There has been much speculation, including by us, that the secondary market for tickets was being artificially manipulated. Burning Man got to publicly rail against it, while reaping all the benefits. One wonders if any of the “family and friends” tickets handed out to insiders, or any of the thousands of new tickets, were turned into money by other, more lucrative means than STEP.
Anyway, no matter now. The speculators have been flushed out of the market, leaving what appears to be amateurs left holding an asset that is rapidly declining in value. As we get closer to the event, ticket prices are dropping – the opposite of what one would expect from a truly “sold out” event. As I write this there are plenty of tickets online going for about $470, and I know a few floating around on the word of mouth network for less than $390. With a month to Burning Man, I no longer know anyone looking for tickets, and I know several people trying to sell them. So if you’re trying to sell tickets, don’t be greedy, move them quick.
As capitalists, we commend the organizers of the Burning Man ticket fiasco, for extracting maximum return through maximum misinformation, leading to market distortion. Straight out of the Wall St playbook, and well executed. As Burners, it sucks. In the same way, we could commend the chutzpah of oil price speculators, starving the world with inflation simply by arranging military exercises and getting their pocketbook politicians to throw out some belligerent Holy War rhetoric. However we do not commend the consequences, in either case – this idea of “the end justifies the means, and money is the end” is a dinosaur of the last Age which must croak now that we speak the Language of We, in the new Golden Age of Aquarius. Wall St = Fertility 1.0, burn the banksters!
For the suckers who paid over $1000, don’t say we didn’t warn you.