@T4NK - yeah. While scarcity can drive the whole panic-driven "me first, fuck you" mentality that leads a person to game the system to get tickets, I think once that personal crisis is over and their needs are covered a fair number of people will do the right thing if given the opportunity. I'm not sure if you're just new to the site or new to the event in general, but my experiences out on the playa (as well as at regionals and other events in the community) has been that more often than not, people will do just that.
@Sunny - I'm not so sure about named tickets. First of all, if you allow any name changes whatsoever, you completely invalidate the system (because scalpers and hoarders could just book tickets with whatever names they want and change them later). And second, it does have some significant impact at the gate. If a name doesn't match, an entire vehicle gets turned around and sent back to Reno. Time needed for ID checks and matchups would impact the gate most significantly though (Glastonbury's most famous for using it, but what many don't realize is they have seven fully staffed gates to Burning Man's one).
@vapor - registrations for the secure ticket exchange will go through the same filtering/scrubbing process that main sale registrants go through. Look for complete details on the system to be announced early next week.
@CapnJoe - you can worry all you like, but it won't have an affect on the outcome. The registration/drawing system was designed to do just that, and the drawing will take place on Tuesday/Wednesday. The alarmist reaction to Will's post was unfortunate, I know his intentions were to provide an update and let people know a bit about the ticket exchange program (I think the concern was that people were going to 'feed the bears' as he put it and do business with scalpers thinking they had no other options.
@Storm - I disagree, with pretty much everything. Teams of scalpers in China is some creative conspiracy thinking, but scalpers and their proxies are being scrubbed from the list. I also think that, for a professional scalper that really doesn't care what event he's profiteering from, Burning Man is not smart money. If you had $20K to buy tickets and flip them for a profit for in the month of January, would you a) go through the Burning Man registration thing, try to game the system, and then try to flip those tickets when you got them sometime in June…. or b) buy tickets to events like Coachella or <insert sporting event here> which you can flip next month for the same profit %?
@Uncle - sorry, but I don't think a dutch auction would be an ideal solution at all. It would just create a different set of complaints, fears, panic, and opportunities for gaming the system. I also think a 100% will call system would just overwhelm the gates completely. Regardless, welcome to ePlaya!
@jkisha - it is.
@biketotheburn - last year's server meltdown was unfortunate. But even when you're dealing with the evil big-boys (Ticketmaster, LiveNation) they experience server issues, kickouts, and occasionally crashes during first-day on-sales when the demand exceeds around 10K transactions. But handling first day capacity wasn't the primary problem - scarcity is. Sure, tickets didn't sell out until July, but half sold in under 48 hours (and that's with that server meltdown). The goal was never to sell the event out as quickly as possible. The ticket team and other key members of Burning Man reviewed those events and a multitude of other events, as well as had great conversations about what works and what doesn't with other event production companies. We'll see how this system works out in the weeks ahead. And hey, welcome to ePlaya!
@Key Man - I disagree completely. The changes to the system were not intended to limit demand or interest in the event. If anything, they act as a contingency plan for when the demand is greater than the supply. To that end, it hasn't failed at all - it's doing what it was supposed to do. If you thought it was supposed to do something else, you may have been mistaken. As for using the ticket exchange system, I think there were three kinds of hoarders. Group one was loading up for campmates or art projects, group two was loading up for profit, and group three was registering for more than they needed to make sure they got what they needed. In an environment of scarcity, a certain "me first, fuck you" thing is unavoidable, but once that crisis is over I think a good number of people will seriously consider doing the right thing. The ticket exchange thing will hopefully help people do that. I agree about CL & eBay, I'm sure there will be listings and activity there.
@zer0mass - stay tuned for the details of the program to be announced early next week.
@theCryptoFishist - fees would go up, and scalpers would get much more than their fair share (as with any in-demand event they handle).
@curiousgnate - no, it's not that simple. Beyond cost (which would be carried by participants, not the org), it's an issue of logistics. Glastonbury does it (albeit with long lines and a lot less to do as far as vehicle inspection) using SEVEN fully staffed gates. Burning Man has just the one, and with 99% of traffic coming in on just the one road. You'd either end up with a line backed up all the way to Reno, or the BLM coming down and reducing the cap to keep the roads from being a total logjam. As for credit cards, if your card is declined for any reason you will lose your tickets and have to wait until either the ticket exchange or the secondary sale for another chance. Double check your balance, and if using a debit card, double check your daily spending limit (if need be, call your bank so they can make an exception for your purchase).
@lemur - as far as staffing to cover such an endeavor, you'd need more than one person per gate (and remember, that's round-the clock coverage too). It's not just a matter of reading a name on a printed ticket (as it could be altered), it's checking against the name on record in the system, in effect the same as if the entire event were done via will call).
@danibel - stay tuned for the announcement of details for the secure ticket exchange, coming early next week.
@mofessor - the issue is one of logistics. I've said it before in other comments, but there is only one single gate at Burning Man, as compared to Glastonbury (the one shining example everyone seems to point to) where they have 7 fully staffed gates running around the clock. Name verification on tickets effectively would reduce the entire event to will call entry, which would completely overwhelm the capacity of the single available gate.
@charliedolman - wow, here nearly 4 years and finally a post! Welcome to ePlaya! Sorry, I don't agree that the people who organize and run any event should have their essential staffers be a part of the draw. Most of those people are doing actual work to make the event possible. If that doesn't happen, things fall apart ridiculously fast and then there'd be no Burning Man for anybody (I don't see BLM renewing any permits for an event that can't even cover the essentials).
@Zeke - it's like any other ticketed event that sells out (Coachella included). Before this, it was like any other event that didn't sell out.
@Sugahoneyicetea - I'm sorry you've pre-failed the system, but I hope you guy are able to get tickets when the drawing happens in the week ahead.