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.
Hey! Tickets for Burning Man 2009 are now on sale. To get yours, visit our Tickets Page. If you have any problems with your ticket purchase, oodles of information is available on our Ticketing FAQ. The longer you wait, the more they cost, so don’t procrastinate.
And remember, kids … tickets will not be sold at the gate this year, so you must purchase your ticket before you get to Black Rock City.
(No, this isn't really our ticket design for 2009)
By popular demand, we are pleased to announce the resurrection of the Burning Man Ticket Pre-sale, in advance of the holidays, for Burning Man 2009!
For years we’ve heard feedback from enthusiastic early-planner types who’d like to be able to gift Burning Man tickets to friends and loved ones at the holidays instead of waiting until January. As always, this year’s ticket will illustrate our art theme – Evolution – and we deem it particularly beautiful; a perfect gift. Other participants aren’t so concerned about holding out for the lower-priced tickets available on launch day, and would rather get a ticket now, and thus avoid the rush.
In answer, we give you the Holiday Ticket Pre-sale. Here’s how it will work: we’ll offer 1,000 tickets at $260 each (this will be the third tier ticket price for ’09; more details on the full ticket launch will be posted on our web site on December 12). These tickets will be a special allotment and the quantity will NOT come out of any of the pricing tiers for our regular ticket launch on January 14. (And no, it won’t affect your chances to try for any of the first or second tier tickets when they’re available.)
Pre-sale tickets will be available online beginning Friday, 11/14 at 10:00am PST.
Tickets will stay on sale until 11:59pm PST December 28 OR the allotment of 1,000 presale tickets run out, whichever comes first.