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Burning Seed needs you! Three Town Council Roles are available.

Burning Seed needs you!

Do you have bright ideas, burning desires and a bit of time and effort spare?
Burning Seed is changing and we need your help to get our Town Council - the body that provides strategic governance for the event - to full capacity. We have THREE roles vacant and we need members of the Burning Seed community (you!) to apply & join.

What does it all mean?

The future of Burning Seed is in your hands. The Town Council is drawn from the community that participates each year in the event and discusses, deliberates and makes key decisions on the direction for Burning Seed to burn brighter than ever. If you have experience in events or project management you’d make a great candidate. For those without such experience , good communication skills, working well with others with a dash of leadership experience would put you in good stead.

Commitment required:
→ MONTHLY meetings, with  infrequent emergency meetings where needed
→ a FEW HOURS each month dedicated to doing some Burning Seed homework

If your interest is piqued please find out more here about the issues you need to consider before standing for Burning Seed Town Council (see page 3 of the 2016 application form). Then, if you’re happy with that, fill in an application:

Applications close on Sunday June 4, 2017.  

The application process

There is a 3 week application window, after which the current Town Council will need a week to review applications before contacting you with further information. Those who pass the first round will have interviews with current Town Councillors before final selections are made. The following week, applicants will be informed of the Council’s choices before our wonderful new Town Councillors will be announced to the broader burn community!


Where does the Town Council come from?
Burning Seed Town Council (BSTC) reports to the Directors of Red Earth City Pty Ltd, the company that stages Burning Seed each year. Red Earth City Pty Ltd has been the legal entity behind Burning Seed since 2010. Until 2015 the Red Earth City Town Council oversaw the Burning Seed event and supported other Burner initiatives under the banner of Burning Man Australia, all on behalf of the Red Earth City Board of Directors.

December 2015: Directors of Red Earth City Pty decided on governance changes before important issues related to the event's sustainability and growth could be addressed. The Red Earth City Town Council was split into two separate bodies:

1) a group to drive forward the staging of the Burning Seed event, its future growth and development; and
2) a separate group focused on developing Burner culture around Australia - (remember, although Seed was the earliest Aussie Burn a few more have spawned since then including Modifyre in Queensland and Blazing Swan in Western Australia).

The managing structure looks something like this.

2016 till now...
Last year was a rare year...there was no Burning Seed; but that didn’t mean the BTSC was without a job. Thanks to their decision making, the cancellation of Burning Seed was covered by insurance; safety measures to reduce the risk of another cancellation are being implemented and refunds are being processed (unfortunately though despite being covered, sometimes insurers take time to pay out).

Currently BSTC is looking towards Burning Seed 2017, creating procedures for a burnier brighter seed... if you think you’ve got the skills and availability now is your time to apply (hyperlink apply to application page) , burn bright and shine!

 

CURRENT TOWN COUNCILLORS

Phil ‘Sherpa’ Smart
Phil’s first burn was due to San Franciscan friends in 2001 taking him to Burning Man (after many years of them hassling). Finally felt at home, like he'd found what I was looking for.
He burns due to shared values of community, art and self expression; dependable people, who are smart, funny, crazy and creative and who make the world a better place to live in.

On the BSTC to play a part in fostering the community and helping to steward it as it grows. Also to help hold part of the original vision, not only for the Seed, but for the wider Australian burner community as it evolves and further develops its own unique identity.

For the future Phil would like to see Burning Seed continue to grow at a pace that allows sustainable acculturation of new participants. More spin off projects that take burner culture out into the default world, initiatives like Burners Without Borders  and Black Rock Solar in the states, as well as an art foundation to get burner art into off-paddock locations. These days it’s about so much more than Seed as well, with other burns springing up like Blazing Swan and Modyfire, and strong regional communities around the country.

Phil believes Burning Seed can push the boundaries of radical self governance, pioneering concepts such as direct democracy and liquid democracy in the way the community organizes itself and makes decisions. The dream of Burning Seed (or even the Australian burner community collectively) owning its own piece of land some day, somewhere, so that we can continue the experiment in a new way, year round is close to his heart, as are memories...

On the last day of the first Seed, there was a small closing ceremony down by the river where ash was released into the stream. He couldn’t help but shed some tears of joy and relief at the fact that there was finally a community of incredible burners in his homeland who embodied fully the spirit of the playa and the we could share this beautiful experience together.

 

Rennie ‘Ultraman’ Sinclair-Kydd
Rennie loves to burn as burns are generally an event of doers, or people who are about to become doers. Created by people from all walks of life who have strong interests, great passions and an enthusiasm to share what they enjoy with those around them. Burns are an experience of different energies and exposure to new ideas.


Burning Seed 2012 at Matong was his first such experience. He and a small group of friends decided to give life to AWC and share our love of music and art (and apparently climatic devastation).

Rennie joined the BSTC in 2016 as he’s passionate about collaborative effort. BSTC is doing it’s job best when it is active listener to the burner community. This is the best way to build a sustainable seed. The future of seed is no doubt bright, as a conduit for experiments to improve everybody’s real life. Lessons will be learnt on and off that paddock enriching lives and minds.
Every single burn has a plethora of special moments, and are difficult to separate into one being better than another. They are simply different.

 

Shaye ‘The President’ Harty

Born in the most American of all families in Modesto California in 1979. She had heard of Burning Man in her college but she didn't have any friends that she could go with so she had to wait till her time comes! It wasn't until she moved to Humboldt County and became the ‘Rutabaga Queen’  that she was gifted a ticket to BM by a mysterious woman that she didn't even know! 2005 Her very first Burning Man as part of KazBus camp and she hasn’t missed a bloody one since!

This crazy woman has been to 12 Burning Man, 3 Burning Seed, 2 Afrika Burn and 2 Blazing Swan…. so far, with no plan to slow down anytime soon! Speaking of experience and skills Shaye has been the Outside Services Manager at Burning Man, Event Manager at Blazing Swan, Site Manager at Afrikaburn Burn, and Former Admin Team Lead, Former Event Coordinator, current Site Safety Facilitator, site manager at Burning Seed.

Shaye's dream is to be able to live in Melbourne for 9 months working on Art and Events, and then living for the winter in America since it is Summer there, traveling around working on events and visiting her family back home.

Next time you think about fighting her and pushing her out of your way to get a drink at one of the bars on the paddock remember she has a brown belt in Judo and she is pretty good with a lasso!

Ali Shams ‘The Persian Prince’ Ahmadi

Dropping into the burner scene with a bang, landing at his first Matong burn in 2012, arriving there with the infamous and fabulous Middle Eastern Mafia theme camp.
Ali landed on the paddock with a couple of friends, Payam and Malakeh, who had arrived in Australia from their home town of Tehran in Iran within a few years of each other, more than 10 years ago. With no burner connections and no previous experience of the burner arts, apart from soaking up the plethora of DJ mixes coming from the playa, they’d been dreaming of going to this thing called Burning Man, before discovering that there was an Australian version happening in just a few months and only 6 hours drive away.

Hastily putting together a camp infrastructure, they arrived with a basic white marquee, a trestle table, a bunch of milk crates, a few shishas and a small sound system, serving fruit and tea to fellow burners. They quickly made a name for themselves, filling a niche as the go-to day party, partly because they had no lights which made it difficult to continue after dark. This was the ‘year of the storm’ and even losing their marquee in the mini cyclone didn’t dampen their radical self expression.

As a natural people person, building connections and networks, Ali endeared himself in the burner community, soon finding himself playing at Decoms. From there he’s since become involved in running the Melbourne Decom and helping to establish the Melburner association, of which he is currently Vice President.

An active member of the Melbourne theme camp community, the natural progression led him to get involved with town council, joining just in time to be part of the hardest decision we ever had to make; the cancellation of our 2016 event due to flooding.

Ali still has plenty of energy for the burner community and will continue to play a big part in the years to come, with a particular focus on helping to grow the Melbourne and Victorian burner communities, and a view to being part of establishing its own regional burn one day. He plans to make it to the big smoke of Black Rock City some day soon to see the man burn on the playa itself.


Victoria ‘Tech Support’ Vickery

With her first taste for transformative events in 2001 at the age of 17 in San Francisco, she spent three years as Event Coordinator for a transformative dance community.  It’s been quite the journey for her ever since.

A native Californian, she first heard of Burning Man at the age of 12, and finally made the pilgrimage for the first time in 2010.  To date, she has been to 6 burns across 3 continents.  After migrating to Australia in late 2013, she jumped into the local burner scene with both feet, attending her first Burning Seed as the 2nd In Command for the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.  

Over the past three years she has grown with the organisation as Co-Lead of DPI, and Event Coordinator.  She currently chairs the management committee for the event, as well as running the Back of House Department, the Admin Team, and the Restructure Committee.  And of course, she also serves on the Burning Seed Town Council.

Her favourite thing about attending burns has been how much she has been able to learn: about herself, about others, about working together and social dynamics, and about how to kick major ass.  She is now a dynamo with a power tool or a spreadsheet and has gained a lot of experience managing teams.  Her dream is to apply these skills in a professional career in events.

 

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THEME CAMP APPLICATIONS ARE GO!

Got a bar full of intergalactic cocktails to gift away? A hold full with enough rations to feed an army of space marines? Trans-dimensional DJs ready to assimilate a dance floor full of earthers? A mutant space vehicle ready to launch into the deep Paddock? All of the above? None of the above?

OK you just want to come and run a Theme Camp and have a good time?

BOOM! Now you can.

Theme Camp applications for 2017 are OPEN and will remain so until 1 July 2017!

How to apply

All the info you need for 2017 is on the Burning Seed Theme Camps page. Have a read through the Theme Camp guidelines and then start your  application by submitting the 2017 Theme Camp Application Form telling us about your camp and what you’re planning to launch onto the Paddock in 2017.

Information Sessions

No idea what we are talking about but want to find out?

The Burning Seed 2017 Theme Camp Team will be running information session in both Sydney and Melbourne in a couple of weeks. If you are a new or a returning Theme Camp, these nights will provide you with an opportunity to meet fellow Theme Camp crew and hear about how applications, grants and placement will work this year.

The info nights will be run at the following times:

  • Sydney: Tuesday 23 May from 19:00 to 21:00 at Orient Hotel, The Rocks (Top Floor, Orion Space) Event Page.
  • Melbourne: Wednesday 24 May from 19:00 to 21:00 at the Union Hotel Brunswick Event Page.

Upcoming Fundraisers

Some theme camps are well ahead of the game, weekends are booking up fast as fundraisers are being announced. It is well and truly party season, if you haven’t seen the events yet, here’s a quick run-down on what’s coming in the next couple of months:

There’s also a few save the dates for yet to be confirmed fundraisers:

  • Malt Shop Be Bop Hop Roller Arena: First Sunday of the Month 12pm - 8pm (July 2, August 6, September 3)
  • Pirainia: July 29
  • Burning Manly: Sundays when the sun is shining: Sunday Sun Sets )°( beach cleanup parties

Sorry if we have missed anyone. If you want help plugging your events feel free to shoot an email to themecamps@burningseed.com and we will help put it out there.

Communications

As well as blog posts  and email updates we will be using the following forums to communicate on a regular basis:

Burn Bright and see you at your local Info Night )°(

Photo credit: Andy Flint

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Burning Seed Represents at the Global Leadership Conference!

Rhianna Hobbs & Madeline Snow

Each year, Burning Man hosts a Global Leadership Conference, this year its 11th, designed to bring Regional Contacts and Community Leaders together from around the globe. Over 630 burners attended the conference in April, to share and learn from each other under the theme ‘Sparking a new Citizenship’.

The theme for the conference was chosen carefully and strategically – a nod to the current times of political tension and upheaval not only in the States, but around the world. As such, there was a strong political thread that ran throughout the plenaries and breakout sessions. Even Donald Trump made an appearance*.

Interestingly, many burners tend to shy away from discussing politics. The principles of radical inclusion and radical expression can spur many heated discussions, and once politics is thrown into the mix it becomes a discussion that many will want to avoid. The conference confronted this head-on, and provided a platform for exploring the role of burners and Burning Man in these challenging times.

One presenter reminded us that Burning Man is now “mainstream”. As Burners, there is something about this that inherently makes us cringe. But she was right, and that’s ok – “mainstream” doesn’t have to be a dirty word. What Harley was referring to was that Burning Man now has social capital in the default world. As citizens of Burning Man – living by the 10 Principles and gathering together at regional burns around the world – we, as a community, have the power to influence social change and have a positive impact on the world and our communities. We are a global community of passionate, creative do-ers and problem solvers, and we can leverage this to make positive change. We met and listened to a number of people at the conference that introduce themselves as ‘activists’, who have leveraged burner culture to spark political change through events.

One such event is Catharsis on the Mall. This event, on a weekend in November, is held across the lawn from the White House, at the foot of the Washington Monument. Catharsis on the Mall was first put together in 2015 by a group of Burners seeking “a local experience that integrated the best of our Burner values with the immediate desire for political and cultural change”. In exercising their First Amendment right to hold a vigil, organisers have a permit to burn an effigy, as well as host art and mutant vehicles, run workshops, and dance until sunrise at the National mall. The best part is that the event is free and open to the public.

We also heard from Burners without Borders representatives, who spoke about the great work they are doing for international disaster relief and community initiatives around the world. BWB teamed up with the Permaculture Action Network for a project called Permaculture Action Days on the road to Burning Man. Last year, this event brought 200 burners together to plant trees, build composting systems and construct a butterfly and pollinator garden in a community garden. There’s even an Australian chapter of Burners without Borders, who have chapters in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. You can get involved with these groups by contact them via their Facebook page, or even setup your own chapter if one of these isn’t local to you.

We left the Global Leadership Conference feeling inspired and re-energised, and also with the understanding that Burning Seed is part of a truly global network of people using the 10 principles to make change. The GLC this year was a great reminder for us that as burners, we are part of something bigger, and collectively we have the power to effect real change - political, social, cultural, and spiritual.

It also reminded us that the most impactful places to be a Burner could actually be outside of Burning Seed, or the respective Burns that we attend every year. We saw that Burns across the world are a melting pot for ideas that can be turned into default world realities, bringing very real change to people who might never attend a Burn. Be the change you wish to see, be a Burner citizen.

*Ok, it was a life-size cardboard cut out.

 

Madeline Snow and Rhianna Hobbs, representing Burning Seed at 2017's Global Leadership Conference.

 

 

 

catharsis on the mall burner

Catharsis on the Mall

Image via catharsisonthemall.com

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Financials 2016!

Hey folks! So last year's Burning Seed was a wash-out (quite literally!) but there were still significant costs attached to the event - you can take a gander here at how our finances ended up.

Here's a bit of commentary to help you navigate where the money went:
 
ADMIN: We have a whole army of people dedicating their time and experience to run Seed on a completely voluntary basis, and we cover out of pocket expenses for doing so, such as stationary, fuel, phone, etc. There are also bank fees and other office expenses.  Last year we ended up spending additional accounting fees than we expected as a result of dealing with the cancellation. We've also included a line on ticketing fees from last year - this wouldn't normally show up as an individual line on the financials because it would usually be included as a net cost of achieving revenue - but of course we didn't make any revenue last year...
SAFETY AND REGULATORY SERVICES: We want to give everyone a safe and wonderful experience, so we engage a team of professional medics and security guards to look out for you. We also have to comply with all the regulatory requirements so this also comprises all of the company fees and accounting costs. There were insurance and other non-refundable costs incurred last year.

DPI HEAVY EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS: Heavy equipment and materials are  forklifts, generators, moving equipment, etc—all coordinated by DPI and used for the various infrastructure needs of Seed, the biggest of which is the provision of central services, such as Centre Camp, Effigy and the Temple, as well as all of the other Art and occasionally desperate Theme Camps! 

PERMITS, FEES AND OTHER VENUE COSTS (EXCL. TOILETS): As we are on NSW Foresty land, we have to pay a fee per participant for every beautiful participant on the site. There are also significant other venue costs to run a safe and smooth event.

TOILETS: The true cost of transporting toilets to site, rental, pumping them out and getting them back off site is generally over $60k (not last year of course, only a few were required for crew on site), but we feel that its worth every penny spent to make sure you can spend a penny in a pleasant environment…. And we are sure you do too! 

VEHICLE HIRE AND FUEL: We are pretty far away from every where so we need to utilise vehicles to transport materials to and from site. We have also saved costs here from the wonderful people who let us use their vehicles for free. 

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT: We (generally) build a beautiful city from scratch and we need power tools to do that, so this represents all of the capital equipment that we use and reuse in future years. 

TRAVEL AND SUMMIT CONFERENCE: The Annual Seed Summit brings together all the organising teams to assess the event and talk about how to make it even more amazing next year - even though we didn't run an event last year there were still lessons to learn and plans to make for 2017. This represents the cost of venue hire for the meeting and budget travel and accommodation for those travelling from far afield. 

ART AND THEME CAMP GRANTS: We award grants to artists and theme camps to bring their amazing, weird and wonderful offerings to Seed, as well as the stunning fire art work that you see every year (apart from last year) at Seed. Artists and Theme Camps received all the grant money that they submitted receipts for, as they were out of pocket for money we had promised them.  In the case of artists in particular, we had contracts with them promising that they would receive that money. So even though the event was cancelled, a lot of the stuff that would have gone into having an event was actually done already and needed paying for. We hope to see the art that was planned for Deep Space last year at DEEPER SPACE this year!!!

DONATIONS: Your ice money matters! We donate each year to three local fire services to thank them for keeping us all safe at the Burn and we support the Red Earth Ecology replanting project. 

CIVIC SERVICES: This is the cost of building Centre Camp, the Effigy and the Temple and will encompass the new Sanctuary in 2017, as well as the PEER ranger team, for your safety and wellbeing.  In 2016 the costs came from the build of the Effigy on site and other non-refundable costs from hire etc. Last year our first crew arrived on site 4 September and started building.  Forestry gave us the cancellation notice mid September, and our build crew and effigy crew were optimistically building all the way up to that point.  The temple had been mostly prefabricated off site, so while it never made it to Matong, it was essentially already built before we received the cancellation notice. After the notice was received from Forestry, the build crew had to then pack away everything (a monumental task given weather conditions), and remained on site until 27 Sept.

IT COSTS: Unfortunately as much as we try to disconnect and connect personally, we still need to use things like email, internet and online conferencing to communicate all year round to collaborate and create the best event possible. 

CREW COSTS AND TRAINING: For over five weeks before the event a dedicated team are onsite full time, living and breathing the creation of our city on the Paddock (they were there until late September last year despite no event). The kitchen does an amazing job feeding each person for less than $16 a day and we provide some basic appreciation. Essential training is also provided for the operation of heavy equipment (mainly WHS training, first aid, whitecard, etc).

PUBLICATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS: Where would you be without the What Where When guide, survival guide, Burning Seed blog and website?  This is the printing and publication costs of bringing all that lovely knowledge and information to you. The What Where When guides for Deep Space were printed in September and ready for your pocket - these will now be collectors items for the Burn that never was!!

As always - if you have questions please email feedback@burningseed.com and we'll do our level best to help!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TICKET TIME!!! Pre-Sale / General Sale dates have LANDED!!

Need to know:

  • PRE-SALE for 2016 Ticket Holders goes live Friday 12 May from 7pm AEST
  • PRE-SALE ticket codes will be emailed to 2016 Ticket Holders (i.e. those who held tickets at time of last year's cancellation) by Wednesday 10 May
  • General Ticket sales open Friday 19 May from 7pm AEST
  • You need to have completed your Burner Profile to buy a ticket
  • Max 2 adult tickets per transaction (in General Ticket sales)
  • All ticket holders need a Burner Profile with a name that matches photo ID
  • Having a profile does not guarantee a ticket – there is a cap on tickets
  • Pricing for 2017 – Adult: $195 / Youth (16+17yo) $145 / Kids $10 (ex. booking fee)
  • No free or complimentary tickets – everyone buys a ticket

Are you ready to go DEEPER?! That’s right folks, Starship Burning Seed is hurtling through the ether from the oblivion of last year’s cancelled event towards a newer, drier, more shiny and spandex filled constellation… Burning Seed 2017: DEEPER SPACE from 27 September to 2 October!!

As a big thank you to everyone who showed such incredible kindness, patience and support while we dealt with the difficult task of organising insurance, refunds etc for last year, we’re delighted to announce that you folks will get FIRST OPTION on tickets for 2017.  

Yes, all 2016 Ticket Holders will be eligible for PRE-SALE tickets which will go live on Friday 12 May from 7pm AEST (put it in your diary NOW!). All 2016 Ticket Holders will receive an email with a code that unlocks the option to buy one ticket each. Quicket will email 2016 Ticket Holders a pre-sale code by Wednesday 10 May. Then General ticket sales will open 1 week later on Friday 19 May - until sold out it will be possible to buy two adult tickets per transaction in the general ticket sale but as before all Ticket Holders will need a Burner Profile.

Tickets and tiers

There are some important changes to ticketing in 2017:

  • If you bought a ticket in 2016 you can use the Burner Profile you set up last year.
  • If you don’t have a Burner Profile you need one to be eligible to buy a ticket - go complete your Profile!
  • ADULT tickets are priced at $195 (ex fees) for a five day, 120 hour, out-of-this-world Deep Space experience at Red Earth City in 2017.
  • This year we are also offering YOUTH (16 or 17 year olds) tickets at $145
  • A limited number of tickets (around 15% of the total number of adult tickets available) will be reserved for purchase by core event crew and essential crew at returning Theme Camps to reduce any risk to the basic infrastructure of the event.
  • There’s a maximum of 2 adult tickets per transaction.
  • We will be offering a STEP program in 2017 to further improve support and safety and to reduce incidence of scalping for ticket exchange

Why has the ticket price increased by $10 on last year?

We’ve always asked that people buy the most expensive ticket they could afford and raising the ticket price is never an easy thing to do. We do our best to keep the ticket as affordable as possible, balancing income against costs while allowing for contingencies and making sure this remains a sustainable event. This year above all we need to take a very prudent approach to pricing given last year’s non-event and the costs incurred as a result.

When we increased the ticket price last year we said we needed to build in reserves for unexpected costs or emergencies we cannot budget for – such as the flooding of the site. We’ve used most if not all of that reserve to cover refunds for last year while we wait for the remaining insurance monies. You can check the latest financials here to find out more about where the money gets spent. The price still compares well against other festivals and events with camping and of the same length (five days or less).

How will the STEP program work?

We’re expecting the event will again sell out this year and we’re always looking for ways we can prevent ticket scalping and make it easier for people to exchange tickets if they find they can’t attend for whatever reason. We’ll provide more info on STEP in the coming months but for those who’ve used similar schemes it will basically offer two options: "I want to sell my tickets" and "I'm looking for tickets".

It only allows the seller to enter full price tickets into the outbound queue. People looking for tickets request 1 or 2 tickets and get entered in the inbound queue. There is a matching system then that offers outbound tickets to those waiting in the queue. That offer is valid for 24 hours and if they don't buy in that time, they are automatically removed from the queue and the tickets are offered to the next person in line.

What about kids tickets?

Kids (<16) tickets are $10 and will be available for purchase when the General Ticket sales open on Friday 19 MayKids under 16 don’t need to complete a Profile – their tickets will be linked to the Profile of the responsible guardian attending with the child. Young people 16 & 17 need to purchase a Youth ticket ($145) and they will need their own Burner Profile.

What Next?

From 7pm AEST on Friday 12 May, if you were a 2016 Ticket Holder at the time the 2016 Seed was cancelled you can buy PRE-SALE ticket(s) using the link you will receive from Quicket by Wednesday 10 May. Any remaining tickets will then be offered for General Sale a week later on Friday 19 May. Any issues or questions drop us a line at ticketing@burningseed.com. We’ll issue another reminder or two beforehand but make sure your heavenly body is orbiting that ticket page on 12 May!