rock City without a ticket to “try your luck” purchasing one at or near the entrance to Burning Man, we ask that you do NOT do so, for your own safety and the well-being of the surrounding communities. The Black Rock Desert is an extremely remote, inhospitable environment with limited resources, minimal facilities, and few camping opportunities in the vicinity. You will NOT be allowed to camp overnight anywhere near the event site, and the nearest campgrounds are over an hour’s drive away.
So we’ve spent the last couple months investigating new revenue streams that would allow us to reduce ticket prices (which are our only major source of revenue) while maintaining the operational budget necessary to produce the Burning Man event and continue growing our culture around the world. After much discussion and deliberation at Burning Man Headquarters, we’ve decided to move forward with the first of these initiatives.
You’ll notice some of these changes reflected on the Burning Man website homepage starting today, and you’ll see them in Black Rock City as well at this year.
We realize that this change represents a significant evolution of Burning Man’s cultural ethos, and as such, we welcome your feedback about it at revenue here: revenue (at) burningman.com.
**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Half-baked ideas & views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **
photo by Halcyon
In some cultures, a rite-of-passage involves having your foreskin ritualistically removed with a dull stone.
Suddenly the rite-of passage required to get a Burning Man ticket doesn’t seem so harsh, does it?
Was it smooth & effortless? HECK NO. (I’m referring to the online ticketing…not the ritualistic circumcision.)
Of course, getting to Burning Man isn’t smooth & effortless, either. Almost nothing about surviving in the desert is smooth and effortless…UNLESS you can let go of your expectations and forget your plans.
The truth is that the best things about Burning Man usually happen when things don’t go according to plan. So consider the ticket process as a many-hour (or all-day) crash course in “Non-Attachment.”
If you can master that skill *before* the Burn, you’ll be in great shape when your trailer breaks an axle, your tent collapses, the dust storm lasts a forth straight day, your camp mate drama melts down, or any of the zillion other “adventures” that are simply a part of the Burning Man experience.
During this chapter of ticket frustration, I was reminded of some of the powerful “Lessons of Surrender” that the Playa has given me. In this video I tell the story of “The Fall of Xara” from Burning Man 2000, speak to the ticket sales frustration, & share “Burning Man & The Art Of Non-Attachment.”
** Ticketing suggestions are merely brainstorming ideas, concocted without due diligence of the challenges at hand. **
Burning Man tickets are being bought and sold pretty regularly by third parties over Craigslist, Facebook and the like right about now. If you want to buy one, great … just don’t get scammed. Here’s how:
Unless you know and trust the person from whom you’re buying, never purchase tickets without physically seeing them in person (at least a photograph of the ticket, showing the number on the back). Do not wire money to anybody without having seen the tickets, even if they tell you the ticket number from the back, and you’ve checked that number with the Burning Man ticketing team (here’s how to do that). There are criminals who are scraping legitimate numbers off the internet, and using those to sell tickets they don’t have, and won’t be sending you.
When you have the ticket in front of you, examine it and look for silver reflective foil elements on both sides of the ticket, and detailed embossing on the brain/tree image. If you don’t see these things, the ticket is a fake.
Alternatively, you can safely buy somebody’s ticket if they’re being held at Will Call, by arranging to change the name under which they’re being held. Information about how to do this can be found on our Ticket FAQ.
If you are scammed, you should contact your local authorities and let them know you were a victim of mail fraud. Burning Man will neither refund your money, nor accept or replace a counterfeit ticket you’ve purchased, so be careful!
If you know of a particular scam happening, email us at partiserv here: partiserv (at) burningman.com so we can be aware of it. Our Ticket FAQ has more information about buying third party tickets.