Burning Man is now listed as an official Bucket List life event, so the type of person who has to see the Taj Mahal, yet if you ask them about their interest in India, would reply “…India…?”, has to attend. They care nothing about the event, but they must check that box. There is no end to Ravers and festival attendees and Bucket Listers. The media and popular culture has made burning Man very well advertised.
There are limited tickets now. This past couple years even some of the most connected individuals had to make alittle scramble in uncertainty getting tickets.
How can a plug and play business guarantee tickets for both its clients and the help? Without that guarantee of an allotment of ticket, there would be no way to organize and pull off the business run Plug and Play. Just ask the Theme Camps about their direct target sales tickets. They need some insurance that their core people will attend, so what must a business cutting contracts with clients do to insure they get enough tickets? How can the for-profit Plug and Play be sure of having the tickets needed without buying third market tickets and driving up the prices? They can't.
Did those camps, and Will Smith and Grover Norquist buy in the direct sales, did they register for STEP? Ha, if you believe that, you’ll believe Travolta was out pounding rebar for his camp. In other words, in order to run their business catering to the wealthy and famous, we all know that with today’s limited tickets, the Plug and Plays must support scalping. If they need tickets for servants or clients does any grown adult believe they don’t simply buy a ticket for whatever price regardless? How can they get that set-up out on 9 and L running on day one without Early Arrival? Who is out there marking and reserving their space before gate?
The whole thing reeks of payola and scalping. And then the cool burner thing to do is to turn a blind eye to it all, or worse, pretend the rot will achieve enlightenment.
I have read most of this thread and Bbadgers.... They both have lots of valid points. Yes, some of it is whining. Some of it is the truth. Some of it is "whiny truth" But a good discussion by people that are obviously very concerned for this event they care so much about. Far as I'm concerned, I could give a rats ass that they have more money than me, I am not jealous of that in the least. Except that their money and connects are getting them the tickets that have seemed so elusive for me and others the past 5 years....
Yes, the ticketing is the number 1 issue for me these days regarding PnP camps and "bucketlisters" in general.....
I'm sure that there' s probably folks on this board that are in the same predicament I've found myself in since 2011 when the tickets first sold out. Right, there's not enough ticket supply anymore to keep up with demand. So, in the past 5 years, I've only been able to buy ONE ticket in the general sale. And this is doing everything right, being registered, being in line ready to click BUY exactly when they go on sale, etc. And despite this, I haven't been able to buy one. Was gifted a ticket by a close friend and volunteer, and was able to buy a few at the last minute secondhand, and last year I ended up not going - just could not make it happen without a ticket in hand now that I live 2500 miles away instead of 450.
It's easy to simplify this, it's nobody's fault, get used to it, demand has overtaken supply..... Quit crying about it..... But seriously, I feel that although we do have our "radical inclusion" principles, it feels more and more to me like the event has "jumped the shark" as others have pointed out..... Because we have not put on any brakes whatsoever, to activities that would eat up more tickets than the experience that it's providing to the community in general.
The event has been over-hyped by media, social media..... People taking and producing singalong video to music, etc etc..... Facebookin', tweetin'.... Y'all just had to go out there and brag about how cool you are dintcha? ......and share publicly, pictures and video that I thought was not supposed to be "public" and just a few years later, the event is too big for it's britches, and the bucketlisters want to come and watch what us crazy burners will do next. So they can brag about it to their friends at the next high society cocktail party.
The first year I went to burning man I'm not even sure you could have found a single thing on youtube, or really even google unless you purposely knew what you were looking for. Now, you can come across it accidentally without even looking.
My friends that introduced me to Burning Man - well I had known them for several months, the husband and I worked together. They never once brought up the event, or said "you should go, you should go". They were protective of it. I began asking them questions about their pictures, and the volunteering they did there... They were happy to oblige, but never offered more information than was necessary to answer my question. A little while later, they offered me a ticket to come for the first year. They sensed that I would "get it" (that's the vernacular that we seem to be using here) but still, oddly enough, they didn't really tell me a damn thing about it, except that they wanted me to read and understand the ten principles, and watch and learn. In a sense, it was the "it means different things to different people" and they wanted me to figure that part out for myself. They did not want to HYPE it to convince me to go. It reminds me of an underground music theater I've been to, their motto is "Don't be an asshole, and DON'T BRING ONE".... And if you do bring one, your membership is REVOKED. No, it's not radical inclusion.
Obviously, I love it, and it has become a big part of my life. Last year would have been my 10th consecutive burn and it was a heartbreak not to be able to go.
My point to that story, is that there was a vibe I got from my friends that I have also tried to maintain "the first thing about Burning Man is that you do not talk about Burning Man". And while I'm also little bit of a hypocrite for saying that here on eplaya, we are among friends here and I seriously doubt that this post will go viral, compelling thousands to attempt to buy tickets next year. What I hope it will do, is make us all think a little about posting on social media about the event.
It's a special thing, and in my opinion the publicity has created the supply problem that has some of us scrambling for tickets. Part of supply and demand is PRICING, but you can't control the amount of folks that will come only once to put their check on the bucketlist. The cost of a ticket will not stop the "one-timer" from coming.
Sorry, rambling and not in a straight line, either. What this has to do with the discussion of PnP, is that the advertising of a "B man experience" is just that many more tickets that aren't available to people like you and me. Whether it's supporting/driving the scalping activity, or causing these entities to "game the system" by having employees secure tickets for tourists, the bottom line is that I can't support any activity that makes it more difficult for me to buy a ticket.
If this seems selfish to you, you're right!!!! it is. Once I get my effing ticket, you can see how selfish I'm actually not by the rides I'll give you on my intergallactic trickshaw, the tri tip I cook daily, the 10 pounds of bacon and 100 lbs of french fries I cook, right on the playa. But to see a bunch of bucketlisters getting tickets, and tickets for their servants, and all in the name of the almighty dollar in the default world really is sucking, and it's making me rethink the event as a major part of my life.
I want to go every year, I'm dedicated to it. But I'm getting weary of these changes we're seeing. Sure, you can plan like you're going even when you don't have a ticket, and hope that you get one, but it's not the same as actually HAVING a ticket, and going the extra mile KNOWING that you'll get thru the blazing gates.
Please, before y'all flame me too bad, do YOU have a ticket? If you do, either by volunteering or by being part of a theme camp, you may not understand where I'm coming from. Oddly enough, my network of Burning Man friends are all volunteers and they simply do not understand what it's like to be in this perpetual limbo of fighting for a ticket year after year. I have volunteered, just not officially. I have tried to join a volunteer group on playa that has become increasingly choosy. Anyways...
I feel that the inclusion of the PnP is doing more harm on playa than good. I don't think it's a good direction for the event. I think this is evidenced by the experiences that we're all having. Exclusive Camps, MOOP, now vehicle passes, ticket shortages, more and more a lack of art - I know "it was better last year" but damned if that doesn't seem to be happening in some ways.