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Burning Man Battles Scalpers

11:01 AM Friday 7/27/12 |   |

All is not lost for those squeezed out of getting a ticket to this summer’s Burning Man festival in Nevada during the January ticket lottery snafu.

Black Rock City LLC officials are still working to solve problems and handle ticket demand for the Aug. 27 to Sept. 3 event, including making more tickets available with measures to thwart scalpers as much as possible, according to the festival website.

The switch to a lottery system from a first-come, first-served system left about 75 percent of core Burners, whose theme camps, art cars, massive installations and more make the temporary city come alive each year, out in the cold because of scalpers, an over-abundance of newbies and others.

  • Burning Man 2011

    A Trojan Horse is pulled across the "playa" at the Burning Man festival in Gerlach, Nev.
    September 2, 2011

    (AP Photo)

    | 

Not long after the initial sale, tickets in the $240 to $390 range were already showing up on sites including StubHub and Vivid Seats priced at $631 to $5,500 each.

In the wake of the backlash, a second sale of 10,000 $390 tickets set for March was scrapped, and those tickets sold through established theme camps and art collectives.

The news in June that the Bureau of Land Management approved BRC’s request to increase maximum capacity up to 60,900 for 2012 led to more speculation on the ticket situation.

“Counter to misleading media coverage of the announcement, this does not mean that there will be 10,000 additional tickets available. In preparing for this year’s event we were working with a peak population of 58,000,” the website says.

“And now that we have a permit that allows for a maximum population of 60,900, it leaves us a little breathing room and a welcome opportunity to get more tickets out into our community, while thwarting scalpers who hope to capitalize off of the popularity of our event.”

About 1,000 $390 tickets were placed in the festival’s Secure Ticket Exchange Program July 8, the program previously set up so extra tickets could be bought and sold at face value in a safe, hassle-free manner.

Another 1,000 $390 tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis through an Aug. 3 private online sale. Those interested must register during a 12-hour period Aug.1 for a shot at buying one, non-transferable ticket per person.

“We’ve chosen the combined allocation because it serves those waiting patiently in the STEP queue, undermines the scalper market, and protects our ability to hold the Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert for years to come,” the website says.

“We know this ticket news won’t put a ticket in the hand of every Burner who wants one, but we are working tirelessly to get as many folks to the playa this year as possible.”


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