BREAKING NEWS: Burning Man caps STEP tickets to either 17 or 2000, sells out in 17 minutes

Looks like Will Chase gets to be the front man copping the “shoot the messenger” flak.

Dear Burner,

Welcome to the STEP Announcement List.  We’ll be using this email list to keep you informed about STEP.  

Today at noon PST the WANT list for the Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) opens. We have in the past few days seen some tickets posted for sale in the HAVE category. However, as we all know the demand for tickets for Burning Man 2012 has been significantly higher than our supply. This means that the HAVE list will never satisfy the WANT list. Additionally, we want everyone to remember that the STEP program is not intended as dependable flow of ticket availability it is designed as a secure, hassle-free resale option. We want STEP to be effective in that regard.Rather than allow an unlimited queue of WANT to form without any reasonable chance of an equally high number of HAVE tickets entering the system we will need to pause the sign ups when the WANT list reaches 2000. We will reopen the list periodically as a few hundred tickets are sold. This will happen on a revolving basis contingent upon the flow and rate of exchanges that transpire. We will not be sending any further warning emails about the pending pause or the reopening. It is up to you, the WANT-lister to check back via your URL as you see fit.There are a few hundred tickets in the HAVE queue awaiting the start of STEP WANT, but that’s not enough to satisfy the demand. It is enough to allow the system to open back up again in a few days as buyers pick up their email and decide to purchase the ticket they were notified is available. Please remember there are only 72 hours to reply to a HAVE ticket for sale. Once the offer expires the next person in line will be given an opportunity to purchase. We know this is a short window, but we need to keep the list moving and create as much opportunity for as many possible participants to purchase a ticket and attend Burning Man.We fully recognize that STEP won’t satisfy the majority of people still hoping for tickets to Burning Man, but it wasn’t designed to satisfy that flow. Though it was originally designed for anyone wanting a ticket to buy one via the exchange we felt it prudent to instead limit buying to those who originally registered for a ticket and were not chosen in the January Main Sale drawing.Some of you may not be entering STEP and are instead waiting for the direct ticket redistribution of the remaining 10,000 tickets that had been intended for the March 28th open sale. Please, If you are part of a theme camp or art car project we urge your team leadership to follow through and submit a questionnaire by March 8th so that direct sale allocations can be confirmed. Placers have accelerated part of their timeline to begin to sort through the distribution. The Placement staff sent out information to recent camps from the past few years, please encourage leadership with important projects and teams to follow through with filling out the questionnaire immediately.Low Income ticket applications are coming in very steadily, and this program is likely to sell out quickly also. Our criteria and process for determining qualifications can be satisfied by filling out the application and attaching evidence of income. Lastly, we do believe that the summer will offer it’s annual “change of plans” opportunities to buy a ticket. We know that seems long to wait, but it will be worth it for those that can. We urge Burners to not buy from scalpers and not sell to scalpers. The scalping system depends on people paying inflated prices, if we’re going to fight the system it means Burners need to fight it together.This is a challenging time of change and growth without room to grow the desert city we love. We are working to do what we can to ensure the social fabric of Burning Man 2012 will be intact, and in doing so are looking to what our process for 2013 will look like. Please stay connected to our various means of communication and please continue sharing constructive feedback.We wish you the best in your efforts to reach Black Rock City 2012.

~ The Burning Man Organizers
Now this is where I really get confused. There are only a few hundred tickets in the “HAVE” queue. So, straight away, this eliminates family and friends signing up for tickets they didn’t really want, and accidentally winning the lottery too many times.
BUT, Burning Man somehow had to shut down STEP after less than 20 minutes because the 2000 tickets cap was hit.
Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like. But this stinks to high heaven.
Oh and I love this bit:
And our apologies to those of you who have asked to be unsubscribed from this list … we just haven’t had the time to get to it today, but we will immediately following this email, we promise.
How many cooks does it take to spoil a broth? “Sorry, we’re all busy wringing our hands and fretting, couldn’t type your name on the computer and hit delete – you wanted to unsubscribe, so fuck you anyway!” They pay $10 million a year for this “organization”.
Let’s dissect their FAQ (or should it be called FARK U?)
Q: How do I sign up for the Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)?
A: Everyone who registered for, but did not receive tickets in the Main Sale was sent an email earlier this week (3/28 or 3/29) titled “Burning Man Secure Ticket Exchange Program: how to sign up”.  In that email is a link that is unique to YOU, and gives you access to the STEP system to sign up. That is the only way to sign up for a chance to buy tickets through STEP.
Thank you Burning Man. So helpful. Because now we understand some of the problem  – you are selling tickets from the future! A future where you have a permit for your event, and scalpers have forever been purged from the planet! I received an email this week, dated 2/28/2012 – perhaps this is the one you are talking about, in the Earthling calendar? It asked me to click a link at High Noon on 3/2/12 – in the hope that I could once again enter your lottery, that left me as a loser last time.
Some Burner commentary
there were so many server crashes reported at 12:00 and 12:01 – even before, on unrelated servers (you would think) like ePlaya, I’m not going to post them all
At 12:12pm, West reports “Success!”. This seems to be the ONLY report on the Internet of someone actually getting a ticket from STEP.
It takes until 12:17 for STEP to run out of tickets. Thanks Nicole

We’re sorry, but the STEP queue is now closed. You should have received an email from Burning Man with information about the limitations of the queue including if and/or when it will be reopened.


SuperCraig Janelli
I just got my email about the STEP FAQ’s… wow. How incredibly disappointing that was. Today they had yet ANOTHER horrible experience with their servers and instead of just stepping up and OWNING what happened, they listed it as their 3rd FAQ and pointed out other orgs that don’t have their shit together either… I mean really? seriously?? Come on! Shit happens. Yes, we get it. But at least OWN IT! I’m so frustrated and disappointed I don’t even know what to say or think any more.

So, I got the email with the link. Said it would open at noon PST. I logged in at 12:24 and it said it was closed and that I should check my email. This soooo sucks!!!

Beach Bum

Trilobyte (ePlaya moderator/lead) wrote at Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:59 pm on the thread “So there are only 17 tickets? Or a couple hundred” referring to the post supposedly by Maid Marian at 12:27pm today that mentioned only 17 tickets in STEP:

“I’ve checked with BMHQ, and that was not posted by Maid Marian (blog comments don’t require creating accounts/logins). The numbers that poster quoted are not accurate.”

pretty rough news from Muffy and Nicole, only 17-24 minutes till the 2000 (or was it 17) STEP tickets were gone. Did they go to Burners? Or scalpers?
We have Will Chase telling us at 8pm that “several hundred tickets have been sold”
Q: Have tickets been sold through STEP?
A: Yes, several hundred tickets have already been sold through STEP.
So, pretty obvious. They only got a few hundred tickets in STEP. They sold out in minutes.
Even worse from stech

I clicked at 12 noon. this is what I got

Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)

We’re sorry, but the STEP queue is now closed. You should have received an email from Burning Man with information about the limitations of the queue including if and/or when it will be reopened.

fuck you with clown shoes.

Well, doesn’t seem like the end result of STEP is going to be a ton of happy Burners. I guess if you’re a Burner and you really want a ticket, you’re faced with 3 choices now:
– keep trying with STEP
– try to get a ticket from one of the elite Theme Camps
– buy a ticket off the Internet
The last word from Will Chase – still toeing the party line. They sold all our tickets to scalpers, but woe betide any of us who might want to buy them!
Q: Do you anticipate a lot more tickets becoming available through STEP?
A: We believe there will be a small trickle of tickets becoming available through STEP over time, but not a large rush of them. We strongly suggest you explore all possible options (short of scalpers) to get your Burning Man tickets this year.

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