Further Revelations on the Burning Man Ticketing Scheme for 2013

by Whatsblem the Pro


Burning Man Public Relations Manager Megan Miller wants to give all you volunteers some inside scoop for obtaining tickets.

The upshot is that the Direct Distributed Tickets program will not be repeated this year, so if you’re a volunteer but the Org has chosen not to gift you a ticket as reward for past labors, you’ll need to participate in the Individual Sale. . . which means you need to pre-register. Pre-registration for the Individual Sale begins on Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 at 12:00 noon PST, and ends on Sunday, February 10th, 2013 at 12:00 noon PST. The Individual Sale itself, which will be first-come, first-served, begins on Wednesday, February 13th at 12:00 noon PST.

Last year’s lottery wasn’t the only ticketing debacle to afflict our community. Thanks to repercussions of the lottery, a large number of 2012 volunteers were left ticketless, necessitating the hasty creation of the Direct Distributed Tickets program to address the problem.

The Direct Distributed Ticket program will not be repeated this year, according to Miller.

It’s important to remember that the people running and working for the Org are basically our friends; we’re all in it together and we’re all light-years beyond anything going on in mainstream society. . . but at the same time, we have to recognize that (A) the Org has quite a lot of power over TTITD itself even if burner culture is largely beyond their ability to control and direct; (B) power corrupts; (C) the people who make up the Org itself have shown us time and time again that they are not particularly well-suited for their jobs and not so vastly talented that they easily overcome the limitations of, say, being a humble retired landscaper and not any kind of actual expert on anything relevant (cocaine is, though, a hell of a drug, and sometimes just barely good enough is perfect). With all these facts in mind, it’s critically vital to the future of both the event and the culture that we avoid putting the Org people on pedestals, and remain scrupulous in holding their feet to the fire when appropriate.

So: When will these convoluted ticketing schemes from on high end, and yield to the voice of the people? For several years now, we have petitioned the Org to take the much simpler approach used by many, many other festivals instead of creating these Rube Goldberg ticketing schemes that either do nothing to thwart scalpers, or actually facilitate them at the expense of veteran burners. Maybe if someone could figure out a way to cut cocaine with humility, they’d start listening to us for a change.

This is the complete text of Megan Miller’s e-mail to Burning Man volunteers:

hello Special Events Volunteers!

some inside scoop for you on playa tickets! read on & activate!


If you are a volunteer who typically purchases your own ticket to Burning Man, please plan on participating in this year’s first-come, first-served Individual Sale on Wednesday, February 13th beginning at 12pm (noon) PST. In order to do so, you must pre-register between this Wednesday, February 6th 12pm (noon) PST and Sunday, February 10th 12pm (noon) PST by visiting http://profiles.burningman.com (and following the directions) during this pre-registration period.

After last year’s main sale left a lot of folks who build the core infrastructure of Black Rock City without tickets, we created the Direct Distributed Tickets (DDT) program.

This year, however, we’ve have a new and improved ticket process in place, including the Directed Group Sale. To be clear, there is NOT a plan to repeat last year’s DDT process. We don’t anticipate repeating the DDT process, and we’ve designed this year’s ticketing sales plan accordingly. So, if you received access to a DDT last year but did not purchase a ticket in this year’s Directed Group Sale, you should plan to participate in the Individual Sale.

(The 2013 Directed Group Sale focused on theme camps because they were the largest users of DDTs last year. By holding the Directed Group Sale before the other sales, we expect there to be less competition for the remaining tickets. The goal is to take care of groups early on, thereby increasing the chances for people to get a ticket in the Individual Sale.)

You can find more details about ticketing on the ticket page:


and the ticket FAQ:


Thanks for all you do to make BRC the magical place that it is, and I hope to see you there in 2013!



Megan Miller

Burning Man Public Relations Manager

22 comments on “Further Revelations on the Burning Man Ticketing Scheme for 2013

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  4. I think this is a bunch of horse poop. Wait until the ticket sales happen, then comment. I have a funny feeling it will be an easy this year and everyone will get their tickets. Many scalpers got the hose job last year….

    • I hope you’re right, but I think you’re wrong. . . and many old-timers got the hose job last year right along with the scalpers. Some people need more time than others to prepare their playa game; the early uncertainties over tickets prompted a lot of them to stay home. The fact that they could have gotten tickets later didn’t signify.

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  7. It is obvious that you are a veteran burner who has seen and attended many burns to have come to these assumptions and conclusions about the org. I will also assume you have worked closely with the org and other non-profit groups. Bravo.

  8. “the people who make up the Org itself have shown us time and time again that they are not particularly well-suited for their jobs and not so vastly talented that they easily overcome the limitations of, say, being a humble retired landscaper and not any kind of actual expert on anything relevant”

    Ok, well, they’re what we’ve got. They are the people that make this happen. I understand, you have an article to write, and posting opinions that make people disagree is how you obtain your notoriety, but this is just whining and moaning. Have you ever been to or possibly worked for another festival? I decided to present art at Symbiosis (another similar event) last year, and it was a huge huge mistake. It was my hell to work with one of the least professional production crews I’ve ever experienced and I wouldn’t ever do it again. It gave me so much respect for the incredible work that burning man does without actual experts, that I’ll never complain about it again. And I’ve only seen the org improve upon the event and it’s own organization throughout the last ten years of working departments, presenting art, and running theme camps with my interactions with them. They are becoming the experts, they are already most of the way there and only getting better,

      • Without a doubt, “better” is my opinion. Just like you have yours. The spirit of my comment is actually quantifiable. Having worked as a volunteer for over ten years in three different departments, worked on granted art for three, and been a part of or have run my theme camp, I feel qualified to say I’ve seen vast improvements take place over time. People who aren’t experts taking on jobs that no one is willing to do, for which there is no money to pay actual experts what they would be worth, and making things not only go – but go well, is improvement upon previous years.
        If you can do it better, fill out the volunteer form and be a part of the solution. Solutions are much better than whining and moaning. Swinging around your very important (and possibly over entitled) opinion at an organization that does a wonderful job of creating a highly unique environment for a multitude of personalities to find epiphany and joy through art and other expression, and not actually being a part of the solution feels like the opposite of what burner culture and the principles are about. I’m holding your feet in the fire, and suggesting that you step up and take on some responsibility to help make the changes you want to see. The org is not on a pedestal in my opinion, but being critical in the way you were is the opposite of remembering that the people running and working for the Org are basically our friends; we’re all in it together and we’re all light-years beyond anything going on in mainstream society.

        In fact, I’m starting to think this blog is a poorly written rag and I’m probably going to unsub from it. I’ve never seen anything here that was constructive when it comes to the org., no appreciation, and no actual reporting beyond stating your opinion (“Maybe if someone could figure out a way to cut cocaine with humility, they’d start listening to us for a change.” – wow. how incredibly disrespectful.) on the subject. It makes me wonder why any of the authors here attend the event in the first place. It’s blogs like this one that perpetuate the myth of scarcity, and are, in my subjective opinion, not constructive.

      • You can puff your chest up and fling insults all day; the fact remains that the Org DOES get put on a pedestal quite often by quite a lot of people, and it’s the privilege and duty of all of us — especially journalists — to buck that trend. You’re putting them on a pedestal right now. If you’re so thin-skinned that you just can’t stand to see the Org criticized for anything, ever, then all I can suggest to you is that perhaps you’ll feel better if you sit down someplace nice and shady and DRINK MORE WATER.

      • I think it’s funny that you are under the impression I’m rabid with defense for the org, the truth is, I’ve experienced lots of other events. Worked for them. Presented art for them. And Burning Man, while it’s not perfect, is still one of the best organized of them all. I have actual experience over time working for them… this doesn’t make me rabid. It makes me experienced.
        The thing that makes me think you have not been involved is seeing you make disparaging drug references that have no place in this report. It belies your personal feelings, which makes it an unqualified opinion. I find it rabid to infer that all the hard working people of the org are on cocaine… that’s conjecture, it’s in poor taste, journalistically irresponsible and it’s there just to make people angry. Critical thought is not achieved with sentences that are wholly formed out of unqualified, somewhat rhetorical opinions.

      • And I think it’s funny that you are under the impression that your anecdotal experience counts more than anyone else’s. I mean, your very first assumption here was that I’m not involved at all. I guess you’re the only person who does any work at Burning Man.

        You sure do spend an awful lot of time writing in defense of the Org for someone who isn’t defending the Org. It makes me wonder who you are, really.

      • Nah, don’t worry about me. I’m a huge nobody. Just a cog. But I function well, I work with what I have, I improve what I do every year… and I see my co-volunteers and staff doing the same. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging it.
        ” It makes me wonder who you are, really.” LOL, This is just my unqualified opinion here, but You should worry about your shitty journalism skills instead. This whole article is a huge waste of time. there is NO TICKET SCARCITY. That’s a myth.

    • The article isn’t about ticket scarcity, and doesn’t even mention ticket scarcity.

      Shitty journalism skills? Or your shitty reading skills?

      Whatever. Enjoy sucking up to the Org; most people do have an innate need and/or desire to bend their knee to someone, even if it’s only someone imaginary. I’m sure you’ll derive great satisfaction from doing your bit even if the culture dies off and the event becomes Disneyland in the Desert. For my part, I intend to be critical where I see it appropriate; if you don’t like it then you’re welcome to not read it.

  9. Good piece, appreciate your thoughts. Don’t get cocaine as a ref point though & the insinuation is not pleasant?

  10. what is it that most people want? You don’t seem to say it in the article, you just mention it but I have no idea. I volunteer more than I buy tix to things.

    • Yes, getting rid of the tiers was a good move, but is this really “a start?”

      I think not. They’re not deliberately moving toward what most people want; they’re flailing around trying to be geniuses about it, and failing.

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