Easy Way To Get Tickets

Panicking because you missed out on STEP and OMG? Keen to go and check out the debut of the new, ultra-loud Dance Music Zone? Looking to hear the crackling of the flames at the Man base without pesky DJs trying to gift you tracks? All those and more could be yours…if only you had a ticket.

Well, Burners, it’s not hard. In fact it’s pretty easy.

Go to http://stubhub.com and type “Burning Man” in the search.

As I write this there are 434 tickets for sale (from $999), and 157 vehicle passes (from $333).

The Burnier-Than-Thous, of course, will tell you that you can’t do this. It’s against the unwritten rules! It’s Un-Burnery. Real Burners would rather not go to Burning Man, than pay $900 for an $800 ticket.

Hey, if you want to be one of those, then by all means go for it. Have fun being a Burner who never goes to Burning Man any more, it’s a fast growing group.

For any other Burner who wants to go to Burning Man, my advice is just go. Buy one of the hundreds of tickets still left on sale. You’re not paying that much more above face value, now that BMOrg have conveniently set face value at $819 plus a vehicle pass, bus ticket, or airport entry tax.

What of the argument that paying more for tickets fuels scalpers?

We have covered this time and time again. First of all, scalpers aren’t even a significant problem. That’s not just Burners.Me telling you that, it’s Larry Harvey:

Source: Larry Harvey, Voices of Burning Man, December 2012

Source: Larry Harvey, Voices of Burning Man, December 2012

I have kept an eye on the ticket prices on Stubhub during the year. After the OMG sale, the number of passes and tickets available went up, and so did the prices. Vehicle passes briefly hit a peak of $520, but have now started to plummet.

Screenshot 2015-08-10 11.31.39

If scalpers DID get some of those OMG tickets, then if you buy them, you are ensuring that a real Burner goes, instead of some safari tourist bucket-lister Broner schmuck.

Otherwise, the increase in tickets available for sale must only be from Burners finding out at the last minute they can’t go. STEP is closed, so how else are they supposed to sell their tickets? Especially if they live a long way from Black Rock City. These Burners need our support, and it’s our duty to help ensure those tickets go to other good Burners. Buy their ticket, help yourself, help a Burner.

And what about the rules? Well, statements from BMOrg over the last 12 months seem to show that they’ve significantly softened their tone about the secondary market. Even they realize that it’s basically the only way that most Burners can ensure they get tickets.

Screenshot 2015-08-10 11.51.09

Source: Voices of Burning Man, Feb 2015

They’ve gone from “it’s against our community’s ethos so don’t do it”, to “it’s the reality of supply and demand and technically legal and many do it and we’re certain it’s not scalpers“. How can they be so certain? Perhaps they have some inkling of who is actually selling these tickets. To the rest of us, the whole ticketing and queueing system is a mysterious black box.

From the Jackrabbit Speaks:

  • For 2014, the total allotment was 35,000 vehicle passes. We never sold out. Just over 34,000 were purchased in all of our sales combined. Just before the event there were lots of passes on the secondary market, and in the end, only about 27,000 vehicle passes were actually used.
  • Since Black Rock City will be roughly the same size in 2015 as it was in 2014, this year we’re limiting the total allotment to 27,000

Following the “reality of supply and demand”, releasing fewer Vehicle Passes for 2015 has naturally led to vehicle passes being much higher on the secondary market all year.

I predict the Early Bird sale sells out quickly next year, and I’m sure cracking the 1 G mark has crossed the minds of the non-profit ticket pricers.

As the above graph shows, thanks to StubHub there have been hundreds of tickets available all year long. There are other sites too.

eBay has plenty of tickets and vehicle passes. Tickets seem to be around $600-$800 and vehicle passes are in the $250-$450 range.

Vivid Seats have tickets from $892 and vehicle passes from $338. Tickpick have tickets from $899 and vehicle passes from $344.

Please note: there are plenty of Burnier-Than-Thou narcs out there trying to tell on ticket sellers to BMOrg. Why they do this is beyond me, but Burners.Me is not responsible for anybody scamming anybody else in ticket sales. Caveat emptor, and caveat venditor too.

Someone is making a lot of money from these sales on the secondary market. But is it professional scalping crews, gaming the system? Burning Man are certain that it isn’t. How can they be so sure? Is there some way that insiders can get their hands on more than 1 ticket? Volunteers, staffers, Directed Group Sale beneificiaries? They get to keep a ticket for themselves, and sell one to pay for their trip…if someone had 4 tickets and vehicle passes, they could clear more than $5000.

The two tier price structure of $800 and $400 for the same ticket seems tailor made to boost prices on the secondary market. The staggered timing of the ticket releases also seems geared to fuel it. And watching what BMOrg have done over the years since they introduced the ticket lottery, every single move seems to have had the effect of bumping secondary market prices higher for longer. This is one area where BMOrg seems to really have excelled in the effectiveness of their decision making.

At any time, to really stop scalping, they could just link tickets to IDs. Of course, that would completely destroy the model I just outlined. It would be great for Burners, but much harder for anyone who got tickets via one of the various internal handouts to make money on the side. So we’re told we can’t have it, and some weak excuse is made up for why. Actions speak louder than words, in this case the actions seem to be about secondary market prices. We haven’t seen any evidence of money from the Vehicle Pass sales going to improve road safety, but they certainly have been a re-seller’s wet dream, fetching up to 1000% returns.

38 comments on “Easy Way To Get Tickets

  1. IMHO the vehicle pass fiasco was the final nail in a coffin already filled with nails. I predict more theft, more datrape, and less adherance to the 10 principles than ever before. If you call yourself a “burner” than the “right” thing todo would be to boycott as many of us “burners” have been doing for years. Nothing lasts forever and it was fun while it lasted. For those that are still commited to the “community” dont forget to “participate” in a themecamp fundraiser for “swag” made by child slaves in china. Dont forget to document your on playa lulz in excruciating detail with an iPhone made in a factory that has fences on the roof to stop the slaves from commiting suicide to escape their miserable existance in the bowels of foxconn. Dont forget to upload your footage and pictures to a prism partner like farcebook.

    • “Boycott” implies that management would relent to some demands and once reforms are made, the boycotters would return. In this case the thing to do is to move on from the NV burn to other burns.

      After all, Burning Man is creation, destruction and rebirth. So, be reborn and rediscovered at a new place – since the BOrg have given up on that, too.

  2. What’s hilarious is The Donald is being supported by a small percentage of people BECAUSE he is a bigoted misogynist. Now he’s making other bigoted misogynists think they can be public about their hatred and get away with it. Of-course he has 4 billion dollars. If you don’t…good luck with that.

  3. If you have not seen the SubHub writeup, you should check it out:

    Note: “Burning Man Festival Plot,” “Burning Man Festival Schedule” (with the theater pic above), “Burning Man Festival Cast,” and “Burning Man Festival Author.” I particularly like: “Have you and your friends been trying to find an event to go and attend together that won’t break the bank and will be sure to leave everyone in your party happy with the result?”

    The people that buy tix there with the expectations set by that page should be a lot of fun in BRC.


  4. Some of the news programs are covering Lawrence Lessig’s run for President, on a single issue, The Citizen Equality Act of 2017. In part, “That hybrid would give every voter a voucher to contribute to fund congressional and presidential campaigns…” https://lessigforpresident.com/the-act/

    So, to offset the power of big money, the Act would give each voter a voucher to fund campaigns of their choosing. …Sorta like letting the veteran burners get first chance at tix to the NV burn. Just sayin’.

    Of course this would rob the BOrg of their capricious power over who gets tickets…

          • Oh I could care less about price..It is what it is..If people want to go, they pay or find a way to go. If not, then stand by your convictions..

            I know NW is a rave, nothing more.

          • Plus I went exactly 20 years ago, so I would be reliving old times 😉

            But no, I am not really going… If anything Ill get discount tickets for poor people for next years BM. I would never pay that much to get into BM. I went in the 90’s, that was good enough for me. The only way I would go now is if tickets were under $200 and that is still pushing it!

            At least NW has three day passes for under $300. Not like BM but still.

          • Some time ago I said the original burner market was $199, which is about the hard costs for the event. Spontaneity is lost when tix sell out months ahead of time, with an after-market price in the four and five digits. That’s one reason I did not go to Transformus this year – hard to assemble a camp when getting tix is such a big issue. I want the vitality of the “just come and buy a ticket at the gate” Burning Man days.

          • I agree. When an organization has gone so far from its roots and core values, I get a bad taste in my mouth. I still love the idea of BM and it is a great gathering but I do not feel comfortable “pretending” that everyone is there for the core values of BM.

            I now see BM as an exercise in corporate flogging…How can we (they) milk as much $$$ from burners as is humanely possible..When we have to start saving a year or two in advance JUST TO GET IN, I say no. Regardless of how great it is, I have morals and values against such blatant @$$ raping (ticket price).

            But like I said earlier, to each their own…

          • Actually its pretty easy to get a ticket to the burn. Participate, volunteer and be part of the event. As a volunteer, I’ve received a staff credential for the last 2 years, and a discounted ticket the year before that. Pretty much everyone who wanted one got a directed sale ticket for my theme camp this year, and the team working on a local art project all have tickets as well. The reality is yes, tickets are harder to come by, but that really only applies to spectators and not to participants

          • Good luck with that strategy, 2 weeks out from the Burn without tickets.

            If your camp got most of its tickets in the Directed Group Sale, lucky you – but don’t assume it’s the same for everyone else. Sounds like you have people pretty close to the Org to get you all on the guest list. Other camps have not had so much success.

          • It’s called planning. That generally happens earlier than 2 weeks beforehand. And no, I have no Borg affiliation, other than that I volunteer at the event as part of my art. As to directed sale tickets, there are thousands distributed to theme camps in February as you know. Other places that have non sale tickets – volunteering, art projects, fire conclave…. Everyone I know that makes a positive contribution to the burn and is not a sketched out candy raver has managed to get tickets this year so….

          • Suggesting that by being a good “participating” burner will magically get you a ticket is patently absurd. But it is the rationalization for people who have chosen to play the BOrg ticket game. Look at all the DS tix that were put in the hands of the monied elite – what “participation” are they offering other than their money, which is infinitely fungible. One you equate any passive spectator with money to a burner making a theme camp, art car or art installation, you have lost the event.

  5. I penned a few notes in regards towards the Burning Man 2015 Special Recreation Permit Stipulations signed on Friday night 7 August. burnersxxx, I penned this comment in a manner to utilize this within a post, might you desire to do so.

    Burning Man Event Gates Open

    “7. Gates are permitted to open at 10:00 AM on Sunday, August 30,” and no fun is permitted prior to 6:00 PM participants are required to focus their activities on camp location setup prior to 6:00 PM on Sunday, August 30. The fun event shall end at 6:00 PM on Monday, September 7, and for the purposes of participant egress the main gate will be opened until 12:00 PM on Tuesday, September 8.

    Population and Tickets

    “1. The maximum authorized population (also referred to as the “population cap”) at any point in time during the 2015 event is 70,000 paid participants. The population cap does not include volunteers, government personnel, emergency service providers, vendors, and contractors.” This is of the meaning of the BMOrg is permitted to sell over 1,000 tickets more than the priorly stated 69,000 tickets, of which, the tickets sold for $30.5 million.

    The BMorg social media crew, in a most unofficial manner, states a manner to obtain tickets is to construct an art project, or labour upon an art project. Thusly, might a Burner be doing so, converse with your art project lead, and with the Artery, purposed to buy a ticket. In the same manner, might a contributing theme camp, or a mutant vehicle crew, or a donor of cash towards the Burning Man Project, be of the need of a small number of tickets, converse with the BMOrg, purposed to buy the needed tickets.

    Missing from the 2015 Permit

    Missing from the 2015 permit is requirements upon the medical of that BRC LLC, dba Burning Man, must pay for ambulances to transport Burners to hospitals in Reno. My belief is this is a most important item purposed for the safety of Burners.

    In addendum, missing from the 2015 permit, is any mention in regards of what the BRC LLC is required to provide towards the BLM, and towards the BLM police, in regards of constructing their huge police compound, of providing their cafeteria, their housing, and of their other luxuries. In addendum, missing from the 2015 permit is any mention in regards of the BLM is required to provide towards the BRC LLC of a statement of costs for the Cost Recovery Fee, or of the amount of cash to be paid in due of the cost recovery fee. Their is no rationale of the BLM, and of their police, desire a cafeteria separate from the BMOrg staff cafeteria, other of the BLM, and their police, do not desire to associate with the enemy unwashed Burners.

    The Police State

    In regards of the police state, my belief is the BLM, and their police, desire control of BRC, and of ‘compliant participants’, and desire of the ability of cancellation or of temporary suspension of the event. Their rubbish rationals of this might be a forecast of rain, wind, or the most important concern of the prior Pershing County Sheriff, whom desired to bring 12 riot control horses to the playa, social unrest.

    “27. BRC and BLM, and other agencies as shall be mutually deemed appropriate, shall cooperate in the development of a Unified Command (UC) structure … for the management of available safety, security and infrastructure resources in the event of an emergency incident … as well as in the event of an emergency threshold event as defined in the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). … All UC operations will be managed from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located at the BLM Headquarters…”

    “31. BRC shall develop and cooperate in the implementation of contingency plans for operations of critical health and safety services under adverse conditions, including those that could cause cancellation or temporary suspension of the event. Such causes may include adverse weather, natural or human caused disaster, or social unrest.” In addendum of “ii. BRC and the BLM will monitor forecast weather conditions. If weather forecasts suggest a high probability of adverse weather conditions that may result in disruptions to the event, … In the event of natural disaster or civil unrest appropriate strategies and actions will be initiated immediately after any disaster or unrest occurs”

    In addendum in regards of the police state, the Closure Order for the playa, states Disorderly Conduct is illegal, and it is a crime with levies and, perchance, jail time. I was of the belief the purpose of Burning Man being in the most horrible desert was Disorderly Conduct.

    Other Stipulations

    In regards of other stipulations, “44. No more than 1,000 vehicles per hour shall be released from Black Rock City during the exodus “. A new item, it was desired, by the BLM, within their rubbish 20 points, “23. … Participants who are stopped by BRC Rangers for violating established burn perimeters shall be promptly turned over to BLM Law Enforcement“. “54. Event speed limits shall be posted on both Gate Road and the 12-Mile/Point 1 Road. … Will-call area shall have an organized layout including signage.” “56. Environmental Compliance Team”, the BLM desires to send wankers valued employees, and VIPs, to the playa to have a paid vacation and stare at tits monitor environmental compliance.

    In addendum, the BLM is requiring of rubbish new costs, upon the BRC LLC, of “35. BRC shall station a specialized emergency firefighting vehicle at the airport during all times that the airport is open. BRC shall provide modern industry-standard technical rescue, extrication and high-angle rescue capabilities and equipment throughout pre-during-and post-event”

    Burners, what might be your opinions in regards of the 2015 Burning Man Permit Stipulations?

  6. What’s the point of getting a ticket now? You’ve got a couple weeks to pack and all you’re going to be is a spectator roaming around looking for a cock or a hole, and some free drinks.

    I’d rather stay home watch season 25 of Survivor on Primewire.

  7. The phrase, “we are certain scalpers are not responsible for the high demand for tickets” means scalpers aren’t creating an artificial demand for burning man tickets. It does not mean that scalpers aren’t the ones selling burning man tickets.

        • As evidence of the statement “we are certain scalpers are not responsible for high demand”.

          IMO this is nothing more than Burnersxxx attempt to undermine Burning Man at the expense of Burners, while pretending to be on the side of Burners. Obviously if no one buys the tickets on Stubhub at inflated prices, they will have to lower the prices to face value. If that happens, less people will be trying to sell tickets at inflated prices in subsequent years. If, as you suggest, people buy these tickets at inflated prices, that will lead to more people trying to scalp tickets in the future. Perhaps the name of this site should be Idon’treallygiveashitaboutburners.me.

          • Not sure I can follow your logic here (yet again). The message of this post is “if you want to go to Burning Man just buy a ticket”. That is clearly on the side of Burners. Possibly, if they wait, prices may drop – like they are for vehicle passes. And it looks like now there could be 1000 more tickets too.

          • So, you can’t get OMG and STEP tix… and if buying tix over face value is wrong… obviously TRUE burners would then crash the party. The challenge is now to find people to carry in all your crap. Oh, wait… you can steal your bike… and mooch your way to some food. This could work!

          • Meant to put this here: What’s hilarious is The Donald is being supported by a small percentage of people BECAUSE he is a bigoted misogynist. Now he’s making other bigoted misogynists think they can be public about their hatred and get away with it. Of-course he has 4 billion dollars. If you don’t…good luck with that.

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