STEP Hysteria: Realistic Answers for Rational Burners

News: STEP Hysteria

[I]t was 12:45. Friday March 2nd and I had something important to do. I had to register for STEP. I was at work and in the midst of a project. I stepped away (no pun intended), went back to my computer, logged onto the Ticketing Website and got this:

Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP)
We’re sorry, but the STEP queue is now closed. You should have received an email from Burning Man with information about the limitations of the queue including if and/or when it will be reopened.

I’m probably not the only one…

The email was issued to assuage some of the rage for those who—like myself—were not at a computer within moments of 12:00 PST rolling around. When logging in, there was no more room in the ticketing queue. That’s 2,000 requests in less than 45 minutes —not surprising actually.


Here are some concerns that I’d like to address:

1) Can everyone who entered the lottery multiple times (even if they did get a ticket) potentially enter STEP for each credit card that they didn’t win on?  Yes

2) Can someone who originally entered for 1 ticket now get 2 tickets through STEP?  In theory, no.  The maximum number of tickets any individual can purchase from STEP is the number they originally requested.

3) Will scalpers be able to get tickets through step and then transfer them later? Possibly.  They’d be screwed if the did, as STEP tickets are non-transferable and will be held at WILL CALL.

4) Can someone selling a ticket through STEP pick their recipient?  No

5) How fast did the STEP program fill up? What time was it closed?  According to posts on social media, and the boards, the general consensus looks like it took about 15 minutes to completely fill up.

6) Do I have to use the same credit card I entered the lottery with? No.


For the many of you without tickets:

Some of you will end up going to the burn this year because some folks with confirmed tickets will not.  They may not know it yet, but something’s going to happen, they’ll get a new job, or move across country,  or discover that they’re about to become parents. Others will get accepted to grad school or college.  Some new folks will take a look at the cost of living out there in the desert for a week, the fuel, the food, that new fancy shade structure. They’ll do the math and say, “I CAN’T AFFORD TO DO THIS RIGHT NOW! MY IGUANA NEEDS A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT!”  Life happens while we’re making plans to go to the burn, and when we’re ready, we’ll all get home again.

2 Responses to “STEP Hysteria: Realistic Answers for Rational Burners”

  1. ApolloPan

    Actually, you do need to use the same credit card that you entered the lottery with to buy your STEP ticket(s), at least according to eplaya moderators.

  2. Kodiak

    Here’s a direct quote from the BMorg ticket FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS section of the website:

    “Q: To buy a ticket through STEP do I have to use the same credit card I originally registered with?
    A: No. For your security, we do not store credit card information. If a ticket becomes available to you, you’ll be prompted to provide new payment information at that time.”

    That’s the official stance/story I got when I spoke with the press folks at BMorg. But if you’re getting different information from Eplaya, perhaps things have changed.

    Thanks for the tip! I’ll look into it :)


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