The registration period for the Burning Man 2012 ticket Main Sale wrapped up last Sunday night, and our ticket vendor is currently de-duping and cleaning up the registrant database (including removing known scammers), before we do the drawing for the three pricing tiers on January 31 and February 1.
And guess what? Turns out, people are VERY EAGER to go to Burning Man this year. So much so, in fact, that they found creative ways to increase their odds of getting tickets in the Main Sale. As a result, there are a lot more tickets being requested than there are tickets available — an inordinately large number, in fact, and far more than we projected even after last year’s sold-out event. It seems that people a) likely got their friends, family and campmates to order tickets as well, and/or b) requested more tickets than they actually need.
So the unfortunate net result is that there will be a lot of people who aren’t awarded tickets from the Main Sale … BUT DO NOT FEAR!! Because this means that there will be a large number of tickets in circulation within the existing community, tickets that simply need to be redistributed to those who need them. Based on our analysis, we hold a strong belief that things will settle out over the course of time, once that redistribution takes place, such that most everybody who wants a ticket will find their way to one.
In order to facilitate the redistribution of those extra tickets now in circulation, we have set up the Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP). The STEP is a web-based system that will allow Burners to sell their unneeded tickets, and Burners wanting tickets to access them. This will allow for safe and secure transactions in a central place for community-monitored, face-value resales. This is in addition to 10,000 tickets going on sale on a first-come first-served basis in our March 28th Open Sale.
We would like to reinforce that we all share responsibility for preventing the scalping of Burning Man tickets. Burners can commit to only selling their tickets at face value, and to never buying tickets above face value. Friends don’t let friends buy from scalpers! We can work together by using STEP, keeping a vigilant eye out for scams and inflated-price vending, and reporting known scammers on our ePlaya ticketing thread.
Burning Man actively discourages the use of secondary resources (eBay, Craigslist, StubHub, etc.) for the resale of tickets, and we encourage those who do not obtain tickets from the Main Sale/Open Sale to utilize community-centric sources to keep a handle on this process together. Please use STEP and/or direct local connections to known Burners to find the tickets you seek. We will post information on how to access and use STEP next week.
So, folks, it’s up to all of us to decide how this all plays out … we can work together in our communities to ensure that most everybody who wants a ticket to Burning Man can get one, and avoid falling prey to third-party price gouging. Just as we’re able to create the world’s largest Leave No Trace event — against all odds, in the middle of the remote desert — we can see this challenge through together as well.