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Burning Man Organizers Set Up Ticket Exchange To Thwart Scalpers

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Burning Man Festival in Nevada Desert

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Tickets for the 26th annual Burning Man festival, which begins in late August, are already in high demand and organizers trying to increase participants’ odds of getting a ticket and at a fair price.

This year, organizers held two rounds of ticket lotteries, and will hold one round of open ticket sales next month.

In the first random selection round in November and December, 3,000 tickets were sold at $420 each, with a limit of four tickets per person.

In the second random sale round, which ended Wednesday, 40,000 tickets were sold at prices between $240 and $390, with a limit of two tickets per person.

At noon on March 28, 10,000 full-price tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis in the final round of ticket sales.

“Demand for tickets has exceeded supply, but we believe this is due largely to people trying to increase their odds of success by having family and friends sign up as well,” said Marian Goodell, communications director for Black Rock City LLC, which puts on the festival.

Scalping became an issue last year because the event quickly reached capacity, said Goodell, who is also a founding member of the Black Rock Arts Foundation board.

“To address it, we’ve worked with InTicketing to create a Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) that allows people to buy and sell tickets from a central source, without having to be concerned about scalping or counterfeit tickets,” Goodell said.

The STEP system will go live on the Burning Man website later this month. Details about the program will be posted in coming weeks to tickets.burningman.com.

Beginning Feb. 19, participants who demonstrate a financial need can submit an application to the event’s Low Income Ticket Program through the Burning Man website. Only 4,000 reduced-price tickets will be available, at a cost of $160 each.

According to the Burning Man website, tickets will not be available at the event’s box office this year. Instead, participants are urged to plan head and purchase tickets before arriving at the playa.

This year’s event will take place from Aug. 27 to Sep. 3 in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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