Ticket Update, As We Approach August

And now for some ticket news. At this point, ALL tickets have been mailed out to those who purchased them — or they’re being tucked safely away at Will Call, if that’s what you specified. (If you have not received your tickets and are expecting them, contact our ticket support folks for help.)

Thanks to the fact that the BLM increased our population cap to 60,900 this year, we’ve got one more limited open sale of 1,000 tickets coming up this Friday August 3 at 12 noon PST. You must sign up beforehand to have access to the limited sale, and you can ONLY sign up during a twelve hour window on August 1 from 10am to 10pm PST — that’s TOMORROW– so, get ready! These tickets are non-transferrable, Will Call only, and yes, they will go FAST. More information and sign up on our tickets page.

We’ve also been monitoring third-party ticketing websites since tickets first went on sale this year, and we’re happy to report that the number of tickets being sold at inflated prices is quite low. The running average of tickets showing up on these sites vs. the total number in circulation has hovered around 1%, which is extraordinarily low for events of this scale. Happily, the fears of “all the tickets went to scalpers!” appear to be unfounded. We’ve also been actively tracking down individual scalpers and canceling their tickets when we’re able to. A list of canceled ticket numbers can be found here. (As much as we’d love to stop third-party ticketing sites from selling our tickets at all, we simply don’t have the power to do that.)

As the event nears, we’re likely to see a small increase in the scalper market, however, we’re doing everything we can to prevent inflated sale prices on tickets. One of the reasons we are selling these additional tickets now (in addition to the 1,000 that went into the STEP program on July 8th) is to put a damper on the scalper market by infusing more tickets into the marketplace. While we’re doing everything we can, we also need your help thwarting scalpers. Ultimately, it’s up to YOU not to buy or sell a ticket for more than face value.

We’re also happy to report that the Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) has been working wonderfully. Most folks who registered for STEP have had tickets made available to them, or will before all is said and done. A note on STEP: the last day to sell a ticket into STEP is August 7th, after which there will be a 72-hour window for folks still waiting to receive access to tickets and purchase them. Thanks to everybody who’s been using STEP to sell back your extra tickets!

Yes, it’s been a wild ride for tickets this year (to say the least!). The bottom line is that there are more people that want to attend Burning Man than our population limit allows – it’s a simple issue of capacity.  So no matter how tickets are sold, somebody’s going to get left out. But we’re doing our best to get tickets into the hands of those that want them. We hope that you got yours.

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.

35 Comments on “Ticket Update, As We Approach August

  • ~lancho! says:

    LOVE you guys! Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice work.

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  • Sahid Rodriguez says:

    Love Burning man!

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  • jaime says:

    Why not make them ALL non-transferrable next year? You sell a ticket to an individual who is the person who can use it. If they can’t use it, they can reverse the transaction (minus a fee) and then someone else can buy that non-transferrable ticket.

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  • nightngale says:

    I buy a ticket for my son as a birthday gift but can’t transfer it to him? I don’t think so! I own it once I buy it.

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  • Esrahkham says:

    Nightngale, then you would simply purchase a ticket in your son’s name. I’m not sure why you’re declaring your entitlement to do as you wish with a ticket, when that is not the case with tickets for a very large number of other events.

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  • Pablos says:

    I was curious your methods for cancelling tickets based on accusations of being a scalper. Is there no grey line or are you cancelling any scalper careless enough to put their name behind a statement that has the possibility of selling a ticket for more than a dollar above the list price? Are you tracking ip addresses of people in some kind of scientific method or are you continuing to search for burning man in google and hope someone slips up? It leaves a rather sour taste in my mouth if you’re not going after just the worst…

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  • Patches says:

    There should be a provision to designate a ticket to a particular name – not necessarily to the buyer himself. Also if say you buy 2 tickets in your own name, fine, just you have to be in the same vehicle entering the gates as that other person you bought second ticket for.
    However I really doubt anybody besides ourselves is going to read all that wisdom, much less implement it next year.
    When the going gets hopeless, hopeless gets going!
    Our turn, gentlemen…

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  • adrienne says:

    I got my ticket through STEP a couple months back, and it made my YEAR!!! I am finally going to the Burn–STEP saved me, missed the lotto, no burners in my area, etc. But we STEP children kept the faith, and now we’re a-comin’ home :)

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  • Janet says:

    thanks for throwing us a bone, BMorg. after you handed out 10k to BM sycophants, we should be really grateful for this 1k boodle that will never be distributed fairly.

    radical FU.

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  • Della says:

    How can you possibly go after ‘individual’ scalpers while you allow ‘official’ scalper sites such as Stub Hub (who currently has 460 tickets and who knows how many they already sold or will sell?)

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  • HK says:

    Thanks for the update.
    Hopefully this year’s failure will not be repeated in 2013.

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  • Will Chase says:

    @Pablos If we disclosed all our strategy and methods, it would allow scalpers to avoid getting caught and stopped.

    @Della Scalping is legal in Nevada, where our event takes place. Everything Stubhub and other ticketing sites are are doing is legal. There’s no legal recourse we have to stop them.

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  • @ Will Chase

    There’s tons of legal recourse you have, as the terms and conditions of the ticket sale allow Burning Man to revoke tickets to anyone who tries to sell the tickets above face value, etc. This isn’t criminal law (as scalping is legal), but civil law — where due to the foresight of burning man’s lawyers, you have had tons of recourse because everyone agreed to your terms. They just weren’t enforced by Burning Man.

    Burning Man still has the legal right to revoke anyone’s ticket who has tried to sell it above face value.

    That said, it looks like at this point tickets are being sold at face value on craigslist and other venues. It looks like the real failure of the lottery was forcing everyone to buy tickets early — causing many folks to buy tickets when they didn’t expect to go just to make sure they got their tickets in. A failure of institutional setup.

    The result is a lot of people going to Burning Man who just got tickets recently and haven’t been able to plan their contributions. Let’s see how this works out now, shall we?

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  • Heather says:

    I read on my initial STEP email that I can’t sell back my extra ticket using this system if I already have my ticket in hand (it was mailed to my house). Is this true or can I unload it there?? I really don’t want to use craigslist.

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  • BigWave says:

    @ Heather

    Wait until the remaining 1000 are distributed. There will then be those still
    needing a ticket which you can sell directly to them at face value. It will
    make their and your burn a great one.

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  • biff says:

    Fuck man, can the snivvlers just stop, this has been a tough year for everyone trying to get tickets and the bmorg trying to stop scalpers and from what I can tell, its been quite successful. Great job bmorg with dealing what you’ve been dealing with while putting on the greatest event in mankind. I’m looking forward to this year more than ever. Thank you bmorg for everything you do, its a bummer that not all can appreciate it.

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  • Lady LaDeDah says:

    I have a query – if you buy 2 tickets as a pair but only need 1 ticket – are you able to put just one ticket back into STEP, or do you have to throw both tickets back into STEP? I have tried to contact BM but no response yet received.

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  • Lady LaDeDah says:

    One more query – I remember when entering into the ballot system that I had to put the name of the people whom I was applying for a ticket. If you have managed to obtain 2 tickets – do the tickets have to be allocated to the named people when entering the ballot? Or is it the case that if you have been allocated tickets, they go into your name and can be allocated to whoever? Its all so confusing!

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  • christophe terrade says:

    Hi everybody… I have 2 BurningMan tickets for sale (no scalpers, no fakes)
    2 X 240$…

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  • tom says:

    @christophe terrade

    email me and i’ll send you my credit card info: tomgoodwin200@mailinator.com

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  • Anonymous says:

    The ticket revocations have turned into a witch hunt. I heard a verifiable story today of a legitimate participant whose ticket was revoked when they purchased it for face value plus camp fees. What motivation to work is there for volunteer earners of a ticket that may be unilaterally revoked for alleged scalping? There is intense suspicion in the community. A ticket I once coveted and at once relished to share the design with my fellow person is now a dark secret I dare not talk about. Anyone who holds a ticket may be named a scalper and denied access to the event.

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  • Heather says:

    @ Anonymous

    That is why I want to use the STEP program to sell back my extra ticket- so it is a legitimate sale and will go to a burner who really wants and needs it. But I haven’t heard back from anyone from BM either. I contacted them almost a week ago. It sure would be nice to get some answers.

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  • Lindsay Roberts says:

    Can I get an answer before noon? Quick question regarding the ticket sale.

    I signed up myself for one ticket and my husband up for another. We are each planning to log on at noon to buy our own separate tickets (I used his email and my email respectively, and we each have our own computers so we’ll each try our own.)

    HOWEVER, he has no credit card OR debit card. I was going to give him one of mine (and I’ll use a different one), and now I’m rereading the instructions and it looks like it might need a card with his name on it. Is that true? Or can he use my card?

    Also, I can’t remember what the sign up screen looked like, but I was wondering if the sign up itself specified billing zip or just zip (if it just specified zip I’ll have to change my billing address before noon!).


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  • Thermal says:

    Could you have possibly created a more convoluted and nonsensical system?!

    As @Lady LaDeDah stated:
    “One more query – I remember when entering into the ballot system that I had to put the name of the people whom I was applying for a ticket. If you have managed to obtain 2 tickets – do the tickets have to be allocated to the named people when entering the ballot? Or is it the case that if you have been allocated tickets, they go into your name and can be allocated to whoever? Its all so confusing!”

    You may as well store ticketing information at GPS cache points, which can only be decoded using secret rings!

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  • Rachelle says:

    I’ve been waiting for tickets online since noon today. Should I close my computer? Is there no hope? Have they all been sold?

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  • Sunny says:

    Been waiting too. It’s a terrible user experience. What number am I? Is there a landing page if all tickets have been sold? Plus, I have a “connection timed out” message in the registration.inticketing.com embedded window. But that’s the same thing I had last year, when I ended up getting tickets.

    I’m REALLY hoping for a fully re-engineered, name-based, computing resource ready ticketing system being ready for next year. This year has been a clusterf**k.

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  • IDJoe says:

    I read the above post about the great job BMorg has done with ticket sales; how Step has worked wonderfully, and how BMorg has done everything they can.

    I feel my anger start to rise.

    But I sit back and tell myself, let it go, Joe.

    Just let it go.

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  • mudpuppy says:

    Worked fine, you guys did good.

    As expected, plans come together & fall through, the tickets shuffle around. Not aware of anyone locally who got shut out. MAYBE they didn’t get one right off the bat, but they got one.

    Only thing I’m disappointed in is the amount of yowling from people who are otherwise pretty resilient in the face of adversity.

    Thanks, peace & love.

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  • RangerTom says:

    I’ve just watched a very disturbing video in which a 2012 Burning Man ticket is destroyed. This doesn’t make any sense!


    Who would do such a thing?

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  • Negar says:

    I have tickets that I got from step that I need to sell back. Based on what I see on the website the step is now closed. What am i supposed to do with these tickets that now I can not sell back? Exchange, transfer or do anything with?

    It seems there are people out there that need tickets and I don’t need mine but now I have no way of getting these tickets to them.

    I am very frustrated with this system. What are my options?

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  • Nikki.O says:

    I’m in the same situation as Negar. I purchased STEP tickets & need to resell them into the STEP program. I emailed customer support asking how this was possible & have not gotten a response. Today is August 7th & it looks like it’s the last day to sell tickets into the program. I’m at a loss for what to do. I am trying to do the right thing by selling them back before the cut-off. I know the ticket crew must be swapped with Burning Man less than 2 weeks away. However, it’s extremely frustrating to be trying to follow the process and feel like I am going to get stuck with a $390 ticket with no way to get it into the hands of someone who wants to go. Please help

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  • U. R. Scrood says:

    I knew this would happen and it did. A friend just found she can’t go this year and has a STEP ticket. She needs to sell it back to STEP or to someone else, but now can’t. She will eat the cost (which will hurt her financially at a very bad time for her) and some other person can’t go because her ticket is now untransferable. Burning Man continues to screw the veteran burners right to the end (she was help build the Temple in 2001).

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  • dom says:

    I have 2 tickets for sale at face value $320. dominic.glazewski@nomura.com

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  • Dave says:

    I have 2 tickets that I released back into STEP on August 6th. Haven’t heard anything back so I don’t think they were claimed and now STEP is closed. I wish I could get them to others who need a ticket but the way I’m understanding the system that’s not possible. Either I claim my ticket at will call or no one does. $390 x2 is a lot of money to have to eat when there are still 2 weeks to transfer it to someone else’s name at face value, not trying to make any money here. Why is STEP closed now?

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  • Dave says:

    I guess the lesson I’ve learned is to never use STEP again. I will gladly pay a fraction more through Stubhub to not be locked out of re-selling my tickets during the month of August. STEP closing down on August 7th has screwed over anybody who tried to adhere to the organizer’s wishes and bought their tickets through STEP. I can’t even get a reply to my emails. I’m telling everyone I know to never use STEP. Instead I’m going to tell them “Scalping is legal in Nevada, where our event takes place. Everything Stubhub and other ticketing sites are are doing is legal. There’s no legal recourse we have to stop them.” And they won’t stick you with tickets you can’t use three weeks before the event.

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