Written by Ranger Cedar

Ranger Cedar is a recovering ex-Board of Directors member. He often blathers on Facebook or his adored pink bullhorn named “Bullhorney”.

Horrors! Tragedy! All tickets to Element 11 have sold out this year in record time. Burning Man has been selling out for years. What’s a Burner to do? Fear not! THERE IS STILL HOPE! However, I must warn you traveler, the path to a “golden ticket” requires self-reliance, a little luck, and a whole lotta moxie (and I don’t mean that nasty oldey-timey drink)!

Bootstrap Your Tickets

Bootstrap Your Tickets

Without further ado, I present: RANGER CEDAR’S GUIDE TO FINDING A TICKET! (your mileage may vary, not applicable in all jurisdictions, offer void in Rhode Island)

  1. Take a deep breath.
    As it says on the back-cover of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: DON’T PANIC! You can’t focus on your dusty goal if you are sitting around pouting.
  2. Get involved by participating off-playa!
    Our community walks the fine line between communal effort and radical self-reliance. Most folks I know will bend over backwards to help those that radically participate. For example, there once was an awesome volunteer that busted ass weekend after weekend in the hot sun to help build an effigy. His work crew got wind that he couldn’t afford a ticket to E11 and would miss the fruits of his hard work. In less than 24 hours, his friends passed the hat and bought him a ticket. The moral of the story, through hard work, you will enlist allies that want to get you a ticket. They will likely hear about an available ticket LONG before it is mentioned anywhere online. Which leads to my next point…
  3. Be an awesome human being!
    Let’s imagine you have a ticket and find out you can’t attend E11 or BM because of that Sock Drawer Organizing Competition taking place at the same time. (fuck you, I don’t judge your hobbies) Who would you be more inclined to offer to sell it to? That awesome school teacher that camped with you last year and organized the most epic sunrise grilled cheese party or some random dude on Facebook you’ve never met in real life? Folks round these parts love an epic human being, let it shine! Share your story!
  4. Get plugged into a local ticket-transfer clearinghouse.
    The Secure Ticket Exchange Program for Burning Man is a waitlist for tickets. STEP enables ticket holders to “sell back” their tickets which will then be offered to the waitlist of people. They opened the waitlist a long time ago and if you’re not on it already, I wouldn’t depend on success there. On the Utah Burners Facebook group, there are two documents (top menu bar under “Files”) where you can post that you are looking for a ticket. This enables ticket-selling participants to peruse the field of who is looking to buy a ticket. Returning to my earlier point, do I want to help out the Burner who will contribute to the party or the one that is just there to party?
  5. Fake it until you make it.
    To understand what I mean, let’s imagine a nightmare scenario: it’s less than 24 hours until the gate opens and you see a ticket available! FUCK! You don’t have the money saved / time off work / time to properly prepare / find a sitter for your pet potbellied pig! Preparing as if you already have a ticket will better position you to seize a last minute opportunity. Worst case scenario, you are prepped for an epic camping adventure; pick a destination and hit the road!

There you have it, my best advice for finding a golden ticket. If, despite your best efforts, a ticket can’t find its way to you, you’re not off the hook, Buttercup. It’s YOUR responsibility to bring the 10 Principles to the Default World: give a gift to a random stranger, radically express yourself (within the limits of civic responsibility), make someone’s day, volunteer, or celebrate Burn Night in your own way. Your journey to the dust in 2016 starts TODAY! Learn the lessons from this year. Skip that latte and put the money in an appropriately festive jar. Or else, you’ll find yourself in this same situation next year.

May the odds be ever in your favor.