Burning Man 2012 ticket: $250,000 (and other comments)

We’ve been scanning the blogosphere for Burner commentary on the ticket fiasco, and bringing you the highlights.

There’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is you can still get tickets. The bad news is it is going to cost you between 4 and 6 figures to do so.

An update from Burner Kat on where to get tickets:

Right now…what can be found….Wonder how more tickets they have and how many are in the closet until the tickets are sent?

Stubhub, ….151 tickets listings offered from $1,193.39 to $4,200.00 the 1 is $100,000.00
TicketsNow….18 ticket listings offered from $1525 to $1527 each
Vivid Seats…16 ticket listings offered from $1099 to 1375 each
Great Tickets….7 ticket listings offered from 1777
Go.tickets.com….7 ticket listings offered 1475

Since then things have changed, and Stubhub is now listing 4 tickets at $250,000.

Another Art Car sadly “bites the dust” – the Flaming Stagecoach of Mutant Vehicle Owners of America

Got my email last night from DMV stating that my MV crew will not have the opportunity to purchase any of the last 10,000 tickets. Nice. We have had our flaming stagecoach on the playa for the past 4 years hauling burners asses around BRC day and night. ” you need to go where?” “Let’s ride!”…..it’s beginning to feel like the past 7 years of participating has been a fraud. The playa is full of posers and we are one of them…..

Getting rejection notices from a dance party sucks – in the same way that getting knocked back from a club does. Getting one for an Art Car you built and operated at your own expense, specifically to entertain others at said party must really suck. Burning Man needs every last art car! Art cars are coming first in our poll of what drags Burners out to a party.
Looking at some of the other comments…

I think Burner Blech nailed it with this post

If I read one more person high fiving BMORG for trying Im going to puke.

We didnt fuck this up, BMORG and ONLY BMORG ruined it. THE END.

From the instant that the lottery was introduced, handfuls to tons of people commented on how it would be a bad idea and predicted the exact situation we are in now.

In a true self reliant moment, the community stepped forward after BMORG failed us and made the best fucking lemonade ever and offered tons of constructive solutions.

BMORG listen to that? No.

The people at the helm are responsible for running this off the rails and still the lemmings come to support BMORG for trying.

This isnt Woodstock. There is no angelic Lang nor Kornfeld guiding us with grace through the innocence. This is 2012. Orgainzing an event this size in 2012 is about as hard as baking bread was in 1200. If it’s difficult, it’s because you have the wrong people. If it’s really difficult it’s because you have the TRAGICALLY wrong people running the show. This shit actually is EASY.

The part that brings tears is that we are all right here. So many of us are production and management people from the motion picture industry and entertainment. We deal with contracts, liability and insurance that far exceeds anything the blm is going to throw at this situation and we do it all year long day in and day out. The people were right here in the community, right in front of your face and we were all screaming to help to make this work.

I hope the big dust storm comes on wednesday so at least 30,000 or so people will leave so that the few burners that actually got in dont have to deal with the inner turmoil of listening to 30,000 first timers extolling the awesomeness of burning man with wide eyes when the whole experience out there is just going to be a parody of some video someone saw on the internet.

Anyone that is surprised shouldnt be. We didnt get a theme for what six months? And when we did the amazing art was a screen cap of an iphone app? We all should have seen every step of this coming. Enough of applauding the people that took this from us. Enough.

BMORG, you ruined everything. And there is just no excuse. None.

Peter Rabbit calls for Burner revolution! I second the motion! Private land in California, or perhaps a nearby Indian Reservation?

Fail for the 3rd time bmorg. You “tried” to listen to the community, but you half assed it. The only reason you gave to not implement identity based ticketing was gifting of tickets within the community. However this could easily have been handled by STEP.

There is no reason for anyone to use step other than morality, and you will see how far that goes given people will lose money to use STEPn

The only reasons why i might still try to come are to try to bring a pure veteran vibe to the newbs…and then perhaps i might be able to say with veracity this truly was the year where it was better last year.

I really would like to stay positive, but given the gaping holes in leadership and resultant ticket fiasco, there will be a massive brain drain from the playa.

Again, as well, i repeat why is there no talk of getting off of federal land and thus the 50k attendee limit? This would be the true (r)evolution we need for future sustainability. I know there is massive sentimentality to the black rock desert, but once upon a time long long ago wasnt the event moved to a better location to handle capacity?

Perhaps, as others have suggested, since this is a participant driven event , its time for participants to take the reins.

Viva la revolucion.

U2Pilot has been pretty vocal on the blogs, this is a good summary of his overall opinion

@T Jax Says:

“BMORG … are doing what they can.”

Bullshit. From the outset they have ignored the one and only solution that would have worked, despite virtually unanimous support from the community: identity-based ticketing.

Perhaps the lawyers said that would be crazy for the tickets already sold, but the Borg hasn’t suggested that. Rather, they talk about the impact on gifting (as if anyone would put that ahead of getting tickets back from scalpers), the intrusion of showing ID at the gate (the same ID required at the city’s bars), and something about disrupting or inconveniencing people. Those are all bullshit reasons, and if there’s a valid reason they aren’t saying.

I had my hopes up that they would announce it in conjunction with STEP, but that was a ridiculous dream. I should have known better.

No, T Jax, the BMorg definitely is NOT doing what they can. They aren’t even revealing “Now Serving ____, Your number is ____” to people who did get into STEP. I got in, with the confirmation screen and e-mail. So will I get a ticket? How the fuck should I know since the Borg is withholding the information that would give me some indication. That would be the same information they are using to determine who gets the next they have to be using to pick who gets tickets. Should I start planning if I have a very low number, or if I’m #1998, should I just give up?

Hell, just to help increase the number of tickets coming into STEP, they aren’t even refunding the full amount paid. So people with tickets to sell have a choice of selling to STEP at a loss, or selling on StubHub (currently just under $1200 / ticket). When it comes to ticketing, it’s hard to identify one thing they did right and which produced the results they predicted.

@ peter rabbit asks: “why is there no talk of getting off of federal land?”

At a meeting for Theme Camp Organizers on 2/15, Maid Marian was asked this exact question. She replied that they have been looking for an alternative location for 10 years and have not been able to find anything suitable. I don’t cut her much slack in terms of ignoring the community and completely fucking up ticket sales as a result, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt on this point — I believe she was telling the truth.

Over at Tribe, geekster teaches us about lotteries and supply-side economics

A random lottery only works when it makes no difference who gets in the gate. In other words, if you are filling “random slots” like at a concert then a random lottery works great. In the case of BM it doesn’t work because there are certain people who make a lot of stuff happen. The theme camps generally have a core cadre of people who actually get most of the work done and contribute most of the resources for their camps. Those people need to get in. It is as if the backstage workers at a concert had to compete with the audience for admission to a concert.

Theme camps organize outside and plan outside of the event gates. If we had a culture where theme camps formed up every year only after people got into the gates, then maybe a random lottery would work but the quality of the camps would suffer because nobody would be able to plan on resources, events, etc. ahead of time and every year would be a “stone soup” exercise at every camp.

Random lotteries do not work when you need a non-random core of individuals at the event in order to pull it off. What needs to happen is to take a good hard look at the nature of the event itself and come up with a ticketing plan that works with that dynamic and not against it.

I think what Burning Man has learned here is that all animals are equal but some are more equal than others. They can’t treat the participants as random digits because life just doesn’t work that way. Some people end up doing most of the work, planning, and frankly, spending their hard-earned for the resources those camps need and those people need to get in there.

Part of what sticks in my craw about all of this is that it was obvious that BMORG does not understand the core nature of their community and its key social dynamics. This is not some socialist utopia. There are producers and consumers and if there is to be anything for the consumers of the event, the producers need to be there. Looks like a lesson in supply side economics is in order.

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