The Emotional Rollercoaster of Main Sale Day

Main Sale day is always a bittersweet day for us. Even if everything goes perfectly, it still results in many disappointed Burners not yet having secured a ticket to BRC.

Please know that we see the hurt and frustration out there. We do our best to keep the system as fair as possible — actively intercepting bad actors who attempt to exploit our community by creating bogus registrations to sell, or bots trying to get into the sale. It’s not easy, and we do catch these situations and shut them down as they are identified. If this were just about selling tickets, we wouldn’t bother with any of that. But obviously, this is about so much more.

At the end of the day, a lot of dyed-in-the-wool Burners will be caught for a while longer in that uncomfortable liminal space between their playa-intentions and default-world logistics. For those folks we ask for everyone to be as kind and understanding as possible. Know a friend with an extra, or whose plans have changed? Reach out.

To those who don’t get tickets in the Main Sale, please don’t give up. There are still options coming up, including the Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) and OMG. (Full info on those over on the Tickets website.) But the absolute best way to find yourself a ticket? By engaging with your local Burner community and getting involved. Burning Man tickets have a way of finding people who need them, no matter what happened in the sale. Put yourself out there, make connections, offer to help, and see what happens — that is the ultimate Burning Man experience!

It may not offer much comfort right now, but please remember that Burning Man exists all year-long, all around the world — being a part of Burning Man is in no way contingent on having a ticket to BRC every year.

Whether it’s at a local Regional Event, at a community service event, a maker workshop, or covered in playa dust, we look forward to seeing you soon.


(Top photo by Robert Bruce Anderson)

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.

96 Comments on “The Emotional Rollercoaster of Main Sale Day

  • Thanks Rebecca, this is encouraging. After 50 minutes of sale, all tickets are “already in other people’s carts”. I was there waiting from before noon, and I so I am really confused how is it that my place in queue was so far that I missed the sale :( . If people opened this page the day before, would they be placed earlier in the queue? Because this would not be fair at all, in my opinion.

    I have not been able to get a ticket on main BM sale for 5 years in a row now. I’ve been to BM over 12 times, first one in 1998. I’ve seen it grow and flourish, and expand to the collossal size it is now.

    But it is so sad that “normal” people like myself that came before the sale began were not even given a chance to buy the ticket. It’s a shame, and it is very upsetting. Perhaps I should buy a $1000 ticket from an ebay scalper?

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    • Spamneggs says:

      If you tried to access the sale between 11:30-11:59:59am, you were placed into the waiting room. Anyone in the waiting room when the sale started at 12pm would (supposedly) be randomly added to the sale queue. The reminder email the org sent yesterday clearly stated “The waiting room will open earlier, but arriving before noon gives you no advantage in the sale.”

      The main sale is really a lottery, but with the added issue of internet speed, browser stability, etc. A dozen things can go wrong on your PC or internet connection to prevent you from getting a ticket. If everything goes right with your equipment and connection, you still are rolling the dice that you got into the queue early enough. Since the waiting room function failed last year, I decided to click at the stroke of 12pm and was able to get my 2 tickets at 12:26pm. The vehicle passes were already sold out by then and 2 minutes later, so were the tickets.

      It’s a brutal system, but I honestly can’t think of another method what wouldn’t be flawed in some way.

      Report comment

      • Fabricio says:

        how about a simple 1st come 1st serve like used to be?

        no wating room BS

        way more simple….

        Report comment

      • Gerhart says:

        This is our first year and we are very flabbergast with the main sale. We have been reading as much information as we could, watch videos, we started preparing for the fantastic experience, I don’t think the way the tickets are sold goes with the Burning Man ideology. We waited by the computer very excited to find out 30 minutes later that the tickets were sold out which is expected if this has become an every year event for a lot of people, as “virgins” we never expected to find out that the big business and profit is for the people that are selling the tickets in Ebay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-8-Burning-Man-Tickets-2017-/322450956288) or other sites 5 times the face value. Being able to change the name is great if there is a reason but really somebody has over 8 tickets at $1900 and parking passes at $400 for resale? We would wait for the next STEP even the OMG sale but we don’t want to profit some scalpers, I would much prefer to donate that money to BMORG. It seems that this kind of problem is every year. I will think that this “scams” would be taken care by now like no accepting name changes, only refund the tickets with penalty to give chance real participants to buy a ticket and stopping the overprice resale.

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    • Puto says:

      Because there are hundreds of thousands of seekers hunting 35,000 tickets. It’s still a lottery. Not hard to figure out. The people that bears and deserve tickets get them.

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    • gyspy says:

      heard!
      i was also in the waiting room, “got in line” at noon and… they were gone. i’m not angry, just disappointed; and i know it happens. what i am angry about is that when i told my bf, he immediately went to ebay where he found a whole bunch of tickets for sale, most at exorbitant prices. THAT SUX. :(

      Report comment

      • Chippy Chin says:

        If you read the article on this page about scalpers you’d see that most of those are scams. It’s a good read and might make you feel a little better.

        Report comment

  • Paolo Montiel says:

    You should tell people that you have a better chance buying tickets if you are closer to ticketfly´s servers to avoid uneccessary stress and disappointments.

    Its easier and healthier to travel close to this area and assure tickets. Buying resale at 1K is more expensive and less healthy for all. All the nerves and preocupation before you actually get your resale ticket is a hell and creates a weird energy in the community.

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    • Dmitry says:

      But this is not how it works.

      People are organized in queue and get access to the sale in small batches, according to the queue order, so the ticketfly is not overloaded.
      If there was no queue then yes, distance would matter. Ticketfly would overload, you would get a significant chance of some error on each step, and with bad organization each error would mean “start over”. And latency to server would matter a lot in this scenario.
      On the other hand, when people are getting access in some organized order and there are no overload, you are nearly guaranteed to successfully buy tickets with any stable internet connection no matter distance. If there are still tickets, of course.

      Now, how is this queue, or order, is made up.
      First, everyone who got to the sale page between some little time before start and start itself (Spamneggs above says that this little time interval is 30 minutes, but idk for sure) are placed to a “waiting room”. At the start of a sale everyone in the “waiting room” are shuffled and placed at the beginning of the queue. Everyone arrived after start are placed at the current end of the queue.
      Basically, you should get to the waiting room and then hope that you’ll be shuffled in early enough position.

      I can’t think of a more fair and organized approach.
      In comparison, buying tickets to a Boom festival in Portugal on overloaded servers was a mess. One failed attempt after another due to random server errors on different steps, until there are no tickets.

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      • Brenda Stemwell says:

        I was in before noon and also my computer man was going very fast, got into buying tickets clicked on 2 and said sold out! Omg my husband and I have been trying for a long time too and we are so bummed!

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      • Chris says:

        Your description of the intent is correct, but MANY (if not all) of us in the waiting room didn’t get placed into the queue until 12:01:45. I have screenshots of this. Everything was sold out by then. The system is completely broken.

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      • Shawn says:

        Odd, I was in the “waiting room”, but at 12:00 the page bumped me out of the waiting room for 2 minutes and then it sorted me into the queue. I had to wait 50 minutes to find out that the tickets were sold out. Why put people through that?

        How about letting people in the queue know that the tickets are gone when they are gone instead of sitting there hoping. For a (hopefully) first time burner, this felt like dangling a piece of candy in my face and then yanking it away, gleefully saying “not for you!”.

        It is a bit disheartening that something that seems so open and inclusive has to be so difficult to reach. Sorry for the gripe, but my life is in serious need of something like B.M. right now and when what I turn to for joy becomes another loss and disappointment…

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      • Max Ross says:

        “You should tell people that you have a better chance buying tickets if you are closer to Ticketfly´s servers to avoid unnecessary stress and disappointments”

        Actually, you should tell people that they have a better chance of buying a ticket if they’re well off financially or work for a business that purchases the $1200 tickets for their staff and colleagues. The ticket sale is a financially tiered system that mimics the worst of American capitalism. Namely, those who ‘have’ are much more likely to ‘get’ based *exclusively* on their finances. Anecdotally it would also seem that the upper tier ( see ‘caste’) are also the ones more prone to setting up their RV wagon circles of observational exclusivity further ghettoizing the event from active participants.

        Soothing staff words and comforting missives have no resonance with this long timer BRCitizen as long they continue to pretend that the event is as egalitarian now as it once was.

        So please, enough with the we-feel-for-you platitudes. It’s chaffing enough knowing that others are essentially butting ahead of you in the ticket line.

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      • El Tigre says:

        Hey Brenda,

        Just want to say that I had the same experience of my little green man reaching the end, being placed in position to buy tickets if someone else didn’t complete their purchase in time, in fact, being offered tickets, clicked “2” and then when I went to complete purchase, was told “not enough tickets are available”, went back to buy 1 and was told no tix available. I don’t mind being beat out for tix, but I do mind being told I can buy tix and then find out, nope. On to STEP or OMG

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    • Fabricio says:

      Waiting room is BS!!

      NO OFFENCE

      Report comment

    • Chester says:

      How stupid are people? There are way way way more people trying to buy then there are tickets. Smart people figure out how to get a ticket and whiners complain and either pay the price or don’t go. Fudge your entitlement. You’re not a special snowflake. No one cares about your hurt feelings

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  • Ziganne says:

    I’m not mad, just disappointed. However, the way it went down seems unnecessarily cruel. After my tiny avatar ambled and stumbled for 25 minutes, he finally made it to the finish line. I was told I was being redirected to the next step. Excitement mounted as I entered my special 8-digit access code and entered the sales room. Then I noticed, in the space to buy tickets it said “None available.” In the space to buy parking passes it said, “None available.” The only clickable box was “Donate $25 (or more) to Burning Man.” Now, ordinarily, I’d be happy to contribute to the cause. But after having my hopes raised and dashed, I felt like Charley Brown when Lucy snatches the football out from under him, Some might say my selflessness was tested, and I failed. Tell you what; ask me again when I quit feeling like such a blockhead.

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    • binki burner says:

      that happened to me, too. Except I was told you are now being taken to the ticket page. There was a box that said how many tickets do you want I put into and quick to go on the other end and then not available came up. That was rotten. binki burner

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      • John says:

        Same thing happened to me. High hopes, then quickly dashed.

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      • Carolyn says:

        Samething happen to me .but couldn’t type in any numbers . It said tickets unavailable and vehicle pass none. I clicked 4 min before 12 .put in waiting room. When the 12 hit the man was walking very slow step by step. 45 minutes later ticket sold out ive been try 3 yrs now and ibe never been

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      • Elle says:

        The trick they don’t mention is that once you get into the Ticketfly page and it says None Available, all you have to do is keep hitting refresh and eventually a ticket or two come up as available, because of someone else’s payment not going through or other reasons I guess? This worked for me yesterday, after about 15 refreshes I was able to secure a ticket.

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      • Brenda Stemwell says:

        Yup same thing happened to me

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    • El Tigre says:

      I actually tried to make a donation once it said sold out, but it wouldn’t let me.

      Report comment

      • Marcie says:

        I agree…after watching that guy walking…walking…walking…moving (or should I say creeping!)…I was almost to the end when it saud in the query that there no tickets available but don’t give up because if purchases don’t go through they’re may be more…which I understood…but in the meantime it continued to creep firward..thinking some purchases must of not gone through (otherwise…why would I be creeping forward?) Then when it said it was my turn!!! Moved me to where the sale of tickets were…I got so excited, along with my 3 year old grandson who was watching and asking what was this…only to be told there was NO TICKETS AVAILABLE…My question is why did the other page not say…no tickets available? I mean it told me to wait because….could it not of told me the Sal was complete and no tickets were lefy..I wondered how long I sat there and waited after the tickets were sold out…5 minutes, 1p minuespecially, 20 minutes…or more? I felt very let down and like I wasted who knows how much extra time…I would of felt better to of learned they were sold out at the time they were sold out…knowing going into it that that was a possibility…

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    • KOKO Rebecca says:

      That is really cruel….I had that happen at a museum sale in Dallas. I had two tickets to see a very famous artist…..at Fort Worth Modern….in MY CART….I was typing in my credit card and up popped sold out!…..I understand. I, too, am so bummed……I hope we all get tickets with the next two opportunities. I feel your pain because I went last year and have been planning non-stop since I pulled out during exodus!

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  • Mike says:

    What I don’t understand is why the confirmation email hides information and is full of traps. It presents 3 options of how to log into the sale, but doesn’t mention the 30 minute pre-queue. The pre-queue is only available by clicking on option 1 (personalized link in email). The other 2 instructions (links on tickets.b.org and profiles.b.org) are traps, if you click on them (after 12) you aren’t getting in the pre-queue and you aren’t getting tickets, plain and simple.

    Why do you mislead people with faulty instructions and hidden queues?

    (I’m not salty, I knew the tricks and I got my tickets.)

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    • Carolyn says:

      Dang van you give me some advice plz. I have never been. Ive been trying for 3 yrs. No luck

      Report comment

      • Dragon says:

        Best thing IMO is get heavily involved in your local Burner community. I understand that some folks are in remote locales or overseas…hard to do, but not impossible. Networking has helped me for the last 5-6 years that I have not been able to secure a Main Sale ticket.

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    • Phantasma says:

      I got tickets from the profiles page. Didn’t even know about the pre-queue. Wow.

      Report comment

  • Larry says:

    Yeah, defend the system chosen all you want, it’s a terrible experience for most people. I got through the queue after waiting for 45 minutes only to see all the tickets were carted. Then I’d refresh the page, see an option to select tickets, try to add them to cart and get an error. I did this like 20+ times before I gave up. That’s the worst of it… you wasted an hour of my time with this silliness. If it’s going to be a lottery, figure out who can buy the tickets without wasting other people’s time.

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    • El Tigre says:

      I had the same experience of being offered tix, but then told I couldn’t and that was without refreshing the page. That’s a “hitch” to my mind.

      Report comment

  • Steve Mayer says:

    Totally bummed.. second year in a row this happened. Was in a house with others trying on separate computers, we all hit go at 12:00.00 and some got and some did not (me). Had one friend log off and go to another computer at 12:02:00 and he got a tickets. What the heck, the system does not work as billed. Period. Been 9 years working on camps, working on art cars, etc nothing last year so missed :(

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  • Jenny Lane says:

    My husband got in. Paid for 2 tickets. Got a receipt from Visa. NEVER got confirmation from Ticketfly. So he actually emailed Burning Man organization. Finally got an email back that there was a “glitch” and our tickets, that he has proof of paying for, were released and resold!!!! We are long-time Burners. We contribute to Burning Man. We volunteer. But our tickets were given away because of a “glitch”?????

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  • Tracer says:

    Im another long time Burner that missed out on tickets. Not much anyone can do when you have 2x the people wanting tickets than tickets are available. But there always seems to be the High Priced tickets available. Shortly after the ticket window closed, I looked on Ebay…yep, there they were, BM Tickets for sale at 3-5X the price. Time to sell my Art / Mutant Car & find something else to do Labor Day Weekend. It looks like BM has Jumped the Shark & perhaps my BM experiences are over.

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    • Carolyn says:

      That sucks. They will pay. Karma is a big thing. They will get burned one day . Greedy people.

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    • Marcie says:

      Seems to me there should be a standard rule that it is against policy to ‘scalp” tuckets..I know, or at least I don’t think there is a way to deliver this at the point of purchase…but, us as burners should make burningman aware of these people and, at the very least…black ball (red tag them) from future sales!? And, maybe with time people would think twice before doing soo? Just a thought???

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  • Lovelotus007 says:

    What is truly disappointing is now for 6 years in a row I have obviously not been able to figure out the “tricks” as Mike is mentioning. A simple course in “How to purchase a Burn Ticket Online 101” would suffice. Or an old skool route of a physical ticket line somewhere would be a fair path. The cyber sales are full of flaws, insane beyond belief and a rocky tumultuous disappointing road. True community Burners cannot get tickets…meanwhile back at the ranch on-line there’s obvious ticket scalping sites that magically have Burn tix for sale above and beyond the cost price. https://www.vividseats.com/concerts/burning-man-tickets/burning-man-burning-man-black-rock-city-8-27-2168696.html. Seriously, please continue working on the process. Major glitches are in the dusty mix that need to be addressed !

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  • Bill says:

    I wonder how many tickets in this process are going to real burners and how many go to scalpers and others that want a placeholder in case they want to go. The amount of anxiety and false hope in the lottery is crushing.

    Perhaps a process where putting tickets into STEP takes a more-than-nominal reconveyance fee to discourage those uncertain if they want to go but are will to grab extra tickets. All that is needed beyond that is to prevent any use of tickets not purchased directly by the holder at a BM ticket sale or STEP. Let the techie folks figure out how to do that to thwart the scalpers…

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    • Lovelotus007 says:

      e.x.a.c.t.l.y ! ! !

      Report comment

    • Richie Rich says:

      Agreed. There should also be some sort of account for past participation (i.e. seniority) in the ticketing process. Most season ticket scenarios do this. They give first right of refusal to previous Holders. One would think that the experience that past burners bring to the playa is for the benefit of all. There would still be room for new blood. My thought is that this would maintain more the “family” vibe on the playa. Would curb a lot of bad feelings that are developing now too.

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    • Larry h says:

      Tickets all go to people who go to burning man. Some pay $1200 bmorg and some pay $1200 to scampers. Your choice

      Report comment

  • Glenn "Croc" Millar says:

    My biggest complaint is the number of tickets on StubHub minutes after the sale. Currently there are dozens of tickets on there (see below), not to mention all the ones other sites. And of course all the ones bought by Plug and Play camps for people that they are going to sell to as part of a $20K package.

    What blows me a way is it’s an easy problem to solve. Issue tickets in people’s names. Print their names on the tickets. When you get to the gate you have to be there with the ticket in your name and one other ticket that you bought. Checking ID’s would be easy.

    If a person who bought tickets can’t go and wants to sell the tickets, he must sell them back to Burning Man for face value. Then Burning Man can reissue them with a name to someone else.

    You would eliminate both scalpers and people who are hiring others to get online and buy tickets for their clients in the Plug and Play camps.

    https://www.stubhub.com/burning-man-festival-tickets-black-rock-city-8-27-2017/event/9687255/?mbox=1&rS=0&abbyo=true&sliderpos=false&qtyq=false&qtyddab=true&sfp1=true&sort=price+asc

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  • Jimmy says:

    With no technical glitches? What a joke. This is the second year in a row where the waiting room hurt more than it helped.

    First, the waiting room kicked people out. Then the waiting room timer was off by two minutes, not giving people access to the main sale. And once again, somehow people who joined the queue late still got tickets before people who supposedly joined as soon as the sale started.

    Ticketfly’s system is anything but fair and Burning Man is in some serious denial.

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  • Vicky S says:

    The most disappointing aspect of the Main Sale for me was seeing a bunch of tickets offered on Stubhub at jacked up prices less than 60mins after the sale started.

    Report comment

    • Dragon says:

      Scalping has been happening since the Dark Ages. Buyer beware. Anyone purchasing those tickets, if they actually exist, run the risk of that ticket having been invalidated by BMORG. BM Ticketing keeps an available list of invalidated/cancelled tickets. Do not get excited or frustrated to the point of falling for the scalpers. I can think of few things worse than driving 700 miles and getting denied entry to the event because of an invalidated ticket.

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      • Vicky S says:

        I recently camped in Yosemite. They checked my photo id to make sure I was the person who made the reservation. Apparently people have been buying up camping spots and selling them online for a profit. They’ve put a stop to it. It’s a nuisance but it is possible.

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      • Marcie says:

        I think checking ids at entrance to validate that the person buying the tickets is the one entering BM!! I know there’s situations when the 2nd ticket can not come with the person who bought it…but in most cases I think they would be together..lI mean it’s only 2 tickets..!? It works in other venues, so I know it can be done..it would put a stop to people buying for profit! And taking away from those who really wish to come!?

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      • Larry h says:

        About .3% of tickets are invalidated every year

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  • Jennifer Yanity says:

    Got in at 3:32…pushed the bottom to buy 2 tickets and a parking pass and was like bang…none left. Seemed very weird!
    It went to only let me donate. I was really confused and kind of felt like evil forces were about. I felt like someone swooped in and took the tickets from my hand. I would like to know exactly when the actual tickets sold out because something was amiss!!

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  • KK says:

    I think the process this year through Ticketfly was absolutely awful and BS and think the Org should address this. What a waste of an hour to sit there and seemingly have a place in line and BE LET INTO THE SALE just to have the ticket as well as car pass options say “None Available”. I refreshed a million times and tickets/parking passes would become available though when I clicked add to cart, I would get yet another disappointing email.

    DON’T LET PEOPLE INTO A QUEUE AND INTO A SALE WHEN THERE’S NOTHING TO SELL!

    Also, the Org needs to stop with these $1200 tickets and these OMG last minute sales. Set a price (aside from the low income opportunity tickets) and sell what you have to offer to the general public. Period. The various waves and pricing of things is weird and just adds to the angst.

    After 6 years of doing it right and getting a general sale ticket, I have to assume that something went wrong with the system or the process to not procure one. Massively pissed and disappointed.

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  • Lovelotus007 says:

    Sorry to see that my earlier comment was moderated off the comment board, censorship of the truth. There are major glitches in the cyber sales. A physical sale line somewhere would be a fair thing to do. The current status of not know all the tricks has been a rocky tumultuous road for many and the system needs to be further worked on. As far as the link to the scalping sites which I included earlier…there are many and that was just one site. Tickets going to scalpers selling at above and beyond the original cost. What is really going on, please address your community. THANK YOU !

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  • Lovelotus007 says:

    Sorry to see that my earlier comment was moderated off the comment board, censorship of the truth. There are major glitches in the cyber sales. A physical sale line somewhere would be a fair thing to do. The current status of not knowing all the tricks has been a rocky tumultuous road for many and the system needs to be further worked on. As far as the link to the scalping sites which I included earlier…there are many and that was just one site. Tickets going to scalpers selling at above and beyond the original cost. What is really going on, please address your community. THANK YOU !

    Report comment

  • Wizard says:

    To everyone who didn’t get a ticket in the main sale — I’m a 15 year burner and want to point out that tickets are almost ALWAYS available (at face price) as the event draws near and people with tickets have to cancel their trip. But what often happens is people miss out on the main sale, and cancel their plans, and then when tickets are available, it’s too late to suddenly get everything together and go. So if you really want to go to the burn, act as if you got the tickets and start planning. Trying to buy tix from a total stranger off of stubhub or craigslist isn’t the best way to go, so contact your local theme camps and let them know you need a ticket.

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    • Hero says:

      the problem with acting as if you’re going to get tickets is that some of us spend lots of money and time doing what we do for the playa, and the idea that we wouldn’t get to come in with all of that effort expended is….hard to imagine.

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      • Choad says:

        Re read the first part of what he wrote. Tickets are always available for face value- at least presale face value -a week before the event. Always . The second part is wrong. It’s safer buying from a source that stands behind the tickets

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    • Bladerunner says:

      I drag my trailer from the East Coast out to BM every other year. It takes me between 6 and 60 days to get there. I wouldn’t commit to coming out without having tickets up front. I was bummed to miss out on tickets this year. I just hope that I really had a fair shot in the waiting room. Some of the explanations of the waiting room lottery helped ease my pain. Making the countdown timer match the real time would help. That 2 minute difference made me feel like I was in the wrong line at the wrong time and there was nothing I could do.

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      • buttonwillow says:

        the timer was off for me as well by 1-2 minutes, then my man moved really quickly and I got two tickets and a vehicle pass after about 25 minutes. none of my friends got tix. :(

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  • Chris says:

    The Org has no defense for the technical incompetence of TicketFly. Reddit and ePlaya are full of reports from people who “game the system” by opening several different browsers and incognito browser windows on different devices (laptop, tablet, phone) and then getting tickets. BM even tweeted this year that the waiting room “burped” and invalidated everyone’s codes a few minutes prior to the sale. If you were in the waiting room (I was), you didn’t get placed in the main sale until 12:01:45.

    If this was a true lottery then I’d just say it was the luck of the playa, but it’s completely unfair to the regular man. Good news though! Tickets appeared on StubHub at 2x face value at about 1pm pacific yesterday.

    Make it a true lottery. Make it such that one of the two tickets per purchaser is locked to the purchaser and can only be resold through STEP. Ditch Ticketfly. Ditch the “stampede” sales model. Undo the clusterf#% that allows technical folks to game the system. Only allow one browser session per burner profile. Do SOMETHING with all those millions…. Sour grapes, I know, but after several years of no tickets of it gets super depressing.

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    • Teal says:

      I did not see your comment Chris, until after I posted mine….in total agreement with you. There is a way to eliminate the scalpers, Bmorg just needs to make it happen and it is possible since others do it.

      We all need to speak up, start a petition, or something, to end the unfair and unnecessary ticket fiasco that now exists every year.

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  • Silver B! says:

    The sale only worked ok. 12 of my 22 brothers got tickets. Sounds like we did better than some old timers. We have a few computer science majors that are good with the internet deal. I can’t show up until Friday night, but I’ll make up for missing the earlier days!! No sleep! If anyone in Las Vegas has any extras, hit me up. We need 10, and maybe more. Cash or trade. Peace out y’all.

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    • Snoop says:

      Sale worked just ok for you? 12 out of 22 people got tickets so the 12 people could have purchase 24 tickets. So it sounds like it work out perfectly for you and you have two extra tickets.

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  • Teal says:

    I did not get a ticket either. This will be my 13th year on the playa, and I got one last year by the beginning of July so that I could sign up for my 11th year of Greeter shifts. Yesterday hours after the sale, I had friends reporting that already the scalpers are on Craiglist, etc. advertising tickets. Hundreds, if not thousands of tickets are purchased by scalpers every year, and out of complete and utter desperation people buy them. My co-worker attends Comic-con and he said that organization does not have the scalper issue due to strict transfer rules. Maybe, Bmorg an inquiry should be made to them. What if ticket transfer was ONLY allowed through a much larger, sophisticated version of STEP…that way the tickets can only be transferred to another person to for what was paid for them through the Burning Man organization. There would be no profit for scalpers and therefore the tickets would get to the people who they should have gone to in the first place. Yep, that more work for your IT people and administration, but wouldn’t you feel better that you had eliminate scalpers and a huge amount of anxiety for the people who really want to create and participate in this community. Think about it.

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  • Madeleine says:

    You know what would be great? If the system was somehow able to tell people tickets sold out when they sold out instead of having people stare at their computers for an hour and a half only to be disappointed in the end. That was the most frustrating part for us. The waiting! I’m a software developer so I know this is possible. It’s unfair to have people sitting around waiting when their chance of landing a ticket was long gone.

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    • quantumswing says:

      It does, you know. On the queue page, at the top, it said both that all tickets had been carted and later that all tickets were sold out. I’ve seen multiple people complain about this, when the information was noted up front.

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      • Madeleine says:

        I didn’t see it at all. I even refreshed the page after waiting for an hour to see if it would just kick me out if the tickets were sold out. Maybe it should be more prominent.

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  • Sizzle says:

    I am also a long time attendee and was not put into the Queue until 12:01…..and seconds. Finally got in…knew it was going to be close because I have watched that little man walk too many times and know about how long the tickets take to sell out. I started to order my 2 tickets…it booted me out shortly but no one seems to talk about the lack of parking passes…..No pass, no go!!! Like others have said, didn’t the “getting in the queue work the best?
    This process, and the many options simply do not seems to work and it also seems like there are more scalpers getting tickets …….

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  • Mojo Jojo says:

    Been to Burning Man since ’09. Ticketing since then reflects very poor strategy. Allow people to register. Use a lottery method and notify people if they have been ticketed or not through their Burner Profile. Keep tickets unique to profile so can only be transfered through STEP. Simple and would stop wasting everyone’s time with this log in exactly at 12 nonsense. Would discourage scalping too.

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  • Datona13 says:

    wow…I know it’s disappointing to not get a ticket through this way (I did not). I secured my ticket this year through a friend who got through; one last year in exchange for camp work; the year before through a Burner friend of Burner friend…community and gratitude and work …year after year is what gets people there.
    these comments are so outrageously angry…think about if you had to wait in lines all day for the only bits of food you would get all week…put life in perspective people…
    if you don’t get to go this year, then fulfill yourself that week volunteering, creating art, playing with friends old and new…
    same

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    • Madeleine says:

      I agree that there maybe some exaggerated emotions but for some people, this isn’t about “waaaahhhh I didn’t get a ticket”. Don’t just assume that all the complainers are a bunch of entitled people who were mad because they had to wait so long and didn’t get a ticket. People go to Burning Man for different reasons and for some it’s beyond a big party in the desert. Not everyone as a “friend” who happens to have extra tickets, either. And don’t even compare this to the plight of survival like waiting in a food line…. Let people vent.

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      • Art says:

        Yes they are all entitled whining douches. Poor people get low income tickets. Contributors get directed sale. Hard workers get dpw or volunteer tickets. Bitching Douches refuse to do what it takes and complain instead.

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  • John says:

    Ticketfly is straight up GARBAGE !! Worst servers around. The whole ticketing process is BS !! Scalpers were swooping up tickets to sell for 4x the value. BMORG NEED TO FIX THIS BS ASAP !!!Look at Ebay and Stubhub…tix for sale already for outrageous prices. BMORG, You’re not doing enough to fight this!! Please step up and get it right. Maybe it should only be 1 ticket per transaction?? Just a thought.

    FYI, my crew has NEVER been able to buy tix from main sale or STEP….NEVER !!! Sad.

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  • Lynne Snyder says:

    I wasn’t in the waiting room. I waited until noon per bmans directions. Signed in and waited like everyone else to be told after a few minutes that all tickets were spoken for. “But don’t give up hope” tickets may come up. So I waited an additional hour to finally have a screen come up that I could order tickets on but there were none left. Wife and I are very disappointed but is been telling her all along that there was no way that the multitudes of people who claim to have gone to bm for multiple years couldn’t possibly have done so without having an “in” somewhere. It’s pretty obvious after reading these comments that there’s no way we will ever get tickets because we can’t afford to pay 1200 bucks (or more to the scalpers). We will try again but are resigned to the fact that there’s very little chance that we will make the grade. Just sign us Bummed in Michigan…

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  • Julia says:

    A way to avoid people buying extra tickets in order to re-sell it for an expensive price is to make every ticket personal and non-transferable (i’m not sure if it’s the right word). Boom Festival in Portugal is doing that and now it’s impossible to buy and re-sell to another person. If you give up on your ticket, you can only give back to the festival, they refund you and then they re-sell it for the same price. I didn’t get to buy the ticket to boom festival on the main sale, but I easily bought it on the re-sale a couple of months later, with these returned tickets. It was perfect!

    Another thing that BM should consider doing is to make cheaper prices for developing countries. 2 tickets and 1 vehicle pass costed me 1080USD, but almost 4000BRL which is a huge amount of money in Brasil and that makes me really sad.

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  • VC says:

    Can someone explain what happened during the 1:45 “black hole” time during which people in the waiting room were not put in the queue until 12:01:45 (PST)? What happened to people who tried to enter the sale at 12:00? Did they get in line? Or were they thrown in the waiting room? If they got in line, while the people in the waiting room were still waiting, the waiting room got screwed again for the second year in a row.

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    • Chris says:

      I’ve not heard of anyone who clicked “exactly at 12:00:00” being forced to wait the extra 1 minute and 45 seconds (with that funny countdown clock) before the man appeared. Also, it seems that only some of the people in the waiting room had the extra 1:45 penalty. Someone else suggested that this is the TicketFly “safety net” to prevent overloads, but I am not technical enough to comment.

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    • Chilli says:

      I got stuck in the 1:45 second black hole. I thought that Burning Man’s clocks were off or something, which didn’t seem right!
      For reference – I entered he waiting room at 11:46am and my frid who was sitting next to me on a different computer clicked their unique code link at 12:00:01 – my friend got put in the waiting room too. They saw the timer counting down, as did I, about 60 scolds lapsed, and then with about 45 seconds left on the clock we were told that we were going into the queue – a massive delay then ensued (which was easily 45 seconds) – and then we were finally in the queue. My friend got in the queue about 4-5 seconds before I did, and I was ahead of them in the queue in the end, but neither of us got any tickets.

      Brutally disappointing because we are from overseas as we have already booked our international flights to be in the US for the Eclipse and the burn, but we have been several years in a row and we know that if you really really want to, and you really put the effort in, you will get a ticket. I don’t like the scalpers and the premium pr seal ticket prices either, but I will survive! And we will be there on the playa.

      Sit tight, and wait for people to change their plans and put their regular priced tickets up for sale. Keep listening to the burner community and you will find tickets!! I know we will. There’s plenty of time yet! =)

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      • Shwazam says:

        The Oregon Eclipse will be fantastic ! Glad you are heading this way for that on faith. Hopefully it works out sooner rather than later for you with BRC tix.

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  • xtraslky says:

    I was in that black hole. I didnt mean to be in the waiting room, i clicked on the site at 11:59:58 (according to the world clock at time.org) and got delayed 1:45 before they’d put me in the queue. I call bullshit.

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  • Robby fouts (Rotten Robby) says:

    I have always felt that full time, devoted burners should have the opportunity to make a non-refundable deposit of 100.00 within one week, (or some specific time) after the man burn for up to two tickets for the next years event–there are ways to track bar codes, or some similar ident to ensure that price abuse, unwanted transfer, or scalping does not occur–this guarantees that the barbie death camp, skinny kitty tea, and Ideate, are committed, and that the core , and more importantly thier members, which may change , continue to make the playa what it is, and also allow for creative change where needed.

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  • JP says:

    BMORG: clear up for the community the time lag between sale open time of noon—and the one minute and fourty five second entry delay assessed all members of the waiting room queuer’s club! Did a breakdown occur? Whose fault: ticketfly or you? Or will the 1:45 discrepancy vanish just like Tricky Dick’s 18 minutes?

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  • Descartes says:

    Dear fellow burners and Ticketnerds,

    The Ticket Sale was fun!

    Even if i hadn’t gotten a ticket, it was fun!
    Action, excitement, secret clickery advices and helping fellow folks in trouble!

    Burning Man is the single most important Thing in my life.
    But please, don’t take it so serious!
    You’re ruining it for yourselves….
    If i read here…i get the impression of a community of grumpy old men on a park bench! ;)

    Hugs for all of you,
    Descartes

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  • Just Be says:

    I thought the waiting room was great even though I didn’t get tickets. Much better than relying on internet speed and atomic clock times to hit 12 noon on the mark.
    A friend next to me got tickets but no vehicle pass at 24 min, I hit the queue at 26 min and “sold out”.

    My real gripe is that if there are 30K tickets, there should be 15 k vehicle passes. How do I get my bike, cooler, 30 gallons H20, 8 boxes of peaches (my usual playa gift), ya de ya, out there? My wife WILL NOT tent camp.

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  • Winkingwino says:

    Last year, about 2500 people who were in the waiting room before 1200 noon “inadvertently” were placed at the front of the line, which of course was not fair. I believe that this year, the people who entered the waiting room before 1200 noon were placed at the back of the line, in some sort of misguided effort to right last year’s wrong. I believe this because I entered the waiting room about eight minutes before the sale, but didn’t get put into the green man marathon competition until 12:01:45. Of course by then, all the people who entered between 1200 noon and 12:01:45 were already in the queue, as evidenced by the many comments from people saying they got right in, purchased their tickets, and were out in five minutes. My little green man didn’t even move for 10 minutes. When the comments changed to say all tickets were sold out, he was only about 2/3 of the way across the screen. I think those of us who entered early paid the price for Burning Man’s screw up last year – thanks Burning Man, that was fair…… ???????

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  • Reality says:

    Rebecca Thorne: Bmorg INC and their shills are hypocritical scum. BMORG SCALPS THEIR TICKETS FOR $1000 and $1200 presale. They don’t want competition. Bmorg begs for donations while paying top employees $300,000 each. Bmorg gets unlimited free tickets to give to family , coworkers, customers and friends. Until they stop doing that ignore their self serving blather twaddling!

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  • Beth A. says:

    I have never been to burning man & me & my soon to be husband took off work early to sit at our computers to buy the main sale tickets. We already have bike lights & some outfits we plan to wear bought. We were almost as excited for our May wedding as burning man! Planned to do a complete 3 week cross country trip to burning man & back. I feel very tempted to return everything because we did not get tickets while we watched the 40,000 tickets get bought within 30 mins right in front of our eyes. We actually cried about it for a min. We are both vigin plays & don’t know alot about the community to conect to try and get tickets in other ways.

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  • Alice says:

    Hey everyone ! I’d Like to share my experience about the main sale. We were 9 friends , 4 in the same room/4 computers. We tried different ways to go in the queue. Before 12/ At 12:00/ via the link/via burner profiles….. 3out of 9 got into the sale page. How? 2 through burner profile at 12:00 , 1 via the personal link At 11:35. So Yey no logic … keep your hopes high and You will go :) see You There :)))

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  • ro says:

    does bmorg know how many people applied for the 35,000 tickets? it would be comforting for those of us who did not get tickets that burning man is a worldwide phenomenon and (350,000, 500,000, or 1,000,000?.) people were in line

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