Burning Man sells out 26,000 tickets in half hour for 2018 event
Dawn brings all the colors to the Black Rock Desert in this time-lapse video as early participants gather for Burning Man on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. Jenny Kane/RGJ
Burning Man tickets disappeared on Wednesday faster than untethered tents in a playa dust storm.
The 2018 Burning Man event presumably sold out 26,000 main sale tickets within a half hour, as purchasers began receiving notices that tickets were no longer available, though some vehicle passes were left.
Burning Man, which attracts 68,000 people to Northern Nevada's Black Rock Desert each year, will be Aug. 26-Sept. 3 this year. The theme for the 2018 celebration is "I, Robot."
Tickets cost $425 each during the main sale, and vehicle passes cost $80, not including taxes and fees. Tickets during the main sale have sold out since 2011, and they have been bought up in less than 30 minutes during recent years. The number of people trying to buy tickets is often twice the number of tickets available, according to Burning Man organizers.
Burning Man again prepared an online waiting room to ensure that the website was not overloaded with purchasers at one time. The waiting room gave no preference to purchasers, and opened just before 11:30 a.m., according to Burning Man spokesman Jim Graham.
Some people complained of being kicked out of the waiting room, though most seemed to be able to return to the waiting room before the sale began. The waiting room has experienced glitches in years past as well.
Once tickets were purchased, Burning Man added a note of consent:
As a city built on principles that include Civic Responsibility and Communal Effort, we all have a stake in the safety and security of our fellow Burners. Sexual assault at Burning Man, while uncommon and unconscionable, can happen. Should something happen to you or a fellow Burner, there are resources available before, during, and after the event. We need everyone’s help to foster an educated, empowered, and safe community.
Burning Man, which allows nudity and is also known to host a number of sex- and sexuality-oriented camps during the event, has increased its efforts to educate the Burner community about not only sexual consent but also consent to have photos taken and participate in activities.
Another new website asset was the quiz Burners were prompted to take prior to registering for the main ticket sale The quiz asked Burners if they knew what MOOP -- or matter out of place -- was and whether Burning Man was a major music festival.
Alternatives to purchase tickets after the main sale include:
* Feb. 14- April 16 - Low-income ticket program requires an application for $190 tickets. The application period could end earlier if tickets sell out.
* April 4: Limited ticket sale (tickets are $1,200 each)
* April 11-25: Secure Ticket Exchange Program a.k.a. STEP is a secure way to buy tickets from ticketholders who are unable to use their tickets for whatever reason.
* Aug. 1 - OMG Sale is a last-minute sale of tickets; registration is required for the sale between July 25-27.
Burners who decide to pursue private sales of tickets are cautioned to watch out for scams on sites such as Craigslist and Ebay. Ticket prices are known to soar on secondary sale sites where scalpers resell tickets for thousands of dollars.
The Burning Man organization officially is considering increasing the number of attendees pending approval from the Bureau of Land Management.
The event, which is currently capped at 68,000 participants, already attracts closer to 80,000 people when counting government officials, service vendors and some volunteers. Burning Man organizers are asking the BLM to hike the cap to at least 80,000 - at most 100,000 - though the growth would be long-term, not immediate.
The BLM could approve or reject a proposal as soon as next year, though the BLM and Burning Man are in the process of a public review process currently.
Tiffany West demonstrates how to sign "Burning Man," "desert," "water" and other playa-centric words in American Sign Language. She is part of Camp Da Dirty Hands at Burning Man 2017. Jenny Kane/RGJ