What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

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What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Kristine » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:19 pm

Is anyone else confused about the 2012 attendance numbers versus tickets that were supposedly sold. If you add the Pre-sale (3K), the Main Sale (40K), Low Income (4K) and Direct Distribution (10K), that's 57K sold tickets. It assumes that all 10K of the DD tickets did get sold (theme camps, contributions to STEP, etc), and that all 4K LI tickets were sold. Those numbers don't appear to include staff and what was previously "gift tickets" for many. In previous years we received at least one gift ticket for our project and this year we were given the new "staff credential", which is a ticketless entrance.

So it looks like Burning Man sold at least 57K+ tickets but less than 53K attended, according their numbers.

I'm guessing there has always been a percentage of sold tickets that that go unused, and it's probably true for all events. But 4K? Thoughts, insight?
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby BBadger » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:26 pm

Some scalpers got owned, some people wasted some money, and maybe some people arrived but left before peak attendance was reached. None of the above bother me.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Kristine » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:45 pm

I don't know if this year's attendance number of aprox. 53K is peak attendance or total attendees.

It doesn't bother me, but I don't understand it. We should all be so lucky to own a business that pre-sells a product or service where 5-10% of the customers don't ever utilize the product or service. I think that's how gym membership work. I'm pretty sure BMorg doesn't lose too much money if they order too many porta potties if they then take in 1.2M in ticket sales (4K x $300) for people that don't show.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby gaminwench » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:50 pm

~53k was peak attendance, on Friday.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby BBadger » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:16 am

Don't understand what? ....

Oh wait, I see... this is just an excuse to quip about how much money BMOrg rakes in from "preselling" tickets half a year in advance so people can plan. Yeah, whatever.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Jackass » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:38 am

Did you go to the burn or are you just here to bitch about a non-issue and troll for responses?

P.S. Did you camp with dontflipmejack by chance?

P.S.S. Only buy the tickets you need next year and you won't have to be all butt-hurt...
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Candybox » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:31 am

No, I'm curious too.

There was such a fiasco over tickets selling out, and after they got BLM to raise the population gap to 60,000, they sold more tickets as well. Everyone was expecting a record attendance based on the fact that there were more tickets sold than ever.

I think most people were surprised that there didn't seem to be that many people, that Exodus was a breeze, and that according to the final numbers the population had actually contracted. I was certainly surprised.

There must've been a good number of sold tickets that were wasted. And with the record number of burgins this year, you'd think there would be more people over the weekend... except there weren't. I heard the population was only 40,000 on Saturday. Anyhow, the nerd in me is curious at how it worked out—why, despite the tickets available, less people showed up, why it seemed more people than usual were leaving early.... No judgement. Just curious.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby shroom » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:03 am

BBadger wrote:Some scalpers got owned, some people wasted some money, and maybe some people arrived but left before peak attendance was reached. None of the above bother me.



I agree.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby trilobyte » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:11 am

There were closer to 58K tickets sold. Most all were used. The peak population number represents just that, peak population, not a running total count of the number of humans who have come through the gates. In any year, some folks leave early for a variety of reasons (have to work, bad experience, avoid the weekend crowd, etc). This year's weather wasn't really bad but it was harsher than the last few, there may have been more people who decided they'd had enough fun and wanted to head back, and the weather pre-event was severe enough that it may have led some people to have second thoughts and throw in the towel. I don't think it was any one thing, probably a smorgasbord of different reasons.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Kristine » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:28 am

You say that most tickets were used. Did you receive info from the org to support that? Are you privy to the number that "came through the gates"? If so, can you please share it? Thanks!
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Elliot » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:10 am

I worked Perimeter, which gave me the opportunity to watch Gate Road thru the week. There was a stream of participants leaving the whole time, increasing thru the week to a veritable mini-exodus by Saturday morning. Apparently, lots of first-timers who were not prepared for the conditions.

So it makes sense to me that 57.000 plus staff arrived, but only 53.000 where there at the peak.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Kristine » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:39 am

It did seem that plenty of people left or were planning to leave between Friday night and Saturday night (pre Burn). Our camp and each of our neighboring camps had members who left starting Friday night. The attitude wasn't one of regret about missing the Burn or about avoiding Exodus. Everybody I knew who left early were veterans with Early Entry and had been on the playa a week or more already. But 5K people left between the build and Friday?

It's all guesswork and opinion here, as I doubt the org will be releasing exact number of tickets sold and exact number of attendees.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby offarock » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:02 am

Elliot wrote:I worked Perimeter, which gave me the opportunity to watch Gate Road thru the week. There was a stream of participants leaving the whole time, increasing thru the week to a veritable mini-exodus by Saturday morning. Apparently, lots of first-timers who were not prepared for the conditions.

So it makes sense to me that 57.000 plus staff arrived, but only 53.000 where there at the peak.

Ditto

Saw the same thing. At times it looked like the same number of cars were leaving as we're coming in.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:14 am

Kristine wrote:You say that most tickets were used. Did you receive info from the org to support that? Are you privy to the number that "came through the gates"? If so, can you please share it? Thanks!

The LLC does not release that information.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Kristine » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:24 am

That's what I thought. It makes sense, as most business don't make public that kind of info. But then why did you say most tickets were used?
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:41 am

I didn't say so.


As for parsing what the llc does and does not reveal--not worth your time, really. I think that there's a little institutional craziness, and that expecting consistency from them is simply going to drive you to distraction.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Kristine » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:14 pm

My apologies. It was Tribolyte who said "most all were used" about 58K tickets. I'm well familiar with the inconsistencies of the org and have learned to ignore a lot of it. But this year was was an outstanding year in that department. It was when we got the email from inside the org, with the subject line "Shhh, don't tell anyone" (oops, my bad) that allowed us to buy tickets for "significant others" and campmates that didn't otherwise get a ticket in DD that really made me wonder what is going on. Long time Burners without tickets, favors for those with tickets. Yuk.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby JO3 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:02 pm

My campmates and I were commenting all week on how low the turnout seemed. This really stood out on burn night when we did our usual casual stroll up to the man expecting to watch from well behind the main crowd as we have the past few years. We arrived to find a very small crowd, with plenty of open space right at the safety perimeter. We were all amazed and started checking the time to make sure we weren't WAY early, but we had left at our usual time, the art cars were already in their circle as usual, all was as we would expect except for the tiny crowd. While the crowd did fill in more, it never seemed to acheive the massive proportions expected from 52k plus attendees. And what a burn to have front row seats to!!!!

I personally think that a bunch of scalpers got hosed, big-time. I have always thought that the professional scalpers gamed the lottery this year much more successfully than we wanted to believe or that Borg was willing to admit. Inability to pay their crazy prices, coupled with the uncertainty caused for both buyers and sellers by Borg cancelling high-priced tickets seems to have torpedoed their market. Fortunately, it looks as though they wound up eating a LOT of tickets and hopefully they have learned to steer clear of our event from now on.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby quadraspleen » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:14 am

Loving ePlaya :)

first we bitch about the lottery, then we bitch about the STEP program (without which etc etc) now we bitch about how many "sold" tix "didn't get used"

Who's counting? Who really cares? Not me...

And...last year, there were still tickets being sold right up to and after it started..The "unused" tix are probably just physical manifestations of those tix not yet sold last year..as ppl have said up top: don't buy tix you don't need next year! (and stop fukn panicking about the stoopid lottery..how many ppl do you know who DIDN'T get to go? Me? none...bar those who couldn't go - and couldn't sell their tix too!)

can't wait for next year =)

p.s great burn by the way - best one I've been to, yet afaic
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby trilobyte » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:33 am

I dunno 303, I did a weekly analysis of a number of sites selling tickets, from the week of the drawing up until the week before the event. The pro scalpers never really 'unleashed the hounds' as it were. Based on what we saw happening online, it appears as if as many as 10% of event tickets were sold above face value (compared with upwards of 50% on other hot ticket events). There were a few small-timers, people who'd been buying up tickets from other burners, but not a single of the big players who prey upon hot ticket concerts, festivals, and sporting events seemed to be doing any significant business on our event.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Mojojita » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:21 am

My hubby and I are two of those seen leaving the playa on Saturday before the burn. We had already been on the playa for over two weeks and over the years we have learned that our experience of Burning Man has become much more about the work we do there and the people we love, new friends and old, than it is about the big burns or the dance camps. I think there are more veterans among the "early exit" than scared off tired virgins.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby ZaphodBurner » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:10 pm

BBadger wrote:Some scalpers got owned, some people wasted some money, and maybe some people arrived but left before peak attendance was reached. None of the above bother me.


Exactly. This list of canceled tickets show how many Scalpers got burned, but it doesn't tell us how many fools paid $1000 or better for tickets in the spring only to discover they were going for $100 on Craigslist the weekend before the burn.

Our Gate guy said they'd already seen some counterfeits tickets of remarkable quality coming through with early entrance passes.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Mojojita » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:22 pm

There were also a few "miracle tickets" that I knew about - originally owned by firefighters that were called out to the big fires and therefore could not attend.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Kristine » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:19 pm

Does anyone know (not guessing but know) if, how and when those leaving the event are counted? I left on Friday in 2004 and early Saturday in 2008. There was no exit gate check or anybody at the road that we could see that was counting or keeping track of anything. Did any of you who left early this year have to go through any exit check point? How is BM keeping track those exiting?
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Jackass » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:26 pm

They have cameras, they ARE watching!
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby C187 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:40 pm

Hand clicker Kristine. Also on the way out you are asked if you plan on coming back.
I'll third what my fellow PG&E droids have been saying, in that I saw I noticeable stream of people leaving starting as soon as Thursday. Just bumping up in numbers as the weekend went on. Honestly was kind of shocked with the traffic on Friday while doing exodus set-up, and more so when I was flagging later in the weekend. Come Monday night it felt like everyone that was going to be leaving Black Rock had already done so. Of course this is purely my opinion from my personal observations, and haven't heard anything to confirm or deny my statement above in any official manner.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby JO3 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:51 pm

Trilobyte you were probably watching the scaply types far more than I was, and I know others who were also watching them pretty close who concure with your findings. Perhaps my generally cynical view of human nature (coupled with some wishful thinking that they got hosed) is warping my vision and generating an uber-scalper conspiracy theory :D

I also noticed the steady stream of folks leaving as early as Thursday, and I suppose that if you extrapolate that to the other 17+ streets that would add up to a lot of people, but that still doesn't feel quite right. Feelings aren't numbers, so I can't argue with your data (not that I'd want to argue with you anyway) but something definitely "felt" off about attendance this year.

I also agree with everyone who says that it ultimately doesn't matter: those of us who did show up had a great time as usual. However, being a curious creature I am interested in the apparent paradox of ticket hyper-demand vs. event hypo-attendance.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby trilobyte » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:47 pm

The crush of demand was in the wake of a stunningly well-made and massively successful viral video (which garnered 1.3 million views during the two weeks of ticket registration). Other factors played a part - great weather always leads to a bigger increase in demand in the following year, no Glastonbury festival in 2012, overall increases in demand for festivals (Coachella doubled the number of available tickets and sold out in only 4 hours instead of the several days it took in 2011), etc.

What I saw happen was that those who planned, burned (kind of a mantra around here). Regardless of your success in the main sale drawing, if you were determined to go from the outset and planned to make it all happened, you made it happen (whether that was a ticket through a friend, the directed program, STEP, or a purchase from a stranger on the internet). A good chunk of those who registered back in January didn't get tickets (2/3 to be exact), and of that number a large number of those people made their peace with it and decided that they weren't going. And of course there were also those who thought they were booking something akin to Glasto or Coachella, and as they realized just how much more goes into it, they had second thoughts as well. Demand seemed to be back to a normal level several months ago, and I noticed that a few of the people with ticket offer/contests (send in an essay or video, ticket goes to best entry) had less of a response this year than they did last year.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Candybox » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:40 pm

I've considered that even up until last year, people could plan and wait and get tickets up until very close to the event. People getting tickets a month or two ahead of time are more likely to know for sure they are going.

But having the bulk of available tickets sell out six months before the even creates a huge window for people's plans to change. Some people probably bought tickets even when they weren't sure they'd ultimately be able to make it, because they thought they wouldn't have a chance later.

Even though people were practically trying to give tickets away right before the event, the market didn't really become super saturated until early August. Two to three weeks is a helluva time to plan for BM, let me tell you.
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Re: What happened to the 57K tickets sold in 2012?

Postby Karma » Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:38 pm

Sunday mornings Black Rock Beacon had the following listed at the bottom of the front page.
"Black Rock city population as of 12:00pm Friday was 52,385, which declined to 48,785 on Saturday. This means that over 10,000 tickets were not used in 2012".

Comical.
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