Whilst things are very much in motion for Burning Seed 2018, our finance team have been busy dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on the 2017 event. We entered last year in an unusual financial position due to the flooding and subsequent cancellation the year before. There were significant delays in us receiving half the insurance payout which meant that we used all our cash reserves to ensure that we could payout ticket refunds in a timely manner. This meant we had to instruct all our teams to work to very lean budgets, a task they undertook superbly. The final insurance money arrived just days before the event began and means that we are now well placed for 2018 and beyond.
Over on the right you can see the totals spent in each area, and here's a bit of detail of 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 many of pocket expenses for doing so, such as stationary, fuel, phone, etc. There are also bank fees and other office expenses. Finally we pay for external accountants to prepare our quarterly GST returns and assist with other financial services.
ART AND THEME CAMP GRANTS: We award grants to artists and theme camps to bring their amazing, weird and wonderful offerings to Seed. What makes a burn different to other festivals is the spectacular and creative art along with the huge variety of theme camps. We have already significantly increased the art budget for 2018 and as the event grows, so will the art.
CIVIC SERVICES: This is the cost of building the major installations onsite; Centre Camp, the Effigy and the Temple. It also includes the budgets for many of our teams including Gate, Greeters, Sanctuary, and PEER Rangers, who are all critical in ensuring our city runs smoothly.
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. Our crew numbers swell during the event to ensure everything runs smoothly and safely. We feed the build crews (our kitchen team are amazing) and provide some basic appreciation to everyone who volunteers. Essential training is also provided, including WHS, heavy machinery accreditations, first aid, and whitecards.
DONATIONS: All the profits from ice sales get donated to the local Matong Primary School. It’s one of the many ways we say thank you to the local community who support us so well. We also provide money to Red Earth Ecology for the wonderful work they do on regeneration and landcare projects in the areas surrounding Red Earth City.
IT COSTS: The Seed organisers are spread far and wide across this great brown land (and a couple live overseas too) which means we rely heavily on services such as email, cloud storage, video conferencing, and other collaboration tools to help plan the event. We also have a need for specific applications for tasks such as volunteer management and finance.
PERMITS, FEES AND OTHER VENUE COSTS (EXCL. TOILETS): As we are on NSW Forestry land, we have to pay a fee for every beautiful participant on the site. There are also significant other venue costs to run a safe and smooth event including roadworks, signage, and the cost of transporting our storage containers to and from site.
PUBLICATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS: Where would you be without the What Where When, Survival Guide, a very occasional email, and Burning Seed website? This is the printing and publication costs of bringing all that lovely knowledge and information to you.
SAFETY AND REGULATORY SERVICES: We want to give everyone a safe and wonderful experience, so we engage teams of professional medics and security guards to look out for you and support the wonderful work done by the Red Earth Rangers. As the event grows we have additional costs we need to cover to meet the requirements of the local emergency services, including having an ambulance pre-deployed on site at certain times. Then there are a variety of insurance policies required including public liability and the all important cancellation insurance!
TOILETS: If there is one area where you don’t want to skimp on quality, it’s toilets. Our Sanitation team does an amazing job of ensuring we all have somewhere nice to conduct our ‘business’. They also continue to examine ways to keep costs down whilst ensuring the toilets are pumped, cleaned, and restocked with dunny rolls on a regular basis. We think they’re amazing.
TOOLS, HEAVY EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS: Heavy equipment and materials are scissor-lifts, telehandlers, generators etc—all coordinated by DPI and used for the various infrastructure needs of Seed, supporting the effigy and temple builds, as well as all of the other Art and occasionally desperate Theme Camps! DPI also require a wide variety of drills, hammers, saws and other tools. Probably some nails too.
TRAVEL AND SUMMIT CONFERENCE: The Annual Seed Summit in November is the only time outside the event that we are able to bring all the event leads together in the one place. The time is used to examine what went well and what needs to be improved from the event that was just held, and to begin planning for the following year. It’s a weekend that contributes massively to the continued success of Burning Seed.
VEHICLE HIRE AND FUEL: We are pretty far away from everywhere so need to utilise vehicles to transport materials to and from site. Once onsite we employ a variety of utes and buggies to assist with the work of the build crews and our site safety teams.
As always - if you’d like further information on anything here, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to give A’s to your Q’s.