Tickets And The Burning Melon
Worth the work.
Getting Tickets To Burning Man Sucks
Getting a ticket is, hand's down, the absolute worst part of going to Burning Man. It is a pain. It is a hassle. It can be confusing and it can definitely be discouraging. So here's what we are going to do! First we are going to break down all the many different ways you can get a ticket, and then - if that doesn't do the trick - we're gonna have a nice little conversation about all of the rest of this nonsense below that. Sound good? Good. Now let's us break down the ways you can get a ticket just like this lady crushes a melon with her legs:
I Still Need A Ticket Though!
Ok, ok, that list is all well and good but I still have questions! Yeah? That's fair, questions are great. Shoot!
Well I didn't get a ticket in the Main Sale and I'm stressed! Aw, don't be stressed. You look great today! Your hair looks fabulous the earth is still spinning around the sun and the fact that you are here, reading about Melons tells me that you are making some excellent life choices.
Yeah, but I still don't have a ticket! I know, but that's ok! Did you see all the ways you can still get a ticket we listed above? You still have lots of options.
I did, I did. But I want a ticket now! What do I do? Chill the fuck out. Seriously. By far the least pleasant part of the Burning Man experience is the actual obtaining of the tickets to Burning Man. By the time the Main Sale arrives, so many people want to go to That Thing In The Desert that there simply aren't enough tickets for everybody. Which makes the endless waiting on the digital lines, the fretting over registration dates versus sale dates, and reading people's humblebrags on the tweetbooks after you didn't get actually get a ticket yourself, so very not awesome.
Right! That's why I'm asking! I know, but here's the thing: over the course of the year there are actually quite a few ways to get tickets to Burning Man (see above!) and though it is hard for most people to believe, by the time August rolls around there are often a lot of tickets floating out there. For serious! Things happen! People get jobs! People lose jobs! People get married! People get divorced! People make little people! People decide that what they really want to do is teach dental hygiene on the island of Una Una in the Gulf of Tomini! Life in the Default World happens, is what we're saying. And if you want to get a ticket, well, you just need to internalize those Ten Principles and get a little radically self-reliant.
Really? Really. If you really want to go the playa, just keep on acting like you are going to be going. Keep on looking for tickets. Keep on hustling. It's gonna work out! By the time of the actual Burn there are often quite a few extras floating out there. Promise.
What's The Deal With Vehicle Passes?
Ok, so what's the deal with the vehicle passes they sell with tickets? Do I need one? That's a good question! As a way to reduce traffic and the time it takes to get in and out of Black Rock City, Burning Man in the past few years has limited the number of cars allowed onto the playa by only allowing in ones with vehicle passes. Do you need one though? That unfortunately is something you can only answer if you know how you are getting to the playa. If you don't know the answer to that (i.e. you don't think you'll be driving your own car in) then you probably don't need one. Worse comes to worse and you suddenly find that you are driving in and you can most likely get yourself a vehicle pass closer to the burn on the secondary market (or ask the Ticket Fairy, he probably knows someone looking to unload one).
Should I Buy Tickets On Secondary Markets?
I'm glad you mentioned secondary markets. How much is too much to pay for a ticket on the secondary market? This is a tricky, tricky question. The official answer is anything above face value. Burners (Melons included) highly discourage scalping and of buying/selling tickets for anything above face value. Still, it does happen. But seriously, don't. But also let's not talk about it. Ok?
Sure, but let's say it is a ticket being resold at face value, how do I know if I'm buying a real ticket from some cat in a back alley? That's a good question and one that members of the XVC will happily talk to you about in a private chat. Just ask them!
What Do I Do With An Extra Ticket?
So I can't make it to the burn any more and now I have an extra ticket? What should I do with it? Aw, so sorry you to hear you won't be able to make it to the Burn this year. Don't worry though, it was always better next year! In the meantime there are definitely quite a few Melons who would love to take that ticket off your hands (did you see the above questions?!?). Seriously, just shoot a line over to the Burning Melon Ticket Fairy (he's all over the Melon Facebook group) or the Melon XVC (firstname.lastname@example.org) and they'll happily set you up with somebody who will buy it off of you at cost. Just think how happy you will make them!
Are There Any Other Ways To Get Tickets You Didn't Mention?
Not yet. In past years the BMorg has released a few hundred "Burner Express Plus" tickets available at cost only to Burners who take the Burner Express Bus. Still TBD if they will do that again every year.
Want to read much, much more about Tickets? The official Burning Man Tickets Page covers a lot of this in even more depth!