Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby trilobyte » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:17 pm

@stretch80 - very well said. With an abundance of volunteers covering all shifts I suspect flow of people through the gates would be a lot better.

@Janet Planet - sorry, a do over is not an an option. And non-transferrable tickets are also not feasible, as I explain in an article I posted here.

@Saguache - sorry, that information will not be published. Number of tickets awarded was 40K in total, and breaks down at 10K in tier 1, 15K in tier 2, and 15K in tier 3. It appears that the number of scalper listings is actually pretty low for the number of tickets sold. I recently looked at eBay, StubHub, and a single ticket broker's site and found a total of 116 Burning Man tickets on offer. By comparison, there were 2606 tickets offered for Coachella at the same sites. Coachella had 4 times more tickets, but there are 20 times more tickets being offered through scalpers and profiteers.

@MyDearFriend - that type of scheme was considered, but not chosen. Probably for exactly that kind of reason. Personally I think everyone ought to have a shot, which is the closest you can come to radical inclusion when there aren't enough to go around. We're all equal… and besides, new people bring a lot of awesomeness to the table. I wish I could have attended the event 16+ years ago, not just because the city was so small but because half the city's population had never been there before. If it turns out that a much bigger chunk of the population this year are all first timers, that might not necessarily be a bad thing. As for your predictions of doom, I imagine that'll happen anyways. We're probably in for a severely crazy weather year, and the last 2-3 years have been fairly mild (last year's virgins just don't have any idea).

@marcgorcey - I agree that would probably be a nightmare, but I don't see that happening. Even if there's significant theme camp churn, it will likely result in camps teaming up or the creation of new camps and expansion of others. Not all my campmates have tickets yet, but we're still moving forward with our plans for 2012 and will likely expand in size.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby marcgorcey » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:32 pm

trilobyte wrote:@stretch80 - very well said. With an abundance of volunteers covering all shifts I suspect flow of people through the gates would be a lot better.

@Janet Planet - sorry, a do over is not an an option. And non-transferrable tickets are also not feasible, as I explain in an article I posted here.



HI trilo - your piece on non transferrable tickets seems pretty good.

A few points:

"First, you could never allow tickets to be exchangeable or transferrable"

You could still gift tickets if you bought them for somebody directly from STEP though. You couldn't buy an anonymous ticket.

"Second, it makes for a situation that could potentially completely overwhelm the gate. "

It seems to me that at the gate I always have people who chat with me while a second crew checks out the vehicle for stowaways. It also seems to me that you'd have enough time to check 3, 4, 5, 6 state IDs or passports in that time.

" I found listings for 116 tickets to Burning Man"

I don't think scalpers have shown their wares yet and won't do so until they have a ticket in hand. Who would buy a ticket for "July delivery" as some of them have promised ?

And to who got all the tickets - who knows ? Maybe the BMORG knows, or suspects but until we know, we won't know - in fact we don't know. :|

If I had to bet through between the event having a giant spike in popularity due to the Seuss video and a great burn in 2011 vs scalpers realizing that the festival now sells out so there is money to be made - I would bet on the ladder.

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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:19 pm

marcgorcey wrote:It seems to me that at the gate I always have people who chat with me while a second crew checks out the vehicle for stowaways. It also seems to me that you'd have enough time to check 3, 4, 5, 6 state IDs or passports in that time.

Discussions with Gate personnel indicate that it's a lot more complicated than it looks.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby Pipey » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:15 pm

[quote="trilobyte"]@stretch80 - very well said. With an abundance of volunteers covering all shifts I suspect flow of people through the gates would be a lot better.

@Janet Planet - sorry, a do over is not an an option. And non-transferrable tickets are also not feasible, as I explain in an article I posted here.

GREAT article. solid arguments and explanations on the many controversial questions & challenges posed against the lottery system. i FULLY agree with you that the scarcity of tix is likely all the new blood out there who perused the endless array of videos on youtube. while saddened that it sort of ruins the surprise, social media is here to stay and will definitely increase the demand post haste.

i have one question, trilo - maybe you can answer? i'm sure it will be forthcoming with the STEP rollout, BUT...how can you sell a ticket you don't actually have physically in your hand? are we just using the trust system? will people make an online commitment with credit card which won't be charged until tickets are physically sent? how will that work? the reason i ask is that it seems odd to even be seeking out tickets from our own burner community when none of the folks who may have that "extra ticket" will even have the ticket to actually sell to you. transactions could get messy very quickly.

and likely this question was posed back on page 6. i've had a long day and am unwilling to do that much reading so any copy/paste would be MUCHO appreciated. there are folks in my world asking & i like to get them answers. =)
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby Savannah » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:23 pm

The STEP system will be activated February 22nd, and the information about how it works will be released soon. It will not be "trust-based", and registrants who received rejection letters will be the first to use it.

Trilobyte may be able to say more at this time, but I'm not sure.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby CaptainVic » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:02 pm

I liked Trilos's piece on the ticket problem, by far the best I have seen. Having said that, I am not sure that I agree with his argument that non-transferable tickets (personal ID on tickets) will not work. No question that it would be more expensive, but why not put in twenty lanes at the entry gate rather than three or four? Maybe there would be attempts to counterfit tickets, but it would be a lot tougher to do that than scalping transferable tickets. The BMorg knows a lot about ticket purchasers including their identity and the date of purchase. Any system of personal identifiers on tickets would be a hassle, but I think it would be less hassle than having thousands of tickets in the hands of scalpers.

Here is my concern - as many have pointed out, when demand greatly exceeds supply, there is pressure to increase price. One way to go is for the BMorg to raise the ticket price. (Rather than see a lot of extra income for scalpers, I would rather see the BMorg raise the ticket price to the market level, and then use the extra income for art grants, low-income tickets, and other benifits for the event.) If we stay with tranferable tickets, the scalpers will raise the price on the secondary market. Either way, the average ticket price goes up. To keep the ticket price more affordable, you have to suppress scalping. If we had a workable system for non-transferable tickets, scalping would disappear.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby moonwatcher » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:06 pm

trilobyte wrote:@Janet Planet - sorry, a do over is not an an option. And non-transferrable tickets are also not feasible, as I explain in an article I posted here.


Very good article Trilo. Thank you for pointing us to it. And thank you for all the work you do for ePlaya.

You are absolutely right that the core reason for the current situation is scarcity. But it does not follow logically, or factually, that the current disruptions in the BM community are primarily caused by scarcity. The main issue is not that there will not be enough tickets to go around - I think everyone understands that - but that the means or methods used to distribute the tickets are not helping and could even be causing many of the issues.

I will take further issue with your characterization of many of the folks complaining about ticketing as being unable to deal with change (FUDites, as you say). Respectfully, I think you are being a wee tiny bit condescending to many folks here. I would think that the BM community is quite capable of dealing with change. I don’t think that change is the issue here either.

The lottery, as designed for 2012, had major issues. Not the least of it was that it was not fair. It allowed some folks to use multiple registrations to substantially increase their odds of winning. Time will tell what proportion of these enterprising folks were real scalpers, opportunistic burners looking for extra tickets to distribute how they see fit or simply ordinary folks using a chink in the system to make sure they had the tickets they needed. Already BMORG is publicly saying that the result of the lottery need to be fixed and that this year’s ticketing experience has caused a breach of faith in the organization (not my words; see latest JRS). So it is not only FUDites saying that the lottery didn’t work as planned, BMORG itself is saying it.

When BMORG announces 2013’s ticketing method, it WILL be different than 2102’s. Why? Because if BMORG were to use the same type of lottery for 2013, here are the guaranteed results: *all* registrants will use multiple registrations to increase their odds. People will learn from this year’s “fiasco.” As you state in your article, 2011’s sellout certainly caused some to jump in early this year. If the 2013 lottery is setup like 2012’s, it will be a farce of gargantuan proportion. Something will need to change.

Whatever ticketing system is put in place for 2013, BMORG will have to explore new approaches and technologies. If it is a first-come first-serve approach, they will have to find a robust server architecture capable of sustaining the completely predictable demand. If it is a lottery, it will probably have to include some control over ticket transfers: to deal with scalpers, certainly, but also to put up a barrier to ticket hoarding and multiple registrations. The current lottery was an open invitation to hoarding and gaming the system: low cost of entry (actually, no cost) and potentially high returns. Non-transferable tickets ensure that the buyer is damn sure he/she wants to go. Three lotteries of non-transferable tickets spread over a number of months will gradually allow everyone to buy tickets as they decide they really want to go. I think that whatever complexities are added at the Gate are fixable by adding resources and/or technologies. I, for one, would gladly volunteer to do a few shifts at the Gate scanning tickets/checking IDs if it means a fairer ticketing system for burners. A system to transfer “non-transferable” tickets can be put in place to allow for gifting and passing tickets along to friends/fellow burners, at face value. It is called STEP (version 2.0), duh…!

Bottom line: BMORG will have to find a different approach for 2013. Otherwise, it will really lose all credibility. There have been many reasonable and workable solutions discussed on ePlaya in the last several days. Like you, I have a background in system design, software development management and complex technical systems and finding a workable alternative is really not impossible (i.e. it’s feasible). Heck, within 50 miles for BMORG HQ lies some of the most sophisticated software/systems development resources on Earth. I know BMORG is made up of good, well-intentioned and creative people. And they can reach into the community itself to pull good ideas and resources to help them fix the ticketing issue. It’s time to be creative. This is a challenge they can fix. If they are willing.

Sorry for the long post folks. I feel better now… 8)
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby marcgorcey » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:11 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
marcgorcey wrote:It seems to me that at the gate I always have people who chat with me while a second crew checks out the vehicle for stowaways. It also seems to me that you'd have enough time to check 3, 4, 5, 6 state IDs or passports in that time.

Discussions with Gate personnel indicate that it's a lot more complicated than it looks.


Sure. These things usually are more complicated than they seem but is it too complicated ? Is it more of a risk to make this happen then to allow scalpers to make it so difficult to get tickets ?
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby tamarakay » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:10 am

Well said Moonwatcher.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:50 am

Savannah wrote:The STEP system will be activated February 22nd, and the information about how it works will be released soon. It will not be "trust-based", and registrants who received rejection letters will be the first to use it.

To clarify: The llc issues the tickets. The llc will be administering the STEP. The llc *should* be able to tell that it moved the as yet imaginary ticket from person A to person B. So, you, as person B will not have to worry about whether person A is trustworthy.

Now, there's going to be a lot of foo-fa-rah about whether the llc is trustworthy, and I don't want to hear it, but sometimes the llc just irritates people.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby trilobyte » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:26 am

@CaptainVic - thanks, but we'll have to agree to disagree regarding non-transferrable tickets. The road infrastructure just isn't there. Non-transferrable tickets also completely fails in a situation of scarcity. Even if you backed out the suspected scalper numbers, there was more demand than supply. In that situation, campmates who didn't get what they needed would be permanently and irrevocably screwed once tickets run out.

@Moonwatcher - the disruption and panic-driven hoarding that may or may not have been caused by the lottery (it's impossible for anyone to say just how many people did that) is still a significantly smaller problem than that of professional scalpers. It's pretty easy to see what the impact of pro scalpers are, simply by looking at what they're able to accomplish with other 'hot tickets' (events that demonstrate sellout capacity). Coachella doubled their ticket supply this year, and instead of selling out in days (like they did last year), they sold out in hours. There are hundreds of other concert and sporting events, lots of evidence there. Where the lottery didn't work as planned was that nobody expected such massive demand. It had been expected and hoped that demand would have been significantly less, and that peoples' chances had been better as a result. Of course the 2013 ticketing plans will be different than 2012. Changes to the system for 2013 were likely being discussed before the drawing even started.

@marcgorcey - while I was not involved with Burning Man's conversations with the Glastonbury organizers, my understanding (from my own conversations with event organizers) isthat throwing more gates at a single road/point of entry is absolutely not the same as having multiple gates with separate roads/points of entry. Without the road infrastructure to support it, you hit a point of diminishing returns fairly quickly.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby Dusty McShroomface » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:40 am

Trilo, I saw this posted on the Burning Blog.
Can you confirm if this is really from Marian?

Marian Goodell Says:
February 8th, 2012 at 10:12 am
Hello all

I want to personally thank you for all the comments and suggestions. As many of you know, the board has been holding intense meetings over the last few days. We have reached consensus on a few ways forward and here are the major decisions:

1) The lottery will not be recalled. We’re sorry, but what’s done is done.

2) We (the org) will fight scalpers. A scalper database will be created to combat scalping. This database will record information on confirmed scalpers. We will be rolling out an online form for anonymously reporting scalped tickets. If you must purchase a scalped ticket, please report it so we can trace the serial number back to the original purchaser. Your ticket is still valid, we are not going to punish you. We are sorry you had to get a ticket this way. Our goal is to burn the scalper. If you bought two tickets with the intent of scalping one to pay for the other, think again. Your other will be made invalid and your name added to the scalper database. The serial numbers of invalidated tickets will be published within the STEP program. Our goal is to stamp out scalping and mandate STEP for all resales. We need your cooperation to make this happen. Our hope, STEP is a success and the scalper database remains small. If not, we may check IDs against the database at the gate. This decision depends on how it goes. Please use STEP and do not reward scalpers!

3) The remaining tickets will be added to the low income/scholarship program. We are doing this as a gesture of good will. We understand your loss of confidence in us, but we are burners too. There is no greedy cabal conspiring to cheat you out of your money. We simply tried something different and it did not work out so well. Forgive us.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby Minxy » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:50 am

Link?
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby Dusty McShroomface » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:55 am

http://blog.burningman.com/2012/02/news/burning-man-addresses-2012-ticket-situation/

Scroll down to the bottom and work your way up to Feb 08 10:12 AM

If true, I wonder if under item 3) she means remaining 10,000 that was allocated for March sale???
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby Minxy » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:57 am

Oh, I see.

I bet that's fake.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby Dusty McShroomface » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:58 am

TRILOBYTE, is there anyway to validate if the above reference comments in Burning Blog are from Marian??
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby marcgorcey » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:00 pm

trilobyte wrote:
@marcgorcey - while I was not involved with Burning Man's conversations with the Glastonbury organizers, my understanding (from my own conversations with event organizers) isthat throwing more gates at a single road/point of entry is absolutely not the same as having multiple gates with separate roads/points of entry. Without the road infrastructure to support it, you hit a point of diminishing returns fairly quickly.


I can see that. There is other work that I didn't consider either: I was just thinking of *checking* ID not on how they would look up peoples' names on a list of 50K people.

Dread.

Still, I think that doing something like this would eradicate scalpers immediately, if that's indeed the location of the tickets.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby tamarakay » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:29 pm

Being as scalping is legal in Nevada I don't think the org can really do anything to "burn" scalpers.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby ZaphodBurner » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:50 pm

tamarakay wrote:Being as scalping is legal in Nevada I don't think the org can really do anything to "burn" scalpers.


They can bid up on the tickets to the point that nobody else will buy them, find out the who the original ticket seller is and void that original sale (since the sellers don't actually HOLD TICKETS YET), negating the possibility of the seller presenting a ticket to the buyer, and thus voiding the secondary sale as well. Because in order for a scalper to sell a scalpee a ticket, they have to get it from the organization in the first place.

That ticket simply ceases to exist because the fact is, the org still holds the actual ticket. The credit card and name used to place that order cannot be used to repurchase tickets. In fact, people who are buying tickets on StubHub right now are the kind of people who invested in Bernie Madhoff, because the fine print says all sales are final.

I'd bet that the org has more money to spend monkeywrenching scalpers than scalpers want to risk trying to monkeywrench Burning Man.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:55 pm

ZaphodBurner wrote:
tamarakay wrote:Being as scalping is legal in Nevada I don't think the org can really do anything to "burn" scalpers.


They can bid up on the tickets to the point that nobody else will buy them, find out the who the original ticket seller is and void that original sale (since the sellers don't actually HOLD TICKETS YET), negating the possibility of the seller presenting a ticket to the buyer, and thus voiding the secondary sale as well. Because in order for a scalper to sell a scalpee a ticket, they have to get it from the organization in the first place.

That ticket simply ceases to exist because the fact is, the org still holds the actual ticket. The credit card and name used to place that order cannot be used to repurchase tickets. In fact, people who are buying tickets on StubHub right now are the kind of people who invested in Bernie Madhoff, because the fine print says all sales are final.

I'd bet that the org has more money to spend monkeywrenching scalpers than scalpers want to risk trying to monkeywrench Burning Man.

Is this legal? I know that there were questions about the legality of bidding up tickets without an intent to buy on ebay last year.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby AntiM » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:57 pm

tamarakay wrote:Being as scalping is legal in Nevada I don't think the org can really do anything to "burn" scalpers.


They can't get at the professionals so much, but they certainly can revoke the ticket order of individual amateurs. That's why you are only seeing professional resellers.

I saw a good point elsewhere... many of these resellers are touting 37 tickets. Seller after seller, 37 tickets. Odd, isn't it? What if these were the SAME 37 "smoke" tickets? Because you can do that, list with more than one professional reseller, then cancel the extraneous listings once the sale is complete.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby AntiM » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:58 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
ZaphodBurner wrote:
tamarakay wrote:Being as scalping is legal in Nevada I don't think the org can really do anything to "burn" scalpers.


They can bid up on the tickets to the point that nobody else will buy them, find out the who the original ticket seller is and void that original sale (since the sellers don't actually HOLD TICKETS YET), negating the possibility of the seller presenting a ticket to the buyer, and thus voiding the secondary sale as well. Because in order for a scalper to sell a scalpee a ticket, they have to get it from the organization in the first place.

That ticket simply ceases to exist because the fact is, the org still holds the actual ticket. The credit card and name used to place that order cannot be used to repurchase tickets. In fact, people who are buying tickets on StubHub right now are the kind of people who invested in Bernie Madhoff, because the fine print says all sales are final.

I'd bet that the org has more money to spend monkeywrenching scalpers than scalpers want to risk trying to monkeywrench Burning Man.

Is this legal? I know that there were questions about the legality of bidding up tickets without an intent to buy on ebay last year.


It will get your account suspended from eBay.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby Rice » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:59 pm

Dusty McShroomface wrote:Trilo, I saw this posted on the Burning Blog.
Can you confirm if this is really from Marian?

Marian Goodell Says:
February 8th, 2012 at 10:12 am
Hello all

I want to personally thank you for all the comments and suggestions. As many of you know, the board has been holding intense meetings over the last few days. We have reached consensus on a few ways forward and here are the major decisions:

1) The lottery will not be recalled. We’re sorry, but what’s done is done.

2) We (the org) will fight scalpers. A scalper database will be created to combat scalping. This database will record information on confirmed scalpers. We will be rolling out an online form for anonymously reporting scalped tickets. If you must purchase a scalped ticket, please report it so we can trace the serial number back to the original purchaser. Your ticket is still valid, we are not going to punish you. We are sorry you had to get a ticket this way. Our goal is to burn the scalper. If you bought two tickets with the intent of scalping one to pay for the other, think again. Your other will be made invalid and your name added to the scalper database. The serial numbers of invalidated tickets will be published within the STEP program. Our goal is to stamp out scalping and mandate STEP for all resales. We need your cooperation to make this happen. Our hope, STEP is a success and the scalper database remains small. If not, we may check IDs against the database at the gate. This decision depends on how it goes. Please use STEP and do not reward scalpers!

3) The remaining tickets will be added to the low income/scholarship program. We are doing this as a gesture of good will. We understand your loss of confidence in us, but we are burners too. There is no greedy cabal conspiring to cheat you out of your money. We simply tried something different and it did not work out so well. Forgive us.

The blog author name is different than the comment authour name. Why would the blog author not edit her post, a comment seems unnecessary and would create confusion....
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:00 pm

stretch80 wrote:Why would the blog author not edit her post, a comment seems unnecessary and would create confusion....

Ah, but unnecessary confusion is so burningman.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby VicW » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:55 pm

If this has been posted somewhere, I apologize in advance, but seriously, 18 pages (and 6 months) of FAQ? :)

I have a chance to pick up tickets at face value right now from a fellow burner whose plans just fell through (family stuff same time as the burn). Can I buy them or is there gonna be some goofy crap in two weeks that will turn it into a hoop-jumping fiasco?

Sent an email to Borg, but not sure how long it'll take them to respond. Don't wanna wait too long as they have other interested parties.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby gyre » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:10 pm

Are they will call?

Physical tickets won't be sent for awhile.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby VicW » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:04 am

[quote="gyre"]Are they will call?
Physical tickets won't be sent for awhile.[/quote]

I appreciate the question, but had received a pm from someone who helped me out a ton. I think I've got the info I need for now. Thank you T!

- Vic
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby mdmf007 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:36 pm

Lets see how STEP works out...
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby wraith » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:45 pm

mdmf007 wrote:Lets see how STEP works out...


I believe the phrase 'Like tryin' to piss out a prairie fire.' applies.
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Re: Burning Man 2012 Tickets FAQ

Postby bradtem » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:16 pm

Does anybody have a copy of the actual legal contract terms of the main sale? I don't readily see them on the web site. Did they include a clause prohibiting resale at more than face value? (Such clauses may or may not be enforceable in some jurisdictions, and are already the law in others.) Did they contractually promise a physical ticket by a certain date?
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