Gah! Vehicle Passes Sold Out Before Tickets Did?!

Vehicles on Gate Road, 2010 (Photo by George Post)
Vehicles on Gate Road, 2010 (Photo by George Post)

As part of our multi-pronged effort to reduce the number of vehicles traveling to and from Black Rock City (which is one of biggest challenges Burning Man faces, and a significant risk to the future of our event), we started requiring every vehicle driving into Black Rock City to have a Vehicle Pass (VP) in 2014. The intention of this program is to encourage carpooling.

This year, we reduced the total number of Vehicle Passes we’re making available from 35,000 to 27,000, based on the number of passes that were actually used in 2014 (e.g. 27,000 of them). And since Black Rock City will be the same size this year as last year, there should be plenty of VPs to go around — in fact, people were literally giving them away on Gate Road last year.

So why did VPs sell out before tickets did in the Individual Sale? We analyzed the buying habits and demand for VPs in each of our sales last year and then cross referenced that with actual use. From there we allocated specific amounts to each sale to ensure that every sale would have an appropriate number available and they wouldn’t just all be gobbled up in the earlier sales. As a result, fewer VPs were made available (12,000) in the Individual Sale than tickets (40,000) and some of you were able to purchase a ticket (or two) but not a VP. But the good news is that the ratio of purchases of VPs to tickets was actually really good today — 36,000 tickets were sold before the 12,000 VPs sold out.

If you didn’t get one, please know that you’ve still got options:

  1. Vehicle Passes will be sold in the OMG Sale. In fact, there will be more VPs available than tickets. For those who have not purchased a VP from us yet, there will be an option to register to purchase just a VP — so if you didn’t get a VP in the Individual Sale, you’ll be able to register to purchase one in the OMG Sale.
  2. A lot of folks bought a VP not knowing if they need it or not, and will be looking to offload theirs. Ask around, and keep an eye on the open market for them — they’ll be out there.

And if for some reason you can’t get one, there are alternatives to driving your own vehicle to Burning Man:

  1. Burner Express shuttle buses run from San Francisco, Reno and possibly a third location that has not yet been determined.
  2. Check this out: if you’ve got a bunch of folks looking to ride from your city, you can ask Burner Express to pick you up.
  3. The Burning Man Rideshare Board, which will crank up in the Spring, connects people offering rides with those needing rides — it’s always a good option.
  4. Get information about chartered flights into the Black Rock City airport.

OK so you can feel good about the fact that you’ve secured your ticket. And don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to get your transportation sorted out, too.

About the author: Burning Man

Burning Man

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274 Comments on “Gah! Vehicle Passes Sold Out Before Tickets Did?!

  • Off White says:

    BLM didn’t require vehicle passes, they’re just a 1.25 million dollar stealth price increase, and in no way a regulatory mandate.

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    • Towhead says:

      I’m not sure how “stealth” they are. They’re a price increase targeted to reduce the biggest problem BM faces; traffic.

      They encourage carpooling, reduce entry and exit times, and meet a commitment BM has made to BLM and neighboring communities to reduce traffic.

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    • Jim says:

      Hm. It’s really interesting. There is a lot of people that got tickets and no vehicle passes, yet if you sign up for STEP and you lose hope of getting a pass and sell your tickets back in, STEP participants can apparently buy your two tickets, AND are entitled to a vehicle pass with the sale. Wouldn’t some of you say that’s ass-backwards?
      It’s right there in black and white on the STEP info page….
      Isn’t it time to guarantee people their 2 for one vehicle passes, before they give up and sell to STEP participants, who are GUARANTEED one with their STEP purchase? By the looks of this, STEP is actually looking more hopeful for me than for those of you wondering what the hell’s going to happen if you don’t get your vehicle passes and none of you have any indication you’ll find out til the OMG sale?
      And why the hell would they sell the last remaining vehicle passes on the same god damned day that they’re selling the final batch of tickets? There is absolutely no damned reason, to cram two different types of sales into the same sales-hour.. all it’s going to do is create a mess of internet traffic at a time people have targeted specific needs. Sell the vehicle passes a few days prior and leave the OMG lines open for the hopeful burners without tickets, with a proper reserved proportion of the remaining vehicle passes for the OMG ticket buyers. With the panic on and scalpers everywhere it’s the least you could do to prevent the vehicle passes from selling out before the OMG ticket buyers have a chance to buy their accompanying vehicle pass. It’s going to make for another mess of tickets up for grabs that may end up coming without an available vehicle pass because of panic or scalpers.

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  • simon of the playa says:

    plan your burn….burn your plan….

    shit happens.

    take the burner express…

    deal with it.

    and,

    Fuck Yer RV….

    Report comment

    • Jon Baptiste says:

      This is a helpful and intelligent comment. I guess The BMorg requires a equivalent number of morons to counter the $17,000 ultra elite. Glad your life has purpose.

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      • Karma says:

        How is it that Simon has become the Eplaya villain these days ? I don’t get it. And as for his comment, Sorry, but it doesn’t get any more simple and straightforward then that. It’s Burningman with 6 mos to go. It will work out… Deal with it, you’ll figure it out. ^_^

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  • Rachael Anthony says:

    You say Vehicle passes will be available to purchase in the OMG sales- but on the OMG page it states that you cannot register to buy OMG tickets if you’ve registered in any of the other ticket sales. So, that means NO actually you cant buy just VP’s in the OMG. Unless they’re gonna make some more available??

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    • Jai's Peace Camp says:

      If it was regulatory and a few thousand people didn’t use there last year. What’s the problem BM made money and less cars. No need to regulate. Not a regulation issue really.

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    • nipples says:

      Rachel Anthony,
      Reread. the post. If you got tickets, but no VP today you can participate in OMG for VP only.

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    • BM says:

      Make sure you are not already registered, if you are then you don’t have to register again for the OMG sale…

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      • Benny says:

        So, if I’m already registered for the individual sale and have gotten my ticket, I will use the same code I used to get my tickets ???

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      • Will Chase says:

        That’s not true. You’ll need to register for the OMG Sale as well.

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      • wILD bILL says:

        Will Chase, B Morg, Where do you think you stand on ‘scalping’ tickets and or VP’s? FYI. There is e-bay, Craigs list, Stub- Hub, and something called “World Ticket Source”. WTC has BM tickets for sale starting at $836 to $1,743 each. I counted yesterday and WTS had 153 tickets for sale. ( How does that happen?) WTC also has VP’s from $163 to $423 each. is this legal in you opionon, do you see this as Scalping? If I can across an extra ticket, wouldn’t I consider offering it for sale as so many other ticket ‘shops’ are doing???

        Do you see the BMorg as ‘scalping’ with the pre- Christmas sale at $800 each( or were they $900?). and then again in early January/Febuary when you sold more tickets at $800 each. Friends of mine that paid over the ticket price printed on their tickets, in the final hour last year, decided and bought two THIS YEAR for $800 each from BMorg, but were not able to buy a VP at the same time…..Didn’t you know then that there was a problem with VP? Your reasoning for the higher cost is to ofset the ‘low income’ ticket sales. I don’t think all 70,000 people that attend Burning Man think that is so. you bottom line in PROFITS in you ‘Not For Profit’ org in in the area on $12 to $15 Million plus for those of us that can do simple math. This is the Chinese New Year Of the ‘Sheep’ I think the org is pulling the wool over our eyes! Seriously.
        And by all means, I request a reply back from Will Chase or the BMorg to this blog reply site. Thank you, In Best Regards, w b

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    • Jim says:

      Yet, if you sell your vp-less tickets into STEP, the purchasers in STEP are entitled to buy a vehicle pass with their tickets. Says so right on the STEP page. The irony here…

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  • Dani says:

    Thank you for the update. I will mark my calendar for the OMG sale and try for a VS. Hoping that one will show up in my network before then, but so far zippo. I can’t take the express or other transport so I will just have to keep my fingers crossed.

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    • bleurose says:

      All the angst over vehicle passes is pretty much small potatoes. There were people giving away vehicle passes last year. That may not happen this year, but I expect it won’t be too far from the same. Many MANY people bought too many VP on the offchance they would need them (what’s another $40?) and ended up eating them. I will be VERY surprised if ANYONE who needs a vehicle pass won’t be able to get one. Just put the word out and things will happen. Again, like all things Burning Man, this doesn’t happen by pure chance. You DO need to exercise a little due diligence of your own, but in the end you shouldn’t be too worried about this issue. Not having tickets is a much bigger issue for most.

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      • Atheen says:

        I was one of those who got stuck with an extra vehicle pass last year. By the end I was trying to give it away.

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      • wILD bILL says:

        The fact that “meny people bought too many passes” is their problem, and should not have made it ‘my problem’. How about you getting me a VP since you think it’s not a problem. I for one of hundreds don’t have one and should not have to go looking for one theat may sold over fave value or may even be fake. I’m sure there will be plenty of those on the market. I have friends tha bought two $800 dollar tickets from the early sale but were not able to buy a VP. Really, you think it’s OK that they have a $1600 ( plus ‘shipping and handling fee’, so add $33 more dollars to their investment) they should have a ‘cut and dry deal’ right now, and not have to look for a VP. You are so smart, maybe you should join the B Morg that ‘under shot’ this whole VP mess! Can we add you to the idiot list? Oh, I already did, on your behalf from me and my friends!!! Please stay out of our camp!…( or send us the ‘gift’ of two VP’s and we will except as an apology, and we will forgive you your irrational thinking of how ‘easy’ it will be to get a VP from the magic dust you have inhaled. ).(

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  • FunkyDeva says:

    Hope everyone has a great yome’

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  • Avalanche says:

    You can’t take an art exhibit, a hexayurt, a sizable enough tent, a slushie maker, a shade structure, a bar, or booze on an bus.

    Presumably this is why last year there was more taking and less gifting, more RVs, more PnP camps, bro hackers, sparkle ponies, and party children.

    Inane.

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    • Radius says:

      It does seem to me that the number of hospitality and gift providers has been declining over the last few years, and this is going to contribute further to that — it’s hard to haul out all the stuff you need if you don’t have a vehicle. Add to your list: bicycle, costumes, lights, generator, fuel, sound system, kitchen setup,…. I need a vehicle to tow the UHaul. This is not the way to encourage more people to help create the event, and limits those efforts to really big camps that can rent really big trucks.

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    • Will Chase says:

      That’s true. Carpooling and taking Burner Express aren’t for everybody. They’re for people who can a) have other people bring their major supplies, or b) don’t have a lot of stuff to bring. The fact is that 27,000 people actually used Vehicle Passes last year, and BRC didn’t suffer for it by any stretch. I think your characterization of the population is exaggerated.

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      • Danielle Bloch says:

        Will Chase you are absolutely wrong here. If not all VP tickets sold last year were used its because they were sold to the wrong people who didn’t actually need them, who bought to be safer rather than sorry. People who were unable to get VP tickets had to adjust, and I’m sure many were affected and no longer able to be self sufficient, though you just didn’t see that. Maybe that’s why there was so much taking and not gifting. Basically what you’re saying supports the fact that it’s unnecessary to have VP tickets except to make money.

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      • Avalanche says:

        Though I admit my characterization of the population was a little unsubtle, I would challenge two assumptions:
        1) No system operates at 100% efficiency. 27,000 car passes were used last year, but for there to be sufficient distribution you need more than are actually used. So, given around 85% of the VPs issued were used last year, there will be several effects: (i) that around about the same proportion will be used this year (0.85 x 27,000 = 23,000) (ii) that if 27,000 is the number of vehicles actually needed (as you seem to argue is the case) then when you’re getting to 95% utilization, they are going to become scare resources, and will be scalped.

        To test this, this year, only take to the playa exactly the amount of food and water you used last year, and no more. At best it’ll be an uncomfortable experience. At worst it’ll be dangerous.

        2) You know an I know that you cannot carry everything for yourself for a week on the playa – let alone enough for gifting to others. So there is absolutely no question that this will lead to less gifting and many more….. “passengers?”

        Think about it – because I’m not sure you have.

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      • Bruce says:

        I am with Avalanche on this issue.

        If BM’s big picture is to reduce negative impact on the Playa and roads…. Reduce the number of “people tickets” sold, ….then let the transportation demand work itself out …without BM engineering. The current logistics of a camp creation do. not need a BM created problem.

        Or if BM released 14,000 VPs during this sale rather than 12,000 VPs… BM would not need this article to explain this issue.

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      • bleurose says:

        What I don’t understand is the so-called “allocation” of vehicle passes. There were about 70,000 tickets last year and 35,000 passes (the idea was 1:2 ratio). Now because only 27,000 were used, they decided to drop the allocation. Fine. Do the math: 27,000/70,000 is about 2:5. Cool.

        The next step is where the math breaks down. If there are 40,000 tickets up for sale in the Individual sale, then there should have been 16,000 VPs allocated… that’s 2:5. Why only 12,000? That’s less than 1:3, its 3:10 instead of 4:10. So there was actually a shortage of 25% of VPs compared to tickets for sale in the individual sale. That could easily explain why the VPs sold out first. I would love to understand the reasoning behind this nonsense.

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      • bleurose says:

        I will note that I saw one interesting point… the Directed Sale which is targeted at larger theme camps and villages, had 1:2 allocation (10,000 VPs to 20,000 tickets). I expect this is because bigger theme camps and villages need more cars and trucks to bring all their stuff in. However one thing this ignores (sadly in my mind) and was mentioned elsewhere, is that this discounts the non-placed “wild” theme camp. In many ways, I think those are the real backbone of Burning man (remember, at one time ALL camps were non-placed). I have had some delightful moments just wandering the side streets of the city on my bike at night and dropping in on some amazing camps that obviously are not placed but have put up fantastick domes, stages, bars, all sorts of great stuff. Met some of the best people, even burgins who were doing it for the first time totally out of their own imaginations. I camp with HOTD and one year I came upon a camp that had set up a terrific bar/lounge up on H and 4:45 (the first year we had the :15 spoke streets). We were talking and (not even knowing I was from HOTD) they told me how one of them at his first burn th eprevious year had stumbled on HOTD and loved it and it inspired him to go home (to ATLANTA!!!) and get a group together to build their own bar and bring it out to the playa. And they did a terrific job! These guys might have had a hard time if they had to compete with others for rare VPs (fortunately this was before VPs). Those kind of serendipitous moments will be reduced by these kinds of policies.

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      • wraith says:

        Will, I’ve got to chime in to agree with Danielle here. Parking passes not being available sufficiently in advance for people to -plan- to haul out large projects the necessary weeks in advance means they simply won’t bring them. That is a shame and a blow to the Burn. Same goes for major gifting efforts and theme camps that aren’t on the distributed sale list, and now have no ability to ensure that the gear they need to do their thing can get to the Playa.

        For a community that makes its own fun, that means the only large projects we’re likely to reliably see are the ones getting art grants from the Org.

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    • Atheen says:

      One of the best things about Burning Man are all the quirky little camps all contributing in their own ways. It’s obvious that the many wonderful and generous small camps need vehicles to create the experiences that they do.
      But, as a person who actually enjoys using the Burner Express bus, have you considered that maybe the vehicle pass that I’m not using to haul my own personal gear in my own personal car, will go to someone who has a better use for it? Or, even if there were no VPs, that my car or truck or RV won’t be adding to the traffic problems and population limits?
      There are many ways to contribute, and not all require you personally haul a bar and a slushy maker. There are also many people who bring vehicles only containing their personal supplies.
      It seems to me, if you truly need a VP, it’s against your best interest to suggest that the bus somehow has something to do with sparkle ponies and PnP camps. It seems like the more people who don’t really need a private vehicle take the bus, the more it fees up the roads for those who genuinely need one.

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  • Pip says:

    If you were planning on participating by setting something up, or were camping in a manner requiring us to be self sufficient, does this mean our best option is utilize commercial delivery services?

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  • RW says:

    Oh yay,
    Those of us with tickets and no VP may have to wait until just DAYS before we go to know if we are going to have our own transportation, sleeping area, food, water, bathroom, for those with medical issues, and the ability to leave earlier than most do, due to work schedule.
    This just seems to get worse and worse every year. Soon all the planners and responsible burners will just give up and stop attending, and the playa will be left with the thieves and beggars, because that is all that are going to be interested in this type of situation.

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    • Bruce says:

      If BM’s big picture is to reduce negative impact on the Playa and roads…. Reduce the number of “people tickets” sold, ….then let the transportation demand work itself out …without BM engineering. The current logistics of a camp creation do not need a BM created problem.

      However if BM released 14,000 VPs during this sale rather than 12,000 VPs… BM would not need this article to explain this self inflicted wound.

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    • Ivy says:

      RW, exactly my thoughts. I’ve already given up on BM. Too expensive, elitist, and stress-inducing trying to find a ticket, and VP.

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  • Ursula says:

    A SUGGESTION: if the BORG really want to limit vehicles, offer to buy back unused parking passes up to the 11th hour. And/or offer to credit them full value to those who opt for the burner bus. $0.02

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    • wtrc says:

      Lol, do you really think BM has such genuine intentions here? They won’t do anything that hurts their bottom line.

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    • wILD bILL says:

      Urslua, Good plan, put some work and resposibility back on the BMorg.
      wouldn’t the org think that just maybe the rain storm on Sunday/Monday cause some people to not come last year at all, and others that did, realize that share riding with friends and maybe only had a tent for shelter, thought better plan on some means of storing there stuff other than the rain soaking it. and maybe bring there own car or other vehicle??? So the org. decided to only sell to the exact same number of VP at it used last year….and what was the reasoning behing the $10 increase exactly? This org is sounding more and more like our goverment ‘servents of the people by the people’ that are about to pass a 4 Trillion dollar debt on to the people of the United States. I’m done with the greed for power and money. It has been a great ride, but it has become a lot like what we all wanted to get away from in the ‘defalt world’ in the first place, I would say that it has just about done a 360 degree cycle.. I learned a lot I gave a lot, I loved a lot, but now is a good time to for me to leave BRC and the org to sort out ‘what next’ will be imposed upon the many wonderful people that have been a part of this social experiment in the place we have referred to as ‘home’. Time for me to step out of the nest and and take the good things I experanced and learned about myself and others, and to travel as many places as I can, and be loving, giving, and helpful, to meny people who will be greatful for my willingness to help them have better lives. So, either we burners brought the ‘outer world system’ to ourselves, or the ‘system’ was brought in to us by the power and authority of the ‘outer world system’ to us. It’s been a great ride, and well see where it goes from here. I’m out! “Love you long time” Learn and share people! wILD bILL

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    • Will Chase says:

      That’s an interesting idea. It’s logistically challenging, but we’ll take a look at it.

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    • Ursula, that is a fantastic idea!
      This should be a complete non-issue.
      I’m a little baffled that even after all the ticket issues over the past few years, the Bmorg seems to have CREATED themselves a new one! Unintentional and unforeseen I’m sure, but someone is kicking themselves… or should be.
      Phil

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  • mai tai mike says:

    If they want to reduce the amount of cars they need to increase the VP to be at least 100 bucks, maybe more, That would reduce the number of cars going to BM.

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  • Tinkerbbell says:

    Due to the USPS’s Address Verification System (AVS) which uses physical addresses and because I live in a town with no mail delivery requiring PO Boxes only, I got aced out of a ticket.

    Before my 3rd browser window that showed tickets available timed out, I was on the phone with Ticketfly over the problem, but on my 4th browser page, tickets were gone. I went ahead and bought a car pass because they were still available, only to find out that because I used my apparent ONE chance to buy ANYTHING that I am now LOCKED OUT of ANY future ticket sales.

    With your program, isn’t there some way that you won’t be blocked out after one purchase. Can’t your computers tell when someone has bought a ticket or not and keep their access open until they have that opportunity?????

    There are many of us with this PO Box problem all around Lake Tahoe and hoping something can be done int the future. Looks like I’m not going this year as I can’t even buy an OMG tickes, locked out. No Ninth year I guess, DAMN!!!

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  • Highland Walker says:

    This type of decision ensures that: 1) Burning Man gets less money; 2) scalpers get more money; 3) Burners have to pay more and/or go through more hassle to get there; and, 4) there will be no fewer vehicles at the Burn than last year. Brilliant.

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  • Steve says:

    What if you are handicapped and need your vehicle? Of course it probably doesn’t matter since this 10+ year attendee got shut out of a ticket this year. But if I found a ticket but not a VP what do I do?

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  • bdowjones says:

    First time burner here. I’m sorry to the 10+ year burners out there who are upset and worried about their ticket. truly sorry. I did happen to cop 2 tickets and a vehicle pass. If any camps are in need and willing to take on two more burners, we would be grateful to entertain some offers about out vehicle pass. we would be especially grateful as first time burners who could use a little showing around, and to get a feel on what we need to bring plus a general feel of the place. A camp to call home for a week.

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    • JK says:

      You will make a lot of the friends in the desert. And you’ll deserve them. Otherwise, I hope this is snark…and you do have tickets…and you laugh your ass off at the newbie shitshow that is on its way.

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      • TED says:

        LOL ‘newbie shitshow’!

        But it’s been a newbie shitshow since about 2007. God, I wish I still cared enough about this hipster tailgate party in the desert to go this year just to watch the parade of cluelessness.

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    • alyce bertz says:

      alyce here, professional violinist. I got 2 tickets but need a vehicle pass to bring van with sound system and cover for the violin and musicians. please let me know if I can buy your vehicle ass ! you will love my music ! alyce 203-217-1714 c

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  • Kevin says:

    If you sell 1 pass to two tickets are already limiting vehicle traffic! You figured it out! Stop trying to screw everything up! Do you consciously look for stuff to fuck up every year? Get a grip guys! Not I have to wait with baited breath through three more sales to see if I can get a pass? We have shit to do, you know! what a waste of time. “Available at the gate”! So your advice is to drive 20 fucking hours to hope “the playa provides”? The plays provides a drink when your thirty or music when you want to dance. Advanced logistics and infrastructure? Don’t leave that up to fate – THAT IS WHAT WE ARE PAYING YOU FOR.

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  • neil says:

    And let me guess… all those omg vehicle passes will be will-call only…. or will purchasers have to pay yet another tax and shipping fee? Oh yeah; adding yet another layer of complexity on an already overburdened ticketing system. Soooper geenus as wiley coyote would say.

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    • Bruce says:

      If BM’s big picture is to reduce negative impact on the Playa and roads…. Reduce the number of “people tickets” sold, ….then let the transportation demand work itself out …without BM engineering. The current logistics of a camp creation do not need a BM created problem.

      However if BM released 14,000 VPs during this sale rather than 12,000 VPs… BM would not need this article to explain this self inflicted wound.

      Report comment

  • Claymore says:

    Best solution, sell them at the gate for $75 ish. Then people will still want to purchase or plan, but people can still get in if they have tickets.

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  • vicky says:

    I guess people who brought tickets today automatically brought a VP just to be safe when actually not required. I guess every one who does not need the VP sell it back to BM then can go back on sale for the person;s who already brought a ticket

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  • JK says:

    The BMOrg is absolutely out of your (collective) head. And FYI: in the “open market”, Vehicle Passes are going for $350.00 on StubHub. WTF.

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  • klaus moeller says:

    Easy peasy – Charter a private plane is one of the options! Amazing. I got so screwed – where can I burn our art project???

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  • Andrew says:

    So… how many people come from further away than 1000km? Anyone outside that range likely has 2 people and one vehicle. I have a 2500km drive, and I am bringing 2 people. 2 others will be flying in to join us. Lots of other people up here… they are now actually just fucked. This is going to be about as bad and panicky backlash filled as the lottery. 40k tickets, and 12k vehicle passes? Really? You had to know EVERYONE was going to buy a VP to go with their two tickets. Yes, a shit load of those may come up on the market later. But at the start of the planning phase EVERYONE would want one, just in case.

    You guys should just offer to buy back unused VP’s and sell them at 2 tickets per 1 vp in the meantime.

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  • redBone says:

    If you need one bad enough you will pay for one… Stub Hub! Stub Hub! Stub Hub!

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  • charles says:

    This answer did not help!!! you should not be able to sell tickets without a pass (if one is needed for the order) it makes the tickets of no value to me and i will have to sell them . You are turning me into a Scalper

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  • redBone says:

    if the BMorg makes $$$, why shouldn’t YOU? I mean it’s 2015 and BM is all about making the $$$!

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  • Sinbad says:

    40k tickets and 12k VPs, and VPs sold out sooner? Who could have guessed that would happen? Gah – what a fucking surprise.

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  • Rocks says:

    I live in Northern Nevada. I have been looking forward to my week at Burning Man every year for a while now. Lat year however the vibe changed. We all know this was a big problem and yet Burning Man just blew smoke up every bodies ass and kept right doing what they done last year. I got on line right at 12 along with four other people in our group. Not one of us got tickets. Now you could say that’s the way it is, and you would be right. It’s Burning Man’s right to run their business the way they want. The problem is that so many burners are being forced out that the culture is changing and not for the better. They had to know that the VP situation was going just like it is. If your a scalper, way would you have to buy a $ 380..00 ticket to sell for a 1 grand when you can buy a $ 50.00 ticket and sell it for a Grand. A lot better return on investment wouldn’t you say. After all you could just charter a plane and fly in right. I know one charter guy that flew in 55 times last year. The airport was very busy so I know a lot of people flew in. They are counting on more this year just by their comments. So what is really going on is that this is turning into an elite party for just the rich and connected.

    Whats the solution: For years now people have been coming out to the Back Rock during 4th of July. Many of them are Burners. It’s fun and it’s free. There are very few rules and very few law enforcement people. Northern Nevada is a wonderful place. I say bring the party to the Black Rock and let all these rich guys hang out and look important. We could use the business as well.

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    • Sarge says:

      I’m around a thousand miles away or else I’d have been to 4th of Juplaya by now, but one of these years (not this one either, already have plans) I’m going to make it. Firearms are not banned at that event so mayhap some friends and I will recreate the good ol’ drive by shooting range. Seems like a better and better time every year, here’s hoping it stays completely uncentralized.

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    • wILD bILL says:

      Love ya Rocks! You are getting the right idea. Is Burning Man all about the art and art cars? I love David Best and his great contributions he has made over so many years, but maybe he to sees the ‘writing on the walls’, so to speak…

      It’s time to build a new event with what the people want, and to rid of what we don’t want, or like, that has us in such an uproar…. we need to put the crazy energy we are spending ( and money!) into a new project… know what I mean??? Time to recreate our love and passion for what we have loved about Burning Man … not that easy, but that is what I am thinking. we are fighting amongst ourselves, aganst the org, and the beast around it. Time for new life I say!!! I’m pissing and moaning too. Lets stop and think about it for a while and do something even better!!! Can we or can we not?! I say we can!! I could go on and on, but I won’t. The rich can have Burning Man ( isn’t that what we see happening?) and there are tens of thousands of people that would like to start fresh again, at a price that is affordable and have a great time on a reasonable budget. I drive a $1,500 Jeep and the BLM Rangers, and Sheriff are in the $80,000 + rigs that our dollars pay for. A change is a coming!

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      • MadMaxine says:

        Or, you could put that energy into your friendly local (or even not-so-local) Regional burn. Plenty of love and passion, plenty of opportunity to come in and make a difference with your participation, and your ticket dollars go to support truly community-based festivals. Or, yeah, you could start your own festival, too :)

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  • Zeek says:

    “We analyzed the buying habits and demand for VPs in each of our sales last year and then cross referenced that with actual use.”

    Who were the social scientists you hired to figure this out? Gumby and Pokey?

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  • Meatball says:

    So how many of those unused VP will be sold for a profit? This makes no sense. So what if you sell more VP’s than are used. You make the money not the scalpers. makes no sense. Now we we will all make reservations on the Burner bus just in case making those busses full. I don’t understand your logic.

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  • atulyo says:

    Come on, you got to be kidding. I got on the ticket line 2 seconds after it was open. by the time i was at the front, the passes were sold out. you want me now to wait till the OMG sale and maybe get a pass. We were going to bring an art car. I don’t think that would fit on the bus, a motorcycle or a flight ( anyone flying a C130 in this year). I don’t live in the bay area or even in the main land, i have to get flights, build an art car and hope to get a pass at the last minute. I guess i can buy one from a scalper, was this your idea to make money for the scalpers. Come on you have to do better than this. just one more ticketing FU from your ticket planers. GET IT TOGETHER AND MAKE THIS RIGHT.

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    • Rena says:

      Pressed button at 12 got 2 tickets. Great no vehicle passes left and nobody else got tickets that we could go with. Coming from Canada 2 days drive I guess we could just bring our bicycles and haul water in our baskets this is bull

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  • Not Dave says:

    I don’t understand why you needed to reduce the number of VP tickets. Who cares if you only used 27,000 out of the 35,000 planned? Did you lose a little printing money?
    Now we have to waste more time and add more stress to our lives waiting for an OMG VP? Your rational is ludicrous and demonstrates a complete lack of empathy for the “average” burner.

    The upshot is that you will have more people crammed into a car, which means their plans of gifting a piece of radical self-expression within their camp – something I personally enjoy much more than the major camps/pieces on the playa – will be squelched because they can’t fit in anything except what they absolutely need for survival. It takes time, energy, and money to put together something really cool – if you’re not sure you can get it to the playa, why are you going to bother? You want me to cross my fingers, travel 12 hours, and hang out by the road for one of the VP’s being “literally” given away at Gate Road?

    This was a mistake. A huge mistake. And the sad part is that it didn’t have to be, Burning Man created a mess out of thin air.

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  • Rena says:

    Pressed button at 12 got 2 tickets. Great no vehicle passes left and nobody else got tickets that we could go with. Coming from Canada 2 days drive I guess we could just bring our bicycles and haul water in our baskets this is bull

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    • Bruce says:

      If BM’s big picture is to reduce negative impact on the Playa and roads…. Reduce the number of “people tickets” sold, ….then let the transportation demand work itself out …without BM engineering. The current logistics of a camp creation do not need a BM created problem.

      However if BM released 14,000 VPs during this sale rather than 12,000 VPs… BM would not need this article to explain this self inflicted wound.

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    • SukieJones says:

      Same deal. Friend got ticket at the stroke of noon – vehicle pass not available. What the?

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    • Jim Trapp says:

      What part of Canada? I’m hoping for two tickets myself, I’ve got a truck and small trailer to take in.. don’t really need the truck tho.. if I get tickets and no pass, I’ll just see if a burner can haul it in for me on a half ton and park my truck elsewhere..
      My cousin is also looking for a single ticket and a vp.. for a bus that travels from Saskatchewan to the burn. He’s usually looking for people to ride down and share costs.. but the great part is it holds enough people and gear for ten.. so if you hook up with the Saskatchewan Burner’s bus on fb he might be able to get you and your gear to the burn.. all depending on if he can get a ticket and a vp for himself. If all goes well, you may be able to hook up with him for a ride to the burn with all your gear :)

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      • Serena says:

        Hey, we are coming from Alberta. No vehical pass yet, but we have tickets. In a bit of a panic as it is also our first burn. But if we score a vp, we can haul some stuff, possibly a passenger. If not we will be looking for someone to bring stuff in for us if we can park somewhere near. I don’t really know where there is to park, but we are hoping to bring a holiday trailer.

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  • Darcy says:

    Well done idiots! Why let people buy 3 VP’s but only two tickets? If you are trying to cut down the volume of traffic why not only allow 1 VP per two tickets and at least nearly everyone is catered for. I’m travelling from Australia again this year for BM and have no way of getting everything I need for the event in.
    Well done for creating a scalpers paradise!!

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    • Pink says:

      There was only one vehicle pass allowed and two tickets. reading comprehension is a very good skill to have.

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    • splinter says:

      you have probably heard from others by now offering assistance to get your gear onto the playa, but keep my email address just in case. I have VP, and bring a pick-up truck with silk screening equipment (4:30 & J) and might have room for some of what you need to bring in as long as I can get to a convenient pick up point. I travel from Michigan (2500 miles) so going to the west coast is a bit more than I can justify, but……let me know if I can help. Also, bring a t-shirt or other article of clothing to Wonder Camp (4:30 & J), look for Splinter the Printer and you have a “souvenir”, potentially worth humongous sums of money (in the way, way, way future). Okay, that’s probably a despicable lie but none the less, wear it back in Aussie land and people will think you are way cool. Okay, that’s the second stretch of imagination. Look, I am 67 years old, and this weirdness pops into my brain every waking moment, they told me I won’t get better but I’ll get a lot weirder. See you at BM 2015, hope all works out for you.

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  • Animal says:

    I call it the ” the beanie baby syndrome” if you create the perception that there is a shortage of something example; sell it by a lottery . It increases the demand tenfold, It would be interesting to see if the demand for tickets and vps would be as great today if the attendance levels where never enforced. Its a catch 22.

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  • Gaz says:

    I didn’t get tickets unfortunately, but there aren’t enough for everyone and you can’t change the laws of physics, so I’m not complaining about that. I’ll take my chances with STEP.

    What I am really angry about is the monumental fuck up on vehicle pass allocation. For people who have a ticket but no pass, this is a huge disincentive to put in the necessary time and effort to build the amazing projects that make Burning Man what it is. Suggesting people who need to make decisions about camp building, logistics and art projects can wait for the OMG sale is fucking absurd. How could this not have been anticipated?

    It’s the old carrot vs stick. BMorg have chosen the stick approach to try and enforce car-pooling, and it is clearly damaging the event. If you want to get more people to share rides, why not try offering fucking incentives, as opposed to just pissing people off. I find it hard to believe a suitable incentive scheme couldn’t be devised. For example, reduced price tickets that are only valid on Burner Express, or with a special type of vehicle pass for those with 4 or more occupants. I’m not suggesting it’s an easy one to solve, but in almost all aspects of human behaviour carrot works better than stick.

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    • Gaz says:

      p.s. While I’m having my rant, what the fuck is the point in a ticket queuing system that doesn’t tell you when the tickets are sold out. Why make thousands of people continue to wait in line when you have already run out of tickets. Talk about adding insult to injury.

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      • Sarge says:

        The system never ran out of goods to sell so it didn’t think the sale was done. This year they added donations as shopping cart items, so when passes and tickets were gone there were still an infinite number of donations available. Several campmates waited an entire extra hour after tickets sold out because they wouldn’t believe me (or the BManTickets Twitter account) and just kept waiting to see if they’d somehow get lucky.

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      • Mzolga says:

        Thank you Gaz!!! I, like everyone else, clicked at noon and was immediately told that my wait was 16 minutes before the next move. A few minutes later, suddenly I was 35 minutes before the next move, then 52 minutes. Then a stranger thing happened and a message came across my screen saying “line paused”. This went on for several minutes. Finally, when the line started moving again, my wait time was over an hour (that’s what it said on my screen). What’s up with that??? Cyber line cutting?? So, about 1:25 the message came up saying I’m next in line…..YEA!!! I was directed to the ticket purchase area and the only thing left to purchase was the $30.00 donation to BM. From all the comments, it sounds like tickets were sold out shortly after noon. So BM leaves everyone hanging and hoping that they will get a ticket – especially when you get the message that you’re next in line. I’ve never been to BM and with this kind of system, I don’t think I’ll try again. Why can’t BM send a broadcast saying tickets are sold out instead of making us wait. I never have encountered these issues with any other event, and I have been to MANY. Sorry, I just needed to add my 2 cents. Hope everyone who didn’t get tickets, finds some and all is good with the world again.

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    • Bruce says:

      Well said…. BM has over-engineered the VP issue with good intentions. Yet fail to see the true ripple effect.

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  • Gab says:

    I live in Kansas and it’s hard enough that there is not much burner community to leverage but you have the audacity to suggest I could just roll up to ‘meet your fate’ on gate road after a thirty hour drive and the expense and planning and HOPE? Or best case scenario after that drive spend 8 hours waiting at will call for an OMG VP? This is particularly stressing to people who come from afar who have to plan and already have that burden to bear. And the general mess that is the burner express? Changing departure times by notification in center camp? Or sure, we could fly in. In our magic carpet made of money. Truly. It does seem like every year some other sweeping change screws the little guy. I went by myself knowing no one for the first time in ’11. If you needed something I had it in my car and I tented it. I was that together. If I were a newb girl today I could not rationally take the odds you’re offering me now. Blowing hundreds on prep and gas and hours of my life on a maybe. That’s sad.

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    • Bruce says:

      If BM’s big picture is to reduce negative impact on the Playa and roads…. Reduce the number of “people tickets” sold, ….then let the transportation demand work itself out …without BM engineering. The current logistics of a camp creation do not need a BM created problem.

      However if BM released 14,000 VPs during this sale rather than 12,000 VPs… BM would not need this article to explain this self inflicted wound.

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  • MattE303 says:

    Sounds like I’m one of many who got on right at 12, waited in line, got 2 tickets and NO VP. It is simply ridiculous to suggest that we wait six months until the last minute OMG sale and HOPE we can get one then. And if that doesn’t work out, not only are we going to miss the burn, but probably get stuck with 2 tickets we can’t get rid of because STEP is already over with 2 weeks before OMG.

    You guys really didn’t think this through, if you want to make it right, allow the people who bought 2 tickets in the Individual sale but couldn’t get a VP to buy one NOW, not *hope* to get one six months from now. Anything less is simply not reasonable.

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    • bleurose says:

      Why couldn’t you get rid of your tickets after STEP? STEP is a nice thing that assures people will get valid tickets but it is NOT a requirement. If you have a ticket to sell, put it up on Craigslist. You may be one of the FEW people with valid tickets to sell there and if you are a good community member you will only sell it at face value and your buyers will LOVE your ass! On the other hand, I am sad that you didn’t get a VP and I expect you will be able to but I feel your pain. And if you get screwed, I can understand why you might NOT want to be so hospitable. But do try.

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      • MattE303 says:

        bleurose, if we do end up having to sell our tickets and miss the burn, they will go for face value + fees, not one penny more, we are good people who would never take advantage of others by selling them at a profit. I have to wonder though, with the critical shortage of VP’s, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a glut of tickets available as we get closer to September due to the large number of people who have tickets but no VP, if we do have to sell, we might be *lucky* to get full face value at that time. Judging from the comments on this page, there are *many, many* people in a situation to ours. I’m just shocked and amazed that BMorg isn’t doing something to make this right :(

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      • Ivy says:

        I would hope that NO ONE would buy a craigslist ticket. Yours *might* be real, but there’s no way to know for sure. I ended up getting scammed last year. I lost $400 for the ticket, plus supplies, time and effort sewing costumes, gas money, an extra day in the car waiting for BM to open because of the rain, and a long wait at will call, only to be told my ticket was fake, and I had to drive 20+ hours home by myself. (My passengers had “real” tickets.) Please, people, only buy tickets from some you PERSONALLY know.

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  • Alan says:

    I thought about this and the whole noon ticket opening sale is an overused and inefficient marketing strategy for a event this large. What is better and probably more profitable is have burners buy a waiting ticket WAY in advance and with a vehicle pass if needed. Every burner needs to fill out a profile with a short statement of philosophy and answer other analytical questions. Profiles can be linked to show the groups they’ll go in and each relationship will be explained in 1-2 sentences. This will include how many vehicle passes they actually need and why (I had to tell my friend to try and get a vp anyway to increase the odds. What good is that?). By paying way ahead of time (I don’t think anyone would mind paying for something a year in advance with guaranteed reimbursement if not given a ticket, in order to prove legitimacy and burner enthusiasm), BMORG can go about their accepting applications based on connections they bring and the philosophies, arts and even websites they provide and can prove. While this might sound like a time consuming process, BMORG has the better half of the year to do this while being paid from the interest from the money (which will be ginormous more than the number of tickets which will be available too). Filtering through can be done in many ways but I say that it would be a multiple tier process, where anything meaningful/credible burner history automatically moves to the next tier. Those denied will be reimbursed. Those who can’t make it to burning man can sell it to those who were denied through STEP, and scalpers will have a VERY hard time getting a piece of the action. Anyone else down for paying a year in advance, letting interest pay the admissions staff and patiently waiting?

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  • fri-'net-ik says:

    Well the total lack of tix today and not having had the money planned out for the directed sales means this year we’ll go big on the playa at the event that doesn’t exist.

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  • rudefruit says:

    11 (9 coming from the UK) of us in 2 RV’s. Only managed to get one vehicle pass. People may roll their eyes at the RV thing but it’s all of our first time and we felt it at least offered us some security in the sense of not needing to bring a whole lot of extra luggage (tent/epquipment/etc), since we’re flying. Plus we’re spending a week on the road afterwards.

    But this lack of vehicle pass really does screw us in genuine need over. Especially if it’s people hopping in a car on their own from just down the road.

    I have fingers and toes crossed that we manage to pick up an extra pass and this small inconvenience doesn’t ruin our trip of a lifetime.

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  • Maths Teacher says:

    I don’t usually snark here, but:

    > This year, we reduced the total number of Vehicle Passes we’re making available from 35,000 to 27,000, based on the number of
    > passes that were actually used in 2014 (e.g. 27,000 of them). And since Black Rock City will be the same size this year as last year,
    > there should be plenty of VPs to go around — in fact, people were literally giving them away on Gate Road last year.

    “Last year there was an oversupply of 8,000 Vehicle Passes in the market leading to people giving them away on Gate Road. So this year we’re taking that surplus out of the market but don’t worry, there’ll still be a surplus.”

    LOLWHUT?!

    Being charitable, IF the same number of people drive this year AND your secondary market is efficient, everyone will get in fine. That first assumption is shaky and the second is laughable. You are SERIOUSLY screwing the planning ability of people who are coming from further than San Francisco.

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    • Bruce says:

      If BM’s big picture is to reduce negative impact on the Playa and roads…. Reduce the number of “people tickets” sold, ….then let the transportation demand work itself out …without BM engineering. The current logistics of a camp creation do not need a BM created problem.

      However if BM released 14,000 VPs during this sale rather than 12,000 VPs… BM would not need this article to explain this self inflicted wound.

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  • Jennifer Turner says:

    I unterstand all of you. If BMORG is continuing like this they will totally loose all the real burners. The VP is like the last but important piece of a puzzle. The uncertainty of not getting in with your vehicle sucks big time. It is getting more difficult to get to BM euch year. Dont want to know which surprise will wait for us 2016. I hope they will start listenning to their community.

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    • brett says:

      … but VP was not a piece of any puzzle until last year.
      16-year burner here, but almost everyone I know is staying home …

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    • Jim Trapp says:

      It’s not the last straw. Here’s the last straw. The artificial demand they just created for vehicle passes is going to wind up creating a traffic jam! Those that are still wanting event tickets and vehicle passes on OMG sale day, are going to be merging with existing ticket holders whose sole purpose is to log back on to hammer BM with requests for a bloody vehicle pass. We competed with that damn traffic once already and failed. Now you’re going to sell vehicle passes to existing ticket holders on the same day some of us are just trying to get a ticket to get in? WTF. Here’s the REAL ass clincher.. what happens if we are so busy trying to buy our tickets that the vehicle passes are gone by the time we process our ticket purchase?
      If people already have tickets to the event, I’d really suggest you sell their share of vehicle passes before the OMG sale so people wanting to get their damn foot in the door don’t have to contend with people that already have tickets logging back onto the website to get a vehicle pass. Don’t forget, they could easily be sold out before the OMG ticket purchasers even process their ticket order!

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  • Trickster says:

    Ok, my last burn was 5 years ago. I´m a german. I used to set up a camp together with an other german guy. Over the years our camp impoved as our imagination did and we really liked to set up a nice place, being able to invite neighbors, to support newbies. Although I considered our little inviting camp pretty small it took us 2 vans to get everything out there. The vans were inside and outside loaded until the edge of their physical capabilities in order to have from everything a bit more than just the 2 of us would need. It was always my vision to have a nice and cosy space to invite people, make new friends and have a good time. My point is: how can a selfreliant burner show up with less than one full car? Doesn´t that just encourage backpack hippies who often not even bring their own water? How can 2 or 3 people share a car without being just consumers at the playa? Did I miss something? Did something radically change?

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    • Terry / Wizard says:

      Nicely put!

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    • ElRito says:

      Actually, I had 4 people in my 4door sedan Maxima, with all our food/h20, housing etc. + bikes. It can be done. We were self reliant, and shared with those camps around us. Though, this was two years ago and there was no such thing as a VP. How can you plan to go to BM without a vehicle? I’m not really discounting your point, just that not all people w/o large vehicles are free loaders.

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    • Jim Trapp says:

      Perhaps BMOrg might let me park my truck in Gerlach in front of their office for the week if I can’t get a vehicle pass on the road in? All my stuff’s in a trailer if some nice burner with a half ton would kindly haul it from Gerlach to the playa.. :P (tongue in cheek) :)
      Where does one park, exactly, should they not get a vehicle pass? I’ve got to at least get my stuff to Fernlee from Saskatchewan before I find a burner that might haul my trailer. But then where do I park it for the week?

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  • Chris says:

    Seems like there needs to be a change in ticketing policy as this year is the most impossible yet to get tickets, (I know many who clicked exactly at noon and didn’t make it–the window of opportunity has collapsed to literally milliseconds, it sells out instantaneously) and the current policies are creating some very bad incentives among attendees.

    Burning Man’s popularity as of late threatens to be its demise in one way or another, so let’s at least be deliberate in ensuring that its the most desirable demise.

    Its either going to become too insider, or too outsider. Too insider is clearly the lesser evil, I don’t think I need to explain why a “newb shitshow” is far worse that veteran elitism.

    Perhaps something like only 20-30% of tickets should be sold to virgins. Burning Man is starting to need a Sven The Doorman to manage the vibe and the demographics of the crowd. Its should not just be a king of the hill contest for tickets as it is now where whoever optimizes their computer best or figures how to exploit technical flaws in Ticketfly gets to attend, it should be (loosely) curated based on principles known to maximize the Burning Man experience.

    I honestly think part of the Burner profile should be an aptitude exam on the 10 principles and basic knowledge from the survival guide. Failing it wouldn’t bar you from access to tickets, but high scorers would be moved closer to the front of the line and low scorers closer to the back. Not banning anyone but targeting demographics for whom we’d like to make it a bit more difficult to get tickets.

    Things should just be weighted more to maximize people who “get it.” Not people who throw beer cans in the porta-potties. I think those people could be screened out with a small amount of effort and policy changes. Its a travesty for some goober who’s parents buy a ticket for him, only shows up for the 3 day weekend and wants to be on molly the whole time to see Jack U and Tiesto and then go home, prevents a 10 year veteran who gifts like a madman and does art installations from going.

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    • bleurose says:

      Oh good grief, an APTITUDE TEST? LOL

      That is insane and hardly in line with ANY of the principles.

      I agree that the ticketing thing has continued to be a SNAFU for several years. However, we need to make peace with the idea that if there is limited availability some people are always going to be unhappy. The best you can do is offer fairness. Fairness in a few milliseconds is still fairness, even if you don’t like the results.

      As for WHO gets to decide on the “ideal” demographics, that is crapola. There are no “ideal” demographics and honestly newbshitshows are fun to watch, actually, and elite snotty veterans who tell you what IS burning man and what ISN’T are far less tolerable, at least to me. So there you have it. I’m a 10 year veteran and I think your veteran elitism sucks rocks. And I expect there are plenty more out here who agree with me. So who, Mr. Chris, gets to decide WHICH of the veteran contingents are the ones who express the “ideal” demographic? I say it shouldn’t be you and you say it shouldn’t be me. Dilemma, right? That’s what makes this so silly if not stupid.

      Grow up and learn to deal with reality, even if you don’t like it. I am getting damned tired of listening to all this shit (even if I dish out some of it myself LOL!)

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  • G-gizzle says:

    Can’t agree more that BMorg has gotten really, really great at “fixing” shit that isn’t broken. Every damned year it’s something new. Good gawd, why why why create a new level of planning stress for people? It takes enough to just plan for the usual, without having to worry that all of your planning and expense will be for nothing because some idiot came up with the idea to not make available at least one VP per 2-ticket order. No VP’s available with tickets, but you have to have the VP in order to use your hella expensive tickets? And how valuable will your tickets be when you try to resell them without the accompanying VP? WTF does that say? It says ‘fuck you, Burners, deal with it’. What a shitty, inconsiderate message to the participants who make it all happen.

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    • Will Chase says:

      Actually, G-gizzle, something IS broken, this isn’t an imaginary problem. The reality is that Burning Man’s sustainability and growth is threatened most by our traffic problem — the number of vehicles traveling the 2-lane highway to the event is damaging the roads and harming the environment. The BLM limits our population because of (amongst other things) the impacts caused by traffic. So if we’re able to reduce the number of vehicles coming to BRC, the better chance we have of growing Burning Man (or keeping it on the playa at all, for that matter).

      That’s why we’ve instituted Vehicle Passes and the Burner Express, and we’re working on other ways to encourage ridesharing and alternate means of travel where they’re reasonable.

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      • FIGJAM says:

        Where in history has a city grown without it’s transportation system growing???

        Can’t have it both ways.

        The end game would be 100,000 people on the playa with nothing to do but talk to each other because there was no way to “PACK ALL THE THINGS!!!!!!!!!”

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      • Bruce says:

        BMs noble intentions, yet misfired execution. The “ride share concept” is noble but not always practical with the diversity of Burner’s travel plans.

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      • bleurose says:

        Please stop the delusions. Despite its “name”, it is not a “city”. Its a festival. Its like Brigadoon, it rises for one week out of the year and except for the small group who stay behind to clean up the city is gone by a few days after Labor Day. That kind of “city” isn’t able to sustain the costs of an improved transportation system. And believe me, no one who comes and already complains about the $390 tickets is going to be willing to pay the “tax” to improve the transportaiont system. Somewhere else someone said it would cost $200,000,000 to widen the highway to 2 lanes each way (or $100,000,000 to make it three lanes with a possible reversible lane for the times when burning man needs it). If there are 100,000 people coming each year (much more growth than we have now), that is a cost of $1000/$2000 per person. Even spread over 10 years, that is $100/$200 extra per ticket JUST to cover the base costs. The Nevada government certainly doesn’t derive 200,000,000 smackeroos in benefit from Burning Man, and even if they did, I doubt they would be happy to pony it up for a select few hippies and hipsters who want to party in the desert each year. In fact I am surprised they have managed to contain themselves from trying to jack up the permit fees and impact fees even more and make it harder for us to continue this without paying more.

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      • Jim Trapp says:

        You’re not going to solve this problem, until you are able to provide burners with a place to meet up and car pool their survival gear. The problem is not the ride sharing, it’s with the flow of their luggage/baggage/belongings/possessions. If your solution is to short change people’s water supply by not giving them the means to haul it in, or short change people’s ability to carry out their MOOP because there’s no room for it, you’ve got one hell of a bigger problem and that will be the shit that gets left behind on the playa because no one had a vehicle to haul it out with! In 2013, I personally hauled out an entire truck load of garbage that MOOPERS left behind on the playa, and that was because I had the room, and they did not. Your decrease in vehicle traffic, while a very amiable goal, is walking a fine line between a well-planned, well-prepared group of burners with the supplies they need and the ability to survive radically self-reliant, and a bunch of very unhappy MOOP sweepers, whom are going to suffer the workload of left-behind garbage no one has room to carry in their vehicles.

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  • Dr. Bungee says:

    Last year during Fridays whiteout, I wandered into a small dome for shelter from the storm. It turned out I was in the projection booth for Opulent Temple. The guy in charge came along to batten down the hatches, and we started chatting. Both being long time Burners, the conversation turned to the conundrum of funding for art projects, and nothing for the rave camps. He believed that BM wouldn’t exist without the EDM camps, and was pissed that they never get funding. Bullshit I said. BM is a lot more than just another rave. At least it is for me and most people I interact with on playa. But the fact is, a lot of people just come for the EDM scene, don’t contribute anything to anyone else’s experience, and can fit everything they need for a week on the bus. Burners Who Contribute bring a shitload of stuff to share with the masses, and need a vehicle to transport that stuff. There has been a cultural divide happening at BRC for quite a while now, and it gets bigger every year. The rave camps complain about no funding, and the e-tards that frequent them generally don’t contribute much to the event and just gobble up tickets. Is it time for two separate events? A huge rave event similar to Coachella, and an Art Festival. It would be different, and I may miss the thumping background noise, but the road we are on now is leading to us all a cliff.

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    • G-gizzle says:

      You make a very good point, and BMorg should be reminded that, as you eloquently title us “Burners Who Contribute” cannot do so, for the most part, if they are limited to the space available on a bus. (I’m not saying it always requires THINGS for people to contribute, so let’s not go down that road…) For example, we bring cases and cases of champagne and cold whipped cream to gift all over the playa. Can’t get that on a bus, can’t do it this year if we don’t get a vehicle pass. (We are the RV “elitists” who make sure we bring enough water, cold wet hankerchiefs and shady area to share with anyone in the community, but you know, that’s how selfish we RVers can be. Best not ensure these types have VP’s.) This is beyond frustrating.

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    • brett says:

      Dr. B, thanks for directly countering the OT’s idea they should be art-funded – that’s been their official whine for a few years now. I greatly enjoy the random soundscapes with the EDM camps, but your idea of separation is fascinating. I’m don’t think i’m on-board but I dig the variation in thinking.

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  • NJohns says:

    Understand what this is going to do to the entrance line. How many will burn gas sitting out their cars because half the people in front did not get a VP but got tickets so they came… Im going.. No VP in hand. Deal with it because the limit is dumb. Instead, how about – Sell as many VP’s as you can, if they are not used by a ticketed person – you just got paid for something not used! We cant haul a weeks worth of self reliant in a car packed with 3 other self reliant. Do the math for space need vs average car size. Include 4 bikes. It causes accidents (like a few years ago. deadly accident from over packing and sleepy driver + speed over turned a car just before Gerlock.) Yep – Agreed.. this really brings in the problems, not solves a single one. There is time to fix it – FIX IT!

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  • Heddy says:

    I too secured 2 tickets but the vehicle passes were sold out. There’s time to fix this as others have said by emailing those who purchased 2 tickets and offering to sell them a vehicle pass.

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    • Dani says:

      I would add one to my order in a hot second. I do not understand why this is not being done now. To make VP’s available to all the STEP children and not the people that have already purchased seems short sighted and not fair.

      Fix this please org. Please.

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  • Alfred says:

    The absurdity of not having VPasses shows how out of touch the organizers are from reality. Would anyone buy concert, sporting event tickets, or airline tickets under the condition you will need to wander around the streets in front of the airport or stadium to get tickets to be able to park. Come on and do the right thing and let everyone who bought 2 tickets buy 1 VP. Scalpers love it as I saw a VP for sale already on ebay for $350.

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  • mortician says:

    Suggestion for the BMORG: if you want to push more people into Burner Express, you really need to consider more carefully the luggage allowance. I understand the service is not meant to transport hexayurts and monkeyhuts, but its a struggle to get down to enough stuff just due to the water requirements alone. What about creating either a separate water allowance for BX travellers that does not count against their luggage, or providing water or something as an add-on service?

    Looking at my gear and what I need to bring in, if a reasonable water transport plan was available, I would gladly ditch the rental car and VP hassle and cost, and take BX in. It seems the service is really only geared towards people who are joining large camps and dont have to haul much infrastructure. But it would be super helpful if it could be easily used by solo travellers as well who have to bring their own infrastructure in. Not having to pay extra luggage fees just to get water in would be really attractive.

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    • Will Chase says:

      I’ve passed this on to the Burner Express folks, so they can look at options. Thanks for the feedback.

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      • G-gizzle says:

        Will Chase, why in gawd’s name are you willing to represent the org and reply to this, but not to the bigger issue being expressed by post after post after post??! I suspect, sadly enough, because you can pass it off to the Burner Express people to deal with. How ’bout you respond to the general subject matter that the majority of the posts are concerned over? It is time for you people to act like you care….please? Help us hang on to some faith here……

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      • Howzit says:

        Will Chase, please give us hope and not another dissapointment. We are counting on you to do the right thing. Remember you are not infallible, and that you could be wrong, and we will try to be patient. Why is it when the super collective camps with economic support complain, you comply, but when a lower class is complaining you seem to set up a brick wall? We have less, and need more help, not more obstacles. That is, if you even want us to attend at all, because at this point it seems more like you want us to just leave the playa to those who can afford to really blow it up.

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      • Atheen says:

        I’m actually a huge fan of the Burner Express. I get it’s not for everyone, but it was part of an amazing Burn for me.
        I do agree that the water is a logistical problem that discourages people. It’s very heavy and packing it to fit the luggage requirements was a bit of a trick.

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  • Terry / Wizard says:

    SUGGESTION – traffic to the burn specifically to set up art and camps should be exempt from the vehicle pass requirement. There is already a well established system for getting early arrival passes to artists and camp members necessary to build the BRC infrastructure that makes the burn such an amazing destination. These early arrival passes should double as vehicle passes.

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    • bleurose says:

      One thing I see continually is a complete misunderstanding of the “large camp” thing and the placement thing and the early arrival thing. These are conveniences. They are not the end-all and be-all of BM. There are LOTS of people who bring camps every year who do NOT get placement (either they don’t want the hassle or haven’t nailed down their plans in time) and do NOT get early arrival (they can’t come early or don’t want to) and want to still give to the community. The fact that there are a lot of large camps that have built up over the years in no way invalidates the benefits that the smaller more impromtu camps give to the community. But the way a lot of people talk, the only ones who should get “beneficial” treatment are the ones who come early, build big art or big camps and have lots of vehicles. That is just as unfair as what the BMorg did with the VP fiasco.

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  • RJ Parker says:

    Yes, Im one with two tickets & no VP to get in with. BM says they do this to encourage others to ride share & such. Well, Im the guy with the RV that takes 8-10 people to BM every year so they know they have dependable transportation there & back. I also have an Art Car that comes with the RV. So how am I to get in now ??

    Am I to: wait for the OMG sale & hope I get one, buy one from a scalper for $200 ( the price I saw last year) or exactly what ? Why not just offer one VP per two tickets ? If people like me need a VP then we can buy one, if another does not, then they will not. Rather simple huh ? To limit the VPs this year based on last years info…or allow people to buy VPs just to scalp them is just stupid !

    BTW – BM 2015 tickets are now on eBay for sale ! A quick glance they start at 1500 to 2500 a pair. I didn’t see any Vehicle Passes there but just give it time. I did see a VP on Craigslist Reno for $100 this morning.

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    • Bruce says:

      BMs noble intentions, yet misfired execution. The “ride share concept” is noble but not always practical with the diversity of Burner’s travel plans.

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    • Jim Trapp says:

      The real crux, will be the day you try to log on and get your VP at the OMG sale, and wind up competing with people who are pounding away at the system to buy the last remaining tickets. Really? Sell your last crucial piece of the puzzle on a ticket sale day? Why create the nuisance for people? It would take little or no effort to have, in plain English, asked burners to create environmentally sustainable means of transportation and ask burners to set a goal to car pool in at least three in a vehicle? Then make them a nice preferred car pool lane for going *in* and for going *out* that moves faster than the other lines. If you add THAT to the list of conveniences for car-poolers, you might just get the best of both worlds by creating a self-reward for also contributing to traffic relief! Believe it or not before this year I wasn’t aware that vehicle traffic was even a problem, short of a long wait on a highway in and out. Seriously, with what bm contributes to it’s surrounding communities, I would seriously like to hear *who* is complaining about the traffic jams, besides law enforcement, who don’t like burners anyways?

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  • Nan says:

    Triple tow is allowed in Nevada. Check local rules but once your on the dirt road into the playa, it may not apply. VP rules may not indicate if you may or may not *tow* in. Since we do bring in trailers, why not tow in an extra car and use one pass? (bring rope, put car in neutral, get pulled in)
    Damages Liability to a Private party for over filing a vehicle with people or equipment, due to the VP situation, may rest with the Burningman org. They are aware of the dangers and still present the situation by their VPass limit. Law states forseeable danger as criteria for liability. Cant sell a ticket without the assumption of product use, in order to use the product, one must also use a VPass . (or something close)

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  • JC Blackmon says:

    So those of us that got BM Tickets to go but do not have a Vehicle Pass, we can now go to eBay/StubHub TODAY and buy them for $349.95 each & according to the eBay posting, they have already sold 4 of them from one listing.

    Way to go BMOrg, we long term BM participants, due to your stupid logic in selling VP based on last years data… NOW may have to resort to paying more for a VP than we did for the ticket. You complain about scalpers but your badly infused process actually provides them with the tools they need to SCREW others.

    I know scalpers will always find a way to profit from others. But why set up a system that gives them the very tools they use to do this ?

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  • matt connelly says:

    I guess I’ll charter a flight since I didn’t get a vehicle pass. What’s that link again?

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  • Mike says:

    LOL What a fiasco !!!

    BMOrg says there will be lots of vehicle passes available, but you can’t get one til six months after you get a ticket. So you can’t plan anything, and buying a ticket carries the risk that you will be out $400 and left with a worthless piece of paper if BMORG’s predictions don’t come to pass (and how likely is that).

    If the individual sale is anything to go by, the scalpers and their bots will be all over the OMG sale and will scoop up most of the tickets there too. Based on what I’m reading in this thread, there will be a huge demand from people with two tickets and no vehicle, and who should be willing to pay up to $800 for a vehicle pass if the alternative is losing their two-ticket investment. So the scalpers will only need to sell 1 out of every 16 vehicle passes they buy at OMG to break even.

    If you ask me, the scalpers have a mole in BMORG sent there specifically to subvert the system for their own benefit. And he/she is doing a great job at it!!

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    • James says:

      >If you ask me, the scalpers have a mole in BMORG sent there specifically to subvert the system for their own benefit.

      Bingo! Either that, or Bmorg is the most incompetent organization that anyone can imagine. The other alternative is they like seeing their customers suffer, in some kind of demented narcissistic group-think.

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      • Mike says:

        Actually, economists have something called the “Law of Unintended Consequences” (you can google for it). I think that’s what’s happening here. But BMORG really should have thought things through better.

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      • Jim Trapp says:

        BMOrg is not for profit. Scalping, is for profit. It is funny that just when BM started opening up the books, scalping got a whole bunch of new fuckups to capitalize on courtesy BMOrg. Ya know, this is the one thing I laugh at: the only single cash transaction related to the burn *save ice and coffee sales* is the ticket sales.. Seriously, the way you guys handle cash it’s no wonder you don’t want any commodification on the playa.. you can’t even handle the only cash transaction that your participants make properly!

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  • M.R. says:

    So, we’ll just pack our bar, shade structures, furniture, water, booze, costumes, art, and the stuff for the giant game we were planning on bringing and shove it all into the burner express shuttle bus (which doesn’t even go to where I live). That will surely work out just fine. (*dripping with sarcasm*)

    I agree with the posters above who said that the vehicle pass limit is going to (and already has) limit people from bringing gifts, art, & games for everyone to enjoy. It’s like bmorg is encouraging us to just show up and party and not bring anything to share. Not my idea of a good burn, personally.

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    • Jaz says:

      BMorg consideres anyone who is unwilling or unable to buy a scalped VP to be insignificant to the spectacle, and should accept their place as spectators. Or at least throw themselves into some dangerous volunteer position so they can beg and grovel for access to the commissary. (they love it when you grovel, btw).

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    • Jim Trapp says:

      Dude, they should review the survival guide and read what it says again. You not only have to bring your shit IN, you have to have a vehicle handy to get your shit OUT too. If last year is any indication of what regulated vehicle traffic is going to be like, I fear it’s not just virgin burners you’re going to fear, it’s going to be a serious littering problem from people not being able to pack their garbage out!

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  • jonnnney says:

    What sort of idiot doesn’t build a buffer into a calculation when your dealing with a ~70,000 person event? You calculated that only 27,000 passes were used last year so you only sold 27,000 under the assumption that makeup of the event would be exactly the same as last year and that the passes would be fully utilized after 8,000 weren’t used last burn. A child could have told you what it wrong with that assumption. Why don’t you ask one of the burner kids who come this year to go over your ideas. I promise you will have a better outcome than this screw up.

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  • G-gizzle says:

    The more i read the more furious i become! It is such a shame that the joy that should come from winning the ticket game has to immediately be replaced with stress, worry and frustration over not getting the other vital piece needed to exercise your privilege (clearly no longer your right) to use your tickets. Freaking short sighted assholes. Are they going to cancel known scalped vps like they say they do scalped tix?

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    • Greg j says:

      BORG is brain dead . In the pre-sale to yesterday and the tickets they issued to Camps, they issued 1 vehicle pass to every 1.3 tickets. In yesterday’s sale, they issued 1 vehicle pass to every 3.3 tickets. They didn’t even bother to try and explain this discrepancy but it is because they are pandering to the exclusive selected Burners the BORG deems privileged. So there are two classes of people at BM. Apparently I’m in the sh@t class.

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  • Yanny says:

    There’s a lot of negativity here. I didn’t get a VP either, but that’s not going to stop me from bringing my art car out again this year. Sure, I’ll need to put a few more thousand dollars into (as I do every year), but I’m just going to trust BM when they say VPs will be handed out at the gate for free. I don’t mind trailering the art car all the way out from Austin because I have faith that the playa provides and I trust BMorg when they say I have nothing to worry about.

    And if I can’t get in, I’ll light my art car on fire and blow my brains out.

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    • wILD bILL says:

      Yanny, You are the first person to make me laugh out loud today, reading all in this blog and abour the B MORG, and writing my own thoughts here and there. Thank you for making me laugh!!! Maybe bring the art car to 4th of Juplaya and just leave it until BM starts and you won’t need a VP, lighter, or a gun, to shoot yourself. If I can get in by “Drone Travel” , I would love to meet you! You sound crazy and fun, and I like that!!!

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    • Bruce says:

      BMs noble intentions, yet misfired execution. The “Limit VEhicle Pass” is noble but not always practical with the diversity of Burner’s travel plans.

      Report comment

  • TClark says:

    Just to add my voice to the frustration, I’ve summarized some of the awesome ZINGERS in this thread I think most burners are currently feeling (I also agree with every single damn one of them).

    “You are SERIOUSLY screwing the planning ability of people who are coming from further than San Francisco.”

    “You want me to cross my fingers, travel 12 hours, and hang out by the road for one of the VP’s being “literally” given away at Gate Road? This was a mistake. A huge mistake. And the sad part is that it didn’t have to be, Burning Man created a mess out of thin air.”

    “We can’t haul a weeks’ worth of self-reliant in a car packed with 3 other self-reliant. Do the math for space need vs average car size. Include 4 bikes.”

    “So your advice is to drive 20 fucking hours to hope “the playa provides”?”

    “Suggesting people who need to make decisions about camp building, logistics and art projects can wait for the OMG sale is fucking absurd.”

    “No VP’s available with tickets, but you have to have the VP in order to use your hella expensive tickets?”

    “You can’t take an art exhibit, a hexayurt, a sizable enough tent, a slushie maker, a shade structure, a bar, or booze on a bus.”

    “This type of decision ensures that: 1) Burning Man gets less money; 2) scalpers get more money”

    “Soon all the planners and responsible burners will just give up and stop attending; and the playa will be left with the thieves and beggars”

    “Or sure, we could fly in. In our magic carpet made of money.”

    “How can a self-reliant burner show up with less than one full car? Doesn´t that just encourage backpack hippies who often not even bring their own water?”

    “Why don’t you ask one of the burner kids who come this year to go over your ideas? I promise you will have a better outcome than this screw up.”

    “It says ‘fuck you, Burners, deal with it’. What a shitty, inconsiderate message to the participants who make it all happen”

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  • Akela says:

    My hope is that in the wake of overwhelming evidence that the vehicle pass sale was supremely ill-conceived, the BMorg will make a ton more VPs available, and make that announcement soon. Quash the scalper market, give contributing burners the peace of mind necessary to devote themselves to projects, and make more money–what’s not to like? As far as forcing the number of vehicles down, I think weighing that against wasted tickets, increased scalping, and reduced possibility for art and gifting should be really, really simple calculus. The system last year (i.e. 35,000 VPs, 70,000 tickets) worked just fine–there were fewer vehicles than the prior year, the BMorg made plenty of new money, and no one was turned away for not having a VP or had to buy one for $300. So there were 8,000 unused VPs? You made $320,000 off of just those ones, literally for printing stickers that got thrown in the trash. Maybe some of that money could have gone towards a ticketing provider that can handle the immense load your analysis and cross-referencing should have predicted, or more training and staff at Will Call.

    Sincerely,
    A three-year, lower-middle class burner not from San Francisco who clicked the button within two seconds of 12:00 along with FOUR friends, and got zero tickets and zero vehicle passes between us

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  • atulyo says:

    BORG Day 2 and no word from you on a real solution you must know that you screwed up and not even an apology. Has anyone there read any of the comments posted here. Or is the attitude there just a big FU. There is a simple solution just put put passes on sale on the gate road with no limit. Then everyone can be assured that you really do mean radical inclusion. Self reliance should not mean that i have rely on a charter flight to get me to the playa. Then rely on every one else to feed me, give me shelter and water. Come on BM take responsibility for your self say you screwed up and and make this screw up right.

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    • Bruce says:

      BMs noble intentions, yet misfired execution. The “Limit VEhicle Pass” is noble but not always practical with the diversity of Burner’s travel plans.

      Report comment

    • Jim Trapp says:

      I’ve read for a few hours down this thing, and I snicker at some of these posts. Does no one realize you have to take your MOOP with you when you leave? How the hell are you going to radically, self-reliantly get a pilot to allow you to carry your stinky garbage onto his chartered plane? I’ve read people’s plans to fly in, and their plans to bring all this shit to the playa.. and their plans for gifting, and their plans for supplies and the number of people.. Am I the ONLY one that’s wondering what shape the playa is going to be in if there aren’t enough vehicles to clean up the garbage and haul the shit away when it’s over? A lot of food spoils in that week, and it’s going to be in garbage bags EVERYWHERE if there aren’t people thoughtful enough to plan space in their limited number of vehicles to also haul OUT what they bring IN. Tell me, how big is the garbage bin on the burner express bus because in a week people smell terrible, but their garbage smells even worse! How does bm on one hand plan on cutting back vehicle numbers, yet encourage burners to be radically self-reliant while you’re herded into a nice tiny compartment when the week’s out to sit for ten hours with a few dozen smelly people AND their garbage?

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  • MadMaxine says:

    As with many things that Burning Man Org does, parking passes are another example of a noble intention poorly executed. Last year’s VP program was new, and created understandable concern and havoc regarding “how was it going to work.” It stumbled through last year, and lo and behold, 27,000 were used. I think it’s pretty simplistic logic to say “well, therefore, because the number of people coming in the gate won’t change (due to a population cap), there are only 27,000 VP’s *needed.*” What is the logical thinking behind that? It seems to be a one-step thinking process. Wouldn’t the number of VP’s change from year to year based on how people get to the playa? And how do you determine that 8 months ahead of time?

    Instead, how about making vehicle passes available in mid-July, which is a) time enough for people to figure out critical things like if they’re really going (it’s to be expected that a lot of tickets will change hands between now and then, and each set of hands likely has different travel plans), and b) how they’re going to get there. An email could be sent out to all ticket-holders of record, advising them that it’s time to buy vehicle passes. That way, the vehicle passes are *consequent* to the ticket sales, and not wrapped up in the sharknado feeding frenzy of ticket-buying day (er, ticket-buying hour), and people can obtain them in a slightly more leisurely fashion. If the intention of the vehicle passes is to encourage people to carpool to their burn, why not give people a chance to make their travel arrangements before they are required to buy a vehicle pass. All the current system does is create another commodity to be scalped. It’s arguable that it won’t really help the vehicle issue in the long run, because I can see Burning Man issuing more vehicle passes if they’re needed by people who hold tickets, while I can’t see them saying “I don’t care if you have a ticket, if you don’t have a vehicle pass you’ll just have to leave your rig in the D lot.”

    This is only the 2nd year for this program–why not make some improvements based on lessons learned? I know it’s too late for this year, but maybe this would be a way to reduce the crayzee in 2016.

    Respectfully offered– I know you guys work your asses of on this stuff. Thanks.

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    • Tom says:

      Well said, MadMaxine.
      VPs were sold out when I got event tickets much to my surprise. I knew if I waited a couple of days the community would be offering great advice, like yours, to deal with the situation in the future, (and maybe now).
      Right now I’m believing the Universe will provide, and I’ll make it to another Burn.

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  • Jason says:

    I’ve never been and didnt get any ticket in the individual sale. I did register and get in line, but sold out after waiting a little over an hour (impressive really). Can I still register and try the OMG sale since I’ve never been (although I registered and tried the individual sale)? Will that 1000 tickets sell out even faster you think?

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    • Dani says:

      Yes, Jason you can register in the OMG sale. It will sell out VERY quickly. Put your feelers out to all your friends. Please do not pay more than face value for any tickets. Good luck.

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  • Dr. Bungee says:

    How many of the ten principals did the BORG violate?

    Radical Inclusion: Everybody can come except those of you unlucky enough to have regular computers, or hesitated more than two seconds before hitting the button.

    Gifting: It’s fortunate that good things come in small packages, because there is only so much you can take on a bus.

    Decommification: OK, maybe they get a pass on this one.

    Radical Self Reliance: Shelter, bikes, costumes, food, water, and that’s if you’re not bringing art, theme camp, art car. Where is it all going to fit???

    Radical Self Expression: That cool costume has to stay home. No room for it.

    Communal Effort: Let’s all get together and build…
    NOTHING, because we couldn’t get it out there.

    Civic Responsibility: They get another pass on this one because I can’t think of anything, and need to get back to work.

    Leave No Trace: It makes sense that if we’re not bringing anything out, there will be nothing left behind.

    Participation: In my opinion, this is the MOST IMPORTANT principal. I guess we can all sit around and look at each other, because there won’t be much to do.

    Immediacy: I’ll have to get back to you on this one.

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  • CuriousJosh says:

    This seems like odd logic…

    everything worked last year, so let’s reduce the amount of car passes sold by almost 10,000?

    why… why would you do this? the extra passes gave people much needed leeway in figure out their plans, and although many ended up not being used, they were certainly helping people by being available.

    Many, many people who needed car passes got them second hand because of the extra that were available.

    now, this year, car passes will be almost impossible to find since the number has been reduced to the exact amount used last year (offering not many floating around).

    why not just issue the extra car passes, and give the community the room it needs to sort it out like they did last year?

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    • Jim Trapp says:

      Not to mention, although nobody else had, the weather was rather discouraging last year on entry, so is that a fair measure of traffic flow? How much do you think that it might have affected the actual traffic on a normal dry opening day? I’d be interested to know if SOME part-time, or time pressed burners if any, decided not to go cause of the crappy weather, or opening day gate delays.. Anybody?

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  • Alfred says:

    Why not revamp the whole process for ticket sales due to numerous problems to be fairer for next year?
    1. Give people a week or more to pre-register instead of a few days. Life can be hectic.
    2. Give everyone an equal chance on sale day to get tickets with a random number generator of all pre-registered. I suspect that it is getting difficult for the average computer user to get tickets unless they have the latest device to log you on in a millisecond after noon. This is reflected by the comments of being unable to purchase any tickets, even after logging on within 1-2 seconds of 12:00:00.
    3. Give everyone that is notified that they may buy a ticket, after the previous step, that they have 24 hours to complete the purchase. There are many of us that can’t take 2 hours off work in the middle of the day to try and buy tickets.
    4. Give everyone the chance to buy 1 VP/ 2 individual tickets and not let the pre-sale tickets buy more VP per ticket than regular sales.
    Hopefully the collective wisdom of all the burners will be listened to. Thanks

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  • Gaz says:

    +1 for the lottery idea. It didn’t work when they tried to distribute all of the tickets that way, but just for the main sale I think it’s far preferable to the waiting in line process. It would create a level playing field, as opposed to the many technical and life related variables that influence an online first-come-first-served process.

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  • surya says:

    I got my BM tickets :). But no VP :( I hope the BM organizers realize that it is quite a pain to register, then sign and then spend a couple of hours on the day of the sale to get tickets. Doing it multiple times only increases this pain. Add to that unreliable internet connections if one is traveling and time zone differences and that further increases the pain of getting tickets. Well, the only upside by reducing VPs is that BM is reducing their revenue. I wonder why they would do that.

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    • Bruce says:

      BMs noble intentions, yet misfired execution. The “Limit VEhicle Pass” is noble but not always practical with the diversity of Burner’s travel plans.

      Report comment

    • Jim Trapp says:

      Not to mention vehicle passes being sold at the exact same time as the last 1400 tickets are being sold. One beings to wonder what kind of a shit show it’s going to be if the last 1400 tickets are sold and the vehicle passes end up sold out before they get to that step? Unnecessary to sell both at the exact same time. If you have two tickets, you should get your pass earlier, and leave only the portion allotted available on sale day for the last 1400 tickets being sold.

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  • Pasatiempo says:

    By lowering the number of vehicle passes available, you have created an unnecessary artificial demand. If a quota of 35k had been retained, we would likely see a similar number of passes get used in 2015 as we saw in 2014. The net sum is roughly the same number of vehicles with either year’s system. The only difference is that there are now a lot of frustrated/stressed/desperate people.

    A nice solution for this year’s event would be to offer people vehicle passes who were able to buy event tickets but incurred a sold out notification for vehicle passes. It would be great for this to occur soon so everybody can relax.

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    • Tom says:

      I agree. I have confirmation of event tickets, but no VP as they were “sold out”. Those of us who need a VP should not have to wait for the OMG sale. BMOrg should be proactive and contact us to assess need and accommodate.
      The sooner the better.
      I know the reasoning behind limiting vehicles,… but to the Burners who didn’t get VPs it is like: “Welcome Home ,… but good luck getting here”.

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  • jmac says:

    There are TRAIN tracks going right through the black rock desert, along with the station at Gerlach. How much sense would this make? If Ringling Bros. Circus can do it for over 100years I’m sure the BMOG clowns could figure it out? right.

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  • Jay says:

    I have 6 veteran burners who I will be camping with.. Also who will be sharing a monster rv together (meaning only 1 VP needed). The 6 of us all only bought 1 ticket each. And none of us were able to get a Vehicle pass. We were all in constant contact with each other got into the payment page all around the same (around 12.40).

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  • nncoco says:

    Why not cap the number of RVs on the Playa? They are the bigger problem on the highway, entry and exit than the cars.

    Report comment

  • nncoco says:

    Another way to encourage carpooling is to reward vehicles with multiple passengers. A 40′ RV with 2 people could be charged more than a van with 4 passengers for example.

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  • Geomom says:

    We were fortunate enough to get tickets and a pass, even on an old laptop and rural internet connections (thanks to my daughter’s lightning reflexes at noon I guess). When we go, we pack everything for a week in my old minivan, including tents, and we take two other burners with us. There isn’t a cubic inch left. I can’t imagine how anyone can get to BRC with what they need without a vehicle, unless they are part of a larger camp. So it is astonishing that the number of vehicle passes were limited. I agree that this encourages hangers-on who don’t come prepared or ready to contribute. Please, please please make vehicle passes available to those who have already – legitimately and painfully – purchased a ticket. THEN you will have enough prepared folks who can take care of the newbies and other peeps who are just going to show up.

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  • Bruce says:

    BMs noble intentions, yet misfired execution. I also got two tickets… But no VEhicle Pass…. BM has self inflicted a transportation issue on Burners…. While creating a new black market for VPs…..

    Report comment

  • Earl says:

    How does one get 20 gallons of water, a tent, a bicycle AND OTHER STUFFF on a bus??? Inquiring Minds want to know…

    Report comment

    • Atheen says:

      I think that was a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer anyway.
      Depending on which bus you take, you are allowed you to bring a bike plus four large pieces of “luggage” and one small (very small) carry on. You may need to hold your carry on in your lap.
      Luggage is in quotes because of the wide variety of creative containers people come up with. They pile it high in big trucks, so it needs to be sturdy. I had one that was basically a cut down cardboard box and a whole lot of duct tape. I also brought a folding hand cart, which was very handy. I duct taped that to the box to make one item for transport.
      You are right, water is the hardest part. I put one 5 gallon box into each of my two large suitcases, and just packed around them. I supplemented that by putting my ice in ziplock bags and pouring off the melt water.
      A more popular solution was purchased water in jugs of various sizes.
      Anyway, the short answer is…. it doesn’t go on the bus. They have big trucks they pack your gear in.

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  • Earl says:

    How does one get 20 gallons of water, a tent, a bicycle AND OTHER STUFFF on a bus??? Inquiring Minds want to know… And Gifts, an costumes, dust masks.. etc, etc, etc, BTW, Im driving from North Carolina and DONT HAVE A VP… IMHO, no one can come on a bus UNLESS they have someone else driving a car or a truck or an RV to bring ALL THAT STUFF for them.

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    • Atheen says:

      I took Amtrak. It allows actually a fair amount of gear, including bikes.
      It’s not for everyone and you shouldn’t do it if it has no appeal for you. It is the way I prefer to go, but I don’t think it’ll be as much fun if the bus (and train) are full of pissed off resentful people.

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  • Earl says:

    2 tickets and one VP = about $850. RAISE the VP to 150 and cut the ticket prices by $50 each IF you want to lower the number of vehicles…. Or $250 and lower the tickets to about $200.. THAT Should do it..

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  • Howzit says:

    This is the moment when BMOrg has finally decided to make it impossible for the average person to attend the Burning Man event on their own. The mom and pop camps are being trampled by the “Too Big Too Fail Camps”!!! Wow, much has changed since my first burn in 1996. Now reading this forum, it feels as though BMOrg doesn’t want people like me at the burn anymore. Hard to get an extremely overpriced ticket, unless you are part of the right groups… then introduce another cost for the average burner, the vehicle pass… then introduce a limited number of vehicle passes… then make it extremely hard to get a vehicle pass… add all this up and you get no time to plan and no way to attend with anything but a backpack. While the group camps enjoy pressurized showers, you can cook alive in your tent if you have room to carry one. Thanks to BMOrg for the gift of creating a party for the rich and their friends, while making the rest feel small… and thanks to the determination of Will Chase, who defends such blatant class seperation and segregation at an event that brags about radical inclusion.

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  • John says:

    I have to add my vote – people who managed to get tickets but not a VP should be given the option of buying one to complete their transaction. Selling tickets without giving a viable way of using them is simply wrong.

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    • earl says:

      I have to add my vote ALSO!!! – people who managed to get tickets but not a VP should be given the option of buying one to complete their transaction. Selling tickets without giving a viable way of using them is simply wrong.

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  • greg j says:

    Will Chase either someone is feeding you a bunch of bullshit or you are trying to feed it to us Burners without vehicle passes. The passenger vehicles 95% of us are driving to the Burn which are under 4,000 pounds of gross weight do not harm that road in the slightest especially when you figure in one weeks time we drive once on it to get out there and once when we leave. I do agree the heavy equipment trucks may stress the roads but they have nothing to do with vehicle passes; there is no conversation about limiting their travel on the road. Those highways are engineered like any other road in the US, so don’t blow smoke up our asses and say we are wearing it out and by NOT issuing a 2 to 1 ticket to VP ratio, we will save the road. And the pollution argument? C,mon Will, were you at the Burn last year? If you were you must have seen the smoke from the Embrace burn last year? Two girls next to me started crying when they saw all the black smoke spewing from it. I will say that comment did make me laugh.

    Suck it up BORG, fix the mess!

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  • Trickster says:

    General question: Did I get it right that the only problem (and main reason for limitations) is that the road get used? The public road that was payed by tax money? That sounds bizarre.

    Am I thinking to simple when I suggest to spend some money on lobbying and just get rid of these obscure limitation. Sell 100.000 tickets and use the money to buy some voices.

    I mean why not exploiding the massive demand in tickets and make to whole thing grow fast? More money – more power – less limitations and restrictions. Realistic?

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  • Trickster says:

    The cars pollute the environment? Interesting. When millions of people drive to work with their SUVs and pay regularly protection money (aka taxes) nobody seems to care about that.

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  • clocksnmirrors says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that every year the org finds a new and absolutely nonsensical way to throw a wrench into people’s ability to plan for this expensive commitment.

    Shell out $800 on tickets and hundreds, possibly thousands more in preparation all with the hope that *maybe* you’ll be able to drive your shit in to the event?

    It just doesn’t make sense. Really it’s one of the stupidest things I’ve heard of the org doing.

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  • G-gizzle says:

    Clocksnmirrors, my sentiments EXACTLY! And as John and Earl point out, it isn’t a complete transaction if the tickets don’t come with a viable way to use them. This is absolutely the most absurd, ill-conceived idea they’ve come up with yet. I’ll never complain about the way other people do their burn – the rich in their PnP camps, the Zuckerburgs/Silicons flying in, the little hippies in their tents – whatever- none of that affects MY burn at all. I am in charge of my burn. And I didn’t bitch about the theory and additional cost behind the vehicle pass – I get it, let’s help people be conscious about carpooling by creating an incentive; let’s do what we can to reduce the traffic stress on the local communities. And it seemed to have worked last year. But, it is a completely different animal when the Burning Man Organization itself screws with my experience by creating a situation whereby I can pay them for tickets that I may or may not be able to use, and I have little control over when I will know that outcome. Their silence on this issue is deafening, and disappointing.

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  • MattE303 says:

    Will Chase (or anyone who *knows* the answers):

    I’ve read everything I could find but I’m still unclear about a couple things regarding purchasing VP’s thru STEP:

    1. Can you register for STEP and purchase *just* a VP (no tickets) if you were unable to get one in the Individual sale???

    2. The STEP info says:
    “Anyone offered ticket(s) through STEP will also have the option to purchase one (1) vehicle pass.”

    But does this mean only if one is available from a Seller at that time, or does it mean BMorg will provide enough VPs to guarantee that *everyone* who buys ticket(s) through STEP will have the opportunity to also buy a VP if they need one???

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  • earl says:

    IF indeed, they plan to sell about the same number as was used last year, then we have a manufactured shortage… People bought VPs that they did not really need, JUST IN CASE… which caused a shortage where none had been before… SORT OF LIKE THE CLASSIC Toilet Paper shortage of 1973 Created by the Famous Johnny Carson.. from Wikipedia: “In December 1973, Carson joked on Tonight about an alleged shortage of toilet paper. Panic buying and hoarding ensued across the United States as consumers emptied stores,[27] causing a real shortage that lasted for weeks. Stores and toilet paper manufacturers had to ration supplies until the panic ended. Carson apologized in January 1974 for the incident, which became what The New York Times called a “classic study” of how rumors spread”

    AND, actually the biggest problem is WATER!!. You cant buy water on the Playa, You need 20 gallons, You have to TRUCK out what you use that don’t evaporate. IF you could get water on the Playa, AND Dispose of water on the Playa, NOT Nearly as many vehicles would be needed…….. For My small group of 4, I need to bring nearly 100 gallons. THAT IS NO SMALL DEAL. …. ESPECIALLY ON A BUS!!!!!

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  • La Louve says:

    I’m weighing in as another ticket-holder who would like to complete their transaction and buy a vehicle pass now.

    Failing that, in addition to the OMG sale let us register for STEP just for a vehicle pass. The sooner you get VPs sold to all who need them, the sooner the scalpers’ market will collapse.

    We’re three of us in two vehicles and between us we only managed to purchase one vehicle pass with our event tickets. We’ve done art installations and brought mutant vehicles in the past but any plans for those in 2015 are on hold for now, In the meantime, we are putting the word out amongst our burner friends so hopefully a VP will find its way to us sooner rather than later.

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  • Leo says:

    The reduction from 35,000 vehicle passes to 27,000 vehicle passes appears to be a very arbitrary decision. To stage an event where the participants are required to bring their own food, water, shelter, and supplies for a week, then create a scarcity of vehicle passes is a cruel joke. Perhaps this is an attempt to “grease the skids” for more commodification camps where the guests fly in to the BRC airport and enjoy a pampered week on the playa.

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  • wILD bILL says:

    P.S. FYI, It appears that Will Chase, or the B Morg, has taken the ‘liberty’ to edit some of the blogs posted , I just thought I would let you all know, They did on one of my posts, so good luck with ‘freedom of speach’! The truth is, the ‘Golden egg’ is in jeopardy, folks.May we all “RIP” at some point. ).(

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  • Edwin2601 says:

    I am another Burner who has 2 tickets and no VP. I would have to fly in from Europe to attend. Until I know that I have a VP (apparently that won’t happen until 3-4 weeks before the event via the OMG Sale) I can’t buy a flight nor prepare for my Burn. Accordingly, I shall have to try to sell my tickets back through STEP. Thanks to BMOrg for precluding me from attending.

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  • Panther says:

    The lack of vehicle passes will be just another screw up that will be talked about for years, similar to the failed attempt at a lottery and 8-hour waits at Will Call… “Remember back in 2015 when lots of people who had tickets had no realistic way of getting there?”

    Facts and assumptions that should have been understood:
    1. One data point (VPs in 2014) does not make a trend.
    2. Allowing one VP per order controls excess cars and is fair to everyone.
    3. Most people don’t have the option to take the Burner Express.
    4. People buying tickets together are already very likely to be carpooling together.
    5. There is no logical reasoning to decline a VP to ticket buyers in the original sale, but then let STEP buyers get VPs with their orders.
    6. Making ticket buyers wait until just a couple of weeks before the event to know whether they can drive paralyzes their plans.
    7. If people were “giving away passes at the gate last year” that means the VPs did not limit the number of vehicles.
    8. Telling people to “keep an eye on the open market” only feeds the scalpers.
    9. Charging for VPs is fine and gives people an incentive to carpool, but forcing 10% of ticket buyers to come up with other alternatives only serves to frustrate and annoy those who really need to drive.
    10. Some people who can carpool and want to can’t because the driver didn’t get a VP.

    How to Fix – Recommendation to the BMOrg
    1. Allow those who bought tickets and were denied the option of a VP the ability to add one VP to their order NOW.
    2. Have ALL BMOrg members leave their vehicles at home and take the Burner Express to show us it’s as easy and convenient as you tell us it is.

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  • G-gizzle says:

    Panther – well stated! It’d be nice to know whether anyone other than those of us in this predicament are listening, or have any intention whatsoever to act. I’ve been picturing the BMOrg members trying to get their act and camp together with only the Burner Express to rely on also – makes for a pretty interesting scenario.

    On the topic of “people literally giving away passes at the gate last year”, I thought I’d share our experience from last year, and how apparently lucky we were that that was the case: During the VP sticker-to-windshield application process, our sticker wrinkled and we were unable to affix it completely flat to the windshield, as it had stuck to itself in a wrinkle. We thought “no big deal – it’s obviously a legitimate sticker, and we have our receipt to show we purchased it, just in case” (who is going to counterfeit $40 burning man vehicle passes, for crying out loud? – wait, this year it would probably be a GREAT idea, but I digress). As it turned out, it was a good thing the Gate people had some extras laying around, because after we’d waited out the rain on the highway on Monday, and spent a total of 12 hours inching our way towards the Gate, the Gate Staffer wasn’t going to accept our sticker – the wrinkle prevented the scanner from scanning….WTF?! There’s actually a question as to whether they’re going to let us in? Luckily, the staffer came up with the “solution” of giving us one of the VPs that had been “given away at the gate”. I’ve always wondered what would’ve happened had there not been an extra VP laying around. I’ve put the idea out of my mind that we would’ve been denied entry, but, seeing how things are going this year with the “Government Knows Best” attitude being applied to vehicle passes, I’m not so sure that last year wasn’t the beginning of a no-common-sense attitude that would’ve caused them to deny our entry, regardless of the obvious evidence that we’d purchased the pass. We’ll never know, but I’m certainly thankful that people were “literally giving them away at the Gate”. How can having a surplus be worse than this deficit? At least last year, it was win-win, with “losses” being limited to an extra $40 for an unused pass. This year, it’s a losing situation for a whole lot of Burners. So very sad the Org has created this mess, and appears to not care to do anything to clean it up.

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  • dforsdale says:

    It’s crazy that those of us who didn’t get VPs in the individual sale are not allowed to participate in the STEP program to try and get a VP, because we already got individual tickets. And it’s crazy that it sounds like people who get tickets through STEP are guaranteed to get a VP. Those of us who got tickets but no VPs should be allowed to get VPs through STEP! Waiting until the OMG sale is ridiculous. Besides, I think it said around 4,000 of us didn’t get VPs in the individual sale and there are only something like 1250 VPs on sale in the OMG sale so my chances aren’t good. This is really annoying.

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  • Panther says:

    So this is what I see happening next… since individual VPs will only be sold in the OMG sale but you can buy a ticket with a VP in STEP, people with tickets and no VP will create a new burner profile and jump into the STEP sale. If they’re lucky and get a ticket and VP, they will then scalp… uh, I mean sell their original ticket to someone else, thus pushing the no VP problem to them. It will also further reduce the chances of those who are legitimately in STEP of getting a ticket. Just crazy.

    If the BMOrg want to limit vehicle crowding on opening day, then there are better and more fair alternatives. For example, create blue stickers for entrance starting on Sunday and green stickers for entrance starting on Monday.

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  • Alfred says:

    I am afraid that this blog is like the old joke; does the tree that falls in the middle of the forest make a noise if no one is there to hear it. At this point I would have to say that there is no noise since there has been no response from BM org to any of the suggestions.

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  • Greg says:

    The fact the BORG has not said anything yet is because they have not heard us. There are only 220 comments form a population of 65,000 ticket holders. Please ask everyone you know to comment on this Blog regarding the mind numbing decisions the BORG has made regarding VP’s and how it is detrimentally impacting their planning decisions and creating a windfall for scampers.

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    • G-gizzle says:

      BMorg has “heard” us, as evidenced by a few responses (nothing helpful, however) from Will Chase. What they appear to be saying without saying is that they aren’t willing to address an issue that may only affect a relatively “few” (thousand) members of our “community”, which is sad, because, well, it’s starting to feel like radical EXclusion. Sucky deal. Really has taken the wind out of our happy burning man sails. “Sure, you might be able to come to the party, but only if you beg….or, maybe not even then. You’ll just have to wait and see what, if anything, we’re going to do to help you. Maybe. If you’re lucky. If not, well, there’s STEP and that OMG sale that you can compete in, and if you get your VP’s, lucky you, you have a few weeks to plan and prepare – plenty of time! If not, you might be able to find a taker for your $800 set of tickets that aren’t going to do YOU any good. Those who have been radically INcluded probably don’t need a VP pass in order to enjoy your tickets. And there’s always those chartered flights – really, think about your options, people! No problem for anyone, right? Europe? Asia? You guys good with that? Radical Inclusion, that’s what we’re all about. You betcha. You’re welcome. ” Gawd. I just cannot get over how disheartening this is. I truly hope we’re wrong, and that BMorg has been putting their heads together to make it right, and are on the cusp of making a good news announcement. That would set a lot of souls aflame with that happy burner gratitude and restore belief that things haven’t changed for the worse after all. ).(

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    • alyce bertz says:

      yes its my first time going to the playa. I have 2 tix driving from CT and no way to actually bring in my musical instruments without my van and sound system to plug into for the shows I am playing. please release some VP soon so we can attend. otherwise we have to sell our tix cuz we cant afford to fly in or not bring our art with us.

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  • Thanks for a marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you’re a
    great author. I will always bookmark your blog
    and will often come back in the future. I want to encourage you to definitely continue
    your great writing, have a nice weekend!

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  • G-gizzle says:

    Awww, shucks, thank you for the kind words. I just hope those words, along with everyone else’s, are responded to with some positive action so BWOVPs (Burners Without Vehicle Passes) can refocus on the creative fun that is Burning Man prep and planning, and leave this worry, disappointment, and fretting behind. Happy weekend to you, too!

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  • Harley (aka MUDFLAP) says:

    Is there any meaningful remedy for those of us with a ticket and no vehicle pass? Ticketfly referred me back to you.

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  • dave says:

    traffic is the biggest problem threatening the event? What creates a more collossal traffic jam, 2:1 ticket per car ratio or a whole bunch of cars on gate road with no VP that have to then exit somehow? You thought the drunken, understaffed, gate crew was a pig f in years past? Wait till this nonsense goes down.

    I have two tickets, no VP and am not planning a single f’ing thing, expecting I’ll dump my tickets, until I have a vehicle pass. Just another way Bmorg has broken the didnt need to be fixed and took a passive aggressive stance on the further gentrification of this event. Yeah dude, I had this great art project but no vehicle pass so I just took the bus to be an observer like the rest of the sparkle ponies. Hey man, where’s all the great art this year? Hey man, BRC was better last year. For the first time, thats probably going to be the case and this is most certainly the root cause.

    Thank god I was lucky enough to experience this thing for years before it jumped the shark with its internal power plays which we all, and the integrity and direction of the event ultimately pays for.

    Enjoy your millions knowing that I and basically everyone I know would have been happy to pay all kinds of more money to keep this event true and drama free, Bad idea after worse idea after horrid idea, that is the progression of this thing over the last decade.

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  • Robyn says:

    I just read the JRS that referenced the SAME ticket posts and STEP rules that I have been trying to get answers from for a week now. Am I really understanding this correctly?

    1. I cannot register for STEP because I received tickets already.

    2. There will be vehicle passes available in STEP but I cannot access them.

    3. There are a lot of vehicle passes “out” for sale from scalpers but they are being cancelled.

    4. I can wait/stress until the OMG sale at the end of July to maybe get a teeny tiny chance at a vehicle pass…. and finally,

    5. STEP will be closed by the time I find out my tickets are worthless.

    We need better answers, please. People are asking. We matter!

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  • Panther says:

    In reading the official BM explanation above for limiting the VP sales, I decided to translate the real meaning of what they wrote:

    BMOrg: “The intention of this program is to encourage carpooling.”
    Translation: We’re sure the first 36,000 ticket buyers have plenty of room in their cars to pick up the other 4,000 and give them all rides to BRC. It’s just that easy.

    BMOrg: “This year, we reduced the total number of Vehicle Passes we’re making available from 35,000 to 27,000, based on the number of passes that were actually used in 2014.”
    Translation: We have absolutely no background in statistical analysis and made all our conclusions based on one data point.

    BMOrg: “And since Black Rock City will be the same size this year as last year, there should be plenty of VPs to go around.”
    Translation: We also have no understanding of market distribution. The people with extra VPs will magically find those who need them.

    BMOrg: “In fact, people were literally giving them away on Gate Road last year.”
    Translation: Just show up at the gate this year and hundreds of people will surround you trying to give you their extra VPs.

    BMOrg: “We analyzed the buying habits and demand for VPs in each of our sales last year and then cross referenced that with actual use.”
    Translation: Someone showed us how to create a spreadsheet. It had lots of numbers.

    BMOrg: “The good news is that the ratio of purchases of VPs to tickets was actually really good today – 36,000 tickets were sold before the 12,000 VPs sold out.”
    Translation: We screwed over “only” 4,000 people, so that’s good, right?

    BMOrg: “Vehicle Passes will be sold in the OMG Sale. In fact, there will be more VPs available than tickets.”
    Translation: We have lots more VPs than tickets still to sell, but we’re going to make you wait until just a few days before the event to find out if you can get a VP. That should be more than enough time to plan.

    BMOrg: “A lot of folks bought a VP not knowing if they need it or not, and will be looking to offload theirs. Ask around, and keep an eye on the open market for them – they’ll be out there.”
    Translation: Plenty of scalpers will be selling VPs since we limited the supply. There are already postings upwards of $300 each, so just go get one.

    BMOrg: “Burner Express shuttle buses run from San Francisco, Reno and possibly a third location that has not yet been determined.”
    Translation: We’ve never actually taken the BE ourselves, but we’re sure it won’t be a hassle at all.

    BMOrg: “Get information about chartered flights into the Black Rock City airport.”
    Translation: Chartering a plane is much more environmentally friendly than driving a car. Plus, you can even parachute right into your camp! It’s an easily affordable option if you’re one of the 1%.

    BMOrg: “And don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to get your transportation sorted out, too.”
    Translation: We’re not going to help you, but we’re sure you can figure it out yourself.

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  • Phyresyde says:

    I’m trying to bring my kid for the first time so that he may be introduced to a culture that my wife and I have been active in for many years as participants, theme camp creators, volunteers, fire conclave teach classes, etc. I’ve provided a kitchen and shower for camp, wagon for ice, tools to fix bikes, tools to fix broken gear, and tons of infrastructure. How am I supposed to do that let alone bring all the things to keep my child safe with out a vehicle pass? Some of us do more than just come to party in the desert by doing drugs and getting drunk. We actually provide what everyone else doesn’t bring and that’s with out camping in an rv. I actually had a chance to buy a second ticket and a vehicle pass and the system failed me and I was only able to purchase a single ticket. I’m starting to feel that after many years of attending burning man it’s not worth it anymore when tickets have doubled in price and I can’t even drive in without paying for it. Several years ago after our old rv (bought to take to burning man) broke down before ever getting to the playa. We brought 6 people across the country and still managed to get them to burning man with a rented car even though we had to figure out how we were going to get them all home before we even thought of going in ourselves. We drove from Elko to Fernley (4 hrs there and 4 hours back; we broke down in Elko having driven from Baltimore) because it was our responsibility to get all of our passengers to Burning Man like we promised. I didn’t even think we would get in. One suburban and a mini van, and four days later we picked up a friend at the airport in Reno on a Tuesday during the burn plus one friend of a friend and her boyfriend who needed a ride, and a random person at Walmart in Fernley who needed a ride. We still made it in by Tuesday that year having brought 8 people to burning man and dealt with a broken rv and slept in the mini van because we didn’t have a tent. So the person who’s comment was fuck your rv shouldn’t assume all of just want to bring in an rv. Some of us have bent over backwards and drive across the country 2700 miles just to come to burning man.
    This year I can’t carpool with my young son or just catch the burner express. If I can’t provide what needs to keep my son safe from the dust and dehydration then I’ll just have to throw my arms up and admit that the big burn has become something that is not worth our time and when someone who’s bucket list item is to go to burning mangers a vehicle pass then it is what it is. My wife has been attending long before me back to 2003 and has about given up because it’s changed so drastically over the years. It’s a shame.

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  • aplaypal says:

    If you didn’t get a vehicle pass, Will Chase says “Get information about chartered flights into the Black Rock City airport.”
    Marie Antoinette’s advice to those who didn’t get passes. “Let them charter flights!”
    The tone deafness of the Org shows their allegiance to a class system from the default world.
    Yes, average attendees will make it work, but know the velvet ropes are being placed by BMorg.

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  • Can you volunteer and get into burning man?

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  • Jim says:

    If you come in self sufficient with water and supplies, a charter flight might help, but does anyone want to tell me what charter flight wants to carry your garbage BACK from BRC airport?

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  • MUDFLAP says:

    There is still no solution for those of us with a ticket and no vehicle pass. I cannot take a plane or the bus with all my camping stuff and water. Now my car needs a “ticket” too? REALLY?

    BurningMan needs to make this right. Period.

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  • jeff bacon hmmmm says:

    everything changes,) last year someone wrote an easy bot which automaticly answers incl. accepting conditions etc. in 0.2 sec.(after upload) to step ticket holders wich are just offering…
    so get an IT geek on your side and let it run easy to ^STEP .
    Or drive by motobike in, no VP ! an good travel ktm 990 or bmw gs 800-1200 can transport and guarantee your way inside .
    i saw 2013 some one from montana riding a packed bycicle to playa ! respekt and he didnt have to wait in line and traffic trash…
    or fly / base/para jump in
    or probally just take the burner express.
    good luck every one

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  • AlexV says:

    Will and BM team –

    First of all, let me say that – the anger and frustration notwithstanding – I believe most of the people here are extremely appreciative of the effort, time and thought that the BM team puts into planning and executing this massive annual event. When something upsetting happens, this tends to get lost in the ensuing emotional chaos – but it needs to be called out to keep things in perspective.

    Second, you may already know and realize this, but the reason most people are angry is because they are passionate about the event and they are frustrated that their ability to participate and, hopefully, contribute is at risk. I doubt that scalpers will take the time to share their frustrations here, so it’s a pretty good bet you are seeing feedback from your very loyal, passionate, committed participants.

    Third, speaking of statistics – even if you are seeing only a couple of hundred posts here, please don’t get take them at their absolute number and discount it as a tiny percentage of the overall BM community. Any marketer would tell you that several hundred people that have taken the time to voice their opinion is a proxy for many more that have not – and the current yield is very significant. What I am saying is that many more people that have posted on this board are frustrated and discouraged by the most recent events.

    Fourth, as with any decision, there are predictable consequences and there are those that are tough to predict. To be clear – by no means I want to trivialize the multi-faceted complexity of the decisions BM has to content with every year – from operations / logistics to BLM to law enforcement, etc. At the same time, I can’t help but agree with many comments and here and feel that some decisions were not completely thought through (and I could be wrong, but in absence of any information to the contrary, we are left to draw our own conclusions). The decision to preemptively reduce the number of VPs – even though, as you have pointed out, many went unused last year – seems, well, odd. Not clear in pursuit of what objective this was done (to placate BLM? to manage the risk of potentially too many vehicles arriving?), but it appears the only thing it has accomplished is this: frustrated ticket holders and dramatically increased VP prices in the secondary market (read: scalping). It feels like this should have been a pretty predictable outcome.

    Fifth, this has been voiced by many – albeit in a very frustrated tone (but understandably so) – but it’s really hard to digest the advice to just “wait and see” until the last minute and to believe that things will magically shake out. Feels like there is a significant disconnect between the BM team and the community / reality on the ground. Things may well “shake out”, and there could be hundreds of passes being given away at the last minute – unfortunately, that’s not the point. It’s the uncertainty that puts plans and significant financial investments at risk, and fundamentally undermines our ability to plan ahead, impacts our jobs, families, long-distance travel. Burning Man is a commitment in so many ways – unlike most other travel plans – and it requires a degree of certainty WRT tickets, vehicle passes, etc… ahead of time.

    I am not even going to touch the suggestion to take the burner shuttle. I believe many have already explained how that simply does not work or scale.

    Finally, we are so fortunate to have a large, vibrant, and supremely experienced BM community – composed of many professionals, from doctors and lawyers, to executives, event managers, statisticians, software engineers and others. I bet many would gladly volunteer their time and effort to help make BM registration a success. While I am not questioning BM’s ability to plan and execute the event, I would hope that BM would be open to soliciting their participants’ feedback on the process. After all, even the most experienced and talented teams out there routinely ask their customers for feedback on their products – way ahead of actually releasing those products. Let us help!

    Again, thank you for all your work. We love BM and we want to be a part of it.

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    • G-gizzle says:

      AlexV, thanks for saying nicely and clearly what many of us, myself included, have been too frustrated and disheartened to say politely. Very nice, civil post! Thank you! (I’m still entirely too annoyed to keep my own hurt and bitter tone out of the mix…)

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    • Highland Walker says:

      This was very well said. Still waiting to hear from the BM team on what solution they are going to employ. I suppose I could just drive up to the gate and get one of those passes that they expect will just be handed out.

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    • alyce bertz says:

      please if you find a way I can buy a VP I will personally serenade you every day with the nicest violin you ever dreamt of hearing. we are driving from CT and need the van to shelter the instruments and plug in when we do the elec version of electric violin, see you there !

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  • Hobo says:

    Just want to add my story to the many here and to voice my agreement with the well written post of AlexV, particularly as his fifth point completely nails the uncertainty I am experiencing. I was able to buy a ticket for myself and my friend but wasn’t able to buy a vehicle pass. We’re planning to drive down from Canada with some supplies and gifts, then buy the bulk of our consumables in Reno, contributing to the local economy. I need to arrange boarding for my dogs and time off work, both of which must be done well in advance. Waiting until 3 weeks before go time to find out if I can buy a vp in the OMG sale is not an option and just showing up with the hope that extras will be available at the gate is beyond ridiculous.

    I’m not panicking (that’s my friend’s job) but if a better option than waiting for the OMG sale doesn’t develop, I’ll be selling two tickets in a couple of months. That will make me and the panicky one very sad but will make two other people very happy so I guess it balances out. Unless they need a vehicle pass and can’t get one, then they’ll also be sad and that’s a net-negative situation. That would be sad.

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  • Judy Larquier says:

    I am frustrated as many others are at this point. I got two tickets but no vehicle pass. I cannot see going into BurningMan without a vehicle to carry the food and water two people will need for a week. This is ridiculous. It looks like at this point, the best way to try and get a vehicle before the last minute OMG Sale is to create a new account under another name and try and buy two tickets and a VP at the STEP Sale and then turn around and turn in my original two tickets. This sounds like it is creating a lot of extra work and frustration for people and computers! Not very well thought out!

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  • Hard-On says:

    I don’t agree with this vehicle pass thing and here’s why. I don’t understand why I have to pay the same for my vehicle (4 door sedan) as someone with an RV and a trailer on the back. Which of those two clogs traffic more? Definitely not my car. I also bring everything I need in my car, reinforcing radical self-reliance. I think those who try to bypass that principle by staying in an RV should pay more for that. The fact that we have to pay the same priced vehicle pass is just ridiculous.

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  • Greg J says:

    My wife and I have been going for over 10 years now so we have a decent history of the event. We were remarking to each other the other night how over this time period that the BORG has not made one change to the event that has improved the BM experience. It has only gotten worse each year. Traffic in and out has gotten worse, the lack of clean porta-pottys has gotten worse and now the vehicle pass issue has become insurmountable. Attention Borg please put the participants interests ahead of your own and think how can I make their experience better. The only thing that keeps me coming back to BM are the participants not the organizers, they are the ones turning me off to it. Sad!

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  • Bubbles says:

    This is incredibly upsetting. We are 2 people with tickets/no vehicle pass, and are coming from over 2,500 miles away. Burner express, chartering a flight or carpooling is just not feasible when you need to travel such a long distance and need to bring everything to sustain yourself for over a week in the desert. Please rethink allowing us to purchase vehicle passes separately through STEP, and don’t force us to pay quadruple the price from scampers or completely unload our tickets. This was an experience we were both really looking forward to sharing together and would like an opportunity to at least purchase a pass at face value before August, which would be much too late to make other arrangements!

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  • Anon says:

    Registered for STEP since I have a ticket but no VP. Assuming I get in, I’ll take a ticket away from someone else who really needs one and will probably end up selling it to one of the people on the road to BRC. Letting all STEP buyers get VPs, but not those in the original sale makes absolutely no sense. By far dumbest thing Borg ever did.

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  • Robyn says:

    Does this make sense? From the Burning Man Site… “If you are accepted to the Low Income Ticket Program you will be given the opportunity to purchase a vehicle pass when you pick your ticket up at the Box Office”… That’s 4,000 vehicle passes just sitting at the will call booth in case ALL 4,000 people need to purchase one. Will the leftovers be blowing in the wind or will there be a line to wait in for scraps? I was very disappointed to see that STEP didn’t have an option to purchase just a vehicle pass. Allowing the large number of US to access a pass through STEP would have left a good impression!

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  • Justin says:

    To reiterate the frustration that seems to be mounting, can those who have 2 tickets please have access to a vehicle pass? I respect the attempt to try to limit cars as I am sure we tear up the roads, but myself and my guest would really appreciate the simple ability to just attend the event. I have no qualms with the OMG sale but please separate the vehicle passes from the actual tickets. Reward those who have invested already, and please alleviate my stress by simply allowing us to drive our supplies to the event.

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  • danibel says:

    This is getting ridiculous. All of group sales got VP’s for 2 tickets. The low-income tickets are going to get a VP, and the OMG sale will have VP’s for ticket buyers. Why are you holding back on VP’s for the people that were last in the queue of the individual sale? Right now they are listed on Ebay and other various ticket sites for $200. People need to plan. People need to know they can use their very high priced ticket to go.

    Contact the buyers that purchased 2 tickets and give them an offer to buy one VP. Done.

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  • robyn says:

    Is anyone else considering cancelling their credit card charges and avoiding this two step ticket process? I don’t have the energy or heart this year to fight the battle!

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  • Mike says:

    Well ok.

    It’s been a month since the sale. There are at least hundreds and probably a few thousands of people like me with tix and no VP.

    Our options currently appear to be:
    (a) dump the tickets on STEP and just give up
    (b) pray a lot and hope to get lucky at OMG
    (c) try to buy a ticket + VP on STEP and then resell just the ticket
    (d) pay the scalpers $200 – 400 for a VP
    (e) pray a lot, drive 2000 miles, and hope a VP is available at the gate
    (f) try to find someone with room in their vehicle for you and all your stuff

    Burner Express doesn’t stop in Calgary, and my location doesn’t leave me hopeful about (f). Wagering my tickets on a long shot doesn’t seem like an attractive option, so that rules out (b) and (e). I’ll scratch (d) on principle, so that leaves (a) and (c) as the remainig choices. I’ll probably want to make a decision over the next month or so and I sure would like to know if I’ve missed anything before I decide.

    BMORG, we haven’t heard anything from you in weeks! Are you thinking of other ways to fix this VP problem? Will more VP’s be made available? Are you still discussing what to do? Or have you decided that no changes will be made, and burners will have to deal with the situation as it stands?

    Please let us know what (if anything) is happening!

    Thanks.

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  • robyn says:

    Has ANYONE heard ANYTHING about available Vehicle Passes? How can there be so many OVERPRICED Vehicle Passes for sale on the internet? Will they be cancelled if sold over face value? I think we should UNITE and do SOMETHING….. I just don’t know what or even how to!

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  • G-gizzle says:

    Looks like we’ve tried and have been utterly disregarded by Mr. Chase and Co. So it goes, a new Burning Man flavor for us this year. A bit bitter, with an aftertaste of sadness and disappointment. Sucks.

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