Ten days, now, before the gates to Black Rock City open and I begin to wonder how many of the BLM permitted 60,900 will actually be at Burning Man this year. How many of those once precious tickets will lie unused, ending up in scrapbooks or burnt in anger?
Every hopeful burner I know, who had not meanwhile made other plans, has a ticket now. Ebay has 275 listings, many for multiple tickets. Eplaya has pages of tickets offered – 130 new listings August 16th, mostly for two tickets. And prices continue to fall. That once valuable, coveted scrap of light cardboard is fast becoming worth less than anyone could have imagined a few months back when the ticket lottery left more than half of the hopefuls hopeless, when the second open sale was cancelled, when the scalpers and hoarders had the upper hand.
I was lucky. Lucky first to receive my two tickets in the lottery. One was for my son who wanted to go to his first burn. But with a new job this year, as the post-lottery months crept by, it was looking more and more doubtful that this would be the right timing for him. In May we decided to pass this ticket on. I was lucky then to make a good friend so happy.
And now I feel so very lucky again, to not be one of these desperate people who never imagined that they were holding a scrap of expensive paper which would have so little value.
The advice I gave a friend desperate til so recently for a ticket proved exactly right – prepare as though you will be going. The ticket problem will sort out as plans so often change as the event gets closer.
Between airfares and other logistics, it is too late now for most to be starting the process. Ticket availability is no longer the problem, but ending up stuck with a ticket no one wants to buy may well be.