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ShowClix named and shamed in Burning Man chaos

ShowClix has been identified as the ticketing company responsible for Burning Man’s main sale technical issues last Wednesday, which led to organisers apologising to frustrated fans.

Dave Brooks, an industry reporter for Billboard, has named the “mystery” ticketing firm that suffered crashed servers, error notices and glitches such as sending early sold-out notifications.

More than 23,000 passes to the festival were made available to the public last week, with the chaotic process leaving many people feeling angry and ticketless.


ShowClix is ticketing the event for the first time this year, after Burning Man’s agreement with Ticketfly and their new owners Eventbrite ended in 2018.

ShowClix, owned by Patron Technology, provides software and technical support for live entertainment events. An industry insider reportedly told Billboard that “Burning Man has long been considered one of the most technically-complicated endeavours in the events industry.”

This is due to the nine-day festival using a multi-tiered registration system to filter out attendees who don’t embrace Burning Man’s principals of gifting, communalism and participation.

Touts have also become a major issue for organisers following the festival’s first sell-out in 2011. Since then, bots have often been used to jump to the front of the ticketing queue to buy up tickets for resale.

An April 11-dated post on Burning Man’s blog said: “We believe bots were a factor, and we are specifically investigating interference from bots compounding the load.

“Even if it had gone perfectly from a technical perspective, the vast majority of those participating would not have been able to purchase a ticket as demand significantly outstripped supply. But Wednesday’s sale was especially challenging due to technical issues that resulted in a variety of poor experiences.”

During the sale, some fans even found that they were being wrongly accused of “cheating” the system, while others waited for more than three hours, only to be redirected to a page that told them they were early to the sale.

There were also reports of hidden buttons and demands for non-existent access codes.

Earlier this year, the Black Rock City, Nevada festival made “substantive” changes to its ticketing model in an attempt to push back against the rise of social media influencers and consumerism.

Those that did not manage to get a ticket on Wednesday can wait for the FOMO sale, OMG sale, secure ticket exchange and low income ticket programme.

This year, Burning Man is scheduled for August 25 to September 2.

Image: BLM Nevada