Conclave - tickets and policy

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Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby christophergraves2 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:19 am

It is of great concern to those of us that PARTICIPATE in the great circle, that the same day we get our approval of tickets, is the same day the event is Officially SOLD OUT! - This news comes only 2 weeks after we have either been ACCEPTED or DENIED into the great circle for the night of the burn.

Lets see how this years policies may have hurt a few well intention-ed PARTICIPANTS of our great city:
--- So for 6 or more months, Fire Troupes all around the country practice, craft, learn new skills/tools to prepare for an opportunity to spin in the great circle the night of the burn. Most of us start preparing for the event before tickets even go on sale.
---- Tickets officially go on sale, and the lowest tiers sell out in the first day, and most of us that happen to be part of a fire troupe, make a decision to buy our ticket or wait to see if we get ACCEPTED into the Great Circle, Conclave! If we get ACCEPTED, we get a ticket in the lower tier (staff ticket).
---- So now that this decision is made - we go on practicing, creating performances that fit the BORG's wish for specifics, we meet multiple times a month, create a video and wait for our ACCEPTANCE to PARTICIPATE.
---- So now one of 4 things happens,
1)your troupe gets ACCEPTED, whew all that work might be worth it, and you get to buy a staff ticket, if you didn't already buy one when tickets went on sale - yeah for you!
2)your troupe gets ACCEPTED, whew all that work might be worth it, and you DON'T get to buy a staff ticket, because you already bought a ticket when they first went on sale. Wow I feel good!
3)Your troupe DOES NOT get ACCEPTED, and you were planning on that STAFF ticket, and now you have to buy the highest tier ticket. WHAT? REALLY?
4)Your troupe DOES NOT get ACCEPTED, and you were planning on that STAFF ticket, and now you have to buy the highest tier ticket, but wait it SOLD THE F OUT... so either your not going, or you are relegated to combing craigslist to find a ticket, (that no doubt is going to have a chance of being either a fake, or be higher priced)

For me, I fall into category 1, thank the BORGs.
But I have heard from a number of people who are surprised by it all, frustrated to say the least!
We, the Fire Community, are typically heavy participants at the event... we travel the city with our flames and perform numerous times, and we enjoy it.... But to think that those of us that spend months preparing for a night that has more fireworks then fire can be treated like this, we well.... are beginning to think that you really DON'T want us PARTICIPATING the night of the burn. So maybe you should reconsider how you treat the 50 or so troupes that submit applications to perform for the 65,000 people that will be WATCHING.

I have a suggestion, but I will wait for you to ask for it, maybe you already have an answer for this!

And yes I do realize that some troupes never submit the final video, and yes some people are just in ti to get a Staff ticket, but most of us have a dream of performing in front of the man before he burns.....
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby Elderberry » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:29 am

Frankly, if I knew the options in advance and I hadn't heard I was accepted, I think I just might have bought my ticket anyway, just to be on the safe side. (especially after the second warning that the tickets might sell out :shock: ). But that's just me being radically self-reliant I guess.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby AntiM » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:34 am

Hmmm, just posted and it vanished.

A good portion of the Utah conclave is screwed, they were not chosen this year. As a fuel master, I had the option of waiting for performer tickets. Having been subjected to snafus with those in the past, I chose to buy tiered tickets early on. I am SO glad I did. I'm even considering the holiday pre-sales for 2012!!!

But yes, a lot of the conclave members are low income, talented, but can't afford much.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby Elderberry » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:54 am

Now that tells ya something right there.

AntiM wrote:
But yes, a lot of the conclave members are low income, talented, but can't afford much.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby christophergraves2 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:01 am

[quote="jkisha"]Frankly, if I knew the options in advance and I hadn't heard I was accepted, I think I just might have bought my ticket anyway, just to be on the safe side. (especially after the second warning that the tickets might sell out :shock: ). But that's just me being radically self-reliant I guess.[/quote]

I think you miss the point. They did not tell us the rules had slightly changed until late in the game... and yes people should be self reliant, so maybe you should perform for yourself? We need the talented performers, that actually know what they are doing.....
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby Elderberry » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:41 am

The fireworks are enough for me at the burn. The spinners are not necessary for my personal enjoyment at the burn, as we watch from far beyond the roaring crowds and can't see them anyway. I enjoy watching people spin elsewhere on the playa however.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby SnowBlind » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:21 pm

christophergraves2 wrote:2)your troupe gets ACCEPTED, whew all that work might be worth it, and you DON'T get to buy a staff ticket, because you already bought a ticket when they first went on sale. Wow I feel good!


Of course there is a slight modification to 2 that gives you the best of both worlds. You buy a ticket early (a cheap one if the queue doesn't crash on you). Then you wait. If your group doesn't get accepted, you already got your ticket. If you do get a staff ticket, you sell the regular ticket (at sticker price). You'll make some burner happy by giving them a ticket for a lower price that they could buy it at that time, and you have peace of mind.

I do agree 100% that they should communicate the rules more clearly though, and certainly not change them mid flight. That's the other reason I always buy one even if I am expecting a staff ticket. You just never know.
Last edited by SnowBlind on Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby Lassen Forge » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:26 pm

That's what I usually do when I'm on staph... I'll buy my queue tix, and if and when I get the OK to get the lowball Staph Slave Wage Specials --giggles-- I'll either sell the bought ones at face (or lower) or give the ones I don't need away... Just something I can give back to the community, in hopes they pay it forward.

Think that messed me up this year was I wasn't planning on going, but circumstances changed... now I'm hoping to hook a spot with ESD again, not for the ticket, but because I usually do that months ago!!!

I'm just grateful I already got my ticket this year... what a madhouse!
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby christophergraves2 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:00 pm

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:That's what I usually do when I'm on staph... I'll buy my queue tix, and if and when I get the OK to get the lowball Staph Slave Wage Specials --giggles-- I'll either sell the bought ones at face (or lower) or give the ones I don't need away... Just something I can give back to the community, in hopes they pay it forward.

Think that messed me up this year was I wasn't planning on going, but circumstances changed... now I'm hoping to hook a spot with ESD again, not for the ticket, but because I usually do that months ago!!!

I'm just grateful I already got my ticket this year... what a madhouse!



Sorry but this does not work anymore.. that is the way it used to work... but if you do that now, they will ban you from the great circle!
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby capjbadger » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:16 pm

Wait what? They will ban you for selling off your ticket? Where does it say that?

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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby Lassen Forge » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:21 pm

I want to know where they say I can't sell a ticket I bought at face value? Serious - point me where it says if I gift someone a ticket I PAID FOR they will NOT let me volunteer...

Because somehow stopping someone from gifting tix somehow doesn't equate to the whole BRC ethos. So yes, where DO you get your info?

No ticket for you.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby christophergraves2 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:40 pm

The Policy I speak of was specific to those in CONCLAVE, this may or may not be the same for the other staff tickets...
But we were very clearly told by our Shin, not to try to buy another ticket if you already have one in your name.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby Savannah » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:12 pm

I have been told the same thing, in my new experiences.

It is not considered dishonest to sell a Tiered ticket you bought with your own money, because you own it fair and square, and paid face value.

Selling a staff ticket, or gift ticket, or a ticket for more than face value is where--I believe--it gets iffy.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby christophergraves2 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:24 pm

sorry to say that is not what we were told... and we are not the only fire troupe to hear it...
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby Savannah » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:46 pm

I'm not suggesting you violate rules of any kind, just that something bought at $210 or higher with no special designation is not staff or gift at all, and could be sold without qualm by the owner. However, I could see room for misinterpretation or miscommunication because it might be considered iffy to sell a staff ticket (a ticket purchased for less than $210) or a free ticket. But I recommend you write the ticket folks.

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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby capjbadger » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:08 am

Agreed. Sound like they are forbiding selling of the Staff tickets, which would make sense. Saying you shouldn't be self-reliant and not buy a normal ticket in case the conclave falls through would be just wrong.

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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby mdmf007 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:01 pm

That sucks all around but knowing this was a possibility why not buy the lowest tier ticket you can -knowing you can sell it in 10 minutes if your ticket deal with the BORG works out. I work ESD every year and they are awesome enough to give me a ticket, its not a great deal financially as I make 10 times the cost of a ticket for the hours I put in, but its a nice gift. I usually buy a ticket based on the fact I may not feel like doing ESD later in the year.

I just gave that ticket to a mate because ESD comped me one. Planning ahead goes a long ways.

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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby Igneouss » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:46 pm

christophergraves2 wrote:It is of great concern to those of us that PARTICIPATE in the great circle, that the same day we get our approval of tickets, is the same day the event is Officially SOLD OUT! - This news comes only 2 weeks after we have either been ACCEPTED or DENIED into the great circle for the night of the burn.

Lets see how this years policies may have hurt a few well intention-ed PARTICIPANTS of our great city:
--- So for 6 or more months, Fire Troupes all around the country practice, craft, learn new skills/tools to prepare for an opportunity to spin in the great circle the night of the burn. Most of us start preparing for the event before tickets even go on sale.
---- Tickets officially go on sale, and the lowest tiers sell out in the first day, and most of us that happen to be part of a fire troupe, make a decision to buy our ticket or wait to see if we get ACCEPTED into the Great Circle, Conclave! If we get ACCEPTED, we get a ticket in the lower tier (staff ticket).
---- So now that this decision is made - we go on practicing, creating performances that fit the BORG's wish for specifics, we meet multiple times a month, create a video and wait for our ACCEPTANCE to PARTICIPATE.
---- So now one of 4 things happens,
1)your troupe gets ACCEPTED, whew all that work might be worth it, and you get to buy a staff ticket, if you didn't already buy one when tickets went on sale - yeah for you!
2)your troupe gets ACCEPTED, whew all that work might be worth it, and you DON'T get to buy a staff ticket, because you already bought a ticket when they first went on sale. Wow I feel good!
3)Your troupe DOES NOT get ACCEPTED, and you were planning on that STAFF ticket, and now you have to buy the highest tier ticket. WHAT? REALLY?
4)Your troupe DOES NOT get ACCEPTED, and you were planning on that STAFF ticket, and now you have to buy the highest tier ticket, but wait it SOLD THE F OUT... so either your not going, or you are relegated to combing craigslist to find a ticket, (that no doubt is going to have a chance of being either a fake, or be higher priced)

For me, I fall into category 1, thank the BORGs.
But I have heard from a number of people who are surprised by it all, frustrated to say the least!
We, the Fire Community, are typically heavy participants at the event... we travel the city with our flames and perform numerous times, and we enjoy it.... But to think that those of us that spend months preparing for a night that has more fireworks then fire can be treated like this, we well.... are beginning to think that you really DON'T want us PARTICIPATING the night of the burn. So maybe you should reconsider how you treat the 50 or so troupes that submit applications to perform for the 65,000 people that will be WATCHING.

I have a suggestion, but I will wait for you to ask for it, maybe you already have an answer for this!

And yes I do realize that some troupes never submit the final video, and yes some people are just in ti to get a Staff ticket, but most of us have a dream of performing in front of the man before he burns.....


Bunch of questions and comments come to mind:

1) How is this situation different than anyone else that spends months on art or a MV or a theme camp, etc?
2) I guess I never realized that fire spinners get 'staff of special' tickets or some sort of special entitlement to attend BM...
3) All of what you say assumes these people would not attend BM unless they are asked to perform by the BMorg? I would think those people shouldn't be invited at all.
4) So buy a ticket and enjoy BM. If you get selected to perform - great! If not, you still get to enjoy BM. Everyone that was paying attention knew there was a serious likelyhood of a sell out.
5) Is anything stopping a group from attending BM and performing as a them camp or whatever? There seems to be a bunch of stuff here that confuses attending BM with weather or not you get to perform in front of the Man on burn night. If you're good, lots of folks will enjoy your performance any time during the week.
6) Next year ask the Org to refund the difference in cost between retail tickets and your special 'staff' tickets - if you get selected. You can then buy tickets any time. If not selected then you can attend BM as a civilian or re-sell your ticket.

I've got to admit that the sense of special entitlement in your post makes me less interested in fire spinners.

I work hard and spend lots of time and money to make my small contribution. I do not expect or need 'staff' tickets. I planned accordingly. I bought my ticket.
Basic b/e analysis:
2005 $243K
06 $855K
07 $1.0M
08 $1.1M
09 $0
10 $1.1M
11 $1.2M
12 $1.2M
That’s $6.8M that thousands of volunteers deserve to know about. Capitalism is alive at BM. Tickets are the commodity. Others have estimated higher profits.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby trilobyte » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:37 pm

I have to admit, the man burn already feels awkwardly spectator-ish for me as it is. We participate all week long, then stand around and watch the man and the performers in the circle. It's all a bit more awkward, knowing that some of the people in the circle are getting free or discounted tickets to be there.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby AntiM » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:56 pm

The Utah fire conclave, not being selected for the Great Circle this year, will be performing in front of Basscamp/Temple of Boom/Rites of Zion on Wednesday evening. Should be a most excellent show, they're really good. And scrambling for tickets.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:02 pm

christophergraves2 wrote:The Policy I speak of was specific to those in CONCLAVE, this may or may not be the same for the other staff tickets...
But we were very clearly told by our Shin, not to try to buy another ticket if you already have one in your name.

I don't know where or how that information got into the fire-spinner community, but it sounds* very "off" to me. If I wanted to buy a ticket for my husband and later, after getting the staff go ahead, I refuse to believe that even the llc would be that bizarre. I'm sorry that people got that information, and all I can suggest is keep your eyes out here and on craigslist and next year buy a ticket ahead of time, just in case.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby Eric » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:16 pm

trilobyte wrote:I have to admit, the man burn already feels awkwardly spectator-ish for me as it is. We participate all week long, then stand around and watch the man and the performers in the circle. It's all a bit more awkward, knowing that some of the people in the circle are getting free or discounted tickets to be there.


Yeah, I've felt that way for years, so I decided to make my spectating into participating: I pull a chair & some friends up to the Esplanade, we pull out cocktails & watch the spectacle from the back while making rude comments, occasionally through megaphones. Last year was great with our camp being on the Esplanade, so I know where I'll be doing from again this year.

Everyone is free to join, but you need to bring your own megaphones. The bar is right behind us so we can round up cocktail real easy.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:24 pm

I am so there.


Where do I get a megaphone?
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby graidawg » Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:02 am

a few comments on this I bought my ticket right at the begginning, knowing i may get a discount ticket later on, because my ticket is will call and i had to change it to my name (i dont have a bank or credit card) I cant sell it on. getting a ticket that says staff for a virgin is pretty damn cool as a momento, and i intended to give my paid for ticket away. I cant afford much but damn i've gotten so much from the lovely people on here i wanted to give someone else something and now tickets have sold out i know of many people that i admire who dont have tickets and dammit i cant give them the spare i was hoping for (and got offered $160 but then told i cant buy it)

Whats really annoying though is if had got my ticket sent to me as a hard ticket BMorg wouldnt know i already had one, so I could buy the discount ticket get my staff momento AND still give my paid for ticket away. So in reality this "cant buy a reduced ticket if you already have one" is basically targettted at the overseas volounteers and the few american burners who went for the will call option.

It's really pissed me off. I've been thinking about getting and giving an extra ticket for months now, and before i get the news on getting a staff ticket it sells out and im told i cant buy or even transfer it to someone elses name for them to buy. Tottally not a gift economy.

Damn now ive added to the blamestorming ticket fiasco
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby Igneouss » Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:08 am

Eric wrote:
trilobyte wrote:I have to admit, the man burn already feels awkwardly spectator-ish for me as it is. We participate all week long, then stand around and watch the man and the performers in the circle. It's all a bit more awkward, knowing that some of the people in the circle are getting free or discounted tickets to be there.


Yeah, I've felt that way for years, so I decided to make my spectating into participating: I pull a chair & some friends up to the Esplanade, we pull out cocktails & watch the spectacle from the back while making rude comments, occasionally through megaphones. Last year was great with our camp being on the Esplanade, so I know where I'll be doing from again this year.

Everyone is free to join, but you need to bring your own megaphones. The bar is right behind us so we can round up cocktail real easy.


Wow! Are we in the same camp? We move our cafe out into the road and watch from a distance. Enjoy drinks and maybe some tasty snacks.
Basic b/e analysis:
2005 $243K
06 $855K
07 $1.0M
08 $1.1M
09 $0
10 $1.1M
11 $1.2M
12 $1.2M
That’s $6.8M that thousands of volunteers deserve to know about. Capitalism is alive at BM. Tickets are the commodity. Others have estimated higher profits.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby The CO » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:48 pm

As Helmsman for a fire conlave in the circle (2.5 years) and a performer in the great circle for 8 years, I can speak to what I know for certain.

1-If you purchased a ticket to Burning Man in your name before conclave selection was announce, and are part of a fire troupe that was accepted, you are not eligible for a conclave price ticket. This policy is the subjuct of some debate, but it is not a new rule. It has been that way for 5+ years. If the shin/helmsman of any given group did not make that clear, they need to work on their communication skills.

2-If you are a part of a troupe that is accepted, you have a guaranteed ticket @ conclave price, unless you already purchased one. Either way, you have a ticket and are in the great circle, so there is no cause for alarm. It is a matter of your own personal bet on if your group will get in versus how badly you want to go.

3-It is not possible to sell/transfer a Fire Conclave discount ticket to someone else. They are announced/confirmed via email, compared to the existing sold ticket database, and are will-call only. Shins must list each member via the name on their legal ID.

4-Getting banned from the great circle: The most common cause for this is accepting a conclave ticket and then (a) not showing up to perform or (b) showing up intoxicated. This is a dick move, because it forces your Shin & Helmsman to boot your ass or risk themselves getting booted. It also screws the troupe you perform with.

5-The list of conclaves that were accepted came out on July 10th. That left 15 days to purchase tickets. With proper planning, one could have purchased a ticket, albeit at the highest tier. This comes down to preparation.

6-NO ONE is guaranteed a place in the great circle. EVERY CONCLAVE must apply anew each year. The submission guidelines are abundantly clear, and have been so for several years. Anyone that tells you otherwise is full of something, and it ain't free fuel.

@ christophergraves2- Stop whining & nut up. You sound like an one of the radically self-entitled, and you are giving us fire spinners a bad name. Perhaps you and your shin/helmsman need to work on better communication skills.
Last edited by The CO on Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:51 am

Personally, I don't think there should be any concessions made for fire groups. Everyone should have the same access to the same priced tickets. You're no more special than any else of us. Get in line. Not to belittle your art or contribution, but I missed the listing of "radical entitlement" in the principles..

I also know personally of a lot of abuse of the access to cheap tickets. I know several people this year entering as a fire performer that would burn themselves with a lighter let alone fire poi. They skate right in along with the rest of the group as "members".
Last edited by junglesmacks on Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby AntiM » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:06 am

That would be me, a fuel master, if we were performing this year. And we get safeties, a photographer, and drummers. This year they tightened up, no more than 50 per group, tops. 50 is a large number if you think about it.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby OregonRed » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:01 am

junglesmacks wrote:Personally, I don't think there should be any concessions made for fire groups. Everyone should have the same access to the same priced tickets. You're no more special than any else of us. Get in line. Not to belittle your art or contribution, but I missed the listing of "radical entitlement" in the principles..

I also know personally of a lot of abuse of the access to cheap tickets. I know several people this year entering as a fire performer that would burn themselves with a lighter let alone fire poi. They skate right in along with the rest of the group as "members".



Too late. You've belittled my art and my contribution.

No radical entitlement involved in accepting my ticket from the BMORG for taking the position of "Shin" for Oregon Fire Conclave. I have worked my ass off since December putting together choreography, organizing rehearsals, organizing workshops, communicating with the BMORG and generally herding flaming cats without ever knowing for sure if my group was going to be one of the thirty selected to perform inside The Great Circle. If we hadn't been selected, TheCO and I had a plan for purchasing tickets immediately after the acceptance/denial emails came out. It would have sucked, but it wouldn't have changed whether or not we went to the Burn. Sometimes things work out in your favor, sometimes they don't.

We are treated no differently than any of the other BMORG sponsored art projects. If you already have a ticket, then the BMORG sees no reason to give you another ticket at a reduces price. If you accept a gift ticket or a reduced price ticket after you have already purchased a ticket, you are banned from participating in the fire dancing in the Great Circle ever again.

Maybe you don't understand why the BMORG would be willing to offer reduced price/gift tickets to fire conclaves at Burning Man but, whether or not you understand it, they do. And as long as they do, I will happily work my ass off for the chance at a reduced price ticket.
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Re: Conclave - tickets and policy

Postby The CO » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:03 am

Jsmacks, I'm sad to hear about abuse of the system. Please, if you know of specifics, let the Fire Conclave Council know about it. Many of us put a lot of time and effort into the great circle out of love for fire; asshattery demeans us all.

OregonRed & I make clear each year with the Oregon Fire Conclave that if you are joining for the sole purpose of getting a discount ticket, you're doing it wrong. We start rehearsals in January, we accept all levels of spinners, and we work everyones ass off. And, we make it clear that all the work is about the fire, not the ticket.

The discounted ticket is a gift. Not a right. Not a privilege. Not something one is entitled to get. I personally am grateful for it, but I never expect it. It's a bonus.

And as Anti pointed out, there are several members of fire troupes that do not light up and are just as important as those that do. I'm one of them.
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