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Build it and they’ll actually come — the making of an info booth


[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]Y[/bra_dropcaps]ou could have knocked Scarlett over with a feather — or the merest tickle of a tutu. 
Our resident Centre Camp artist had been struggling to build our whizz-bang new info centre booth with very limited help. But then our trusty Crew Wrangling Team had it’s wicked way with her, and suddenly a dreary Melbourne Saturday morning became a hub of collaborative kickarse know-how. 

What a difference a community makes!

On 18 April, 12 people descended on Reclamation artists warehouse in Coburg to help Scarlett build a new circus-inspired booth for the Red Earth Info centre. They came. They sawed. They conquered! Oh, and they painted too.

A smaller gang of Centre Camp rockstars have since been working on the metalwork that will adorn the info booth.

Check out some of the pics below.

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Wanna tap into your inner Flashdance and help weld? Or are you gagging for a hit of sawdust? Jump on Centre Camp’s Facebook page or contact our Crew Wranglers via our Community Crew page.

 

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Burning question: what the bloody hell are ya?

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]S[/bra_dropcaps]eedmania has hit, and amongst those newbies aquiver with the agony and ecstasy of losing their Burn virginity, the take-home prize for most-asked questions are: What is Burning Seed? What’s the line up? Can I get a free ticket if I volunteer? And if it’s not a music festival, what do you do there?

Why these questions? Well, the reality is that most people’s default is set to standard festival world. But we are not a festival; we’re a BurnAnd at a Burn – whether it’s Burning Seed, Burning Man or any other regional – the question is not what do I get for my ticket, but who can I be, how can I give, what can I create, how can I take part and what the fuck will happen to me this time?

A Burn is…

…your neighbours dropping by to feed you icecream and hugs for breakfast

…an afternoon spent in a wild west saloon, dancing in a bar-top chorus line with glowing, happy people

…a solitary explore that turns into an all-night social safari

…turning around at a Theme Camp bar and catching the eye of a woman whose man is going down on her – right there and then

…a big, burly, bearded man rocking a wedding dress and a crash helmet

…drawing your own lines in the sand, and then finding yourself on the other side of them

…a bacchanalian feast where Caesar lives to die another day and everyone chows down on roast pig

…careening round a brightly lit paddock on a pimped-out mower and brandishing a parasol

…the pied-piper call of a mobile pizza oven sharing cheesy joy wherever it goes

…the constant kindness of no longer strangers

…weeks of working till dawn to bring a giant temple to life in the desert

…watching that temple burn a week later, inscribed with people’s dreams and pain, and surrounded by thousands watching the release

…a last supper in a forest nook: a Sri Lankan feast shared by almost the entire event who now feel like family

…moments so raw and connected you feel that you might burst from the intensity

…longing to finish the event pack down but not wanting to go home either

…D) all of the above and much much more…

The Ten Principles, Theme Camps and art might maketh the Seed, but ultimately you will find the magic and spice of a Burn in the spaces between – in that inexplicable synergy between you and whatever person, group, event or experience is happening at that moment. 

And ultimately a Burn is yours. 

This is a taste of my Burns. For the crusties amongst us, how ‘bout yours? And for those about to dive into their first, what will yours bring?

Pic thanks to Onur Ka

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Kraken’s TENtacle moment with Wiradjuri

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]T[/bra_dropcaps]he writing is on the wall — Kamp Kraken has stretched its tentacular theme camp presence beyond the confines of the Paddock and shown how to make Burning Seed more than just one week in a land far far away.

For the past two years, Kraken has donated 10% of what it has fundraised during that year to a chosen charity. The Theme Camp kicked off this initative in 2013 with a donation to the Wiradjuri wall project, which was recently completed and unveiled.

Birth of an idea

The idea was first proposed by one of the Krew, dashing Dan Ducrou, who hopes to see more Theme Camps do the same.

“I proposed the idea in recognition of the fact that many of the wonderful people who make up Kamp Kraken want to make a positive impact on the people and communities around them. We are so lucky to have the time, freedom and access to resources that we do – why not harness a portion of this abundance and feed it back into the local community?” says Dan.

“I hope this is something other Theme Camps pick up on in their own fundraising ventures. Burning Seed is such an enriching, revitalising, delicious experience for all of us – we all get so much out of it – how easy and rewarding it can be to give back.”

Enter the Wiradjuri project

The Wiradjuri wall was a local community project that involved Wiradjuri elders and youth producing a public artwork in the heart of the Narrandera township.  The wall was a way to honour the Aboriginal cultural history of Narrandera shire and create a beautiful public space where special musical and cultural performances could occur.

Why did Kraken decide to share this particular TENtacle moment with the Wiradjuri project?

“We chose to support the Wiradjuri Memorial Wall out of respect for the Traditional Owners, the Wiradjuri, on whose land Burning Seed takes place. We wanted to support something that involved local community members, something that would have lasting impact and something that elevated recognition of the Wiradjuri in the Narrandera township,” says Dan.

“We also flew the Aboriginal flag above Kamp Kraken for the duration of the event – the flag was given to me by a Wurundjeri Elder (Traditional Owner of the greater Melbourne area) in the lead up to Burning Seed – and presented the following hand written note to the Wiradjuri Elder who Welcomed us onto his country.”

Today, we are meeting, partying, dancing and sleeping on the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri. For this we give thanks and pay our respects.

In being here, we acknowledge and are sorry for the deep hurt and suffering caused by white settlement.

We are sorry for the loss of language and culture, for the children taken from families under racist government policies, and for the cultural disinterest of broader Australia. We are sorry for the ongoing disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians that is born of structural exclusion, racism, dispossession and indifference.

We visit Wiradjuri country in the spirit of friendship. We hope to be part of a healing generation that openly acknowledges past wrongs, whilst searching for ways to build positive relationships and contribute to the local community.

In line with this year’s Burning Seed theme of ‘Re:Creation’, Kamp Kraken is proud to be contributing $800 to the Wiradjuri Memorial Wall – a local community project that will see Wiradjuri Elders and youth produce a public artwork in the heart of the Narrandera township.

This money was gathered through Kamp Kraken fundraising efforts in Melbourne, in the lead up to Burning Seed 2013.

Thank you for hosting us.

With love,

Kamp Kraken

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Show us da money — 2014 finance report now available

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]T[/bra_dropcaps]he 2014 Burning Seed finance report is now available for your reading pleasure — Burner bean counters unite! The report covers all the financial comings and goings of last year’s event and is developed by our money mavens, the Finance Team, with input from all the teams.

Over 100+ hours, every transaction is verified against physical receipts, performance against budget analysed and justified team-by-team so that we understand why our forecasts were inaccurate. All of this is found within the report, along with year-on-year comparisons, assessment of challenges and recommendations for improvement. This report is reviewed and approved by all six members of the REC town council prior to publication.

But wait but wait. There’s more… so much more than meets the eye to our Fabulous Finance Team. Wanna know what it takes to keep the finger on the financial pulse? Read on, McDuff

But who was that masked maven?

Finance works year-round behind the scenes to manage money, pay bills, file external paperwork, report on performance and generally take care of anything that features a dollar sign. Long before the event starts, the finance lead works with individual teams to cost their visions, then massages those components together into a coherent and balanced budget for approval by the Town Council.

Once the starting gun fires, finance is in ongoing communication with various teams about their expenditure, paying bills, putting out fires and re-budgeting around unexpected issues, while monitoring ticket sales (our main income) against forecasts so that everything is in place for the number of participants we will have.

On Paddock, finance manages the cash from ice sales and incidentals, but mostly takes a breather knowing that things are about to get very busy! Post-event, finance works double time to pay all outstanding bills, coordinate with teams to get financial reports and receipts, prepare the finance Afterburn report, and coordinate with the accountant to prepare final accounts and pay taxes.

Meet the faces of finance

For the last couple years, finance has been a solo performance by Jodi Rivet. This year she is joined by a very capable lieutenant and understudy: the lovely and talented Caroline Brosnan.

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Melburn Town Hall: reporting for duty, sah!

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]T[/bra_dropcaps]he recent Melburn Town Hall (April 14) was another great chance for well-done Burners and rare to medium-rare Burgins to bring their ideas and questions to this awesome community forum about all things Seed and burnery. 

Town Halls are run by Burning Man regional contacts in both Sydney and Melbourne on a quarterly(ish) basis, and are a way for the Burner community to spend some face-to-face time discussing issues and brainstorming ideas for their local community.

Crowdcreation of our imagination

One of the most popular topics at Melburn Town Halls is Participation. It’s great to know that people are so keen to find more and new ways to bring their brains and brawn to the Burner community, particularly when no-one gets paid for this crap.

We all work, we all play and we all pay…it’s a LOVE job! There’s a huge range of skills to learn and share — gate, greeters, rangers, medical, temple, or effigy build — and Town Hall participants heard it right: this event is about unlimited creative potential, people. Don’t think about it, DO IT!!

#burneveryday

Town Hall also talked about how to participate and promote Burner initiatives outside Seed — that’s right — #burneveryday! So, stay informed, check out burningseed.com, join the plethora of Facebook groups, tell your mum you’re going to Burning Pub whether she likes it or not and you won’t be back for dinner! Whether you want to participate locally or interstellarly, there’s something out there for you.

There were some practical questions and answers too — people were keen to find out why Seed starts midweek and finishes on the Monday. Answer: Well, there’s no medical onsite after Mad Monday so it’s all about keeping you folks safe. If you really wanna get in early then you can apply for an early entry pass if you’re part of a theme camp or an exhibiting artist, so get your groove on!

We love us some Theme Camps

Speaking of Theme Camps, people were also keen to learn more about them — some Theme Camps have been going since the dawn of SEED .. some are new.. some are huge and some are small.. some provide, food, booze, hugs or spanks. Yes, that’s right.. spanks, dipped in butter, with a chilli and lemon marinade…

Theme Camps, while being crazy fun, also provide fantabulous platforms for participants to experience the 10 Principles: the backbone, heart, liver, kidney etc of the Burning Man concept. You can belong to one Theme Camp, none or many. It doesn’t really matter. You can jump on board an already existing crew or go create something completely new — it’s up to you!

Tickets and traffic

OK, so there’ll be limited tickets this year, as Town Hallers heard, and this is one way that we’re looking to better manage the traffic in and out of the site, as well as maintain the sustainability of the event in general — its resources, people and culture. There’s also a rideshare page on Facebook, and if you wanna do the whole public transport thing there will be someone looking into getting a bus to do runs to the site from Wagga. We’re keen on reducing the in-and-out flow of cars from the site so keep an eye out for more news on this.

So that’s nearly the wrap on the Melbourne Town Hall. Town Hall is what you make it folks, so get along to your next one (Sydney next up in May) and make your contribution.

And over to you Sydney?

Other Melburn Town Hall conversation topics that you Sydneysiders might wanna continue include: Art Cars, YEAH!! — Making the Galah more mobile friendly? — How do we attract new artists from international Burns and take our art to other Burns? — Queensland Burn — um YAY!! (that’s happening in July folks, see this month’s Galah) — Town Planning: let’s create a foodie area so we can share resources (we like this!) — (Sad face) but we will need a new home for Seed soon, we’re growing like crazy… do you know a place we could call home when we grow up?

 

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Calling all artists and non-artistes: grant city, baby!

Written by Fiona Smart, ARTery co-lead

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]D[/bra_dropcaps]on’t just BE art, MAKE art!  Autumn’s arrived, which means it’s time to get ready to burn some shit. Yep, it’s burning preparation season and time to pump some thought into what ART you’re going to CREATE for the Paddock.

Whether it’s sculpture, installation, fire or light art or maybe some arty farty thing we’ve never heard of, we’ve got money to burn!! (not literally) and the art grants process is now open!! Large art grants (up to $5000) close 1 June and small art grants (up to $1000) close 5 July.

And don’t be scared off if you don’t consider yourself an artiste, art grants are available to anyone with a solid, committed, creative idea. And the ARTery Team are here to help you turn that bit-of-paper idea into a Paddock reality.

Consider yourself an artist, or know an art/architecture school or two that would kill to build something for Seed? We sure want you too. Check out our handy poster, download and paint the school/college/uni halls read.

For more info on grants, go here. Or drop a line to artery@burningseed.com

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Watts next for green power survey?

Written by Troy Reid and Rhys Alconley-Jones

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]urning Seed often means different things to different people. The experience can vary from integrally connective to wildly discombobulating, and whether we’re coming apart at the seams or holding it together with sass and style often comes down to the quality of connection that we have with each other, our environment, and ourselves.

The PowerCity feasibility study aimed to explore how we connect electronically. Do we stick to our petrochemical guns; atomised campsites each with generator louder and smellier than a Trash Mansion barwoman whirring till the wee hours of the morn?  Or can we share power, quite literally, and engineer a solution both by and for the community?

While the feasibility study is ongoing, the project survey component is now concluded, and we are amped to brag about what we learnt.

The nuts & bolts 

Thanks to everyone that took time to answer the survey questions. From the 58 survey responses received in total, there was overwhelming support for the proposal and all 21 theme camp organisers, art exhibitors and team leaders responded unanimously in favour of a dedicated professional team taking responsibility for power generation and distribution, because quite frankly it is a big pain in the arse.

If it proceeds, the most favoured funding model for the proposal was an increase in the event ticket price and based on the survey data we now roughly know how much electricity we need at this year’s event. For you nerdy types here are the magical numbers:

Projected power requirements: min=30kVA | avg=50kVA | max=160kVA

Projected energy requirements: 6,440kWh (liberated from 1,800L B100 BioDiesel)

Projected CO2 production/abatement required (calculated as 2.64kg of CO2/L): 4,752kg

For those interested in how these figures were arrived at, feel free to check out both the raw survey data as well as the calculations worksheet here. 

Sexy sign-ups

The survey also invited people to register interest in becoming a part of the project implementation. Here is an impressive summary of the surprising talent within our burner community that have put their hands up:  Electrical Engineer (1); Mechanical Engineer (1); Software Engineer (1); Engineering Technician (1); Licensed Electricians (3); Solar Systems Specialist (1) and Fearless Enthusiasts (7).

With a gene pool this sexy, we feel sure that the PowerCity project could easily evolve into something that shoots electrons into your next cuddle-puddle-spank-sessions, psychedelic aerobic workouts, or whatever else you freaks are into.

EmPOWERment and principle

There have been some concerns expressed that with electricity effectively ‘outsourced’, we’ll turn into an ultra-entitled out-group, demanding kilowatts and centrelink payments with no sense of, or respect for, the principle of Self-Reliance.

While this is always a possibility, the Communal Effort principle has something to say about this too. By pooling our resources and skills together, we can emPOWER our Theme Camps and Red Earth city to provide an even greater space for self-expression. And mother nature will be pretty stoked too.

Watts next I hear you ask? Well we are still in the process of validating and costing a range of competing solutions with a view to having the feasibility study completed by the end of May. So watch this space.

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Babylonika BOOM!

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]ean Bag Babylon was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met them. From these humble yet worthy origins, BBB has grown into a behemoth of beat-fuelled be-jesusness that sets a benchmark for Theme Camp awesome at Burning Seed.

And now the folks at BBB have brought their dome’s atmos and vibe to Melbourne with a new club night — the Babylon Boutique — capturing the intimate, colourful and friendly nature of one of Seed’s most loved and iconic Theme Camps. Best of all, it has a VERY late/early license (6am). Melbourne.just.got.cool.

Babylon Boutique debuted on Saturday 9 May at the Korova Milk Bar with two floors chock a block full of Paddock favourites and new faces. The BBBers are all pretty chuffed, with BBB G (aka Sam Gibbard) taking time out from his hectic theme campery to say: We’re very happy with how it went — always brilliant to bring a bit of Burning Man culture to the CBD.”

For those who missed out this time around, don’t despair!! The Babylon Boutique are hoping to make this a regular night in Melbs, supporting BBB fundraising efforts and helping those coolest of Theme Camp cats throw free and effing awesome parties at Seed and other events around Australia, spreading the Burner vibe like it’s butter on hot toast.

For more info and receive your next invite, join their BBB Facebook group.