Tickets 2016: What Really Happened

 

Church fire

Image: Dan Rademacher | Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

At first, it seemed like things were going very smoothly this year. I logged on in the Pre-Sale, got straight through, got 2 tickets and a vehicle pass, no problem. Whole thing took less than 3 minutes. Of course, that cost $2271.74. I couldn’t bring myself to spend $1207 for a $997 ticket, but for anyone who wants tickets, there are still those VIP Da Vinci’s available. Log into your Burner profile and click this:

Screenshot 2016-04-18 09.28.46

Although it says the limit is 2 per person, the reality is it is at least 2 per profile. Anyone can create a profile and buy these tickets, so if Medici Camps want a hundred tickets they will get them. A little bird told us that you can just log in and keep buying 2 at a time, after buying Art Tickets the button is still visible on the profile. One camp has already purchased more than 100 Da Vinci tickets from a single profile. [Pro tip: if you still need a vehicle pass, you can get one here without getting the Leonardo’s; some readers have pointed out that BMOrg says VP-only orders will be voided, so you might want to make a small donation just in case]

After the Pre-Sale, the Directed Group Sale happened. Although most camps got a reduced allocation from last year, the sale seemed to go through hitch-free for those who did get codes.

So far, so good. That’s about 30,000 Burners in the door. Rich people, and those with enough Borg points to be on the World’s Biggest Guest list, can come to Burning Man.

But just being on the DGS list doesn’t mean that your camp got all of the tickets it needed. A neutral sample from the Theme Camp Organizers group showed 94% got less than they needed this year.

Which bring us to everybody else. Regular Burners, who want to just log in when the sale opens and hopefully get in there early enough that they can buy a ticket.

This is where the problems began.

The 30,000 tickets sold out in about half an hour; it took a further half an hour before people in the queue were informed. From the Reno Gazette Journal:

At about 12:35 p.m., 30 minutes after tickets went on sale, Burning Man announced that all tickets were in the “baskets” of buyers at the time. By 1 p.m., tickets were officially sold out…More than 70,000 people registered to purchase 30,000 tickets

Assuming that most people are buying 2 tickets, that is potentially 140,000 tickets wanted from a pool of 30,000 tickets. Although clearly demand exceeds supply, this is just a regular day in the ticketing world. This problem has been solved, well, and long ago.

Jenny Kane at the RGJ raised some criticism of the last-minute move to add the “Waiting Room”

Since demand has far outpaced supply in recent years, Burning Man has experimented with different ticketing processes, this year trying out an online “waiting room,” which Burning Man threw into the equation via an email announcement last minute Tuesday night.

The waiting room was a response to “anticipation of high demand and a high server load,” according to the email. No information was available about the sudden change of process on Burning Man’s website.

Some Burners criticized the waiting room as a move that returned the system to a lottery-style ticket sale, others said that the waiting room was a joke since Burning Man’s email was sent out so last-minute, and some Burners did not receive the email in the first place, according to reports on social media.

Because some Burners reported acquiring tickets after skipping the waiting room, some Burners suspected that there was a glitch with this year’s process, a theory that Burning Man organizers denied.

“Everything seemed to go as planned,” said Jim Graham, Burning Man spokesman.

Whether as planned, or a glitch, reading a post from BMOrg explaining how the ticketing process went wrong this year is nothing new. I started this blog in early 2012, and ticket troubles have been an annual story every since. The usual response is “we know you are frustrated”, followed by “blame Burners (sort of)”, and then “blame anyone else we can”. In previous years, the problem has been blamed on the previous ticketing vendor, Burners buying tickets for their friends, scalpers, and hackers.

This year, the problem was Burners accidentally entering the early room too early (but it wasn’t their fault), and Ticketfly (supposedly, entirely their fault). BMOrg, of course, did nothing wrong, they are a highly competent organization that unfortunately (and inexplicably) regularly encounters undeserved bad luck.

From burningman.org:

Early in the planning process for the 2016 Main Sale, Ticketfly wanted to put a waiting room in place before the sale to accommodate the expected high server load. Under this plan, Burners who entered the sale before it opened would be placed in a “pre-queue” waiting room, and when the sale opened, everyone in that room would be randomly assigned a place in line.

We pushed back on this idea because it conflicted with our longtime policy that arriving early for a sale shouldn’t give one an advantage over someone who arrives when the sale officially begins. In this respect we’re kind of industry oddballs — it is standard practice in most high-volume ticket sales to use a waiting room like this, but it is philosophically out of line with how we feel participants should be treated in a sale.

In response, Ticketfly insisted the system was necessary to ensure a smooth sale, so we sent our standard night-before reminder email to everyone registered for the sale, including an explanation about the waiting room, to be transparent about the process.

…Needless to say, we don’t like being in the position of having to notify people late in the game of a change in how the system works.

Well, that’s the official story, anyway. You can read about it at the BJ or the RGJ. BMOrg knew about the waiting room since early in the planning process, but only chose to tell Burners about it by slipping it into a last-minute reminder email…in the name of transparency.

According to BMOrg, there was only one problem: Ticketfly opening the waiting room at 11:30 insterad of 11:45.

Ticketfly did not anticipate how the safety net would interact with the waiting room, and proceeded to open the expected waiting room at 11:30 am, 15 minutes earlier than we’d agreed and publicized. This waiting room was open for 35 minutes, still ending at 12:05 pm. Unbeknownst to us though, the roughly 3,500 people that arrived in the “safety net” period were given preferential placement ahead of everyone else to buy tickets and vehicle passes.

The full story of what went wrong includes some key details that will need to be addressed to avoid these problems in the future.

A summary of the main problems reported:

  • The sale “officially” starts at 12:00. BMOrg modified this to start at 12:05 for people in a “20 minute waiting room” that officially started at 11:45. This announcement of a new method (get in even earlier than 12 and get tickets) went out at the last minute, and not to everyone
  • The waiting room was actually open earlier than 11:45
  • Some people who waited in the waiting room for 20 minutes or more did not get tickets
  • Some people who logged in after 12:05 got tickets with no queue
  • BMOrg asked people not to open multiple browser windows. Each time you did, you increased your chances of getting tickets.
  • The code involved in the waiting room system made the process vulnerable to hackers trying to outsmart the system.
  • After the last ticket was sold, there were still many people waiting in the queue, who were forced to stay there for at least an extra half hour.
  • It appears that tickets that were “refreshed” – put back into the pool because a transaction was not completed in time, or a credit card failed – were not then offered to the people who were waiting the longest. Instead they were offered to whoever logged in the most recently. I say this because of reports that people logged in after 12:20 and got tickets, while others logged in to the waiting room before 12 and didn’t.

The entire ticketing system is a big black box. Is there even one person that knows how BMOrg’s code AND Ticketfly’s code AND Queue-It’s code works? If so, then maybe they should be taking responsibility for these annual clusterfucks.

One of the great ironies of Burning Man is how fiercely BMOrg fight against transparency, now that profit has been removed from their activities. They will say they don’t because they got a friendly to write a puff piece in Philanthropy magazine. YMMV. Apparently, one of the outcomes of this year’s Global Leadership Conference was “Radical Transparency”:

Our leaders are advocating transparency because it reduces Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt, a.k.a. FUD. Keeping things secret allows for FUD to spread and we all know how our community loves a little drama.

Something tells me “leaders advocating transparency” really means “Regionals are being forced to implement Burner Profiles”. But I’ll keep my mind open – maybe BMOrg 3.0, of the people, for the people, by the people, really is “coming soon”. Personally, if we’re going to have an 11th Principle I vote CONSENT. Gratitude is a good one. Transparency is not a Principle of Burners, it is simply a fundamental requirement for a non-profit that wants to raise tens of millions of dollars from wealthy donors. Unless you’re the Clinton Global Initiative, of course!

A disconnect between BMOrg’s words and actions is par for the course, and the ticketing system gets more opaque every year. To figure out what really happened in the Ticketing black box, we have to do some investigation. Fortunately, we have some very competent technical engineering talent within the Burner community, and by taking in the comments from Burners about their experiences, we can attempt to deconstruct what really happened. It may not be perfect, but it’s the only option we have in the circumstances.

The night before the ticket sales started, BMOrg sent out a last minute email, announcing a change of plans. I guess up until then, they had no idea that there may have been high demand and a high server load. Not to mention that many of the Burners were probably high too.

In anticipation of high demand and a high server load, a 20-minute waiting room will open Wednesday, March 23 at 11:45am PDT. Actual sales begin at 12:05pm PDT.

Opening multiple browser tabs won’t improve your chances; when the sale opens, everyone in the 20-minute waiting room will be assigned a place in line that is not related to when they entered the sale. Anyone who joins after 20 minutes will be placed in line after those already in the queue.

A Balanced Perspective described this well:

In actuality, what occurred is the opposite of what the Borg stated. Black is White. Any people whom opened their browser window prior to near to 11:35am, and waited for the sale at 12:05pm, gained near to 7,000 tickets. In addendum, any people whom opened their browser window after near to 12:04pm gained tickets. In addendum, any people whom opened a new browser after 12:05pm gained tickets. Few Burners whom obeyed the Borg gained tickets. How might it be possible for an organization to screw the people whom desire to obey them in such a horrible manner?

He makes another good point, which is that if this was a one-off, we could dismiss it as coincidence. But it’s been every year since they announced their “transition”. These ticketing problems should be seen in the context of everything else that has been changing at Burning Man this decade:

  • the shift to a “mall of participation” featuring vending machines at the Man base,
  • tourist packages being promoted on the official site,
  • “ironic” timeshare sales with brochures handed out in a market at the Man base,
  • Directors running multi-million dollar hotel camps with sherpas,
  • the art budget shenanigans where the money spent on the Man and related infrastructure is now accounted for as “grants to artists”, and we’re told that has increased compared to past years
  • the massive increases in ticket costs over the past few years,
  • and of course the frequent tweaks of the system which every year have been pushing secondary market prices higher.

Without getting too bogged down in the technicalities, let’s try to break down the 2016 Main Sale problems.

Shaggy Skier offers some detailed analysis at Reddit:

TicketFly allowed people into the ticketing system before the queue opened sometime around 11:30. These people were given an authenticated session on the ticketing system and thus bypassed the queue once tickets went on sale. { I’d bet my left nut on this }

The waiting room / queue (aka a company called “Queue-It”) handled queue placement based on unique cookies assigned to the browser upon hitting their website, and not your secret access code (aka “promo code”). This meant opening multiple independent browser instances increased one’s odds. { I’d bet my right nut on this one }

Professional scalpers absolutely know about the later, and probably the former flaws. Profit motive … motivates people.

Here we have Problem 1: people were allowed to enter the system before it officially opened.

This raises the question: did someone deliberately put these “back doors” (or loopholes) in the system, so that insiders – either at Ticketfly, BMOrg, or Queue-It – could get in before anyone else? Or once again, did BMOrg change their system and it “accidentally” made it way better for scalpers those who knew the loopholes?

According to reports online, not everyone was sent the email about the Waiting Room. Was this selective, sent only to “preferred” Profiles? Why else did some people not receive the email?

Shaggyskier on Reddit:

 

The devil is in the details. From the URL that redirects us back to TicketFly we can see they’re using a Queue-it feature called Safetynet. We can read about Safetynet on Queue-it’s website:

The SafetyNet feature constantly monitors your website, auto-queueing excess users when website capacity threshold is exceeded. End-users within website capacity limits do not see queue numbers. The SafetyNet feature can be implemented as a small JavaScript on your site (like e.g. Google Analytics).

Or in other words Queue-it will keep passing people through to TicketFly, and authenticating their session cookie until the website gets busy enough to be ruled ‘at capacity’. See the problem now? The website doesn’t start getting busy (and/or the queue wasn’t manually enabled) until it gets close to sale time! Anyone who clicks in before then gets an authenticated session on TicketFly’s server – and will no longer be sent to the queue.

I can personally state that Queue-it passed me through to TicketFly (thus authenticating my session) as late as 11:25am, and a friend recognized the same thing happened to her. My friend clicked early on her own accord to “make sure the IT department wasn’t blocking the site”. How many people did that?

“But I did click the link before the queue got going and I got an ‘Invalid Promo Code’ message?”. That’s right. You did. Your promo code was still set to only be valid from 12:05 onwards. If you re-clicked your link, or re-entered your code after 12:05 then you have tickets right now since you still had an authenticated session.

So if you got there early – like, before it was supposed to be open – you got a code to get tickets, because you bypassed the Safety Net in the queueing system. As the waiting room filled up, those codes were allocated via the queueing sytem; by the time the system processed its way through to the end of the queue, all tickets had been sold.

Meanwhile, people logged on at 12:20 and got tickets. Maybe by that time, server load had died down and the queue was not so crowded; meaning the “very early” and “very late” people got processed differently. That’s Problem 2.

Problem 3, is that the cookies used by the Queue-It system were not linked to UserID. Opening more browser windows got you more cookies, which got you more chances to get in to buy tickets. This calls into question yet again the role that the Burner Profile actually plays in this process. In the past we have speculated that it could be used to favor Virgins over Veterans, something that is supported by the strangely consistent “40% Virgins” ratio we have had ever since this new ticket lottery process began.

Problem 3 is particularly bad because it is the complete opposite of BMOrg’s instructions that opening more browser tabs would not give you more chances. While technically this statement could be true depending on the browser and OS, in general opening new browser instances, and running different browsers at the same time definitely made a difference.

Problem 4 is a consequence of Problem 3. The system had no way to differentiate humans from Browser sessions. If one person with one code opened up 10 browsers, it thought that was ten people in the queue. Each one had to be processed individually, before moving on to the next. The system would have wasted a lot of time rejecting sessions that timed out before completion. How else to explain a 30 minute delay between all tickets being in baskets, and the sold out message? Most people should have been able to check out in minutes once they had tickets in their shopping cart.

Problem 5, the “little green man” is not really showing you accurate information. When the time gets down to zero, there is no guarantee you will be able to buy a ticket. It is just looking at all the sessions, and making an estimate of how long it will take to get to processing you. This appears to be based on the size of the queue and your place within it, and not the number of tickets remaining. If this is true, the queue would seem to be getting shorter but then suddenly get longer again as a bunch more people got in the queue; you would seem like you were close to the front, when really you had no chance – which definitely happened last year.

If the Little Green Man’s position is tied to the queue, not the number of tickets remaining, then the LGM is bullshit.

Even when all the tickets have been sold, the system is still processing these queued sessions. People see the man moving, and think there’s hope. The reality is, for regular people logging in to buy tickets after noon (the original instructions), there was almost no hope. The best way to get tickets was to figure out a way around the rules.

They did at least reduce the time wasted by Problem 5 from last year. Instead of waiting up to 2 hours in the queue before being notified that no tickets were remaining (but you could still make a donation), this year it seems to have been more like 30-45 minutes.

We are told we need this convoluted system to prevent scalpers – that is, selling $397 tickets above farce value. Meanwhile, BMOrg are selling a seemingly unlimited number of tickets for $1207. Wake up people: THEY ARE THE SCALPERS! If you really want to stop scalping (0.6% of ticket sales), link IDs to tickets. To stop insiders with large blocks of tickets selling them on the secondary market for profit, link IDs to tickets. It’s pretty basic. But nothing like this has ever been tried. Instead, we have the opposite – a system that started off as brilliantly suited to boosting secondary market profits, and over the last few years has been refined and improved even more to make it a wet dream for anyone wanting to sell tickets for more than $397 farce value.

Low income tickets are still available, but processing them has been delayed 3 weeks:

Heads up: there’s a delay in processing Low Income applications. Normally we strive to respond to applicants within eight weeks, which means the first wave of applicants would have been notified by the end of April. Unfortunately some behind-the-scenes hitches will cause a delay of 2-3 weeks.

What “behind-the-scenes hitches” could there be? Surely the method of processing Low Income Ticket applications does not change from one year to the next? Maybe they need to see how many more VIP tickets can be sold in that time?

A few selected comments from Burners on this year’s ticketing SNAFU:

Alex:

I was in the queue five minutes before the start, then sat in the queue, then sat until there were no more tickets available…

Two of my friends clicked on the email link after 12pm, got straight in and purchased tickets. I’m happy for them

BCool11 says:

Our friend jumped into our 8 person group chat at probably 12:10 and asked us “hey sorry i’m late i’m on the screen that asks for a code”

we pretty much tell him he’s SOL because he didn’t register for an access code. My girlfriend give him her access code since were all waiting in line. I tell her that she may lose her place in line if he uses it on his end.

Literally 2 minutes later he responds back that he has checked out and tickets and vehicle passes were purchased. No one else of our 8 person group got through. He literally put in the code and was pushed through to the checkout page. It really goes to show that there are flaws in this system

23 replied:

If you’d given him your other codes he could have repeatedly purchased your group’s tickets.

Pinthead:

I truly believe people in the waiting room had a huge disadvantage and if you followed the rules they suggested entering the waiting room at 11:45 and never refreshed, closed your browser or opened up another link you where just screwed.

Snakelee:

So two years ago, the OMG sale allowed for queuing 30 minutes before the sale started. My wife and I both tried to get tickets and I noticed that we could queue up really early, so we both queued and we both were given the option to buy. Lots of people from our camp tried to buy in that sale and none of them got in.

Then, that method hit the main sale this year. I know multiple people in our camp queued really early and got them, but I didn’t queue until 15 minutes before and wasn’t able to get tickets. So basically, I think this happened 2 years ago for OMG and then it was routed out to the main sale. I didn’t try the OMG sale last year, I bet they did it this way and have some experience with this method of sale.

I bet that they won’t have this patched for the OMG sale this year and it will be scalper central at 11:29:59.

GHKMasterRace:

After reading all this shit im gonna start being an asshole and getting tickets how ever I can. 

zz_z:

That’s pretty much what you have to do, our camp had 50 people in it last year and only two people got through the main sale this year. The system is broken.

Conclusion

This “waiting room” was a trap. The bottom line is, if you followed the official last minute instructions, and joined it between 11:50-12:00, you reduced your chances of getting a ticket by an order of magnitude.

The idea that “ticket sales start at 12 but people who get there before 12 can buy them first” is silly. It either starts at noon or it doesn’t.

Why not follow the Principle of Immediacy? Start the sales at 12:00:00, and process them on a first-come, first-serve basis. When the last ticket is sold, whoever is at HQ watching $14 million cash hit the bank in 30 minutes or less could immediately send out a Tweet (100k followers) and a message on the Burning Man Facebook page (1 million). It’s pretty fucking simple.

If the Ruling Group were Satanists, they would delight in laughing at the suffering of all these Burners trying to follow the rules, jumping through senseless hoops, and wasting an hour or more of their life just to experience disappointment, disillusionment, and bitterness. But, hey, maybe there’s some other motivation for this sort of thing now happening every year. Maybe, like they say, they did a great job and it’s all just Burners and Ticketfly’s fault.

How was your ticket experience this year? Did your camp get enough tickets? Please share in the comments.

26 comments on “Tickets 2016: What Really Happened

  1. Every time I went to Burning Man, EVERYONE who wanted to come was there. Short of personal time or financial limitations, you were there.

    Not so anymore. Not by a long shot. Burnt Man is a private party, as I have said, and as one of the Borg minions recently told me. It is not a burner-based event. Today, since the sellout, everyone who is there was invited, if not curated by the Borg, either directly or though designated sales.

    These are two entirely different concepts.

    On the ride back from the airport today, the shuttle discussion turned to Burning Man. One of the flight crew on board had piloted to BRC in a previous NV burn. The van driver commented that it sounded interesting and she had just gone to a sold-out Kenny Chesney concert. I asked if she had to register a profile to get just an invitation to wait in line to buy a ticket. She laughed.

    Most of our theme camp decided that they simply had no interest in going to Larry’s Burnt Man, even if we could all get free tickets. This is largely based on those we spoke with who did have tickets to this year’s Burnt Man, all comped, and their regimented attitude on how they saw the event. They had zero remorse for the loss of spontaneity in attendance. Now, everyone that wants to be there is not who is there, only those whom the Borg has chosen.

    I suppose it is more likely that you will attend the next Bohemian Grove event.

    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4205786-181/campout-of-wealthy-and-powerful?gallery=4239807&artslide=0

    Liked by 1 person

    • The most common rationalization offered (by those who had comped tkts – the only people I have found to speak to) was, “You can wait until the last minute and get them at face or discounted price.”

      Two observations on this rationalization:

      1) Those tkts mostly become available because others who wanted to go did not get tkts, so the seller bailed on the event.

      2) That is not a way to have a theme camp and “Bring Something” (as Figment says); it is only a way to be there as a spectator, or at most a receiving “participant.” You cannot substantively contribute.

      It will be interesting to see what’s Larry’s carefully curated Burnt Man becomes, but it won’t be your father’s Burning Man.

      Like

  2. Just saw that market rent for a 2BR apartment in SF is $4K. Seems an easy decision to by a $1K tkt and then rent your place out that week on AirBnB to more than cover the cost. Current average that week is $274/night – almost break even for two (2) $1K tix.

    https://www.airbnb.com/s/san-francisco?checkin=08%2F29%2F2016&checkout=09%2F05%2F2016&room_types%5B%5D=Entire+home%2Fapt&ss_id=wzc8o2oz&s_tag=GMChcjH2

    It’s $400/night for 2BR/2Bed/1BA:
    https://www.airbnb.com/s/san-francisco?checkin=08%2F29%2F2016&checkout=09%2F05%2F2016&room_types%5B%5D=Entire+home%2Fapt&min_bedrooms=2&min_bathrooms=1&min_beds=2&ss_id=wzc8o2oz&s_tag=fVQtr7AZ

    All this kvetching over the $400 tix is obviously for the little people.

    Like

  3. Kudos, again, for an awesome post, burnersxxx, people have not disagreed with the conclusions of the post, and kudos to Shaggy Skier for stating two problems in regards of this sale, in a most awesome manner. In addendum of the problems stated within this post, I am curious in regards of why people whom opened a new browser after 12:05, by appearance, were placed in the front of people whom were waiting within the queue?

    My belief is of the Borg knew of the right nut problem, of the manner stated by Shaggy Skier, of opening multiple browser windows gained new places within the queue, in due of the Borg stated ‘Opening multiple tabs won’t improve your chances’, of which, they are most correct, but opening multiple browser windows did improve your chances. How might the Borg known of to state it within this manner? Scalpers know of these problems, it is what scalpers do, and my belief is of they, and their numerous work-from-home labourers, gained numerous tickets in due of these problems.

    What might Burners do in due of not gaining tickets to the playa?

    The Borg desires of people labour for them for free to gain tickets to Burning Man, but, in actuality, the proper manner to gain tickets is to pay near to $1,100 for the tickets, might people desire to do so. More than 6,000 of the $997 tickets were sold, and many people whom bought the $997 tickets desire to buy $397 tickets at cost, and, then sell their $997 tickets, perchance, at cost. In addendum, at present, the Borg is scalping tickets for $1207, and fees, in the manner burnersxxx stated within the post. In addendum, the Borg is opening their Secure Ticket Transfer program, permitting scalped tickets to be transferred in a secure manner. My belief is of, in due of the numerous tickets gained by people whom desire to sell the tickets at profit, the price of the scalped tickets, perchance, might be lower near to the burn.

    Might a Burner desire to participate in awesome Burnerly festivals in the place of the playa burn, many awesome festivals are thrown by the Burner community, of which, the Borg does not permit discussion of these awesome festivals upon their Facebook groups, or websites, in the manner of

    Further Future by the awesome Robot Heart crew. Numerous tickets have been sold, but tickets are available. Further Future begins on this Friday, 29 April, and it is a classy festival with an awesome international lineup. Click the Further Future website, or view their Facebook page.

    Boogaloo Music and Art Car Festival by the Dirty Beetles crew. All RV and car camping passes are sold, but tickets are available, and a parking lot, near to the camping area, is available for parking. Boogaloo begins on this Friday, 29 April, and it is an awesome burnerly festival with an awesome lineup. Click the Boogaloo Music and Art Car Festival website, or view their Facebook page.

    How Weird Street Faire is Sunday, 1 May. It is of near to 40,000 people, and stages by Opulent Temple, Symbiosis, and others, on Howard Street within San Francisco. View their website howweirdorg, or view their Facebook page.

    Lightning in a Bottle by the DoLabs crew. This awesome burnerly festival will sell their near to 20,000 tickets. LIB occurs 25 May to 30 May, and it has a Temple of Consciousness, and it is family friendly. View their website lightninginabottleorg, or view their Facebook page.

    Symbiosis Gathering. This awesome burnerly festival occurs after the playa burn. View their website symbiosisgatheringcom, or view their Facebook page.

    These are solely awesome big burnerly festivals, thrown by the Burner community, and, not assimilated by the Borg, and, thusly, it is not permitted to discuss of these festivals upon any Facebook pages, or websites, assimilated by representatives of the Borg.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Had trouble logging in to waiting room then tried agsin st 12:05 by 12:10 had 2 tix and vehicle pass. All friends blown away as they were “good burners” and “followed the rules”.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Did not receive an email notification but got on at 11:30 and put into the waiting-whatever-the-fuck and didn’t get tickets. The crap about the people getting on at 11:30 and getting preferential treatment is BS. But I fully believe that there are loopholes for those they want loopholes for IE the rich and VIPs. This event is becoming an embodiment of everything that is shitty about mainstream culture and in my opinion is no longer a counter culture movement. Fuck Burningman the rich and vips can have this shit back.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The only success in this year’s ticket sale is that the site didn’t crash. I’m still facepalming over how it actually went down. At this point the lottery from a few years ago that sparked the directed sale would be better then we have now.

    In a camp of nearly 20, we had 2 people who got a pair of tickets, and we have a couple people with tickets from volunteering with BMOrg departments. We haven’t had a group meeting yet, but I wonder if we’ll even have enough people to properly have a camp and get our art project up.

    Another camp of friends were basically shut out.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A more likely scenario would be: TicketFly springs the waiting room on the org at the last minute. Org sends out the email with the information they were given trying to be transparent. Everything goes wrong between TicketFly and Queue-It because they don’t have systems to support a pain in the ass event like Burning Man with so many special needs

    I wouldn’t assume the Org is fucking with people. Everyone I know there tries really hard

    Like

  8. From davinci ticketing page: “VPs can only be purchased with tickets. ORDERS CONSISTING SOLEY OF VPs WILL BE CANCELLED. ”
    So it seems misleading to say that vehicle passes are still available without Leonardos.

    Like

  9. I got in about 11:47 and got through the queue at about 12:30. I found that reloading the checkout page sometimes gave me the option of buying tickets, sometimes the option of buying vehicle passes, mostly neither, but never both at the same time. It shouldn’t be the case that reloading the page helps since they advise against that, but I suppose I count myself lucky that I got two tickets before the sale closed around 12:35.

    BTW I have avoided trying to buy vehicle passes even though they are currently available since I’m trying to follow the advice that they will be cancelled if ordered without tickets. I’m assuming that medici vehicle passes can only be ordered with medici tickets, but they really should make it clear; if I later learn that they wouldn’t have cancelled the medici vps due to my regular sale ticket order I’m going to be pissed.

    Vehicle passes should be sold with tickets; having them cheap relative to resale prices and available independently encourages hoarding. It also leads to lots of people having tickets that they can’t use because they can’t get needed vehicle passes.

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    • First year actually getting a ticket in the general sale. Followed the same process as Aze kept reloading the page and clicking whenever there was a ticket available. I’m guessing that failed or timed-out transactions were the reason tickets were sporadically coming available. Finally (around 12:30) I connected and bought a ticket but no VP.

      These technical “holes” and consequent shenanigans are completely unnecessary. Selling tickets in a high demand market it not a new thing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • “These technical “holes” and consequent shenanigans are completely unnecessary.”

        But they are necessary to provide narcissistic supplies to the Borg. The top people are eating up all this angst attention. They are emotional vampires – curious that they don’t live in NYC. Must also be a coven in SF.

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  10. First time for me. Followed the process just at BMORG outlined… Clicked in at 11:45, did not refresh, watched the little man and was checked out with 2 tickets and a parking pass by 12:15. May be the virgin theory at play here.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. First year I followed the rules, first year I didn’t get tickets. From everything I’ve read, I’m fairly convinced of most your conclusions here. I really believe the BMORG is trying its darndest to somehow implement a workaround to this whole supply and demand thing, but they need to accept it and treat the ticketing process like most other high demand events do. That said, I’m not bitter about it, my wife and I have decided to go this year so we’ll get tickets one way or another. Still not paying over face value, though, and not rich enough for the $1200 tickets.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It makes it hard to know what to believe any more.

    On the art tickets, BMORG said there were only 500 available which I would have thought would have sold out along time ago. Yet the carts remain. Also, the ticket order for VPs says (Their caps) “ORDERS CONSISTING SOLELY OF VPs WILL BE CANCELLED” Is that true?

    What a mess.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have been on that BORG point list for a while now. While we didn’t get all the DGS spots we wanted/needed, it was still the best experience in years. The guaranteed window to buy said tix was a nice change. I feel sorry for those poor bastards that got trapped in that waiting room scam… (not really though)

    Liked by 1 person

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