Call me Tapestry... After tickets to Burning Man sold out for the first time ever in 2011, the organization decided to do something different. When tickets went on sale for the 2012 event, people were directed to log onto the website and enter their names in a lottery, with tickets going to lucky burners picked at random. This was an attempt by the organization to be fair to everyone involved.

Unfortunately, things did not work out well. When names were drawn and tickets assigned, many theme camps were shocked to discover as many as half of their members did not win tickets to the event. A bunch of long-standing camps --groups that had been coming to the event for years-- faced not being able to attend at all. This affected the whole character of the event. Artists that had worked all year on artwork were looking at not being able to display. The event itself faced a lack of volunteers to build and maintain the infrastructure.

Where did the tickets go? Rumors spread across the Internet that as many as 20% of tickets were awarded to first-time participants. Another story was that scalpers hired scores of minions to enter the raffle so that they could later sell the tickets at jacked-up prices. The orgainization scrambled to fix the problem. Theme camps were contacted and offered unsold tickets for sale to members that still needed them. Camps were able to make plans again. Slowly, the event started to take shape. The Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the Black Rock Desert, raised the population cap to 60,000 people, opening up more opportunities for people to get tickets. By early August, even the extra tickets were reported all sold out.

This would be my ninth year at Burning Man, my fourth year volunteering as a Black Rock Ranger, and my second year as a Sandman. It had been a dry winter, and the summer of 2012 was bringing record-breaking heat all across the country. Early reports said that the playa was very hot and very dusty. Sixty thousand people were headed for the desert, many for the first time ever. All in all, it looked like it was going to be a very interesting year...

Prologue  Aug. 22  Aug. 23  Aug. 24  Aug. 25 
Sunday  Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday  Monday 
Sept. 4  Sept. 5  Sept. 6  Sept. 7 & Epilogue
Original material (c)opyright 2012 by Tim Frayser
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LINKS: Burning Man 
Last updated: September, 2012