Burning Man presale tickets went on sale today. Or rather: the opportunity to volunteer to possibly pay a premium on $420 early bird tickets opened up today. As in previous years, presale tickets to the dust fest are the most expensive, but under the new lottery-based ticketing system put in place this year, only 3,000 lucky Burners will get the opportunity to pay top dollar. Less fluid attendees, on the other hand, are already fretting about how the three-tiered pricing system will play out.
The majority of this year's 55,000 tickets fall under three price ranges from $240 to $390. When the regular sale opens from January 9th to 22nd, hopeful attendees will be signing up for the price level they feel like paying, at which point a computer will draw lucky winners at random. But not everything is egalitarian in Black Rock City — the higher-priced tickets have more chances to win, meaning some Burners are fuming. As one disgruntled user wrote on a Burning Man message board, "Random selection? How can any of [us] ensure ‘random'? I bet a million dollars that if I say I would be willing to go up to the $390 on the main sale I will end up with the $390 tickets."
That said, low-income Burners will be able to apply for a limited number of discounted tickets. Last year there were only 3,500. Organizers have promised more this year, but have yet to release the final number.
Previously: Burning Man Switching to Lottery System for Ticket Sales