Brian Jones by Bradley Ogden

Where do you even start with Brian? We met him through a chain of people: Some of the early organisation knew a guy by the name of Terry, who rented space at the old Tetris Studios (Now Rubix), where Tom (Brian’s son) also had a studio. Contact was made and Brian agreed to meet a couple of us in Matong. ‘King’ Richard, Anthony Jackson and myself met up with Brian in early 2011, in the Forest, and it didn’t take long to realise that with-in the compact package that was Brian, lived an enormous heart, a generous soul and you could see the fire in his eyes.

Simply put, the Burning Seed community wouldn’t be where it is today, without Brian’s support, contributions and guidance. And it’s not even a stretch of the imagination to say that Seed might not have even gone ahead without him. Brian’s guidance navigated us through dealing with the local RFS Captains and helped inform us of locals concerns. It was because of Brian we had early access to fire fighting equipment and water supplies for the crew. Brian provided Seed’s first storage space - a container still lives there. 

Red Earth Ecology’s first Tree planting excursion happened on Brian’s property, where he hosted us with the grace and candour that only a man of Brian’s character could. He graciously housed Ms Hartford, the ubiquitous Bedford fire truck of Burning Seed, for the last 4 years.  The list really could go on and on and on.

One of the most enduring memories I have of Brian is seeing Brian bounce around the paddock, friends in tow, on the Saturday night of Seed 2011.  I’ll never forget that smile. We saw it a lot over the years, and thankfully after years of helping out behind the scenes, we got to see during Build this year, as he helped bring Forest Rising to fruition with Glen and the rest of the crew. Brian is a integral part of the fabric of Burning Seed, so much so that this years’ Seed won’t feel like a Seed at all for some, without seeing that ear to ear grin.


Brian Jones by Alan John

Let me tell you a story. My most vivid memory of Jonesy was an experience up at the water pipe with Brad filling up a water container for Seed in 2012. A very casual conversation over a few rollies transpired where by Brian preceded to share his experience of working in the music industry in the ‘70’s & ‘80’s. I guess he was feeling like he had meet some like minded fellows to divulge stories too.

He explained to us his reasons for wanting to leave Matong & his adventures of driving a sound system between Sydney & Melbourne on the back of a flatbed truck. At the time he tells us it was the only one of its type in Australia.

Since then I have always been astounded at the synergy of this little old festival landing itself in the Matong State Forest with this local bloke who was against us turning up to begin with who over time become one of our biggest supporters.

That day I asked Jonesy why he left that all behind & he told me it was to settle down. He had a wife & young kid who he shifted his priorities for. He ended our conversation about how for the first 18 months after returning he had an old mate keep ringing him up asking him to come back & help him run a festival & he told us how he kept saying no because he had different priorities now.

As he finished he asked Brad & I if we had ever heard of The Big Day Out.

If there is one parting gift Jonesy will always leave with me is I’ll never judge a book by its cover again.


Burning Seed 2019 – Dates are locked in!

It may still be 2018, but planning is in full swing for Burning Seed 2019. After our annual summit last weekend, we have now finalised the dates for our event - Wednesday 25th September - Tuesday 1st October.


Why is Burning Seed not on the NSW public holiday weekend?

The Burning Seed event usually falls over the NSW public holiday weekend, however our dates each year are set on advice and recommendations from the NSW Forestry Corporation.

For 2019, NSW Forestry are expecting a total fire ban after September 30th. This means that any burning of structures, needs to happen before this date. As the NSW Public Holiday for 2019 falls on Monday 7th October (almost a week later than this year), it will not work to hold the event on that weekend.

While we know that this is not ideal for some of our community, Burning Seed would not be what it is without the burning of the Effigy and Temple.

What about school holidays?

As with the public holiday, we try where possible to ensure the event falls during school holidays. However, we are limited by the NSW Forestry Corporation recommendation.

When do we need to be off site?

This year saw our first Burning Seed closing ceremony and we added an extra day for participants to be off site. This worked fairly well in 2018, however adding an extra day does not mean an extra night of parties and events!

The closing ceremony will be held at 6pm on Monday 30th September with no scheduled events or amplified music to happen after that time. This means you can use Monday evening to relax, pack, hydrate and be well prepared for your drive home. Everyone must leave the paddock by midday on Tuesday 1st October.

When can I get my hands on a ticket?

Woah there! Tickets for Burning Seed usually go on sale between April and May. All info about tickets will be released closer to that time!



The theme for Burning Seed 2019 is…

After almost 100 theme submissions and over 300 votes, the Burning Seed Theme for 2018 is..... Zoophemism submitted by Jesseca

Here's is how Zoophemism became the Burning Seed Theme for 2019 (and probably the most unusual theme we have ever had).

  • We opened our event submissions and received almost 100 - we were surprised that there were no alpaca related themes!
  • We then opened voting on all 100, and received just over 300 votes - once plenty of spam votes had been removed.
  • The top 5 themes were taken to the annual Burning Seed summit held last weekend and voted on by the Facilitators, Team Leads and Town Council.

So there you have itHow will you interpret Zoophemism for Burning Seed 2019? You could follow the description submitted by Jesseca: "Imagine a world where all euphemisms are animal related and puns are considered currency" or you can come up with your own interpretation. One thing is for sure, this Burning Seed theme is bound to lead to some very creative costumes and art pieces. 

What happens next?: Early next year we will open the Theme Design process for Zoophemism. This is where we ask the talented designers in our community to submit their design ideas which will then be used on our website, Facebook pages, Survival Guide, WWW Guide and a whole bunch of other stuff. More info on this will be coming later.



Suggest a Theme for Burning Seed 2019

With the thoughts of Ancient Future still in our recent memories, it is time to launch the theme naming process for Burning Seed 2019.

Each year, Burning Seed has a unique theme which helps guide the artwork, inspiration, theme camps, events and costumes you see on The Paddock. Sometimes the theme is abstract or conceptual as with Imagine Nation (2015), Revolution (2017) and Ancient Future (2018). At other times they are a little more specific such as with Deep Space in 2016 (aka the burn that we must not speak of) and Deeper Space in 2017.

So now it's your turn. We want to hear what you think the theme should be for Burning Seed 2019. It could be something that represents the uniqueness of the land we hold our event on or something that brings inspiration to your costumes - you are only limited by your creativity!

It should be obvious, but we will say this anyway - any themes deemed as offensive - namely sexist, racist, misogynistic, transphobic, vulgar or homophobic, will not be included in the process.

Here are the dates you need to know:

  • 29th October (today!) - theme suggestions open
  • 11th November - theme suggestions close
  • 12th November - shortlist will be released with an online poll you to vote on your favourites
  • 22nd November - poll closes

The top 5 theme suggestions based on your votes will then be discussed and voted on at the Burning Seed Summit on 24th November, and the theme will be picked for 2019! We will officially announce the theme shortly afterwards!

So what are you waiting for? To suggest your theme - click here! For some inspiration, check out the images below for previous Burning Seed themes.

Burn Bright )'(


Burning Seed and the Police

The police presence on the way into Burning Seed in 2017 took many people by surprise. Seed has grown over the 7 years at Matong State Forest from fewer than 500 people attending in 2011 to well over 3500 tickets sold last year. The reality of the size of our event in the current political climate, especially in NSW, is that we are now on the radar of many government agencies.

The Burning Seed organisers, in particular the Engine Room and Site Safety Facilitators, are responsible for building and maintaining relationships with our external stakeholders including Forestry Corporation of NSW, NSW Ambulance, NSW Health, and of course NSW Police. The very future of our event relies on the support of these groups, along with the local community.

Last year there was a very obvious increase in police operations, especially on the way into the event. We fully understand that this caused distress for some members of our community. What was disappointing to see was the reaction of certain participants to the police when they were onsite during the event. In particular the damage caused to a police vehicle, likely by a lone individual, had the potential to jeopardise the future of Burning Seed.  We cannot stress strongly enough that any similar actions this year will not be tolerated. Any Burning Seed attendee who causes damage to property will not only face potential criminal charges but will also be banned from the event for life. We will not let a small group of individuals destroy what so many people have created and thousands enjoy.

One of our principles is that of Civic Responsibility. The responsibility of ensuring our community is safe rests with not only every participant, but also with the police. If any of you have taken the time to chat with a police officer at Seed you will realise they enjoy attending our event much more than other, more commercial, gatherings. They see the joy in what we are doing for each other, and hopefully they take a small part of that with them.

There will be a police presence on the way into Burning Seed this year. If you are stopped by the police then be polite. Make sure you understand your rights. If you want to get angry with the system then look at the politicians, they set the rules. There will be roadside alcohol and drug testing on the way out. Ensure that if you are driving you are sufficiently rested (we’ve even added an extra day to help with this). Don’t drink and drive. Don’t take drugs and drive. Don’t speed.

Finally, when you are on the paddock and see a police officer this year, go and say hi. It absolutely helps Burning Seed continue to grow and flourish. You might enjoy it too.




Utility Kinetic Insect crawling onto a paddock near you

Hold on to your britches, and strap on your cups because Burning Seed is just around the corner. Here at the ARTery we couldn’t be more excited about this years outstanding art collection. One amazing creation is the Utility Kinetic Insect, manifested by the massive communal effort of the Melbourne Make Mob, lead by Callan Morgan. We caught up with Callan to learn more about this outstanding piece.

The Utility Kinetic Insect, or UKI for short, is part art installation, part mobile DJ stage, and part robotic insect. The entire sculpture has been mounted onto a 4-wheel drive frame, allowing its mutant form to move around the paddock. UKI creates a micro environment of immediacy and participation as she slowly crawls along leading a procession of dancing fans moths.

Humans swarm to its hypnotic lights


This interactive piece is a combination of art and technology. Mechanic meets organic in the robotic exoskeleton. The kinetic legs and wings move independently, powered by electric actuators. UKI’s wings have been fitted with stunning LED arrays and the lighting is synchronised to the dynamic sound system within the body.

UKI was inspired by the resilient biological life in the harsh Australian outback.

Callan has a background in circus; including building props and rigging events. He assisted with a few large burner art pieces before deciding to start his own collaboration: The Make Mob, a collection of artists, designers, and technical experts who radically fuse art and technology. They started in 2016 with UKI being the first collaborative project.


UKI is a love-child born of passion, purpose, perseverance, and giving it a red hot go. Building and touring this art piece has taught the group a plethora of new skills which they are keen to apply to future creations. We hear that these may be botanical in nature, and include solar panelling!


Callan and his team were originally awarded an Art Grant for UKI back in 2016. Unfortunately for everyone that was a soggier year than most! But the team were not deterred. They pushed ahead with making UKI and took her to Burning Man in 2017. UKI has also scuttled her way into the Oregon Global Eclipse Festival (2017), White Night celebrations in Melbourne and Ballarat (2018), and even across to Tassie for a steampunk convention (2018). We are thrilled to finally meet UKI at Seed this year.


UKI Collaborators:

  • Callan Morgan – Project Lead / Lead creative
  • Benjamin Coppel – Lighting Lead
  • Justin Maynard & Fin liam Ominal – Lighting
  • Chris Mock – Electronics
  • Ravi Bessabava – Software
  • Jim Moynihan & Gareth Burnell – Sound


The Make Mob strive to produce original and collaborative works that benefit communities and the environment. You can check out more on their Facebook page.

Interested in Applying for Art Grants or Registering your Art? Check out all the details here.


Calling All Centre Camp Guardians

Won’t you help us create the most magical space?

Where burnfolk can gather in joyful embrace?

Where all beings are welcomed with learning and song,

A communal bliss-playground where all can belong?

The Burn’s beating heart, with enchantments astounding

With love flowing freely and laughter resounding

Could YOU help us actualise this divine dream

As a member of the Centre Camp Guardian team?

Centre Camp is a central space for the Burner community to gather and connect. Its welcoming magic takes place under a large stretch tent, and this year it will come alive with fun and uplifting activities, such as workshops, community events, and open mic nights.  Here, everyone is invited to share and receive their gifts, or simply rest weary bodies in preparation for future adventures.

As Centre Camp Guardian, you get to be a part of this magic.  You will help ensure all events run smoothly, and play a part in creating memories and experiences for all burners to enjoy.  You will be an active participant in making Centre Camp into a vibrant and inclusive community space, and in turn, magical memories of your own are guaranteed.*

As a Centre Camp Guardian, you are open, friendly and happy to engage with other burners.  A knowledge and understanding of the 10 principles is highly desirable, as well as a willingness to live them, model them and share them with others.

Another way you can contribute to Centre Camp is to bring your own personal gifts to the space.  We are still looking for people to run workshops, talks, yoga, discussion forums, dance offs, tea parties or any other kind of event or activity.  You are only limited by your own imagination. The space holds up to 100 people, and we can provide you with a sound system and a projector!

To join the team and contribute your own fairy dust to this hub of communal wonder, head over to http://burningseed.com/centre-camp/  and complete the form.  We look forward to welcoming you!




The ARTery needs YOU!

“There is a yet unnamed art movement that may prove to be of some significance, and Burning Man is close to its centre. It often manifests itself as circus, ritual, and spectacle. It is a movement away from a dialogue between an individual artist and a sophisticated audience, and towards collaboration amongst a big, wild, free and diverse community. It is a rejection of spoon-fed corporate culture and an affirmation of the homemade, the idiosyncratic, the personal. It is profoundly democratic. It is radically inclusive, it is a difficult challenge and it is beckoning.” Larnie Fox, 1997

There is no doubt art is fundamental to the Burning Seed experience, and in order to have art, we need an ARTery department.  The ARTery promotes community and art, chooses and places art at Seed, and assists artists through the process of creating their visions.

** The ARTery requires a Team Lead / 2 Co-Team Leads **

Are you the leader we need to take the reins of this essential department?

If so, you’ll work closely with the current team lead at the 2018 Burning Seed, and receive all the training, support and mentoring you need to assist you in this role.  As the Team Lead you will oversee operations, staff and all art programs including the Art Grant Selection Committee. You’ll be responsible for managing budgets and ensuring major tasks are completed.  This is a year-round role and will require an ongoing passionate commitment, and you will be well supported by a large team of dedicated people and the Curation, Arts and Culture Facilitators/Leadership Team.

To read the detailed position description, click here Ideally the selected applicant can meet and work with the team at Seed this year in an internship role, working closely with the current lead Stephanie to close out the year and attend the Summit at the end of November. If you have any questions, get in touch with Steph at artery@burningseed.com.

If you want to be involved in ARTery but are not positioned to lead it right now, we have a whole lot of roles that need filling!

On Site

  • Artist Support Services (ASS) Crew who can be onsite pre-event, you will work closely with the artists and DPI, details here. All shifts are pre-event Sunday-Tuesday. 
  • Concierge Crew who help run the ARTery department on site, with a focus on artist check-in, placement and registration, details here (limited positions available)

Year Round (starting after Seed)

  • Artist Liaison/2IC to assist ARTery team leads, involved with the Art Grant Selection Committee as both a member and an advisor. Role description here. Position can start just after Seed if mentoring is required/desired otherwise role to commence in December to prepare for 2019 grant cycle.
  • ARTery Finance Lead to interface between ARTery and finance to ensure grants are paid and documented, position description here, position to be filled by February 2019.

If any of this sounds like you, hop over to http://burningseed.com/participate/communitycrew/ and get your application in!

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso

All photos by Nigel Dobson-Keefe taken at Burning Seed 2017, Matong State Forest NSW
Art (L-R) Rocket Clock by Everyday People, The Reeds by Emrah Baki Ulas, The Bone Tree by Chelsea Brown-Tremain, and Hive Mind by Nigel Dobson-Keefe,


Future of Seed: Community Consultation Report


In case you hadn’t heard, we have spent the last year discussing a new legal structure to run Burning Seed. This has included lots of conversations about what is most important to you for this new entity. The restructure committee has now finished its work (well, this part of its work anyway), and has produced a report discussing all that stuff.

So here it is folks – the final report, jam packed with your views and opinions.


The report includes all of the things that happened over the last 14 months – what we did, what we heard, what happens from here. It also includes all the data, our findings, and analysis. Also, look how pretty it is (thanks Vanessa)!

The Restructure Committee has made 11 (really great) recommendations (well, we think they’re great). These are about what entity is best, what will be in the entity’s constitution, membership, and how to facilitate these conversations in the future..

We gave the report to the Red Earth City directors for response on 12 August 2018.

From here, the Restructure Committee will begin to draft a new constitution for the entity, and will work on other related documents (these are outlined in more detail in the report). We will also be running a Q&A session at Seed. This will happen at 3pm on Saturday at Centre Camp.

We will also be sending out a draft version of the new entity’s constitution for comment in the next few months.If you want to stay in the loop please sign up to our email list on our info page (scroll down for sign up).

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please email futureofseed@burningseed.com.

This report is the outcome of the countless hours put in by volunteers across the Burning Seed community. The Burning Seed Restructure committee would like to give great thanks to all contributors to the community engagement process. You’ve put us in a really great position to build this new entity thing.