Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

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Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby smittydc » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:15 am

Please reconsider the Tier prices this year.

I am not too worried about the lottery system - it will make it more onerous for people to get tickets, but they will be available.

However, the increase in ticket prices is a concern. Last year the majority of attendees could find tickets for $240 or $280 (tiers two and three -- only the lucky ones ever got the first tier). This year, tiers two and three are $320 and $390. This is a significant increase. People I've talked to, many of the them long time burners with a lot of passion for the event, are reconsidering attending (and/or contributing art and time) because of it.

Perhaps this is deliberate - increase prices to decrease demand. That sort of makes sense. What bothers me is that in a 20+ question FAQ on the new ticket system, there is no explanation whatsoever for the increase. My guess is the money's needed to pay for the LLC-nonprofit conversion. Fair enough. But did the BMorg not think people would notice a huge jump and wonder what was going on? Absent an explanation, I think a lot of artists can't help feeling that their passion and contributions are being taken for granted.

Without access to complete ticket sale information (including # of free tickets, past sales at each tier, etc), and the 2011-12 budget, I can't recommend better tiers - but the BMorg's accountants probably can. Please take another look at it. I really think Burning Man is in danger of jumping the shark and landing on the golden goose, all in the same year.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:47 am

There are additional tickets at the lower levels, as I understand it.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby jkisha » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:25 am

It's none of your business why they raised the prices. You either buy the ticket or you don't. End of story.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby trilobyte » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:07 am

It's not actually a huge jump. There's also been a consolidation of tiers, which skews the logic you're using. Lowest tier only increased $30 (from $210 to $240) and the same with the top tier (from $360 to $390). There are a handful of pre-sale tix at $30 above the top tier, but as the FAQ explains, this helps to offset the lowest tier tickets as well as the low income tickets (there are more of both kinds of ticket this year than there were last year). If you look at where the majority of tickets were sold for the 2011, last year's $295 crowd will likely be in the $320 boat this year (a very reasonable $25), and last year's $320 crowd will likely be paying $390 (a bigger dollar and percentage increase to be sure, but still within reason).

It's a bummer whenever prices have to go up, but with the costs associated with the event having been rising steadily over the last few years and ticket prices having remained unchanged since 2009 an increase was inevitable. And with nearly two months' notice of the change, it's hardly like they're springing the news on us or not giving people a chance to plan accordingly.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby Rice » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:14 am

So a $50 or $100 ticket price increase will make it difficult to attend?? Really?

What about travel costs? Do you write the gas companies and complain when they increase their fuel prices?

A motivated person can figure out some way to find the ticket money. Seriously!!!

I wish the cost of the ticket was my biggest concern.

I camp in a tent, take care of my own needs, have a very modest camp. My ticket costs are about %10 of my total burn cost. I have to plan for a certain increase in cost every year. I save every month so I can go. Maybe I am lucky I can do this?? I don't know. It seems to me, a last minute trip with no planning and a low budget might make me a sponge...

The playa provides me the experiences I need (everything else I am responsible for)!!

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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby BBadger » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:51 pm

Even if the value weren't so high, Burning Man is probably the cheapest-ass vacation I've ever had the pleasure of attending. It costs me more to fly to California and stay for a few days than an entire week-long trip at Burning Man with friends, ticket included.

You want expensive? Try flying to Europe and spending a week in Switzerland. $1400 for the airfare ticket alone. $160 a night in some Motel-6 quality hotel. Spend $50 a whop going on trains or $400 for your week. A single dinner for two at a pizza place cost more than the price difference between the 2010 and 2011 tiers.

FUCK. THAT.

This is the fucking land of plenty. Burning Man is probably the most value-laden consumption spending (versus investment spending) I've ever experienced. If $70 is breaking your bank, your financial situation should force other priorities than a week-long vacation on a lake bed.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby jkisha » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:42 pm

I would venture to guess that most complaining about the price of the ticket really shouldn't be attending the event in the first place. Anyone living hand to mouth would be better advised to put that money into a savings account than spend it on a vacation, and yes BM is just a vacation. (Oh, and anyone that would be effected by $100.00 ticket price increase is definitely living hand to mouth.)
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby VeganChoirGirl » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:48 pm

jkisha wrote:I would venture to guess that most complaining about the price of the ticket really shouldn't be attending the event in the first place. Anyone living hand to mouth would be better advised to put that money into a savings account than spend it on a vacation, and yes BM is just a vacation. (Oh, and anyone that would be effected by $100.00 ticket price increase is definitely living hand to mouth.)


I definitely agree.

But I think it is important for people to understand that this event is not just for people who have a sizable income. I don't live hand to mouth, but there is little left over at the end of the month. I spend about $1500 a year on my burn. It can be done, but jkisha is right. If $1oo will make or break....it's just not the right time. There is always next year and smaller local festivals and regionals.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby trilobyte » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:20 pm

And please… people, if money is severely tight and you're not sure that hitting any of those tiers is something you can manage within your current level of means, then I strongly encourage you to consider holding off and applying for a low income ticket. Details will be announced after the main sale gets underway (as it always has), but if your financial situation is really rough but you feel that it's important to try and make it to the playa, consider applying for one of the low income $160 tickets. There won't be tons of them, but there will be more than there were in 2011.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby Ugly Dougly » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:27 pm

jkisha wrote:It's none of your business why they raised the prices. You either buy the ticket or you don't. End of story.

Eh, maybe it's got something to do with being a participant rather than a spectator. You shouldn't have to wait until you get to the desert to adopt that state of mind.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby Raymaker » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:24 am

jkisha wrote:It's none of your business why they raised the prices. You either buy the ticket or you don't. End of story.

I always find it sad to see an answer like this. If more people asked questions why, then maybe the world wouldn't be in the mess it is today?
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby 5280MeV » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:44 am

My budget for 2012 burn is currently looking like $1300-$1650 and I feel that I am cutting it real tight this year. If I can't scrape up the extra cash by June then I might just have to sell back my ticket and backpedal to a regional burn.

Even at minimum, the ticket cost will not represent more than about 30% of my burn expenditures.

Once the cost of getting a ticket becomes disproportionate compared to the total cost of traveling across the country, surviving in the harshest environment on the continent for a week with a reasonable level of comfort, and arranging for a week and a half away from work, then I might start to consider complaining.


Also, the total revenue from all these tickets (assuming 5000 low income) should be just about $19M - IF 58,000 tickets are sold. The 2010 afterburn showed a total organizational cost for the year of about $17.3M. I imagine that when the 2011 afterburn report comes out, it will indicate similar costs. So ticket prices have to go up to this level. There was a large payroll jump in 2010 from 3.3M to 7.3M, but that may reflect the new organizational reality - I am kind of curious as to what that increase largely represents, although the afterburn does indicate new office hires.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby jkisha » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:40 am

Raymaker wrote:
jkisha wrote:It's none of your business why they raised the prices. You either buy the ticket or you don't. End of story.

I always find it sad to see an answer like this. If more people asked questions why, then maybe the world wouldn't be in the mess it is today?

LOL yup, asking why BM tickets are so expensive will save the world. Get real and stop your wining. :roll:
Last edited by jkisha on Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby jkisha » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:42 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:
jkisha wrote:It's none of your business why they raised the prices. You either buy the ticket or you don't. End of story.

Eh, maybe it's got something to do with being a participant rather than a spectator. You shouldn't have to wait until you get to the desert to adopt that state of mind.

I doubt deciding on the price of tickets is open to participation. :roll:
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:45 am

5280MeV wrote:My budget for 2012 burn is currently looking like $1300-$1650 and I feel that I am cutting it real tight this year. If I can't scrape up the extra cash by June then I might just have to sell back my ticket and backpedal to a regional burn.

Even at minimum, the ticket cost will not represent more than about 30% of my burn expenditures.

Once the cost of getting a ticket becomes disproportionate compared to the total cost of traveling across the country, surviving in the harshest environment on the continent for a week with a reasonable level of comfort, and arranging for a week and a half away from work, then I might start to consider complaining.


Also, the total revenue from all these tickets (assuming 5000 low income) should be just about $19M - IF 58,000 tickets are sold. The 2010 afterburn showed a total organizational cost for the year of about $17.3M. I imagine that when the 2011 afterburn report comes out, it will indicate similar costs. So ticket prices have to go up to this level. There was a large payroll jump in 2010 from 3.3M to 7.3M, but that may reflect the new organizational reality - I am kind of curious as to what that increase largely represents, although the afterburn does indicate new office hires.

They did just move to new digs near San Francisco City Hall. I'm guessing that there has been an increase in rent and payroll associated with that.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby trilobyte » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:54 pm

Periodical price increases on goods and services is a fact of life. Personally, I don't think a $30-$70 increase on a $200-$300+ ticket over the course of three years doesn't seem unfair.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby Rice » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:02 pm

trilobyte wrote:Periodical price increases on goods and services is a fact of life. Personally, I don't think a $30-$70 increase on a $200-$300+ ticket over the course of three years doesn't seem unfair.


You are 100% correct!!

For the 7% (10%?) of burners that travel 1000's of miles or farther to get to BRC the ticket price is such a small percentage of our overall cost, a $70 increase is quite honestly, insignificant. I expect my burn costs to increase 10% per year. Consequently, I plan for that. As some point I may not be able to go due to excessive costs, but that is my problem, not Burning Man's not the BLM, but ME. To expect anything else is unrealistic.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby Raymaker » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:42 pm

jkisha wrote:
Raymaker wrote:
jkisha wrote:It's none of your business why they raised the prices. You either buy the ticket or you don't. End of story.

I always find it sad to see an answer like this. If more people asked questions why, then maybe the world wouldn't be in the mess it is today?

LOL yup, asking why BM tickets are so expensive will save the world. Get real and stop your wining. :roll:

You totally misunderstand were I am coming from, it's not that your statement isn't right, it's about that you feel that you need to say it.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby jkisha » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:09 pm

Raymaker wrote:You totally misunderstand were I am coming from, it's not that your statement isn't right, it's about that you feel that you need to say it.

I guess I must have! :) But I didn't feel a need to "say" it so much as I felt there was more of a need for the sentiment to be "heard". Obviously it shouldn't need to be said, yet there is this thread. :shock:
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby Query » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:37 am

BM LLC has made it a point to post information about the finances online for people to see and review. So yeah, it is our business because they have included us in it. Not to say our opinion will make a difference but they are giving us the ability to review the process.

$100 increase may not seem like a lot but the people who are doing BM at minimums now will greatly be affected. Say for example you live in the SF area as many do you could easily do BM for $500 on last year costs. It was rather easily to get the lower tier tickets if you did the time online when the tickets go on sale. This year it is different and you stand a chance of not getting one. If you are getting the higher tier which costs more this year, your $500 burn could easily be jumping to $700. Lets say you are a couple for a small family of 4, your burn could be jumping by $800. Yes, it is reasonable to ask why the increase in cost. And yes, when gas stations increase their prices by a significant amount, you should question them.

A simple answer to why the ticket increase, such as trilobyte provided will limit the number of others asking the same question and a hell of a lot more constructive. Then again trying to explain this to someone such as yourself is probably just as worthless as telling them to stop whining.

P.S. Volunteer at BM will help decrease your ticket prices. If you are having a hard time coming up with the funds volunteering is a great way to contribute to the event and help yourself at the same time.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby jkisha » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:14 am

Blah, blah, blah...
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby BBadger » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:59 pm

Burning Man is not a hand-to-mouth vacation. I'm even cynically starting to think that these price increases will even raise the quality of people attending.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby jkisha » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:11 pm

BBadger wrote:Burning Man is not a hand-to-mouth vacation. I'm even cynically starting to think that these price increases will even raise the quality of people attending.

You elitist, you! :wink:
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:10 pm

jkisha wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:
jkisha wrote:It's none of your business why they raised the prices. You either buy the ticket or you don't. End of story.

Eh, maybe it's got something to do with being a participant rather than a spectator. You shouldn't have to wait until you get to the desert to adopt that state of mind.

I doubt deciding on the price of tickets is open to participation. :roll:

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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby BlackRockCityPimp » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:19 am

Yes! Please consider an adjustment to the pricing. Please raise the price to increase the budget for funded art. I will gladly pay more for more fire. We could also offer trash removal for another 5 bucks per person so fools stop leaving their garbage alongside of the road because they didnt "plan" on securing it or packing it out properly.
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Re: Please Reconsider Tier Prices This Year

Postby Dolomite » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:00 pm

I'd like them to kill off the tiered system, not because the cost is 'too high' but rather, the concept of people going or not going over a $150 price swing is ludicrous. Make all the tickets $350 and be done with it, "afford" is such a loosy goosy term anyway.


But I think it is important for people to understand that this event is not just for people who have a sizable income. I don't live hand to mouth, but there is little left over at the end of the month. I spend about $1500 a year on my burn. It can be done, but jkisha is right. If $1oo will make or break....it's just not the right time. There is always next year and smaller local festivals and regionals.
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