Posts Tagged ‘tickets’

Burning Man Is Not A Damn Music Festival

burning man

Every burner has lived through a similar moment many, many times because of the confusion that exists in the general public over what Burning Man really is all about. In this particular instance I was sitting in my mother’s kitchen back east with two of my brother’s friends, these guys are about 15 years younger than me and they knew that I go to Burning Man.  They were excited to talk to me because they too were planning to go that year.  You see they had met a band, whose name meant nothing to me although I could see in their eyes that I was supposed to be impressed.  This up and coming band they had befriended had told them that they were playing the main stage at Burning Man and these guys were going to get back stage passes if they showed up.  I blame Woodstock, Glastonbury  and Coachella.  You see there are some commonalities between Burning Man and these types of large gathering multi-day festivals.  However having attended a couple of them and spent several years on the Playa, I can tell you there are some major differences.

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There certainly is tons of music on the Playa there are radio stations, entire theme camps dedicated to nothing else but cranking out 24 hour dance beats, I have visited blues camps and jazz cafes and I’m quite sure there are a myriad of music based theme camps that I’ve missed in my years in the dust.  Individual musicians and bands have shown up and even played on the Playa, hell Joan Baez probably holds the distinction of the only artist to play Woodstock and sing at Burning Man.  However, Burning Man is not centered around the music, the music is just another art form at the festival.  There is no main stage, unless you consider the small stage at center camp to be the “main stage”, but if you’ve been there you would not confuse that stage with the main stage, or even a side stage at Coachella.

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A huge difference is that every music festival I’ve ever been too, not matter how hippy driven the vibe, is highly commodity driven.  There are food vendors and booze vendors, you can buy t-shirts and knick knacks and a full assorted range of shit that once you get it home you wonder why the hell you bought it.  At Burning Man you can buy, ice, coffee, tea and lemonade.  Burning Man is a no trace event, there are principles involved, hell the community builds an actual physical community for a week, infrastructure and all.  The venue if you will, is a dry lake bed in the Nevada desert, there is a lot of fire, there is more art than you could imagine, did I mention the fire?

fix fire car

So what’s my point with this piece?  Simply that if you, as the ticket deadline is approaching are thinking about going to Burning Man for the first time understand what you’re getting into it.  There is a lot written about what the festival is and what it means to people, I’ve written virgin guides, 30 days worth of warm up pieces, hell 70 pieces in total on this blog.  There are tons of other pieces written as well, the organization’s website and even their own awesome survival guide.  So know what you’re getting yourself into, Burning Man is a lot of things to a lot of people, but it’s not a damn music festival. ~ ZD Blue


The Burning Man Season Begins: Tickets & Theme

fix man s7

Well my friends the Burning Man Season has officially started.  The kickoff of course is the announcement of this year’s them Caravansary.  Personally not my favorite theme but some people seem to really like it, I guess that is the way of if every year isn’t it.  For me, I hope to be celebrating my 50th birthday on the playa this year so my personal theme, my playa name is The Dean, is going to be Deanapocalypse 2014, you’re all invited to the party.

Also the ticket process is underway, including the massive irony of implementing a vehicle pass fee the same year you make a theme about caravans, want to bring a caravan, it will cost you this year.  I truly hope the irony was not lost on the org and they got a chuckle out of it.  Pre-sale tickets, those of the guaranteed type are as usual mighty pricey, but if you’ve got the cash and you don’t want to worry about tickets $650 a piece will give you peace of mind.  Anyone feeling the need to gift me one for the Deanapocalyspe celebration, drop me a note and thank you in advance.  Otherwise I will be queuing up with the rest of the mass of humanity for ticket registration and purchase.  Good luck to all of you, the playa will provide and don’t freak out if you don’t get a ticket through the process, there is always the STEP resale process and lots of tickets floating in the community as the event comes near, and other than the pre-sale, which purports to help subsidize the reduced price ticket program, remember to never pay above face value for your tickets.

See you in the dust ~ ZDBlue aka The Dean

Burningman ticket lottery Blog Roll part 2

There is a lot out there, some serious, some very funny, some very thought-provoking, figured I’d put it all in one place for an easy read, feel free to add anything I missed in the comments section, the first link has  a bunch of pieces including the Hitler video linked to it, enjoy.


Burningman ticket lottery Blog Roll part 1

Burningman anywhere a beautiful post

Capitol Radio in Sacramento, Insights with Maid Marian on the ticket debacle

This is an amazing piece on PR and how Burningman should have handled things

Interesting and thorough discussion

And the shroom doesn’t disappoint

The Reno paper is involved 

Post using the 10 principles to discuss the lottery debacle



Burningman Ticket Lottery Blog-roll

A little tour around Facebook and the web has yielded some interesting responses to the lottery, life is never boring when shit goes sideways in a community full of very creative people enjoy:

 My original post

An awesome blog post on the real roots of the lottery problem in true burner spirit

Huffington Post piece, blah, but 180+ bman photos attached

Hitler finds out about the Burningman lottery

Another little snarky video about the lottery

A freakonomics perspective

Some interesting foreshadowing here:

Lodie Camp's Shark

Burningman ticket lottery debacle

So for those of you in the burner community you know that the great ticket lottery has now been completed.   In the interest of full disclosure I did not participate and there were two good reasons for this.  First, I have ultimate faith that I will be able to find a ticket as I have other years if I decide to make my annual journey into the dust.  Second, I’m really not sure I’m Black Rock City bound this year due to some potential life changes on the horizon but as always that remains to be seen.

I saw all of the early JRS and other info blasts on the lottery and like many burners felt good about the idea that the new system would do its best to thwart ticket scalping, something that the burner community finds especially abhorrent.  For the non-initiated, the ethos of the community is that if you sell your tickets, you sell them for face value and actual costs, no profiteering.    My next real contact with the lottery came in the form of a very excited Facebook post from a couple of friends who had scored tickets in the lottery.

Then I started seeing a lot of tense posts from friends who hadn’t heard anything yet and were starting to get nervous about their possibilities.  Then, finally, it started, the rejection notifications.  To be frank I was absolutely stunned by the effect this had on people.  My friends were devastated and as one friend told me, “I felt totally rejected by Burningman.”  Now this may seem silly to those of you who have never attended this dusty little bacchanal in Nevada, but to burners it felt like a community they have dedicated so much too had rejected them.   The Playa is a place where everyone feels accepted, as I’ve often said, at any point in Black Rock City look around, YOU, are never the biggest freak in your field of view and as odd as this may sound, that’s a comforting proposition for many of us who live our lives as square pegs in a very round world.

The rejection has really impacted people and I’m seeing a lot of comments that seem to indicate that people are reconsidering their relationship and commitment to the festival.  Honestly, I think a lot of that is the initial bad feelings from not getting tickets and that will wane as things begin to work out on the ticket front.  Burningman is an important part of many burners’ lives and although this hurts I don’t see a lot of burners packing it in over this issue, but the BMORG response will certainly impact this whenever that comes.  I think the secondary ticket service will help as well, its acronym is STEP and hopefully it won’t also step on people’s feelings as well, sorry, couldn’t help myself.

The saddest thing for me about Burningman every year has been apparent in a lot of the posts on the ticket debacle.  People on the Playa are some of the finest damn people you will ever meet, they create the most amazing art you will ever experience, Playa miracles happen with regularity, simply put, Black Rock City is a magical place.  But as the annual Exodus occurs each year, these same amazing people hit the tarmac connection to civilization and begin to revert to the same patterns that drive us all nuts in the default world, selfishness, elitism, entitlement and little concern for their fellow-man.  None of which I experience on the playa but suddenly there it is.  Likewise, and this is not new to this year or this situation, when many burners get off playa and online they become unbearable, in particular there is this burnier than though attitude that is really grating. 

It’s unfortunate that we can’t hang on to who we are on the Playa the rest of the year and even yes, when we can hide behind the curtains our computers have become.  That’s my hope for this community tonight, that we grab a bit of the radical exceptionalism that we so constantly exhibit on the Playa and turn it to making this situation work.  So let’s put on that fake fur, all of your glowy and sparkly accessories, fuzzy boots, shake some Playa dust out of your tent, throw it in your hair, turn up the heat all of the way, the fan on full blast and get to work solving this problem.  Hell, getting tickets can’t be harder than going to a dusty lakebed in nowhere Nevada, and in one week erecting a magical city, impacting the lives of tens of thousands and then disappearing like a mirage.

For the burners out there today is a national holiday, just because it’s my niece’s birthday, ok maybe not but it is my adorable, wonderful and totally burner cool niece’s birthday, she’s 9 today, happy birthday kid.

The real reason it’s a burner holiday is because tier one tickets go on sale today, the tickets sell in tiers and each tier goes up in price, so first tier tickets are $210 and top tier is $320.  Want more information on tickets you can find out more at the following link:

What the hell is Burning Man you’re wondering?  Well I’ve heard it described a lot of ways, one of my favorite is a drunken, naked, pagan art festival in the desert and although I like that definition, it’s not nearly accurate.  In many ways the festival is a blank canvas and in the end it is what you paint on that canvas, but I will assure you one thing, it’s nothing like anything you’ve ever seen.  Here’s a link to the main site for the festival to give you a little more information:

To give you a little more insight into what the festival is like you can take a look at some of my previous posts:

Finally, in case you weren’t there, here are a few things you missed last year.        *All photos copyright of ZDeaconBlue and the Burning Man Organization and may not be used without the express permission of both.

Double Rainbow First Day


Playa at Night


Thunderdome (photo credit: Don Louv)


The Man Burns


Her Name is Bliss


Dawn on the Playa

I now know what I want for Christmas, so all of you can please band together and bid in the Johnny Cash memorabilia auction and buy me a $30,000 guitar.  Ok, so maybe that’s not in my future I mean there is all that naughty and nice shit to consider.  However, I will be on my computer and bidding on a couple of items in December.  Below is a link to an article about the auction.

And the link below is an actual link to the auction house where you can review the auction catalog and register to bid should you so desire.  It seems in my perusing, the 3 guitars that were Johnny’s look to go at $30,000 and I would bet more, but one signed by his daughter Roseanne is only supposed to fetch $400 – 600, a veritable steal!  It seems any handwritten lyrics or poems are projected in $1000 range with checks signed by Johnny (I know lame) for about $200 and some old poster bills etc also in the $200-400 range.  My guess is as a collector things will bring in much more than they are listed at, Cash is very collectible as everyone knows and loves the man in black.