2014 Tickets: a la Burning Man

Let’s be honest, you better start preparing for your upcoming ticket purchase for Burning Man 2014: __ (unnamed entity) ___. The last few years has been absolutely hell with ticket purchasing. Here are a few heads up, a couple gripes, and a hint or two about making it easier to get your tickets.

  • 2011 ticketing sales were pretty much an attempt to keep people from bitching about the on-line purchase system that was cumbersome and made you wait in an online cue for a long time; sometimes loosing your place and being bounced out.
  • 2012 was the year Burning Man lost their damn minds and put in the lottery system that ended up pissing off enough of their core people that the whole paradigm of Burning Man was forced to change.
  1. to their credit they bounced back in the end quite well
  2. to their discredit, the movie SPARK unnecessarily labored the ticket issue
  • 2013 BMorg said… well, fuck you again, and sold almost all their tickets at the higher tier price of $380. with some set aside for low income.

Ticket Sales for 2014

Of course BMorg (Burning Man, LLC or The Burning Man Project or whatever they are calling themselves now) has not announced ticket sales for 2014 yet but you can pretty much bet a few things will happen and you need to start stashing some cash under your mattress now.

  1. Holiday Sales will be at least 25% higher that the highest starting somewhere in the middle of December-ish for about $650./each
  2. 2014 Sales will start around/about January 16th
  3. 2014 Low Income Tickets will start at some point, BUT!!! If you register to buy full priced tickets you will get screwed out of low income.

2014

I think a lot of people would prefer we went back to the old system at this point and maybe people would find less reasons to bitch and kvetch. If that is the price it takes to get tickets and get them with less bullshit attached then please let’s serve it up. Unfortunately that ship has likely sailed and the Burning Man image has shifted along with it to a slow crawl to being a Coachella.

Let’s also hope ticket prices are less like a fisting and more like a happy-ending. Ticket pricing in 2012 and 2013 were just wrong and are only affordable to those who the privileged class. The same people who show up with their plug n’ play camps and roll in with their moving apartments while many of us barely have tents.

We all know that Burning Man was being raped themselves last year with Pershing County trying to gouge the hell out of the organization. Not to mention, we forget sometimes, how many people have their greasy palms out looking for more grease.

2013 Ticket Sales Applied to 2014*

A flat rate of $380. plus handling fees is a lot for some of us and nothing to others. Imagine if that were to go up. Also, educate yourself with the Burning Man Afterburn Reports where they usually divulge the overall cost of running the big show.

There were AT LEAST 69,000 people at the Burn this year excluding some staff.

Say they sold 64,000 tickets at $380.00 each: $24,320,000
Say they sold about 5,000 Low Income tickets at $190.00 each: $950,000
$25,270,000

A full .08% of tickets were made available to low income ticket people. This is excluding tickets gifted to artists, staff and other performers of this, that or another.

It is in all likelihood that Burning Man oversold the event once again. So we can expect to see dents in these numbers anyway… *AND it should be clear that none of these number above are official and are rough; just to show the displaced nature of tickets for high income people versus low income.

The Secret

There is no secret. Many of us need Burning Man to remember that while their incomes are soaring through the roof that many of us that love this community are simply not as flushed with cash. Hopefully the voice of the community will be heard in this case.

  1. Save your pennies now! Create a piggy bank and put some cash in it from each of your paychecks.
  2. Get involved with your regional community because there is a lot of good people, resources and sometimes a budget that will help “do’ers” get there on a more affordable course

Trip Report: SPARK Movie

Yesterday I went to see “SPARK” in San Francisco at the Roxie Theater where it is showing on Saturday and Sunday at 4:30pm.   And, just a recommendation, right around the corner is Puerto Allegre with some seriously good Mexican food!

I cried through half of the movie as I saw an amalgamation of 5 years of my Burning Man experience played out on the screen with footage that went back to 1989. It did gave the sense of a scabs and all view of Burning Man but that was simply not the truth.

The story was amazing. The visuals were inspiring. It was all very touching and a fairly honest expression of Burning Man and the people responsible for it’s existence.

Three people are credited for the first Burn on Baker Beach in 1989: Larry Harvey, Micheal Mikel and John Law. John dropped out of the scene around 1996 and divorced himself from Burning Man for his own reasons while Harvey and Mikel (aka Danger Ranger) continued on with a new cast of crazies that included Harley, Marian, Crimson and others that are all in the movie and credited as “Co-Founders”.

Queers in the Film

There were quite a few Queers in the movie but only 1 talked about his orientation was John La Grace founder of Playa )'( School theme camp. Although this is not a Queer identified camp it gives that deeply help ideology that BMorg seems to continue to perpetuate is that LGBTQ and the rest of the burner community blur together seamlessly.

The Film

This is a fantastic film but it is clearly a tool of BMorg in answer to their ticketing fiasco of 2012. It is an amazing film in spite of that perception. The often staged sessions of angst in boardroom discussions are 2 dimensional based on some of my personal history with some of the people I have known in those meetings.

Fact or Fiction

The movie is amazing. My previous comments should not be taken as a negative reaction to the film, just an observation based on personal experience. My favorite person in the film was Otto Von Danger working on his project from 2012 called “Burn Wall Street”; he gave the most honest portrayal of anyone there.

It has to be seen. This movie should be seen by every Burner. But then again, it was like a trip back to the playa over my lifetime as a Burner. Joy.

Get involved Regionally

Burning Man happens once a year for 8 days of pure bliss in the desert. If you have embraced the 10 principles and want this magic to continue in your life on any level between 1 to 10 then get involved with people like you out there. #1 resource is your Burning Man Regional Network through the Burning Man [dot] Com web site. Want to start a network for Queer Burners in your region please let us know so we can help promote it.

More to come. You might note that the above pages are ones created by Toaster (that would be me) and I knew there were others out there but I cannot find them as I type this but will add to this post as the list grows. Please feel free to reach out.

Admin Notice: Membership and a Toaster

Membership is back open now that Burning Man 2013 is finished. This Toaster is back and while I was there in the desert I was working it. Yes, I  talk to people and I try to continue build on this idea that this is an important community.

manAndEdQueer Burners is a project I started at the end of 2008 / beginning of 2009 as a static web site as a place for LGBTQ burners to connect. It had nothing to do with the Gayborhood or creating leadership.

I explained my actions to a camp mate and their reactions was, ‘wow, you are mister popular‘. It’s not about that. I talk about Queer Burners because it is important that we stay united. I am forced to defend my belief that the Gayborhood is vital and that uniting camps and people in the community is as important as community leaders in the Castro, Boys Town or any other community inside a city.

The QBLN: Queer Burner Leadership Network is just the next level in this project and has resulted in the Queer Burner Leadership Summit over the last 2 years. These have been very inspiring and community strengthening exercises.

Nobody appointed me to do this just as much as no one tells you to do the right thing when you know it is what should be done. I do not do this for ego or to be the coolest kid on the block. I would gladly have someone just as committed to this community right there helping out. So far there has been limited inspiration from anyone to help manage this project, but I am getting help and I appreciate it.

For all the people who have thanked me for this work, I cannot share enough appreciation in return. The important thing to remember is that this is community driven.

2013 Cargo Cult : A Trip Report

After 2012’s Fertility 2.0 and the crushing ticket fiasco of all times it would seem hard to bounce back, but Burning Man Project did and pretty darn well. All the pomp and pageantry came to Black Rock City in a glorious way with Cargo Cult and John Frum.2013 Temple

What were the numbers? Anyone will tell you there was a glut of newbies, virgins and tourists on the playa with other terms like dark-tards, weekenders and any of many other words for the people who are more and more becoming the gross of the population.

Speaking of population, another fiercely growing majority are LGBTQ people. We cannot see it in a skin color or any other physical trait but it is becoming more and more clear to the observer.  LGBTQ people have been open to the embrace of radical self expression over our counterparts who are still learning to wake that part of themselves up. This tremendous sense of living is what brings us back every year.

Gayborhood 2013

Before Burning Man 2013 the Placement Team announced where placed camps would end up which included the camps that would normally consist of the Gayborhood. The Gayborhood is a concentration of camps with camps like Comfort & Joy Village, Camp Beaverton and others at the nexus.

In the formation of the Gayborhood camps were spread out along the 7:30 corridor which brought trepidation and curiosity to this admin. In fact, the Gayborhood was just as good as ever, but we also had the benefit of being half of the 7:30 Plaza.

This area is the Castro of BRC and provides a valuable channel for queer, questioning and our friends to enjoy the special vibe LGBTQ Burners bring to the event.

The Gayburbs are the camps radiating around the Gayborhood.

There were some really bright stars in all of this:

  • congratulations to Comfort & Joy for their amazing courtyard and Village. The neon flags, glowing flowers and glow in the dark badminton were popular with everyone.
  • big applause for Crisco Disco who really proved to be a community art car; Brian and his crew who really focused on the community he was a part of and made it special for so many people.
  • and to BAAAHS who seemed to have a lot of mobility problems but were big hits on the playa with a sound system that matched or out-classed many other art cars out there.

In spite of being spread out the city the Gayborhood was a win! BloAsis Village dominated their block with one of the best setups I ever saw. The Beavers and Gender Blender were great hosts and their vagina glory hole even made the BRC newspaper. Many others were business as usual with business that is loved by the community.

Official Meet & Greet on Monday

The official Gay meet & greet was sponsored by The Down Low Club and welcomed over 200 people through the evening. It went on 3 hours with visitors from all over the city. They served a playa cosmo and snacks.

Guests included many people from this web site whom I had the pleasure of meeting face to face; some for the first time. We also saw Terry and Chris who built the ‘Time To Burn’ Aps for Android and iPhone. There was Tacoboy, Craig and so many others!

I did speak at this event for the first time and extended my appreciation to so many people the community. I had to thank Catcher and Red (Down Low Club managers) for once again sponsoring this event. I had warm thanks to Kitt, Matty Morin, Blitzy, Foxy, Scott Burdette, Indigo (Russ Smith) and so many more for being a part of the Queer Burner Leadership Network and helping make this project work over the last 5 years.

BRC Gay Pride @ Cargo Cult on Friday

In memory of a lost leader in our community, Mario Cisneros, the parade left The Man at 1pm. We managed to get everyone on wheels either via art car or bicycle which allowed us to take a slightly longer route that included the Gayborhood.

The Gayborhood had never been included in the parade before. It went from The Man, passing Center Camp, a lap around the Gayborhood and then off to the Gayburbs where a party was sponsored by Burner Buddies.

Crisco Disco was the shining gem in the crown of the parade and special thanks to everyone who brought out flags and banners. Though Crisco Disco was the only art car it really delivered. Kai Noble from Comfort & Joy worked the megaphone through the whole route adding to the amazing energy from the people participating.

Cargo Cult

The theme this year was the best in a long time and filled the imagination of so many. The iconography and pageantry was only matched by the hundreds of thousands of people who came to be a part of it. The weather all week long was optimal and there was very little wind. We enjoyed small bouts of rain, but in the end it was rain that chased many off on the last Monday afternoon of the event.

Entrance wait times were marginal for many, but up to 9 hours for some. Exodus seemed to average about 5 hours according to social networks.

Saturday night’s burn was breathtaking and it was a shock for many when a huge wave of large burning pieces and smoke tumbled into the crowd due to wind on the 11 o’clock side of the construct.

Sunday’s temple burn was moved up an hour to let people escape the city earlier because of the pending threat of rain the next day in an effort to minimize the time to get out the gate.

tumblr_msl9q5TBTv1qb4uc7o1_500Wins!

The weather, art cars, amazing art pieces, camps that filled the city even beyond the outer ring and more events that ever to shake a stick at. More people than ever seemed to state quite confidently than I have ever heard that this was their best year ever. The coolest MAN I ever saw.

Losses!

Unspeakable amounts of MOOP and investments in glow sticks. Darktards out the wazoo! Art-cars unwilling to take on passengers for one reason or another… and on the other hand people who think walking in front of an art car to stop it who think that is a wise decision. There were an unspeakable amount of fake entries in the What Where When, too, frustrating many of the city explorers.

Draw!

A disconnected Gayborhood spread through the 7:30 corridor above D street. More newbs than veterans and an uncommon amount of frat boys, tourists and weekend warriors.

It takes all kinds to make Burning Man happen and all the different flavors can be really fun, but this event and lifestyle are nothing like Coachella or EDC and is in danger of becoming all too much as such.

Conclusion

comfort_and_joy mapBest year yet. And what makes me qualified to levy that claim? Just my own experience as well as the general feeling in the air. Those of decades past might say otherwise, because it is not the same Burning Man of the nineties or the eighties. Although there were a lot of people who could not begin to harness the ideals of community and the 10 principles the city was more amazing than ever.

The art was exemplary and fascinating. CORE delivered and their Thursday night burn was pure gobsmack!

In spite of a spread out Gayborhood we were blessed. This year the Gayborhood had art cars, a spectacular nexus provided by Comfort & Joy, and such amazing life represented by Glamcocks and Paradise Motel among others. BloAsis was a new shining star on the 7:30 Strip! Thank you BAAAHS and Crisco Disco for your amazing service to the community.

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