And…what do you know! More tickets going into STEP. Quelle surprise. It was only yesterday that we were hypothesizing about this – seems like we guessed right.
Good news for Burners who’ve been waiting in the queue could be coming tomorrow. Check your email and your spam filter, because if you don’t respond within 72 hours, or you have a credit card problem, your chance is gone.
we’ve been able to free up some additional tickets for the community. In addition to the tickets sold back to participants, we’ve already put 1,500 tickets into STEP, and this week we’re adding 1,000 more. That means lots of people who have been in the queue for a long time will get tickets this week. Please note, however, the queue is quite long so signing up for STEP at this point is not advised.
We’re also placing 2,000 additional tickets in the OMG Sale, for a total of 3,000.
Just over a week ago, on July 17, BMOrg informed us that they had received 2,500 tickets back from Burners through STEP:
Good news! The system is working! Over 2,500 tickets have been sold back through STEP, snapped up by eager Burners yearning for the playa.
Some were snapped up by buyers, but it appears that BMOrg sat on thousands of tickets rather than putting them in the STEP queue. All of these should have gone straight back out to other Burners waiting in the queue to buy tickets. Instead, BMOrg “put 1,500 tickets into STEP”, and held onto 1,000 of them – by their own admission. Now they’re releasing the other 1,000, bringing them up to 2,500 total in STEP. Why would they do that? Well we have proof they were trying to sell tickets for $270 above face value, and didn’t want people to know about it:
From: Steven Young <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Donation Ticket Introduction
Date: June XX, 2014 [snip]
This seems to prove my thesis. They held off on STEP tickets trying to scalp them for $650 in the name of “donation” – which was only ever partial anyway. Decommodification LLC got their royalty cut of the donation tickets, just like all the regular ones. Burning Man Project only got $250 of the inflated $650 price. How much of that $250 actually went back out to finance good deeds in the community? Stay tuned for that information (…and when Burners.Me says “coming soon”, it’s probably going to be faster than 7 years).
I can think of no other reason why ALL the tickets sold into STEP, weren’t immediately sold back out through STEP to all the Burners who got in the queue in April and have been eagerly waiting ever since. Isn’t that the entire fucking point of their STEP system? Perhaps not. Why weren’t these 3,000 “extra” tickets that they found stashed under the sofa listed in STEP from day one? ISN’T THIS EVENT SOLD OUT? Why would BMOrg suddenly discover 3,000 tickets (worth a cool $1,140,000), but only add a few of those to STEP at the very last minute? It’s not like they didn’t know the population cap, how many tickets they’d sold, or how many tickets Burners had sold back to the community. It was 2,500 a week ago, they told us.
People have been screaming for these tickets on an hourly basis on social media, and for an unknown reason they still haven’t mailed everyone’s tickets out. This is 2014, millions of tickets get sent by mail every day. Why does BMOrg have to do “a few here, a few there…”? And why do the people who got in early to the STEP queue get punished, just to make room for 3 times as many random chances in the OMG lottery?
For all we know, the extra 2,000 going into OMG also came from STEP – they could be the ones sold by Burners whose tickets arrived in the mail in the last week or two, after the “2,500” were counted. We have to take their word for it that it actually is only 3,000 extra tickets being released into the OMGSTEP pool. It could be 3,300, it could be 9,000. Only a very, very few people are in a position to know the true picture. Certainly, the event cannot claim to be sold out if there are 3000+ more tickets for sale, less than a month before it starts.
How sure can we be that 4,000 Burners (6% of the entire city) really did receive Low Income tickets? Not very. You would have to trust BMOrg, and quite clearly from the information above, ticketing has not been working the way we were told it would. If only 3% of the party got Low Income tickets instead of 6%, would anyone notice? It’s not like anyone runs around with a special wristband, “look at me I’m poor!”
Oh, and as for the commenters chastising us for “promoting scalping”…how big of a problem is scalping to the Burning Man community? How risky is it to buy tickets off the Internet? 9 tickets have been voided. That’s 0.01% of the population. Hope you feel proud of yourselves for the great difference you’ve made to our community, snitches.
As always, if anyone has any more information than this, please share. Work for BMOrg, and have proof that we’re wrong? Then show us, there’s no reason to keep it secret.
Next year, BMOrg, just sell all
68,000 69,613 tickets in one go for $650. Tell Ticketfly to sell them like it is Justin Bieber or Metallica or AC/DC, or almost any other event. Stop dicking our community around, and bank an extra $20 million for yourselves.
[Update 7/25/14 2:10pm]
Burner Marcin has shared his experience selling tickets via STEP, compared with in the past:
As a data point: when I sold my tickets via STEP last year, they were gone in a matter of hours. This year it’s been over 10 days already and still no sale.
If there’s a line, it’s being heavily throttled or really badly implemented.
Yet more proof: you sell a ticket through STEP, it goes to BMOrg who do [unknown] with it before they “choose” whether to sell it for $650 to secret insiders, release it back to the STEP queue, put it in the OMG sale, or do something else. I feel bad for this Burner who has had to wait 10 days to get money from BMOrg (and is still waiting – why?), when they could’ve sold it online and got $900 within 24 hours. They were obviously trying to do the right thing, as BMOrg had instructed them to, but it doesn’t appear that BMOrg is trying very hard to do the right thing by them.
Here’s what BMOrg tell us about STEP:
Tickets released into STEP are sold to participants registered in the program on a first-come, first-served basis. You are welcome to sell your ticket directly to a specific person yourself…
We are unable to tell you your place in the STEP queue. Since many people sign up and then find tickets through other channels, the numbers can be quite misleading and we want to avoid anyone to be needlessly discouraged because they may have had a higher number when in actuality they have a very strong possibility of getting a ticket.
In actuality, if the ticket sold to STEP is not even put in the STEP queue, I don’t think the possibility is very strong at all. In fact the possibility is nil: impossible.
I guess the meaning of “first come, first serve” is not specifically defined, and thus is in the eye of the beholder. To the eyes of BMOrg, it seems to mean “first you come, then we serve whoever we want…and maybe after that we’ll consider selling your ticket into the STEP queue to Burners who’ve been waiting there for months”.