From The Jack Rabbit Speaks (the official Burning Man newsletter):
BURNING MAN 2013 TICKET SALES
We’re excited to announce the sales plan for tickets to Burning Man 2013. Burning Man is making 58,000 tickets available, 3,000 of which were already made available through the Holiday Sale. Details regarding the remaining 55,0000 are outlined below. You’ll notice we’re doing things differently this year. We’ve listened, we’ve learned a lot and we’ve worked hard to come up with a plan that we believe will meet the needs of the greatest number of people possible.
We’ve included the general gist below, but you can find all the nitty-gritty details on http://tickets.burningman.com, and answers to your questions in our Ticketing FAQ (http://tickets2.burningman.com/faq.php) and spiffy new online ticketing forum (http://ticketsupport.burningman.com/).
PLEASE NOTE: Pre-registration is required in order to gain access to any of our sales for 2013. Once you’ve registered you will be able to participate in the first-come first-served sales. So … here’s the plan:
55,000 Tickets for Burning Man 2013 will be sold as follows (details below):
1. Directed Group Sale (10,000 tickets) – January 30 (Pre-registration required)
2. Individual Sale (40,000 tickets) – February 13 (Pre-registration required, February 6-10))
3. Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) – February 28-July 31)
4. OMG Last Chance Sale (1000+ tickets) – August 7 (Pre-registration required, August 2-5))
5. Low Income Ticket Program (4,000 tickets) – Application required)
Directed Group Sale: 10,000 tickets)
We are once again taking steps to ensure critical theme camp, art installation, and mutant vehicle crews gain access to tickets. In addition to supporting the core social infrastructure of Black Rock City, providing these groups with access to tickets early on will decrease demand (and therefore competition) for tickets in the main Individual Sale. 10,000 tickets at $380 each will be offered to these core crews on Wednesday, January 30. Group leaders will receive an email on Friday, January 11, 2013 with detailed information about how to provide their core group members with access to the Directed Group Sale. These tickets are transferable and eligible for STEP.
Individual Sale: 40,000 tickets)
The Individual sale will make 40,000 tickets available at $380 each, with a maximum of 2 tickets per person. To participate in the Individual Sale, you must pre-register between Friday, February 6, 2013 at 12pm (noon) PST and Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 12pm (noon) PST. Detailed information about how to register for this sale will be available in mid-January at http://tickets.burningman.com. This first-come first-served sale begins at 12pm (noon) PST on Wednesday, February 13th. These tickets are transferable and eligible for STEP.
NOTE: There will not be tiered pricing for this sale – all 40,000 tickets are $380. (If you’re curious about how this compares with the ticket prices for major festivals, please see “Where Does My Ticket Money Go?”: http://www.burningman.com/whatisburningman/about_burningman/ticketprices.html.)
Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP))
We’re bringing back STEP to facilitate the secure, safe, hassle-free exchange of tickets. People wishing to purchase tickets may register to enter the STEP queue starting Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12pm PST at http://tickets.burningman.com. When tickets are put into STEP by ticket holders, the person at the front of the queue will be offered the opportunity to purchase them (maximum of 2 tickets per person). STEP will close on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 12pm PST. Stay tuned to the JRS for details about the STEP process. Tickets bought through STEP are transferable, but they are ONLY available for pickup at Will Call.
OMG Last Chance Sale: 1,000 tickets)
For those who decide at the last minute that they Absolutely Must Go To Burning Man, and to further combat scalpers, we will sell 1000 tickets at $380 each, maximum of 2 tickets per person. In order to participate, you must pre-register between Friday, August 2 at 12pm (noon) PST and Monday, August 5, 2013 at 12pm (noon). Details for how to register will be available at http://tickets.burningman.com. This first-come first-served sale starts Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 12pm PST. Tickets purchased through the OMG sale are transferable but will not be shipped — they are held for pick up at Will Call only.
Low Income Ticket Program: 4,000 tickets
Our Low Income Ticket program will provide 4,000 tickets ($190/each) to those who provide proof of financial hardship. Our Ticketing department reviews each application and awards tickets to those who are best able to demonstrate need. Applicants should receive a response within 4-6 weeks of submitting their application. Details regarding when and how to apply will be made available shortly. These tickets are non-transferrable and must be purchased and picked up at Will Call in Black Rock City.
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW …
Ticket Fulfillment – June 03 – July 15
Shipping tickets in the summer allows folks a longer window to buy and sell tickets through our Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP), helps put a damper on the scalper market, limits the amount of time scammers have to counterfeit tickets and sell them to unsuspecting Burners, and allows us to include a printed Survival Guide with each ticket. Tickets purchased in the Holiday Sale, the Directed Group Sale and the Individual Sale will start shipping in early June. We cannot give you an exact delivery date since that depends on where they are being sent, the USPS, and other factors outside of our control. But rest assured: you will receive an email when your tickets have shipped.
Don’t Panic! A Word About the After-Market
Each year, we see a lively after-market kick up during the summer, when many tickets change hands as people realize they can’t make the trip to BRC — and others realize they can. If you’re unable to get a ticket through one of the above means, don’t panic! The likelihood of your being able to acquire a ticket is quite good if you keep your ear to the ground and tap into your community. In 2012 tickets to the event became available in August, as they do each year.
What About Scalpers?
A big worry about tickets in 2012 was that scalpers had scooped up a huge number of Burning Man tickets. However, our research shows that less than 1.5% of the total tickets in circulation were available on scalper sites, which is extraordinarily low for an event as large as ours. In order to thwart scalpers this year, we will be weeding out known scalpers through the pre-registration process, and spoiling the market by selling 1000+ tickets on August 7th. But ultimately, stopping scalpers is up to you. As long as there’s no demand, they’ll be stuck with their supply.
Why Not Implement Identity-based Ticketing (Non-Transferable, Name-on-Ticket)?
There are valid points on both sides of this question, and it’s something we’ve thought about and discussed at length. In addition to logistical and administrative challenges (including increased wait times at the gate), non-transferable tickets would put an end to the acts of gifting that frequently happen with Burning Man tickets — we don’t want to see that tradition die. For more information, see this blog post from Larry Harvey: http://blog.burningman.com/2012/12/tenprinciples/why-not-implement-identity-based-ticketing/