What the Heck Happened with Will Call Last Year?

The Box Office, 2014 (Photo by Nimbus)
The Box Office, 2014 (Photo by Nimbus)

Hello! I’m Rebecca Throne, aka nimbus, and I manage Ticketing for Burning Man, including Box Office operations on the playa. 2014 was a tough year for the Box Office, and if you were one of the many people picking up tickets at Will Call you may have had the misfortune of experiencing that firsthand. For some context: the Black Rock City Box Office operates 24/7 for 11 days. In 2014, some participants on five of those days experienced excessive wait times of up to seven hours or more, which is unacceptable by any standard.

What happened?

  • As has been our policy in previous years, all tickets sold through the OMG Sale, STEP, the Low Income Ticket program, and those sold to international participants were held for Will Call pick up at the Box Office. This is in addition to tickets bought in our other sales by those who choose Will Call pick up.
  • In 2014, the Box Office was faced with even more volume than ever. We were able to add some late-season ticket releases, which were all distributed via the Will Call-only channels of STEP and the OMG Sale in August.
  • With the change of ticketing partners in 2014, we had to get up to speed with learning a new system and training the Box Office team, some of which took place onsite.
  • The introduction of vehicle passes in 2014 meant we were handling twice as many physical things, so each transaction took a bit longer.
  • We were understaffed for the flow of tickets and people coming to the Box Office for tickets.

A tremendous amount of information-gathering, research, and strategizing has taken place since the event. In addition to collecting input from community discussions we’ve been monitoring online, we’ve also conducted our own in-depth debrief process, and hosted a cross-departmental forum to gather potential solutions. We’ve gotten a ton of valuable input, and we’ve incorporated much of it into our approach for 2015.

So what are we doing to fix it?

It’s important to understand that there is no single silver-bullet panacea that will fix the problem. Just as the long wait times were a byproduct of numerous systems buckling under increased stress, the approach to solve it will also need to be multi-pronged. Here are a few of the changes we’re working on:

  1. For the first time, you’ll be able to choose to have your STEP and OMG Sale tickets shipped to you. This alone can reduce volume by thousands of orders, and has the potential for the largest impact in reducing overall traffic to the Box Office. We are also investigating alternative shipping options for international ticket buyers.
  2. We are increasing staffing levels at the Box Office. With more people to assist participants, we’ll be able to process more requests in a shorter period of time.
  3. We’re designing a better model for Box Office operations, including changes to our roles, reengineering our training process, and expanding the number of days the Box Office is open to take care of Early Arrivals and staff.
  4. And finally, we’re redesigning our physical infrastructure (adding more windows and shade, implementing some ‘queue theory’ best practices, increasing informational signage, etc.) so it can better handle the load and make for a smoother experience for everyone (it wasn’t fun for us, either!).

While print-at-home tickets has been floated as a possible solution, there are a number of practical reasons we believe this is not the best fit for Burning Man, the most important being our commitment to preventing counterfeiting (there is no way to prevent print-at-home tickets from being photocopied). Other, more cultural reasons, include the fact that gifting physical tickets is a longstanding tradition in our community. We’re positive we can address the Box Office’s challenges without that solution right now, but we will continue to revisit the idea as necessary.

We are learning from our experience in 2014 and making changes in order to get it right in 2015. We’re using this as an opportunity to optimize our systems, and to ensure you have the best possible experience at the Box Office in the future. All told, we hope to cut the number of transactions at the Box Office down by nearly half.

How can you help?

There are a number of things you can do to help both before, and when you arrive, at the Box Office:

  1. If at all possible, have your tickets shipped to you. Choose the delivery option that works best for your travel plans. Last year we expanded our offerings to include UPS 2nd day, which is especially helpful for those traveling long distances who leave home long before the event begins, and have opted for the security of Will Call in the past. This option gives more people the viable option of delivery instead of Will Call.
  2. If you or anyone you know (like somebody in your vehicle, for instance) is expecting to pick up an order from the Box Office, encourage them to be prepared, with their order confirmation and valid legal ID handy. This will speed up processing times.
  3. Join us! We’re greatly increasing our Box Office staff this year. We screen folks heavily for accountability and specialized skillset, and so we frequently rely on personal referrals. If you are looking for a new playa family and have great in-person customer service experience, are savvy using point-of-sale systems, are the epitome of grace under pressure, and/or are a front-of-house ninja, please get in touch with us at boxoffice@burningman.com and fill in/update your volunteer questionnaire to indicate that you want to work with Box Office. (Keep in mind that because we make a significant investment in training people, we require our crew to work a minimum of four 6-hour shifts.)

I hope this helps give a better understanding of what created the situation we faced in 2014 and what we’re doing to address it. Please know that we are keenly aware of the problem, we agree that what happened in 2014 was unacceptable, and we are confident the changes we are implementing will significantly improve the Box Office experience for 2015.

I invite you to leave your thoughts in the comments below – we look forward to reading them and continuing the conversation.

 

About the author: Rebecca Throne

Rebecca Throne

Rebecca has been Burning Man’s head of Ticketing since 2007. She creates and implements ticketing strategy and operations each year. She first attended Burning Man in 1999 and began working with the organization as a volunteer in 2001 with the Center Camp Café. Seeing firsthand the need to foster community and organize to support the 500+ volunteer base of the Café, she pioneered the role of Volunteer Community Manager. She continues to focus on ticketing strategies that support community, as well as facilitating critical communications to the Burning Man community through producing the annual printed Survival Guide and What, Where, When handbook of participant events. Prior to her experience with Burning Man, Rebecca worked in branding and creative direction, business innovation strategy, retail management, and dabbled in finance, although at her core she has always been an artist. When not working on Burning Man projects, she is happily raising two young Burners in her native San Francisco.

165 Comments on “What the Heck Happened with Will Call Last Year?

  • Jessayin' says:

    Hi Nimbus!

    It was a bear bitch last year at will call, but we knew it was not you or your crewes’ fault, so we kept cool-no worries!

    Question: we work ESD medical and mental health each year and usually arrive before the event and stay after.

    Will there be a way to receive our tickets beforehand and not clog up (and be spared) the lines?

    Best to you and yours!

    Jessayin’ (Leslie Liberty)

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    • Mel Jung says:

      I would like to volunteer help in SF and on the Playa with will call. This will be my 14th burn. I have had low income tickets but last year waited inthe rain first and then at the gate AI turned around after too long a wait and the crowd became impossible. Have time and live in San Rafael to come in anydtime with notice.. and spend some times volunteering s in the past. Earlier days inthe other location Mel
      call cell 415-846-2155

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  • Dr. Yes says:

    Thanks for the comments, nimbus!

    Question: Doesn’t the fact that you’ll be able to have STEP and OMG tix mailed to you this year create an opportunity for scalpers to abuse those programs?

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    • Andrea says:

      Ditto. My friend who is accompanying me ( I am a CIT volunteer) had and accepted the option to have his ticket mailed to him. It makes no sense that I, as the volunteer) have to go to Will Call and my traveling companion suffer with me. I look to you with great hope that the CIT, medical, etc volunteers too can opt for mailed tickets. Thank you for the opportunity to spwak

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  • Niv Ben-Yehuda says:

    It took a long time last year but was part of the experience and chance to meet new burner friends. Sure it will be better this year and thanks in advance to the whole team and especially the volunteers. See you at the playa. Kippi

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  • MrsFishkin says:

    Thanks Nimbus. I’m glad to know you guys are taking this on, and refreshing to hear BM acknowledge when things go wrong and share your plans to improve with us. Good work.

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  • Danielle Bloch says:

    I’m interested in volunteering for this, but am wondering if I would have to arrive early to do so. Thanks!

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  • Mark says:

    The fact that didn’t anticipate the problems and staff-up beforehand, didn’t have any backup system for processing tickets when your Internet connection was down, and that you still have a job there, tells me the rest of Burning Man’s management must be just as incompentant as you are.

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    • JC says:

      There were two people on Will Call to process thousands of tickets on Sunday night, two people. You knew exactly how many tickets needed to be issued and you put two people on the desk. That’s disgraceful, insulting to the community and down right dangerous. The rain only came 4 hours into this queue so it was easy for volunteers to drive out to fix the problem after you realise your mistake but you did nothing.

      I was queuing over 6 hours and ended up in hospital from a terrible stomach bug I picked up from the disgusting toilets that weren’t cleaned out once in the 24 hours I was stuck outside in the queue and car park after the rain and ice storm. There was no organisers to talk to, no support, nothing. Finally two volunteers turned up hours after I’d finally picked up my tickets, two to talk to thousands of people. It was so bad it made the headlines in the UK press.

      This was my first experience of Burning Man, something I’d dreamed of going to for 15 years. I flew over especial from the UK for the event. I can honestly say it was the worst 48 hours I’ve ever had in my travels and I’ve stayed in some rough place. I thought I was coming to a caring community, I found no one gave a crap who was in charge of our welfare outside. Luckily once we were inside and the camps were running the show things got a lot better, people cared and looked after each other.

      If this happened in the UK Burning Man would be shutdown and never get a licence again. It was a massive health and safety issue, massive. If the people who go to Burning Man weren’t such lovely folk you would have been in big trouble, things would have kicked off.

      I hope no one, no one ever has to go through 48 hours of hell – that queue and ending up in hospital – every again. It’s greatly tarnish my first experience of Burning Man.

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      • Pink says:

        Did you not read the first timers guide? During the rain, nothing moves. That includes the trucks that service the Port a Potties. You are to have everything you need to survive, including being stuck in a line for 24+ hours. My friends that were on the pavement during that time brought a bucket as instructed. BTW, there were no potties on the road where they were.

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      • Mr. White says:

        5 Gallon Home Depot plastic bucket and a big bag of kitty litter, worked for me!

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      • Michelelebelle says:

        Re: help you needed. I guess you missed the memo on Radical Self Reliance, silly. Did you need a Therapist to help you for support? Re: stomach bug. Never, never, EVER touch your face after using any potty. Wash hands frequently., duh. No brainier. Probably got food poison from your Pay and Play Camp. No one gives a crap if you are not self reliant. Plan better next time!!! Thanks for playing. Buh-bye and maybe you’re better off staying home this year.

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      • lifeisshort says:

        I don’t mean to be short but…you are not cut out for the Burning Man and should probably consider 2014 your first and last.

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      • robinxhood says:

        HAHA, Shit ya! I felt sorry 4 U at 1st. . Then remembered MY hrs of waiting for ice, Hours of waiting to leave, hours of waiting to climb a tower.. and some were the BEST hours of the Burning Man experience.. (helped to have libations around)..
        Hell ! , now you got a Great Story for life! Priceless… “)

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    • SWMike says:

      Agreed!

      While using volunteers is something that makes burning man great, when people are suffering it may be wise to own up and realize that volunteers without any industry experience can cause more damage than help to the event.

      There’s no need for an internet dependent door system when the tickets are sold so far in advance …a local Access database would only take 5 minutes to build and a couple of hours to implement. If internet problems takes teh doors down it really does show a lack of competence – its amateur errors. Again, what happens if you employ amateurs.

      …and when the professional help is staring them in the face it sometimes feels like we’re only waiting for several hours at the door to indulge the narcissism of some volunteer off their tits on drugs, “playing an event professional” on the door, where for less $1,000 the issue would be solved with the existing professional technology that everyone else in the industry uses to prevent the same problem …but implementing it would be at the cost of a volunteer losing their ego boosting position.

      I worked at a gay festival once where they had to get 50,000 people in within an hour and only had volunteers on the door to do so …but a professional manager. They did it. Perfectly. There’s no excuse for failing on this kinda thing.

      Quite often professionals want to volunteer to help these problems, but because of the community-ness, they end-up having people with absolutely no idea what they are talking about chucking their views in as if their views are just as important. The professionals have already learnt these mistakes.

      Burning Man has a massive annual budget and plenty of money to employ professionals to run their teams of volunteers. They pay plenty of other professionals for the event …why not ticketing?

      Also the 2 ticket limit has stopped loads of groups coming who used to bring awesome theme camps – we used to be a part of one, now we just come and camp. Another stupid rule trying to solve a problem already long-since solved by the rest of the entertainment industry.

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      • NordicToad says:

        Must be nice to have all the answers!! But alas none of the clues. Burning Man is far from a bunch of unprofessional Bozos! They have far more Tech Savy professionals at hand than most realize. Sounds to me that you are just disgruntled and looking for a scape goat.

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      • runaway says:

        @NordicToad

        The proof is in the pudding. What’s the point of having tech savvy professionals if they can’t perform the job at hand? As SWMike pointed out, the entertainment industry has figured out how to get people through the door a LONG time ago. BM refuses to learn from these professionals, rather they promote kiss-asses up the ladder who have no professional experience on the jobs they’re performing. So 8 hour lines to get in follow as a result.

        You don’t understand the culture of the Org if you think ego doesn’t cause most of the problems out there. If someone can get one rung higher on the social ladder, they will say anything to upgrade their position – they will bullshit and suck cock all day long, and if the result is a dangerous situation for the participants, it doesn’t matter. The participants are just tourists in their minds, who have accepted the risk.

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    • Tiffani says:

      Lol. Mark thinks Burning Man is a fucking amphitheater or something. I waited in the will call line for 8 hours. Who cares? Yes, things could have gone better… but I wasn’t upset, I wasn’t impatient… I expected to wait. There were 60,000 people bottle necking into an event run almost entirely by volunteers – the words “extended wait times” and “Burning Man” go hand in hand… it’s plastered all over everything ever written about attending… So if you didn’t expect to wait for hours… then you’re simply oblivious, and maybe just an asshole. This event has come to be organically, and grows exponentially every year… I’m sure with every Burn there are new unprecedented challenges for the folks who choose to organize this crazy thing. Here they are fully accepting responsibility and attempting to use feedback from attendees to improve. Good for them… that’s better than most organizations ever do. Will they fix every hitch for 2015?? NO! Will people wait for hours in line next year? YES. Will they eventually get in and have the time of their lives? YEP. It happened to me, it can happen to you too Mark. Next year, when you inevitably find something else to complain about – why don’t you get involved, give some constructive input or ideas on how to make it better… or I don’t know… work the Will Call booth???

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  • eskimotwitch says:

    1,000s of people come from overseas. I always come from the UK, along with loads of others.

    For some reason all overseas people have to go will call, which is so frustrating when tickets are ordered months in advance.

    Can you consider shipping tickets overseas …there’s loads of ways to do that securely and traceable.

    This would reduce the queues by 1,000s.

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    • Will Chase says:

      That’s addressed in the post. We’re looking at options for shipping tickets to international buyers this year.

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      • nikolaus heger says:

        Yeah that would be great. I would much rather avoid Will Call if I can, and I’d gladly pay the $20 or whatever it would cost to ship tickets out to me.

        Having the tickets in hand is peace of mind, and also well worth avoiding an additional hour or two getting the tickets when you’ve already stood in the entrance queue for 8 hours.

        That said – I love the ticket staff, and standing in queue is usually the first whiff of the welcoming burning man culture I so love. Will Call rocks, last year’s issues non-withstanding.

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      • Squid says:

        Suggestion:
        I’m an international, living both abroad and in SF so I have a standing address in the US where my tickets could easily be shipped to, even if I use my international credit card. I am sure tons of fellow international burners have an opportunity to have their tickets sent to a friend’s address somewhere in the US.

        It would be great to have the option to have the tickets sent to a US address while using an international credit card.?. That does not take all too much to implement and would help a lot.

        my two cents on all the bitchin’around out there
        Yes 2014 was crazy, even for us early arrivals, but we all should give the ticket staff a fucking break! I am sure they gave their very best to handle the situation. It was not fun for them either.

        BRC is a temporary city and if you expect it to be something more elaborated, then maybe BRC is not for you. You are going to a temporary place in the desert so expect the unexpected. Nothing moves during a rain storm on the playa, it did not happen for the first time in 2014, if you’re not prepared for this, it ist not the ticket staff’s fault, educate yourself, there is tons of information out there .

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      • eskimotwitch says:

        Yay!! ….that would ROCK!!!!! Thanks for the update Will!! :D

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      • moog_man says:

        That’s good to know. Would also help if the charges for international shipping aren’t extortionate.
        The alternative being to have tix delivered to a friend in the US. Have a great Burn, All

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    • Jovankat says:

      Squid that option already exists. I and half my camp did exactly that last year. Just put “Your Name (to match credit card) Care of American Friend” in the name part of the address. That way your name is on the package so they know it’s your ticket order but they can collect it if it end up at the post office.

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  • Kay says:

    The Lines/ques to the box offices them selves seemed to be one of the biggest fails. While we where there, the lines got reshuffled multiple times into different shapes, people losing there spot then just sucking it up and waiting.

    Either more ropeage leading to windows or a better plan to deal with extra long lines (not letting them overflow towards traffic etc) would be great ^_^

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    • nikolaus heger says:

      That seems like a very easy problem so solve. There should ever always be ONE line, not two, not more, and a person at the end directing people to the next available window. Minimizes wait for all.

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  • Thank you very much for all your work and for this post.
    I think that shipping OMG and STEP tickets will help a lot. If you guys can start shipping internationally to at least UK, EU, Canada – that would also be awesome.

    Thanks again! And kudos on the AMA! :)
    _
    MOG

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  • JK says:

    Last year did suck, but it was also just a part of the Burn. Met a ton of new overseas burners and got out just before the storm hit (literally–lightning took out my iPod and some other electronic devices, camped at 8:20 & L). Consensus was that there should be a better way to get the international folks their tickets. They’ve already traveled who knows how far by the time they get to BRC. Really hope the Ticketing department figures something out for them.

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  • Scott Kelley says:

    you should strongly consider a will-call annex in Reno.

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    • eskimotwitch says:

      Genius!

      It could be open a few days earlier too,

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    • hillocopter says:

      Fantastic idea.

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    • BassBunny says:

      THIS IS A MAGNIFICENT IDEA!
      Will-Call Annex in Reno!

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    • JK says:

      ^^THIS^^

      If International shipping ‘isn’t possible’, then the chance to pick up physical tickets a few days before the event, in Reno (or San Francisco/LA – gateways for most internationals) would be a sensible option.

      It would only need one trust-worthy person to manage and a location. With so many stores keen to reach out/sell to Burners before the event, I’m sure one would jump at the chance to host your volunteers free of charge.

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    • Disco Queen says:

      A will-call annex in Reno is a GREAT idea. Maybe near the airport to catch the folks coming in from distant places.

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    • Towhead says:

      This is exactly what I was thinking. Why not several annexes. I’m sure Walmart and would be happy to provide space in their parking lots for free since that would only drive more traffic to their stores.

      It would actually save time since most people spend an hour or two shopping. If you got really clever and gave people “Now Serving” numbers, then people could pick up their number, shop, and then go to the front of the queue when they are done.

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    • Ty says:

      Oh remember the old days when you could get a ticket at a ticket outlet.

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      • Kobe says:

        And you could decide to buy a ticket at any time…. Well, now you have to jump through a thousand hoops and pretty much beg to go – all for an experience that is not anywhere near the way it used to be. Now, it’s basically a bunch of people walking with their cell phones taking pictures of goddamn everything.

        Where do I sign up again?

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  • Schnauser says:

    Can we address issues such as the ‘queue theory’ employed by BM staff like the weathered older dude in the pirate outfit who thought the best solution was to keep reshaping the lines and cutting in entire batches of other lines in front of people stupid enough to employ zen-like tolerance and wait patiently without objecting until he’d done it four or five times? A seven hour wait is optimistic I reckon; we took 12 hours from the edge of the blacktop to Greeters on the Sunday and it was almost entirely spent in mindless, meaningless circles at Will Call. Train your staff or don’t allow imbeciles (no doubt well-meaning as they are) to hold positions of authority.

    We came from overseas for the third time in four years and it’s the same shit-show every time. I’m happy to pay for ticket shipping to Australia if it means avoiding this nightmare. Hell, I’d willingly volunteer to work for you if I thought for a second you’d implement systems that wouldn’t drive me (and all the rest of the wonderfully resilient box office staff) completely crazy…

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    • hillocopter says:

      This was exactly what I came to say as well. The wait itself was unacceptable, as they’ve admitted, but the line changing is what actually pissed me off. After waiting for 5 hours, exhausted and out of food/water because I was the only person in my group that had tickets at will call, this dude with the WORST ATTITUDE EVER (pretty sure his exact reply to our questions was “because I said so”) totally changes the lines. Not only was it pointless but he put new people in front of people who had been waiting for hours.

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  • Rich says:

    Sports games manage to check 80,000 people through in less than an hour. Glastonbury checks 175,000 without too much difficulty.

    Print-at-home ticketing works well for the airline industry and pretty much all other events. The only way it fails is when people fraudulently sell their tickets twice – it isn’t hard to have a transfer system where a purchaser goes to a website and registers a new name for a new barcode. They could also order a nice physical ticket if they wanted one.

    Or maybe rent a shopfront in Reno for the week before the burn and run a box office there where people can sort themselves out ahead of time.

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    • shindig says:

      “Glastonbury checks 175,000 people without too much difficulty”

      – well yes, but there’s no ‘will call’ ie picking up tickets at Glasto – I don’t even think it’s an option – they’re all sent out ahead of time.

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    • lifeisshort says:

      STOP,STOP…STOP comparing this festival to any MUSIC FESTIVAL…

      P.S. Glastonbury is 40% LIVE NATION. Hardly the mom and pop festival it stated out as….. SO, if Burn Man had a Large Corporate entity like that behind it …. They would meet you on a flying Carpet with your ticket in-hand as soon as your tires hit the dust!…. Unfortunately Not the Case! Enjoy your wait in WILL CALL
      .

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      • Jamal says:

        It’s worse than any music festival because it pretends it’s not a just music festival, only because some thing get lit on fire. There hasn’t been enough fire at BM for a over decade.

        Enjoy your music festival in the desert.

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  • Metta says:

    For the past two years I have come to Burning Man injured. First on crutches, and last year I was finally walking with a cane. Thankfully the sweet burners waiting in the will call line let me cut to the front both years. If they hadn’t, I would not have been able to stand for hours in line. I was surprised to see that there wasn’t a system set up, or a special designated window, just for handicapped people. I hope you will consider changing this for this year, and moving forward. It’s hard enough getting out there with an injury! It could be as simple as a handicapped sign and permission to jump ahead, just so every injured or handicapable person doesn’t have to feel like a weirdo asking people to cut.

    Thanks for all the work you do, Nimbus (and the whole line/parking/will call crew) !

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    • Disco Queen says:

      Note to self: Bring crutches.

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      • Admiral says:

        Yeah. Our winning moment was when it was demanded that my caregiver put my motorized wheelchair back in the truck after I used it to go to the porto when we were like, 50 feet from box office. The damn thing weighs 300 pounds and has to come apart in 5 pieces, and we can’t use a ramp when we’re towing (and we’re always towing SOMETHING.) Like, I get that working gate can be difficult, but FFS, try and think shit through.

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  • Bob says:

    Appreciate the fact that at least some options are in the works to alleviate the problem. Not only did the will call people have to go through long waits, but those of us with tickets in hand, had an extremely long wait getting in. Most of the problem was the flow of traffic. BM was letting the will call people from the far left lanes cut across the entire line, while we waited. A fix would be to indicate (with signs) that the right hand lanes are for will call folks….just an idea.

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    • Sunfire deLuna says:

      That was exactly my experience. No signage to tell Burners with tickets at Will Call to move to the righthand lanes. So we were in the far left lane and had to cross all the lanes to get to the Will Call parking lot. And then no directional signs or lane markers to find your car after you got your tix. BM needs to hire a traffic/event consulting firm to do this event better. It’s a multimillion dollar event that looks like it’s being run by ragtag amateurs.

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      • NotIT says:

        “And then no directional signs or lane markers to find your car after you got your tix.”

        So you are saying you essentially clueless and can’t remember where you parked your car? The fact that there is only one direction to walk to get to that massive parking lot isn’t enough of a clue?

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    • Pantsless Santa says:

      This is a deliberate choice based on years of experience. Somebody else could explain it better, but I believe the idea is that it is safer to have vehicles cross the lanes in a controlled area with the traffic stopped than to allow people to change lanes while they’re creeping up to the entrance.

      This practice causes no delays as vehicles are only released to the Gate gradually. What alternative would you recommend?

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  • Jerry Sumpton says:

    Perhaps your data shows a significant number of Will Call are coming from one area, SFO or Vancouver for example, then perhaps you could have a local Will Call “window” in that area prior to “showtime.”

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  • David Suich says:

    This is just a thought… print at home tickets work just fine for the airlines who have much tighter security regulations than Burning Man. If you wanted to make that option, you could just require an accompanying picture ID or passport.

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    • Leon says:

      So true!

      There’s some nice solutions proposed in this thread and remember that billions of ticketed transactions happen in the world each year (from boarding a plane, to visiting a baseball match, to a pop concert). The events industry has long since solved this problem …to the point it isn’t a problem. It’s only Burning man who hasn’t caught up and it’s only us lot who have to go through complicated hoops and limitations to purchasing tickets.

      Handheld Bar Code scanners (that could be used by the greeters) only cost a tiny amount to hire and are readily available to hire from the event industry …undoubtedly cheaper than the cost of existing methods.

      Its a very cheap solution and very secure – its why the industry uses it. The same security risks that Nimbus is concerned about (for using print-at-home tickets, which aren’t actually true) also apply to the existing will call method (anyone could photocopy the confirmation email etc.).

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      • Pedant says:

        In fact, gate does use handheld scanners for tickets, vehicle passes and early entry passes.

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      • Fred says:

        “Pedant says:
        February 12, 2015 at 4:42 pm
        In fact, gate does use handheld scanners for tickets, vehicle passes and early entry passes.”

        …in which case there is NO excuse …that means they can do print at home tickets fully securely for NO extra cost.

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      • Bee says:

        As great as the idea of print at home tickets is, you have to consider the amount of scamming that would occur if this happened. Even last year, I saw a number of people who showed up to the Will Call box office, handed their order to the staff member, and got told that their ticket had already been scanned and they were holding a duplicate order.

        Rainbow Serpent festival in Australia changed over to electronic print at home tickets this year, and they actually put warnings all over their website about tickets being duplicated and sold multiple times. There is nothing worse than preparing for Burning Man, driving to the desert, waiting in line for hours, and then getting to the box office only to find out that your ticket is invalid!

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      • Ty says:

        For Bee —

        There is a way to expire and issue a new barcode just for the transfer recipient. i.e. use directed STEP.

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  • Flavio says:

    Why dont you open the Box Office in some specific Californian cities some weeks in advance of the event? This will allow a lot of people to retrieve their tickets in advance and they will not need to go to Will Call.

    Report comment

  • Rio says:

    I feel for the will call line folks. Thankfully I don’t have to go through that. My little bitch is that there are no signs on gate road directing will-callees into the right hand lanes of traffic. This creates a huge backup of vehicles while the entire entry line is stopped to allow those poor folks to cut across 16 lanes of traffic to get to will call parking. From my own selfish perspective I hope that gets fixed too.

    Report comment

    • Mog says:

      I came here to make the same comment – Gate Road should point Will Call vehicles to one side well in advance.

      Report comment

      • Alex says:

        The ‘crossing lines’ issue is huge and I’ve made a big deal about this to BMO. 3 people manually moving cones at the head of 12 lanes, to stop cars going forward, while everyone waits for a car or RV to cross the lanes is insane.

        The traffic line should be split into Will Call and Non Will Call as far back as possible, with a huge (Neon?) sign pointing which way to go. Problem solved.

        People KNOW if they need Will Call or not. They don’t need to be split into 12 lanes to be asked by volunteers whether they need Will Call or not.

        Four hours wasted last year on this nonsense, four hours the year before!

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      • Pantsless Santa says:

        There are highly competent people who work the Gate year after year that have figured out the fastest and safest way to get people into the event. They live, eat, and breathe traffic flow and specialize in organizing chaos. They have spiritual connections with the traffic cones. They can see cars through the backs of their heads but are smart enough to turn around and look out for them anyway.

        They are not directly connected with Will Call aside from physical proximity.

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    • Pedant says:

      The bottleneck is the actual gate, not the sorting location (we call it apex). Nut running apex would make things much worse, as the people who failed to follow directions would need to be redirected somehow. If there isn’t a gap before the gate, this gets very dangerous and difficult. In short, even though it seems like the opposite, apex speeds things up.

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      • chris says:

        I can tell you exactly why they wont create a will call breakaway lane right at the beginning. Cause ppl With ticket in hand would pull into the will call lane, cruise past everyone in just not stop at will call and go right out the exit.

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  • Whitney says:

    Can I ask why low income tickets MUST be paid for at box office? I was lucky enough to receive a low income ticket last year, and the only way I will be able to go this year is through the same program. Why do we have to pay on site?
    You wrote that the box office will be open for more days this year to accommodate early arrivals and staff. I was hoping to arrive to BRC on Saturday to help my camp set up, I have a lot of the structure they need, but remember last year I wasn’t able to pick up my ticket until Sunday. If I can arrive Saturday and purchase my low income ticket (if I get one, fingers crossed) that same day, that would be AMAZING!!!! I and I’m sure many burners would appreciate that one small change.
    I’m glad to see you guys are working on this and feel our pain. My sister wanted to go back home after standing in line with me for 7 hours in the middle of the night thinking that was what Burning Man was like. I would like to see some happier faces in the box office too. I know the volunteers worked their butts off and had horribly long nights as well, but after standing in line for 8 hours, receiving my ticket, and being told to “get the fuck out of my line” by the worker in the box office, I was a little fed up with Burning Man as a whole too. Things felt better when I rolled into camp, over 24 hours after I left San Francisco the day before. We only have so much time on the playa, we don’t want to waste one precious day standing in line, so thanks for all your hard work.

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  • Cranston says:

    How can you act like this is something new? Will call has been a disaster for years. Open more windows. Install a reliable computer system. Pay employees if you need to. Overlap shifts. Have a will-call in Reno. These are not complicated or expensive solutions. Fix it.

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  • King Rod says:

    there are two simple ways of dealing with print-at-home tickets

    15-min ago solution) every print-at-home ticket is registered in a database indexed by a cell phone number via SMS verification. then you just need a webpage (or app) where the ticket number can be used to lookup the cell number so the purchaser can confirm they are buying from the current owner. then the current owner (again, via SMS verification) assigns the buyers cell number as the new “current owners” number and you’re done. this allows safe handoff for print-at-home tickets AS WELL AS shipped, pretty tickets as long as everyone who bought a pretty ticket did the SMS verification dance at the start

    modern solution) use a blockchain based system, like bitcoin, to handle the transfer authoritatively. i think it’s pretty obvious how this would work

    seems like either of these solutions would work, yes?

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    • Pantsless Santa says:

      I think something like one or both of these jus used for banking in some African countries. The first thing I’ve seen here that’s a genuinely good idea. Of course, Burning Man is not competent to implement this itself, and Ticketfly seems to work well enough that switching to another vendor would be stupid.

      Eve though it’s a superficially simple idea, I bet it would still cost quite a bit in practice. And could well be worth it, especially if they found a way to use it to fight scalpers.

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    • Bee says:

      Scampers will always find loopholes in these systems. Print-at-home tickets, while convenient and theoretically secure, always have been the most exploited form of ticket scalping for every festival or event I have attended where print-at-home tickets were used. banks have secure systems, but they also have situations where refunds are given or transactions are reversed. It may be great to know that if you get scammed, you get your money back, but if you have spent money and prepared to go to BM many months in advance, getting a refund but not having a valid ticket would be the worst thing to have to experience. There is a limit to the amount of Exception tickets that BMORG can distribute.

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  • Mog says:

    In the interest of transparency, would you be able to publish the actual number of Will Call tickets in the various categories (staff, international, low income, STEP, OMG, etc.)?

    Perhaps you can elaborate on the volunteering process, so people interested in being part of the solution can discern if it’s the right volunteer gig for them? For instance, when & where is training, how long is training, how many shifts are required, how long are the shifts, etc.

    One last point. You mentioned that you’ll work on lines and shade. Will you also increase the number of portaloos or make any other physical changes?

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  • Captain Ping says:

    I didn’t have to deal with Will Call, thank god, but the system governing the lines of cars needs vast improvement too. One expects to wait an hour or two, but it’s disheartening to say the least to see one line getting told to go over and over out of turn, while the other lines wait. And it all seems due to the whim of the particular gate cuite (male or female) in charge of that line. In other words, keep it fair! Make sure all the gate people let cars through in an orderly process. It’ll take the sting off the wait.

    Also, PLEASE staff up pre-event. For the past few years I’ve brought major art pieces, arriving on Thursday before the event, and waited two hours at the gate. The only reason seemingly being that out of 12 lanes, only 4 were open. If you need to PAY to get more gate people, pay for dang sake!

    Lastly, a little attitude mellowing on the part of the gate crew wouldn’t hurt. When I come up with a friendly, “How’s it going?” and I’m barked at, “Return to your vehicle.” it doesn’t taste good. And BTW, if my line moves before I get back to my vehicle, it’s NOT going to hold up anyone for long. There’ll still be plenty of waiting left.

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    • Sunfire deLuna says:

      I hope you weren’t the narcissistic cock of the rock and his high-heeled bimbo. The jerk held up the cars in his line while he strutted about and proclaimed his deep knowledge of all things Burning Man, and then got all pissed off when we moved ahead into his line, with space for 10 cars by that time. Stay by your car, get in your car and move it along. Otherwise don’t cry and moan if some one else gets in. That’s call self-reliance.

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  • Pedant says:

    Anecdotally, the reasons do not include the reason my will call experience was slow.

    For three hours and there were exactly twelve people in front of me. This was the credential line, and the issue there was that there was nobody for the person working the ticket window to push people who had problems off to. A few insistent people took a very, very long time to get processed (including sat phone calls!). In my opinion, having the will call equivalent of D-Lot would really help.

    Sincerely, thanks for taking this seriously and working toward improvement.

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    • Mike says:

      Right, either the fuck up is the names isnt on the list because of the picker upper in which case they wait next to the line while the smart folks with the correct docs get processed. Or its was BMORGs fuck up and the person waits on the side while the worker calls a supervisor on the radio to straighten it out. In any event, the fucked person waits out of line. Thats how it works at the post office, Real world DMV and every other bueracracy. Yours was a case where everyone needs to speak up.

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  • Leah says:

    I waited 5 hrs with a friend from the Uk for his ticket … during early arrival … I know this was nothing compared to the excrutiating stories that followed for days* The worst part was the first volunteer we encountered was an agressive militant (bad word!) with absolutely 0 empathy … she was the first person everyone saw … this was HUGE in setting the tone for what followed … this persons aggressive energy was exponential as a loving word instead would have spread a vibe of empathy and acceptance … This is the 3rd yr in a row that the first person to greet us was aggressive and negative au max!!! TRain the first people on the line to BE NICE at least*
    Don’t volunteer if you don’t have the LOVE to give please*
    My second largest disappointment was in many of my fellow burners … who also turned to selfishness, single mindedness, yelling profanities at eachother … focused on the problem instead of acting like a community full of solutions!
    Burning Man does not start once your camp is set up with a beer in your hand … it is a process that honors the principles in every moment … when sh*t goes down we are all accountable and had more of the community taken initiative to ‘participate’ in supporting and facilitating solutions … much more love and growth would have manifested. This is far beyond other events … it is a way of thinking … every moment is an opportunity for magic … and in the midst of all that madness I discovered the most lovely person while waiting in line for him when I had a ticket in my hand … My Burn started at will call … and would not have the same without it! Thank you
    but yes, let’s do it differently this year shall we!!! Much Love to you all <3

    Report comment

    • Pantsless Santa says:

      (° ͜ʖ ͡°)

      Do you think this is the Beloved festival or the Rainbow Gathering or something?

      Only partly kidding…

      A friend of mine, a greeter of all people, has a theory about how the traditions and culture of Gate staff has a big net positive impact on the event. He puts it something like this:

      “A lot of first time Burning Man participants, especially now, are unfamiliar with the event’s roots in the Cacophony Society and its associated pranks and snark and occasional nastiness, which are even now still quite prevalent. They may think that they are going to some sort of hippie love fest or zany art fair or massive rave. A person who approaches the event with that attitude who runs into something snark or surprising or disconcerting might think ‘Woah! There is something wrong here!’ instead of understanding it as a normal part of the event. It is best if they learn their lesson right away, and Gate will teach them. Then the greeters will help them deal with their emotional wounds. “

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      • Leah says:

        Snark as you may Santa pants!
        Strange how you ASSume everyone else is a newbie rainbow fairy?
        The beauty of Snark is in the moment and execution … which requires a level of intelligence not attained by all who attempt it*
        So perhaps the first face thousands of people encounter could at least be a certified snark professional … instead of a raging ball of negativity shouting orders and telling people to “shut the fick up” and “do it now because I said so” … on a normal sunny day this sucks … much less during the will call mayhem!

        Radical self expression is not expressing your shit all over everyone else …

        Anyway … I fell in love at willcall … sending fluffy purple clouds, pretty sparkly fairies and quadrouple rainbows to yer Snarky Ass <3

        Report comment

      • Mike says:

        Or call Gate supervisor and scream at them and their boss and their bosss to adjust their attitudes. No rent a cop tough guy want a be is going to tell me shit and beg for gifts when I am 100% in compliance.

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  • jay says:

    I was in the will call line for 9.5 hours on the monday. It sucked. How about setting up a will call office in Reno. Or at the very least have more staff working the will call office (it’s a 3rd party company right? Not volunteers?)

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  • Ursula says:

    Perhaps you would get more gate volunteers if you lessened the requirement of 4 six-hour shifts. I was willing to staff the gate, but not at the cost of 24 hours in shift time (plus training, plus transit). I’m sure I’m not alone in this sentiment.

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    • gaytelove says:

      You may not be alone but you and your fellow scoffers have no idea what you’re missing. you are not required to work that. But if you want that free ticket you do. You are also welcome to earn a staff priced ticket instead and work less. After 9 years of wanting to go to burning man I finally went and volunteered for gate that year. 10 awesome years later I wouldn’t have it any other way. I enjoy working gate. And I don’t have a shitty attitude either. I’m the dork dancing around in a tutu and welcoming you home. Also there are some gate staff that spend more time at the gate than anywhere else because that IS what burning man is for them and they do it because they like it. Who do you think is out there when the man burns? Oh!!! And here’s another kickass benefit to volunteering……you don’t have to worry about ticketing processes or even long will call waits.you earn your ticket and then get your own short line to wait in. Its so lame I’ve done it every year for 10years. <3 just sayin ( hug ) but- we still hafta wait in line to get in and out of the city just like everyone else.

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      • Mike says:

        Its NOT a “FREE” ticket. Its compensation for working 24 hours. $390 ticket is paid for working 24 hours. A good deal if it can be done off site in AC. Not a good deal in heat and dust at BRC.

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      • oldtimer says:

        Even Staff got screwed this year with the ticket fiasco. There were times when staff had to wait longer than everyone else. It was full of as much bs as the “reason” given above. I know it will be different this year, thank god. Fortunately I didn’t get screwed but I showed up the day the gate opened.

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  • Kevin says:

    Thanks for the explanation of last year’s long lines, nobody likes the long lines. Have you considered having will call tickets able to pick up in San Francisco, Reno, and other locations along the way to remove the bottleneck?

    Report comment

  • Cat Herder says:

    WOW! I have read thru this entire dialog, and it absolutely reminds me of why I love Burning Man. So many amazing ideas (will call in Reno/San Francisco/Sacramento, hiring a paid professional to manage volunteers), understandable frustration from those who experienced the worst, informed replies about how to secure pre-printed tickets….. Larry, I hope you’re listening!!!!!

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  • Cosmic chicken says:

    im still not sure why there wasnt anyone directing the lines! I stood for six hours just to stand in the same spot, it turns out the line i was in didnt even exist, fucking stupid. The only guys at the gate were taking pictures from a crane that they were fooling around with. I shouldve asked for a free ticket at that point, why were those people fucking around?

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  • Cat Herder says:

    What also occurs to me is this — I’m saddened by the reports of people’s first burns being so tainted. Burning Man culture is a lesson that should start from the outside in.

    There are circumstances like rain, and yes, ideally, Burners should have read their Survival Guide. But when they haven’t, we should be there to sweetly educate them, and help them understand why things are the way they are.

    Why has Ticketing and Gate been allowed to become so antagonistic? They are the antithesis of the Burning Man experience and proud of it.

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  • Aunt Betty says:

    It’s as simple as having 4-5 lanes if not more designated to each circumstance- ie: will call lane , tickets in hand and car pass lane, tickets no car pass, moterhomes, trailers , singles, carpool etc ….. It was insane last year – I have been coming home for 9 years and I have never waited in line for 9 hours.

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  • KRONiS says:

    in 2013 I had an EA pass and was forced to wait 28 hours at will call o. The Tuesday afternoon we arrived because even tho I had an EA pass my ticket required me to get it from the not yet built not open will call. Last year i got physical tickets to avoid that hell where I was also told that a dog said I had drugs in me by a Blm to which I laughed as I had nothing of the sort. I sat in a chair like a criminal at the border for about 29 hours because they weren’t allowed to let me in with my EA pass and a step . So yes yo need to address this I have been coming early entry and busting my butt to have a great theme camp and avoid ever waiting at will call again – this year we had two people with us who needed will call after it was open but on the early entry Wednesday – 3hours for about 25 people – local database – ship step and omg sale, do it like the airlines and have Walmart kiosks as people buy lots of water there anyways … Thanks for the information please over staff this year to make up for it. Six 4 hour shifts? No wonder you are understaffed. Maybe not have tickets and volunteering related and offer less shifts for a discount on NEXT YEARS tickets .. See what that can do. OR HOWS this? Run a kickstarter campaign which I’m sure camps would sponsor in some way with amazing gifts to help fund better ticketing as the $900 early rich man ticket money is too nice to spend on ticketing – gofundme.com anything – the community will rear its head to help, but not in six four hour shifts or four six hour … You get my playa dust drift

    <3

    Thank the universe for the directed sale last week!

    KRONiS

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    • gaytelove says:

      There actually is an option to work fewer shifts to earn a staff priced reduced price ticket. When you work the required amount for a free ticket to the following years event, you don’t have to worry about any of the ticket sale craziness you’re already taken care of.
      Besides this article is about the box office humbly addressing the will call and box office problems and promising to do their best to make it better this year.
      This is not about the gate staff.

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  • Monty Burner says:

    I would be happy to pay and extra $50 on top of the ticket price to have my ticket shipped internationally

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  • RightLane... says:

    last year we ended up in line for over 24hrs if we count the que of stop and go starting in the town… willcall was what it was and it looks like steps are being taken to improve it… another improvement that would cut stress and also exhaust fumes is create a mass parking lot… forget the few lanes and all the constant start and stops. mark out a grid say like a football field 100+ cars wide (as wide as possilbe (there is a lot of desert there)) fill in behind that back as far as reasonable to the road everybody parks gets to know their neighbors… the goal line moves to the que then the ten yard line etc.. back to say the 50 yard line once all those ques are empty then the cars at the 50 and behind move up to the goal line. the sit times would be longer though it would greatly reduce the idling car time and pack a lot more waiting cars onto the playa instead of the county roads… (my 5cents of thought)

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  • Driftwood D. says:

    I arrived the Monday before the event and was fortunate in getting my credential without a hitch. Such was not the case when on Saturday I had to come back in after picking up a new arrival in Reno.
    The major thorn in my experience of will call was the volunteers who appear for the most part to be trained to be mindless, unthinking, unfeeling automatons who are not only encouraged but are actually told not to deviate from predetermined policy regardless of how inane and inappropriate the policy may be in relationship to what is actually occurring at the time. Any system that demands blind obedience and discourages individual responsibility and initiative is doomed to fail. LOL this year!

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  • Rocket Bob says:

    I THANK YOU, for the update. Until problems escalate, solutions are not sought. To this end, mindless and abrupt change can be even more fruitless. I commend, the organization and many volunteers, as being a volunteer at 2 staff camps, i understand the HUGE amount of effort and that some people / issues, just can’t be resolved… there are too many variables, and expectations. I work at DMV & PI, thus many complaints, are short sighted, or change would have other, more severe resulting implications. I think asking for the community ideas, has produced some possibilities to be further explored. I think your plan is good, and should continue to evolve. Seemingly, the same gate wait and exodus issue might have solutions in 2 exits, or 2 box offices. I do think that the BM org, and Box office team have far more incite to the issues, than the “tourists”. Admitting the issue, addressing/implementing change is most robust. I do think that mailing volunteer staff “credentials” would also diminish the box office rush. Even on early entry, will call lines exceeded 4 hours last year. If I knew this in advance; I would have brought a chair, cooler, and a solar powered anatomically correct dancing penguin, to pass the time. Thus an additional “fix” to increase the quality of BRC life. I would be interested in volunteering, but It seems like a “healthy” distance away, especially for 4 + shifts. If time allow, I would love to be included the B O volunteer list. What is the training requirement, Thank you for the information, and all the problems you solve. As much as “ranting” might fulfill some participants egos, I think the common goal is to mutually effect change for a positive outcome. Insults, assertions non related, exaggerations, lack of judgement/self reliance, only point to the faults of the accuser. But if the world was perfect, there wouldn’t be such a demand to escape to the burning one. Lastly, I am aware of the differing volunteer requirements per staff camp, and assume the longer and larger number of required shifts is premised on some some “learned need”. But just in life i like variety. Thus I volunteer with several (2-3) staff org, per burn. Is there any viability with off site training, or specialized training that could enable a less demanding commitment at the box office. Box office does not utilize line wranglers, greeters, or a front line prior to the guest presenting at window. DMV< Artica, Center Camp, and Playa Info do, with differing functions, but this might increase line speed, by "sorting/prepping – the client for a smooth transaction. What you do, has many "FUBAR" pitfalls that need to be resolved one at a time..
    I wish you the best in a trouble free event.
    Good Luck, Rocket

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  • Sean Maac says:

    Entertainment, Experiment. Encapsulate everyone waiting. It’s a simple process, don’t deny everyone waiting to get in the Burning Man experience. Give them exactly what they are looking from the moment they arrive. Get the volunteers to embrace the crowd from the moment they line up. Make it a true Burning Man experience from the farthest reaches of being to actually being in the Playa. My thoughts anyway…but it’s about the experience and if you can bring it from the get go then no one should be disappointed. Just an idea on setting expectations!

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  • Peace says:

    Hey Nimbus. Thank you for addressing this, but I have to say it sounds like you are doing a bit of experimenting with the community and hoping for the best. Last year was awful, but it’s been a problem for a few years. Last year wasn’t just inconvenient, it was abusive. I know that wasn’t your intent, but that’s how it turned out. If no one had ever had to come up with a workable ticketing system before it would be fine to try a few things and see how they worked, but that is not acceptable when viable systems for ticketing exist everywhere. Please hire an expert to fix the problem once and for all. Thank you for all you do.

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  • Bylito says:

    Print at home works just fine. It makes it easier to push people into a secure transfer progam/website. Fewer people would be less likely to by a bar code off some scetchy guy than they would be to buy a really good looking fake ticket, which happens every year anyways. A basic bar code replace system could practically stamp out scalpers because you could change the bar code every time it changes hands and control it all on a web site, thus making it too risky to by a peice of paper from some dude.

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  • nikolaus heger says:

    Honestly I don’t think anything needs to be done, except one:

    1 – Mail out all the tickets that can be mailed out. STEP, international, last minute sales. If it’s sold up to a week before the event, it can be mailed out. There is no reason not to.

    People will pay for shipping. Especially if it comes highly recommended, and we explain to virgin burners why it’s a good idea. Anyone who has been to Will-Call even when it was operating smoothly will spend good money to avoid that next time.

    Last year was exceptional but I’ve been to Will Call now 7 times (woo-hoo!) and the average experience is this: Finally arrive at the gates after standing in line for 8 hours in the car, everyone is exhausted/sleeping, it’s 4:00 am… and there is one final hurdle between you and burning man, Will Call. And you kinda hope that they didn’t lose your ticket code, and that all their systems are working after you spent thousands of dollars getting yourself there, international flights, border crossings, rental cars, shopping, etc etc.

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  • dogwin says:

    I have watched many companies rise and fall due to the simple mistake of not building infrastructure and planning for extreme circumstances in advance of need.

    When it became obvious ) that there were going to be large numbers at will call… a 2nd and / or 3rd trailer should have been rented.

    Aside: It *must* have become obvious at some point… right? Only half of the tickets going out the offices in paper form? No data from the ticket service?

    If the Org Cannot find/train enough volunteers? Corrections should have been made during “Meeting Man” not “Burning Man”

    Worst case scenario, Hire professionals. Staff each window with a full duplicate person (runner). Staff and Rangers (assisting) (and any others). This situation should have had an “All Comm” level of response.

    Wireless Internet down due to storm/outages? (eyes wide). You are depending on a remote network — off site— to handle your ticket transactions? (I cannot even fathom that decision).

    Waiting in dire conditions should not be “part of the burningman experience”. It is a health and safety hazard… not a case of “reading the survival guide”

    This is not meant to attack anyone personally. Just my take on a number of decisions that are hard to fathom. Obviously these decisions were made with the best of intentions.

    Comments appreciated.

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  • eric wink says:

    Make it possible to change from will call to shipping please. We come from Europe and for now we only worry to get tickets…..later on we will find some burners to ship the tickets to……right now there is no option to change.

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  • Jessie says:

    I waited in will call for quite a few hours and…..it was the first smack of self reliance you get approaching the event. We grabbed some sunscreen, snacks, and poi then proceed to share goodies and make friends. Was it the highlight of my burn? No. But was it the oh-my-gosh-worst-thing-ever? No.
    Thanks for owning up to the issues and continued work on streamlining the world’s craziest gathering of weirdos.

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  • K says:

    You can print your pass for taking plane…we waited 9 hours at gate on early arrival in 2014 after more 72 hour trip for coming here…was hard time

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  • Joe says:

    pretty disappointing actually. It is pretty sad to think that in 2014 you still don’t know how to manage a queue, when clearly this problem was solved years ago by hundreds of organizations. You knew exactly what was the expected load, and still chose to have 2 people handling it. What were you thinking? I was in primavera last year, the queue was 30 minutes with loads of windows and hundreds of people were handled during my wait. The queue was just running. You’re American, you people know a thing or two about organizing, learn from someone who has experience.

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  • David says:

    Hi – I was a first timer last year, coming from abroad and waiting maybe 8 hours in two separate Will Call lines. I arrived jet-lagged and tired so didn’t exactly enjoy the queuing. However, and I’m not suggesting you reproduce this experience in 2015, I have to say the waiting was my first introduction to the BM culture. I couldn’t work out why everyone in line was so damn happy, so I figured it must be worth it! It was (but we did get in just before the rainstorm).

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  • x says:

    13 year burner and will call was nuttier than I’ve ever seen it. Had tix but my gf had a will call ticket and wait was around 6-7 hours. The line methodology made no sense as they had the box office facing the road, not the desert and whoever was running things was trying to keep the line in a constrained space but with no physical markers. So they spun the line into spiral with the end of the line in the CENTER such that each new person had to cross the outer lines to find a guy holding a sign that proclaimed the end of the line. As more people came they would just stop at the first outer line and merge, meaning that the people who actually found the end of the line weren’t moving. My gf spent 4 hours in that situation while people complained and the “solution” was to create two lines – not from the back of the line, again where all the patient folks were, but at the point where people were trying to sneak in. Thus people arriving 4 hours after us were in front now. I’m glad that at least we can acknowledge that there’s a problem and some creative solutions have been brought up, but yeah, line methodology. Couple hundred people were about ready to rush the gate the way it was going.

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  • Søren Villadsen says:

    We only waited 5 hours (in ’13 it took 20 min.) but from our ponit of view the only problem was with the internet connection, but that however should have an easy fix and backup procedures. Fantastic the problems are being adressed… The volunteers did a great job!!

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  • Frinetik says:

    Thanks to everyone who is offering ideas without ire. This was the worst wait I’ve had in 12 pilgrimages, but there are solutions being offered. It’s not Glastonbury. It isn’t a festival. It’s an experiment in temporary city building, and it’s a glorious city. And like a city, if you see problems then GET INVOLVED. Come a little earlier and volunteer some of your own time. Try to get your voices heard by the borg (a problem with almost every trip I’ve had, but I had it pointed out to me by an even longer veteran (pre-map) that it’s amazing this is even allowed to be done. Have you read the financial reports with $1.2 million in legal fees these days because everyone is trying to get it shut down?)

    As a ticket holder it’s tour city. Save your complaints and start working on solutions. And again, thanks to everyone who’s been doing that here. You should see some of the other threads.

    And my sardonic flippant burner reaction? If you don’t like it and aren’t working to change it, don’t come. I could use your ticket because you’ve exploded my city from 17000 in 1999 to having to worry about getting a ticket. And we’ve been a highly respected theme camp since 2008 to get around all the increasing problems then, with 3 of us. But like we used to say on the Colorado tasteslikeburning email list, FYILY: fuck you I love you.

    Anyway, insomniac rant. I hope it isn’t completely useless.

    fri-‘

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    • Mike says:

      thats helps and explains nothing. Youre saying that you should seize the tickets and distribrute them yourself? and shut up and enjoy waiting 7 hours? Bottom line is the solutions offered should have happened 5 years ago.

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  • jonesy says:

    As if you even need to ask the question of the community. BMorg knows damn well what happened – their incompetence reared its ugly head once again. Their inability and unwillingness to hire professionals to do the job of professionals when it comes to the participants. Oh sure, spend millions on lawyers but rely on volunteers who don’t know what they’re doing to handle will-call. Leave people standing in the sun for 3 or 4 hours and when they pass out from sunstroke, just say they’re weren’t prepared and should have read the survival guide about radical self-reliance.

    BMORG did this to Burners. People win wheel chairs and the elderly suffering and had no idea that simply picking up their ticket as instructed would become a serious health risk.

    Fuck you assholes!

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  • jeni says:

    Has anyone thought of idea of having will call tix handed out from the search sheds? While one person is searching vehicle another person is going thru will call transaction with burners at their vehicle, like a drive up tix station. This way burners can wait in their own vehicles instead of sun.. Set up buildings at each lane before welcome stations.. Post police around sheds for the attempted drive away?

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  • Carolyn Eddy aka Sweet Goat Mama says:

    I spent 5 hours standing in a line that has left PREMANENT nerve damage in my feet. I’ll never walk right again, thanks to the incompetence of this. Am I coming again this year? Yes. Am I terrified that I could end up with more problems? You bet. There’s no reason that with a note from a doctor that handicapped and low income people couldn’t be sent their tickets in advance. It’s a really small percentage and the ID on those tickets could be checked at the gate instead of the line. Not that it’s particularly necessary. We are talking a very small percentage of both low income and handicapped people. In addition, more consideration needs to be taken for handicapped people at the gate. I’ve been sent to the wrong line in past years, now standing for way too long. Come on, give us a break. It takes a lot to just get there when you’re fighting gravity constantly anyway.

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    • Admiral says:

      SERIOUSLY. Y’all need to hire an ADA Consultant and figure out your equal access issues. Every disabled burner I know has a file an inch think that they’re saving to sue you with when they finally get fed up with your seemingly intentional effort to skirt federal law.

      (And so help me, if any of you fko’s type a reply to this whining about “self-reliance” and how being disabled gives people “special privileges” I’ll find you next year and run over you with my wheelchair. When you have to put your hands all over the inside of the porto-john to pull yourself up on the seat after some asshole cut the lock on the ADA john and barfed all over the damn place and getting to another one that your chair will actually fit in means a trek 2 streets over, it’s a serious fucking issue. The abled have OPTIONS. The disabled just want ACCESS.)

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    • Mike says:

      folding chair? Just sayin

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  • Tito says:

    It’s difficult for many Burners to accept – BMorg doesn’t care if you have to spend 5+ hours waiting at Will Call. If most of you don’t return because of it, so what?

    That lack of caring combined with the miserly way BMorg produces the event (totally dependent on volunteers to cut costs) creates the hazardous mess you see at Will Call. If people are injured as a result, so what? Don’t come back if you can’t handle it.

    Regardless of how ernest the volunteers at Will Call were, they were thrown into a job that should be reserved for professionals. But professionals cost too much. So suck a bag of dicks or move to the Land of the Free.

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  • Bee says:

    People expect to wait in line for hours at Burning Man. I get it, I was ready for it. I’m not complaining about the waiting time, but I am complaining about the health and safety factor, and the lack of staffing.
    I got heat exhaustion because my hat and sarong were not good enough to provide me with adequate protection in the beating sun in the middle of summer in Nevada freaking desert! =( There was enough shade for the first 20 people in line at the box office, but when I was lining up, the line extended to about 200 people. I had heat exhaustion by the time I got to my campsite, and I can only imagine how many others did as well. This is a big health and safety issue that needs to be addressed. A large shade structure capable of covering a long line of people is essential!

    Secondly, staffing was not adequate. I’m not just talking about the box office staff, I’m talking about staff to manage the lines of people swirling and spiralling out of control. When I arrived at 12 noon on Sunday, there was not a single staff member managing or directing the lines. People were pushing in, people were lining up in the wrong lines, and it made the wait more confusing and frustrating. Please make sure that there are staff to stop the lines from getting out of hand this year =)
    I don’t mind waiting in line – just give me some shade and provide some staff to guide the crowd, that’s all =)

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    • Bee says:

      And for those of you who think I should buy a better hat and sarong and read the survival guide on radical self reliance, I should let you know that it is never advisable to stand in the full sun in the hottest part of the day for several hours in a row at burning man. My shade structures are packed into the car while I line up, and no, I am not going to bring out my shade structures and set up camp while waiting in line, although maybe that’s not such a bad idea given the waiting times!

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  • Dr. Baron von Realz esq. says:

    Thanks Nimbus for addressing the mailing of tickets to international burners, OMG and STEP tickets and the will call being open during early entry. Our camp caters to foreign burners and we have a “pay what you can” camp dues which means we often have low income ticket holders. This has made it extremely difficult for me get a full crew in early enough to build the camp and interactive structures. I have minions willing to volunteer but they have been barred from early entry due to the will call not being open. I like the will call in Reno idea above, you could still have the will call at the gate for early entry and people not passing through Reno.

    For all you upset I the about the attitude of the gate people I look forward to the hazing it provides a needed humbling for many of our over excited burners. I have gotten to personally know many of the gate people and although they may seem rough on the outside, they would never admit it, they are actually fairly sensitive on the inside. So when you see that burly, tattooed, pierced leather clad gate person give them a hug and tell them “ I love you man” when they tell you fuck off hippy just know that that is their way of saying I Love you.

    Peace
    Dr. Baron von Realz esq.
    )'(
    “More magic less bullshit”
    – Dr. Baron von Realz Esq.

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    • Timo says:

      The shitty attitude the gate crew spews out is intentional, and not the result of being over-worked to too hot. It’s intentionally crafted to let the ticket holders know who is in charge – who has the authority, at that is BMorg. Your first human contact on the playa will most likely be some hipster screaming that you’re in the wrong line, etc.

      Aside from the attempt at intimidating ticket holders, gate crew serves no other purpose. Don’e believe the BS about trying to find stowaways.

      Also, as someone who knows how gate crew operates – NEVER let them check your rig without keeping an eye on them. The official line is that gate crew never steals anything ever, but if you want to keep the top shelf liquor you bought in Reno – ignore that BS and keep an eye on them while they’re trampling over your stuff to find the stowaways they pretend to give a shit about.

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      • Pantsless Santa says:

        Gate really is there to look for stowaways (and dogs, and fireworks, and a couple other things). I suspect that the BMOrg is at best tolerant of the attitude, but that’s just a guess.

        As far as your ‘top shelf’ liquor is concerned? Theft is not tolerated, let alone respected, and the department doesn’t have any issues with dehydration.

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      • Timo says:

        Theft does happen on gate crew, and a lot of other very bad behavior. It doesn’t matter if these things are not tolerated, what are you going to do? Send them back to DPW?

        Gate is mostly assholes – bottom line. They are there under the pretext of looking for stowaways and all the other bad little things, that’s what they’re told their job is. It’s not that. They stand on the front line to intimidate the participants and to show them who is boss – the Org.

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    • Mike says:

      Gate are wannabe security guards. They get no gifts.

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  • ChrissyP says:

    I would love to volunteer to work box office….. I participate and have my ticket through the DGS. I have well over a decade of experience in managing the entrance gates for a northern California music festival (obviously not with the numbers of attendees that come to live in our beautiful Playa HOME). I managed a crew of 90, at 3 different locations within the venue.

    I am glad to volunteer for this task, but, would need early entry, and would be willing to work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, or, skip one of those, and I will work Sunday.

    My crew always has understood that we were the ambassadors of the event, greeting our guests and friends with our good attitudes and great smiles…

    I would bring that to the crew. However, I have other pre and on-playa responsibilities that would not allow me to work 4 days DURING the event.

    I did see the link for volunteering. I will officially register soon. That is a pretty brutal requirement though………. 24 hours…… does it provide a ticket???

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    • Pantsless Santa says:

      It sounds like you’re talking about volunteering for Gate, not Box Office. There are plenty of people owho work with good attituddd

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      • barnabyruhe says:

        will call opening MONDAY of early week, just one volunteer! would help all the theme camps enormously for setup. we have LOTS of infrastructure and a few of our builders are LOW income who have to wait to enter till wednesday noon? that is half way through the build! makes no sense. thanks! earlyman of shamandome

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  • Dr. Steve says:

    Good comments. Key points: Many people waited far more than 7 hours in line. The entire terrible arrival experience, from Gate management, Greeters, Will Call, etc. is 90% due to inadequate staffing, as well as poor teaching and lack of supervision. Borg MUST increase staffing at every level of the arrival process, whether paid or volunteer. Putting Will Call outlets in other cities is a great suggestion.

    About the situation of those needing credentials (not just Will Call ticket pick-up): even coming in two days before the official opening, I waited 3.5 hrs. in the credentialing line. The process was incompetent, to say the least. I met quite a few people in line, who were there to WORK (volunteer) inside, but who missed their scheduled shifts inside the event (such as Black Rock Medical staff) due to terrible delays at the Gate, and even worse at Credentialing. (Yes, I know credentialing issues are more complicated; people’s identities need to be absolutely verified.)

    Perhaps burners who are there to serve the community as volunteers (for Medical, Playa Info, Rangers, DPW, whatever) should be allowed to get their credentials in a better way, offsite, or expedited, or in a separate building than regular Will Call… so they can go in and do the shifts they promised their crew chiefs they would work. Sad: to be considered a defaulter (for say, a medical station shift), simply because Gate and Credentialing were SO POOR (and understaffed) at their jobs and management, that the volunteer’s medical shift came and went while the volunteer was still waiting in line at Gate or Will Call. This happened to too many people. (I personally came in 24 hours before my 1st Rampart shift, because I feared the very thing that played out.)

    Please fix it, and do consider the needs to the volunteers and staff who are there wanting to help, and need to get in, to do their jobs inside… Thanks ! And, Namaste.

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    • Mike says:

      good comment. There needs to be at least 10 windows 24 hours. Less customers, cut some of the workers loose for a couple of hours. Issue them a radio to recall them later. It should take two minutes per person to get any credential, ticket whatever. govt photo ID plus print out. Your name should be on the list. Or for high security 2 forms of ID plus print out plus PIN. Everyone should bring an old passport or ID card/drivers license. It only takes me two minutes ONCE I GET TO WINDOW. Getting more volunteers means giving out more tickets or paying a stipend or other perks. They are very stingy with the gifted tickets now. The volunteers would be buying a ticket so its the same number of tickets. Of course have specific lines to certain windows.

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  • Peace says:

    It’s nice to see people with civil constructive suggestions. Tito needs to have his cranky-pants let out. <3

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  • Finn says:

    Thanks for addressing this. Will Call really was the Devil last year.

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  • Lord Crushington says:

    Single file line as long as the parking lot goes. Last year was a corral of entitled juveniles cutting into a spiral line of nonsense. It’s called a line. Let it be in the shape of line.

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  • HoldZ says:

    Why don’t you ship tickets abroad or use agents to do so located in different regions eg Europe if it’s too expensive to do so directly from the U.S. ?? I think most people would be happy to pay for the service rather than use Will Call.

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  • HoldZ says:

    With all the creative people involved withBM is Will Call the best solution that BMorg can come up with??? Really??? C’mon guys!!!

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  • JaMMiN says:

    With all the creative people involved withBM is Will Call the best solution that BMorg can come up with??? Really??? C’mon guys!!!

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  • Magic Dust says:

    Knowing the number of people that have tickets at will-call doesn’t mean Burning Man knows when those people will arrive…

    There are some great ideas here, but also lots of suggestions given by people who don’t seem very informed. I don’t think it’s a good idea to give out tickets at apex/gate… I’m also hearing some ideas that are actually how it used to be a few years ago. Most really don’t know what goes in to making this event happen. And the ticket price is pretty affordable, considering it’s an 8+ day event.

    I heard the box office got slammed, with many participants arriving at the same time, and then this got coupled with a staffing shortage, connectivity issues?, and big weather. What a recipe, but that’s life sometimes! I’m glad to hear they’re putting so much effort into improving things, and I’m sure they already have. That’s Burning Man for you! They aren’t afraid to set the bar high!

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    • Mike says:

      So educate us on how it works. Nothing has changed at will call in 10 years. Its not an 8+ day event if you don’t have early entry. Its Sunday night to early Sunday morning when everyone is packing and leaving.

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  • The Shiek says:

    My staff credential and early entry pass allowed me to pick them up at Will Call one minute after midnight on Friday. I parked my travel trailer at 11:55 pm with minimal harassment from Gate and went to the end (which was not well marked with a “Line up here” sign) of a line of about 100 folks moving at glacial speed. I was prepared to accept a long wait when somebody started pulling those out of the line waiting on credentials and sent us direct to the window on the far left. I was in bed at my campsite by 2 AM. I did see a fair amount of line cutting in the final part of the queue just before the windows at the serpentine maze under the shade cloth. I can only imagine the chaos when the line ballooned up to over 1000 tired, dusty, participants. I suggest setting up a couple more Will Call windows (A-F, G-M, N-Z for example) in three or more separate and clearly marked areas.

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  • Citrus says:

    Its great there are several fixes being implemented. Based on my experience last year, I think better signage and queue management will be the most important. I was unfortunate enough to wait for 6 hours overnight in the will call line. As the only driver in my car after long drive with more still to go it was torture. The biggest problem I saw was the lack of any kind of organization of the two lines, and lack of any staff or anyone with answers to clarify the situation. People switching lines after receiving mixed information, and the general disorder of the whole situation which allowed many people to simply cut into the line where the awning started really increased the wait time. As soon as I reached the awning, things were speedy and efficient. So, I think line management was a *major* part of last years problem and if that gets stepped up it will help tremendously.

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  • Rip Net says:

    Is there any other way to not “punish” the low income folks by making them wait in horrendous lines while the ones with the privilege of abundant finances get to breeze through? I understand wanting to have those more affordable tickets secure and not abuse the amazing program… but I just can’t seem to shake the feeling that, that is a form of discrimination against the financially struggling. Even the program itself “Low-Income” could have a more positive name in my opinion. Sorry if I’m killing the vibe and seeming ungrateful… I’m anything but, you all are heroes and angels in my opinion. But all of this turns into energy and trying to keep the vibration up to the highest level. Words and systems play a huge role in that. Just my 2 cents!!! Much love to all. Thanks for all the hard work and making these dreams possible.

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  • Mike says:

    In 2002 There were 29,000 tickets and 5 will call windows. In 2014 there were 70,000 tickets and 5 will call windows. WTF?!
    The windows are rarely all staffed and the workers are slow.
    Half of the ticket picker uppers don’t have their docs together. Its a very simple process: show your govt photo ID and print out and pay and pick up ticket. Should take two minutes per person. Disorganized idiots make it take far longer. No need for chit chat or any other bullshit while people are waiting in line.

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  • Mike says:

    There should never be a staffing shortage at any BM dept. BMORG knows how many it needs a year in advance. They need that many + the same amount as stand by or if they others flake. They can sweeten the deal and get more volunteers by gifting a ticket to the will call volunteers. They probably already do that for returning volunteers.

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    • joe says:

      BMorg use of volunteers in these positions is a cop-out to save money at the expense of health and safety. They rely on burners saying, “Well, it’s Burning Man, what do you expect?” The injured probably don’t return and won’t be missed either.

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  • Zardozia says:

    Yeaahhhh. OK, whatever. I was trapped with my campmates in that same mess. 24 hour wait in the queue, about half a mile from Will Call. It was fine. We had everything we needed. Met some cool people (some who let my wife, whose back had crapped out and was in agony, lie down in their RV. Gave her a painkiller. She was out like a light and slept right through it all. Thanks, Older Couple, you rocked our morning!).

    I waited for like 4 hours in that baking sun, where some poor pretty blonde Brazilian chick was crying her eyes out cos she’d been sold a fake ticket.

    But yea, c’mon, it’s all part of the deal. Saw the Brazilian chick later in the week, happy as fuck, no woman no cry. All good.

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  • viper says:

    As a 17 year veteran of BM I see all these comments from people that it was a terrible experience but “it’s OK”. We had a blast anyway. Well, I don’t agree. It’s completely inexcusable of the BMORG. The DISASTER at the gate and at Will Call are just an example of BMORG not giving a crap any more. The lines at the Will Call have been a mess for years. The booth hasn’t changed in 10+ years, despite the increases in ticket sales. On top of that, the GATE situation is also a TOTAL MESS and completely inexcusable. The BMORG are now raping everyone with car passes, which generated at least $500,000 more revenue and they just kept it. Why didn’t some of the money go into improving the infrastructure. Why are there so few people manning both the gate and Will Call???? If you can’t get volunteers and you can’t manage them properly , then get your shit together and do what other festivals do. Hire people to do the job right. There should be 15 people AT EACH LINE AT THE GATE, checking 15 cars at a time. The flow in to the city would be smooth, fast and clean. There’s PLENTY OF resources to do this but the BMORG WOULD RATHER HAVE US ALL WAIT IN RIDICULOUS LINES, than manage this properly. Come on people. GET A CLUE!!! I’ve loved BM and contributed in hundreds of ways over the years to this amazing festival. But this situation has really pissed me and my campmates off. I’m still wondering if it’s worth the massive effort I put forth every year to bring so many smiles to other Burners through our camp’s offerings.

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  • BOsucks says:

    I waited two and a half hours behind a single person picking up tickets for multiple people. Personally I feel that person should of been sent to the back of the line for each order he was picking up. Or better yet, if each order was picked up by the person who placed the order. At least then the slow moving would of been alright, because there would of been fourteen people ahead of me instead on one asshole at the window. Although ironically at the time he started their was only seven people behind me and the line grew well into the thirties while waiting on this guy.

    Also consider moving where Box Office staff hangs out to be out of sight from the ticket windows. Nothing more infuriating than watching two windows open with two to five people hanging out by the trailer doing jack shit.

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  • Albert says:

    Please have Will Call in RENO !!!

    And sent tickets abroad as well !!!

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  • Tejas says:

    I spend a lot of time waiting in will call last year, one thing that would speed up the transactions. Would be to have separate windows, one for paid will call tickets and a cashiers window for those who had not paid. It seamed to me that those who were paying transactions took much longer then those who were just picking up their tickets.

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  • Joffruit says:

    For me waiting with my girl on will call the third year in row is a blessed situation meet and greet with rising heart beats each meter that you come to window, but anyway most American and Eupeople wait their whole lives , in starbuckz, gazoline spot ,Banks, Universitys,telephone robot lines , loading barks in net blabla.
    a veteran teched me best action is mostly in a line of people youll met new frinds free drinkz and first gifts or nice advices ,
    please check these on the event self you will see people want to wait somewhere in/at icespot , shity house or gangbangdome :D
    just they missed to wait ,that what their live struckture is build on …
    4-9 hours chill no problem if you wait the year along , so if someone wiches 15 years to come and than got a problem with these ART of waiting ,and shit liquid arround he probally never read survival guide.or not good prepared couse expecting regular event or maybe playahotel or plug and play…
    i hope it seperate kinds of humans like plastic or organic / plasik swimms mostly / organic stays or works.
    What you think how much people wait for pass in right time exedus?
    my firs Burn i wait 14 hours in line to exit , last year i need 15 minutes couse of learning experience ;D i stay a day longer to hangout and help stikedown ,so it is like it is
    everything is warmest through ,

    all process of Live

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  • oldtimer says:

    I still don’t understand why the gate won’t allow passengers (not idiotic drivers who leave their car in the middle of the lane) to walk up to the will call line (they could even use a sidewalk just outside the lines for safety sake) to retrieve their ticket while the vehicle waits in the excessive line. Worst case scenario, the person looses their ride and has to make friends to hitch into the city and their camp with one of the other thousand vehicles coming into the city.

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  • Eric says:

    Coming from Europe the only option is at Will Call…

    I like the option to have the Will Call at Reno…. why not, the airport could be that place….

    But how hard can it be to ship oversees? I you have a town with 70.000 people…. I assume the mailing part will be the easy part…..

    Or indeed have the option to change from Will Call to shipping to an actual addres….

    If you can transfer your ticket to someone else in step, why can’t we change the shipping method?

    By the way……does anybody from Borg even read this or are we just fooling ourselves we can help out with solutions?

    Eric (by the way….. even if I have to wait for Will Call…it will not change my mood….because it means I will be almost home)

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  • Perk says:

    I’m glad to see that Will Call is working towards a solution with getting tickets. The one thing I didn’t see addressed in this line of comments is – the mess in the parking lot of Will Call. The signs into the lot, where and/or how to park, and then how to get back out on the road, was a much bigger PIA than waiting in line at the Will Call building. I couldn’t see signs if they were there people volunteering doing searches seemed to have no idea how to direct traffic or which lanes would be going to Will Call. Please address this problem as well.

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  • I’m a little slow in my reading, and hope Rebecca is still reading. I feel for you, but I missed the part in your response about how to get our city builders in better…

    On Wednesday evening pre-event, gate wait and will call were both over 2 hours. Everyone in those lines had jobs to do in our city that we could not get to fast enough, and some of them were the next gate/WC shifts! The cost to our city in lost hours of constructive effort amounted to many person-years each shift, and when it happens pre-event it cascades forward. I see that as a shame and a barrier to our communal effort!

    My wife had to wait in WC for her Artery staff ticket, yet we both had early entries that we printed at home. Why should STAFF wait at WC? For staff, simply use personalized and non-transferrable print at home tickets, and confirm ID at gate while the ferrets are hunting for stowaways. Takes 100% of staff load out of WC. I do not believe the “culture of gifting” applies to staff tickets. And if we can’t trust our staff not to play games with print at home tickets, we might as well give up…

    BTW this thread seems pretty heated so please don’t flame me; while I had a camp waiting for me to flag it, I was perfectly fine meeting lots of new friends who needed to use my RV bathroom. Especially that gorgeous naked girl:)

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  • Youra Hogg says:

    Burning man has gotten too big

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  • fabio says:

    The will call line was a spiral with a poster at the end saying “Line starts here”. That was the major fundamental flaw. Who’s bright idea was that? Keep. It. Simple. Stupid. and have straight line. Not everything at playa needs to be unconventional. Quickest way from point A to point B is a straight line, not a spiral.

    Seriously, look at this picture: http://blog.burningman.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/IMG_0651.jpg

    Let’s get it right this year. I’m glad that you’ve recognized it’s an issue and I truly appreciate all of your efforts Rebecca! :)

    )*(

    Fabio

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  • AmaRobyn says:

    First of all, Big Giant Thanks for all you do for so many!
    PLEASE, if you could have a line that could accomodate people coming for lowcost tickets who are DISABLED.
    This is so vital towards making sure that those genuinely disabled w placards and ID do not have to suffer due to mobility issues.
    Heartfelt thanks for helping those participants w special needs. There are those who can be a part of this wonderful event and need your help.

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  • Robert Spear says:

    you guys had a terrible line where people were cutting in front of each other constantly. You guys were friendly and chatting people up instead of doing your jobs. The ticket gate should be a paid gig where its fast business, no asking me how i am, what my costumes are or any of that there friendly shit. Sorry. had to bring it down.

    so unprofessional at the ticket gate.

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