Merry Christmas: Tickets are $650. And you can scalp them.

The Jackedrabbit has spoken once more, bringing glad tidings of tickets. Were Burners naughty or nice? Did they get what they wanted for Christmas from the BMOrg – ie. tickets linked to IDs and no more lottery? Read on…

money bags desert islandwe don’t know yet what Black Rock City’s allowable peak population for 2013 will be. Some of the details of agreements that impact that number have not yet been finalized, which means we don’t have enough data to determine precisely how many tickets will be sold and at what price. We are working hard to get our permits and agreements in place, and will be announcing the full ticket plan on Friday January 4, 2013.

Hmmm…”full ticket plan”. Do they mean “pricing tiers”? What more do they have in store for us?

We know you’re super curious about some big questions, and we’d like to put your mind at ease about a few things right now: tickets will be sold first-come first-served — that’s right, no lottery.


Secondly, purchasing tickets will require pre-registration so that we can weed out known scalpers beforehand. We’ll offer a robust Low Income Ticket Program, as we have in the past, and we’re bringing back the Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) to facilitate the safe, hassle-free exchange of tickets between people in the aftermarket.

So STEP comes back, giving BMOrg an additional royalty-type revenue stream from secondary market sales; and poor people still get a look in. “Pre-registration” sounded a bit like linking tickets to IDs to me, but no…

We will not be implementing identity-based ticketing (e.g. name-on-ticket) … for more information, see this blog post from Larry Harvey:

What they really mean by pre-registration is “we are still having a process where you have to register to be eligible to buy tickets”. Very unfortunately similar to the ticket lottery system. And, like last year where a bunch of insiders had a chance to buy “early release” tickets for $420, then sell them for 100%+ profits on the secondary market, we’re having another “early bird” sale. The price this time? A whopping $650. Get ready for a major ticket price hike across the board in 2013.

early birdEarly-birds can participate in our Holiday Sale, which allows folks to buy tickets in time for holiday gifting. PLEASE NOTE: Holiday Sale tickets are priced dramatically higher than our regular tickets will be and Black Rock City, LLC will donate 3% of the price of each ticket sold during this early Holiday Sale to the Burning Man Project, a new nonprofit dedicated to spreading Burning Man culture around the world. (In addition, Black Rock City, LLC makes other substantial contributions throughout the year to support the Burning Man Project, including contributing the proceeds from fundraising events and many other forms of support.)

So … here are the details:

– 3000 tickets will be offered at $650 each for the Holiday Sale.
– In order to participate in this sale, you must pre-register at:
– Registration is open NOW and will close at noon PST on Wednesday December 19th.
– Those pre-registered will be able to participate in the first-come first-served sale on Thursday December 20th, starting at noon PST.
– You may purchase a maximum of 4 tickets per person.
These tickets are not eligible for STEP, but are transferable (you are welcome to resell them on your own, if you wish).
– The only payment types accepted are Mastercard or Visa credit cards, or debit cards with either the Visa or Mastercard symbols. If you don’t have one of these cards, you will need to obtain a one-time use card.
– Physical tickets will be shipped between June 1 and July 15, unless you opt for pick-up at Will Call in Black Rock City.

Black Rock City, LLC is donating 3% of these tickets to the Burning Man Project? Sounds like a nice tax write-off for them. And the left hand is so generous that it provides even more tax-deductible “substantial contributions” to the right hand, from off-Playa fundraising activities during the year. “You can feel good about paying us this $650, because we’re giving $20 of it to another company we control”. But wasn’t the Burning Man Project supposed to be taking over all of the revenues and operations?

8 comments on “Merry Christmas: Tickets are $650. And you can scalp them.

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  4. Well gosh, maybe the price of free labor has gone up! Those responsible for this event love to foster and maintain the illusion that this is a social or quasi religious movement of sorts that will save the earth and redeem its attendants They are so fucking sanctimonious! The term ‘our culture’ is repeatedly used as if this event represents something outside and better than mainstream reality with its dog eat dog mentality. Yet in reality it’s little more than a business with the primary requisite of making cold hard cash (no different than WallMart in that way, except of course Wallmart is 100 percent dependent upon paid employees) and enriching its organizers and yet dependent upon free labor from gullible true believers. Rather cult like in that regard (I’ve read here that Larry Harvey has a messianic complex). Is there any other business on earth (outside of cultist organizations like Scientology etc.) where people volunteer their time and labor to the continued enrichment of its board of directors? Each year the anger and disgust of people like Paul Addis becomes easier to understand.

    • well said T Groan – this is one of the great mysteries of Burning Man. It’s run on volunteer labor, they take $24 million at the gate ($40m total working back from the BLM permit); even taking into account their volunteer army, the party costs a whopping $7m to put on (according to Afterburn 2011 ). So what happens to the $17 million+ profit, a year? How come artists have to raise the money and labor for projects themselves? “Well Burning Man makes art grants” – umm, no, that might be ostensibly how it is positioned, but in reality BRAF donates SOME not all of the money raised from people making donations at the time of ticket purchase and fundraising events during the year like the Artumnal, where tables go for $10,000. $700,000 got donated to 47 art projects last year, not enough to fund any of them. Which means all the art is there because of the Burners, not BMOrg. “Well what about the Burning Man Project, and all the efforts of the BMOrg outside the party in the rest of the year”…that is a question we’re going to keep asking, until we get a good answer. We don’t begrudge the organizers making $17 million profit of a single party – good on ’em, that’s a truly great achievement in capitalism – but if they really want to invest something back in the community, water stations and some rape kits would be a better idea than shipping containers in Oakland or a skyscraper on Market St or whatever else the hundreds of millions of dollars generated so far goes to. Or at least, with all that money sloshing around, find someone who is able to count the number of people attending without getting it wrong by 7%. Pay me 1% of the gate and I’ll audit the headcount for you.
      A long comment, perhaps another post exploring the economics of all this in some more detail is due.

      • Rape kits would be a great idea – then we’d finally know how bad the Borg has been raping the resources of the creative community in the Bay Area and beyond. We’d see just how bad Larry has been sticking his infested member into our asses. And we’d learn all about where Crimson has been sticking her tongue where it shouldn’t be.

  5. well said. more disappointment. hopefully they don’t price the commoners out of things this year. might end up being low income app or doing something else

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