Was there a waiting room problem?

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melomel
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by melomel » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:11 pm

Eric wrote:
melomel wrote:Those are facts, but they aren't really the full story. How many of those potential "ticket desires" actually translate to people that would show up at the event this year if the ticket supply was infinite?
Again, you're taking facts and speculating, and now you're speculating on something that simply isn't going to happen ("infinite" tickets). The tickets aren't infinite - they are a finite item, full stop. They have been a finite item since 2011, they will be a finite item from here on out (they were finite before 2011, we just never crossed that threshold). Their quantity is set by the BLM in the contract Burning Man operates under - BLM says how many people can be on playa, that number determines the numbers of tickets. You can make all the idle speculation you want on the lines of "what would happen if we could float BRC in the clouds", but that doesn't make it reality.

It's really, really simple: more people want to go than the number of tickets that exist. If you removed every person who bought tickets "on spec" or fell into one of your categories there would still be more people that want to go than there are tickets. If the Waiting Room had worked flawlessly, there would still be more people who wanted tickets than there are tickets to sell. There is simply more demand than there is supply. It sucks, but that's why they are selling out. We have gone through this every year since 2011, it is the new reality. I don't like it anymore than anyone else (I have plenty of friends who didn't get tickets either), but I understand the reason.
There might be desire for that many tickets, but the way the ticketing system works creates extra ticket demand in itself because of the rules and I was just wondering how much that accounts for this potential desire for 135,000 tickets. I was wondering if someone had a realistic idea. Maybe no one does.

I don't think the ticket demand is the same as "actually will/would show up this year if I could get my hand on a ticket" demand.
I don't know if everyone would have bought 1.87 tickets if everyone that was in the line for the sale could have bought what they wanted. I think there's a good chance it would have been less based on the prior knowledge. I do not personally know how much less & didn't know if anyone had any data that would help give a better idea.

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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by BBadger » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:04 am

melomel wrote:I don't know if everyone would have bought 1.87 tickets if everyone that was in the line for the sale could have bought what they wanted. I think there's a good chance it would have been less based on the prior knowledge. I do not personally know how much less & didn't know if anyone had any data that would help give a better idea.
It really comes down to the fact that having a ticket now allows a person to decide later whether to attend or not. Also, that tickets do not depreciate in value, means that there is no reason not to secure a ticket now.

Even if the original purchasers aren't the ones who will use the tickets, the demand is real All the tickets are used and the circumstances of how people find tickets just means that people need to plan on not being able to go if things don't fall through. It's just the reality of the burn now.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by melomel » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:44 am

BBadger wrote:
It really comes down to the fact that having a ticket now allows a person to decide later whether to attend or not. Also, that tickets do not depreciate in value, means that there is no reason not to secure a ticket now.

Even if the original purchasers aren't the ones who will use the tickets, the demand is real All the tickets are used and the circumstances of how people find tickets just means that people need to plan on not being able to go if things don't fall through. It's just the reality of the burn now.

I didn't get a ticket this year. This is me putting on my analytical brain and trying to get a feel for how many people might be going after any tickets that appear in the churn. 3 people per ticket that ends up being resold? 30? I can use info I can find, but obviously people have information I don't have as well.

For example, in 2012 the population was capped at 60,900, but supposedly 56,150 ppl showed up and there was a "perceived" demand of 120,000 tickets in the main sale.

Yes each step along the way causes some people to drop out. Yes we have more demand than supply, but I'm trying to get a feel for if I'm going along with fairly low odds still or more like the state lotto odds. I personally wouldn't start spending my state lotto earnings before I actually won.

This all comes down to I would like to contribute as much if not more than I did last year, which involved doing a bunch of stuff before the event. Time and other things involved are limited resources and so I'm trying to figure out if it's worthwhile marching along as if I have a ticket when I don't.

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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by gateway » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:13 am

While discussion of tickets and the supply and demand and who wants to go who got tickets vs who will sell them or not go, I think the point still is that their *might* of been a glitch for those of us people who followed the rules of getting in the waiting room at 11:45, so lets not forget that part.

I guess for those of us who didnt get tickets who have been going for many years what are the main options now.. how many tickets will be put out in general this year 70k? That would leave maybe around 15k of tickets still avail in other sales/programs.. ??
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by Timezone LaFontaine » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:46 am

gateway wrote: how many tickets will be put out in general this year 70k? That would leave maybe around 15k of tickets still avail in other sales/programs.. ??
I got 66,000 total by adding up the numbers at tickets.burningman.com. (I guess the remaining 4,000 are Low Income tickets.) In the upcoming sales, there are 500 "Leonardo Da Vinci" tickets and approximately 1,000 tickets in the OMG sale, plus an unknown number in STEP.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by BBadger » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:54 am

melomel wrote:Yes each step along the way causes some people to drop out. Yes we have more demand than supply, but I'm trying to get a feel for if I'm going along with fairly low odds still or more like the state lotto odds. I personally wouldn't start spending my state lotto earnings before I actually won.
It probably something that can't be determined. The raw numbers, even if accurate are not going to reflect the real odds that you'll receive a ticket. The general assumption is that all the tickets are in demand. What really determines your odds, however, is whether you have access to purchase a ticket in the first place. Most tickets are redistributed via interpersonal networks, not via general pools like STEP, forums, or 3rd party sellers. Analyzing those networks would yield more information than a simple global demand calculation.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by sparr » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:06 am

Livingplayfully wrote:I saw a post in the "Random" thread that some people who logged into the ticket sale at 12:06 went straight to a ticket buy page while people who had logged into the waiting room were in stuck into a supposed queue.

My question is did anybody buy a ticket without using the waiting room; log into the ticket system after 12:05?
I'd wager those people simply have clocks that are a minute fast, they actually got in the waiting room just before the cutoff, and they were lucky enough to be in the first batch to leave the queue.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by Timezone LaFontaine » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:42 am

sparr wrote: I'd wager those people simply have clocks that are a minute fast, they actually got in the waiting room just before the cutoff, and they were lucky enough to be in the first batch to leave the queue.
I doubt it. Unless people manually change their OS settings, their computers are automatically synchronizing their clocks. Same with their smartphones. There's no way they can be off by as much as a minute with a standard scheduled sync.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by gateway » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:45 am

Timezone LaFontaine wrote:
sparr wrote: I'd wager those people simply have clocks that are a minute fast, they actually got in the waiting room just before the cutoff, and they were lucky enough to be in the first batch to leave the queue.
I doubt it. Unless people manually change their OS settings, their computers are automatically synchronizing their clocks. Same with their smartphones. There's no way they can be off by as much as a minute with a standard scheduled sync.
When you do a request to the server it doesn't care about your clock on your computer, it has its own server timestamp which is in UTC.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by Timezone LaFontaine » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:51 am

gateway wrote: When you do a request to the server it doesn't care about your clock on your computer, it has its own server timestamp which is in UTC.
I figured. Are you implying the server time could have been off by a minute or more?
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by BBadger » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:00 pm

I haven't seen any reports of people explicitly stating that they first logged in after 12:05 and got a ticket. Rather, it seems that some people said they couldn't join the waiting room, but then all of a sudden at 12:05 got switched to the ticket sale page. What may have happened was that there was just a huge server demand at around 12:00 to 12:05, possibly from people who weren't aware that the waiting room opened up earlier. Then the server got clogged up, but at 12:05 things switched over to actually selling tickets. The people making server requests just prior to the switch were immediately let in. What really happened at that switch over time I have no idea.

My only wonder now is whether there was ever a queue in the first place, or if the waiting room was merely a holding pen and after the sale started at 12:05 the ticket system simply relied on requests for "randomization" rather than actually randomizing a queue and locking it down. It'd be nice if, next time, the actual queue position was printed to at least alleviate doubts that there is an actual queue enforced.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by Timezone LaFontaine » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:05 pm

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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by gateway » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:43 pm

Timezone LaFontaine wrote:
gateway wrote: When you do a request to the server it doesn't care about your clock on your computer, it has its own server timestamp which is in UTC.
I figured. Are you implying the server time could have been off by a minute or more?
No, was just replying to the comment about people moving their clocks forward. The issue I had and have pointed out many times is the waiting room issue where I believe that user id, tokens, or sessions expired and never where properly processed.

So lets say you went in at 11:45, thats 20 minutes the server has to keep track of your id (lets call it for lack of a better term). At some point you get 10s of thousand or more id's being held (lets say in a bucket).

If the server only has so much room to hold data in the bucket, new new id's coming in go in and some can fall out of the bucket, which could explain why those who followed this method early never saw the man really move forward.

Around the 1/2 mark (around 12:35) for those you came in around 11:45 waiting room time received the message all tickets where in card holder hands.

Coming into the waiting room closer to the 12:05 time might of gotten you into the bucket and others pushed out, and those who didn't wait where simply not in a bucket and got lucky if the doors to the gates opened while others where in the bucket still waiting to get to the gates to get in.

You click a link on your browser that request goes to the load balancers (front gates), the front gates ask the staff (web application layer) in the back if they have room for someone, if so then that request from your browser goes to a staff member and then processed.

Granted this is in layman's terms and again as I have stated a few times this could of happened but no way to tell since we wouldn't hear from TicketFly about this issue (nobody wants to say they fucked up).

So those in the waiting room early on *may* of had a disadvantage to those getting in closer to the time and those who never went into the room, ultimately (luck).
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by Eric » Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:07 pm

melomel wrote:For example, in 2012 the population was capped at 60,900, but supposedly 56,150 ppl showed up and there was a "perceived" demand of 120,000 tickets in the main sale.
2012 was an anomaly - it was the first year after the sell-out, it was the first year of the Org trying a new system to sell tickets, people were hoarding tickets if they could get them because they were freaking out, and then there were a large amount that hit the resale market in August due to people realizing they either weren't going or didn't need two tickets. It was also the last year that tickets sold below face value in the week leading up to the Burn, since people weren't sure if they'd get their money back. Comparing 2012 to anything after (or even before) when it comes to ticketing is going to give you a really skewed data-set.

If you want data to analyse for planning purposes, or to get a grasp on the demand, you should use the most recent year: in 2015, just on ePlaya, there were 93 threads selling tickets or vehicle passes, most with just one for sale; there were 680 threads seeking 1 or more tickets or vehicle passes (mostly tickets). In other words, the after-market had roughly one ticket for every seven people looking - just on ePlaya.

As for the waiting room issue ... I'm not in IT, I don't work with TicketFly or with the BMan Ticketing Dept, I have no idea what happened or if it worked like they planned for it to work (which, knowing the Org, would be sort of shocking). They've been getting more transparent about things, we'll see if there's a blog post on it.

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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by JohnEBGud » Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:34 pm

I've not seen any convincing evidence that the system did not operate as described and as intended. A less than handful anecdotal reports that some people entered the sale at 12:05 and got tickets neither proves nor even suggests anything. They may well have entered the waiting room and been assigned a random position at the head of the line as the transition to the queue was being made without any indication of being in the waiting room. I've not seen anyone claiming that they entered the sale after 12:06 and got a ticket, and I have no idea how many entered the sale 12:05 and didn't get a ticket.

I do know that people who entered the waiting room at 11:45 got tickets and I do know that myself and three of my friends entered within seconds of one another at 11:45 and did not get tickets. We all progressed through queue at different rates. One friend had progressed 25% of the way through, another was about 60%, the third was 85% and I was 100% waiting to be redirected to the purchase page when the all tickets are in carts message appeared. Looks like a random queue assignment to me.

Of course it's easier to point a finger of blame at a broken system or "cheaters" and believe in your own god-given worthiness to get a ticket to Burning Man than accept the fact that the odds were against you to begin with and you just weren't dealt the hand you wanted.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by node88 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:34 pm

I dont know how to convince you that there was indeed a waiting room problem, but I have no reason to lie about it.

I was stuck in the waiting room just like many others when the "all tickets in cart" message appeared. I went to another computer and hit the same link from my email again and got straight in and bought a ticket. My little man was still stuck walking across the screen on my other computer and continued to do so for another 30+ minutes. When he arrived it said that the promo code already had been used. This alone proves that there was a major problem with the waiting room. I have two friends who experienced a similar thing, although they never entered the queue at all, just hit the link after 12.05 and bought a ticket without ever seeing a queue (they should never have gotten tickets if the system worked as advertised, there was obviously people from the waiting room who never got a ticket).

This should be addressed by the org, the problem has to be acknowledged, we need to be told that the issue will be looked into and fixed for upcoming sales and I also think an apology is in order.

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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by JohnEBGud » Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:57 pm

node88 wrote:I dont know how to convince you that there was indeed a waiting room problem, but I have no reason to lie about it.

I was stuck in the waiting room just like many others when the "all tickets in cart" message appeared. I went to another computer and hit the same link from my email again and got straight in and bought a ticket.
(To be clear, if the walking man was on the screen, you were in the queue, not the waiting room.)

Certainly that isn't the way it should have worked, but it really doesn't change the fact that it was a matter of luck you got a ticket. I also entered the sale, but from the queue without a refresh, just after the all tickets in cart message appeared, but there were no tickets available. Refreshing the page caused phantom tickets and VP's to appear on occasion, but they disappeared when the Purchase button was pressed. Seems to me although you may jumped the queue, you just hit it right.

You didn't follow the suggestions and instructions which I believe were offered in good faith. I don't think that makes you a cheater. It makes you lucky. You gambled that logging in on different computer wouldn't negatively affect your chances. You weren't the only one who took that gamble. Can you honestly say that they were all as lucky as you?

I was fortunate to get tickets in the General Sale for the past two years. This year I didn't. I'm not going to get worked up over the fact the system may not have behaved flawlessly, when regardless, the odds of getting a ticket were 1 in 4.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by Jenifersteppat » Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:01 pm

It seems to me even if some people got dumped out of the "bucket" or in it at 12:05, it was still random. It was random whether you got dumped or not. I followed the directions and got int the waiting room seconds after 11:45, did not refresh or have multiple browser windows open and got tickets. My friends did the exact same thing and didn't. Randomness.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by FoolsGold » Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:31 pm

I entered the waiting room at 11:47 and in the end the little green guy made it about 2/3 of the way there before the announcement came that the tickets were sold out.

Safe to say I was/am gutted and my anxiety levels are rising about if and how I will get a ticket in the months ahead. That said, last year I had success with the main sale. This year will be different...

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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by some seeing eye » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:56 am

Personally, I think the waiting room idea is a good one.

I just believe the queue implementation was flawed - closing and opening your window to jump the queue, and entering the queue after 12:05 and jumping the rest of the waiting room queue participants.

So I would say there was a queue problem.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by sparr » Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:03 am

Timezone LaFontaine wrote:Unless people manually change their OS settings, their computers are automatically synchronizing their clocks.
I have to manually change my OS clock settings any time I'm on a plane and want my clock to match the destination before I get there. I can't be the only one who does that.
gateway wrote:When you do a request to the server it doesn't care about your clock on your computer, it has its own server timestamp which is in UTC.
I'm not sure why this is relevant. If someone says "I clicked the button at 12:06", I'm assuming they were looking at their computer clock (or even their watch). Was the server time displayed somewhere on the page?
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by Skuzzy61 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:25 pm

The queue is a horrible idea. It can be done so much fairer and without all this drama. Yes, I put my money where my mouth is and submitted a suggestion.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by gateway » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:43 am

sparr wrote:
Timezone LaFontaine wrote:Unless people manually change their OS settings, their computers are automatically synchronizing their clocks.
I have to manually change my OS clock settings any time I'm on a plane and want my clock to match the destination before I get there. I can't be the only one who does that.
gateway wrote:When you do a request to the server it doesn't care about your clock on your computer, it has its own server timestamp which is in UTC.
I'm not sure why this is relevant. If someone says "I clicked the button at 12:06", I'm assuming they were looking at their computer clock (or even their watch). Was the server time displayed somewhere on the page?
UTC time and why servers use it - link Keeps everything in sync and no matter what timezone your in the it gets converted to UTC time.. its how servers work for this type of cart style system, so moving your clock forward or back doesn't effect anything.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by ygmir » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:07 am

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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by sparr » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:58 pm

gateway wrote:its how servers work for this type of cart style system, so moving your clock forward or back doesn't effect anything.
Moving your clock forward or back affects what you see when you look at your clock while you click a button. "I clicked at 12:06" has nothing to do with server time.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by gateway » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:21 pm

sparr wrote:
gateway wrote:its how servers work for this type of cart style system, so moving your clock forward or back doesn't effect anything.
Moving your clock forward or back affects what you see when you look at your clock while you click a button. "I clicked at 12:06" has nothing to do with server time.
if your it was actually lets say 12:05 and your clock was set to 11:30 am, and you clicked it still tags you at 12:05 in the UTC time.. so moving anything back and forth has no change on your *chance* to get tickets but this is sorta nonsense talk since this is more about the waiting room issue that people tend to gloss over.
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by sparr » Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:50 pm

gateway wrote:if your it was actually lets say 12:05 and your clock was set to 11:30 am, and you clicked it still tags you at 12:05 in the UTC time.. so moving anything back and forth has no change on your *chance* to get tickets but this is sorta nonsense talk since this is more about the waiting room issue that people tend to gloss over.
If that was the case, then you'd look like an idiot when you posted "I clicked at 11:30AM and got tickets immediately".
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by gateway » Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:53 pm

sparr wrote:
gateway wrote:if your it was actually lets say 12:05 and your clock was set to 11:30 am, and you clicked it still tags you at 12:05 in the UTC time.. so moving anything back and forth has no change on your *chance* to get tickets but this is sorta nonsense talk since this is more about the waiting room issue that people tend to gloss over.
If that was the case, then you'd look like an idiot when you posted "I clicked at 11:30AM and got tickets immediately".
Not arguing that with you at all :) I agree.. again waiting room had an issue, how many times must people say it :)
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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by smiffman » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:01 pm

Jenifersteppat wrote:It seems to me even if some people got dumped out of the "bucket" or in it at 12:05, it was still random. It was random whether you got dumped or not. I followed the directions and got int the waiting room seconds after 11:45, did not refresh or have multiple browser windows open and got tickets. My friends did the exact same thing and didn't. Randomness.


I did the exact same thing. Only no tickets. Hopefully there was randomness.

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Re: Was there a waiting room problem?

Post by cingofish » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:38 pm

I also entered the waiting room at 11:45 and by 12:35 there were no tickets available. I thought maybe I should take a year off after 9 consecutive Burns however, then I was flattered to see The Jack Rabbit Speaks newsletter V20:#12:3.24.16 graciously selected my picture for the cover just after the sale. I was instantly re-inspired and am seeking (2) tickets!

Has BRC ever denied anyone entrance while holding $400 tickets when vehicle passes were no longer available or 'sold out'?

Suggestion: Vehicle passes should be sold August 1 to provide ample time to secure driving/camping situations or simply add $10 to ticket price.

Cingo

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