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Refunds update #5: 10 March 2017

OK folks - so it does look like we may have jumped the gun a little with our last update at the end of January... Throughout this process of trying to get the refunds sorted, we've been mindful to be super careful about raising any expectations.... but we've also had to balance that with the need to let you know about any movement in the process.

Positive Signals

When we got positive and clear signals in January that the funds were indeed moving, and moving quickly, we just had to let you know. It's been 6 weeks now since we got that news and, if it wasn't already clear, we need to let you know now that there's been an unexpected delay. We're really, really sorry. This is a crazy complex issue and the TL:DR version is that there's a dispute within Lloyd’s of London, our insurer, as to the share of liability between two of their syndicate partners. We've been in touch with our broker almost daily and each time the message is that we're expecting this to be resolved soon.

Blue Chip Dispute

Now Lloyd’s of London is no bucket shop - it's a blue chip global insurer with a reputation they fiercely maintain. They're now addressing this partner dispute directly after our broker made an official complaint about the delay in payment. It is clear - and we can confidently say - that our broker, our underwriter and Lloyd’s of London all agree our claim is proper, documented and valid and needs to be paid. All these parties are confident full payment will happen - it just relies on when an agreement can be reached between these two syndicate partners at Lloyd’s of London.

Applying Pressure

Our underwriter is now putting pressure on the lead syndicate partner to pay us in full and then sort out the issue with the other syndicate partner. They say this is a highly unusual situation and that everyone all the way to Lloyd’s of London is doing what they can to resolve this dispute between the partners.

The Man, The Irony

It is kind of ironic that our little Burn is being pushed and pulled around the desks of City financiers on the other side of the world but there it is.  As mentioned, our broker is in touch with us almost daily on this and when we have any more concrete information to pass on we'll do that. For the time being, we're so, so grateful for your patience and understanding. We've never had to deal with an issue like this and while we're learning on the (volunteer) job, we're realising much of the solution lies outside of our control. We've done and we are doing all we can to get that cash back in your pocket.

Seed 2017 - a question for you

The delay with the refund is actually impacting Seed more deeply than we might have expected. We've been super conscious of getting the refund situation resolved and behind us before kicking off shenanigans for 2017, but we're getting to the point now where we have some critical dates we need to meet - so we have a question for you.... How do you feel about us pushing on with plans for Burning Seed 2017 in parallel with the refunds process? Does that feel OK?

Planning for Seed

We don't feel we can hold on for much longer - we have some key announcements and decisions to make around art, theme, tickets and new ideas on insurance (which will be tougher to get now) for 2017.

As a community we know we all want to start getting excited, getting involved and making plans for this year's event - as much as we can with this still hanging over us. One of the most urgent things we need to do is recruit, recruit, recruit for some lead positions on the core organising team. Whatever your skills, interests, experiences or preferences, we're looking for people to crew some of our team leadership positions including at Centre Camp, Comms, Kitchen, PEER, Rangers, Traffic and Mutant Vehicles! - if you're keen to get involved or find out more visit the website TODAY!

So let us know what you think. We'll keep posting updates on the refunds and we'll try and do that as regularly as makes sense.  Again, thank you folks for your incredible patience and understanding.

Burn Bright!

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SOME GOOD NEWS ON REFUNDS

Hey folks - some good news? Some GREAT news!! Our insurance refund is imminent! Huge, massive, colossal THANKS for your patience all the way through this difficult process!! 

Seriously - you've all been amazing - this was never going to be an easy thing for the (volunteer) crew to deal with but as a community you've been just incredible with your understanding and support.

Complex

As we've indicated in previous updates, the fact we had to cancel last year's event so close to the intended start date made submitting our claim quite complex and Christmas didn't help either - yeah thanks for nothing Santa...!

During the process, the insurance underwriters have had to review more than 1000 expenses across 80 separate categories, and they've been in constant contact with our finance and legal teams since the cancellation, back and forth to qualify, quantify and finalise the claim.

Finally!

We just got the news that we've ALL been waiting for - we have been informed that the underwriter has now finalised our claim, and we expect to have the funds in the Burning Seed bank account within  a couple of weeks to be able to start the refunds process.

Now, before we get too excited, this will still be a mammoth task and we want to get it 100% right first time - we've all waited this long so please, please, please maintain your patience and understanding for a couple more weeks.

What Happens Next?

OK so we wanted to let you know as soon as we knew - and now you know! We will be pushing out more information soon including a detailed outline of how the refund will come back to you together with a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document to help navigate any issues that might come up along the way.

What we can say now is that for the majority of people the process will be quick and painless - a direct refund to the card/account from which you paid. For others (for instance those relatively few who transferred tickets) it's a bit more tricky and it could take a little bit longer to finalise. We want to get it 100% right so please bear with us.

Once we've closed off the refund process we'll be able to finalise accounts for the year and get on with releasing the financial summary for 2016 (the year that never was) so we can start fresh for 2017  (the year that will be twice as good).

Questions?

OK, we're more than happy to answer questions now but we would ask that you hold fire until we get more information out to you. If you have a seriously burning question that cannot wait until we push out more comms in the next few weeks then please email: feedback@burningseed.com

Burn Bright!

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CRITICAL VACANCIES: SEED 2017

Hey gang - it may seem like early days, and we still have many loose ends to tie on last year's waterlogged non-event (rest assured we're still working crazy hard to finalise the insurance and get the refunds process underway) but the annual march to Seed goes on and we need NOW to recruit for some critical vacancies - you keen?

You all make Burning Seed what it is - Seed is 100% participant driven and our collective effort and expression creates that magical few days in the forest that we know will be twice as good in 2017 right!? But it doesn't happen overnight - dozens of volunteers dedicate thousands of hours year round on the infrastructure that supports Seed - everything from finance, to training, to comms, to ticketing to making sure participants have a decent place to poop.

We're recruiting now urgently for some critical roles to ensure we get back to that Paddock in 2017 - please check out the role outlines below and consider joining one of our Seed Teams to help build and maintain the city and services we need!

There's more information on the website and there are team lead briefings happening soon including one this week in Melbourne on Thursday night if you want to talk to a face to find out more.

Rangers Leads

We are looking for veteran Rangers to step up and take on some extra responsibility to help lead the Rangers team this year. Have you been a Dirt Ranger for a few years but never taken the next step? Get in touch with us, we'd love to hear from you. We've got perks and a heap of support to help you on your way! We'll have a position description handy shortly, but in the meantime feel free to get in touch to express interest.

Finance officer

Are you a numbers nerd? The Finance Officer oversees the financial operations of the organisation and ensures timely and accurate financial reports and practices. You will have the support and mentorship of the existing Finance Officer to transition into the role smoothly. Check out the position description to see if this role is for you! We’re also looking for general numbers people/helpers so if you’ve got the skills let us know!

Ticketing co-lead

Want to contribute year round, then have no responsibility during the event so you can let your hair down? Then the Ticketing 2ic role might be for you! You will work closely with the current Ticketing lead to work through the Ticketing process. Check out the position description and if it works for you, register!

PEER 2IC

Psychological and Emotional Emergency Response (PEER) Rangers are a specialist arm of the Red Earth Ranger Team. PEERs aim to respond to and manage situations during the event that may require a specialised person with specialist skills and training. The PEER Rangers Lead is seeking a suitably qualified and experienced 2IC for this important team. Check out the role description on the website and register if you've got the skills and the will!

Leave No Trace 2IC

The Leave No Trace team returns the Paddock to its former glory and keeps a record of how well each theme camp upholds the LNT principle. They are passionate about educating our community on how we can leave no trace of our activities and festivities at Matong State Forest. In doing so the Leave No Trace team supports participants to practice self-reliance and civic responsibility.  We are looking for a Leave No Trace (LNT) 2iC to support the LNT lead in 2017. Position description will be up soon, holla if you think you’re right for the role!

Sanitation co-lead

The Sanitation Lead is seeking a Partner in Poo to help ensure our 80+ executive thrones around the Paddock are functional, full of water, clean and stocked with paper twice a day. Check out the role description on the website before assuming anything about this role - there are serious perks for Sanitation crew and you'll be the King/Queen of them all! 

 

Have you got the skills and drive to take on one of these roles? We need you! Fill out a registration form which can be found on the Burning Seed website here, and our Crew Wranglers will get in touch!

Not sure if a team lead role is right for you, but you’re interested to find out more? Come along to one of our Team Lead Information Sessions! We're running a Melbourne session on:

THURSDAY 19 JANUARY from 7-8pm at Brunswick Green, 313 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Victoria

and Sydney and Canberra sessions are being organized soon. Come along and meet current team leads to hear more about these critical roles.

See you there! Burn Bright x

 

 

Yes - it's the same graphic we use year after year after year... if you hate that, and you're a graphic designer, JOIN THE CREW!

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Some questions on refunds – Jan 7, 2017

Hey Burners, 

As promised, we've answered some of the questions brought to our attention in regards to your ticket refunds. We hope this helps address your concerns, and we hope that we can update you again soon with good news. 

 


Why do we still not have our ticket money refunded?

Some have expressed their feelings that the process has taken quite a while, however it’s moved as fast as we expected it to.

As the event was cancelled so close to its start date, submitting our claim became quite complex. Our underwriters have had to review over one thousand expenses across 80 categories individually, and they have had to remain in constant contact with our finance and legal teams since the event’s cancellation. As mentioned in our previous update, reviewing these expenses has now been completed and we are waiting on our underwriters to confirm the agreed amount.

 

Some people have also asked if Burning Seed can refund the tickets now while waiting for the claim to be settled.

This has never been an option for us. Approximately half our budget (and a large portion of ticket sales) had been spent by the time we cancelled, on expenses that needed to be secured well in advance. The safety net of funds that Burning Seed has built up over the last few years is also not enough to secure refunds for all ticket holders, hence why taking out cancellation insurance was the most appropriate option.

 

Why haven't we received more solid info and more constant updates?

Working with an insurance company on a claim like this is really tricky, and we’ve had to be extremely careful with what we say. It means that until we are given updates in writing from our underwriters, we can't give any specific information on the status of the claim and we certainly can’t speculate on the outcome. Legally, we can only provide the confirmed details we are provided, or it could jeopardise our claim and your refunds. We’re sorry we haven’t been able to provide more information, but we have to play by the rules and this is just the nature of this kind of work.

 

When can we expect to have an answer?

While we've heard from our underwriters that our prospects are positive, we're still unsure on when exactly we'll know the status of this claim. We can confirm we’ve requested they give us a specific timeframe for this to be finalised so that we can forward on that information to the community.

We want our money back in our pockets as much as you do, and this process has been given our fullest attention. We're sorry that we can't speed up this process anymore.

 

What if I transferred my ticket to someone?

We've put together some info to help those of you who purchased tickets via the Quicket transfer system. We'll release this as soon as we know that refunds are certain.

 

Burn Bright )*(

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Suggest a theme for Burning Seed 2017!

It's time to get the theme selection for Burning Seed 2017 rolling! 

Do you want Seed 2017 to be space themed? Ocean themed? Unicorn themed? NOODLE THEMED? The Burning Seed theme is decided in collaboration with the community, so we're asking for your suggestions on what the theme could be to have it decided by early 2017. 

To submit a suggestion for next year's theme, let us know right here. 

We'll update you soon with what themes are suggested and the next steps. 

Note: We know you're eager for updates on the status of your 2016 ticket refund, and so are we. We've decided to move forward with planning for the 2017 event so that we can remain as organised as possible, while waiting on the final word from our insurance company. You can check out our most recent update on refunds from December 5, right here.

 

Burn Bright )'( 

 

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An Update on Ticket Refunds – December 5, 2016

Thank you so much for being patient while our insurance company processes our claim. This process has involved reviewing many hundreds of transactions, and has taken many hours of work from our finance and legal teams to ensure we get it right.

We have received some promising news from the insurance assessor today, who has now completed the assessment of our claim and is recommending that it be accepted. We hope to have formal confirmation from the underwriters any day now and we will let you know the minute we hear back.

We know you’ll still have questions around your tickets and refunds, including what the process is for ticket holders who had their ticket transferred to them via Quicket. We will be able to answer those in the coming weeks as we begin to know what our next steps should be.

Thanks again for your patience and understanding. We’ll continue to update you via email, our blog and on Facebook in the following weeks when we know what’s next.

 

Burn Bright  )’(

Burning Seed

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Update: 17 October 2016

An update on refunds

It’s been a couple of weeks now since the unfortunate cancellation of Burning Seed and we wanted to give you an update on the refunds process. Our claim is progressing with the insurance company and as directed by them, we are now collating all of our financial reports and out of pocket expenses as evidence. The insurance company will then need to process the documentation before they finalise our claim - this will most likely take some time. While it would be wrong of us to estimate when this may be, please be assured that we are moving the process along as quickly as possible.

What if I bought my ticket via the ticket transfer process?

We’ve had a number of questions on this and we are finalising the process for ticket transfer refunds. We will give you further information on this once we are in the position to process the refunds.

Can I roll over my ticket cost to next year?

There have been a number of comments where people have asked if they can roll over their ticket cost to next year. Unfortunately this would be quite complicated to administer and it’s easier for us to refund everyone and start fresh for Burning Seed 2017.

Thank You

We wanted to once again thank you the community, for your continued support, understanding and positivity. We have been amazed at how you have pulled together over the last few weeks - some of you have attended side burns while others have organised local get togethers and meet-ups - whatever you have done, it’s great to see you all burn in your own way.

We will update you further as we have more information.

Burn Bright  )’(

Burning Seed

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A word on side burns…

It's truly remarkable what a can-do crew can actually do when tested by adversity.

We've been blown away by the display of radical can-do happening throughout the community that would have been getting very wet and miserable by now had the gates been able to open for Seed this year. 

We've been hearing about a number of 'sideburns', 'plan Bs' and 'overflow' events being organised in line with the Ten Principles of Burning Man by local crews and theme camps, small events but still incredibly tough to pull together in such a short time - it's a fantastic testament to the resilience, capability and imagination of this wonderful community.

The crew at Seed wants to thank everyone - local organisers, theme camps and participants - for creating and organising these splinter events - it means more than you know to see something so magical happening after the situation we faced less than two weeks ago.

We need to make it clear that while many of these splinter events - these Scatterings of Seed -  draw on the amazing skills and talents of many people involved in Seed, none of them are officially organised or endorsed by Burning Seed.

Maybe this was meant to happen - who knows - perhaps Deep Space was all about the universe telling us it was time for our community to go back to where it started, small gatherings, like the first Seed in Bellingen in 2010, where everyone has to play their integral part in making the event happen. 

One thing is for certain - for many splinter event organisers it will be more than a mini burn - it will be a baptism of fire - but for Seed it means a solid base of skills and leadership experience we might draw on in the future.

Whatever your plans for this weekend, we wish you well. Take care of yourselves and each other. 

Burn bright!

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The view at Matong this week 🙁

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Update: 21 September 2016

So… the team is really mindful of the need to keep you informed about the work going on behind the scenes following last week’s devastating news about the cancellation...

Sorry

First of all we want to say sorry to anyone who may have received an email in error from our ticket partner (Quicket) today. We’ve let them know about the cancellation of course, but somehow a number of people may have today received an automated 'event reminder' email. We hope that it hasn’t upset anyone or confused an already difficult situation. 

Thank you

We’ve been blown away by the level of understanding and compassion you’ve shown for this difficult situation and particularly your messages for our legendary DPI crew who are still on site dealing with a difficult extraction. It’s a really unbelievably amazing response and one which demonstrates the strength and beauty of this extraordinary community of people. Thank you, thank you, thank you. As we’ve said all along - Burning Seed is a participatory experience. We now know the truth of that statement stands whether Seed happens or not. We could not do this without you. We cannot thank you enough.

Updates

We’ll check in with posts as often as we have something meaningful to say. This is a new challenge for Seed. We’re not sure how long it will take fully to resolve. So if you don’t hear anything from us for a week or two please don’t think we’re not at full tilt working as quickly as we can to get things straightened out. If you have questions (and we know you do!) check our FAQ first. If you can’t find the answer drop us a line at feedback@burningseed.com. We’ll aim to capture all your questions and our responses on the FAQ as we move forward.

Tickets
We're still going through the process of making a claim with the insurance underwriters and we're really grateful for your patience while we let that process run its course. We’ll aim to move as quickly as possible and keep you up to date by email to the address you provided when you bought the ticket.

DPI

Those DPI legends are still on site and have managed to cart the first loads out today after a complete wash out yesterday. The crew are looking at an awkward departure because they have to move everything by 4WD and there is another day of rain predicted. They’ve also had a termite infestation in two of their containers which will force them to destroy any wooden structures they might have kept for next year. A small group of DPI may be stuck on site until they are able to get a truck on site to pick up the Telehandler and the left over lumber for storage. They’re hopeful of leaving site by this weekend but they might be forced to tow crews cars out on a trailer. 

Please also spare a thought for the locals in and around Matong - they've have had another 25ml of rain today and more to come next week. Check our earlier post for details on how you can support the local SES.

Artists
All artists have been contacted by the ARTery - if you were a registered or grant artists and have not had any emails from us please check your spam/junk folder or email artery@burningseed.com. If you can, please send us photos of you and your crew working on your project and picture or two of the finished piece - we want to put together a blog to showcase all your amazing efforts. We've loved hearing that many installations and projects will be showcased at various side events happening in the next few weeks, and we're glad that you can still share your art!

Community Crew

We had record interest in Community Crew this year - such a shame we couldn’t put everyone to work! The Crew Wranglers are keen to make sure every current and potential crew member has been contacted directly about the event cancellation with a "thank you" for putting their hand up. The good news is that we have record numbers of confirmed crew in the database that we'd love to stay in contact with for next year. 

Sincerely, everyone, from the depths of our hearts - from all on the crew - thank you again for your patience and compassion during this really tough time. 

Burn Bright  )’(

Burning Seed

imag0791

Roadworks...

imag0784

Deep Space? More like Waterworld...

imag0771

Rivers running deep...

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A very damp Paddock...