In Memory of Brian Jones

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Brian Jones (Jonesy) - a beloved member of our community. Please read on for some context on who this great man was.

You'll see hyperlinks throughout this blog which you can click on to read testimonials and anecdotes about Brian, which have been written by a number of members of the community who were close with him.

Brian was the third generation of his family to farm the land around Matong. He new the district intimately, and was deeply knowledgeable about it’s social, industrial and ecological history. He grew up in a close knit community that resisted the mechanisation of farming, maintaining literal horsepower until the 1980’s and coming together to help harvest and build haystacks by hand. 

One of the things that Brian loved about Burning was reconnecting to the energy of his childhood. To the joy and exponential possibility of focused collective action.

As a young man Brian left the farm for a time and pursued his love of music, managing and recording bands such as The Sunnyboys and getting involved in putting on parties. Brian was often seen guitar in hand, encouraging others to join in the singing.

Whilst the isolation of rural communities can foster eccentricity, there aren’t so many opportunities to let your freak flag fly. To most folk, Brian looked like your regular farmer. But his straight exterior belied a radical, progressive thinker. A dreamer with the practical acumen to turn thought into physical reality.

Jonesy loved to let his hair down and was energised by the fresh social opportunities that Seed dropped on his doorstep. He was a great host and relished the opportunity to extend his hospitality. He was a skilled, thoughtful conversationalist and a deep listener. He opened his home and land to the Burning Seed community, welcoming visitors for a night or to work alongside him for weeks. ‘Cactus’ has been a home base for Seed from the very beginning.

Brian has been there from the very beginning. One of the first locals to dip their toe in the Kool Aid dam. It wasn’t just the physical support that he gave that was so valuable to us in getting Seed set up and running, although that was immense and he was a bloody hard worker. It was his deep social connections within the district. In conversation with neighbours, at the local pub or down the Main street, Brian always presented Burning Seed as a positive and desirable addition to the local community. He championed the creative potential of the event and tempered rumour with his own experience and an invitation to ‘come and check it out for yourself’. Jonesy’s efforts to normalise and integrate our presence in the community smoothed the way for many productive friendships and partnerships and helped us to understand issues form a local perspective. Here’s Brian at this year’s Seed, talking us up yet again, for local news outlets.

Brian felt deeply connected to the natural world. The seasonal rhythms of the farms and the native ecosystems that fringe them. He was an avid bird watcher and passionate environmentalist, often stopping mid-work to talk about the cycles we were witnessing around us.

Brian generously offered his land as a site for Red Earth Ecology’s biodiversity plantings and was involved in every project over the years - donating watering trucks, preparing sites, clearing weeds and providing an unwavering enthusiasm which kept morale high.

In late 2014 Brian fell ill with Guillain-Barre syndrome, which devastated his body and he had to relearn how to walk. He moved steadily towards regaining health but Jonesy never recovered 100% of his strength and stamina and the process of recovery led him to points of despair and deep depression. He emerged from this time having made some decisions about changes that he wanted to make in his lifestyle and priorities. He significantly reduced his workload and refocused on finding his way back to a place of creative fire and optimism.

2018 was a breakthrough year for Jonesy at Seed. The year that the work became play and he joined the Forest Rising crew to co-create the Friday night Burn. It was such a joy to see Brian in his element, allowing his Seed family to fully embrace him. He was so happy, satisfied and proud of what we had achieved together at Red Earth City.

Jonesy, we used to laugh at the Burner joke “Seed was better last year” and with your loss the words have never felt so poignant. Burning Seed won’t be the same. Then I think about the solid foundation that you helped to lay for Seed. The practical skills that you passed on via your demonstration to DPI and the event’s build culture. The positive influence you’ve had on those who knew your warm, frank openness, humility and adventurous spirit. I know we’ll be seeing you round the paddock for many years to come.

by Jo Roberts



Brian at his farm, 'Cactus'


Brian chilling atop his art car at Seed 2018


At a Red Earth Ecology weekend, monitoring a cold Burn of the paddock, which is an Indigenous land management technique.


Brian Jones by Forest Rising Build Crew

Leon Cameron

My first time meeting Jonesey was not at this burn but at a previous one sitting on top of the container and I was impressed completely at how thrilled he was looking out over Burning Seed. Here was a Local Bloke lounging above a huge party, drinking his Coopers and chatting away about motorbikes and grinning from ear to ear.

This year Glenn and Aidan were having so much fun at Brian’s place it was hard to get them on site. Once I heard about all the fun out at the farm, collecting the wood, and watching Brian in action, I was very keen to get out there.

On the first day visiting Brian’s we were gathering and loading timbers and it was very exciting to see Brian a man of action, going to it. He was just doing a days work but he was excited to be involved, in the Brian way. Driving the Hino truck was fun for me to, and an enduring memory of the build. Those first days of the build and seeing the timber still standing in the forest, selecting trees, Brian dropping them, and imagining how we can work with the gnarly logs were great times.

The Build

Brian like many farmers is a doer. And there were few tasks that he didn’t hold the skills to perform. Brian seemed continually impressed by our crew, who put up their hand to learn a new skill or simply dived in and did one. This was Brian the Doer’s acknowledgement. He was happy to relinquish a task to you, watch you do it, suggest a way that might be easier on his tools, perhaps tell you at the end how it could have been done a lot more easily. Brian was one of our crews’ main motivators. More than once late in the day when we were tired and the end of light was upon us it would be remarked that Brian would be coming out early in the morning, with a particular tool, truck, skill, or wood and that such-and-such would need to be done so that he could get to work. We couldn’t have Brian on site and not be ready. Brian came into our crew, thanks to Glenn, pushing him to exercise his confidence. Initially somewhat shy and wondering how his role of wood gatherer would be extended. He steadily grew out of this and was a fixture on site, a trusted machine operator, eventually moved his swag into the stockade, and began to play. He gelled with our build crew and was visibly brimming with pride at the techniques he imparted and at the entire vision of Glenn’s coming to fruition.





On Site

Brian really appreciated the company and the camaraderie of the Burning Seed crew. He was always very appreciative of staying for a meal and it seemed he enjoyed the company and the fire barrel society as much as his tucker. And he really enjoyed that. Brian was never holding court around the fire or gregarious. Instead he would, if you sat with him, tell you an interesting story or listen to yours and gauge quietly – rolling cigarettes, a paper dangling on his lip, drink a Coopers green, or two. Brian knew many of the personalities and characters from the crew and he had an enormous respect for anyone involved in Burning Seed.

Brian’s skill collecting nature was evidenced when – and sadly this did not happen – he asked if he could do some work in the crew kitchen and perhaps learn some recipes.

On the afternoon of the Forest Rising burn night, at the fire safety meeting Brian had us chuckling. Before the meeting began we went around the circle of crew and various officials to introduce ourselves, and our role. Brian had always been simply called Brian, by us. But to his friends and associates he was Jonesy. He stated his name and role. Jonesy; Local Bloke. This was typical Brian understatement but in fact genius as his role as Local Bloke was not actually down playing his immense involvement in our burn and the event in general, over years, but actual the most succinct way to encapsulate his many contributions.

At any rate, we did not start calling him Jonesy once we knew his nickname. He was from there on Local Bloke.

Burning Brian

Whether it was sharing a coffee early or a knock-off Coopers, driving around in the Kubota Sofa Art Car there are many memories from the 2018 Burn of Burning Brian – the man who stuck flowers on his cowboy hat, painted his face and fully burnt.

Brian went to a local horse show on the Saturday afternoon of the big burn night, because he wanted to and there was a chance to see a friend he hadn’t seen in a while. In the end he got back in time but he wasn’t fussed. That impressed me about Brian, he was very much himself only. He could happily leave the burn and go be a local bloke. Dropping in and out, through the back roads of the forest he knew so well. Bringing his elderly mother out to “show her the fuss” or chaperone Channel 7 news around like an excited kid.

Finding Jonesy and a bunch of his local blokes out at Sunset Island, parked in by dancers and having a blast on the roof. Going for an early morning mission in the Art Car to find and rescue Zeller’s art car, fashioning a steering arm patch with fence wire. Driving into the exclusion zone on Effigy burn night. Finding Brian napping on the sofa of the Art Car above the paddock, in the middle of the party.

Seeing Brian enjoying himself at the crew soiree on the Monday. Those are just a small handful of great memories of Burning Brian in his backyard at Matong. Now with Brian’s passing hopefully we can remember more of his great contribution to the community, his and ours, and be inspired to play and do the way he did. There will be stories!

Brian once told us at work, in explanation of how he became a burner that he was “just an old tripper”, no doubt, but he was much more, of course. One night when I asked him to elaborate on how he and Seed met, he told of a chance meeting with Brad, years before when Brad was slashing the site on a very hot day. A meeting that sparked Brian the Burner and not a bushfire thankfully.


I will miss Brian but am thankful for my brief meeting with him. Well done and thank you Glenn, for having the vision as usual, to see the playfulness and local knowledge of Brian and encourage him to join us even more fully at Burning Seed.

One of Brian’s greatly repeated quotes was, “Must be about 4:20 hey?”

Yeah nah, yeah, Local Bloke.





Emi Day

Meeting Brain was like meeting an old friend again from another lifetime. As we dropped in I would see these sideways glances of surprise that I was on the same page as him, I reveled in these moments of recognition. I think of him now and I remember the way his huge smile was always only ever a feathers breath away. He gave those things out so generously and it was illuminating, he would shine and so would anyone that saw it. I probed him for his stories, again he would generously oblige. Stories of the land, of the people, of his memories, of his own personal story.

I remember one day where it was just he and I at his place, just before Seed was to begin. We were scouring his wardrobe for anything bright, in amongst his plaid shirts and denim jeans he pulls out this pop-top top hat! Have you got your swag? Have you got some warm clothes? Don't forget your water bottle! I could feel his appreciation for the friendship that was so easy to offer him. Haha, oh, and pulling mine and Jazz's undies off the line while he did the same. It was a lovely companionship that I cherished even in the moment and especially now. And conversations with him on his verandah, where he let me probe a little deeper into the stories and tentatively into his heart. What a soft and simple place that was. His love for his kids and his pride in them, I could feel the meaning that gave him. I loved working with Brian and the opportunity for friendship with him. I'm grateful, humbled and devastated for the short friendship. We both shared a love of the Cypress pine country, he shared with me the sensation of coming home he would get when he saw the pines again after being away. For me his spirit lives in those trees and I know when I'm in their company, I will also be in his. Thanks for being Brian.


Aidan Kempster

Sharing space with Brian this year was awesome. His skills, patience, sense of humour, strength and humility were appreciated by everyone and helped make the whole experience magical. I know it meant a lot to him to be one of us; while he has been an important part of the family of Burning Seed for years, being on a build crew, sharing dinner with us most nights in the stockade,  was a new and rewarding experience both for him and our family at large.


Brian’s role in Forest Rising was irreplaceable. Almost all of the timber we used was sourced from his properties in Matong, he cut them down with his chainsaw, lifted them onto his truck with his telehandler and drove said truck to Red Earth City where he deposited them onto our site using the site telehandler. This happened because Brian shared Glenn’s vision of implementing the practice of sustainable timber sourcing at Burning Seed. In short, we build beautiful structures that don’t have to last the test of time and therefore do not need to divert new or fresh structural grade timber from use in homes and other buildings. Instead, we selectively cut down dead standing trees without hollows on degraded farmland, trees that constituted a risk of increased fire intensity in the event of a wildfire.



The first few days of our build were spent at Brian’s place collecting this timber where we also made a hilarious and informative video. One of the days we were staying at his place turned out to be his birthday, and we went down to The Grongy Pub together to eat with the rest of the Seed crew, a Friday tradition and a meeting point between our bohemian culture and life on the Riverina. Glenn and I somewhat serendipitously invited Brian to be an ongoing part of our build crew as it felt like the right thing to do, and it was. Up until that point timber sourcing was all he had signed up for. What followed is history at this point, but at the time was pure magic. Brian became an inseparable part of the crew and I know I am and daresay we are all better people for it.

I’ll never forget Brian for a lot of reasons. He shared stories and knowledge gained through his lifetime freely and openly, and taught me a lot about the local area.. It contributed strongly to my sense of place, and helped bridge the connection to the land we were working on. He was deeply concerned about the drought and the impact it was having on the livelihood of locals. He just about lost his shit when it rained one night Glenn and I were staying at his house. His phone kept ringing off the hook and it spoke volumes that the first thing he would say is “I’ve had 26 mil here” followed by something along the lines of “it’s fucking fantastic, I’m so happy”.

During our time at his property we noticed an art piece Brian built, a musical themed fire barrel on wheels, and much like with his art car project, gave him the tiniest push of support and confidence to bring these gifts of his imagination into our community. The fire barrel is beautifully made and was all of the rage at the gate party. The art car definitely turned heads, and remains one of my favourite contributions to the paddock. I missed the incident I am about to describe, but to give you an impression of the kind of burner Brian was, he tried his hardest to drive the thing into the Effigy Exclusion Zone on burn night so that he could have the best view with his companions. He was an unstoppable force of nature, a tornado of creativity and fun set free on the paddock. It was a pleasure and a blessing to see him in action. He will be sorely missed, he was definitely in his prime on the paddock. He will be celebrated in style.

He taught me so much about the nature of art and hard work, I was excited to see what came next. His friendship and community minded attitude helped open the door for a vast number of other locals to come in and be a part of our family, a legacy which will forever enrich the community. I am still excited to see what comes next, I know his legacy in our community will be honoured for a long, long time.


Jazzy Fizz

Rest in peace, Brian!

Brian was a local resident who supported the Burning Seed event for years with all his heart, from lending his time, knowledge and machinery to build burn structures, to appearing on the mainstream news to sing the praises of the counter culture, to letting us wash our socks and undies at his place, to partying hard on the paddock in his art car.

My favourite quote from Brian is; "are ya happy?" …Right before executing some high consequence carpentry manoeuvre on the tree sculpture.

The Australian burner community owes him a lot. We'll miss your humour and gruff warmth. Much love!


Pamela Johnson

Brian was a local legend, mentor to many and heart of the community. He looked up to his parents, and had the highest admiration for his children. He had so much desire and drive to  get amongst and be apart of the Burning Seed community and spirit.

This is one of my many funny moments of Brian, which i think says a lot about who he is. Brian had a friend accompany him at seed In the hilarious, infamous art car, one night they immersed themselves in the sunset at Sunset (Theme camp), then his friend suddenly disappeared. Brian’s friend being new to seed and festivals, Brian felt he couldn’t leave sunset without this friend. He sat there all evening on that art car. Burners knowing of the disappearing act, kept him company, bringing him food and beers. He slept on the art car awaiting his friend's return. The sun raises the next day, he climbs down and drives to DPI (crew camping) and finds that his missing friend had fallen asleep on the lower level of the art car.

His heart, loyalty and determination awaiting her safe return and she was just below him the whole night!!!! Brian smiles and laughs.

I'm going to miss him, hold and grow from all the beautiful moments we shared. Laying down ‘peacefully’ isn’t really his style, so I hope for a exciting, fun filled after life for our legend and friend Brian Jones. Sending all my love to Brian and the family, enjoy brother xx




Glenn Todd

As a process to transition our community away from burning logged native cypress, I rang up Brian and asked if he would help me source wood using an ethical approach for the Forest Rising Project. His response was simple:

"About time someone asked me this question. it really peeves me to watch us burn quality cyprus wood". Check out the YouTube video on the right!

I intuitively understood it was also about time that our community invited him to participate directly in our build process rather than just the odd jobs he had been doing (by odd, i mean core support roles). He was too proud to ask and not quite sure how to get involved in this way.

He wanted our team to come out with him to harvest the wood. This mostly meant standing around watching Brian harvest the wood. So Aidan and myself went to Brain's property before the official build dates where he welcomed us in with warm, open arms.

So we slept in his home, shared meals and worked together during the day for about a week. This was a beautiful experience getting to know the local farming nuances, Brains farm, celebrating the rain and of course getting to know Brian more deeply.

One of the great things about Brian is he is the opposite to the country stereotype. He does share his feelings. He doesn't judge people by appearances and gender was irrelevant. He is keen to hear new perspectives and discuss points of view. He has a mischievous spark and a love of play.

Although he still dresses in the country way, he rocked a pink shirt and golden vest for the Decom party. He revelled in the complements his costume attracted. I was looking forward to playing dress ups with Brian in 2019.

Inside Brian was an artist that had been suppressed by hard work. Running a farm is tough and this was his priority. He had recently reduced his workload and was brimming with creative ideas. He exhibited both an amazing fire barrel art installation and a raucous art car. He just needed a little support to get going which our team owed him and were deeply grateful to be able to support.

2018 lit a fire in Brian’s creative belly. Such a huge loss to see the creative fire light and now we all are unable to watch it burn. It would have burnt fucking brightly.

Burning seed owes a great debt to Brain with his unwavering support over many years in championing us to the local community, logistic support and in 2018 a pathway to greater sustainable burn practices.

The biggest loss of all for our community, is his spirit.







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!