False Accusations? Bobzilla questions Burners.Me, “where’s the evidence?”

Bobzilla, who speaks with the authority of BMOrg, has raised some objections to our claims in the comments on this post.

What you are failing to understand is that *all* the statements made by BLM, etc are in the context of “over five years”. Nowhere does anyone say, we can do 70K right now. Its right in front of you and several people have pointed it out.

Any response to your baseless accusation that the senior decision makers in the BMOrg are making money on the side via the secondary market?” How do you back that up? Any evidence? Hmmmmm?

We refer readers to our earlier 4-part series discussing the ticket situation, where we outline potential scenarios in some detail. In particular part II – money is a powerful motivator, and there is a lot of money involved here.


Something is not quite right about this whole situation – and it is not just me with this feeling, 75% of voters also think something is up. Do I have evidence? No, I’m not the cops, and this is not a court of law. What powers do I have to gather evidence? Should I subpoena people? It’s just a party!

There is only circumstantial evidence – the bizarre lack of tickets among the Burner community, with only 40% of newbies and 30% of Burners getting tickets; and as of today, around 40% of Burners not knowing ANYONE who got tickets in the lottery; and the series of decisions where BMOrg ignored the community’s wishes and instead did the perfect thing for scalpers every chance they had.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt broke up with Steve Jobs at Burning Man 2007

This could be sheer incompetence, and I explore that and other possibilities too. But in that case, the incompetence is truly outstanding, given the consultation with game theorists and others. If incompetence is the answer, then BMOrg should own up to it : “we fucked up, we don’t know what we’re doing, we didn’t mean to decimate the Burner community, please help”. The Burner community is kind of useful, for example they invented Google.

Instead, in each case, BMOrg’s excuse is “it’s all too hard”. For example: “It’s too hard to grow to 70,000, even though the EA describes exactly how, that’s supposed to be in 5 years, it’s too hard to see what BLM would think if we ask to accelerate it”. “It’s too hard to associate ID’s with tickets, even though much bigger festivals do it all the time”. Etc.

It may not be high level insiders, gaming the system. BMOrg might have been hacked, and not even know it. Without any evidence-gathering capability, all we can do is raise some scenarios and discuss them. We have tried to be even-handed in exploring all possibilities, but unfortunately BMOrg keeps favoring scalpers over the community. Despite their pleas, actions speak louder than words.

We suggest BMOrg  have a detailed look through the survey and ticket lottery results, and find out exactly how scalpers did or didn’t get tickets, and how veteran Burners got turned away ; if that’s too much work, Burners.Me would be happy to arrange an analyst to take a look through the data, and review the database cleansing and ticket lottery allocation algorithms.

13 comments on “False Accusations? Bobzilla questions Burners.Me, “where’s the evidence?”

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  3. You have a ton of circumstantial evidence. Which is… no evidence. I don’t know about you, but I’m done here.

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  5. I love a good conspiracy, I admit it. However, you’re not pointing the finger at corrupt politicians, shady bankers and shadowy secret societies. The people who run the BMorg are a lot more like the community they serve. Many people in the community count them as friends.

    It’s possible that there’s some sort of scandal and cover up here, sure. We are talking about people, after all. Though it’s far more likely this mess was the result of human fallibility. A series of missteps, screw ups, blunders, pigheaded decisions, etc. And yes, if that’s the case a mea culpa would be nice, but do you really need your pound of flesh?

    What you have is a ton of conjecture and speculation. You’re cherry picking facts and making connections. What you’re doing is conducting your own witch hunt. Perhaps there’s another way you could go about handling this. One in which you don’t cast aspersions and question the integrity of people without sufficient reason to do so.

    What it looks like from here is that you’re more interested in generating traffic to your blog and propping up your own voice than you are in trying to figure out what happened.

    • It’s also possible that this was just an inevitability given the popularity of Burning Man. We’ve done such a great job of spreading the word, and social media has only made that spread faster. Perhaps this was going to happen, and will continue to happen, until we figure out a way to reduce scarcity by adding an east coast event or buying a tract of land capable of holding 100k people.

      In any event, your conspiracy theories and accusations are reckless and without merit. All you’re doing is besmirching people.

      • I can’t speak to the options of finding a larger place than the Black Rock desert, but I can speak to having an east coast event.


        Because of the combination of greater population density and geo-local concerns you will NEVER be able to have an event that is anything like Burning Man anywhere east of the Mississippi. And maybe even east of the Rocky Mountains.

        Or, to put it another way, there are too many people, too many laws, and not a single flat space that is large enough that would allow for a 50,000 event where you can have sound camps, large(and very dangerous) art, art cars, nudity, etc(or any of the criteria by which you might say Burning Man is Burning Man).

        As it stands east coast events are filling up as fast as they are being created. Play Del Fuego and Burning Flipside have been consistently filling up for years now. PDF tends to sell out in the first hour.

        I’m sorry, but the only solution that has a real chance of happening will involve a lot of bitter, hateful, and disappointed people.

      • The land they’re currently looking at is IN the Black Rock Desert. It’s privately owned, so if they manage to purchase it that means a whole different game.

        As for the east coast, I went to a Phish concert in the everglades that was a 5 day event for 80,000 people. Florida is pretty flat to boot. You’re pretty sure of your answer before even asking any questions. The east can’t rival the west for wide open spaces, but it doesn’t necessarily have to.

    • Julian, I’ve taken your points, and written another post in which I try to outline my case more clearly. It’s not a witch hunt, and there is no benefit to me in generating more traffic to the blog. I am using freedom of speech and the power of the Internet, to express my opinions. I am not hating on any individuals, but I’m calling it like I see it – the onus is on BMOrg to come back with logic and directly addressing the points I’ve raised.

    • no, I have a ton of circumstantial evidence – by the speed of your response, it seems like you didn’t even bother to go through it. “We’re done” means “BMorg has no desire to really find out what happened”, which means to me “someone is guilty and wishes this whole thing would blow over” – nothing to see here, move along

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