Help! I Didn’t Get a Ticket! 7 Ways You Can Still Go

It’s been interesting to see the 2013 ticket process play out. Myself and some friends got tickets in less than 10 minutes, by getting in the queue in the first 20 seconds. From our point of view, yay Burning Man! Others who got into the queue between 12:00:20-12:00:59 (yup, the first minute) had a wait of hours, if they got tickets at all. There are many stories on the Internet of people waiting the entire day, only to get kicked out because the server accused them of using their unique code too many times. There was obviously no check between “unique code” and “ticket purchase”, only “unique code” and “did they get through to the next screen”. Weak, since the ability of their servers to actually deliver the next page proved to be relatively poor.

message in a bottleToday I’m hearing stories of veteran Burners who forgot about the whole “pre-register then block out an afternoon system” happening this week. Believe it or not, many Burners have real lives and do real things every day, Burning Man and the annual invention of the latest systems and processes by the BMOrg are not top of their minds.

We’ve also heard one horror story of a Burner in the UK, who has been waiting in the queue for more than 2 days. Give up my friend, the tickets have been sold already, they’re laughing at you.

Anyway, if you didn’t get tickets in the Individual Sale, all is not lost. Here’s some of the next steps you can do:

1. Register for STEP. This is a technology Burning Man have invented so that people can sell their tickets back to the BMOrg for slightly less than what they paid for them. Burners who want tickets register for STEP and sit in a queue for these recycled tickets. The number is unknown, and depends on how many Burners just bought tickets but are going to change their mind between now and the end of July (when STEP closes). It could be 10,000 tickets, or it could be 0 tickets. Registration opens noon PST on Feb 28 – another day to block aside to try to log onto their servers, although hopefully this is disconnected from a financial transaction and therefore the queues should be processed much faster. Given that the number of tickets is completely opaque, you’ll want to make sure you get in the queue as close to 12:00:00 as you possibly can. Last year, STEP was closed down 17 minutes after they opened it.

2. Try to get one of the 1000 tickets in the last minute “OMG” sale – you’ll need to double-register again:

For those who decide at the last minute that they Absolutely Must Go To Burning Man, and to further combat scalpers, we will sell 1000 tickets at $380 each, maximum of 2 tickets per person. In order to participate, you must pre-register between Friday, August 2 at 12pm (noon) PST and Monday, August 5, 2013 at 12pm (noon). Details for how to register will be available at This first-come first-served sale starts Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 12pm PST. Tickets purchased through the OMG sale are transferable but will not be shipped — they are held for pick up at Will Call only.

3. Look for a ticket on the secondary market. It’s the same as #1, except the people selling get all of their money back, and maybe even make a profit; Burning Man doesn’t get extra handling fees from these transactions, so they advocate #1 and try to discourage you from #3. The advantage of #3 is you’ll know straight away if you can get a ticket; the disadvantage is the tickets don’t get mailed out to June/July so you might have a nervous few months wondering if you got scammed. Up to you to decide if that’s better or worse than months of waiting in STEP and not being sure if you’re ever going to get a ticket or not. Right now Stubhub has 183 tickets starting at $600, eBay has 2 for $1500, and Craigslist has a bunch of people wanting to pay $400 for them, but no sellers.

4. Get involved in an art project or theme camp. Many of these have blocks of tickets, or access to other tickets. They might sell you one, or gift it to you if you provide enough volunteer labor or other resources.

5. Find someone with a spare. Given how convoluted this process was, once I got through, I bought 2 tickets, knowing it would be easy for me to gift or sell the other one. No, I don’t have a spare for you, sorry! I’ve already double booked this one and have close friends looking for more. But, many out there might be wondering who to give their spare to right now – and others, when they get dumped during the year by their Burning Man dream date, might end up with both tickets spare. Act fast on this one, while those spares your friends and acquaintances are holding don’t have a home yet.

6. Wait til the last minute. In 2012, the week before Burning Man tickets were going well below face value on Craigslist, eBay and Stubhub; and many were simply being given away. Burning Man tried desperately to stop this slide in value, by placing portable signs reading “sold out event” on the way to the party. This was clearly a lie, as attendance was substantially down on last year. This option requires a cool head, patience, and little planning for your Burn – but is likely to work for you, if you really want to go.

7. Sneak in! You wouldn’t be the first, and you probably won’t be the last. They make it difficult to do this, they come into your vehicle and search it, but they can’t search every inch of every RV and trailer. If you’re thinking about jumping the (admittedly massive) fence, be aware that there are all kinds of LEOs with all kinds of high-tech night-vision and other equipment. And one thing they are definitely looking for is skydivers.

54 comments on “Help! I Didn’t Get a Ticket! 7 Ways You Can Still Go

  1. Hello fellow burners! I went to BM last year for the first time on a whim. A week before the event I was offered a free ticket by a close friend who desperately wanted me to experience Burning Man. He must have known me better than I knew myself at the time because it was right up my alley. It changed my life and perspective in the most positive of ways. I am determined to be out there again this year. I know I”m going to be out there because if it’s meant to be, a ticket will come to me. That being said, if anyone can help make this happen and has a ticket for BM 2015 please email me @ Thank you so much! Much love and appreciation!


  2. About finding a spare ticket… there’s a new company for that! It’s called SpareStub. Check it out and see if anybody has a spare ticket for you, or if you have the spare ticket you can post it there. GOOD LUCK BURNERS


  3. Pingback: Ticket Chaos: Vehicle Passes now $500+, Tickets $1500+ | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

  4. if any one is still selling in LA or San Fran or anywhere on the way up to burning man I am looking for one ticket, will come to you and ay cash!!
    give me a call or text 310-866-7453


  5. Hi my name is Kyle and I have all of a sudden had the urge to burn. I need to secure one ticket for myself, Please be generous on the offer. 831-331-7587


      • Hi!, sorry for replying late. I do have the two tickets, but not phisically as I have those tickets that you have to pick up in the door of the festival. So basically we have two options, or you meet my friend (the one with who I was going) in Los Angeles and you change together the name of the ticket order in a computer, or I do it myself and I forward you the confirmation of the change to demonstrate that they are yours. I would show you everything that is necessary to demonstrate that they are with your name and you can pick them up in the festival. I could even do it by skype showing you my screen….
        What do you think?


      • Same answer….I do have the two tickets, but not phisically as I have those tickets that you have to pick up in the door of the festival. So basically we have two options, or you meet my friend (the one with who I was going) in Los Angeles and you change together the name of the ticket order in a computer, or I do it myself and I forward you the confirmation of the change to demonstrate that they are yours. I would show you everything that is necessary to demonstrate that they are with your name and you can pick them up in the festival. I could even do it by skype showing you my screen….
        What do you think?


  6. Anyone that has extra tickets please please please gift a ticket to me for a donation this would be my first burn ever I’m planning to go to more and returning the huge favor and gifting to some knowing that theyll do the same and share this life changing experience so please anybody help thank you I can be contacted @


  7. I’m in central Fla. and unfortunately won’t be able to go. Have two tickets for sale at face value locally. Definitely going next year!


  8. Hi. Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to go. I am looking to sell my ticket at face value. Hit me up if anyone is interested. If I can’t go, I’d love for someone else to have the experience.


  9. Hi,
    Bought my ticket–now burning man sends me a notice, “send us your photo ID, confirmation number by Friday or we will cancel your ticket. Seems someone has the same name as I do…I wonder how they handle all the John Smiths of the world? Plus on-line some places have hundreds of tickets for sale from $ 500 to $7700. But they at Burning man want to take my two tickets away from me….they are getting dirty…..


  10. walked in from the pavement one year and the amount of attention paid to me was rather ridiculous, borg sent out a guy in a golf cart and then a ranger stopped a mile or so later, both demanding to see a ticket. definitely wouldn’t try to sneak in on foot, it’s a long way to cover. they don’t really check vehicles all that well if your people skills are sufficient. the ranger was rather annoyed when asked why he wasn’t checking the tickets of the thousands of occupants of the vehicles behind us.


  11. Pingback: Still Looking for a Ticket? STEP Registration open in 45 minutes | Burners.Me Burning Man commentary blog

  12. Trying to sneak in by coming in on foot overland is not very good idea and you will get caught. The Perimeter volunteers have prize levels for the number of people they catch. Last year’s top level prize was VIP access to the Daft Punk show in the Krug Champagne Bunker that was built under The Man base, second place was an event long free pass to the DPW Spa and Holistic Meditation Center for the 2013 event and third place was a seat at Dinner With Larry at First Camp.


  13. The policy is if you get caught in a vehicle sneaking in, EVERYONE in the vehicle, including those that have tickets, get turned away and their tickets are voided.


  14. Sneaking in over the fence or skydiving in is nearly impossible. The guys at the airport were telling me about the BLM satellites. They’re so good, BLM knows when a jackrabbit is approaching the trash fence. There was a story of guy that crawled on his stomach nearly 2 miles one year with all his gear tied to his feet. When he got to the trash fence the rangers were waiting for him. However, they let him in for his perseverance. And, one year a group of military skydivers tried to make it in just to see if they could. BLM was waiting for them on the ground when they landed. Oh, and if you’re RV gets caught trying to smuggle someone in, they ‘say’ they will send you back to Reno.


  15. One tip for people buying last-minute tickets on Craigslist: Yes, people will suddenly be unloading tickets they hoarded way too long. Yes, they might be asking less than face value. If it’s like last year, there will also be lots of people posting tickets wanted ads, looking to pay below face value, including people who were not planning on going till they realized they might get tickets for really cheap. If you want to cut through the crap, get your ticket and get on with your burn, simply be prepared to pay face value anyway. Have the cash at hand. Post your own ads and present yourself as someone reliable, who can get the seller the cash quickly. People ditching tickets the week before the event mostly want to get back some (or ideally all) of what they spent. They’re less interested in your “oh how much i need to get back ‘home’….” story than you think. If my experience was anything to go by, they’ve already been burned by some flaky chick from Santa Cruz who has to call around a few friends to see if she can get the cash together, but is going to call back soon. Have the money ready to go, clearly communicate how you’re going to get the seller that money ASAP and meet them somewhere public, just so’s you don’t get mugged.


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