Someone mentioned Glastonbury earlier - it's an event I work at and know well. I thought I'd write a few words about how ticketing works there, for those of you that are curious...
For decades, if more people wanted to come than there were tickets, many just came anyway and jumped over the fence. Finally, after a crazy number on site in 2000, the authorities said enough is enough.
The organisers commissioned a $3m custom fence that remains pretty much inpenetrable.
This then drove the scalping market. It is arguable though how significant this ever was. I'd guess maybe a maximum of 5% of the tickets were bought by scalpers. If the event was 2x oversubscribed, scalpers weren't the 'cause' of the shortage (IMHO).
Nonetheless, scalpers infuriated organisers and ticket buyers alike.
In 2005, the organisers printed names on tickets. That was easily foiled - people just brought fake IDs, scalpers provided copies of bank statements, utility bills etc etc.
In 2007, they made it way simpler, and harder to exploit - by printing photos on tickets. When you buy a ticket for Glastonbury, the submitted photo is tied to it. Then, all you have to do is remember to bring your face.
You can cancel your ticket until about a month before, but after that, no refunds. Cancellations go back into a pool and get resold. One complication with this, for the organisers, was that they had to get software developed to handle the photo submissions, and also employ people to check each photo was of acceptable standard (no hats, etc etc).
The photo system has *almost* eliminated scalping. The occasional ebay ad appears, but is usually nuked within 24 hours. I don't know what the arrangement is between the organisers and ebay, but suffice to say they are pretty quick on take downs.
All of this only applies to the general public, and in a heavily oversubscribed year, maybe half or more people don't get tickets.
The general public do not build or perform (well, some have a go!), and in practical terms - unlike Burning Man - it would be very difficult for them to do so. If only because, since the mid-80s, the public can no longer bring vehicles into the site. RVs are outside the fence. Inside the fence is tents only. Which is what maybe 90% of people do.
At the public gates - entirely pedestrian by this point - the photos are checked, then people get wristbanded. On the first day, about 100,000 people pass through the turnstiles. Lines begin to form at about 5am, gates open at 8ish, and lines are usually cleared by about 2pm. There's a pass-out system for people needing to go back to their cars or return to RVs. The total public ticket allocation is 137,500. Each year, about 30% of these will be newbies (by pot luck, rather than design).
People performing / building come under crew allocations. Independent units submit their requirements, and get their crew tickets. People working for a crew regularly will get their ticket year after year. Some, with less 'heritage', might have to wait until much nearer the event to know, and may not get a ticket at all.
Crew do not pay for tickets. Some crew doing tech work or skilled build or 'regular work' like security or working in a cafe, are also paid to be there. Many others are volunteering for charities. They effectivey donate minimum wage, paid by the organisers, to the good cause running their crew. Big name performers play for knock down fees (e.g. 10% of commercial rate), small acts often play for free or just expenses. The total number of crew/performers/media et al is 40,000
As you can see from the above, there's factors that make it incomparable with Burning Man. Particularly the distinction between crew and public, and the way they are ticketed. The one thing that *might* be transferrable is photos on tickets. It's not easy, indeed noone else has done it, but Glastonbury has proved it's possible - if only for that particular event. And even so, if BM is genuinely massively oversubscribed, that's not a silver bullet.