Oh Look! We Forgot to Count this $1.3 million

Just when we thought we could say goodbye once and for all to 2012 and all it’s ticket shenanigans, we get another classic case of number-fudging from BMOrg. You know how attendance was down on last year, despite the population cap increase? Well, it seems that a few thousand votes people mysteriously disappeared from the official tally. A “just in case” number, perhaps? At 3,764, it’s suspiciously close in size to the 3,963 difference in 2011 between the 50,000 official permit and the reported over-population. No big deal – just $1, 317, 400 of tickets, at the $350 price. “Oh sorry, we forgot about this million dollars over here”.

Here’s BMOrg:

cant countWhen the peak population for Black Rock City 2012 was announced at noon on Friday of the event, the preliminary tally was 52,385, which seemed a bit low. We suspected there were more people in Black Rock City at its peak (which was actually Friday at 6am this year, by the way). So after the event, we went back and conducted a full and comprehensive audit …

After doing some pretty significant accounting and recounting, we determined that the actual peak population at the 2012 event was in fact 56,149. (Now, that’s not everybody who went to Burning Man, it’s just the peak population … a lot of people came late and/or left early this year, having planned ahead to avoid high-traffic ingress and egress times — did you notice the shorter wait times?)

Due to some new processes that were put in place in 2012, the count released on playa was low.  For fifteen years we’ve had a great record of recording accurate population tallies, and we place a high premium on capturing and reporting this important data.  We keep count because a) it’s really important for us to know how many people are out there (for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is production planning), and b) it’s required by our BLM permit requirement, as you’ve probably heard by now. Our population cap for 2012 was 60,900, and happily our peak population didn’t come close to bumping up against that total.

So there you are … we’re happy to be able to report the final population count for 2012 … and we’re glad we’ve worked out some kinks in our system to ensure proper reporting in the future.

Just like an episode of South Park, every fuck-up from BMOrg ends with a “we’ve learned our lesson, everything’s fine, and it will all be better in the future”. No explanation of how the fuck someone miscounted 4000 people, or what they’ve done now to fix it. No acknowledgement that last year, they screwed up their count so much that they put the entire event in jeopardy. Just, “we’ve done pretty significant accounting”. Yes, so did Enron.


13 comments on “Oh Look! We Forgot to Count this $1.3 million

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  7. It’s a private event, held by a privately held firm. As long as it happens with regularity, who cares. If you think that the BMorg is a sophisticated machine, then you have not been around our community long enough. I am radically self reliant and I hope that they are enough so that we can go and get dusty for a while longer.

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  9. Am I missing something? This is talking about peak population, not ticket sales. Last I checked, there is no debate over how many people actually attended, just how many were in the gate at a particular time.

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  11. BMorg and Burning Man itself is a very spiritual collective. We’re not Sheep. We make the world go around and stuff. There is no way that BMorg would ever take advantage of the goodwill provided by its free labor staff and promises of a closer connection with the Gods.

    Why are you guys such haters?

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