New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

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PabloElD
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by PabloElD » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:32 am

A few random thoughts, since I'm not smart enough to figure out all the unintended effects.

1) Groups will naturally collude and each apply for more tickets than they need collectively in order to insure everyone gets in.
Therefore
a) lotteries will saturate early and distribute many tickets to a few applicants.
b) there will be many extra tickets to be sold, creating a huge secondary market, starting "early Summer". Prepare for chaos.
c) In fact the initial lottery is not fair, i.e. random, because advantage can be gamed by over-applying, in effect placing extra chances in the pool. The only fair system is one person/one ticket/one chance, with the option to apply as a group (all or none, odds multiplied).
d) As planned, the initial ticket distribution is fair-ish, but only for the fraction of tickets the applicants actually wanted. The rest will be distributed in an unregulated market. That could turn out worse than the traditional way.

2) Scalpers will still get tickets from lottery and secondary market.

3) Tickets assigned per person: I like the idea because it puts friction into the system, eliminates speculation (scalpers), and returned tickets can be recycled into lotteries (or sold), making the whole system "fair" again. At the cost of much administrative complication, as many have pointed out. But charge for those costs - it's a penalty for gaming the system and for poor planning. Technology for tracking ticker owner can easily fix the scalper problem.

4) The existing early bird model is not IMO as unfair and arbitrary as it appears. It favors people who commit to attending early. Those people are likely to include the ones who contribute the most to Burning Man. Besides first come/first serve is a simple, natural, and time tested way of distributing a scarce resource. Its unintended consequences are not necessarily worse than a lottery's (much less incentive to over-buy). High participation Burners who missed out or got scalped in 2011: just get in line early.

5) A combination of first come/first serve and lottery could work. When, say, 80% of tickets are sold, switch to a lottery for the rest. In between, wait for the secondary market to clear under threat of impending lottery.

Thanks for listening,
C3

P.S. BMORG: there are surely geeks at your famous local universities who have spent their whole careers studying and modeling fair voting and distribution systems. Why not get some help from experts to design a better system?
Last edited by PabloElD on Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by unjonharley » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:34 am

Simon of the Playa wrote:GOLLY, WOULDN'T IT BE FUCKING HILARIOUS IS SOMEONE STOLE ALL OF THOSE CREDIT CARD #'S?


just sayin'...
That was the first thing that went through my damaged little brain..

First you must become a sheepeople and hand over your credit card to the hackers..

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by AntiM » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:45 am

FIGJAM wrote:AuntiM and I can't get tickets as our religion does'nt allow us to gamble! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sorry, could'nt say that without laughing.

What about states that don't allow lotteries?
My religion does however, allow me to have a credit card with a large available for purchase balance.

The feeling one has lost control and the lack of details does induce a certain uneasy state of mind however.

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Handout » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:47 am

IMHO, this is a response to a problem created by the Man's reliance on "BM Friends" as tech provider. When their infrastructure couldn't handle the crunch last January, Meltdown Man occurred. A more reasonable approach would be to find a tech vendor who is up to the task. This new lottery system sounds like it was invented by a group of folks sitting in their campers on the Playa last September and enjoying their brownies a bit too much.

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by MrMullen » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:57 am

Handout wrote:IMHO, this is a response to a problem created by the Man's reliance on "BM Friends" as tech provider. When their infrastructure couldn't handle the crunch last January, Meltdown Man occurred. A more reasonable approach would be to find a tech vendor who is up to the task. This new lottery system sounds like it was invented by a group of folks sitting in their campers on the Playa last September and enjoying their brownies a bit too much.
*THIS*. Some one at the BM ORG is funneling ticket sales through a "Burner Friend" or a "Burner Business" who is not up to the task of selling tickets at this scale. They need to move the ticket sales process to the Evil Scumbag Ticket Sellers, who can handle selling the tickets, or get a new "Burner Business" that can do the job. It is very clear that the current online ticket seller is not up to the task and they will never be unless there is some form of market pressure for them to improve. For 8 years, it has been like this.

We, the participants, are doing nothing wrong and scalping is a non-issue. The issue is that Burning Man can't sell tickets without it being a major technical melt down for the first few hours that tickets go on sale. They need to get a real ticket seller who can handle the task.
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Sola Gangsta » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:57 am

They could easily go with a server like amazon uses to avoid online traffic snares. So logic suggests that ticket sales are no problem at all and that what they really want is even more ticket sales/funding and this is the kind of ticket hysteria that could really generate sales and put the event through the roof. I'm a Nevada business owner so I know how these things work.

I was told at the burn that attendance is really closer to about 90,00 - 100,000, just not on paper due to BLM stipulations (Nevada Casino's have regularly kept two sets of books). I got this from one of the organizers of an art installation on the open playa past the Temple of Transition this year.

I know because of a PM I got recently about this. Contact me privately if you want more details.

You may not hear from me again if I'm correct.
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Bob » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:03 pm

Sola Gangsta +1, Cowboy Angel 0 at the end of the first quarter.
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by lavender_green » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:06 pm

Sola Gangsta wrote: I got this from one of the organizers of an art installation on the open playa past the Temple of Transition this year.
Yes, because as we all know, people who bring art to the event are automatically given access to the secrets of the Burning Man organization. Between that and the orgies out by the shower facilities at the trash fence (just turn left at the Dumpsters and keep going), it's fucking AWESOME to be an artist at Burning Man.

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by freya89 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:06 pm

Here's a better solution: Just cancel Burning Man. Seriously. If the organizers are going to panic this much because the event sold out by changing the dynamics of who can attend, then the event is dead. Yes there will always be complaints, yes maybe it won't be that bad. We will have to see right? However, if one were to think about this "lottery" logically they would figure out that from now on this process will SEVERELY limit the diverse community that is what Burning Man is a creation of.
A lot of valid points have been made, here are more...

1) Burning Man will become a North American only event. Thousands of people from around the world attend Burning Man. They must buy plane tickets costing $1500+ just to fly to Nevada on top of their ticket price well in advance. Why would they bother coming at all if they are playing a game of chance? I met a Scandinavian theme camp last year, all of them flew out (some who had never been to America) to build a contribution. If only two of the twenty are selected, no more contribution.
2) Burning Man is "home" to thousands of people. This process is hurtful to the people that have put thousands of hours, money, and labor into making it out to the playa each year. Burning Man is now rejecting these people, and only the ones lucky enough to "win" will get to return home.
3) Why would I (or anyone) even bother returning to an event that is turning its back on thousands of participants when I could easily attend another where I am guaranteed a ticket? Sorry, you may have been the first, but you aren't the last. There are thousands of "mini burning-mans" across the world, and I would rather spend more money for a guarantee. Especially in times where there are no more guarantees, people return to BM because it has become the one place they know they can always return too.

If you want a logical answer, look at how smaller events such as Fire Drums sets up their ticket process. For one, they don't have physical tickets so their can be no scalping or over-selling. They also make each ticket holder register an account, this is where the ticket "credit" is displayed. If they need to sell their ticket they get the name of the account holder and transfer it to them. If they don't transfer the ticket by a certain date it gets put back into the ticket pool and the purchaser gets refunded when the ticket gets sold. Viola! Magic! Simple! Effective! Fair!

Also, if the "rush" is a problem then make the tickets all the same price. I think that's more fair than anything. If everyone's ticket was $350 (except for income contingent/staff/performers) no one would scramble to get the 'cheapest' ticket. To take it even further, take what college systems do and give out registration dates. Limit the amount of tickets to each date and allow artists, theme camps, and musicians to register first. Limit the amount of tickets purchased to 2-4 and by a certain date they must transfer their ticket to an account holder, or lose the ticket to another buyer.

I've offered reasons why this system is ineffective, and solutions. But the people running the event probably won't read this, or care.

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by CapSmashy » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:09 pm

Sola Gangsta wrote:I was told at the burn that attendance is really closer to about 90,00 - 100,000, just not on paper due to BLM stipulations (Nevada Casino's have regularly kept two sets of books). I got this from one of the organizers of an art installation on the open playa past the Temple of Transition this year.

I know because of a PM I got recently about this. Contact me privately if you want more details.

You may not hear from me again if I'm correct.
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by stevebookman » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:10 pm

Referring specifically to "go with a major server ... amazon.com" you will be pleased to know that eplaya.burhningman.com -- IP Address 50.18.188.133 - resolves to Amazon.com so it seems they may already be using Amazon Web Services...

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by lavender_green » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:11 pm

Dave_techie wrote:
I am poor, period, dot, end of sentence, I go to burning man because it is one of the few places that I don't feel like society hates me for being poor, but that is rapidly changing.
Can you please elaborate on how you're "poor" but can still afford hundreds and hundreds of dollars to go on vacation to the desert every year? I'm really curious.

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Paloma8 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:14 pm

And for all of you saying "don't freak out" -- wait and see what they say....

THEY'VE already said enough! ! ! ! Perhaps if they get thousands of responses in the negative, they'll take that into consideration.

The idea of having literally tens of thousands of credit card numbers on THEIR FILES for months is a bit scary after the crash last year. How will the lotteries work? You KNOW that in 10,000 winners, there are going to be a percent, even ONE% whose credit cards fail, got the numbers transposed etc. Are they gonna run a test of 1cent to be sure the credit cards are all in there correctly? Or are they gonna sit there and take the time to sort out every Tom, Dick and Mary whose credit card didn't work. What about people that MOVE in the meantime and/or don't retain their email address? I've changed mine many times when I changed cable providers and/or to drop spam.

And what about people that did NOT get the JRS? I know lots of people that don't read that. They'll just sign onto the bMan site sometime in Jan or Feb to see when "the date" for buying tickets begins to find out what? The TWO WEEK registration period is OVER and??? what??? they're out?

Another thing... while all you administrators are putting this into your pipe and smoking it..... will you please give us more direction as to what happens if we sign up for Tier 33, and don't find out until June that we didn't "WIN" a ticket? Can we go back and re-register for any Tier remaining? Or are you saving a select number of tickets, somewhat like the 'presale' higher priced tickets for those losers... they could be $500.

If this is supposed to cut down on scalpers, I have to say, in my humble opinion.... who's business is that really except between burners and scalpers. If there were no buyers, there would be no scalpers. If burners come on in the early part of the year, buy their ticket, hand over their $$ for the BRC to start it's plans, they're done. IF they wait until July 15 to smack themselves on the head and say I Want To Go -- they'll be looking around for second hand tickets. If they wouldn't PAY for increased tickets, that market would be done, but this is the world of man, and these things go on and I doubt there's ANYTHING that bMan is gonna do that is creative enough to discourage it. In fact, reading over hundreds of postings, a lot of people have insightful argument why just the opposite will happen and this system will gear scalpers up to go CRAZY to be sure they have enough too.

This system is like a heavy handed TSA coming in to make everything alright for the kiddies. I don't remember asking to be protected. Now I'm paranoid my IP will be tracked and I mysteriously won't win a lottery because i was a naysayer.

This just seems like a very burdensome and oppressive answer to "scalping" if that's what it is. If it's simply figuring out a way not to have the system crash on day 1 -- for heavens sake, get some other advice. No matter when I signed on last year I was in the 7000 range.... and 8hrs later got dropped back in at the 21000 range, SO WHAT? It was a day and then I was done and knew what was going on.

I hope in the next letter they make their intention on this whole thing more clear. Speaking of which.... I just looked on the site and did not find nary a word about the ticket system.... so that registration in November, that's NEVER been part of the ticket system? May just go unnoticed to the masses and only those of use that are signed onto the JRS will be in the know. That's fair, YAY = (

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Sola Gangsta » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:21 pm

lavender_green wrote:
Sola Gangsta wrote: I got this from one of the organizers of an art installation on the open playa past the Temple of Transition this year.
Yes, because as we all know, people who bring art to the event are automatically given access to the secrets of the Burning Man organization. Between that and the orgies out by the shower facilities at the trash fence (just turn left at the Dumpsters and keep going), it's fucking AWESOME to be an artist at Burning Man.
This person also has ties to the Oregon Country Fair. It is a guess based upon experience from an organizer of events of this nature.
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:35 pm

It is a guess
and therefore, totally useless...


yadda yadda yadda....


http://blog.sfgate.com/stew/2011/11/11/ ... man/?tsp=1
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by CapSmashy » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:36 pm

Sola Gangsta wrote:This person also has ties to the Oregon Country Fair.
Ties?
It is a guess based upon experience from an organizer of events of this nature.
wait, wait, wait...

First you claim it's an "insider", trying to sound all important, because you have "inside" information

Now it is down to someone that has"ties" to the Oregon county fair that's making a guess?


What's next, you gonna tell us you have satellite photo evidence?
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by dmchook1955 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:37 pm

[quote="Nosferatu"]No, you are not being punished for having your shit together. You are being punished for ticket scalpers buying up tickets and selling them. Solve all this ticket nonsense by making them NOT transferable. If you buy a ticket you have to sell it back to BM and BM is the only place you can buy tix.[/quote]
BINGO!

So I assume (?) there is priority given to the worker bees, theme camps, art installations, art cars? Would be a shame to lose the life's blood of the event because of scalpers.
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Jewel Man » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:38 pm

Is this the beginning of the end? If it looks like a turd and smells like a turd, it is a turd. The Lotto is a turd and will go down in history as the biggest disaster since bottled water.

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by trilobyte » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:39 pm

@liamrh - I don't believe so, though details have yet to be announced. We'll all know more then.

@baasman - hard to buy into the scam notion. If they determine the # of tickets at each pricing tier and are going to sell every single one of them anyways, there isn't really anything to be gained.

@stevebookman - what do you mean by "the community has thoroughly explored the implications"? Because so far, it's just been a lot of knee-jerk posts and emotional responses. Many valid posts and opinions to be sure, but not exactly thorough.

@Jwen - make sure your friends sign up to the Jack Rabbit Speaks and stays tuned for additional details to be announced. Odds are in favor of those who plan being able to attend.

@Nerdling - what you're reading is speculation and conjecture from people who know nothing more than what has been posted (which is very little at this point). It could turn out to be a flimsy, poorly designed plan… but it could turn out to be a well thought-out implementation by well-intentioned people who've put a lot of time and energy into it.

@TheCO - it is being seen and read.

@Jessetr - if it was a single round lottery, then I agree it would be tough and unfair towards those who are trying to plan. But it's a multiple round process, which I imagine would be a lot more fair (or even to the advantage) of those who plan.

@PabloEID - what makes you think the BMOrg hasn't done plenty of research or consulted with experts?

@Figjam - Burning Man (and tickets to the event) are governed by the state of Nevada, as I understand.

@AntiM - I wish all the details had been made available at once, too.

@Handout - there have been meltdowns and headaches on first day of Burning Man ticket sales for many, many years.

@freya89 - I haven't seen any details yet that would lead me to believe that the event would be unfair to people from any geographic region or country. As for Fire Drum, managing the ticketing process for a 500 person event versus a 55,000 person event is massively different - using an event that's 110 times smaller as a recipe for disaster IMO.

@Paloma8 - If you know a lot of burners who don't read JRS, reach out to them and let them know. As for your additional questions about the process, you're going to have to wait until additional information is made available. It is my understanding that while tickets may not be mailed out until early summer, you'd find out immediately after a lottery round if your bid was successful or not.

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Bob » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:41 pm

New eplaya users may want to enable quotes & stuff in their prefs:

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by dmchook1955 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:42 pm

[quote="chris2010"]Great scenario!... who wants to wait till summer to find out if they are going or not?!?[/quote]

Absolutely! We spend the year getting our theme camp together. How are we supposed to plan for who will go if we don't know til JUNE???
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Isotopia » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:47 pm

Image



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The SKY is Fucking FALLING!!!!!!!!

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by desertsighs » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:49 pm

I think this is a terrible idea.
And that is not whining !
It is that it leaves so much up in the air. How can you possibly plan for an art installation or who is going to do what at camp or should you ask for the time off of work, when you cant even know which of you will win a ticket ! I think there surely must be a better solution. Perhaps no price tier....make them all the same price so that everyone isnt scrambling to the computer on the first day of ticket sales just to save 20 or 40 bucks ....seriously....20 or 40 bucks isnt going to make the decision whether you can afford to go to Burning Man or not. Make them all 300.00 or 325.00 and be done with it. And only allow each person to buy their very own ticket....only one ticket sale per credit card allowed....period....to stop the scalping ( which is disgraceful).
It certainly feels pretty strange, as someone who has gone for 14 years straight, always planned in advance and gotten tickets ahead of time at all different price tiers, to be told I have to now get lucky and win my ticket. Or what if I win one, but my husband does not, or my best friend from Wisconsin that is saving her money now to be able to go for the first time. Pretty disheartening.
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by stevebookman » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:50 pm

With continued appreciation for the over three hundred people who have brainstormed so far ...

I was really having a hard time figuring out how the ticket process could cope with higher demand than capacity yet still allow -fairly- for a core of dedicated people to gain
guaranteed admission.

Just now an example in front of my face for years - the process to get into the New York City Marathon - seems to relate at least in part to our issues here. Analogy between
NYCM and Burning Man is not entirely far fetched - the training process for a marathon is easily 4 months plus and one has to train for awhile to be in shape to even start the
intensive marathon training period.

Consider the following:

For NYCM runners thinking in 11-2011 about running a NYC Marathon first week of November, 2012 --

1 - if you have run it fifteen times or more before 2012 you have guaranteed admission,

2 - If you have been a member of the umbrella organization since 15 January 2011 AND during 2011 have run nine official races run by the club AND have performed volunteer duty (usually 3-5 hours) on an official race -- then you have guaranteed admission for 2012.

3 - For certain tour packages for runners coming from at least xxx miles away a guaranteed marathon entry ticket is part of the deal .

4 - For certain charities if an intended runner raises enough money that confers a guaranteed marathon entry.

5 - For all not falling under the above four categories - then there is a lottery -- odds are not publicly revealed but my best guesses are the odds have been about one in three (maybe a bit more favorable).

I believe the community -- and the organization - are imaginative enough to consider analogies at Burning Man, for each of the four "guaranteed admission" modes I list above
for the New York City Marathon.

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by unjonharley » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:56 pm

dmchook1955 wrote:
chris2010 wrote:Great scenario!... who wants to wait till summer to find out if they are going or not?!?
Absolutely! We spend the year getting our theme camp together. How are we supposed to plan for who will go if we don't know til JUNE???
Ticket conformations will be sent.. Tickets come later.. This is in hopes to knock down some of the scalping..

Your only worry is betting on the right tier and your number comes up..
The odds of your theme camp coming togather is in the toilet..
Or your number not come up and your camp drones do.

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:59 pm

@trilobyte...My god man, how do you keep all that shit straight?


ps...i know for a fact that someone who is sleeping with larry's cat surmised through tea leaves that this is all a big ploy to increase eplaya readership...
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Eric » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:15 pm

Simon of the Playa wrote:@trilobyte...My god man, how do you keep all that shit straight?
He is a god amongst men. If only people would listen, but freaking out is easier.

Will this be perfect- of course not, we're dealing with BMorg. Will it be a whole lot less of a mess than this thread implies- it's almost impossible for it not to be. If this thread was the only info you'd think just about 10 really rich people are going to buy all 55,000 (or whatever) tickets.
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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Xingularity » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:16 pm

As an international traveller, this really messes with my plans.

What are my options now? I'm supposed to
  • Plan flights
  • Hire a vehicle
  • Take a large chunk of time off work
  • And get my friends to do the same
all for a chance that we might be able to go to BM?

I don't mind gambling; some days I'm a sucker for a poker machine. But this, in my opinion, is taking it too far. If a lottery system is indeed how BM2012 tickets are going to be sold, then - as much fun as I had at my first Burn this year - I might plan myself a holiday that has better chances of actually happening.

Maybe somewhere with an aviation industry less militant than the TSA...

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Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:19 pm

just blow on them, first...
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storkinsj1
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:27 pm

Re: New Burningman Ticket Process - 2012

Post by storkinsj1 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:23 pm

Another suggestion... just wish this had happened last year!

Give out scannable lottery tickets AT the playa this year. Those that really go to the event will have an advantage for the next year planning on how you decide to handle these scannable "entities".

Today everyone in the world including scalpers have equal rights to the tickets. Giving out these to the first x thousand who show up at the playa will weight in favor of the big camps and people who MAKE this scene.

As for the lottery - I advise not to do it. Everyone has pointed out the same things I have- that it will hurt big camps and the little people who make this thing rock. And yes it will lower the quality of attendees.

As for everyone else, I am not thinking it helps much to shout and scream and whine about how no one will listen to you. You're pretty much guaranteeing that with your tone. Also, if you don't have a suggestion on how to ACTUALLY SOLVE the ticket rush.... Shut it.

-Greg

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