I realize there is a lot of hurt and anger over the ticketing debacle.
I’m not going to beat the optimist drum because optimism doesn’t spontaneously generate tickets…but then neither does pessimism.
The cold hard facts:
1) Burning Man has increased in popularity
2) There is a population cap for BRC and we’ve reached it
3) Not every burner goes to burning man every year
4) Not everyone who CURRENTLY has a confirmed ticket will actually be going to the burn this year
5) There’s lots of trepidation about the lottery and how it’s changed the burner makeup–there is always a modicum of fear around big changes
6) There’s a lot of anger and pessimism for people who didn’t get tickets who were planning on it.
7) Burning man means a lot of different things to 70,000.00+ people now, we CAN respect that…even if we don’t share or agree with someone’s personal beliefs.
1 & 2) There are going to be more people at burning man in the future until popularity dwindles. This could also mean that there are bigger regional burns, or even biannual burns at some point to deal with the population load if Burning Man’s popularity continues to increase. But that’s in the future. Something we can look forward to, even work to actualize if we want.
3 & 4) People are going to discover that there’s a greater cost to burning man than buying a ticket and throwing some faux-fur and army surplus gear into a backpack and going to a beach rave. Some will go and never return. Some will come back another time. Some will become life long burners, and some won’t even make it this year. Odds are, there’s going to be a lot of the last type. Just because someone has a ticket doesn’t mean they’ll actually use it. Tickets are expensive, it’s not the type of investment someone’s just going to “eat” some will likely show up on STEP, others through other avenues of resale and sharing. It’s on each and every one of us who absolutely-has-to-go this year to find a way to make it happen, it’ll be a challenge, but not an impossible one.
5-7) Change is the only constant in life. Diversity is a good thing, be it ideas, genetics or whatever. If Diversity was a bad thing, everyone would think like everyone else, we’d all look alike, dress alike, speak the same language and eat the same food. How boring would that be? There’s going to be people at the burn that don’t respect the temple. There’s going to be people at the burn that don’t respect each other. There’s going to be people at the burn whom many long time burners would consider to be the antithesis of what it means to be a burner…There are black-sheep in every culture, people, city and family. Why should Black Rock City be immune?
This post originally appeared on the Temple Guardian google group. Here’s a little bit about the author:
Kodiak McStopin-Boots: I’m 29, part of camp WABI located in the Alternative Energy Zone, live in Seattle and work as a health administrator. In my spare time I hike and hunt for mushrooms in the Cascades and make art and jewelry. My educational background in anthropology. I realized after going to Burning Man, that I’d been a burner all my life, I just didn’t know that’s what it was called, it was the first time I’d felt at home outside of the forest. I won’t say that Burning Man changed my life, but what I learned there changed me. I hope I can give back to the community what I’ve gotten from it: understanding, a home and friendship.