Some people will always find it easier to land a Bayreuth ticket than others.
For the rest of us, joining a Wagner Society has long been a good way of improving your scoring chances. Every year the Festival granted them a special allocation (I understand around 10% of the total tickets) for distribution amongst their members.
Wagner Societies all around the world have received an unwelcome Xmas present - a letter from the Bayreuth Festival informing them the allocation is to be withdrawn with immediate effect. That means no tickets for the 2012 Festival. No more tickets will be set aside for tour operators either.
The move follows criticism from local and national government funding bodies, concerned that after all the special societies, sponsors, guests and so on were taken care of, less than half the tickets were left for the general public.
According to Festival management:
"The modifications to ticket allocation procedure have been made following investigations conducted by the Bavarian General Accounting Office and the German Federal Court of Auditors, which are responsible for the Bayreuth Festival. The reports criticized certain measures in ticket allocation and proposed clear conditions to bring about tangible and lasting changes in order to introduce greater fairness in the allocation of tickets and excluding as far as possible the preferential treatment of certain groups or individuals and to improve transparency."
The news will come as a blow to anyone who joined a Wagner Society purely in the hope of netting a ticket. On the plus side, your chances via the public ballot must surely be improved.