Ticket update: Still no decision, “we’re afraid of exceeding the population cap”

We asked what happened to the extra tickets, and Burning Man answered. Well, sort of. They answered in the vague, wishy washy language of politicians. Once again, BMOrg comes through with a spectacular display of indecision and confusion, that does nothing to help Burners and everything to help scalpers. Here’s the Jack Rabbit speaks:

While we’re currently evaluating ways we may be able to release a small number of additional tickets to relieve some of the stress in our community, please understand that we cannot sell an additional quantity of tickets that will risk exceeding our allowable population cap. Happily the new permit does give us a little bit of breathing room, though. Hang tight while we work to find the sweet spot between helping more folks get out to Black Rock City and being too precariously close to going over our allowable maximum.

Let’s dissect this a bit. They are currently 2,900 tickets away from their allowable maximum. However, Maid Marian has stated that they expect 6000 people to leave before the Man burns. So, that gives us 8,900 tickets breathing space – a margin of error that is around 15%. It is interesting that Will calls this situation “precarious”. Is it really that difficult for them to count the number of people they let in the gate, that they are afraid of being wrong by 9000 people? Why wouldn’t they just say “because of population concerns, we are going to have an auction for the remaining 2,900 tickets, and that’s it”.

There are a lot of grey areas in this ticket situation, and have been from the start. Grey areas and fuzzy numbers and different stories from different people, are usually indications of something afoot, someone cooking the books. Perhaps when all the insiders have sold out all their family and friends ticket allocations for $1000 each, then BMOrg will decide to sell a few thousand more tickets on the gate at the last minute – for cash, of course.

How the hell do they count this any way? What is the difference between the “population cap” in the permit, and the “number of tickets sold”? The BLM gets paid based on the money that gets generated, ie number of tickets sold. They get 3%. If the number of people there, is higher than the number of tickets sold, then the BLM is missing out on money. How can this happen, other than Burning Man letting friends and family in for free, or selling extra tickets at the gate?

I suspect that there will be a few more tickets finding their way to theme camps, art cars, art projects, key individuals and groups, and others on the secretive World’s Biggest Guest List.

Support BAR – bring the magazine to the Playa

No, we’re not talking about AK-47’s and Fourth of Juplaya. Burn After Reading magazine started this year, and they want to bring you all kinds of stories about Burner culture. They are in the final stretch of their Kickstarter project, and they need your help to give them enough money to print out the magazine and hand it to people at Burning Man. They will also be hosting an interactive salon:

Our $7,000 fundraising goal will allow us to print a minimum of 3,000 copies of a 42-page, glossy, full color magazine about Burner art and culture to distribute at Burning Man 2012. It will also cover shipping costs, augment our schwag costs (we’re bringing tons of cool stuff to playa like our surprise gifts for scavenger hunt winners!) and help us truck literally THOUSANDS of pounds of magazines to the playa!

We’ll be hosting a BURN AFTER READING MAGAZINE COFFEE HOUSE at Sacred Spaces Village at (roughly) 4:30 & Esplanade : Tuesday -Sunday 9:30am-Noon. Our BAR MAG Coffee House will feature world music, story telling, interviews, talks, stickers, scavenger hunts, a documentary screening, lots of comfy spots to read the print version of BAR MAG and of course, delicious and fresh fair trade coffee. 

Burn After Reading Magazine was founded in February of 2012 by a group of volunteers who love Burner culture. Our staff is all over the country documenting art, covering events, taking photos, interviewing people and getting to the heart of burnerism! What compels us to spend so many hours, money, sweat, tears, and heart to make these giant pirate ships, these mind-blowing kinetic skeleton sculptures, these fire-breathing steampunk octopus art cars? 

Our dedicated volunteer team is ready to pour their hearts into the gifted Burn After Reading Magazine on-playa, print edition, and bring it to Burning Man this year. This magazine is about Burners, by Burners and for Burners. 

Wherefore art thou, 3000 extra tickets?

The mysterious ticket situation continues. What has happened? Two weeks ago, the Bureau of Land Management granted Burning Man a special permit for 2012 which increased the population of the event more than 20% from last year. This should result in about 11,000 more tickets, although BMOrg have already sold 58,000. That now looks to have been a bold, and successful, move on their part. Still, one would think from some basic maths that there should be 2,900 extra tickets becoming available to the Burner community.

Cory Roegner, who oversees the event from BLM’s district office in Winnemucca emphasized the BLM’s support for more Burners at the event, saying “the more people they can have, the better”. The BLM gets 3% of the gate, so of course they’re enthusiastic about a million dollar plus check. Just like we Burners are enthusiastic about thousands of more tickets becoming available to the community.

Possibly providing further indication that Burning Man has indeed jumped the shark, they also issued them a FONSI.

A few days later, Will Chase emailed about 100,000 of us with the good news in the Jack Rabbit Speaks.

We’ve been getting asked a LOT about when physical tickets get mailed out. If you requested that your tickets be sent to you, they’re going in the mail soon, and you’ll receive them by the end of this month (along with your Survival Guide – READ IT!)…

The BLM issued a one-year permit for Burning Man to take place on the Black Rock Desert this year (see: http://bit.ly/KCJ2Nf), and we worked with them to increase our maximum population to 60,900. As we’ve sold close to 58,000 tickets to date, that leaves us with a little breathing room.  We’re expecting some additional tickets to become available and will have more information next week.  Stay tuned!

Well, we’ve stayed tuned, and it’s now the week after next week. In fact, it’s been 11 days since we received this email. What gives, Jacked Rabbit? Where’s our tickets? Is everyone having too much fun at Avalon to deal with decisions like this? 2 weeks to say either “we’re putting them into STEP” or “we’re giving them away to the world’s biggest guest list” – or are you trying to come up with some new murky ticket allocation system, to help correct the inevitable slide in ticket value on the secondary market that’s happened over the last fortnight?

The 3000 or so tickets are worth about $3 million, according to StubHub. So whoever is sitting on this government-awarded gold mine, should hurry up and tell the Burner community that creates their party whether there is any chance for more of them to attend the event.

If anyone has received a physical ticket for 2012 Fertility 2.0 yet, please email us a picture and we’ll share it.