Ticket Prices Starting To Drop

2014 Stubhub Data

2014 Stubhub Data

I’ve been tracking the price and quantity available for tickets and vehicle prices on Stubhub for the last few weeks. Good news for Burners who don’t have a ticket or vehicle pass yet: the prices are dropping, and the number available is starting to increase – a sign of further price drops to come. Today the price has dropped below $800 for the first time.

If you want to sell your ticket or vehicle pass and pocket a few hundred dollars extra, the time to list it is now because we expect the decline in secondary market prices will accelerate.

worlds_greatest_snark_men_cartoon_cut_out-r9a83c0394833419ab23721395e19d643_x7saw_8byvr_324The Burning Man snark group have announced that they will snitch to BMOrg on anyone selling tickets above face value. Meanwhile, BMOrg themselves have been selling tickets to chosen insiders for much more than $380 for months. They justify this by saying that $250 of the price premium will be donated to the Burning Man Project (why not the whole amount?)

More than 2500 tickets have now been sold back to BMOrg through STEP at face value (minus a loss for the Burner on transaction costs). If you sell a ticket to STEP at face value, does BMOrg try to resell this for $650 to insiders, before it goes into the STEP re-sale queue? It’s impossible for us to say for sure, we can only suspect. Even most of the people employed by BMOrg wouldn’t have direct access to the algorithms and data involved in this process. Will only 1000 tickets be sold in the OMG sale? Again, this is difficult to say except for a very few insiders at BMOrg and Ticketfly. These details don’t show up in any IRS filings for their 501(c)3 non-profit, or their Afterburn Report.

caravansary ticketThere is a discrepancy of 9,000 tickets (face value: $3,420,000) between the officially sold ones, and the population cap. These tickets may be “handed out to volunteers”, who sell them to their camps or on the after-market as a reward for their time. Or they may be “scalped for $650 by BMOrg” ($5,850,000), with any excess inventory being washed through STEP and OMG sales. There is no clear statement from BMOrg about these mysteriously missing 9,000 tickets: where are they, who has them, what are they doing with them?

There is still a “last chance OMG sale” coming up, supposedly of 1000 tickets.

Thursday, July 31, 2014 12pm (noon) PDT: OMG Sale ($380) registration begins
Monday, August 4, 2014 12pm (noon) PDT: OMG Sale ($380) registration closes
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 12pm (noon) PDT: OMG Sale ($380) starts

Why not just put all those tickets into STEP? Why make Burners try to log on again at a certain time and get in yet another queue? It makes little sense, unless you see STEP and OMG as ways for insiders to unload a leftover bunch of tickets they haven’t been able to sell on the secondary market.

This Friday, July 25th, is the last day that STEP tickets will be offered to anyone in the queue. We believe it’s also the last day to buy $650 BMOrg scalper donation tickets if you have the special code. If you don’t have your ticket by noon Pacific time on Friday, then your only official chance is the OMG sale – register next week, try to get in the queue the following week, and hope you’re one of the lucky 1000; and your only real chance is the aftermarket on Stubhub, Craiglist and eBay.

Anyone who wants to unload tickets is forced to sell them on the secondary market, after noon PST Friday July 25th. Since many people who have bought tickets still haven’t received them in the mail yet, the quantity listed on Stubhub is probably going to increase. If you price the ticket you’re selling at $380 on Friday, for sure you will sell it…but this is probably true if you price it at $780 too.

In the past, we’ve seen this trend play out before, with ticket prices dropping as the event gets closer. People realize that their friends couldn’t get tickets, so they don’t want to go. Their ride fell through, and they couldn’t get a vehicle pass. Something came up at work or in their family. They split up with their BF or GF. There are all kinds of perfectly legitimate reasons why someone might want to sell a ticket, and the closer we get to the event, the more desperate those sellers become.

We predicted the situation would be different this year with the new vehicle passes, that they would increase in scarcity and therefore value as we got closer to the event. They definitely increased in value, they’ve been a scalper goldmine from day one, selling for as much as ten times their face value. But the number for sale is increasing too. Either we got it wrong, or we were right that they could sell more than 35,000 vehicle passes and no-one would be the wiser. Only motorbikes and planes can get in without a vehicle pass, otherwise you’re going to get all the way out there, line up for 8 hours, only to be told to turn around and go home. Officially, you can’t buy either a vehicle pass or a ticket at the gate.

copenhagen Zoo_BusThere is a Bus Service, Burner Express, but that’s limited to 5,000 people. Tickets are $250 for a round trip from San Francisco with bike, and they still appear to be available.

At Burners.Me, we’ve always maintained that if you buy a ticket it’s yours, if you want to sell it, it’s yours. If scalpers are such a big problem (which they’re not), why refuse to link tickets to IDs even though everyone’s ID gets checked on the way in? Is it to facilitate their own scalping? Why should BMOrg be able to sell tickets above face value, but Burners can’t? How does “scalping a ticket” possibly harm the Burning Man party, anyway? You could sell your ticket for $880, donate $250 to the Burning Man Project, and keep $250 for yourself. Or you could keep all the profit for yourself, after all we live in capitalism not communism. Unless you’re at the largest gathering on US Federal land, Black Rock City, where all commerce is banned…except for all the commerce that isn’t.




And The New Thing To Buy On The Playa Is…

FUEL! We’ve been calling for it to be opened up to the general population, and now it has - somewhat. Black Rock City has a gas station for Mutant Vehicles, and a fuel delivery service for generators. Now Theme Camps and Art Cars can refuel to their heart’s content (as long as they get there in time, they’re not open 24/7). There are 2 different vendors (and maybe even more in the future).

Before you rush to the comments to tell us “this is nothing new”, yes yes, we know, despite official claims that “the only thing we sell is ice and coffee”, it has been possible to buy gas and other stuff at Burning Man in the past. Now it’s out in the open, and seems pretty accessible. You can’t get gas for your car, RV, or tax-free motorbike, but at least the sound systems get to keep thumping and the Art Cars get to keep on conveying.

If you want to be radically self-reliant, you still can…up to a point. There is a Nevada state limit of 1000 lbs of fuel that can be transported per vehicle, including container weight, which according to BMOrg works out to about 2 x 55 gallon drums.

We recommend calling in advance to pre-arrange delivery to your camp. The gas station is only open 3 hours a day, don’t be surprised if there’s a line…

shadowgasSierra Fuels and Haymaker are two of our approved fuel vendors this year. Theme Camps may contact one of these vendors pre-Playa to make arrangements for their fueling needs on Playa. Although fuel prices do fluctuate frequently, these vendors have agreed to lock in a price range for you when you make your arrangements. Black Rock City is working closely to ensure pricing is fair and reasonable. If you are not quoted a price when you make your arrangements, please ask for one.

These vendors are the only Black Rock City-approved vendors … others are not prohibited, but should refer to the Fuel Vendor Guidelines found here.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Your generator should be large enough to run up to 30 hours in between fills.
  • Camps must keep a clear path to the generator(s).
  • The fill pipe accessible area should be no more than 150ft from the access road.
  • That area also needs to be clear of sources of ignition or open flames.

Although arrangements can be made on Playa if you decide you have fuel needs, vendors cannot always guarantee the ability to meet your needs if no previous conversations have been held. Please don’t wait … make your arrangements today!

Haymaker 804-647-6132 or Email:

Sierra Fuels (775) 322-2111 or Email

Haymaker will be operating a Mutant Vehicle fueling station on Playa, August 23 through August 31, on the outskirts of the camping area near 10:00 and L. Each day the fuel station will be open from 3pm to 6pm. Any vehicles with a “Night Time ONLY” Permit should use the city streets and travel along L to the fuel station. This option can be used for other generators ON BOARD and used for Mutant Vehicle purposes (i.e. light, sound, etc.).

gas_grass_ass_bumper_sticker__80844Mutant Vehicle Owners interested in participating in this opportunity should email Haymaker at Once contact has been established and you have a plan, you will need to call 804-647-6132 to set up a payment plan.

When making reservations, you will need to provide:

  • A contact name, email address and phone number
  • Camp name
  • Camp location
  • Type of fuel
  • Type and size of vehicle or equipment to be fueled

crude_2On site, Vendors will operate as best they can in line with the arrangements they have made with you. Please remember, it is Burning Man and unexpected situations like weather delays, equipment failures and road closures may arise.

Please note BRC cannot be held responsible for the performance of external vendors

Messages for the fuel vendor can be left with a fuel team representative at the “Fuel Funnel”, located at Playa Info at 1:00 Inner Center Camp. The “Fuel Funnel” hours are 1pm-3pm, August 24 through August 30, and messages will be relayed to the fuel vendor daily. Pre-event, messages can be relayed to the fuel vendors through Playa Info.

There is a 25 gallon minimum fill. If you wish to obtain fuel and store it for later use you must have 4-5, 5 gallon gas/diesel jugs that are CARB and EPA certified.

NOTE: This opportunity is for Mutant Vehicles and Theme Camp generators only. This is not to be used for personal vehicles or other equipment.

Will there be even more vending to come in the future? Time will tell…

What Are You Packing?

Too busy to pack for Burning Man? Maybe you’re a burgin, and you have no idea what to bring (hint: a lot of blinky lights and batteries). Or maybe you’re an experienced veteran, who can never quite get it right.

One guy has the answer. For $80, he’ll pack for you. Don’t be fooled because he looks like he forgot to pack his shirt…those are some serious lederhosen and knee-high socks right there.

Thanks to Playa Slumlord for finding this, if you’re still looking for a good deal on an RV check them out.

From Craigslist:

Packing Consultant for Burning Man

image 1image 2image 3

packing consultantPlaya Packing Consultant

Are you a ‘burgin’, or even a returning Burner, but a bit too frazzled to get everything in order for the big trip to Black Rock City? I can help you pack for Burning Man, whether you’ve got your ticket or not.

I’m a sixteen-year veteran who’s seen all sorts of weather and packed for untold themes and occasions. Whether for a compact car, or a rental truck, I can help you organize the big list. And we can even work on the tetris-puzzle of compacting it all into a sensible load.

Are you joining a village? Are you breaking out on your own? Let me hit all the points of what’s really going to be important once you’re out there.

List Consulting:

Compact Car: $80 day meeting

Rental Truck: $80 day, minimum two meetings

Actual Packing:

$80, must take place on or before Aug 23rd.

I’ll help you choose desert-safe containers, best choices for nighttime cold, and the best menu for round-trip and compost-free eating. (No, you don’t want to end up with a pile of neglected veggies, in a garbage bag, next to you on the ride home in the SUV.)

Soma Showcases Burner Culture on the Embarcadero

soma crane installSFist tells us about a new Big Art installation on Pier 14. Soma was made by the Flaming Lotus Girls, and debuted at Burning Man in 2009.

Bizarrely, Pier 14 on San Francisco’s Embarcadero is just to the South of Pier 2, between the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge, rather than near the Exploratorium at Pier 17.  Maybe they should have put it in San Francisco’s SoMa district, the new epicenter of the tech industry.

From sfist:

New Burning Man Art Comes To Pier 14

soma_burningman.jpg Soma at Burning Man in 2009. jondissed/flickr

On July 21, just after sunset, a new interactive, LED sculpture will light up Pier 14. The 28 x 40 foot stainless steel installation is a modified version of piece that premiered at Burning Man in 2009.

Named “Soma,” which refers to its abstract depiction of two neurons connected by an axon bridge, the sculpture was created by local art collective the Flaming Lotus Girls with support from the Port of San Francisco and the Black Rock Arts Foundation (Burning Man’s arts nonprofit). The project also raised $17,000 on Kickstarter and they’re still accepting donations here.

Unlike the Burning Man edition, which shot fire from multiple points, the waterfront version will feature LEDs, which are controlled by buttons accessible to the public. The Flaming Lotus Girls write that the LED units are “capable of producing 1.6 million colors” and the computer-controlled buttons allow people to activate a “trans-synaptic action.”

According to the Flaming Lotus Girls’s blog, the sculpture will turn on ten minutes after sunset and stay lit till 2 a.m., just like The Bay Lights. The exhibit is open 24 hours a day,. Soma will be up until July 2015.

“Soma” – an interesting choice to represent Burner culture. Why, you ask?

Soma is indeed an accepted term for a neuron. It is more than that, though. Use of the word goes back beyond even Greek times, to the Indian/Aryan Vedas, the oldest known texts that are still in use today. It is the first known drug, a botanical entheogen consumed in rituals and considered “a God for Gods”.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASoma is also the name of the wonder drug in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World which is used to control the population in blissful ignorance. In the book it is described as an opiate, hallucinogen, and stimulant, with no side effects. The British-born Huxley has a long association with the Bay Area. He was the major inspiration behind the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, where there is a “sacred vessel” meeting room named after him. His dystopian novel is considered by some, along with his student George Orwell’s 1984, as a blueprint for modern society.

pillshead“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution”

 - Aldous Huxley, UC Berkeley, 1962.

“We’re a self-service cult. Wash your own brain” – Larry Harvey.

Here’s Huxley’s whole speech: