Lottery System Feedback

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Lottery System Feedback

Postby fembot » Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:40 pm

On principle, I have to object to this system. For me this isn't about price, I just want to know I have my ticket and get excited. After all, one of Burning Man's ten rules is "Decommodification" and a lottery system is a bit hypocritical, since it forces us to think about BOTH money and gambling. So then we sit their waiting, and hoping, and scramble like hell if we don't get a ticket and worry if we don't choose a tier high enough? Shouldn't responsible consumers willing to access and buy tickets get first priority? It creates a pretty nasty and combative energy that sets bad precedents and encourages even more of the horrible scalping that happened last year.

If you are already considering a lottery system which basically requires review of each submission, why not have people send emails which are time stamped, and do a first come, first serve. They can try for Tier 1 and offer a range of up to how much they are willing to pay. For instance, I might buy 4 Tier 1 or Tier 2 tickets, but only 2 Tier 3. We are in the Age of Technology, and with some of the most creative minds behind this production, I would trust you can find a great deal of support to make alternative solutions happen.

Myself, I'd pay up to full price to attend. But everyone wants as fair of a chance as anyone to get a good deal, and it feels pretty crappy to be penalized for being able to afford a high price, because that money could still make a difference in my life. The original ticket requests says to offer to pay what you can afford. This is a very nebulous question which creates harsh value judgments, since pretty much everyone can use the extra money for something else. Why should one person who works hard be financially penalized by others who are less fiscally responsible. Obviously I am not talking about people who apply to special discount tickets, which in my mind, is what the special cases where people have dire circumstances or hardship can petition for Burning Man Welfare.

I am the most troubled that if I were to choose Tier 4, I have zero opportunity to win in Tier 1,2, or 3. What if, by trying to be extra careful and pay more, I still don't get a ticket? Seems a bit crazy for being one of the first willing to pay "full price".

Bottom line, I want to go and so does everyone else replying to these threads. I like the Playa. But I'm beginning to question the methods, and am saddened that it comes to this. Please think about the consumer and what the uncertainty of a lottery system would do. Many of us make plans far in advance in hopes to be able to attend and arrange accommodations and art projects now. It would be highly dispiriting and disappointing if we could not even get in or be troubled with such a materialistically driven stress after such an investment of spirit and energy.

I truly hope that behind the scenes, you really are taking voices of reason (not the silly rants) into consideration and not just giving us lip service in your sticky thread.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby Marscrumbs » Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:08 pm

If they have to have a lottery, at least they should have prizes. How about ten free tickets, or a couple two for one? Let's keep it interesting. Else you're just an early loser at $390.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby AntiM » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:00 am

Uh.... no surprise charges, you'll get a notice or invoice with the exact amount to be charged, and on what date. If you're going to pick apart the process, you could at least read the FAQ instead of making shit up.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby Marscrumbs » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:29 am

AntiM wrote:Uh.... no surprise charges, you'll get a notice or invoice with the exact amount to be charged, and on what date. If you're going to pick apart the process, you could at least read the FAQ instead of making shit up.


There are always those processing fees and mailing cost. Now the charge first where before you had to push the agree button on paypal. Small but you got to see them.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby ChefDave » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:24 am

I'm not quite clear on who BMORG is trying to provide an "equal opportunity" for to buy tickets, maybe someone could clue me in....

I see problems with the roulette approach to hitting credit/debit accounts for lots and lots of people out there. In case BMORG hasn't noticed, things are tough in the economy. I know people who live hand to mouth and struggle to get money together to buy tickets, then do it again to actually get to the event. The proposed system places undue financial stress on those who simply do not have the ability to keep money in the bank until they find out how much tickets are actually going to cost them. Even the relatively short period from Jan 22 to Feb 1 may preclude many long time Burners from getting tickets that they can afford.

I believe that I create my "equal opportunity" to buy tickets because on "sale day", I'm sitting in front of my computer ready to hit the "buy now" button to get those cheap tickets AND I know how much money I have to spend on that given day as opposed to an "on or before Feb 1 award". Now lets suppose that another charge hits my debit card 5 minutes before BMORG decides to "award" me tickets and I end up being $5 short of their charge and my greedy financial institution denies the charge. I'm kinda screwed, no? I may have to wait until March to see if I get tickets. I would rather put in my time, get in the queue and wait it out for that immediate gratification of buying my tickets that day.

No matter what anyone thinks, the scalpers are going to be in on the game from the get go and will be taking as many tickets as they can in anticipation of the event selling out. A professional scalper will gave several credit/debit cards and several different mailing addresses to send those tickets to. What professional scalpers DON't have is the ability to sit in front of the computer all day (if that's what it takes) until the queue gets to them. The way to stop scalpers is to appeal to the Burner community to do the right thing and not support the scalpers, or sell their extra tickets for face value thereby enforcing the ideals of the community which in turn makes Burningman a successful venture for all.

I do not see that the proposed system offers any particular benefit to the long time citizens of Black Rock City, but I DO see unnecessary stress and inconvenience to many who have supported the event with their participation over the years. If people want to attend the event, let them buy tickets early and not procrastinate. When the event sells out, it is sold out, sorry, that's just the way things work. If I can put in the time and effort to get my ticket early, then I should reap the benefits of that effort and not be subjected to the additional stress and expense caused by those who cannot put forth a similar effort.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby trilobyte » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:55 am

@Marscrumbs - think of it as a random selection. The service fees are still being finalized, but fees and shipping charges will be posted soon and be visible on the registration page. You'll be aware of any and all charges that you may be agreeing to before you submit your registration.

@SparkyZanzibar - yes, it is necessary. Read the announcement and linked FAQ page at the top of the tickets discussion for more info (the bottom of the page has more general info about the process).

@ChefDave - it's a very valid concern for many of us. On credit cards, making sure the balance is paid down enough so there's enough room on the limit. On debit cards, making sure there's enough money in the account and that some random recurring bill (rent, utilities, netflix, groceries, etc) doesn't leave you short on funds. If this is a concern for you, you can get a pre-paid debit card in the amount of your ticket purchase. I've used them before, just took my cash to a local check cashing joint and they got me taken care of on the spot. As for scalping, the registrations will be scrubbed against lists of known scalpers & scammers, and scanned for potentially questionable registration data (that would then be reviewed by a human). I'm sure some will still manage to get tickets (no system is foolproof), but it's a LOT better than a first-come first-serve system. Scalpers absolutely DO have the time and energy to sit in front of the computer (worse, they've got automated bots to help them do it). Scalpers love first-come first-serve, they do not like any kind of random selection/registration process, unless they've got someone on the inside.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby jkisha » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:32 pm

People living "hand to mouth" probably shouldn't be spending their money on Burning Man and start putting some money away for a rainy day.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby ChefDave » Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:44 pm

@Trilobyte Thanks for your input. I have been blessed in this life and ticket money is not an issue for me. I speak based on feedback for my camp mates. Although your suggestion of making sure money is available in one form or another is a valid one, I find that many people simply cannot manage to organize or allocate funds in a manner in which is helpful in this situation. I stand by my devotion to the crashing system system that has worked so well for me in the past. Whatever will happen will happen and I'll be there, but feel for those who are already thinking that an alternative to a visit to BRC this year is in order.

@Jkisha I have read many of your posts over the years and appreciate your form of sarcastic humor (really, I do...). However it is not for you or I to judge where people, even those living on the financial edge, find their joy in life. If solace from reality comes to someone struggling from Burningman and they choose to do whatever it takes to get there to share that unique BM joy with their friends and family, then that is up to them. Of course you understand my point that I see the lottery system less helpful to some who choose to spend their rainy day money at BRC. Perhaps some Burner will take your advise and skip the event, but hopefully your next comment will be to encourage our brothers and sisters to do their best to see us there.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby trilobyte » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:37 pm

Yeah, but in a first-come, first-serve plan they face the same challenge (making sure money's available on date of purchase). Back in January the servers creaked, groaned, sputtered, melted down, and STILL managed to sell through the first two tiers of tickets. A lot of people who went in with the expectation (or hope) of paying a low price wound up either paying a significantly higher price, or just plain missed out (because they didn't have the funds available).
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby portaplaya » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:56 am

Last year we sold 27,000 tickets on the first day and this year, according to the numbers in the random drawing, they expect 40,000 tickets to be sold in the first day. And possibly even more people than that trying to buy tix.

I don't see how "waiting to click the 'Buy Now' button" is going to be anything but a crap-shoot; a lottery of its own. The registration system just makes that official and now lets people use that day productively.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:59 am

(we won't mention that it must take incredible pressure off the people in headquarters. In fact, they are probably reading this sub-forum and busting guts. "You call this complaining! Nothing after January! Pikers, the lot!")
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby Marscrumbs » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:44 pm

Modest proposal like ticket rationing. Those who's playa names start from A-L get to go on even years and from L-Z on odd. Punctuation/numeric names would be exempt.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby dianadiana » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:48 pm

This lottery system makes me sad :(
I hate having ANY uncertainties about whether I can go or not next year.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:49 pm

Uncertainties have always existed, lottery or not. Ask anybody who tried to buy a ticket through the website on line after July 17th.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby socks » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:30 pm

Last year even with the opening day shit fest you could still buy tickets until June.With the lottery system it drives up the value of a ticket to burning man because even if you have the money its luck that you must count on.You will see a lot of tickets at the brokers for 3 to 4 times the face value because of this.The only question is which one thought this lottery up Moe,Curly or Larry.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby trilobyte » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:50 pm

@socks - yeah, but half those tickets sold in 48 hours (even with the server issues). Increased demand from growth of the event and all the people who had a close shave (or got shut out) for the 2011 event (not to mention all the people who knew someone who had a close shave or got shut out). Under the 2011 rules & limits, the 2012 event could have very well sold out in a matter of days, or less (especially if pro scalpers got involved, which they often do with events that sell through quickly).
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby vargaso » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:59 pm

Boy, I sure hope that doesn't happen, haha:
viewtopic.php?f=187&t=47047&start=60#p736610
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby SuperNakedGirl » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:44 pm

I know burningman is trying to be fair and please everyone but when you have that many people involved (50,000 plus) it just isn't going to happen. I don't personally like the new lottery idea because it seems to possibly punish the people who have their shit together in time to buy tickets. It should stay first come first serve like always, cause you know 2-3 months out there are going to be more people selling tix anyway. And yes I know some jack up the prices but that will make you get your money together better for the next year's ticket kick off. It just a double edged sword really when this event has gotten this big. If you have a ticket cut off then that is how it has to be no matter how many people complain they didn't get tix...it happens
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby goathead » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:55 pm

pile them up and burn them
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby trilobyte » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:09 pm

It doesn't (punish people who have their shit together) actually. The odds are significantly in favor of those who plan ahead and have their act together (versus those who don't start planning until later in the year, or don't plan much at all). What it does do is even the odds a bit that those who plan early can get tickets. If demand wound up being significantly stronger than last year (because people planned on hoarding or lots of last year's latecomers took action to jump in early this year), the old system left a lot of room for people who plan early to miss out completely. If there ends up being no knee-jerk increase in demand over last year, there will be more than enough tickets for everyone registering, and 2K more tickets at the lowest tier.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby jcliff » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:58 pm

Well, now it becomes kind of exciting. In the ticket FAQ, they say that presale ticket registrations close at 11:59 pacific time on December 11 (this very day.) They also said that presale tickets would be allotted on or before December 19. So I could wake up tomorrow with an email saying that I was allotted one ticket with a beautiful digital image to post on my refridgerator. Or I could wake up with an email that says I wasn't selected for a presale ticket, so my registration will go into the next round of sales. Or, most likely, I will wake up to no word. If I was BMorg, I'd make sure all my ducks were in a row before commiting tickets. So, I'd imagine it will be on the 19th or 20th that I hear something.

My suggestion for BMorg would be to award secondary prizes to those that don't make it on the presale. So my email would read something like this:

Dear Jennifer,

Although you were not allotted a ticket to Burning Man in the 2012 Presale....You have won a 10x10 Blue Plastic Tarp!

You have won a carabeener!

You have won a 2 gallon solar shower bag! (that would actually be awesome)

You have won a pound of baon!

You can feel free to chime in with loser gifts.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby trilobyte » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:29 am

Yep, registration for the pre-sale is now over. The list will now be de-duped and scrubbed against lists of known scammers and scalpers before the drawing is held (assuming that there are requests for more than 3,000 tickets). Those who are awarded tickets will be notified via email, they'll receive a gift certificate suitable for printing, and their cards will be charged on or before 12/19.
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biting the bullet

Postby MyDearFriend » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:52 am

.

Silent endurance mode goes right to my jaw, and, each broken tooth costs me more to fix than the four pre-sale tickets I am hoping for.

Bit tense here yeah.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby remi » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:59 am

I like the lotto system so much.. I think I'm going to get a burning man lotto rules tattoo. It helps people with financial issues more then the last system would in this situation (knowing that it will sell out much faster then next year.) Everyone that's bitching about the lotto... what if it sold out in the first week? Would you still be bashing the lotto when you and all your burner friends are ticketless? Also, I think its a real good solution to the scalping ticket issue. You can't sell a ticket without having the hard copy in hand. Another festival I attend has already realeased the tickets to there sold out event next August and the tickets are already for sale for double the cost through kijiji, craiglist and ebay.

Lotto.. I give that shit two thumbs up. I just don't like (I don't think anyone likes,) the feeling of not 100% having a ticket secured... well, I can suck that up for a couple months. If I don't have a ticket after the main sale.. expect a bitchy french canadian all over this forum.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby Savannah » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:37 pm

Agreed, Remi. It would be hard for an ordinary scalper to sell something they don't have. They're a friggin' scalper. No one trusts them to begin with. It'd be like handing 300 dollars to the guy on the corner saying "pssst, buddy!" and saying he can wait 'til June to deliver the Rolex. Right . . .

. . . I am looking forward to seeing some glee on these boards on December 19th. Someone on here--possibly several someones--are going to get their holiday tickets, and boy am I going to be happy for them. :D
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby TT120 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:39 pm

So if I put in for 2 tickets, one for my wife and 1 for me, but only win 1 in the lottery, who goes? Me or my wife?
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby Savannah » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:47 pm

If you're selected, you win your order of 2 tickets. They're not going to say "You can have one of the two you want".

The Pre Sale allows up to 4 tickets, the Main Sale allows 2, the Open Sale (of whatever is left) allows 4.

So if two is what you consistently want, you're always covered, because that's never "too many".
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:40 pm

You're going to have to refuse that tempting triad offer.
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby MyDearFriend » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:03 pm

Savannah wrote: . . . I am looking forward to seeing some glee on these boards on December 19th. Someone on here--possibly several someones--are going to get their holiday tickets, and boy am I going to be happy for them. :D


Wouldn't that be unsportsmanlike conduct to be gloating on here about getting tickets?

I know it's NOT a competition, but, yikes it sure feels like one. :|
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Re: Lottery System Feedback

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:04 pm

I believe that Savannah was not talking about her own ticket(s) but about seeing other regulars get theirs.
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