Tickets 2016: What’s the Latest? [Update]

Remember back a couple of months ago, in December 2016? BMOrg needed us to send money. They were fighting against the Burning Man Tax. They’d bring us an update in mid-January.

waiting alien

And then in mid-January, they said they’d let us know what’s happening by the end of the month. Well, now it’s February. says (3:27pm on Feb 1st):


Screenshot 2016-02-01 13.21.46


In the comments to the blog post, they did make an announcement today. Unfortunately, it’s not very helpful or informative; instead, they chose to chide Burners for their excessive creativity:

Screenshot 2016-02-01 13.08.52

Here’s the latest – as of 3pm Feb 1st, 2016. What’s the story? Coming soon.

Screenshot 2016-02-01 15.14.47

2014 ticketing costs: $2,111,716; for that, they can’t even be bothered to figure out the price of tickets they’re not selling, that most of us won’t be able to buy anyway (unless we’re virgins).

Burners are, predictably, not being entertained by these shenanigans – which in a way proves BMOrg’s argument. They are NOT providing entertainment, because we are the opposite of amused.

Screenshot 2016-02-01 14.00.33
Screenshot 2016-02-01 14.03.18 Screenshot 2016-02-01 14.02.54 Screenshot 2016-02-01 14.02.11 Screenshot 2016-02-01 14.03.55
Screenshot 2016-02-01 14.01.37 [Source]

The Man burns in 215 days. Which means it is now 150 days since Burning Man – 5 months. Does anybody else get the feeling that every year they come up with some new way to fuck with us? Lotteries, Dance Music Zones, bugs, tax…what next? Somewhere, somebody’s laughing at us.

Image: Philou Elmon, Facebook

Image: Philou Elmon, Facebook



[Update 2/1/16 8:31pm]

I think BMOrg may have revealed what the true reason for the hold-up is.

Screenshot 2016-02-01 20.30.18

[Source: Burning Man Journal]

See the problem? Their decision-making process is to listen to the stream of ideas coming from the community and then debate them. Including some (many?) that are impossible and illegal. Large community, lots of ideas, misinformation in abundance, huge amount of time spent talking – not enough time spent doing. Someone over there needs to show some leadership and make some decisions.

I’d like to see BMOrg make some moves that are a benefit to Burners, that the community can all get behind and get excited about. Things that add more goodness, more art – not more bureaucracy. Saving $34 is really not that big of a deal.

48 comments on “Tickets 2016: What’s the Latest? [Update]

    • Just got tix in the directed group sale – was in+out in 2 minutes. Fucking taxes+fees though; $12 USPS, $70.74 “NV Live Entertainment Tax Fee”, $21 “Service fee” … plus $80 for the vehicle pass. Basically $1k per couple… before any luxuries like getting there, eating, etc… Sheesh. Feeling exploited.

  1. I think a the solution to all of this is to simply raise the ticket price by 20%. It’s not like most Burners can’t afford it. Even 25% would be fine.

    • Looks like you have not been paying attention. The 9% levy is a tax paid by the purchaser, like a sales tax. Except for getting the tax set aside, rest of this is pure drama to allow early vetting of the 9% tax every tkt buyer will pay come purchase time, but more to diflect attention and to promulgate confusion regarding the higher 2016 ticket price.

      They are working for “sympathy” for the increase in prices, when in fact the 9% tax will need to be separately itemized on the ticket invoice. But more importantly, this will subject the Borg ticket revenues to state inspection and audit. There is a very good chance that some leaks, if not public disclosure, will give us some added transparency to who gets tickets.

      • Look, homeboy – sounds like you got a problem paying your taxes. This is the United States of America, and if you have a problem with that, you know where you can go, essay. 9% is nothing. Our homeboys need to pay twice that in administrative costs plus lawyers and accountants. Sounds like you hate America AND Burning Man, essay.

        • However did you draw that conclusion from my comment? Read what I have written. What part of, “As for me, I think the state deserves their cut of the action,” is confusing to you? Sure, raise the ticket price to $1,000, so the state can get a $90 piece of the action. Fine with me.

          Perhaps you don’t like, “The bad part is that the Borg is spinning this to see how much more they can get out of the burners, if only more NPD supplies.” Seems you are a Borg shill, but are particularly not very good at it.

          If they don’t itemize the tax with each ticket sale, seems it opens the door for NV to investigate all the BRC LLC/Borg revenues in detail, particularly including any preferred sales at higher prices, or sales though CCamp bundlers that resell the tickets for thousands of dollars. I would not doubt that they are trying to disproportionately shift the tax burden from the premium ticket sales onto the regular sales. I would bet that the BRC LLC profit/non-profit sleight-of-hand, as suggested by the Form 990, may be coming back to bite the Borg big time.

          It’s hard to keep that light under a bushel, when it catches the bushel on fire. 😎

          • Ticket info is out. It turns out you are soooooooooo wrong. Hahahahahaha.

          • Shill: I think a the solution to all of this is to simply raise the ticket price by 20%. It’s not like most Burners can’t afford it. Even 25% would be fine.

            Me: Looks like you have not been paying attention. The 9% levy is a tax paid by the purchaser, like a sales tax.

            Shill: Look, homeboy – sounds like you got a problem paying your taxes. …Sounds like you hate America AND Burning Man, essay.

            Me: However did you draw that conclusion from my comment? … If they don’t itemize the tax with each ticket sale, seems it opens the door for NV to investigate all the BRC LLC/Borg revenues in detail, particularly including any preferred sales at higher prices, or sales though CCamp bundlers that resell the tickets for thousands of dollars

            Borg: …we will have to collect the tax at the time of purchase, as per the law. At 9% a pop, this amounts to an additional $34 for each $390 ticket…

            Shill: Ticket info is out. It turns out you are soooooooooo wrong. Hahahahahaha.

            Me: You need to have that checked into.

          • Yep, I get around a lot, check my IP.

            All I can really say is – America, love it or leave it.

  2. As to how you should manage a large group of legacy member volunteers and what they do, I just got this email today (specifics genericized to Legacy Membership):


    Thank you for taking this time to vote for the newest members of the Legacy Membership Selection Committee.

    The elected members of the Legacy Membership Selection Committee (LMSC) select the next president and term directors for the Board of Directors, who in turn guide the evolution of programs and services for all Legacy members.

    Your vote helps ensure that the vast and diverse Legacy Membership body is well represented. This year, there are nine exceptional Legacy member nominees for three open seats on the LMSC. Vote today!

    There is a bio and narrative commitment for each of the 9 candidates for the 3 open positions. No one gets paid for these roles, though the full-time staff who send this are paid, but they do what the volunteer positions need done.

    In case you cannot see it, this differs from the Borg and any other top-down corporate structure by NOT having paid staff make the decisions, and NOT having the paid senior management select staff and other senior management like the president and BoD. The president and BoD are selected by a committee of the group members that has competitive contested elections. Moreover, the president and BoD are volunteer and members of the group.

    This group is a non-profit and far older than the Borg. We also don’t get top-down edicts from people who may have motivation to expand their work for bigger staff and salary. A key value to volunteer top management is that unnecessary complexity and byzantine operations are avoided.

    Yes, this would be an alternate reality to what the Borg is and what they have done to the NV burn, but it could have been done and is well-precedented. BTW, this is not one of the two stone soup organizations I work in, but they have similar volunteer structure. The world is full of organizations that do this right that the Borg could have followed if they were not constrained by their pathetic NPD needs. And if Burning Man were not a covert profit organization in a non-profit shell, but instead copied true non-profits, I doubt that the Burning Man Tax would have been enacted.

    As for me, I think the state deserves their cut of the action. The bad part is that the Borg is spinning this to see how much more they can get out of the burners, if only more NPD supplies.

    • As ABP has often suggested, the only way for this to be corrected is for the BMP BoD to wait until the BMP has all the IP rights, then throw out the founders from the BoD, and restructure the BMP like the many true non-profits. The founders could still serve an advisory capacity, but they, and their various private profit interests, would be removed from any decision-making.

      This would let the BMP do what is best for “evolution of programs and services for all” burners. And that might include relocating the NV burn venue to a location that would seek the event, rather than join in the profiteering.

      • Nomad, kudos in regards to your brilliant comments in regards to the manner of which other non profits whom throw events are organized, and of the awesome manners of which their communities gain the proper representation, and control of, their organizations. Within the manner you stated, it is quite the opposite of the manner of which the Burning Man Project is organized, of zero representation of the awesome Burner community within the Project.

        Might you view the rubbish bylaws of the Burning Man Project upon the Burning Man site, the board of directors of the Project is not permitted to throw out the six of them, and the six of them are of the ability to pen new bylaws each two years. The board of directors of the Project is of the ability to boot Larry from all his positions within the Project, and it is the responsibility of the board of directors of the Project to control the direction of the Project, and to minister the decisions of those whom do decisions for the Project, in addendum of booting those whom do not desire to respect the board in this manner. But, Larry, within the Commodification Camp rubbish, stated the Project board should not meddle in what he is of the belief is his business.

        • ABP, I am disappointed the protection of the founders is in the bylaws. Sounds like I may never to return to a BMP event.

          However, that shows that we need to form a new entity, informal at least, that provides good representation of the burner community. Not that it would have anything to do with the Borg and BMP, per se, but more like a union to establish rights of burners in any context. We could also identify a set of fundamental elements and then score various burn events by those parameters. Seems this is as good a place as any.

          • Or, perchance, support, in any manner possible, any whom throw burnerly festivals not under the top down control, and micromanagement, of the Borg.

            I am not of the ability to contribute in this manner, it must be by others whom desire to do this.

          • Not to worry, ABP. We will all work on it as a combined effort, with the help of Burnersxxx.

            Step 1 is to assemble the list of burn events, and update the spreadsheet. This will include adding columns for the various parameters we can discuss online and refine. This will result in a list of fundamental burn elements to score each event,

            Step 2 is to take that list of elements and discuss and refine them into a list of burner rights (transparency, cost, participation …whatever). These need not be yes/no elements but at least something to grade a burn, perhaps 1 to 10. But the burner rights would be a list that can be used to give feedback to the various organizations.

            Step 3 is to then create a list of things events and burners should expect from each other, and from themselves. This list will start with ideas from the Night Market for each participant and truck.

            This should be an interesting experience.

            With a new blog or web site created by Burnersxxx, we should all be able to work together on these.

          • In Step 2, note that scoring an element of an event from 1 to 10 gives them a chance to improve, as well as to see examples of events that have a higher score and what they do.

            For example, the NV burn might get a 2 on transparency, and Transformus might get an 8, possibly degraded to a 6 because they removed their recent online financials. And these would be discussed and debated by those that choose to participate.

            Cost might not only be listed, but also graded as a percentage for much of the fee go for hard costs vs overhead, like many non-profits are scored. This percentage depends on their financials, and not on the bizarre Form 990 data (that seems to have been structured to allow people to hide their overhead).

            Other factors include grants (number and amounts), counts of assaults, and other factors of interest.

            [I am going to copy all of my comments here to the “100 alternative burn” thread.]

          • Assemble them there, I will re-post in a new one as a cleaner starting point for this project . I’m hearing a few rumblings related to the regionals right now.

  3. burnersxxx, in regards of the delay of the selling of the tickets, these are not the shenanigans you are looking for. My belief is, after the Artuminal, the BMOrg began planning of selling the tickets of the 2016 burn, and queried their people in regards to might BMOrg not be of the need to pay the Live Entertainment Tax levy, and their people did not know the answer to their query, and they queried Nevada, whom had 45 days to answer their query, and Nevada, after 45 days, stated a rubbish answer. In addendum, Pandora bought Ticketfly, and the BMOrg fired accepted resignations of people, within the org, whom were in disagreement in regards of their rubbish plans, thus, there was confusion in regards of the manner of selling of tickets, and a delay of the selling of tickets.

    My belief is the shenanigans you are looking for are in regards of the BMOrg selling out the priorly counterculture, and nonconformist, Burner culture to their rich mates, purposed to gain the cash for their Burning Man Resort and Conference Center. Prior of December, my belief is Larry, and Marian, were doing their politics, in despite of much disagreement, for their Project board meeting near to the Artuminal, in the place of planning for the 2016 burn. I was of the desire of that the other Burning Man Project board members might win for the Burners, and Burning Man culture, but, by appearance, that did not occur, the 2016 theme is of trickle down economics to artists and sherpas, Caveat Magister is repenning of Larrys rubbish of this manner upon the Burning Man Journal, your article of Big Burner Bucks in the Biggest Little Tax Haven was most impressive, and the gigapan picture of the 2015 Burning Man showed many rich plug and play camps.

    Might a professional reporter desire to pen the story of the future of Burning Man in regards of the priorly counterculture culture of Burning Man is being sold out in the same manner as the counterculture bohemians of Bohemian Grove were sold out near to a century prior? The bohemians owned the Bohemian Grove, but purposed to buy two areas of forest near to the grove ‘not long after the Club’s establishment by newspaper journalists, it was commandeered by prominent San Francisco-based businessmen, who provided the financial resources necessary to acquire further land and facilities at the Grove. However, they still retained the “bohemians”—the artists and musicians—who continued to entertain international members and guests.’

    The Fly Ranch plan, of the manner stated within the prior link, is to gain the cash for the plan by selling homesteads, or buildings, upon the ranch. What might be the rationale of many rich plug and play theme camps at Burning Man, and what might be the rationale of the Borg in serving their comforts by the big Outside Site Services program? Bohemian Grove is of near to 118 theme camps, and might theme camps, in the manner of Bohemian Grove, be sold upon Fly Ranch, and the many rich plug and play theme camps at Burning Man be purposed to be upon Fly Ranch, purposed to gain the cash for the Burning Man Resort and Conference Center? A reporter, in the manner stated within the Burning Man Project bylaws, is of the ability to walk into the Burning Man offices, within the usual business hours, purposed to view, and copy, the minutes of the Project discussing, and voting, upon this, and might request of the BLM, within Winnemucca, the list of Outside Site Services vendors of 2015, including of the names upon the forms, and the amount of cash paid in due of the three per cent commercial use levy towards the BLM. In addendum of viewing the gigapan picture of 2015 Burning Man, purposed to gain the knowledge of listing the many rich plug and play theme camps, of RVs, hexayurts, and dhomes.

    Themes of prior Burning Mans were purposed to discuss the future of Burning Man, in the manner of Metropolis, in due of the regionals, Evolution, Rites of Passage towards the non profit, and Fertility 2.0. My belief is the theme of 2016 is, in addendum purposed towards the future of Burning Man, is of turning Burning Man on his head, of trickle down economics of the rich to the artists and sherpas, of doing a Renaissance Pleasure Faire in due of their plan of an event of many weeks upon the Hualapai playa in a most similar manner to the Renaissance Pleasure Faires, and the Burning Man retreat within November was at the Esalen Institute and conference center in due of their plan is a mix of the manners of the the prior Harbin Hot Springs, Renaissance Pleasure Faires, Esalen Institute conference center, and Bohemian Grove rich theme camps.

    burnersxxx, my belief is of these are the shenanigans you are looking for. Might a reporter desire to gain this information and report upon the future of Burning Man in this manner?

    • Great analysis. I see two tracks of potential shenanigans, occurring roughly in a parallel directions, but on different time lines. The ticket miasma is definitely “little shenanigans”; the Hundred Year Reich is “big shenanigans”.

      I actually think a permanent, Bohemian Grove-style Burning Man could be a good thing. Putting it near Gerlach and letting BMOrg run it is unlikely to be successful, though. I know BMOrg have definitely been working on this plan for a while, but can they really get it together now, when they couldn’t in the last 20 years? And what would the Feds and local authorities do if they lost their $5 million+/year pay check – go away and make life easy for Burners? Or infiltrate it twice as hard with undercover stings and high-tech surveillance?

      • Much obliged, burnersxxx. I am in agreement in regards of a mix of the prior Harbin Hot Springs, and Esalen Institute might be a good thing. The difficulties, within the manner you state, are in due of the location, the BMOrg rubbish, and of government rubbish of a most abusive manner.

        I am not in agreement in regards of a Bohemian Grove-style of Burning Man. My belief is of a Bohemian Grove style of Burning Man, is of the manner of which Larry has penned within the Turning Man theme, of rich Patrons ministering over camp valets sherpas service labourers, and of the trickle down economics towards the artists, and towards those whom serve them, and the decisions the BMOrg has done, purposed for the benefits, and comforts, of the rich Patrons, is quite the opposite of the priorly counter culture, and nonconformist, culture of Burning Man, of community is built in due of all labouring together to construct of a camp, of art projects, and of all participating in the throwing of the awesome party.

        In the place of selling out to their rich mates in a most Bohemian Grove manner, my belief is the Project might gain the cash desired for the 100 year plan by gaining a new permit within 2017 for a two week burn on the playa, of near to 50,000, or 60,000, people of each week, with wristbands of each week, perchance, gaining of near to $10 million of profit of each year, in addendum of near to $5 million of donations of each year from people whom are of belief in the plan, and cash in due of operations of the plan, in addendum of the cash upon their ledger, at present. My belief is of a plan most similar to this might gain the support of the awesome Burner community.

  4. They could suck up the tax and try and fight it for next year.

    Or cancel 2016, take a year out and see how Reno business owners like that.

    I have a better idea. Put the tax plus $600 extra onto the tickets. That’ll raise a clear $25mil, to buy a huge block of land (desert or beachfront) in another state – maybe a legal weed state – or even in Mexico/Canada. Hold the burn there on private land – maybe even incorporate it as a township (no idea how that works, but subdivisions in CA seem to do it). No cops, no headcount limits, no money for Nevada.

    • Um, what makes you think you’ll be invited to their* land? It’s not like you’ll be an owner, you’re just giving them your money to buy it for their own profit.

    • And people keep thinking they can take it to Colorado. Ugh, I live in Colorado. It has been utterly ruined by the tons** of people who moved here and keep moving here for pot. 1) No one can find a freaking affordable apartment, rents are so high. So **good luck** on finding affordable land. 2) Also, good luck finding land where you can burn a bunch of shit. The forests are dried out and dead from beetle infestations. So, you would have to take it to the eastern plains. No burners would want to there. 3) A lot of rural counties are really strict on pot (no dispensaries, etc), so good luck with those cops. (Hint, they do* favor lots of guns.)

  5. I call shenanigans on how Will Chase and Co. choose to keep the community informed. It’s dismissive and reactionary, at best. I don’t believe that the BMORG is intentionally messing with us in regards to structuring ticket prices along with the new tax. I do hope they absorb some of the cost increase and don’t pass on the entire 9% to us. We’ll see.

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