Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Want to talk about tickets? You've come to the right place.
User avatar
Jovankat
Posts: 1670
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:11 am
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Methuselah's Children
Location: Oakland or Australia

Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby Jovankat » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:27 pm

From the BM Journal:

We do everything we can to give everyone a fair shot at a ticket to Burning Man, and we work with our ticketing partner Ticketfly to do just that. In an attempt to execute a smooth sale, Ticketfly adjusted how they implemented the queueing technology they use, which inadvertently resulted in 3,500 people who showed up early being placed in the front of the line during the March 23 Main Sale.

Because these people did nothing malicious, we’re not going to cancel their purchases, but unfair advantages are not acceptable, and we are working with Ticketfly to fix this problem for all future sales, including the August 3 OMG Sale. So what happened?

What Happened Before the Sale

Early in the planning process for the 2016 Main Sale, Ticketfly wanted to put a waiting room in place before the sale to accommodate the expected high server load. Under this plan, Burners who entered the sale before it opened would be placed in a “pre-queue” waiting room, and when the sale opened, everyone in that room would be randomly assigned a place in line.

We pushed back on this idea because it conflicted with our longtime policy that arriving early for a sale shouldn’t give one an advantage over someone who arrives when the sale officially begins. In this respect we’re kind of industry oddballs — it is standard practice in most high-volume ticket sales to use a waiting room like this, but it is philosophically out of line with how we feel participants should be treated in a sale.

In response, Ticketfly insisted the system was necessary to ensure a smooth sale, so we sent our standard night-before reminder email to everyone registered for the sale, including an explanation about the waiting room, to be transparent about the process.

In order to be fair to people who signed on at noon (as they were originally told to), we wanted the 20-minute waiting room to open at 11:45 am. That way, places in line wouldn’t be assigned until 12:05 pm, allowing people arriving promptly at noon to still have an equal chance. Everyone who showed up after 12:05 would be placed in line behind them.

It wasn’t ideal, but this compromise satisfied Ticketfly’s need to protect their system from attack and overload, and our need to not leave anyone out in the cold who showed up right at the official 12:00 pm sale time. Unfortunately, it turns out this isn’t what happened.

What We’ve Learned Since the Sale


Before 11:30 am, the Ticketfly system reached a load threshold that triggered the opening of a pre-pre-queue, called a “safety net”, that could absorb the crush of people attempting to line up in the minutes before the official start of the pre-queue. Here’s where human error comes into play: Ticketfly did not anticipate how the safety net would interact with the waiting room, and proceeded to open the expected waiting room at 11:30 am, 15 minutes earlier than we’d agreed and publicized. This waiting room was open for 35 minutes, still ending at 12:05 pm. Unbeknownst to us though, the roughly 3,500 people that arrived in the “safety net” period were given preferential placement ahead of everyone else to buy tickets and vehicle passes.

Reports from participants who experienced anomalies during the Main Sale began trickling in, and our team immediately started researching the claims and pressed Ticketfly for a more in-depth analysis. We scheduled a debrief meeting for April 11 to share the results of the research and address any remaining questions. It was at this point BRC learned about the failure of those caught in the “safety net” to be randomized along with everyone else.

Needless to say, we don’t like being in the position of having to notify people late in the game of a change in how the system works. On top of that, you can imagine our frustration upon learning of the system’s failure to faithfully randomize everyone. We hate that this happened. Please know that Ticketfly is keenly aware of how important it is to fix this problem and are committed to getting it right next time. And to you, we are sorry.

We genuinely wish ticket scarcity didn’t have to weigh on the community consciousness. Unfortunately, the reality is that demand far outstrips supply. But if you didn’t get tickets in the Main Sale, try not to lose heart; there are still options: The Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) opens to those seeking tickets April 27, the OMG Sale happens August 3, and the Low Income Ticket Program is still accepting applications for those who have a demonstrable need for it. Also, keep in mind many tickets change hands among Burners during the summer as people’s plans settle down. This is practically a tradition. Be patient, get the word out, stay connected to your Burner community, and one could very well make its way to you.

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5617
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2018
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby BBadger » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:07 pm

Ticketfly is paid a LOT of money to not fuck up, and yet purposely violates their agreed protocol at the expense of (non) attendees.

With such untrustworthy instructions and violated agreements, TicketFly better expect 120,000 people to relentlessly bombard their servers next year. No "safety net" bullshit is going to save them.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
Jackass
Posts: 1830
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: way out in left field

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby Jackass » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:15 am

Looks as though someone did whiz in the secret sauce... That Tricky Lawrence. We dodged the squirting flower, the whoopee cushion and the hand buzzer, now this.

ETA: Fuck you Ticketwasp!

Now I gotta go make nice with the fine folks at RND. See if the cache stash is still available
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

11th Principle: Depussyfication - Keeping Burning Man potentially lethal. Token

Skuzzy61
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:26 am
Burning Since: 2016
Camp Name: Barbie Death Camp
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby Skuzzy61 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:15 am

Well there is a way to resolve this mess in the future and allow BMORG complete control over the dispatching of tickets/passes. It is up to them. If they want to take control of it, they can. I hope they do.
I really would like to change the world, but I do not have access to the source code!
Duct tape is like "The Force"! It has a dark and a light side, and holds the universe together!

User avatar
mudpuppy000
Posts: 1549
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:54 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: THE BELLIGERENT GAP
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby mudpuppy000 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:27 am

Oops, welcome to the latest installment of being beta testers for their ticket system. Maybe they should spend some time beforehand trying to figure this stuff out before the sale goes live.

User avatar
A-RockLeFrench
Posts: 754
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:03 pm
Burning Since: 2010
Camp Name: FLUNGERDROUND
Location: Jefferson

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby A-RockLeFrench » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:50 am

And people wonder why people still complain... Because they keep fucking shit up.


Year after year.

stygmah
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:42 pm
Burning Since: 2016

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby stygmah » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:44 am

I really didn't want to know this... :(
I have my flights from Barcelona and was coping with the fact that i am going there without ticket because I had bad luck on an even and fair 'game'. Knowing this changes a bit that prespective.

User avatar
vargaso
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:26 pm
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Suburbanoya
Location: Lincoln, CA

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby vargaso » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:46 pm

"In this respect we’re kind of industry oddballs — it is standard practice in most high-volume ticket sales to use a waiting room like this, but it is philosophically out of line with how we feel participants should be treated in a sale."

Yes, adorable industry "oddballs," not obstinate and insular. The BMORG needs to accept the reality of supply and demand and start treating the ticketing process with the seriousness most other high demand events do.

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5617
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2018
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby BBadger » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:01 pm

mudpuppy000 wrote:Oops, welcome to the latest installment of being beta testers for their ticket system. Maybe they should spend some time beforehand trying to figure this stuff out before the sale goes live.


Or at least not have us pay $15 or whatever the amount was per ticket for the benefit of it. At least when Microsoft makes people beta testers for their Windows 10 they're giving the OS upgrade (and I use that term loosely) away for free. Or when people get to be the guinea pigs for video games, people get access to play the games early (except for Bethesda games).

Of course if there were fuck-up refunds, they would only go to the people who received the tickets, so that wouldn't help anyone else.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
vargaso
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:26 pm
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Suburbanoya
Location: Lincoln, CA

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby vargaso » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:11 pm

BBadger wrote:
mudpuppy000 wrote:Oops, welcome to the latest installment of being beta testers for their ticket system. Maybe they should spend some time beforehand trying to figure this stuff out before the sale goes live.


Or at least not have us pay $15 or whatever the amount was per ticket for the benefit of it. At least when Microsoft makes people beta testers for their Windows 10 they're giving the OS upgrade (and I use that term loosely) away for free. Or when people get to be the guinea pigs for video games, people get access to play the games early (except for Bethesda games).

Of course if there were fuck-up refunds, they would only go to the people who received the tickets, so that wouldn't help anyone else.


Yeah but:

"Early in the planning process for the 2016 Main Sale, Ticketfly wanted to put a waiting room in place before the sale to accommodate the expected high server load. Under this plan, Burners who entered the sale before it opened would be placed in a “pre-queue” waiting room, and when the sale opened, everyone in that room would be randomly assigned a place in line.

We pushed back on this idea because it conflicted with our longtime policy that arriving early for a sale shouldn’t give one an advantage over someone who arrives when the sale officially begins. In this respect we’re kind of industry oddballs — it is standard practice in most high-volume ticket sales to use a waiting room like this, but it is philosophically out of line with how we feel participants should be treated in a sale."


Ticketfly was upfront about the waiting room thing from the get-go, the BMORG "pushed back" because it somehow conflicted with an unstated principle against first-come/first-served. I'm not sure Ticketfly was beta testing anything, sounds like this is industry standard and they'd done it before.

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5617
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2018
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby BBadger » Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:12 pm

vargaso wrote:Ticketfly was upfront about the waiting room thing from the get-go, the BMORG "pushed back" because it somehow conflicted with an unstated principle against first-come/first-served. I'm not sure Ticketfly was beta testing anything, sounds like this is industry standard and they'd done it before.


This makes no difference at all. None.

Here's what I'm referring to:

Here’s where human error comes into play: Ticketfly did not anticipate how the safety net would interact with the waiting room, and proceeded to open the expected waiting room at 11:30 am, 15 minutes earlier than we’d agreed and publicized.


(emphasis mine)

The BMORG article is being way too kind terming this "human error." This was not "human error." This was a purposeful contravention of agreed protocol on part of TicketFly. TicketFly was not supposed to open up the line until 11:45 AM regardless of rationale. Full stop.

That was the agreement, and an agreement communicated to the community. An agreement that was violated by TicketFly, resulting in the fuck-up described above.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

dustyfux
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:20 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Break It Down

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby dustyfux » Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:04 pm

First thought when I read this - wait is this April Fools Joke 2.0?

Sorry, sounds seriously rookie. OK, BORG we get it-you have a problem with demand. But you've been doing this for years and ticket sales is a major part of your business model. Maybe its time to really tackle a problem that's been plaguing you for years?

But then again, what do I know. Maybe being known for consistently screwing up the ticket sales is a badge of honor.

User avatar
Jenifersteppat
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:06 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Location: Bend, Oregon

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby Jenifersteppat » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:14 pm

I don't understand how going into the waiting room early equals they didn't do anything wrong.
No matter where you go, there you are.

User avatar
Popeye
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:39 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Location: Where the east wind blows

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby Popeye » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:27 pm

Jenifersteppat wrote:I don't understand how going into the waiting room early equals they didn't do anything wrong.


By "they" you mean the ORG?
I see it that Ticket Fly did not properly fulfill their contract. Ticket Fly agreed to conduct the sale so that no one could get in early. Ticket Fly did not do this, it wasn't so much the waiting room, but the safety net not working as it was supposed to and Ticket Fly adding the waiting room without telling the ORG in advance. Take a look at ShaggySkier's post on Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/BurningMan/comments/4ebxow/mega_tldr_on_how_ticketfly_screwed_up_the_ticket/. It's fairly technical but he is credited with finding the problem and it makes an interesting read.
I think everyone needs to remember that the detail of what Ticket Fly is contracted to do very complicated and out of field for ORG management (which is why they contract it out). I doubt that Ticket Fly provides source code for review or that the ORG has anyone with the time/knowledge to review it. This is not the ORG's business.
Ticket Fly fucked up. This is their business and they did not fulfill their contract. Now that the ORG knows where the problem is I expect things will be corrected next year.
Kudo's to ShaggySkier.
nobody wants to live in a world with only one flavor...

maladroit
Posts: 2290
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:37 pm
Burning Since: 2012

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby maladroit » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:20 am

Deflection as usual. I'm not really upset about the people who showed up early. BMORG is deflecting here and hoping we'll forget the fact that people who joined the sale after 12:05 got tickets while people in the queue did not.

wraith
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:22 am
Burning Since: 2010
Contact:

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby wraith » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:27 pm

maladroit wrote:Deflection as usual. I'm not really upset about the people who showed up early. BMORG is deflecting here and hoping we'll forget the fact that people who joined the sale after 12:05 got tickets while people in the queue did not.


Yeah, there's no reason to be upset at the people who got in early, but rather at the incompetence of the ticket vendor whose systems have such an easy accidental exploit and the Org for continuing to use them despite recurring issues.

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5617
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2018
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby BBadger » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:30 pm

I'd like to see a monetary penalty for these kinds of fuck-ups and agreement violations too.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
graidawg
Posts: 3180
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:50 am
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: CAMP Hooker
Contact:

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby graidawg » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:03 pm

BBadger wrote:I'd like to see a monetary penalty for these kinds of fuck-ups and agreement violations too.



yup, seems to be the only thing companies understand. and it may keep prices down for anther year
FREE THE SHERPAS
Burners with torches is right and natural and just.-fishy.
CATCH AND RELEASE.

wraith
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:22 am
Burning Since: 2010
Contact:

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby wraith » Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:11 am

BBadger wrote:I'd like to see a monetary penalty for these kinds of fuck-ups and agreement violations too.


That's the kind of thing a serious company writes into their contracts. You know, monetary penalties for failing on deliverables.

The Org's a bit too idealistic to play that kind of hardball I think, and it seems to keep getting the people who want to go to the event screwed.

User avatar
KPS1980
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:55 am
Burning Since: 2016
Location: MIDDLE of the PACIFIC OCEAN No More

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby KPS1980 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:50 am

I keep reading this thread for insight into why tickets are so hard for our camp and others to obtain this year. I still don't get it. I was in at 11:50 and still didn't get any tickets. So much for the stated preference mistake.
KPS1980

User avatar
Ratty
Posts: 5247
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby Ratty » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:18 pm

KPS 1980 you need to accept and move on. There were 400 people trying to buy 100 tickets. It will be the same next year and the year after that. there is more demand than supply. We all need to be flexible and cunning. Raise the bar on your camp activities. That may get you more directed sales tickets next year. Or sign up and work in a department that guarantees you can buy a ticket next year. (This may require you to work everyday for a 4 to 6 hour shift.) Or save up and buy a ticket in the pre sale. We're all in the same boat. Be prepared to take a year off.
Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote
I a recovering swagaholic I have to resist my grabby nature VultureChow
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah
We're out there to play like adults with no adult supervision CaptG

User avatar
KPS1980
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:55 am
Burning Since: 2016
Location: MIDDLE of the PACIFIC OCEAN No More

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby KPS1980 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:01 pm

I'm always moving on. I never accept, I improve over and over. What I hear again and again from other Burners is that this years sales was different than all others. Having the waiting room open early wasn't an issue, mathematically. I just love fixing things. Sorry if I hit a sore spot with you.
KPS1980

User avatar
Ratty
Posts: 5247
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby Ratty » Mon Jul 25, 2016 6:31 pm

Nope. Not a sore spot with me. I was in the same boat as all the others that missed out. I understand supply and demand. I made some suggestions to you. These were meant to encourage you and others to think about ways to improve your chances next year. BM is evolving fast. MVs have to be a lot better to get the green light. Camps now have to have more than a bar and a sound system to get placed. It's great that you're constantly improving.

As far as this year's ticket sale goes....It's a different kind of shit-show every year since 2011. I have low expectations for the main sale. (Every year is different but the same.)
Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote
I a recovering swagaholic I have to resist my grabby nature VultureChow
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah
We're out there to play like adults with no adult supervision CaptG

User avatar
Captain Goddammit
Posts: 7830
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: First Camp
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Jul 25, 2016 6:45 pm

You can still buy a pre-sale ticket, they keep coming up for sale.
It's an expensive trip. If another $500 is gonna make or break the whole thing, well... I mean, how bad do you wanna go?
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."
Delle: Singularly we may be dysfunctional misfits, but together we're magic.

User avatar
KPS1980
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:55 am
Burning Since: 2016
Location: MIDDLE of the PACIFIC OCEAN No More

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby KPS1980 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:47 am

It's an extra $1000+ for me. We're not all in the same boat captain. I haven't abandoned ship yet. Just looking for the pilot buoy.
KPS1980

User avatar
Ratty
Posts: 5247
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby Ratty » Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:59 pm

Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:37 am

So last ticket time was an absolute fiasco, and now it appears that things are going to be done differently in response to our cries of, "next year things need to be done differently".
This is what we asked for and this is what we're getting. What will we do if there is nothing left to whine about?

Side note, (Wasn't 2012 the LOTTERY?)
Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote
I a recovering swagaholic I have to resist my grabby nature VultureChow
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah
We're out there to play like adults with no adult supervision CaptG

wraith
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:22 am
Burning Since: 2010
Contact:

Re: Yes there was a waiting room problem.

Postby wraith » Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:14 pm

Ratty wrote:KPS 1980 you need to accept and move on. There were 400 people trying to buy 100 tickets. It will be the same next year and the year after that. there is more demand than supply. We all need to be flexible and cunning. Raise the bar on your camp activities. That may get you more directed sales tickets next year. Or sign up and work in a department that guarantees you can buy a ticket next year. (This may require you to work everyday for a 4 to 6 hour shift.) Or save up and buy a ticket in the pre sale. We're all in the same boat. Be prepared to take a year off.


Idly, I find this hilarious when combined with the amount of 'only true Burners are those who go every year' that comes up around here. :mrgreen: You've got the reality of it, though. Scarcity's a bitch and gentrification is an ongoing thing.


Return to “Tickets Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest