The organizers of the event are smart, competent people - as evidenced by the event being so well run. I am therefore surprised even more by the lack of understanding of both gaming theory and basic economic that the decision to run a ticket lottery represents.
Lotteries work only when there can be no secondary market for prizes - either because it is uneconomical or impossible to organize such a market. Green Card lottery is one example, cash prizes - another. What does not work is creating a fair lottery that can benefit the less well off with lower priced tickets - you will not get rid of scalpers and you will not necessarily award the tickets to those who most need them. In addition, a ticket lottery for full priced tickets does not work either - now one cannot be guaranteed admission (without resorting to scalpers) even one can afford a ticket at any price.
A better system would be one that awards lower tier tickets to those willing to commit their time to organizing the event or to their communities. The less well off can then be given an award for their time and not a game-able giveaway. The full price tickets should be sold through a Dutch auction with a reserve price that guarantees that the event remains profitable to BRC.
I hope that sanity will prevail and a similar system to the one I just outlined adopted in the future.