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.