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.
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
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?
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
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.