"Books, Records, Films -- these things matter. Call me shallow but it's the damn truth." - High Fidelity

March 8, 2012

Top 5 Solutions to the Burning Man Ticket Scalping Problem

this is really just the second half of my previous post, Understanding the mess that is the 2012 Burning Man Ticket Lottery, but I wanted to skip directly to the possible solutions and try to get some discussion going about next year's lottery...

1. Identification - Print everyone’s name on their tickets and then ask them to produce ID at gate.  If your friend orders your tickets, he must be present his ID to allow you to get in.  (Even as I type this I see hundreds of nightmare Orwellian situations and I don’t really like the idea, but it is straightforward.  I guess you could go a step forward and give the names of everyone in your party and print individual names on the tickets.  Are we really going to turn away Burners at gate because their ticket names don’t match?  Maybe.  If it solves scalping, right?)  (For the record, this idea was presented to me by the popular “Hitler learns of the Burning Man Ticket Lottery” video that is going around, so it does have fascist origins).  

2. Burning Man the Subscription - It’s time for us all to join the Non-Profit, the same way we all join the local food Co-Op.  You pay an initiation fee and then pay a yearly subscription fee, receive a newsletter subscription, a poster, a tote bag and priority ticket sales.  Also provides a chance for wealthy burners to subscribe at higher levels to support the festival (that’s how you get the tote bag or football phone).

3. Burning Man the Social Network – Create your own social network, starting with core burners and flowing outwards to all burners.  Allow for friends of friends and before long the entire Burner community will be connected to each other.  Provide priority ticket sales for those who are connected.  (problem: obviously discriminates against new people, but most people know someone who is going or who has gone and thus would be connected.)

4. Priority ticket sales for repeat attendees - Again this is clearly discriminating against new people, but is a possible solution to scalpers, unless of course they’re scalping them every year.

5. RV TaxCharge $1000 on top of ticket price per RV. Fewer weekenders and no more shortage (exemptions for seniors and the disabled).  (submitted by Erik N.)

What are your Top 5 Solutions to the Burning Man Ticket Scalping Problem?  Post them in the comments below.

Join Burners Against Scalpers and Sign the petition asking StubHub to Stop Selling Burning Man Tickets above face value today!


  1. RV Tax? Are you kidding me? I'm part of a theme camp and go out a week early to set up. It would be incredibly uncomfortable to stay the extra week in a tent, and there's no way I'm paying $1000 dollars for my RV. I'm going out there to help make an amazing camp and help create a positive vibe with and for all of burning man. Taxing me for it isn't the way to go.

    1. Not really my idea... just kinda needed a 5th one to round out the group and my friend Erik submitted it....

      Some people are anti-rv, anti-generator (anti-a/c), but I think it's more about the transient motor home that shows up on Friday evening, parks in front of our place (formerly bike parking), runs their AC/generator all day and leaves without ever speaking to us... I think theme camps, people who work for BRC, have different RV reqirements. Maybe the RVs should be in a seperate area.... Also I'd like to see more of an effort in covering up the RV4RENT signs that seem to blanket the playa... (not sure if that's reasonable, but I'm just anti-advertising on the playa)