Ticket Sales 2006: Snafus And Solutions

Dearest Burners,

Please accept our deepest apologies for what we know was an incredibly frustrating ticket buying experience. Believe us, it’s been equally exasperating for us. The last thing we want is to create a bad experience for our community.

Based on the previous years’ lessons learned, our ticketing partner, InTicketing, significantly upgraded their systems to handle the load that we knew was headed our way at ticket launch. They added 5 new servers, for a total of 14, including two load balancers that would distribute the load across those servers. They upgraded their database management software and added two database servers, and stress and load tested the whole system extensively. Going in, we were confident the system would be able to handle the load.

Unfortunately, it couldn’t. When everybody hit the servers at once, it overloaded the amperage into the server farm and blew out a circuit (router), taking down the servers. Bringing them back up while everybody was still hitting them was a struggle, and it took time. They had to shut down three servers, in the end, to avoid risking blowing out the circuit again. The database servers, which have to sync up with each other, had to be carefully handled to make sure data wasn’t lost.

OK, so you may not care about that. You care about your tickets, and we totally understand that. Luckily, you’re not dealing with some faceless mega-corporation, you’re dealing with Burning Man. We’re your friends, and part of your community. We have very nice people on our Ticket Support Team who will handle your situation personally, and will sort everything out for you, ensuring you’re treated well, and fairly. As you can imagine, they’re swamped with requests right now, and they’re under a lot of stress. Please be nice to them … this is not their fault, but it’s become their problem. They are there to help you. Remember these people care as much about Burning Man as you do and are just as upset about this situation as you are.

Here is what you need to do if you experienced any issues or hang ups when attempting to order tickets in the initial onslaught yesterday.


1) PayPal – If you received a PayPal transaction ID, then your order is complete. Go here to print out your order confirmation page: http://tickets.burningman.com/confirm. If you do not see your order here, please submit a support request: http://tickets.burningman.com/contact.

2) Echeck – Check your order by going here: http://tickets.burningman.com/confirm. If you did not receive confirmation, no order has gone through.

3) Credit Card – Check your order by going here: http://tickets.burningman.com/confirm. If you did not receive confirmation, no order has gone through.

If you have duplicate orders, please submit a support request online at http://tickets.burningman.com/contact. We’ll be sure to refund that duplicate transaction quickly.

For those who wish to ‘keep’ those duplicate orders. Sorry! We will be canceling and refunding these duplicate orders, you will receive notification when this occurs.

If you have already contacted the online support staff regarding a ticketing issue, please do NOT send another request. Support issues are dealt with on a first come, first serve basis – sending in duplicate support requests will only slow response time down as we weed through them all.


Your ticket orders will begin to be shipped around January 31st. You will receive an email confirmation once your tickets are scanned and ready for shipment. That doesn’t mean the package was sent on that day, just that the love and energy for a beautiful burn is captured at that moment and packaged up!

Please do not contact us for lost packages before February 14th. If you did not receive your package by that time, go online at http://tickets.burningman.com/contact.

We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding, and please know that we’ll do everything we can to ensure this doesn’t happen again in the future.

See you on the playa.

The Ticketing Team [para_end]

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase

Will Chase is Burning Man's former Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He was the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Burning Man Journal, and content manager for Burning Man’s web properties. He also oversaw the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social media presence. Will first attended Burning Man in 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art HQ) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004 until he transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009.