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Burning Seed Town Council Needs More Members!

Burning Seed Town Council is the organising 'Board' responsible for staging Burning Seed. Due to a member stepping down recently, there are now TWO vacancies on the Burning Seed Town Council and interested members of the community (that's YOU!) are invited to apply to join!

What's Involved?

If you're interested in helping steer Burning Seed into the future and you have experience in event or project management your talents are needed! You'll need to make a commitment to join the monthly meetings and dedicate at least a few hours each month to directing that lovely brain of yours to all things Burning Seed.  

If you'd like to get involved and want to find out more please read the Issues to consider before standing for Burning Seed Town Council document and email towncouncil@burningseed.com with your details.

What's the Background?

The BSTC reports to the Directors of Red Earth City Pty Ltd, the company that stages Burning Seed each year. Red Earth City Pty Ltd has been the legal entity behind Burning Seed since 2010. Until last year the Red Earth City Town Council oversaw Burning Seed event and supported other Burner initiatives under the banner of Burning Man Australia, all on behalf of the Red Earth City Board of Directors.

Back in December 2015, the Directors of Red Earth City Pty decided it was time to make some governance changes before important issues related to the event's sustainability and growth could be addressed. So the Red Earth City Town Council was split into two separate bodies:

1) a group to drive forward the staging of the Burning Seed event, its future growth and development; and

2) a separate group focused on developing Burner culture around Australia - (remember although Seed was the earliest Aussie Burn a few more have spawned since then including Modifyre in Queensland and Blazing Swan in Western Australia).

OK, so these two new groups that were created last year are the Burning Seed Town Council AND the Burning Man Australia Community Board. The new structure looks something like this...

Why Change?

Burning Seed is going through some major changes right now. The event's tremendous growth in numbers in recent years has given much to think about in terms of how Burning Seed moves forward on a number of counts.

What's exciting is, for the first time, Burning Seed has a Town Council that can concentrate just on the Burning Seed event. The Burning Seed Team Leads' group keeps an operational focus while the new Burning Seed Town Council has a broader focus on securing a sustainable future for the event.

In December, an interim Burning Seed Town Council was set up to get things moving with the goal 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. The positions on the current, interim Town Council include:

  • One Red Earth City (REC) Director: Phil Smart;
  • Nominees from Team Leads and the former REC Town Council: Jarred Taylor, Victoria Vickery and Neil Power;
  • Ex-officio member: Shaye Harty (Event Coordinator) 

This Town Council WILL change and is technically only temporary until they figure out the new entity for Seed in the future.

Get Involved!

Two positions are now available on the Burning Seed Town Council and they'd love to hear from those in the community who want to help achieve all these goals, and who (preferably) have time and experience in event management and development - if you'd like to get involved and want to find out more the read the Issues to consider before standing for Burning Seed Town Council document and email towncouncil@burningseed.com with your details.

Town Council

Our structure: Any artists out there wanna make this look purdy?

Town Council

Where it all began - at the Bellingen Seed in 2010

Town Council

Still welcoming you home in 2016

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In Your EARS! Red Earth Radio FM!

Those Red Earth renegades of the airwaves are back!! That's right, Red Earth Radio FM will be coming in your ears at Burning Seed: Deep Space! AND YOU CAN LISTEN TO IT LIVE RIGHT NOW!!

Some seriously intergalactic plans for RERfm broadcasts this year - including the creation of a SpacePort to house a new studio and (with any luck) a live stream via Burning Man Information Radio - taking the Paddock straight to the furthest reaches of the universe!!

Those degenerate DJs have also got more down to earth issues to deal with - like paying for a legit ACMA FM license, a new 10 meter FM transmitter and antenna, streaming costs and a secure custom built, weather proof studio space to house their ear-based gear.

Burning Seed is splashing a little cash to the tune of $1100 towards securing some much needed hardware in 2016 - this is vital infrastructure for Seed that can be used well into the future.

Pledge

Now YOU have the chance to get in on the ground floor and stake your claim for some sweet RERfm schwag!! (and you get to help this motley crew bring their peculiar face-for-radio talents to Seed...)

Help the RERfm crew cover their rears before they come in your ears. Splash some cash on their Pozible campaign before 20 July and pledge to help set up a stellar studio at Deep Space and reward yourself with a (very) limited edition RERfm T-shirt and/or hoodie!

Give as little as $10 or as much as $120 and get access to heaps of rewards and radio love! Pledged or planning to pledge? Swing by the RERfm studio at Seed for some extra special live on-air ear candy!

Crew

Wanna crew for RERfm in 2016? They need techies, DJs, talkshow hosts, weather consultants - the works! Theme Camps! Join RERfm immediately (like NOW) on the DJ roster, contact: redearthradiofm@gmail.com to receive your online DJ account and start uploading eargasms all over the Burner community

Support YOUR local radio station! Check out RERfm on Facebook or email: redearthradiofm@gmail.com

Read more about RERfm's adventures on the Paddock last year in the Afterburn Report.

 

Radio Gaga

Red Earth Radio

Hoodie Radio

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Step Forward… Temple Guardians

by Sir Andy (with some words/help from the legendary Prof. Johnny Breakwell)

Do you have the quiet strength to be a Temple Guardian at Burning Seed?

Some might say the Temple is the soul of a Burn - a place for quiet reflection, a place to be a human, to find and lose your emotions, to connect with yourself and with others whether friends or enemies, strangers or estranged. I reckon it’s all these things and more. That’s just my 2 cents. 

The Burning Seed Temple’s cool and quiet significance on the Paddock is matched only by the heat and passion of the Effigy - in this year of Deep Space they are the Moon and Sun of our little forest Burniverse. 

Whether you agree with that or not, one thing on which we might collectively nod is that the Temple is a turning point - both literally (it Burns on the last night of Seed - sob!) and figuratively... that is, we all know there’s heaps of meaning attached to the Temple for us and for those around us, it just depends where you are on that spectrum.

templeguardian01

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Evolution of the Temple

Now, turning points are pretty much Standard Operating Procedure at Burning Seed - for individual participants and for the event itself. Every year we all learn something new, we evolve right? 2015 was no exception and one of the most significant turning points came with our understanding that we all gotta do more for the Burning Sed Temple to:

  1. communicate and educate about the Temple’s significance and meaning;
  2. protect the space and the people who attend it.

Quiet and Introspective

The emphasis and whole intent of the Seed Temple has always been quiet and introspective - as distinct from the focus of pretty much everything else at Seed which is tipped towards self expression.

However in 2015 there was a noticeable change in atmosphere around the Temple and the Temple Burn in particular, and some incidents (graffiti on the structure, noise during the Burn) leading to valuable community discussion between newer and veteran burners about what exactly the Temple means to us as a Seed community.

As Australians we’re no strangers to the concept of holding and sharing our silence for a moment with a community. It’s a rare Aussie who hasn't experienced at least one moment of moving silence during an Anzac service for example. We know about the power of context and ritual.

Temple Guardians - Step FORWARD!

Some of you veteran Burners out there will be aware of the Temple Guardians of Black Rock City at the Big Burn in Nevada - this crew has been in place since 2002 and they do an awesome job of watching over the structure, listening to and engaging with those who visit, and contributing broadly to helping everyone evolve their interaction with this sacred space.

So in the grand tradition of this mighty DO-OCRACY that we call Burning Seed we’re looking to YOU to create a new volunteer crew dedicated to holding the space of the Temple, protecting the structure and those who visit.

It’s intended that the Burning Seed Temple Guardians will work on shifts to support Temple visits, protect artefacts and the space and educate about its significance. They won’t be there to make or enforce rules; rather to watch quietly and act appropriately and skillfully when necessary to protect the safety and sacred space of the Temple and those in and around it.

At Black Rock City they talk in terms of “a philosophy that calls for using small pushes from a great distance. Sometimes your look, your soft words, or even just your presence is all that is required to hold the sacred space of the Temple. When we do interact with participants, we do so with love and respect. We carry the sacred space of the Temple into every interaction, using our connection with the grounded, serene space to guide and shape our interactions with participants.”

 

OK I’m so IN - what next?

If this sounds like you then please support the community vision for an awesome Temple Guardian crew at Burning Seed in 2016. We’re looking for a Temple Guardian Team Lead as part of the Civic Services crew. The Team Lead will be responsible for building and developing the crew ahead of the event, working with Civic Services and with the Crew Wranglers.

If you can spare a couple of hours a week pre-Seed and a few more hours a day on-site you’ll be working on key projects including recruitment, developing crew training and guidelines, and engagement with other teams including Rangers and the Fire Art Response Team (FART).

If you can’t take on the Team Lead role but you are keen on doing a shift or two on-site as a Temple Guardian that’s equally AMAZING! Register your interest at the Community Crew page, go visit and engage with the Temple Guardians’ Facebook Page, or check out this awesome video about the Temple Guardians at BRC for some inspiration.

For more on the history of the Temple check out the Evolution of the Burning Seed Temple.

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The Evolution of the Temple

by SirANDY

Less than two weeks to go until the deadline for submissions for concept designs for the 2016 Burning Seed Temple and we are HELLA excited to see what you folks come up with!

Since the earliest days of Seed we’ve had some truly amazing Temple Burns - from Rob and Kursty’s green bamboo at the original Bellingen Seed (2010) and then at Matong with Myke McQuaid’s Temple of Time (2012) and Spirit Temple (2013), Elba Garcia-Clark’s Labyrinth (2014) and Brad Ogden’s Tower of Babel (2015).

Rusty, Seed’s beloved Temple and Effigy co-ordinator, has supported burning and construction of Seed's Temple and Effigy structures from the beginning and Rusty also plays a key role in the ARTery and in the new Fire Art Response Team (FART).

The first year in Bellingen we knew the green bamboo was going to be hard to burn, and the large embers tend to fly quite a distance," says Rusty. "That’s not such a big deal with a small group of people but we saw the same thing happen with last year’s Effigy - so bamboo is now banned for all the big burns at Seed,” he says.

Fresh challenges

Every year, each designer/builder/artist/architect has had new and fresh challenges to face - from finding the inspiration for their design, to budgeting, finding enough crew, accessing/learning the skills to create the structure, dealing with the elements during the build and ensuring a safe and successful - and awe inspiring! - Burn that Leaves-No-Trace.

Myke McQuaid says in the early days at Matong, with the budgets very tight, the size and scale of the Temple Burn was more modest than we can expect now.

I did the temple in 2012 and 2013," says Myke. "Both years the wood came from a local neighbor near Matong and was made from cyprus. The first year was roughly 76 sticks of wood of various sizes and a few sheets of plywood for gussets.

My strategy was always 4 builders in 4 days or it's probably too large a project. That was early days though and the budget was tiny so it fit. Nowadays you need lots more crew and lots more time.

Whatever the budget, make sure you’re clear upfront on the deal with the organisers - in terms of supply of power/fuel/lights/food/security/site prep/ what happens during the burn and after. Also expect 50% of your volunteers to go AWOL!

 

temple03

temple03

 Myke's 2012 'Temple of Time'

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Elba's 'Labyrinth' design from 2014

Budget growth

Myke was working with budgets of just under $950 in 2012 and around $1300 in 2012/13 while Brad Ogden’s Temple of Babel came in (on budget) at $15k last year. As the Temple has evolved so has the time/crew/material needed to build it.

Last year we had 6-8 crew at any given stage for prefabrication, 8-10 crew on-site (15 involved over the course of the project) and the whole thing took approximately 120 hours on build/prefab + 20 odd hours of designing,” says Brad.

In terms of wood and other materials we used 783 linear meters of 100x50, 40.8 linear meters of 150x50, a 6 metre 300x300 (that was shaped down into a 260mm hexagon)...   there was about 1500 batton screws (492 in the 6 supporting legs alone), a few fistfuls of nails and a few star pickets.

In terms of the build, pre-fabrication can take a lot of the stress of building on-site out of the equation but be careful when pre-fabbing with rough sawn timber... shrinkage is real.

Expect the unexpected

One rule of thumb that both Brad and Myke say all designers/builders need to consider…. expected the unexpected and be prepared to make compromises on site.

From the very earliest phase you need to think about how this thing will Burn,” says Brad. “For instance, in hindsight, we should have put a little more work into weakening the central post. It should have been obvious that once one of the sides was gone it would have fallen over. I expected it to stay upright a little longer than it did.

Also, no-one anticipated the amount of embers being thrown off by the thin ply skin. We normally work with thicker ply, but we had to compromise getting the laser cutting quote down to an acceptable level.

You have to think of the end at the beginning,” says Myke. “Like, how is this thing going to burn? Density is good - it allows for a good heat build up. In 2012 we had trouble getting it lit fully because it was so open but in 2013 - now that was the burn I was looking for!"

 

 

Safety Third

Safety is of course the most critical consideration for any Temple builder/burner.

In 2015 we introduced the Fire Art Response Team to tighten up our safety procedures and to facilitate smoother burning in and around the Paddock, particularly at the main Burns,” says Rusty.

I like the Burns when the crowd has to move back more because of the heat of the fire - they get to feel the power of the Burn and this only adds to the experience and to the understanding and respect for fire and what we do for a big Burn like the Temple.

Weakening - or making cuts in the timber to ensure a smooth Burn - is a very important consideration with the generally thick timber of the main support structure. You have a big safety circle with the Temple Burn for most of the day before you burn, so you can be bold with the weakening cuts and with your liquid and solid fuel loading.”

Learn from the Burn

It’s always great to learn something new,” says Myke.I’m a mechanical engineer, a veteran burner, handy with tools but in 2012 when we had 90km winds on-site and the Temple started listing a guy came over to help me and taught me a trick I hadn’t known before to stables it.”

Brad says design and build skills are important but not everything.

I’ve got basic carpentry skills, I’m self-taught on Sketch-Up, I have a rudimentary understanding of engineering/physics and some project management experience - but you don’t need to know everything - there are heaps of people involved who are ready to offer help and advice.

I will say this though - if my experience of the Temple build last year taught me anything, it's that if you turn around once, and do the Eagle rock... everything will be OK....”


Got an idea for a Temple design? - Get to it! - less than  two weeks to go!!! 

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Brad's Tower of Babel Temple design from 2015

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READ THIS! Burner Profiles are Coming to Burning Seed

BURNER PROFILES (1)OK folks - some important pre-ticket news!

  • Burner Profiles are coming to Burning Seed this month (April)….
  • 2016 tickets will go on sale next month (mid May)...
  • To buy a ticket you need a Burner Profile...
  • No Profile=No Ticket...

Go on, what's this about?

Tickets for Burning Seed sold out in 2015. We expect tickets to sell out again in 2016. We're introducing improvements to the ticketing process to help us better prepare this year, to learn more about our community and reduce the risks we saw after tickets sold out last year (scamming, scalping).

A major innovation will be the introduction of ‘Burner Profiles’.

What are Burner Profiles?

If you've been to Burning Man, AfrikaBurn, or MidBurn in Israel you'll already be familiar with Burner Profiles (follow the links to find out more about Profiles at those events). Burn events use Profiles to help the flow of information collected from participants for ticket sales and for registrations (theme camps, art, mutant vehicles, events etc.).

The Burner Profile process can also help participants, particularly those new to a Burn, better understand what they heck they are getting into. Along with basic Profile information - name, email - there’s a few simple questions aimed at getting participants to think about the 10 Principles and what they mean.

Reducing the risk of scalping and scamming.

At Burning Seed in 2016, Burner Profiles will tie you - the purchaser - to your ticket. If you don’t have a Burner Profile you cannot purchase a ticket. This makes it much harder (though unfortunately not impossible) to scalp or scam tickets.

No Profile = No Ticket.

This is really important - if you don’t have a Profile you cannot buy a ticket for Burning Seed in 2016. If you want a ticket you MUST complete a Burner Profile. While completing a Profile does not guarantee you a ticket, you will need to have one already completed to be able to purchase a ticket when they go on sale in mid May. Even if you buy a ticket later this year from someone who doesn't need theirs anymore, YOU WILL STILL NEED A BURNER PROFILE in order to USE that ticket.

What kind of info does the Profile require?

Burner Profiles require basically the same information asked for in previous years when you've bought a ticket...

scamming

Scammed: The scammers and scalpers were out in force when Seed tickets sold out last year...

  • Real name
  • Paddock name (optional)
  • Email address
  • State & country (note: we will ask for your full address when you buy a ticket but this will NOT be stored in your Burner Profile)

.... PLUS a couple of additional demographic questions similar to those we ask each year in the Census.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • How many Burning Seed events attended?
  • How many Nevada/other regional burns attended?

We will retain this information which means you only need to complete your Burner Profile ONCE (you may need to update your Profile in future years).

In addition to the Burner Profile, you'll need to complete a short questionnaire about your knowledge and understanding of the 10 Principles, how you heard about Seed and how you plan to contribute in 2016. The information you provide here will not be retained beyond 2016 but it will help us get a much better understanding this year of ticket buyers' level of engagement with Burning Seed.

What will you do with the info in the Profile?

In 2016, the information you provide in your Burner profile will be linked to your ticket - as in... you need a Profile to buy a ticket.

In FUTURE YEARS the plan is to link the Profiles to tickets AND other registrations - Art grants, Theme Camps, Events, Mutant Vehicles - as in... you'll need a Profile to buy a ticket AND apply for a grant, register an event and so on.

The information you provide in your Profile won’t be used for anything other than the uses you consent to when you complete your Profile (which will include a detailed data use and privacy policy).

You’re welcome at any stage to contact us on ticketing@burningseed.com if you have questions or concerns.

What's the timing?

So here are the key dates for your diary:

  • Mid April - Burner Profiles GO LIVE - look out for announcements in the coming days on the Burning Seed website and on Facebook. You can complete your Profile anytime, but we're expecting tickets to sell quickly in 2016... We'd strongly suggest you complete your Profile before…..
  • Mid May - when tickets will go on sale. Look out for announcements about the ticket sale date, price etc very soon.

If you haven’t already LIKED our official Facebook page go do it now to stay in touch.

Please also help us by letting your friends and frenemies know they will need to complete their Profiles before tickets go on sale to be in with a chance of securing a ticket. Can't stress this enough folks - the earlier you complete your Profile, the more prepared you’ll be.

How much are tickets?  How many tickets will be available?

We’re in the process (in April) of setting our budget for 2016 and we’re not yet in a position to finalise the ticket price until those budgets are agreed. This information will be made available over the next few weeks.

As with previous years there will be more tickets made available but there will also be a cap. Tickets for the event are capped for a range of reasons. Ideally everyone who attends Burning Seed will do their bit, but last year we had just 8% of participants give their time to Community Crew. We need more Crew to support the infrastructure to accommodate more participants. Burner Profiles will really help with early assessment of how many volunteer crew we can expect in 2016.

If you want to volunteer for Community Crew find out more about positions available.

Keep an eye on our Facebook Page and on the Burning Seed website later in April for the announcement that the Burner Profiles have gone live. You'll have a few weeks to complete your Burner Profile (it only takes a few minutes) before tickets go on sale in mid May.

If you have any questions - any questions at all - before, during or after the process of completing your Burner Profile - please email: ticketing@burningseed.com

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Seed Sanitation Needs a Number Two!

OK so once you have recovered from the lolz of that headline it’s time to get to the serious business of crewing for our ass-spanking new Department of Sanitation!

Lara, the Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s resident “Squeaky Queen” (aka Sanitation Lead and DPI Co-Lead) is seeking a Prince or Princess Poo and a loyal crew of Kennys and Kenriettas to help ensure our 80+ executive thrones around the Paddock are functional, full of water, clean and stocked with paper twice a day.

Flushed with Success

Before you hold your nose - this is actually a privileged roll (geddit!) at Seed - the real dirty business is done by the paid professionals!

As a member of Sanitation Crew you will get:

  • hot showers (WTF!)
  • 3 prepared meals a day during build and packdown (Holy Sh*t!)
  • 1 prepared meal/day + self-serve snacks and food during the event (is this a joke!!?)
  • massive kudos and thanks from EVERYONE on the Paddock for helping to deliver the best facilities ever known in a field in the middle of a forest (OK where do I sign up!!)

To live like a KING or QUEEN at Seed all you need to do is twice a day make sure the toilets are clean by removing the empty toilet rolls and random other MOOP, giving the real messy ones a run over, replacing the toilet rolls and restocking the hand sanitiser. POO EASY!!

The Wee Hours

The team needs enough Crew to cover the period 26 September to 4 October, for 2-4 shifts of around 2-3 hours at sunrise and before sunset during the event.

So by gifting a minimum 4 hours of your time to the Cistern Chapels of Burning Seed YOU GET THE KEY TO THE EXECUTIVE WASHROOM!

If you are hot for the trots and keen to get your hands CLEAN (did you see that bit about hot showers!!!?) then contact the Crew Wranglers before they get clogged up with applications (and they will!) - jointhecrew@burningseed.com

Are You a Number Two?

Are you Number Two material? Lara showed us last year that she knows how to take care of business... her initiative, attention to detail, and incredible hard work made 2015 the cleanest and most hygenic Burning Seed we’ve ever seen - but Lara needs an equally capable 2iC who is ready to be showered with gratitude by the community and train to be Number One in 2017.

If you're keen and think you have what it takes find out more from the crew wranglers at jointhecrew@burningseed.com haha poo crew wranglers more lolz!! (OK enough now).

Moving-a-toilet-768x576

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Bring Your Mutant Vehicle Dreams to Life!

Mint Country Club’s spectacular Green Whale (photo: Andy Flint)

by the Red Earth Department of Mutant Vehicles

We’re getting more serious about transport around Red Earth City. As our community grows we need to make sure we have the necessary infrastructure to keep our City safe. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still have some radical and creative fun doing it….. hello art cars or ‘mutant vehicles’!

Last year (2015) saw the introduction of our first licensing and registration system for art cars on the Paddock, and the establishment of the Red Earth City Department of Mutant Vehicles (REDMV).

We’re expecting more art cars in 2016 and we’re looking for participants now to work with the REDMV team to help register vehicles in advance and to crew for the team. Red Earth City is a bicycle and pedestrian-oriented city and there is no driving allowed on site once you’re through the Gate other than with a registered art car or ‘mutant vehicle’.

What is a mutant vehicle?

A Mutant Vehicle is a unique, motorized creation that shows little or no resemblance to its original form, or to any standard street vehicle. Mutant Vehicles are radically, stunningly, (usually) permanently, and safely modified from their base vehicle. Sometimes the whole vehicle is made from scratch.” – Burning Man Department of Mutant Vehicles

At Burning Seed, all powered vehicles or human powered vehicles over 250kg for use on the Paddock need to be registered and licensed with REDMV. As well as complying with registration procedures and on-site driving rules, in order to qualify for a licence vehicles for use on the Paddock need to be ‘mutated’.

Creative collaboration is at the core of the Burning Seed experience and you could do worse than to work with a crew to bring your maddest Mad Max dreams to life with a mutant vehicle. The 2016 Burning Seed theme- Deep Space – offers some obvious inspiration but a project like this deserves your most radical expression!

Spectacular mutants in 2015

The first year of REDMV saw some spectacular vehicles make it to the Paddock, including the Wonky Queenslander, the Orphanage Art Car, the CocoPocoLocomotive and Mint Country Club’s Green Whale (this latter vehicle built on-site! – how cool was that!!?) Kudos to the crews responsible for those awesome MVs. Last year was also a success in terms of zero injuries and great communication and engagement between REDMV and mutant vehicle operators, and with Rangers and other relevant crew on-site. We want to see this same outcomes in 2016 with new and revised registration information and driving rules.

Not Shonky - Just Wonky! (photo: Jorgenn Dobleene)

Not Shonky – Just Wonky! The WONKY Queenslander (photo: Jorgenn Dobleene)

Get involved with REDMV!

If you love art, if you love vehicles or if you just love humans and want to make sure they stay safe on the Paddock, REDMV needs YOU! We’re looking for a REDMV second-in-command (2iC) to work with the Department to create documentation, evaluate applications, liaise with vehicle operators and ensure the safe operation of mutant vehicles on-site. We’re also looking for specialist REDMV crew to work with us on vehicle assessments including safety inspections, licensing and managing and enforcing safe Mutant Vehicle operation during the event.

What next?

Registrations will open soon and will remain open for a few months. If you have questions at any stage email redmv@burningseed.com. If you want to get involved and find out more about the 2iC role or other REDMV crew opportunities, register your interest with the Crew Wranglers at jointhecrew@burningseed.com.

8901

Burner Journeys… The Birth of Sunset Island

by Jasper Ashton Aymer Vallance

In October 2013 I went on a spontaneous adventure to discover Burning Seed, Australia’s biggest regional Burning Man event – it turned into the adventure of a lifetime. As I stood with a small group of friends and saw my first sunset drop behind the Matong horizon, little could I imagine that two years later I would be dancing alongside 1500 Burners joyfully sharing that same view, with my best mates playing tunes in a theme camp experience WE MADE!

I’ll give you the moral of this story right up front: if you have a vision and a shared passion among friends you CAN create something really, really special.  Burning Seed provides a blank canvas for you to live your creative dream AND have a positive impact on people’s lives.  For me it’s been utterly life changing and one of my most rewarding experiences to date.

The Birth of Sunset Island

The message that led to Sunset…’Bail if it’s rubbish’ As if!!

Discovering Burning Seed

I initially knew nothing about Burning Seed. I stumbled across the Seed website researching a potential trip to Burning Man in the United States. I must have liked the Facebook page because two weeks out from the event I saw the post saying Burning Seed was happening.

So my comrade Murray and I took the plunge. I’m sure we all remember our first time driving out past Wagga Wagga towards Matong State Forest, heading into the unknown. That straight road passing the beautiful fields of yellow flowers, tunes pumping in the car with a wonderful sense of freedom and anticipation…getting close but seeing no signs of life and wondering if this Burning Seed thing actually existed?

What we discovered that first time captivated us. The spirit of gifting and openness. The absence of rules and the wonderful mix of people. And oh those sunsets!!! Pure chance saw us camping near the fence line with front row seats for that special moment at the end of the day. A time for reflection and anticipation for the night ahead. Thanks to Mother Nature, the seed for the vision that inspired Sunset Island was planted at that very moment.

Hatching the Plan

So, after a great Burn, we planned to return in 2014. Our initial plan was for a renegade sound camp so we asked Burning Seed if we could set up a sound system in our campsite.  They said “why don’t you set up a theme camp?”

I was going to wait for another a year to make sure we had enough people, enough crew to make it viable but the  prospect of actually being on the map was compelling. Our group had always loved organising parties in natural environments and I had the vision for a sunset party to enhance the experience at Seed.

My two good friends Shane and Steve (Electric Zeus) were first on board. Shane had played sunsets in Ibiza and Steve is the quintessential party host – plus Steve’s brother Martin (who could make just about anything!) was immediately into the idea of coming the next year and setting up a camp.

We voted on names but “Sunset Island” seemed kind of obvious – we were all inspired by visions of stunning sunsets you normally see from an island over the ocean. Beyond Murray and me, the team quickly grew with a wonderful mix of talents.  Zoe – a brand strategist and creative – worked with us help us understand what Sunset Island meant to us and to those that would come? From the outset it was a fantastically creative process such a joy to share this experience with friends.

Our DJ talent grew as we spread the word and, along with Captain Peacock’s (now famous) punch and our fake palm trees we created at our first fundraising party, we had the makings of a theme camp.  We raised enough money at that party to hire a truck, buy materials and supply the ingredients for a plentiful supply of punch on the Paddock.

Martin was instrumental in envisioning the set-up of Sunset Island and getting materials cheaply. There are many people who made it happen that first– you know who you are. And so we packed up the truck and off we all went! Thanks to Captain (Steve) Peacock for capturing our preparation for that first year on video – take a look!

Challenges of Getting Bigger

We’re into our third year now, growing and as enthusiastic as ever – but that growth brings its issues. It’s easier to fill fundraisers parties but communication and decision making becomes more challenging. We also saw a bit of burn out in 2015. So in 2016 we’re focusing on spreading the load, with team leaders responsible for each aspect of the camp. We’ve already locked in both our fundraising venues ahead of time allowing us to focus our energies on making these experiences, and of course our time at Seed 2016, the best ever.

Thank You

Sunset Island - That's some kinda Theme Camp!

Jasper – that Sunset thing was a really, REALLY good idea!

Thank you for joining us at Sunset Island and making it such a wonderful experience. Words can’t describe that special moment when the Sun hits the horizon and brings on the incredible vibe and energy created by all of you. Thank you to all the theme camps which drove their art cars into Sunset Island on the Friday night last year to add to the experience – we look forward to seeing you again this year. And thanks to those responsible for the pancake stall that randomly set up on the fence line last year at Sunset Island.  That was a lovely surprise.  Please come back!

Want to Get Involved With Sunset Island?

We are looking to expand our team across all aspects of running our theme camp.  So let us know what you’re passionate about and skills you think you can lend a hand with from construction to Paddock decorations to cooking!   Or maybe you want to run an afternoon workshop?  Join Our FB Community Group or message me direct on jaspervallance@gmail.com and I can link you in with the appropriate team leader. You could also come meet us at our fundraisers this year:

And Finally…. Six Tips For Creating a Successful (And Fun) Theme Camp!

So I’ll wrap up with a few lessons I’ve picked up along the way. I hope you’re feeling inspired to create your own theme camp.  I cannot even begin to explain how much fun and how rewarding it’s been for everyone at Sunset Island.

  • Find the niche that you and your mates are passionate about. It’s the shared passion that makes the cool shit happen. ‘Sunset’ made it easy for people to find us!
  • Bring the right mix of skills together.  If you’re lucky you’ll have the skills you need in your group. If there’s a gap, put it out there and try and attract the right people.
  • Designate a leader and functional leadership roles based on what people are best at (and most passionate about). New people can join the team that best aligns with their passions.
  • Lock in fundraising venues way ahead of time. This eliminates a whole load of stress and enables the focus on the fun creative stuff.
  • Let the 10 Principles guide decisions not personal opinions.
  • Collaborate with other theme camps.  It’s an incredible mutually supportive network.

See you at Sunset!! 😉

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Put Your Art on The Paddock in 2016

Put your Art on the Paddock in 2016-2by the ARTery Department

Interested in making art at Burning Seed this year? Sure you are!!

We’ve seen some AMAZING installations – large and small – grace our little forest playground over the years…. from awesome ‘stand-and-look’ pieces to ‘get-right-in-there-and-interact!’

The ARTery

All art projects that are set up on the Paddock need to register with Red Earth City’s ARTery Department.

The ARTery works with anyone bringing art to Burning Seed and supports art at the event through art grants and artist services.

How to Register

ARTery registration forms for art on the Paddock in 2016 go live April 1 (no fooling!) and to help prospective artists navigate the process there’s heaps of info on the website about registration, policy, grants and more.

Getting an Art Grant

OK so you’ve had an AMAZING idea but you need additional funds to help you bring your vision to life? We got this – the ARTery Department offers two levels of grants for artists:

Small art grants of up to $1,000 and LARGE art grants $1,001-$5,000

There are a few things to bear in mind before you apply for a grant… like ARTery will not finance 100% of any proposal – rather encourages artists to gift, and find alternative ways to fundraise the amount they require.

Grants are also mainly for approved materials for construction of artwork – for instance wood, fixtures and fittings, fabric, paint etc. Grants are NOT provided for ‘labour’, Burning Seed tickets or personal travel expenses.

Applications for both grants also open April 1 2016. The deadline for large grants is May 15 and small grant applications close June 19 at 6pm.

Please like the ARTery’s Facebook page to stay up to date on all the latest art happenings!

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WANTED: 2iC PEER For When the Going Gets TOUGH!

NOT APPROVEDfor P.E.E.R. Rangers

Sorry Billy! You may have a voice like satin but you’re not approved for PEER Rangers…

by Koi and Alicia

OK… so the whole Billy Ocean thing was kind of a ruse…

Are you professionally trained in psychology, social work, counselling, psychiatric nursing or other similar feel -good-helper-type roles? Do you have experience in managing acute psychological issues? Do you have professional training or experience in responding to assaults? Would you consider gifting some of your sweet time and knowledge year round to help Seed happen? Then read on… (NB there’s a special treat later for those of you reading who don’t have the above skills…)

PEER Rangers
Burning Seed is generally a happy, joyful and wonderfully fulfilling experience for participants. However there are times when things don’t go so well for individuals – at Seed we’re serious about making sure participants have access to vital psychological and/or emotional support when they need it.

In 2015 Seed established a specialised crew of Rangers – Psychological and Emotional Emergency Response (P.E.E.R.) Rangers –  to provide support at times when really tough stuff happens at Seed that may be difficult for participants to process. “Really tough” could include: acute mental health crises, sexual non-consent matters and relationship violence. This critical team now needs a second-in-charge (2iC) – could that be YOU!?

What’s involved?
As 2iC PEER Rangers you’ll get to:

  • help recruit, select and train PEER Rangers;
  • contribute to essential admin & work with sweet organisers behind the scenes, and;
  • be a go-to leaderly type person available to work shifts during Seed and respond to incidents if they arise.

If you think you could help and want to get involved contact the Crew Wranglers ASAP at jointhecrew@burningseed.com for more information and for a copy of the role description!

That Special Treat We Mentioned… here’s that satin-voiced R&B legend in all his 80s glory:  Enjoy!

For those still reading, we have HEAPS OF ROLES to fill at Burning Seed requiring very sweet skills like yours! Check out the roles available and see where you might fit –  add some more ‘immediacy’, ‘communal effort’ and ‘participation’ into your Seed! If compassion for your fellow Burners has brought you this far but you don’t have the professional experience we need for the PEER role, we have plenty of opportunities available for supportive souls like you.

For example, Red Earth Rangers actively support community well-being and safety, for instance as first responders to emergencies, and as community mediators. Rangers come from all walks of life, and with a bit of training (which we provide) nearly anyone can be a Ranger, whatever your level of work of life experience!!

But if you’re a good fit for the PEER 2iC, and feel like you might have what it takes, please get in touch and help us all Burn Bright and not Burn Out in 2016!