Ticket Thoughts (Part 3)

There is still much to be figured out. And much to be learned.
Tons has been written about in comments and blogs. In addition to the official statement, Maid Marian spoke with NPR on Feb 9.

For the record, my intention is not to offer solutions to the situation – only to help see positive aspects of any situation – just like the Playa taught me. If my optimism has upset you, my apologies.

Here is yet another installment of my thoughts on the 2012 Ticket Situation – including the story – & lessons – of “The Fall of Xara” at Burning Man 2000.

And an extra video with a message for Burning Man Virgins:

**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and Principles of Burning Man. **

Feb 22 – Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) opens
March 28th – Open Sale (10,000 additional tickets)

About the author: John "Halcyon" Styn


Halcyon is a 21-year Burning Man participant and co-founder of Pink Heart camp. He is author of "Love more. Fear less." and producer of the Burning Man short film, "The Pink Path." He's won Webby awards for his over-the-top personal site & his "Love On Demand" video podcast HugNation.com. Halcyon co-founded the San Diego based "1st Saturdays" homeless outreach program based on Burning Man Principles and coaches people how to be radically self expressed in the default world. You can find his full Playa Tips & Tricks series at www.PlayaPrinciples.com

36 Comments on “Ticket Thoughts (Part 3)

  • The Dude says:

    This is a bummer man

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  • Shenanigans says:

    New folks.
    Back in the days when everyone was new & everything about burning man was new, nobody knew how to do it. There was no culture to hand down, because those crazy fuckers were inventing on the fly.
    This year, if there is a disproportionate number of new folks, there is a danger of that culture not getting passed on.

    Doesn’t matter a bit, as long as the new folks step up and invent their own culture. What kind of awesome art will they bring when they are not working with some old-schooler telling them “yer doing it wrong.”

    We were all new, the only thing that are old are fire and dust.

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  • Thank you says:

    Thanks for posting the link to the NPR interview.

    It made me feel better to hear Marian talk about the situation, even if I don’t believe fully what I was hearing.

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  • magdelyn says:

    Riddle me this, sweet cheeks, if you are not an official representative, but merely a participant, how come your videos keep popping up on this blog? I dare say, good Sir, that you are too modest when you call yourself a mere participant.

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  • Slw says:

    What criteria makes you no longer a newbie?

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  • kiki enfuego says:

    So I’m angry and a little freaked out at what this all means for my camp family. But (since I have a ticket) I wouldn’t miss this year for anything! I have to see how this all plays out sur la playa.

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  • Kali says:

    Thank you. :)

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  • Elliot says:

    I can only speak for myself and somewhat for my friends. But, the 4 of us are newbies…..none of us are casual observers in life and we are starting to think about the theme we would like to have. Even more so we are all chewing at the bit to participate with others and add our skills/joys/energy in any way we can. So, while there may be alot of new blood this year that also means alot of new energy from people who have not predetermined what will happen. Rather we are open to making something new happen.

    Remember, we are all newbies at something in life. You only get one chance to be new at something. After that you are unwillingly predetermining what that experience will be.


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  • Patsy Ince says:

    This Year/Next Year possible tx solutions? “let’s fix this!” :D

    Notify all tx winners they have 2 weeks to send in legible Gov’t ID for “won” tx. BMOrg to send txs with names on them/ NON-TRANSFERABLE.
    (anyone who doesn’t send in legible government ID FORFEITS and that tx goes back in draw for Mar.28)
    NEXT YEAR: One ticket price.
    Postcard to go out to tx purchasers list (of 2+ years ago) to offer ONE NON-TRANSFERABLE Tx. They have 2 weeks to respond for the one ticket with Gov’t ID. After the 2 weeks, all left over tickets go to general sale with same registration with Gov’t ID. I Hope to see the community together again!

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  • Peppermint Patty says:

    Wisdom of the Elders being passed down! Burning Man is about the journey as much as it is the destination. In this natural evolution, people have to flow with the change.

    Some say the tribes will be broken up, that the amazing art structures and theme camps will not be the same without knowing if entire teams can go out and build.

    In a way, it’s a blessing in disguise. The tribes were getting click’ish, and perhaps this dispersion will yield other frequencies of creativity, definitions of team-work, and new tribal-relations. Imagine having to meet new people and work with your neighbor to share resources, collaborate on building, and survive while making new friends.

    It is an EXCITING point in the history of Burning Man and an EVOLUTION. To stand in fear of change prevents you from moving forward. THRIVE Burning Man!! THRIVE and share your lessons to the world outside, so that as we move forward as a specie and global community, we are reminded of the beauty of the moment.

    Much gratitude to you Halcyon for spreading the good word!


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  • carlos says:

    why dont you sell the tickets at the entrance, that way you would avoid resellers or scams.

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  • Fricassee says:

    Thanks for shining the light on the Ice Cream cone! We were in Xara that crazy day, when the wind flipped everything upside down, and everything came crashing down. It was quite the miracle in all that not a single piece struck a person. We lost a insane fantastic ridiculous construction. But everybody was safe, and we all went on to enjoy another amazing Burning Man. So it seems the walls have come crashing down again. Let’s dust off and find our Ice Cream Cone. Maybe this year is the year of the best art ever – as everybody is challenged to bring it on. I’ve always been as entertained by the little camp with the funky theme, great music, thoughtful interactions, as with the huge projects. Great art doesn’t have to be big or expensive. Sure this sucks, and the loss will be felt. But there’s still a giant Ice Cream Cone waiting for us out on the playa. Let’s find a way to get there – and bring it on.

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  • Candac says:

    Many blessings to you Halcyon. This will be my second year at Burning Man which still makes me a newbie in my book. I will take your challenge to heart and embody the wonder and awe that Burning Man so deserves – while I’m there and in the days to come. Thanks for being a beckon of hope.

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  • laurel rocklewitz says:

    Here’s my thought on how to sell tickets in the upcoming years. Keep with the lottery system but have multiple class levels in which you will register under only one class. Have a class for common folk campers, a different one for artists, one for art cars, one for dance clubs and another for theme camps. Under the theme camp, dance club, and art car classes, the whole camp will register just under the camp name; opulent temple, death guild, neverwas haul etc. When the lottery happens the whole camp will be picked (or not). So there won’t be camps that have only half of it’s members holding tickets. They will either all be going or all not going. The people at BM headquarters will look to previous years and research how many art cars, art installations, and clubs have there been in the past and decide how many of each will be needed to create the diverse experience we know as BRC. From there, headquarters will shape the lottery to randomly pick this many campers and that many theme camps. Paperwork may have to be submitted under all classes beside the campers to avoid a kite on golf cart to be admitted as an art car. An extra step but, one I believe most people would be willing to do.
    For this years ticket drama, I personally have an extra ticket and I want it to go to someone who is involved with a big theme camp, a dj, sound guy, or a pyrotechnic technician. Perhaps STEP should exclude any more common folk campers….

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  • eh no says:

    “carlos Says:
    February 10th, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    why dont you sell the tickets at the entrance, that way you would avoid resellers or scams.”

    You’d have a traffic jam that would close 447 a week in advance, and half of them wouldn’t get in.

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  • Saucerman says:

    I guess many of your staff were too young to see the artificial scarcity of gasoline created by the idiocy of the Federal Government by the Carter administration in rationing fuel.
    Gas lines stretched for miles, we had alternate days of buying fuel based on license plate numbers. You guys managed to ignore history and create the same panic with the idiocy of the lottery process. I have tickets- way overpriced because I paid dearly for them early, anyone could have seen the fiasco coming the minute you announced your plan.
    It is simple- open the sales window first to the people like me who have been your supporters, and who have paid their dues by bringing art cars, theme camps and volunteerism to the success of BM. Next open the doors to the previous attendees. Last sell whatever you’ve got to the Newcomers people who promise to PARTICIPATE and NOT just be SPECTATORS.

    Frankly, I don’t feel the need to entertain spectators, but I cherish the opportunity to provide selfless giving to others and to share my thousands of hours of work (and dollars) with those who are giving back to me. Anyone can make that commitment of love by whatever small contributions they can make, by costume, by games, by art cars, by art, by music, by performance, by volunteering. You’ve already got the lists of who those people have been. Start there!

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  • Irish pete says:

    I am a newbie, this will be my first burn and I am so excited about it. I am travelling from ireland to not just check it out, but to live the burning man. I have been reading so much about whats happened about the ticket situation and it brings sorrow to my heart. I plan to do all I can to make mine and others burn the very best I can and I will be bringing 3 buddies with me that all embrase the spirit of what the burning man stands for. And I cannot wait to meet some of the burning community to listen and learn about the burning man history, and to tell a few stories of my own :)

    Regarding scalps/touts, those feckers that try and make a quick buck from this (and other) events. Last year I attended Glastonbury in the UK. Their system was quite a good one to avoid this situation. You must register with a photo and upon purchase use your registration ID. Then when tickets are issued you photo is printed on the ticket. You were not allowed trade the tickets as your face was printed on the ticket. The event staff would not allow you in without it being your face on the ticket. Simple solution, and very effective. The volume of people aspect of things, well this is a littel more difficult considering the world we live in now, social information spreads like wild fire. I absolutely support striking a balance between community & burner virgins, and keeping the spirit or the burning man alive. I’m sure the team will achieve this.

    Roll on August when I jump on a plane into San Fran and cruise up to blackrock city. I can’t wait. :)

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  • Mark Simpson says:

    State that no one will be allowed in after Tuesday. That will cut out the non contributers in the tour buses and the day trippers that show up Friday and Saturday and open up ticket for real survivalists

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  • J says:

    Question ? How does a travel company have tickets to sell Green Tortoise Adventure Travel from their web site <> http://www.greentortoise.com/adventures/burning.man.art.festival.html ???????

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  • G says:

    Saucerman Says Mr. Carter created the oil shortages????

    The story is far more complex than you paint it to be.

    Seriously, stop drinking certain flavors of political kool aid. It is bad for your spiritual and mental well being. Ignorance and ill will are detrimental to happiness.

    IMHO, I am not entitled to label someone an “idiot” based on the fact I see things differently.

    All humans ultimately suffer ignorance, and see the world through their own eyes.
    That does not inherently make them “idiots”

    Unforgiving ill will has no place in BRC.

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  • StoneDust says:

    No different than the Rolling Stones going on a world tour, but choosing to play only once at Yankee Stadium. People from the world over attempting to see the show.

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  • Kailey says:

    ‘Time keeps on slippin slippin slippin, into the future’ comes to mind. Burning Man, like all else will morph and evolve.

    Thank you Halcyon for the reminder to be excited about this evolution that’s constantly taking place and to embrace it. If Burning Man has acted to reinforce anything in my life, it is to surrender and open up to the situation. Take down my walls. Recognize the fear that stymies flow. Recognize I’m holding my breath. Breath.

    Whatever will be will be and where I am is perfect.

    I think this situation, while a challenge, is great.

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  • Mutant vehicle owners of America says:

    “200 days until the man burns”

    1 day until we find out how the Borg is going to completely screw up the ticketing and kill the spirit of Burning Man.

    2011 – Best year forever and ever and ever…..

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  • NeonRon says:

    Well … I heard that Jersey Shore has tickets this year (wind up rumor mill) – but really … What did BM expect with more PR than ever within the last 2 years. They knew what would happen and were definitely wearing their Dolla Bill Stunnerz. You have changed BM and you will not be getting my money . . . I also heard that there will be air conditioning in center camp this year!

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  • nikolaus heger says:

    Hey complainers! Join the ranks of the “in the past, everything was better” crowd.

    I was sad most of my campmates didn’t get tickets. But the more you think about it, the more this huge mess sounds like an exciting opportunity. That, more than anything, I think is being discussed at BMHQ right now. Also I still believe everyone who wants it, will get one, and that includes our own camp.

    What if there were no massive theme camps? Would BM suck? Hell no! Is BM feeling a bit stale? Well hello – ticket mess to the rescue. 2012 will be better than ever.

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  • NeonRon says:

    NeonRon is back. Think about this – BM almost never had well covered media publicity until the last two years. Then they started putting stuff out there and I started seeing news reports in the mainstream. They ENABLED this. . . With soooooooooooo much $$$MOney$$$$ at stake do you think this was unintentional?? Higly doubtful…they knew the results of their actions. Shit, I heard about the ticket issue on NPR this morning . . . They are putting out press releases through NPR. WOwo. It has always been that those in the know … know and then they spread the word. NOT . . . Putting out media blasts to everyone. BY THE WAY – i HEARD LARRY HARVEY KILLED A MAN IN 1986.

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  • Schill says:

    Give it a rest, Schill, er…Halcyon. You have no idea what the heck you’re talking about. Go back to your land of unicorns shitting rainbows and lollipops.

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  • Anony-mouse says:

    Here’s the super-scary part about all these ticket shenanigans.

    I’ve ‘heard rumors’ that two different conclave groups on the west coast are /SELLING/ spots on their crew. I imagine theme camps, if allowances are made to them, will do the same.

    We can hold onto an ideal… But money corrupts.

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  • Tomaso says:

    “You may only purchase one ticket through STEP; this ticket is non-transferable and can only be held at Will Call. A STEP ticket is only for you”.
    There are 4 of us going for the last 14 years. IF the 2 that went to buy the tickets get them from STEP, but the other 2 eventually Don’t then we would want to be able to sell those tickets back to STEP.

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  • MacDaddy says:

    Along similar lines of Tomaso, I requested TWO tickets for me and my sweetie (and was not one of the lucky ones to get tix), and the STEP process will only allow me to buy ONE ticket . Why does the STEP process not allow you to purchase the number of tickets originally requested? Now, if I get the opportunity to buy ONE ticket, I face the uncertainty of getting a second ticket (not going if my sweetie isn’t coming) from an unknown source (scalpers, craiglist, or??). It would seem only fair to modify the STEP process to honor the original request (for those originally requesting two tickets) and reduce this unnecessary uncertainty for me and others like me.

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  • Angel says:

    Halcyon, I hope you got a ticket. If not a friend of mine gamed the system and has 10 tickets. He has 10 credit cards saw this coming ordered 20 tickets and got 10. I was mad at him at first but he is selling them to his camp mates at face value he thought this was the only thing to do with this lottery thing, Just try to beat the odds. the whole thing is a nightmare. At least he gets to go. Its so messed up.

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  • Dog Rancher says:

    Killed the spirt of BM it has become a mess.
    RIP BM this is the END

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  • Tumbleweed says:

    The burnal equinox coincides with the opposition of the planet Mars on March 3. I have no idea what that means.

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  • Nick says:

    WTF. The “instructions” on how to participate in the STEP program if you haven’t received an “automatic” email because you missed out on the main drawing say to go to the drop down menu and select “Missing STEP email”. When you go there, that topic is not in the menu. Why isn’t someone coordinating this kind of basic information? This fundamental snafu no doubt will result in Borg being swamped with requests that staff will be unable to respond to until well after the Friday noon deadline, depriving many of the opportunity to participate early on the STEP queue.

    So I wound up picking a couple of menu items that “might” be the right ones, but there is no way to tell. If there really is someone responding to those requests they must be pulling their hair out with the volume of requests for accurate information.

    For the future, instead of modifying a concert style ticket purchase program, look at the sports model. Set up a “season ticket” program for long time burners (say 5 years or more) and have a specified number of “general admission” tickets for newbies. Of course there is going to be a problem to be worked out because a large number of long time burners are likely not going to be able to attend this year because of the mess.

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  • Hurrah, that’s what I was searching for, what a data!
    present here at this web site, thanks admin of this web

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