Canberra Decompression 2015

Written by Sacha Fawkes

Canberraburners Party in the Park

Party in the Park

The initial post Seed decompression of Canberra burners happened on 18 October with our embers still glowing from the Mother Seed.

A quirk of the Berra’s event cycle meant that our original site was filled with flower lovers and revels so on the morning a quick location change was enacted to Black Mountain Peninsula.

This spit of land spurts out into Canberra’s central artificial lake and its lush trees and bends hide all of civilisation but for the tip of Parliament jutting above the treeline.

Sticky fingers

Early arrivals erected a marquee for sound equipment and a plethora of eager sticky fingered enthusiasts throughout the day meant we were never left bereft of sonic stimulation.

Over the day around 40 folk came through our slice of paradise at the periphery of the bends in our almost island. Our improvised banquet grew throughout the day from home made dips, chips, carrot sticks into diverse BBQ and hedonistic salad variations.

Burner Banquet

BBQ Burner Banquet

Fun and games

Popular throughout the day was chess, bowling, and frisbee with the creative arts of circus, dance, and freestyle rap flowing like a sweet treacle river rapid dapper flapper ecstatic matter of fact.

But by far the greatest time was spent in discussion about the big, small, important and banal as we bathed in the communal energy of intentional immediacy.

From 3pm, until darkness fell, we inhabited a space not far from the Paddock. Well, it would’ve taken a while to walk between them but mentally we approached union. The default world leaked in slightly more to our porous potlatch, but this allowed us to further connect with each other as we planned additional parties, collaborations, and shindigs over the following months.

Canberra knows how to chill

A Capital Canberra Decom

Another Decom!

A second smaller decompression gathering was held on the 22 November in Canberra’s Glebe Park; spreading out our gatherings adds the kindling of enthusiasm to our embers from Seed.

We skipped the amplified music for this latter local gathering due to sharing our shady sanctuary with many other groups, but once again faced a bounty of food and conversational frolicking with our community becoming more familiar with itself.

Our energy wants to grow, the philosophy spills into the mainstream in a myriad of minute multiplicities, with radical acceptance we welcome the overcoming of stereotypes and with radical expression we connect in ways that transcend the individual and enrich the all. Our resilient community and culture is fractal, see you at the next burn!


Sydney’s three-day Decom bonanza

Day One - Burner Gallery

Day One – Burner Gallery

written by Onur Ka

A truly epic Sydney decompression wave hit all us crazies in a ponderous manner! 27 – 29 November saw three days of shenanigans curated and produced as full-scale decommodified Burn events in three different locations across the Emerald City.

Day ONE: Burner Gallery

St Peters – Tortuga studios hosted the well-known (free) Burner Gallery exhibition, showcasing over seven photographers and three videographers work while Minters set up a gifting bar alongside the beer bucket as well as various DJs spinning chill tunes all night long accommodating well over 150 punters.

The night carried on to local dives on Newtown’s King St while many were already tucked in bed for a crazy night out to be had the next night!

Day Two - Warehouse Party

Day Two – Warehouse Party

Day TWO: Warehouse Party

In a very special Marrickville location, the main event took place on the Saturday 7pm to 7am: a crazy gathering with four gifting bars, three camp corners, one consent room and a crazy stage with a big number of DJs and live music representing various camps from Seed.

This ticketed event brought together around 300 people for a memorable night. BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE!!!

Day Three - Burner Beach

Day Three – Burner Beach

Day THREE: Beach Party

Sunday 29 November saw Sydney Burners host an epic wrap up to the WEEKEND LONG DECOMPRESSION by setting up corners at the majestic Milk Beach for a free waterside picnic party!

Serving food, drinks and playing tunes for hours on end watching the sun set in good old Sydney town.


HUGE props to the Sydney Burning crew for their planning and implementation of one of the biggest if not best Sydney Decoms in recent memory!


Introducing Temple Guardians to Burning Seed


Temple of Babylon, 2015. Pic by Carnal Imagery

A number of Burners have taken the participation bull by the horns (man, we LOVE it when you guys do that) and have formed a group to support the introduction of Temple Guardians at Burning Seed.

It’s aim? To support those who see the potential of the Burning Seed Temple as a sacred and healing space, and to institute the kind of Temple Guardian shifts that you find at the Burning Man Temples in Nevada.

Our own brand of guardians want to support community temple visits, educate people about its significance, and protect the artefacts and the space itself.

There has been much discussion in the group about how to hold the space and how the guardians will interact with the community. Got something to say about it too? Join this flourishing micro-community here.



Melburners do Decom!

written by Nick Westcott (Zuul)

The 2015 MelBurn Decompression held at Brown Alley in the CBD was another massive success this year. Moving to a new, bigger venue enabled the sale of 1140 tickets, making it one of the biggest Burner events to ever hit Melbourne.

Light me up

Lights, Camera, Action!

Level Up

The night saw three levels of spectacular Burner talent on display. The downstairs room showcased an array of DJ’s who represented many of the major Melbourne Theme camps.  The festivities of the evening included nine hours of phat beats and live performances, as well as an impressive live visuals display by the renowned Telekenetic Chair Repair.

The mezzanine was the art hub of the venue and a chill space for relaxing and immersing in the numerous artworks. Some of the major art projects in this room included Glowy Hole, White Forest, Magic Carpet, massage tables, as well as many other smaller pieces like the ever popular More Cowbell.

Melburners Do It

Melburners Do It…..

All Night Long

Blights Room saw an array of wonderful performances featuring dancers and bands as well as DJs incorporating live elements. Decor was provided by two theme camps, Kamp Kraken and Mint Country Club giving the room a taste of Burning Seed.

The outdoor garden was pumping all night with an ambiance suitably created by the Pelican Villa theme camp who ran the sound and music for the space. An array of taste sensations provided by the Bacon Emporium, Glam & Cheese and Hotel Unipig sustained burners throughout the event. The garden room was the last room to close at the end of the night, with music stopping around 9am, 11 hours after doors had first opened.

The Wisdom of Crowds

The Wisdom of Crowds

MelBurners Inc. 

This year’s Decom was the first run under the new MelBurners Inc. incorporated association democratic structure, which was put in place earlier in 2015. This allows all money to stay in the local Burner community and so far MelBurners has paid out over $15,000 in grants to theme camps and artists.

Overall the Decompression was once again hugely successful, which wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of the organising crew, theme camps, artists, community crew and everyone else involved.

(thanks to The Flash Mob and Lotus Universal Images for the pix)


Burning Seed has a new Town Council!

Written by Neil Power (Neillo)

The Directors of Red Earth City (REC) have decided recently to split the REC Town Council into two separate bodies.

Red Earth City Pty Ltd has been the legal entity behind Burning Seed since 2010. Its council has overseen the event and supported other Burner initiatives under the banner of Burning Man Australia. For more details on its history, you can go here.

The two new bodies will include: a Burning Man Australia Community Board, which will just focus on developing Burn culture around the country, and the Burning Seed Town Council (TC), which will focus solely on staging the Burning Seed event and its future growth and development. This is a tremendously exciting development as, for the first time, Burning Seed will have a Town Council that can concentrate just on the event.

The positions on the new TC include: REC Director Phil Smart; Event Coordinator and Finance Team Lead, Shaye Harty and Caroline Brosnan respectively; and nominees from Team Leads and the old REC Town Council, Jarred Taylor, Victoria Victory and Neil Power. But we also have space for someone from outside the event’s organisational group.

One of the TC’s many important tasks this year is to research and consult the community on the best options for a new legal entity under which Burning Seed can operate in the years ahead. It is hoped that this new structure will be in place for the 2017 event so this new TC is likely to be a short-lived affair.  

In the meantime, TC has responsibility for ensuring that Seed operates to best practice at all levels and it will be key in defining what sort of event Burning Seed is and wants to be in the future.

So if you would like to help us achieve all these goals, and if you (preferably) have experience in event management and development and would like to join Town Council, please email us at towncouncil@burningseed.com with details.


So long and thanks for everything!

Written by Neil Power (Neillo)

At the recent Team Leads’ Summit, a number of key contributors to the success of Burning Seed stepped down after busting several guts over several years to help deliver our little forest gathering….

Bear - Rangers


Bear: When Seed needed someone to take the Rangers team by the horns, we had no idea of the gift that was Bear was coming our way. Ranger Mammoth to his mum, Bear brought the experience and enthusiasm we needed to take Rangers from the “it’s getting there” to “it’s bloody here and it’s great” status. Bear leaves us with arguably the most helpful and critical Paddock team ready to roll for many years to come. Almost everyone has a Bear story and we should all consider ourselves lucky for that.



Jodi York: Our now former Mistress of Finance since almost year dot is also taking time out to smell some roses. Jodi ran the Finance team with such diligence and focus that Burning Seed started to look like a grown-up event far earlier than we possibly deserved . She could crack a whip with such grace that you almost made mistakes deliberately just to be on the receiving end of it. Jodi also did some time on Town Council.

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 1.27.52 PM


Jane Lyons: The heart and soul of the Comms team since waaay back is taking time away from the coal-face. Jane has driven Seed’s engagement with the community and greater public for the other 51 weeks of the year, and has worked tirelessly to ensure delivery of everything from the Flaming Galah and the Seed website to the What Where When guide, Info Centre and media on-site, and so much more besides. Her efforts to inform and educate the community have been critical to the development of the event we see today.



Jayman:Jayman steps down this year as co-lead of the Theme Camps team. Nice one brother, but no glowing praise for you yet as we still have to deal with you now you’re on Town Council. (You know, it might get awkward.) Theme Camps – the most visible and physical manifestation of participation on Paddock – have thrived under Jay’s guidance in the last couple of years. Things are bigger and brighter than ever on the Paddock, thanks to Dr J and his merry mob of co-leads and minions. Just bring your own cup.



Sabina Nowak: Co-Lead of the Crew Wranglers is stepping back after two years revolutionising how we make sure we have enough hands on deck to make this event work. We’ve never had the crew we have now, and that’s thanks in no small part to Sabina’s incredible efforts as part of our Crew Wrangling Team.


The Captain


Justin McGhee: The Captain of all sorts has contributed to Seed with Team Lead stints at Theme Camps, DPI, Artery and Event Coordination as well as three years thinking big-picture stuff at Town Council (truck full of medals backing up shortly). As happy with a hose in a filthy dunnie as he is dealing with an art submission, Skip has been everywhere. He got on with stuff and for the most part got it done. Burn passion personified.

None of these folks are going too far and we’ll be seeing them again in the future… but, for now, some well deserved time off beckons. Thank you, guys and girls. Thank you very much indeed.


MOOP map is live!


MOOP troupers go free-range.

The 2015 MOOP map is now available!

Scratching your head over the term MOOP map? Each year our crack team of MOOP troupers spend days scouring the Paddock after the event finishes, recording information about where and how much MOOP is left behind and who is responsible. All this information goes on to a colour-coded map that is shared with the community.

And for those of you still scratching their head over MOOP – what Burning Seed rock have you been hiding under?! Make sure you get up close and personal with the ten principles that guide our event.

This year, the map is an interactive web-based Google map. You can zoom in and out; click on areas or icons to expand speech bubbles and read more detailed info about theme camps, art works, public camping and infrastructure; and look at related photos and videos. There is also an overview by MoopDaddy, our Burning Seed Leave No Trace Team Lead.  

Check out the 2015 MOOP map here. If you want to get down and dirty with the raw data, you  can check that out here.

Got some feedback? Wanna get involved? You can contact the Leave No Trace team at lnt@burningseed.com



Vote for 2016 theme



Revolution may be over but there’s still so much more to come. Help set the theme, tone and talk for Burning Seed 2016 by making a theme suggestion or voting on an existing suggestion below. Voting ends on 27 November 2015. Team Leads will vote on the shortlist at the annual Summit on November 27/28. The results will be announced shortly afterwards.

[bra_button text=’Click here to choose a 2016 theme’ url=’http://burningseed.townhallapp.io/en/questions/119′ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ style=’rounded’ color=’orange’]

Pic by Noma Kim


Burning Seed 2015: the wrap, the good rap and the year ahead


DPI doing it in style. Pic by Andy Flint

On Monday, 12 October, the last of the Burning Seed crew left the Paddock and closed the gate on this year’s EPIC event.

The DPI crew had slogged through a week of packdown after the frenzy of dancing, dreaming and doing had dry humped the Paddock goodbye.

There were marquees to be dismantled; community spaces to be cleared of art and furniture; tools to be ticked off; inventories to be created; radios to be logged; shipping containers to be packed; MOOP sweeps to be done; and five weeks’ worth of support infrastructure to be dismantled.

For some it was the end of a loooooooong stint on the Paddock. So when they finally closed the Paddock gate, there was a collective sigh of relief as they turned their vehicles for Melbourne.


The magic of Sunset Island. Pic by Noma Kim

But there’s no closing the gate on the incredible energy, inspiration, excitement, love and ideas that this year’s event has generated (despite finding ourselves back in the bearpit of Facebook and its poor facsimile of Paddock togetherness. One more round of the cultural appropriation debate, anyone?)

You felt it. The Team Leads felt it. We all felt. Burning Seed jumped to a whole new level.


Well, we could talk nerd and spout numbers about tickets, people, art and stuff. Or we could flash theme camps a thumbs-up for the game they brought and the next levels they jumped too. We could point to the increased flame effects and spontaneous combustions of creativity around the paddock. Or did the Effigy and Temple tip it over the edge for you, too?

But the wherefore-art-thou of Seed’s success was found in the spaces between. It was felt in the synaptic energy that lept from person to person and across the circuitry of our community, emerging in stories like these. 

It continues to pulse through a plethora of post-Seed events great and small, from the micro-community love-ins of theme camps and camp mates to organised picnics, beach parties, bar nights and Decompressions in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide. 

Soooooo long and thanks for all the fish


Awh, we love you too, Rangers. Pic by Andy Flint

For the Team Leads, it has been an epic year too. We have all pushed ourselves as organisers and people, expanding our reserves, resolve and comfort zones to meet team, community and personal challenges; to weather and learn from community criticism; and to give more of ourselves than we ever thought possible.

For those of us who have been involved from the beginning of Seed, we’ve experienced a particular blend of pleasure, pain and pride in witnessing the evolution of this year’s Revolution. It has been a long birth of collective and accumulative efforts to create and hold a space where our Seedling event and community can grow.

It’s a collective effort that includes you too, with many of us bound together on a six-year journey for this thing we share, care and squabble over; that we opine and obsess over; fight for and can’t wait for.

And so we say thank you.

Thank you to every single person who has built, brought, created, cleaned, cared, designed, dreamed, filmed, gifted, greeted, performed, played, photographed, posted, published, rangered, shared, talked, worked, wrangled, written and more. Whether it was this year or last year or the year before that. Thank you.

Next Seed steps

So now the lovefest is over, what does the rest of the year hold for Burning Seed?


Info, info, info. Pic by Nigel Dobson-Keeffee

Next on the agenda: MOOP map. Our crack team of MOOP troupers spent days scouring the Paddock after the event finished, recording information about where and how much MOOP (Matter Out of Place) was left behind and who was responsible. All this information goes on to a colour-coded MOOP map, which will be released soon.

This year, the map will be an interactive web-based Google map. You will be able to zoom in and out; expand speech bubbles to read more detailed info about theme camps, art works, public camping, and infrastructure areas; and look at related photos and videos.

Meanwhile, all the Team Leads are slaving over their own AfterBurn reports in time for the Summit at the end of this month. You can find out more about AfterBurns and the summit here

You also have your own homework to do, with the census running until November 14 and voting for next year’s theme ready to rock next week – keep your eyes peeled on the website.

And by the time Summit is done and dusted, it’ll be time to launch the next Seed season all over again with the release of next year’s theme and dates, and the launch of Community Design Labs

Numbers numbers numbers


We love a self-reliant newbie. Pic by Andy Flint

Still want to talk nerd? Here are some figures for this year:

  • Adult tickets sold: 3342
  • Kids tickets sold: 232
  • Theme camps: 47
  • Artworks: 42
  • Days on site: 38
  • People who signed up as Community Crew: 298

And, finally, a confession, of sorts.

The ticketing quiz

There has been much talk about newbie numbers following the ticketing quiz we introduced this year, with a 75% figure floating around social media.

Unfortunately, we missed the opportunity to really understand how many fresh-flesh Burgins we had this year. In the quiz we asked whether people had previously been to Burning Seed, rather than asking whether they had been to a Burn – a much better question to ask.

According to the quiz, 1667 had never been to Burning Seed, while 754 had been to Burning Seed. People buy multiple tickets and only the purchaser takes the quiz, so there are 921 people for whom we just don’t know… *scratches head*.

With a large number of people having been to other Burns but enjoying their first Burning Seed, the Burner to Burgin ratio is likely to be closer to 1.5 to 1 or 1 to 1.

Next year, folks: bigger, brighter and more Burgin than ever before. And better stats. In the meantime, get amongst it. Burning Seed is not just a once-a-year event but a year-round community.



Summit: Team Leads rock ‘n review

Another Seed season is drawing to a close as Team Leads slave over their team AfterBurn reports and prepare to gather on 27/28 November to go over the good, the bad, the ugly of this year’s event.

The Summit is an annual two-day meeting where Team Leads, 2ICs and project leads gather to review what worked and what didn’t work at the recent Burning Seed and to discuss solutions for the following year. It is also the chance to address some of the key issues raised by the community via the census. Sydney will host this year’s Summit.

Each team AfterBurn report will also be available on our website, alongside the Burning Seed AfterBurn report. This publication summarises each team’s successes, problems and solutions, and gives the community an overview of the event and its organisation. Its publication is part of our commitment as an official regional Burn.

You can check out last year’s Burning Seed and team AfterBurn reports here.