Two weeks ago, Burning Man fans faced various difficulties trying to secure passes to this year’s festival in the Nevadan desert. Now, the ticketing company behind the mess is apologizing for the “unintended side effects.”
ShowClix, the ticketing company based out of Pittsburgh, apologized to Burners in a blog post this past weekend. President Brian Arnone explained that the ticket sale was shut down, credit cards were charged unexpectedly, and the site timed out due to various technical difficulties.
He said that shortly after tickets went on sale on April 10, “we noticed an isolated service performing slowly.” While the company normally has systems in place to automatically resolve issues like these, ShowClix officials noticed the automated system “did not respond as quickly as anticipated.” After they discovered the problem, Arnone said the company made the decision to intervene, which caused “unintended side effects that ultimately led to the issues many of you experienced.”
“We are profoundly disappointed that we did not perform in the way that the Burning Man community deserves and in the way we know we can,” Arnone said, noting that company officials are “redoubling our effort and commitment to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
ShowClix was signed as a client with Patron Technology officials in late 2018. Following the partnership, Burning Man founder Marian Goodell explained in a blog post that organizers want to correct the course of the festival culturally, starting with ticket sales. While Burning Man is more of an experience, with eventgoers expressing themselves through fashion, art, and music during the nine-day run, Goodell had seen a change over the past few years that were troubling as fashion models and social media “influencers” plagued the grounds.
“Part of what makes Burning Man unique and powerful is that everyone has to work hard to be there,” she wrote. “Planning, securing a ticket, packing, building, organizing, contributing, and engaging are part of the journey everyone should experience. Though it manifests differently for each one of us, personal effort is integral to the social agreement we make with our fellow community members when we decide to participate in Burning Man.
“Whether it is in Black Rock City or elsewhere around the world, Burning Man is not built for you, it is built by you. Burning Man is not a festival. The invitation to participate is more than an invitation to have an amazing experience. It’s about CREATING that experience for yourself and those around you.”
In order to ensure that the right people are at the event, Goodell announced that pre-sale tickets will be moved to after the Directed Group Sales and there will be 10 percent more ticket sales allocated to the Directed Group Sale. The Low Income Ticket Program will grow by 18 percent, and the overall number of high-priced tickets will decrease by 30 percent, with $1,200 ‘Limited Sale’ tickets being eliminated completely.
On April 10, 23,000 tickets and 10,000 vehicle passes were up-for-grabs. While many people were kicked-out of the online queue and waited hours only to be met with error messages, others were lucky and secured their spot before tickets sold out.
This year’s festival will take place from August 25 to September 2 in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.