ticketless burners, gatekeepers, and money

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Postby precipitate » Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:04 pm

> a veritable Slashdot effect on the perimeter.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

I agree that penalizing the people smuggling in ticketless freeloaders is a
great fucking idea. Turning them away entirely? Not sure. If it were my
party, they wouldn't get in. But it's not my party.
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Postby Guest » Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:09 pm

i say hand the stowaways over the authorities. if they tried to cruise in over the open playa and the BLM/Washoe/Pershing LEOs caught them, it's my (unconfirmed, naive) understanding they'd be dealt with as trespassers or someone attempting "theft of service," yes? that is what's happening here, isn't it? why should it be mitigated by trying to do it through the front door?

if the downside is "oh, now i have to buy a ticket, o damn," what's the deterrent to attempting to gatecrash? as a gatecrasher, your worst case scenario is...what everyone else did, which is to buy a ticket.

string 'em up, i say.

(also...what if they stowaway/gatecrash on friday, after gate tix have closed?)
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Postby TheJudge » Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:20 pm

genghis wrote:string 'em up, i say.



Would you be interested in working the gate next year? :twisted:
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Postby RedTux » Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:26 pm

genghis wrote:i say hand the stowaways over the authorities. if they tried to cruise in over the open playa and the BLM/Washoe/Pershing LEOs caught them
<snip>
if the downside is "oh, now i have to buy a ticket, o damn," what's the deterrent to attempting to gatecrash? as a gatecrasher, your worst case scenario is...what everyone else did, which is to buy a ticket.
<snip>
(also...what if they stowaway/gatecrash on friday, after gate tix have closed?)


We already work very closely with BLM and other LEOs. The basic principle is, play nice then play rough. Often we try to give the person the opportunity to make good without any further harm. If they do not choose this option then BLM get's called in and it becomes a federal citation and a federal record, something most people don't want. After which BLM informs them they can either go home or go to the gate and purchase their ticket. If it's after the Thursday purchase cut off, too bad, so sad, GO HOME! Stupid taxes still apply on ticket sales however. In fact the Perimeter is a pretty quick way to get a stupid tax added to the price of a ticket.
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Postby Guest » Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:31 pm

TheJudge wrote:Would you be interested in working the gate next year? :twisted:


sign me up.

we'll start smiting the gatecrashin' motherfuckers early, and hang their bodies up as a warning to the others. :-)
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Postby Isotopia » Mon Sep 08, 2003 5:07 pm

I fully agree here. However sending them away is something we already do. Maybe I misunderstood earlier but I thought they were saying that if an RV has 5 people and 1 stowaway then they all should be turned around no questions asked and be sent home. This I do not agree with.


Why not?

One would be hard pressed to convince me that (5) paying occupants in a vehicle weren't aware that what they were involved in wasn't detrimental to the overall event. If you pound the message home via Jackrabbit, BM web page, ePlaya, and the occasional BM newsletter that this is an edict from the overlords and will not be acceptable or tolerated I'd bet my ass that you'd see a marked, substantial decrease in the number of fuckholes trying to sneak in. Same goes if you set up a sentinel at or near the 12 mile post where a good number of people were getting dropped off. Take the license and description of the offending vehicle and when they come through the gate after having dropped off their 'no load' passenger, let them know that their actions run counter to the BM ethos and that they are being requested to leave the event. Let 'em know tha they have a full fucking year to think about their actions and how it substantially impacts the event and let them know that they'll be welcome next year.
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Mixed Message

Postby Stormy » Mon Sep 08, 2003 5:10 pm

I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed here, that the LLC is sending out a mixed message in dealing with stowaways and their accomplices. If the penalty were harsher, people would think twice about playing this "game." I'd love it if the people making the decision worked a gate shift during the hottest part of the day and then see what they think. Being lenient on thieves is making the BM experience for everyone unpleasant. The lengthy searches keep everyone waiting in line for a long time and the searches have to work without shelter from the sun or the dust. Perhaps a good topic for a Town Hall Meeting?
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Postby precipitate » Mon Sep 08, 2003 5:13 pm

> this is an edict from the overlords and will not be acceptable or
> tolerated

Hmm. Was there a marked and noticeable decrease in the number of
people on the playa before the event started? I don't think so, and that's
despite stern warnings that you'd be turned away at the gate if you
weren't on a list yadda yadda yadda. They <i>said</i> publicly you had
to be on a list before Monday, but in fact you only had to be on a list
before Saturday. After Saturday you only had to know the name of a
theme camp, any theme camp, to get in.

Making threats and not following through on them tends to make future
threats less effective.

I'm really not for more rules. But I'd prefer that the few rules that do exist
be enforced consistently and fairly*.

* Which reminds me of a regional event I attended earlier this year,
where the organizers came up with a litany of Thou Shalt Nots, and
then broke all but one of their own rules during the event.
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Postby olivia » Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:09 pm

this is in reference to the volunteer discussion a few pages back:

my friend volunteers at the fillmore on nights when shows she wants to see are on. she doesn't pay for the ticket to the show, because she's working it. getting to see the show and hang out after or on breaks may be her incentive to volunteer, but she's there to work.

i have never heard of volunteers having to pay to attend an event they are working, unless it is on an explicit understanding between the event and the volunteer. it seems, if they're giving laminates to volunteers, burningman can now afford to do what any other large event does for their volunteers. let them in to do their work for free.
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Logistics

Postby bgirl » Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:41 pm

For an event the size of BM,the idea is nice in theory but a Major Bitch in reality. I was a volunteer co-ordinator for 3 large outdoor festivals that used that idea,you volunteer..you get in free,and let me tell ya,looking for and hoping that people will show up for their shift is NOT fun.Multiply that by the size of Black Rock ,and ,"we've got a major logistics problem here captain!!!" :mrgreen: The fact that people who are volunteering are also paying ,is a testament to their dedication,although I'm sure it doesn't eradicate the no shows completely. 8)
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Re: Logistics

Postby Stormy » Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:50 pm

bgirl wrote:The idea is nice in theory but a major bitch in reality. I was a volunteer co-ordinator for 3 large outdoor festivals that used that idea,you volunteer..you get in free,and let me tell ya,looking for and hoping that people will show up for their shift is not fun.Multiply that by the size of Black Rock ,and ,"we've got a major logistics problem here captain!!!" :mrgreen: The fact that people who are volunteering are also paying ,is a testament to their dedication,although I'm sure it doesn't eradicate the no shows completely. 8)


Most "volunteers" have to work first and then get a free ticket the following year or some get reimbursed for their tickets on the playa after completing their service. Working 20 to 60 hours on the playa is not for the flakey. Consider how much time you actually get to enjoy yourself. This year I worked at the Gate and as the head DM for ToA. Outside of work I got to see the Man burn, see the Temple of Honor briefly, a couple of Misfit Strippers, part of a friend's wedding and visited a couple of pamper camps. It was a treat to "watch" the Burn because I usually work during it. Consider that most ticket holders get to go out and party every night, and if they have good stimulants during some days too. :)
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Postby bgirl » Mon Sep 08, 2003 7:48 pm

:mrgreen: That sounds intense,sign me up!!!!!!!!! Good to know there is a healthy civic pride in the city still. 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
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Do I hear a second?

Postby levendis » Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:13 am

One can go on and on about the problems with stowaways and all that, when there is such a simple solution. Pay extra for your ticket. Buy early, pay double. Buy an extra ticket and give it away. If you can afford it, pay it forward. If you can get a free ticket, buy one anyway and give it away. Bring extra water, food and a bicycle in case you pick someone up who cannot afford these things but are really honest, loving and happy people who deserve to experience a true gift economy.

Be a part of the solution.
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Postby Isotopia » Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:44 am

Sorry, my altruism doesn't extend that far or that deep and egalatarian ideals can only be applied so far.

I think for anyone heading into the BRC that a minimal amount of contribution, effort and labor needs to be extended towards the event. Passing out a free ticket to some person who's hasn't the foresight or inclination to prepare accordingly seems not much more than a buy-off to keep them from slipping into BRC.

I'd rather take the money for a few extra tickets and purchase subscriptions to 'Adbusters' for my friends during the holidays than serve as an 'enabler' for someone who'll probably continue to NOT contribute once they're inside the event. The playa is full of stories of these folks who come in and vicariously suck on the enrgy of the people who have contributed. For the most part I'd burn an extra ticket under the nose of someone trying to sneak in then give it to them outright. Having said that I find my personal quandry in all of this is knowing of the rare situations where someone trying to sneak in actually did so because they actually lost tickets that they'd purchased, had screw ups at the will call window, etc. Pretty much in every instance that I know of the gate has handled the situation effectively and compassionately and has worked with the individuals so that they could get in.
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Re: Do I hear a second?

Postby RedTux » Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:02 am

levendis wrote:<snip> Pay extra for your ticket. Buy early, pay double. Buy an extra ticket and give it away. If you can afford it, pay it forward.<snip>


Some people already do this on a small scale. However on a larger scale there is the *potential* that it might encourage others to do the same next year because they know someone might have a ticket for them. There are situations where those who it has been deemed are very deserving of some slack receive it. Now what are the criteria for receiving this slack? It varies by person and situation. Some people will be more forgiving of ABC and others will be more forgiving of XYZ.
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Postby precipitate » Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:05 am

> Be a part of the solution.

Sorry, can't (see name).

Besides, I fail to see how paying full price for a ticket prevents stowaways.
Are you saying that most stowaways are just people who could afford
$145 but not $225? I seriously doubt it. I think that instead most
stowaways are people who can't plan ahead that far and take what they
perceive to be the easy route.

For what it's worth, I've never bought a cheap ticket. Got a cheap one in
2002 for being part of fire conclave, and gave it to a starving artist friend.
But that's because I believe that people who plan ahead *and* can't
afford it should have first shot at the lower tiers of ticket prices, not
because I think it'll make any dent whatsoever in people who try to sneak
in.
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Postby TestesInSac » Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:49 am

I've met a total of 4 people who I know stowed-away, or bragged about it. To a one, they were crystal-gazing, tree-hugging, Schwub-hating, anti-capitalist hippies. And not one fucking one of them brought anything of value to the playa.
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The front door?

Postby robbidobbs » Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:33 pm

Giving stowaways an opp to purchase a ticket straight up is IMO simply expedient. As RedTux pointed out, why antagonize them into trying to crash the fence?

Every year we at Gate learn new ways to solve problems. This was the first year where the back of the ticket said: All vehicles will be searched. So everyone who bought a ticket agreed to this condition before entering. Problem solved. The fuckos that want to still try to get thru w/o paying, we will try to catch them. It was also learned that the more veteran Gate people we have, the more efficient we are --and lower burnout rate, but not entirely :(

As to the issue of the pre-event "List"... DON'T GET ME STARTED!!! Lessons learned, and all that happy crap. I'll stop there before going into a rant. The upshot is that we need to give BLM reasonably accurate census information every 4 hours. If the BLM tries their own nose-count and starts to question our numbers, then bad things happen. Gate, and especially the Census Master (who was the beautiful and talented RadMan this year) is critical to our relationship w/ BLM. Stowaways and Gatecrashers just piss us off for this reason. That and the predictable parasitic nature of said fuckos.

If anyone on this list wants to join in the fun, feel free to fill out a volunteer questionaire on the BM site. Put "Gate" as the Dept, and you will be notified of upcoming training sessions. BTW: ours are only 4 hrs long, because we only have to be HALF as nice as Rangers. :twisted:

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Postby Zane5100 » Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:52 pm

casnimot wrote:I've met a total of 4 people who I know stowed-away, or bragged about it. To a one, they were crystal-gazing, tree-hugging, Schwub-hating, anti-capitalist hippies. And not one fucking one of them brought anything of value to the playa.


I've known three, and God I wish I could have hogtied them, branded them, gave 'em the PJ anal exam, and then turned their hippie asses over to the DPW's tender mercies.

But then again, I think we should be using impalement as the national means of execution...
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Postby TestesInSac » Tue Sep 09, 2003 4:02 pm

Zane5100 wrote:But then again, I think we should be using impalement as the national means of execution...


I'm already kinda pale.
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Postby Steven bradford » Tue Sep 09, 2003 4:42 pm

Question for any gatekeepers here--
What would you say is the male female ratio for gate crashers? I'm guessing it's predominately male.

Just wondering.
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Postby RedTux » Tue Sep 09, 2003 6:35 pm

Steven bradford wrote:Question for any gatekeepers here--
What would you say is the male female ratio for gate crashers? I'm guessing it's predominately male.

Just wondering.


While I don't have hard and fast numbers. I *believe* it's mostly males. However on the perimeter you find a few couples. As to what the numbers and ratios, I don't have a clue overall.

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Postby PJ » Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:12 pm

Zane5100 wrote:...I wish I could have hogtied them, branded them, gave 'em the PJ anal exam, and then turned their hippie asses over to the DPW's tender mercies...



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My hero

Postby Stormy » Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:19 pm

casnimot wrote:I've met a total of 4 people who I know stowed-away, or bragged about it. To a one, they were crystal-gazing, tree-hugging, Schwub-hating, anti-capitalist hippies. And not one fucking one of them brought anything of value to the playa.


Agreed. Creative people who contribute to the event can almost always find a way to get in, either through saving or convincing the BMorg that they are willing to put forth a great deal of effort and creativity.

The whiners who stow away and just party all week, well how can I say this nicely, fuck 'em! :twisted:
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I want to say thank you........

Postby Alchemy » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:58 am

Last year I worked on an installation that I wanted to put on the playa.I love the playa,eat drink sleep'and prattle on about the PLAYA.Burningman means something deep.All year I planned this install much to the adverse reactions and snears and gripes of my friends and family. I applied for a grant.Got one,lost it,tried again.I had my idea disected into several easy pieces,none of which I worked on. I made a goddess in 3 weeks of time,for an installation,I starved myself for several weeks and hid money to buy a ticket. I blew it and had to buy at the megaprice.My friends and FAMILY bitched and shit on my almost freaky need to go.I was told I couldnt go,that it was TOO FUCKING EXPENSIVE that I should be satisfied with giving up my need to make stuff and install it on the playa after a whole year of attention to this goal and do it next year.That I just had a baby...ect..blah blah blah.

Long story short,I was invited to go with many last minute people.When I finally did get my transport from a relative,I loaded it w/kids and jerk husband and headed out.I only had one ticket and a firm beleif in BM.I am greatfull to all the people who were pulling together to help me make it happen.I am humbled by the efforts and good will.I never quite feel worthy,like Im behind in the Burning flow,or that I owe more of myself.

The only thing I had to get there was a handfull of petty change.Not enough for gas home,not enough for much.No money for a ticket for my neighsayer husband. Just a diamond, a half carat diamond that was gaining dust in my drawer. We would never set it...it had a funky past.It was worth only the possibility of a ticket to Burningman. If i couldnt get one he would have to go home with out me. Oh well.....

We arrive like migratory birds late on tuesday.We remembered why we go...@ the gate they turned down the stone for the ticket and gave us one based on having the most pathetic need.

I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!
Thank you! It meant something to me.
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RE: Saying thanks

Postby Dustdevil » Thu Oct 16, 2003 8:13 am

Alchemy,

There was an ad on Craigs list offering to trade a diamond for a ticket. Was that you? A nice story. I have always believed that if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.
Those who think they can and those who think they can't are both right.
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Re: omm our moan

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:55 pm

Diazo wrote: it would be nice if money didn't have to enter the picture at all and we could all follow the STOP SHOPPING creed of the Rev. but i guess that's one of the contradictions here....


Another of the contradictions is that the Reverand and his crew were some of the subsidized art and caused a certain amount of consternation in one Playa neighbor by constantly chattering about their "paid gig."
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Re: The front door?

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:08 pm

robbidobbs wrote: The upshot is that we need to give BLM reasonably accurate census information every 4 hours. If the BLM tries their own nose-count and starts to question our numbers, then bad things happen. Gate, and especially the Census Master (who was the beautiful and talented RadMan this year) is critical to our relationship w/ BLM. Stowaways and Gatecrashers just piss us off for this reason.


Have they come up with a reason for the four pm numbers on the Monday after the burn?
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Postby Isotopia » Thu Oct 16, 2003 6:11 pm

@ the gate they turned down the stone for the ticket and gave us one based on having the most pathetic need.


A pretty good example of the overall big heartedness of the Gate crew. They have a sixth sense as far as tuning into what's bullshit and what's...worthy as far as the occasional real-life, no-lie/bullshit story goes. EVERY story i've ever heard conveyed to me by a gate person about such situations has been told with the knowing that the person trying to get in needed to get in and probably should be at the event. Having said that I'll mention that such situations are pretty infrequent and shouldn't be construed as a cue to try one's luck at it next year.
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Postby ramen » Thu Oct 16, 2003 8:43 pm

This year was the first year I didn't feel really resentful about the obligatory search. My van is so packed to the gills you couldn't fit a rodent in there sideways.

Anyway, somehow it went down smooth as silk this time. Maybe the fact it's printed on the ticket makes a difference. I didn't know it was on there, but in past year's I always felt riled about getting searched to go into the burn.

The mindset of the gate-people seemed really good and I don't think it even occurred to me to cop an attitude.

It's good to hear there's some small bit of slack in the Gate for people with truly difficult situations to get in.
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