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What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:43 pm
by LittleJack
This is (shockingly) not snark, but an honest question based on a horrible memory.

Didn't we have a lottery in 2010 or 2011? I remember there being a lot of griping about it, but not what the gripes were. It couldn't have been any less fair than yesterday's seemingly random ticket distribution, and it wouldn't waste hours of workday time for thousands of people.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:57 pm
by 666isMONEY
Geeks know how to work the System: viewtopic.php?f=536&t=97951

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:08 pm
by LittleJack
Which has nothing to do with the lottery of previous years.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:22 pm
by 666isMONEY
In 2010, there weren't as many people trying to get in, crashing the system.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:20 pm
by Token
2009/2010 - you could buy tickets at the gate.

2011 The first year of a sell-out, tickets were available through July when the final ticket was sold.

The “lower tier” 27K tickets sold out within 24 hours but the higher tiers were available through summer.

In 2012 they implemented a lottery. 40K tickets were available in the sale ... 120K people logged in to buy tickets.

The result: None of the folks that build things out there got enough tickets to do their thing and there would be a whole lot of nothing on the Playa.

So the BORG took their remaining 10K reserve and did the first DGS to established and credible folks. Saved the bacon.

Ever since it has been an ever increasing DGS pool and diminishing general sale.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:53 pm
by LittleJack
Yes! Thank you Token, that was it exactly.

Now I'm thinking DGS followed by lottery might not be a bad method.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:21 pm
by Skuzzy61
I offered a very workable solution to this problem and the Borg ignored it. What they are doing now is akin to a massive DDOS attack on some poor ISP.

If I was the ISP, there would be no way in hell I would allow this anywhere near my network.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:14 pm
by Token
DGS, random tech click, lottery ...

... ends up being the same clusterfunk.

Either way you gotta slap a throbbing gristle.

Now it’s DGS recipients holding elite class status and randoms rounding out the funding pool via theme camps and stupid tax.

The only thing the BORG didn’t try at this point is to just do away with general sales altogether and make everything DGS. Put names on tickets.

Now that would be a fucking experiment in culture!

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:47 am
by FlyingMonkey
Token wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:14 pm
DGS, random tech click, lottery ...

... ends up being the same clusterfunk.

Either way you gotta slap a throbbing gristle.

Now it’s DGS recipients holding elite class status and randoms rounding out the funding pool via theme camps and stupid tax.

The only thing the BORG didn’t try at this point is to just do away with general sales altogether and make everything DGS. Put names on tickets.

Now that would be a fucking experiment in culture!
IMHO it's got nothing to do with DGS or lottery. The same shit show seems to happen nearly every year recently (with few exceptions). That's why in the past I just said fuck it & bought "Pre-Sale". It cost more but I knew I would get a ticket & hopefully they used the extra $$$ to offset the cost for others (Not convinced but it makes me feel better). Why is it the major sporting events seem to pull off tickets sales flawlessly? You can't seriously tell me that more people want to go to Burning Man than the Super Bowl, Indy 500, or a major music concert.

I get that Burners are all trying to buy at once at 12:00:01 PM & that puts an understandable strain in the process.

I don't think it should be all DGS by any means. That would turn it in to an invite only event. I won't over generalize but we know some camp leaders holding the DGS invites are total DBs and abuse the system. Putting ticket sales in the hands of so few people would be worse than what we have now (Think Harvey Weinstein).

Every ticketing system will have problems but there has to be a way to break up sales over a longer period of time or have the "Sale" be where you register & then all the names go in to the lottery at a later date. That way everyone isn't breaking the internet at 12:00:01. Lakes of Fire does it like that and yeah not everyone gets tickets but it's pretty fair. They also have DGS & reward volunteers with guaranteed tickets at normal price. That may not work for Burning Man but a separate volunteer lottery may be interesting.

I think having the moment you are able to buy a ticket determine your sucess is pretty flawed and a big part of the problem. I am a fan of registering & then having a lottery after the registration cutoff date. With ticket scarcity and the strain on servers & the ticketing system I don't know how to do it more fairly than that. I'd go further & eliminate the Pre-Sale, maybe have a few tiers, and have up to 40% be DGS. Also I think it's important that people could only enter 1 of the sales & the lottery occurs after all registrations are closed.

I'm not the sharpest rock in the shed but I have seen it work. If each "Sale" occurs over a few days then tech support will be able to assist most people who have problems. No stress except you have to wait a few days to know if you get to purchase.

Finally, sorry to everyone who had to endure this years sale & got hosed. If you are persistent & stay engaged you still have a good chance of getting a ticket. But don't pay over face value!

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:10 am
by FIGJAM
Still having major problems even though there are LESS main sale tickets every year.

In 2011 I clicked in at 12:00:30 to buy the ticket to my second burn.

No bullshit, no relog, no refresh, just wait.

At 7pm it switched to the "buy ticket" page, and I was done.

Pick any year since then, and somebody thinks it's a shit show.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:55 am
by FlyingMonkey
FIGJAM wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:10 am
In 2011 I clicked in at 12:00:30 to buy the ticket to my second burn.

Pick any year since then, and somebody thinks it's a shit show.
Because for many it has been.

To be honest, I have never had problems getting tickets. Some years I bought Pre-sale, once I got DGS, others I bought in the Main Sale (I have watched the running man). But in those same years I know a lot of people did have problems & many didn't get tickets.

Obviously things have changed in the last 8 years (Hell, Most didn't even know what a lag bolt was back then :D) & in large part it's the number of people trying to buy tickets all at once. The number of tickets available is probably completely irrelevant when everyone overwhelms the ticketing system at once.

Unfortunately the scarcity gets worse every year and the current plan for purchasing tickets can't cope with the bum rush @ 12:00:01.

Having your ability to get a ticket depend completely on you being first in line simply does not work well.

Can you imagine if they were paper tickets and 200,000 people had to rush a ticket booth selling 80,000 tickets? That's just stupid, right?

Now imagine having 2 days to mail your ticket request, having it go in to a lottery & in a week finding out if you get to buy one or not. Seems a little safer & more fair.

Yeah, DGS tickets are necessary but not to the point of keeping new people & energy from attending. I don't think we want Burning Man to be the same every year & have only a few individuals hold all the tickets. If DGS is the largest chunk of ticket sales we won't be seeing many new camps in the future & the existing ones have no reason to step up their game. Some are pretty stale already.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:46 pm
by Zubeneschamali
The BORG has had a dozen years to figure this out. Fact is, they don't care.

Every year they promise a better experience.
Every year its a clusterfuck.
Every year there are complaints by those who missed out.
Every year the BORG makes false apologies and does absolutely nothing to fix it.

The BORG is not in the ticketing business and I don't expect them to build their own ticketing system. But someone on salary should be able to contract with an organization that can provide a professional service for all those substantial fees they collect.

But they don't care. Actions don't lie.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:01 am
by Pow Pow
I am relatively new and this will be my 2nd burn. I am a computer engineer from way back when and my understanding of the current system is: it already is a lottery system, the technology is just not working.

The basic premise is:
1. Everyone that has registered for sale has to login by 12 noon. There is a grace period of a few minutes past noon so as to be fair and not penalize someone for being a couple of seconds late (last year seemed to be a couple of minutes, this year I could not tell).
2. All of the logins are then randomized into a list and placed in a queue.
3. The system then starts processing orders starting at the top of the queue.
4. Any logins after the initial randomization takes place goes on the bottom of the queue thus missing the ticket boat!

The randomizing process is what creates a lottery. All logins have an equal change of being high enough in the queue to obtain tickets just like a lottery would.

The process went pretty smooth last year due to the same technology from years past and sold out in about 45 minutes. They processed only as many orders at a time as their system would allow, thus why it took 45 minutes.

The technical term for this year was a “cluster fuck”! Their new system simply could not handle the load. Lots of reasons why this could happen. And what make matters worse is when things started to go bad everyone started refreshing their browsers and this puts extra stress on the servers.

Best guess was their queueing seemed to work OK. I think their order processing was where most of the problems were (the transfer from the queue to order screen). This is where a lot of people seemed to get the error screens, hidden buttons and white screens.

So in summary I think the system is as fair as it could be with many more people chasing fewer tickets each year. The technology just needs to work.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:51 pm
by BBadger
Yeah, I thought they had gone to a lottery-like system a couple years ago specifically to avoid these server issues. I also thought it went smoother in those years too, but the BMORG can never be satisfied to allow that to happen.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:21 am
by wraith
IIRC -this- time the ticket vendor told them they didn't want to deal with it anymore.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:46 am
by Skuzzy61
wraith wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:21 am
IIRC -this- time the ticket vendor told them they didn't want to deal with it anymore.
I would not blame them one bit.

If they insist on everyone clicking on a link, at the same time, then the responsible thing to do is to create an application for the client and server that can properly manage it. Would not be hard to do and would certainly be light years better than relying on HTML.

It would go a long way in making the hosting company, as well as the people trying to get a ticket happy.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:37 am
by wraith
IIRC Ticketfly generally beefed up their servers with AWS on demand, but it couldn't hold up to a combination of burners clicking multiple times and automated hits from the usual suspects.

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:31 am
by ACfromSAC
The new ticket vendor needs to bring on the green man as a consultant prior to next year's sale.

Image

Re: What was wrong with the lottery?

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 2:45 pm
by 2Thu
I hate admitting it but I miss that little green man. It was definitely better than aimlessly waiting for 3 hours...