It is with deep regret and sadness that we must announce Burning Seed 2016 has been cancelled. This is the toughest message we've ever had to deliver in the history of our event.
Safety First (not Third)
We have seen severe and prolonged flooding at our beloved Matong State Forest site (this winter has delivered the most rain since records began). Our infrastructure crew (DPI) have been on the Paddock since early September to find a way to do the necessary works to set up a safe event, but the continued rains have made their work impossible.
Representatives from the Forestry Corporation of NSW made a site visit yesterday (15 September) and they’ve confirmed our worst fears; Forestry will not allow the event to proceed for reasons of public safety. Participant safety is paramount. There's no way we can safely or legally run Burning Seed this year. We can't get even one truck on site, let alone an ambulance, let alone 2000 cars. Read the Forestry direction here.
We've been actively exploring alternatives:
- Matong and Surrounds: This year’s unusual rainfall means most sites within a reasonable distance of Matong are also flooded.
- Further afield: Dry sites further afield present two insurmountable challenges: the strain on our crew of conducting a long-distance relocation, and our inability to procure a council permit in time. We exhausted the options of alternative sites, including reaching out to the Down to Earth Collective to discuss using their site at Moulemain. Unfortunately, they too have suffered flooding on their site that we determined would prohibit us from holding a safe event there.
- Thinking laterally: We've explored ideas like pumping water from the site but it's just not gonna work. The whole region is flooded and there is nowhere to pump the water to.
We're so, so sorry. We realise this is difficult and challenging for participants, for theme camps, for artists, for all the amazing volunteer crew who gift their time so freely throughout the year and also for the local community. They love Burning Seed, they love this community, they love welcoming us home - and they’re still facing the challenges of the continued flooding and clean up efforts. If you want to support SES’s efforts for the Narrandera region local to Matong State Forest please see below for details.
We're working super hard now to make the best of this situation. We can't predict the weather, but we did have the foresight to secure cancellation insurance. Making an insurance claim is not a simple process and it may take some time. We will keep you in the loop on progress with our insurer and with the status of ticket refunds via email to the email address you provided when you purchased your ticket - we appreciate your compassion and patience as we do everything we can to get this resolved as quickly as possible.
We know you will have questions and we've tried to answer as many of these as we can anticipate in this Frequently Asked Questions document. We'll keep adding to this over the coming days and weeks so please check the FAQ first before you contact us.
Everyone involved in organising Burning Seed is a volunteer. It's a fantastic privilege, and especially at times like this when we've faced and feared the worst, and then seen our community respond at its best. We've been blown away by your support. We’re confident that, as a community, we will emerge from this stronger and more resilient than ever before.
It will be better next year.
Burn Bright )’(
SUPPORT THE SES
If you would like to support the SES who provide disaster assistance to the Murrumbidgee Region you can do so in two ways:
Support the local Narrandera Unit (closest to Matong State Forest) and make a direct donation by setting up a bank transfer to:
Account Name: SES Narrandera
BSB: 032-001 / Account Number:176469 / Reference: Burning Seed
Support the NSW Volunteer SES Team by purchasing raffle tickets (and you can add on a donation) go to https://sesvaraffle.com.au/ > select No as the answer to question 1) Are you validating pre-ordered tickets? > select the number of tickets you wish to purchase (minimum 3 tickets for $15) and follow the rest of the instructions. Note that this supports all SES volunteers across NSW.
More information on the SES can be found here: http://www.ses.nsw.gov.au/about/gipa/Agency-Information-Guide