Thursday, February 2, 2012

Why you and your friends didn't get a burning man ticket this year


UPDATE (2/3 10:45PM): Update from BMORG.  Less spin. There is no large "surplus of tickets" in the community, not everyone will get a ticket and big art/theme camps are 75% w/o tickets. 
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A lot of folks had a feeling the lottery was somehow unfair, but couldn't put their finger on why.
The BM org spinning the truth and people believing it is distinctly unhelpful to progress.
At the risk of giving good ideas to bad people.  I try to explain it.
Feel free to repost to lists.

Why didn't I get a burning man ticket this year?
The short answer is the organization ran a lottery where the average prize was in the hundreds of dollars and the entry cost was zero - a system incredibly attractive to scalpers and entrepreneurs.   2/3 of our camp didn’t get tickets this year and yours probably didn’t either.

The BM org said the problem was friends and family ordering too many tickets and we just need to redistribute them?
Taken most charitably, that is dishonest spin and misdirection.   Look around.  Does your camp have extra tickets?  Do your burner friends?  We’re hard-core burners.  If we can’t find them, who's holding them?  Tickets will be “redistributed”, but clearly at a higher price.

Really?
Whether the BM org wants to admit it or not, secondary markets exist and exert an influence on behavior.  BM tickets have a market value of at least $390 and are easily sold on craigslist, stubhub, & ebay.   Would you buy a ticket right now for $390 if offered? I would.
For the lottery, there are 25k "winning" tickets at $240, $320.   If 50k enter for pairs (100k tickets), that's a 1 in 4 chance of winning an average payout of $220 (!) (the difference between $390 and avg price of ~$280 times two)
A system with an expected payout of $55+ per entry with no entry fee attracts scalpers and multiple entrants.

So what do you need to enter? 
Unique CC#, unique email, and a semi-unique address.
The last name on the credit card should ideally match, though that's not strictly true if CVV and Zip both clear.  First name almost never counts, my credit cards are all over the place: Al, Alvin, Al K, Alvin KaiHau.
1.  Generate as many unique "ShopSafe" credit card numbers as you want from your credit card companies' web site.  No limit.  Free.
2.  Gmail accounts.  Free.
3.  Unique addresses.  My address is on Adeline st, but if addressed to XXXX Adeline st, Unit #24 or Unit# 124, etc, I'll still get the mail.  My old address was 199 new montgomery St - 400 people live there.   Good luck figuring that out.

How about banning duplicate IP addresses?
IP address sharing is common for work/home. IP anonymizers readily available (tor, personalvpn).

How safely, how much work, how much money?
It’s conservative to say 8 numbers/emails/address units, all the with same last name, could be made undetected.
It'd take less than an hour and the expected payout is $440 (2 sets of 2 tix).
The only thing really necessary is a credit limit high enough to absorb actually winning multiple tickets.  For example, a $7k limit could net 20 tickets and a potential $2200 gain.
And I suspect all the sports and music ticket scalping operations know how to do this on an industrial scale.

How is this different than a virtual “line”?
The primary difference from before is that is used to happen all at once, so sure, the line was long, but a regular person could still get in line.  But now, the new system effectively benefits multiple entrants with high credit limits, and scalpers with the machinery to enter hundreds (or thousands) of times.
_The current system puts at considerable disadvantage the poor and those who enter only once._ 

Should I have entered at a higher price?
This ticketing system looks similar to previous years, but the effects couldn't be more different.  If you really want to go, there's no reason to not enter at $390.  All entering for less means is to reduce chances of getting a ticket or winner.  And losing the lottery means a ticket price of...$390. 
Not only that, now that the lottery sold out, it's $390 and getting in line too!  Again, if you can’t afford it, you’re at a disadvantage.

What about the burner ethic of not selling for more than face value?
Previously, BM didn’t sell out.  So the early tiers were a “reward” for early commitment.  It also used to be a closed community.  This is a lottery, it’s purely random and that affects perception.  Secondary markets are also completely open.  In any case, if I was offered a $240 ticket at $390 from a random on craigslist, I would buy it.

Isn’t there going to be a secure ticket exchange at face value?
This is again, misdirection at best.  This addresses the problem of counterfeit tickets and higher than face value prices, but does nothing to ensure supply at those prices.  It’s only there to distract people from their anger.
There will be a ticket exchange in March where 10k genuine tickets will be sold at face value ($390).   I suspect it will be oversubscribed.   Where will the additional tickets for the other exchange come from?
Worse!  There’s nothing that stops your neighbor from presenting themselves as member of the community to buy a ticket to sell on craigslist.

Can't we count on community behavior alone to keep scalping in check?
Um, no.  When demand exceeds supply and there are markets, it's a whole new ball game.  It's unhelpful to pretend otherwise.  BM is mainstream acceptable or even desirable now and ticket sales need to be managed more carefully for outcomes.  53,000 tickets seems like a lot.  it isn't.  It's roughly 2x the capacity of a single concert at a large venue or 1/2 the attendance of a sports stadium game.

What should we have done?
The right thing in this system is to have you and all your friends create as many entries to win as many tickets as possible and distribute them among yourselves.  If a scalper enteres 100 times and a burner enters only once, the burner at a considerable disadvantage.  This system forces multiple entries because the cost of entry is too low.

Do you have a better way?
They all have to do with separating people who actually want to go from people who only want a ticket to resell and it all adds inconvenience.   That's the point - add friction aside from price to reduce the size of resale markets.  Printed names on tickets which require a matching ID to enter, perhaps.  No transfers, only refunds.   And the refunded tickets go back to a named waiting list with the same restrictions – matching ID to enter or refunds only.  

Did you get a ticket?
My wife and I entered twice each.  We got one set of tickets at $320.

114 comments:

  1. I know of at least three friends that both got tickets and ordered more than they needed for just themselves.

    It was not the possibility of scalping them that motivated them, but the change that they would have to guarantee that a friend or campmate needed to be covered.

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    1. what to know how to get 4 tickets at $25 buck a piece?

      i've got first hand knowledge how it's done,

      let trade knowledge

      put your reply on Reno Craigslists wanted section

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  2. BMorg's technology group is deliberately insular, and it's own worst enemy. They're largely to credit for this fiasco. Had they simply engaged a development group (um- look at the Burner community, we built Twitter, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, etc.) to do this right, there would be no problems. Ego is a fierce demon with deep reaches...

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    1. Unfortunately, they seem to discourage technological innovation. Just ask the folks who tried to update and expand the digital map of Black Rock City. My biggest argument against this system was "what if the two people who make the camp happen, or the guy who brings scaffolding do not get tickets and the poi dancers do?" Its not as if the poi dancers will want to give up their tickets, yet, what do they actually contribute to Burning Man as a whole?

      I am part of Fandango, and have only heard from two or three of our number that got tickets. We are a 350 person village. My husband, who is our Camp Fascist & I opted not to attend this year & I watch with curiosity & dismay as this plays out. Really sad they did not adopt the Glastonbury model, as that works to defeat scalpers. I suspect it was too much work to implement, and it would seem they are just too lazy or too naive to do anything to prevent this situation.

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    2. Hey, y'all at Fandango were right next to us at Illumination village last year.

      Thanks for the pointer to the Glastonbury model. It's slick! I didn't know they actually print your *photo* on your ticket.

      I understand the appeal of relying purely on community based processes. At some point though, you have to bite the bullet and put in additional measures to ensure outcomes.

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    3. Stopthewarofun...as a "poi dancer" who has built the temple, built theme camps, olunteered for several departments at Burning Man, and performed in front of the man before he burns...I'd say we contribute just as much as your scaffolding guy. Many of us are your scaffolding guys. Creating divisions inside of the community of veteran Burners is a pretty unproductive direction to go.

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    4. This "veteran burners" thing is such bullshit. Creating divisions based on the number of times people have been to the event is worse than picking and choosing between poi dancers and scaffolders. At least the latter is an attempt to distinguish on the basis of what people are actually going to contribute to the event they're going to, rather than what they did last year or the year before.

      It's fascinating how little it takes for the burner community to start scratching around for characteristics that conclusively demonstrate how worthy they, personally are, and how it would be a complete travesty if some unwashed peasant got their hands on THEIR ticket...

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    5. you do realize that most the cool blinky shit that's brought out is done by "veteran burners". I get the point you're trying to make, but without the vets it ain't no burn

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    6. without veterans, think about 40,000 unprepared virgins milling aboutand wondering why this doesn't seem as cool as everyone said. how many of you went there your first year with a sick art car? it takes awhile to motivate and to build and improve.

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  3. StubHub is well-known to list & sell tickets that are not yet in their possession - it's in their terms of service. They just guarantee a refund if they can't get you a ticket in time for the event - so if it's "too expensive" for them to get the ticket, they'll just drop you.

    The additional sale of 10,000 tickets in March is separate from the STEP program, based on the information on the Burning Man site. STEP's tickets will come from sell-backs from the lottery, and will be re-sold at face value. (Why they wouldn't sell them offline & locally, though, I dunno...)

    After last year's sell-out, a random selection (aka "lottery") is a great, radically-inclusive way to distribute tickets. However, the power of a lottery is destroyed when private transfers are allowed.

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    1. Stubhub doesn't sell tickets for Christ's sake.

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    2. Just Google StubHub and see how many complaints that are filed against this company and the "Horror" stories on line by honest people who were ripped off by them! Cheers...ain't life grand?

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  4. Thank you Org Shill for more spin. Alienating 2/3rds or more of the veteran burners from obtaining a ticket is potentially going to really change what comes to the playa this year.

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    1. Or lack of what comes to the playa. I wonder if so many people will turned off from this situation that scalpers may be holding tickets they can't unload. Not very likely at all, but I kind of hope that is the outcome, teach the scalpers and Borg an lesson. If they sold 53K tickets and 40K showed up, still a big event, but it'd be missing a lot of returning big camps and unique characters. Just my opinion.

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    2. Frankly, who cares if only a small number of veterans return? Burning Man teaches acceptance to change, but we all appear too self entitled and seem to be whining like little kids who can't get their way. Can't go this year? Go somewhere else. The world is huge and full of amazing things. Open your eyes. Or go to a regional burn and make it amazing. In the past, burning man was smaller and less set up, and it was still amazing for different reasons. So the borg fucked up this year. Big deal. Everyone is entitled to try something innovative. Give them a break.

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  5. 8-time burner (since '96), first-time commenter.

    Just want to say, this is an *excellent* analysis of what most of us only suspected would happen: the rampant gaming of a patently foolish "fairness" scheme by people for whom gaming systems is a basic business practice.


    If I may be so bold, BMORG should have offered tickets by email first and only to those who bought online last year - and then given the overage to Burners to re-sell *only* to people who took the trouble to answer basic questions about why they wanted to come. I'd reckon that the bulk of those who passed the smell test are bonafide virgins, and those who don't are bonafide scalpers.

    Impractical? Yeah. Sorry. Collateral damage likely? No doubt. But the inconvenience and sloppiness it would have generated pales next to the scale of the mass clusterfuck the BMORG has unleashed here.

    I'm seeing stories of entire camps rent asunder, families of 5 locked out for the loss of mom and dad's two tickets to this idiocy, and over and over again, veteran burners considering saying fuck it all anyhow, I won't come again until this is sorted.

    If any of us makes it, this year is going to be a weird one.

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    1. Mack, your suggestion makes sense in terms of preserving the community that long-time burners, created by people like you and me (13 years attendance since '99). Our camp has been an oasis on the outer rim, but now at least 2/3 of our camp members are without tickets. This means our camp and our art project are now uncertain, and our cherished neighborhood on the edge will likely also be devastated. Is it worth destroying communities that have been created over time? Are we really that expendable? The new BMorg will have to answer that question while the rest of us decide what to do next.

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    2. Ok, here's what I mean-- sorry for the typo! People who have been attending Burning Man for 10 years or more create the deep sense of community that we all find on the playa. Sure, we welcome newcomers, but people who have been attending for many years serve as crucial a purpose as the Black Rock Rangers in helping them get a clue so that our culture stays true to itself. A Burning Man festival with mostly newcomers would not be the same thing at all. Or maybe the ticket price gets so high that it's all RVs? The playa is on OUR side... May the dust/wind/rain be with you!

      Here's a link to a petition for starting over (copy it):
      http://signon.org/sign/burning-man-lottery-recall.fb1?source=s.fb.ty&r_by=2330710



      http://signon.org/sign/burning-man-lottery-recall.fb1?source=s.fb.ty&r_by=2330710

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    3. 2 people in camp tsunami(80 plus member camp) got tickets. The head man in our camp has gone for the last 14 years! In my humble opinion BMORG so royally fucked up they might as well killed this year. I think we are going to boycott this year....yeah this year may have 40 thousand virgins running around wondering why this is not as cool as they thought. I WILL NOT buy from a scalper and I will not pay more than 390 period.AND I.m sure as hell not going to wait around 'till March 28th for the next fiasco.

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  6. I took my daughter (9) last year, we came from New Zealand. My partner reckoned it was too early but I wanted to go ASAP because I felt the culture was under attack and was in a "last chance to see" situation. I had no idea how right I was.

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    1. It depends on your perspective. In mine, its been commercializing for years and I have found it distasteful for about 10 years.

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    2. Yet you still go?...

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    3. Burning Man was better last year!

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  7. This method was doomed from the start... the printed name on ticket sounds the best... with exchanges/returns allowed, but only thru BMORG {where tickets get voided & reissued with new name).

    I also thought that BMORG should work with official theme camps first... sell tickets only to approved & registered camps. based on their projected camp size, then the camps are responsible for distributing to their people with whatever additional camp fee... after that ticket sale, then do general sale for those not affiliated with theme camps. -> this system rewards community involvement, early organization & fosters a more true spirit with the BM, theme camp, participant relationship.

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    1. Though I never used them, I really liked the idea of selling tickets through outlets like they have for years. It let people buy tickets directly instead of through the mail and provided sales to businesses that supported the community. This new method feels like we left them in a lurch.

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    2. Tonka, the outlets sold the tickets as a favor to BMan. They got no cut of the ticket sale, just a benefit of increased traffic that might buy something else in the store.

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  8. Support your regional burns this year!

    http://regionals.burningman.com/

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    1. The sad part for me is that *the* major draw for me is location. I want to live in a harsh environment with my west coast friends for a week; I don't want to spend a long weekend in the woods with the local burners that I avoid on a regular basis.

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  9. As a first-timer who entered once and 'won' the lowest price ticket, I feel blessed... by whom, I'm unsure, but still blessed.

    It's my impression that the playa welcomes all and is 'owned' by the community. What I am unable to understand is why so many veterans feel like BM is theirs and they should get to decide who goes and who doesn't... Really?

    Or is that just the whining of the Entitled Generation who thinks the world owes them just because they show up and are breathing? Yes, I know it's not your fault, your weak-ass parents couldn't say "NO!" so now you will suffer until you figure out that it's NOT ABOUT YOU! It's about community and sharing and you can't always get what you want and you'll be better for the non-experience.

    So quit your bitching and go contribute somewhere else--or sit in your hovel and feel sorry for yourself for another couple months--I don't care. Please just remember that there are other people on the planet who are just as important to their mothers as you were told you were to yours.

    I knew giving everyone a trophy so they wouldn't feel bad was a mistake and it sucks that I've been proven correct...

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    1. Good luck nube. :)

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    2. John, that was an incredibly naive post.

      If veterans are denied tickets, It's a shame that you won't even be able to realize what you're potentially going to miss.

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    3. A foundation to any great organization takes years and even decades to develop. Imagine the Rose parade having a lottery system where 70 percent of the floats were created by people that never built, or in this case, never even seen a float.

      The veterans are the foundation to what makes Burning Man the greatest event on this planet. Without them this would be become simply a party in the desert.
      They help transfer the essence of what Burning Man is all about to the people who are experiencing it for the first time.
      Burning Man is more than a gathering. It is about communities within communities which then blossom and share with others.

      People here are upset. If you had been to Burning Man you would of never written that aggressive, and fairly mean spirtted post. I suspect after attending you will see how giving Burners are. Hopefully there are enough Veterans there to keep the true spirit alive.

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    4. Wow... if it's only people like you who got the tickets and are going to be creating the "magic of the playa," I'm wondering if I want to go. It will be a very boring, lackluster and annoying place to be for a week. Plus I'll bet you don't actually bring half the things you will need to survive in the desert for a week...

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    5. It's as much a practical matter as anything else. BM runs on a lot of volunteer staff for everything from rangers, greeters, dmv, in addition to the art and theme camps which provide the bulk of interactive elements on playa.

      People are working months and months before you get there and on-site as well. It's not logistically possible to plan around 2/3 of a camp in a limbo situation.

      I'd give you a hug if I could, John. Sounds like you could use one. :).
      Enjoy your first year. Whatever it is, it'll be fun.

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    6. Sure, something will happen without the vets. But if you were hoping to see enormous sculptures, or go to incredible intricately decorated parties, or ride on fantastical art cars, you might ask yourself who provides those things... it's not bmorg, it's the vets. Who have traditionally slaved away for months at no pay and contributed many days of blood sweat and tears on the playa to provide your kind with a fun time. And many of us are about to rebel en masse and sit this one out. My entire village is exploring options to do a party somewhere else, maybe by the ocean. So you can have the playa this year. Just make sure to bring something cool to look at.

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    7. You don't understand what you are talking about at all, and if there is mostly people like you that go to the event, then there is zero reason to attend.
      See you being a virgin is fine, you'll find your way with the amazing community that already exists, but if only people with this mentality go to Burningman then the event would be over this year.
      You can't even fathom the amount of work some of these people crying or complaining do. The amount of engery and love that is poured into this event.

      The fear I have is newbies like you who don't understand the event go, and then your screwed cause so many veterans didn't. It's the middle of nowhere in the middle of the dessert, it's sometimes really tough, it's also really rewarding.

      So all I ask is when you go this year to come back to this post and apologize for your assine remarks once you understand.

      Also I get it from the outsider perspective of how it looks, but if these major camps can't get tickets, to build and create the amazing piece of Burningman that so many of them do then it's just a week long party in the desert, which I guess is cool, but Burningman is so much more.

      I truly must say I feel really bad for the event, and for all this, this seriously looks like this can end up ending the event, as it's always been a possibility.

      I'm a 9yr Burner and although I do contribute and particpate it's no where near close to what many awesome people do, and many of them are still without tickets.

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    8. good luck, but chances are there will still be plenty of us old timers to help you when you inevitably need it.

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    9. As a long time burner I couldn't be more happy that you want to be part of the community. I'm glad you are excited to go. However, I'm sad that the BM you will most likely experience for the first time is not the "real" event as it was originally intended to be and has, up until now, grown to be. It will probably be missing much of the content you have heard about, seen photos of, may be expecting, etc., etc.

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    10. Wow. I'm not going this year and had no idea that this was going on, very interesting. It seems to me that everyone who really wants a ticket will eventually get one. Also If there are more new people going than vets, then maybe it will be more like the first BM, back when the founders didn't even know what to expect. Evolution? An end and a new beginning?
      As a young burner (7 years) My heart still flutters every time I think of all the amazing things the more experienced burners have done for me and my community.
      Im not going this year because my boyfriend and I are working on a goal that will eventually benefit our community involving art and dance. All our money is going towards this. No matter how much I love BM, the bigger picture right now is to bring the burner spirit to a bigger community as much as I can. I think helping to build community outside of BM is definitely more important to me right now.

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    11. John, could you please sell your ticket to a real burner. You have just become the poster child for who is going to ruin Burning Man.

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    12. To all the nay-saying commenters: so much for radical inclusion? Here's a virgin who got their ticket from the main sale and you're bitching. And I don't see a single bad word said about vets in general - only about those who are now whining about how the event is going to be dead without their camp.

      You know what? The playa changes every year. 2012's theme is Fertility 2.0: maybe it's time to kick the "old blood" out and see what all the newbies will create. Maybe it will not be as big, maybe it will not be as over-the-top, but you know what it will be? The burn.

      Everything will be in its right place - maybe for the old blood, maybe that's going to be heading off to make their own event, rather than staying in the "safe shelter" of being able to blame BMorg for the decisions they don't like.

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    13. Hi John - in general you should feel welcomed in the community, new blood is critical to the event's long-term survival, but you also need some respect for the people who created the thing you want to go to. Old timers shouldn't get TOO much special treatment, but any system that keeps out 2/3 of them is a broken system.

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    14. This year would have been my 4th burn, and even though i have a ticket, I'm probably not going because none of my friends are. With that in mind, what was said above about camps setting up other events instead of the burn, it's not the first time I've heard that. Good luck to all the virgins that get tickets, there may not be much of an event for you to experience. The DPW will eat you all alive.

      It was always a sick joke that next year would be the last burn ever, but it's starting to look like a reality after the debacle with the tickets this year. Really sad.

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    15. Welcome to Burning Man, John. As a thirteen-time Burner, I didn't get a ticket, but I assure you that I will meet you on the playa. However, you have just been introduced to two Burner memes that were present when I first started to go, and are still alive and kicking today:

      1. Burning Man was sooooo much better last year, before all these noobs came and ruined it
      2. The REAL burners are [people like me], not [people like you]!

      There's nothing new here folks. Move along.

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    16. John, with respect, as someone new there's a lot it's clear you haven't experienced, and may not understand.

      Burning Man is a city, built not on the expertise of the organizers, but built on the expertise of the attendees who have perfected specific methods of coping with technical problems after YEARS of desert living.

      These involve lots of water recycling systems, camp showers and kitchens that don't damage the environment, keeping art cars moving with all the special caveats needed for attendee safety and harsh conditions, and even running generators and electrical equipment in the dusty environment.

      It takes all these people to make the very event you would like to attend safe, and populated. I can't tell you how many tricks the experts use just to keep sound systems running, and NONE of the people setting up any of the camps around the playa (outside of center camp) are in any way hired by the organization.

      People aren't just "whining" for a sense of entitlement, they're discussing the very real problem that without 80% of their camps, they can't set up the environment that's there to support ALL of us, including all the new people that would like to attend.


      It was mentioned in your words that you were unable to understand the sentiment of the people who make up this event, and what they're expressing.

      I hope this helps that understanding, or at least enough to pull back from a post like this.
      I'm trying to be generous and understanding in my reply, but I have to admit to having to first get over being upset by what felt like a lack of desire to understand some of the issues people are expressing.

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    17. I take the point of so many in this thread who say that without hard-working, dedicated, organized vets, the burn is going to miss out on a lot of what makes it great.

      However, aren't the fine people who live, breath, sweat, and bleed for their art/camp the very same ones who will gladly get it together to pony up an extra $100-300 for a black market ticket?

      Last year everyone was freaking out because of the sell-out, but guess what happened? Best damn year I can remember.

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    18. Perhaps I can be of assistance, John. There are people who don't do much interesting, useful or creative when they're not at or preparing for BM. These people often refer to themselves as "veterans", though it's certainly not the case that everyone who refers to himself or herself as a veteran is a person of this kind. I'll call them *veterans, for the time being.

      Because for these *veterans their first experience of expending creative effort was, and continues to be, limited to BM, they anticipate that others are the same. For this reason, the *veteran thinks that anyone new to BM will stand around, slack-jawed, while those who've been before carry on the business of making fun stuff happen.

      Of course you know, and I know, that there are people who create art, build things and make fun stuff happen on a fairly regular basis, in other contexts, and who are capable of making as significant a contribution to the festival as any *veteran. This notwithstanding the fact that, horror of horrors, they may never have been to BM before.

      I find the best course of action is to treat *veterans with a sympathetic and friendly smile, and carry on about your business. If you really want to cheer them up, ask them to tell you stories about how much better everything was 10 years ago.

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    19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    20. Critical replies ok. F'u u f'in f-type replies will be deleted.

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    21. What's Your Gift, John?February 4, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      Hi John from Olympia!
      Welcome to the community! Your impression is correct. The playa welcomes all and is owned by all. You will be a BRC citizen and you will be welcomed home. I empathize with a lot of the folks responding to your thread. I don't like that a lot of people have been rude to you (it’s not in the spirit of our community) but I get their frustrations with your rude post because, it shows your naiveté about the event. But that's ok -- you're a virgin, so how can you be expected to understand. We were all virgins once! And virgins can be some of the most resourceful, hardworking, and creative people.
      But I have a question for you (and I hope you will reply): What are you planning on bringing as your gifts to the playa this year?
      John, you’re a virgin, so it's perfectly normal for your gifts to be something you haven't worked for an entire year (or decade) on. It's even acceptable if you don't know what your gifts are going to be yet. Many times, just you showing up and being there with an incredibly positive attitude is a gift. You may find yourself helping someone who really needs it. It's normal if you're not going to be teaching a class to hundreds of people or if you're not going to be feeding thousands more. It's to be expected, because you're a virgin. You'll figure it out when you get there, and when you come back for your second year, you'll be prepared to give even more.
      But, as others have said, try to understand that the folks who build art cars, sanctuaries, sculptures, performance venues, the folks who have a giant pirate ship parked at home right now -- try to understand that for the first time EVER, the VAST MAJORITY of those folks will not be able to go. Or they might choose not to go -- not because they are angry, but simply because if the guy that owns the pirate ship looks around and realizes that the 50 other people who help create his camp aren't going, then what's the point of going alone if he has no one to feed him, no one to build his home, and no one to help him fix his pirate ship when it breaks down?
      With 2/3 of the folks who really make shit happen can't go to Burning Man, it's going to be a very different landscape.
      And maybe that's ok too. Things change. But look past the bitching, and the sense of entitlement, the Veteran Vs. Virgin mentality. Try to understand what's really at stake here.
      For literally the first time in history, the folks who have been working on their gifts, honing their craft, developing their skill, building communities, sanctuaries, villages, worlds, for the past 5, 10, 15 years, for the first time in history those folks WON'T BE THERE.
      So, whatever your gift is that you are bringing (even if you don't know what it is yet), it's not less important or more important than anyone else's gift. No one is more entitled to be there than you are, John. But I have a feeling that, as a virgin, you might not be building and leading a village of 600 people., you might not be building the Thunder Dome, or the Gameltron, or the Earth Harp, or Abraxis the Dragamuffin, or the Post Office, or publishing a newspaper, or a radio station, you might not be building a diner for me to have a late-night grilled cheese...
      ...and that's ok! But, please, try to understand, the folks who would be building and creating those experiences for years and years ----- those people can't get a fucking ticket. And a lot of the ones who did get a ticket, are choosing not to go.
      I hope this sheds some light on some of the confusion you were having. That said, as a 6-year burner, who didn't get a ticket, I want to wish you an incredible first Burn and welcome you home. It's going to be a life-changer. It was for me.
      Go in with a healthy attitude and while you are receiving the abundance all around you, just remember to GIVE BACK.
      My Best,
      CubCub

      Delete
    22. so well said.....I do believe the Step program might fail because anyone who has an extra ticket will give/sell to a fellow burner or campmate rather than go thru the hassle of Step. That said....as a 5 yr...in a solid camp with friends...it might be over for me. We can't go without our long-time campmates.....just can't.

      Delete
    23. If ya haven't been even once then you're talking out your ass. I personally think they need to keep expanding but if this ends up with a bunch of people that have never been, well how fun is that going to be? This is not an amusement park where all this cool shit gets set up by the organization, it is the members who set up all the cool shit, no veterans = no cool shit, so you can sit and do you X and drink your beer and be bored until Saturday night when the Man burns.

      Delete
    24. John, listen to cub cub! and picture this: you plan for years to go on a fabulous ski vacation!! and when you get there: no lifts, no lodge, no snow... the playa (in PRACTICAL terms) NEEDS committed veterans to exist & it isn't about being cooler since we've all been going for so long. I'm in a tiny camp & we love to pass out love & cookies & ice cream & smiles & kisses... but I would probably give my ticket (if I had gotten one!!) to a massive sound camp because they are the ones that make my week & they work so damn hard. xoxo go on home little guy & get happy : )

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  10. mr. virgin - the people that didn't get tickets would gladly give you the shirt off their back - and they are certainly not begrudging you your ticket. Burners feel like family and it is sad that many people who have attended for many years may not get to go this year because demand is so high. But I promise you that no true burner wants to go if that means you wouldn't get to go - from your post - you will be surprised at how kind and compassionate burners aspire to be. We're glad you are getting to go and if you need anything at all - just ask anyone you see or email me - and we will drop what we are doing to help you - and make sure your experience is was good as it can be.

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  11. Why did so many virgins get tickets this year? 98% of my regular burner friends didn't get tickets ... will it really be the same if nobody will be there to say: welcome home?? ...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Um, did you read the article?

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  12. Excellent analysis. Selling named tickets that are non-transferable (but refundable) is the only way to go. Notice there are no scalpers in the airline ticketing business?

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    1. smartness! never even thought of that.

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    2. Like Like Like. Plus, it's more of souvenir if it has your name on it, right? Anything is better than this, almost.

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  13. I've never been and will never go, but I do see a great disdained outlook on this. Maybe this is a karmatic just for those souls who are not fully centered. Good luck guys, don't take too many psycatropic drugs and alter your minds with negative influence.

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    1. It has nothing to do with karma, and everything to do with a poorly designed change that clearly favored scalping, which, if you had joined us at any point and understood the powerful trust relationships that develop through being part of voluntary camps and a huge mutual aid society, you would understand that scalping is anathema to our relationships with each other.,and with the Org.

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    2. karmatic just...... ha! YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!!!

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  14. Completely unorganized and a bad-wait for it-waiiiit for it-business model, and make no bones, as much I love being on the Playa and embracing the life there, SELLING tickets is a BUSINESS and this lottery/whatever you want to classify it as, is simply put: A nightmare of logistics, ill planning, bad response and lackluster implementation, no matter how you "spin" it. It could have been unfathomably better and they know it.... :/

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  15. All this means is who's going has to pull up their socks and make it a bad ass burn. The end of BM? Nah, new beginning.

    Why get bummed about it? I missed the burn last year, yeah I wanted to go, bought my ticket early, but thing came up and I couldn't go. Wasn't the end of the world, yeah i was bummed for a while, but it just meant I was and am more determined to make this years burn amazing.

    To all those who have tickets - congrats, I'll see you at home, and you better bring every ounce of enegery you go, because this is going to be one epic burn one way or another!

    to all those who don't have tickets yet - i say yet because theres still tickets out there, its only 48 hours after the lottery closed. its not time to scream bloody murder, but maybe its time to refocus positively and actively seek out a non-scalper ticket. theres options out there. I highly doubt 2/3rd of tickets went to scalpers, keep your eyes peeled!


    Missing one burn isn't the end of the world... but giving up on the event all together just because you didn't get tickets this year? c'mon, for a bunch of people who rock the desert like there's no tomorrow that seems a little soft...

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    1. Helllllooo, Fertility 2.0! I'm with ya, brotha-sista-anonymous.

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    3. Dude,

      If you think people are upset about missing one burn -- you've missed the point. I don't care if I can't find a ticket and I miss the burn this year.

      What would bother me is if I DO find a ticket, and go to the burn, but that dude above me who spent 5 grand and blood sweat and tears on his art car isn't there!

      Don't you get it?

      Delete
  16. While the situation for ticket lottery was screwed up and favored scalpers, I think the playa will be more interesting than normal without so many 'veterans'. A bunch of things will fall down or catch fire unintentionally and there will be more injuries than usual, but that's burningman.

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    1. If people go in the spirit of creating something awesome, yes it will be awesome, even if there are zero theme camps and it's just a bunch of people with face paint dancing in the sunrise. However... I imagine that many will go as (rich) tourists to see all the stuff everyone always talked about, and be confused when it's not there and not really be mobilized to create something in its place.

      Here's hoping for the former.

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    2. eat shit you fucker! your the type that needs to flip over speeding to the playa. just fuck you.

      While the situation for ticket lottery was screwed up and favored scalpers, I think the playa will be more interesting than normal without so many 'veterans'. A bunch of things will fall down or catch fire unintentionally and there will be more injuries than usual, but that's burningman.

      Delete
    3. It will definitely be the year of the train wreck.

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  17. hmmm...
    you know yea, they need to sell the upper tier tickets first.....
    The goal is to get people to purchase the most they can afford leaving the lesser to those that can't.
    You are right the lottery is kinda screwed up. I can see what the bmorg might see, more people pay extra to distribute the entries, but then its a guessing game.... where are most people going to enter. Where might I have the best luck winning? I might enter both lotteries in the hopes of getting at least one. Both because I can buy to, and so can my girl.

    Now, if you really want to encourage the most pay while still being kind and welcoming to the low entries, do as I said, enter people into multiple drawing. How? start at the top or bottom? I say start at the top to encourage the big spenders/those that CAN afford it.

    Then re-enter those entries in the middle tier. Now both the upper and middle tier are competing for the next set of 10,000 tickets. The top tier still pays the maximum they were willing to pay / could afford. That means a portion of the second tier tickets are being sold at a face value of the higher ticket.

    Finally, to be fare to the middle tier, they, along with any upper tier losers, get entered to win a ticket from the low priced tier. Once again paying the higher cost they could afford.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, yea, there is incentive to buy the highest priced tickets because you get 3 chances to win, and it looks like the poorest people get the shaft. However, if they guaranteed 10,000 lower priced tickets, use the payments from the higher tickets to allow lower income people to get there cheaper ticket. How?

      - Open sale again yea, that worked.... well it did, we just wanted to give others an opportunity too i.e. lottery
      - Make these harder to transfer?
      - Give them to theme camps? If you are poor, you probably need a support structure. . . but then dues are high so they could have afforded the higher priced ticket. Oh wow, more people at theme camps which now have more money. hmmmm more fun.... more participation.
      - Add them to the scholarship program. The two 1500 ticket groups were merged into a single 3000 ticket group, what's a few more, and more work for the BMorg. Since more people paid for the highest tier, take that money give the tickets to people that really need them. (NOW THAT IS GOOD FAITH!!!!)

      In the end, let me report how much I paid for my ticket, so I can add the name, credit card, email address, postal address, and phone number to the black list. Yea, all should be required & match where possible. i.e. no store credit cards either.

      Delete
    2. AFAIK, The lottery drew top tiers first with roll-down to the lower tiers.

      Delete
  18. How about you buy a ticket AT THE GATE. No advance purchase. None. If you arrive on Monday, you will most definitely get in. Arrive Friday? Probably not. Problem SOLVED.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...and plenty of new problems created. The clusterfuck at the gate would be epic. Also, they stopped gate sales because douchebags would show up for he weekend just to see some titties, and they caused lots of problems, just ask the Rangers about that. If you have no guarantee of entry, then why would you spend a month preparing all your survival gear (to say nothing of your art, or campmates...), $x amount in travel costs to a remote location, only to be denied? Not a solution.

      Delete
    2. maybe no admittance after say Wednesday? that would encourage more community time, discourage weekenders, and perhaps reduce demand for tickets so those devoting more time to burning man are more likely to get tickets.

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    3. The problem is that too many people want to go and they cannot seem to get a BLM permit for more than 50,000.

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  19. why are tickets going for +$1000 on stubhub? that would likely be my ENTIRE budget for the whole event!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Uh hmmm.... Because they are scalpers? I dunno.

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  20. I'm devastated. Out of my 35 camp-mates from last year only 2 got tickets. TWO<---- with 40,000 tickets already gone and only 15k more at best being released I highly doubt anyone from our entire camp will be attending. It's really a shame to think the art car will be parked this year. One of my mates has only missed one burn... ONE.... and he is talking about all of us going on a cruise or something instead this year. =(

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. Anonymous personal attack towards Marian removed. Not acceptable here.

      It's not necessary or effective and I'm sure they've already heard their share.

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  21. Hey guys, As someone who biffed it last year and had to scramble for tickets, let me tell you that many of the concerns brought up above were discussed at length on the Burning man website last August.
    While it was stressful, I don't know anyone who didn't ultimately get to go if they still wanted to after tickets sold out, even if they refused to buy a ticket at greater than face value.

    There was some significant evidence that many of the secondary sales on ebay, etc., never occurred and that the community ultimately held off the scalpers by being stubborn. Professional scalpers are trying to make 10,000s of dollars for their work and that probably is just not to be had with this event, in particular, because there is no real market on the way to or at the gate, because of preparation required.

    So, I urge you to be patient, stay positive and look at this as an evolution that may ultimately benefit the community in some way. Last, year I got to participate in all kinds of contests, writing stories and poetry and attending events, that perhaps I wouldn't have otherwise. There were alot of gifted tickets in fun ways.

    You will get to go if you want to (and, gulp, can afford it, cause even the regular priced tickets are expensive).

    Peace

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  22. What about the burner ethic of not selling for more than face value?
    Previously, BM didn’t sell out. So the early tiers were a “reward” for early commitment. It also used to be a closed community. This is a lottery, it’s purely random and that affects perception. Secondary markets are also completely open. In any case, if I was offered a $240 ticket at $390 from a random on craigslist, I would buy it.

    NO. No no no no no. Lower priced tickets were not a "rewarrrrrdlolol" you moron, they were part of an honor system to allow you to pay what you would be able to, it's jerks like you that take advantage of that system and then you have the gall to try to use "the poor" as a shield for you being cheap. It's NEVER been a "closed" community. And you still admit that you could afford a $390 ticket, and that you would buy it marked up from $240 despite the fact that buying a ticket for more than face value is going against everything the community stands for. Cry about it.

    "How is this different than a virtual “line”?
    The primary difference from before is that is used to happen all at once, so sure, the line was long, but a regular person could still get in line. But now, the new system effectively benefits multiple entrants with high credit limits, and scalpers with the machinery to enter hundreds (or thousands) of times.
    _The current system puts at considerable disadvantage the poor and those who enter only once._ "

    You think having a fast internet connection or even a COMPUTER to jump in line DOESNT put the poor at a disadvantage? Puhleez. Stop parading around "the poor" as if you know what poverty is when you can afford a $390 ticket. http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/35kv9g/

    "What should we have done?
    The right thing in this system is to have you and all your friends create as many entries to win as many tickets as possible and distribute them among yourselves. If a scalper enteres 100 times and a burner enters only once, the burner at a considerable disadvantage. This system forces multiple entries because the cost of entry is too low.
    Did you get a ticket?
    My wife and I entered twice each. We got one set of tickets at $320."

    The most damning part of this entire stupid diatribe. So what you're saying is you used the same tactics that YOU YOURSELF bemoaned of scalpers? You ADVOCATE to CHEAT and put other members of the COMMUNITY at a disadvantage? To increase your chances and put yourself at an advantage over everybody else? I guess that is one way to interpret "Radical Self Reliance." How Burning Man of you.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'd buy the $390 ticket in a heartbeat. Given the massive shortfall, I'd feel lucky to be able to pass it along. Not ideal, but we're trying to solve a different problem now.

      I suspect if BMORG had to do it all over again with the same system knowing what they know now, they would agree it would have been better telling the theme camps and lists tickets would be in short supply and do everything to enter and get their people tickets. This would have been way preferable to the current situation. Until yesterday BMORG were still saying everyone would get a ticket and the theme and art camps (and lamplighters, and greeters, and other volunteers) were clearly 75% short. This is a very real problem for them and all of us.

      They may have been naive. The way the lottery is designed, multiple entries happen easily and single entries are at a disadvantage and it makes real demand very very hard to see.

      We entered twice each. It requires a second credit card and a work email. We got one set of tickets. It's reasonable to assume others will do this. Running a camp, if we thought about it, the current outcome was predictable. We should have had everyone do this.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous,
      You're clearly very angry and taking out on the author, who btw had the courtesy to respond in a polite manner. What the author did absolutely not the same as what the scalpers did, the difference being intent to sell at face value versus jacking up the price. The more burners got tickets the better for the BM community because they would be redistributed at face value, and we all should have done this. I really think you missed the whole point of this article. And regarding the "poor people" comment - I agree that "poor" was not the best choice of words but let's not split hairs here. What he's saying is lower income people had less of a chance of winning because they don't have enough of a balance to enter more than once (my case as I'm unemployed.) No one is talking about real poverty.

      Delete
  23. I know I'm idealistic, but lets band together and turn our backs to the stub hub ebay scammers. I looked at Stub and 84 tickets for as much as $6k. I wish I could "buy" em all and crush this misguided business venture. I know how upset some of us are, maybe this is way for Burners to band together and show these sellers that we will not buy from them. It is the mother of all dust storms, we need to prepare ourselves for the discomfort and stick together. Come on we are a powerful group. We will get thru this. xo Ziptie

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    Replies
    1. heh... the $6k stub hub is a joke.
      Check it out. VIP front row seating, guaranteed parking, all for $6,666,66

      someone's making a statement.

      Delete
    2. Ha ha! They should add "bottle service" and make it cost ten times that in the meatpacking district cuz it's on the playa - convenience fee.

      Delete
  24. Great analysis! Now what?

    How about the org simply annul the lottery - refund all the credit card charges (if they were made yet at all), tell everyone they DON'T have a ticket YET. Then spend the money to set up a system like Glastonbury's where every ticket has a name on it. Yes, check IDs at the gate! If someone wants to sell their ticket, they can do so only to the org. The org destroys all returned tickets and prints new ones with the new owner's names on them? Simple, right?

    Yes, simple and expensive, and requiring of some admission of mistake. It seems to me, though, that the org has both enough money and courage to do this. The cost may sting at first, but what price is too high to preserve the spirit of the event? To maintain the flow of art pieces and places to go that IS Burning Man?

    If you agree, and PARTICULARLY if you DID get a ticket through the lottery, please let your friends on the LLC know. Let's get some momentum rolling for this before too many lottery "tickets" are sold out there and annulling becomes more and more difficult.

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    3. Not saying it isn't possible, but such a plan would require a radical redesign, reorganization, and expansion of Gate. Having worked a few shifts there, I can tell you the pressure at Gate and Box Office is already pretty huge, and receives regular attention from law enforcement and regulatory people due to the backup there. Adding another time consuming layer of bureaucracy to get through, I'd say resources and staff would have to be doubled at least, and a whole new system worked out to deal not only with the ones that go smoothly, but more importantly, how to handle the ones that DON'T. Good idea, but implementation would be a BIATCH.

      Delete
    4. I've worked Gate 7 years.
      I call bullsh!t on the radical redesign of Gayte. Print the participants name on the ticket (or required addendum-sheet to the ticket with matching barcode) and we'll deal with it from there. It's more work for the participant than us. BRING IT.

      If you worked Gayte, then you know it's BOX OFFICE who deals with missing/will-call/etc tickets. Gayte only lets people through if they've got all the necessary paperwork plus a ticket (and early-crew's got paperwork!) We don't mind telling people they're fubar'd. Some might say we enjoy it.

      Delete
  25. Burning Man 2012: "We'll ruin your burn.."

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  26. Shamless plug: www.goingnowhere.org. We're small, we're in Yurp. This year, we are going to kill it! There are enough 'mericans coming over that (over drinks last night here in Oslo) another ex-pat and I started discussing an "Amerika! Fuck Yeah" or "U.S.Fucking-A!" camp.
    Take the ammount of money that you would use on Burning Dude, and take a European Vacation. We'll leave a light on for you.

    Skål for fæn!
    -Gen. Mayhem

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    1. Cool! Was this created as a reaction to the BM ticket fail or unrelated?

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  27. Plug away, Mayhem.

    I have many friends that have gone to "Nowhere" and they've all reported a wonderful time!

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  28. Occuplaya - Fourth of Juplaya.

    Simple.. Eat that BMORG!

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  29. First of all, thanks for this thorough analysis. This feels much closer to the truth.
    Second, it seems the only viable solution is to recall this lottery. If BMORG sees that the majority of burners support this, even those who got tickets, they are more likely to do it. I encourage everyone to sign this petition:
    http://signon.org/sign/burning-man-lottery-recall.fb1?source=s.fb.ty&r_by=2330710
    Another thing I'd like to comment on - I've noticed that a lot of people have interpreted the indignation over how few veterans/camp organizers got tickets as the beginning of some kind of class warfare within the BM community. I've been noticing a lot of anti-"veteran" posts. Let me just point out that no one here is saying that anyone deserves to go more than anyone else. All we're saying is the experience as we know it would not be possible without these veterans, so what you end up with is a a bunch of newcomers in the desert wondering where the party is at. No one wins. I personally have only gone once and volunteered for Disengage, but I know that's nothing compared to what others have contributed. I still consider myself a newcomer and have major respect for the veterans, who have introduced me to this world. Wish others would feel the same. And I suspect that they will, once they actually go and see how BM works. BM is not like other events - there are no paid performers or artists or handymen, so if there are not enough veterans to build and maintain the city - it's just a camping trip with a big bonfire. And that is why many people (including newcomers like myself) are upset that not enough veterans got tickets. I can tell that even if I got one, I would give it up if I knew that most of my camp couldn't go. I'd rather follow the veterans to a new festival, and the clueless newcomers could have Black Rock City to themselves, with nothing there except tents. Then they'll really start to wonder what they paid the $1000 for.

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  30. Great discussion.

    There is another solution I haven't seen mentioned yet --

    Negotiate with the BLM to expand the event.

    Add another 40,000 tickets for sale at $390 (or a little higher).
    Not only does it save Burning Man and make everyone happy, but it also screws the scalpers who are left holding tickets they can't sell.

    I realize this means adding more infrastructure to support the bigger population, but that's completely doable.
    The population shouldn't be that much bigger.

    2 year ago when everyone still thought tickets were unlimited, the population was around 50,000.
    How much bigger would we be if there were unlimited tickets?
    You can look at the growth year over year and make a good estimate.
    I don't think we'd be much above 60,000.

    As others have said, football games routinely get 80,000+ and Glastonbury is 150,000+ with, as I understand it, 1 road to get there. No reason why we should be capped at about 55k (or whatever it is).

    It makes sense for the borg to wait a little bit longer to get a better sense of how many tickets are actually in scalpers hands. They can see what the response to STEP will be, but at this point, it does not seem like it will be good.

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    1. I've been following this somewhat obsessively and have seen someone suggest expanding. The argument against that (not mine) was that it would not be feasable in terms of leave-no-trace. Also they would have to get it approved/licensed. But I'm with you on reducing scarcity and screwing the scalpers. Hopefully though, they will be screwed either way. If burners decide not to purchase from them as a group, eventually it will come out that most theme camps are not going which will make the market value of the ticket drop.

      Delete
    2. Julia, I'm not sure you'd trust the universe to get you a ticket again in a lottery 2 if in the last five days, you bought a plane ticket, filed a time off request or made new or old camp plans in the last five days - unforseen consequences and a whole new set of pissed off people.

      So yes, i'd feel insane giving my ticket back to any org who thought re-running the lottery was the best use of their time.

      My friend's mother who's active in the flight show community let us know over the weekend the folks who run the Black Rock airport are 75-80% short on tickets.

      "newbies vs veterens" is the general population is one thing. No greeters, lamplighters,
      thunderdome, center camp staff, the sound camps, art crews, airport, etc... that just can't happen.

      BMORG appears to be focusing more pressing problem (and I agree) on how to "safely" distribute the remaining 10-15k tickets in a way that gets enough into the hands of the theme camps and volunteers without pissing (even more of) everyone off. That should take a lot their 'excess' time and energy, which is to say, nearly all of it.

      Delete
    3. They cannot easily expand the event. Their permit is only for 55,000

      Delete
  31. Notes:

    I'm will delete any more 'sign the petition' comments without insightful commentary.
    People know about it. They can sign it if they want to.

    My view on this online petition is somewhere between slacktivism and a waste of time. Good community spirit, but the lottery is done. 40k people aren't going to have tickets yanked of their hands. The time was before the entry period was over.

    Re: increasing population cap: You can listen to Marian talk about population increases here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBd4LLDye8w&feature=youtube_gdata_player
    Short answer: Isn't going to happen. It's february already. logistics and timing if nothing else.

    Re: Demand. Things can grow very fast in our social network mediated hyper-connected age.
    Coachella added a second weekend and, more or less, doubled the size of the festival
    this year. Sold it out in three hours.

    In a lottery without measures against multiple entries, it is very very difficult to see what real demand is. Bmorg hid it from themselves with the design, which is a shame.

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    1. You know, as much as I enjoyed your blog, I can't help but wonder if your anti-recall sentiment is not just driven by your self interest. Personally, I would give up a ticket if had "won" one, for the sake of redoing it in a way that would be fair and benefit BM as an event. If this is redone in a proper manner, ALL the burners will get face value tickets if they commit early enough. The only people who have something to lose from the recall are the scalpers.

      Delete
    2. Yea! 2 weekends of Burn, follow the Coachella model!

      Delete
  32. I'm thinking it's time to skip the event, and just go for the 4th of July. No tickets needed. Just keep your groups small, rent a porta pottie for every 10 people or so, and come and go as you please...

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  33. The latest admission from the BMORG that there isn't a wealth of tickets to go back into the STEP system, that it wasn't just overbuying is comforting from a standpoint of long overdue honesty, but still begs "where are the tickets?" If the 20-33% success rate is fairly universal, somewhere between 120 and 200k tickets were requested. The party line of "it just got too popular" doesn't ring right. Given that BRC has grown over the years, but in the last decade has never grown more than 21% in a single year (and yes, there was even a year of contraction), seeing interest rush up between 120 and 270% in a single year seems real, real fishy, even with a perfect storm of marginal interest becoming actual orders this year.

    I suspect that there's a whole lot of tickets on the scalper market. Unfortunately, with tickets being mere promises until June, that leaves very few enough time to figure out plans, even if one succumbs and decides to fork over to a scalper. Perhaps the BMORG will wise up and try to get real tickets out there sooner. If anything, that extra time will allow a real market to develop rather than a panic rush as we're likely to see.

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  34. I agree with Jason. The numbers just don't add up. Something smells very wrong with this process. There's a huge amount of money on the line, not to mention possibilities of money laundering related to other things that might have been sold at the event for cash:
    http://burners.me/2012/02/10/exploring-the-other-part-ii-greed/

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  35. I know it would be a wasteful year to recommend this....but... couldn't we all just sit back and watch. Those that got tickets don't stay home and boycott. Go to the Playa and do nothing. Maybe make the sacrifice and have a couple of bad burns. Get the default world to see its not that great and not worth the trek. We can then regain our home back from pop culture.
    Possibly a bad idea.
    I do want to say something about virgins and I could be wrong. But I thought I heard somewhere that some of the most amazing art was built by virgins. Ill have to go through my Bm books to point them out. I'm thinking the double semis not sure is one....

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  36. I think it was possibly a scam by the man himself.I think this year may have been planned as the final BM, and they set the stage and tested the waters last year for what happened this year. It's called cashing in. If I am right, and this is the last year for the BM, and it being such a big "transitional" year (2012, duh!everyone and their mother wants to go to BM this year to "ride the transitional wave to nirvana) then I suspect this was all manufactured. As soon as they stopped selling tickets last year, I PREDICTED this exact scenario, sans the "lottery." How could the highly intelligent and shrewd folks at BMORG not have foreseen this given the debacle that "unfolded" before their eyes last summer? COME ON FOLKS....are you that BLIND? They could never have just come out and sold tix at ten-to-twenty times the previous cost of years past....there would have been an uproar. But it is not difficult to buy tickets via proxy scalpers to your own event where there is a huge demand and (as we saw last year) huge scarcity (tens of thousands left out??). Now given the projected increase in the number of people wanting to attend based on the past 27 years and the FACT that many, many people are to pay THOUSANDS to get to "participate," how can you tell me that this was an accident and took them by surprise?!! I don't buy it. How did I see this and not one person in BMORG saw it coming? They put out this silly press release on their site claiming to have been blindsided and they are saying how disappointed they are, how they pledge to make things right, etc etc...even you smell Bullshyte. So there is obviously SPIN...deception....lying. Not only did it sell out pretty much immediately (I predicted that last August), they had a LOTTERY to send the "family" scrambling to find tickets, keeping them distracted and busy while these "scalpers" are selling tickets for $5000 plus. No way you will convince me that this was unforeseen....and if they DID foresee it as SOMEBODY at BMORG MUST HAVE.....ask yourself why they would let it happen?? Then you can only come to one conclusion that makes any rational sense....and another conclusion...that this may possibly be, in fact, the last BM ever. Or...do it all again next year and make twice as much money!!!

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