What about a lottery for tickets? This is the system the 7-day experimental arts and music festival Burning Man has come up with for selling its 2012 tickets.
Because the 2011 festival sold out, giving the opportunity for scalpers to resell them for as much as $5,000, Burning Man’s website has announced their new policy which will spread out the sales and create ‘a balance of opportunity across a few months time.’
Starting next week, you can register for the ticket lottery during a 2-week period, declare which of the pricing tiers you'd be willing to pay, and provide a valid credit card number. Then they will run separate lotteries for each ticket tier. You will get a ticket only if your name is picked. Otherwise, you will just have to hope it will be during another lottery round.
Is this a good system? I doubt, it’s a lottery and you are never sure you will get a ticket right? People on Burning Man forums are angry and comments like ‘STUPIDEST IDEA EVER!!!!’ or ‘Fuck everything about this’, or ‘Lottery sucks big time!’ have been posted as they worried they will not be able to get a ticket. And does this solve the scalper problem? Not really, they will always be able to get lots of tickets if they are very lucky.
Thousands of people gather for this festival every year in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, and I have no experience at all with that kind of hippie experience, but reading the ten ‘principles’ from their website it seems to be way beyond your ordinary festival experience: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation, Immediacy,… I don’t even want to know what they are talking about.