12985

Police Presence at Burning Seed 2017

There has been a lot of discussion around the increased police presence this year at Burning Seed, and we wanted to clarify the position of Burning Seed as well as the responsibilities of our community.

At Burning Seed, we encourage self-expression and provide participants a chance to escape from some of the constraints of the default world. Our event is an opportunity for our community to immerse themselves in art, performance, music, workshops and human connection. While our event is a chance to escape for many, we are still bound by and comply with all laws in Australia, including laws around the use of alcohol and illegal substances.

In the lead up to Burning Seed each year, we work closely with the police and have built a good relationship with them. The police have always attended Burning Seed and you’ll see them chatting to our community and watching the Effigy burn with us on the Saturday night. More importantly they are there to protect us and support the safety of our community while responding to any emergencies or situations that our community of volunteers cannot handle.

While the police have in the past set up breath testing both in and out of the event, the increased police presence this year and the searching of vehicles was a concern to many. We understand that a number of our community members were upset about their interactions with the police and our Sanctuary and PEER teams responded immediately by offering assistance to these individuals where required.

Hundreds of people donate their time every year to make Burning Seed an inclusive, exciting, welcoming, fun and safe event and we liaise with numerous outside agencies including medical professionals, security and the police. We would not be following the principle of Civic Responsibility if we did not put protections in place for our community, and this year the police continued to provide support for our event when we needed it.

On the subject of Civic Responsibility - all participants are expected to follow the Ten Principles of Burning Man. We had some reports of attendees booing police as well as police vehicles being vandalised on site - we do not endorse this type of behaviour and feel that it only serves to weaken our relationship with those tasked with keeping us safe. Burning Seed will be footing the bill for the damage caused to the police vehicles which could otherwise be used towards theme camp grants, art grants or infrastructure and we would encourage anyone with information about this to come forward. Please remember, our good relationships with local agencies (including law enforcement) has been key to the success of Burning Seed, and will continue to be a major factor in our success going forward.

Both during and after the event, we have been responding to enquiries from the media who are now asking questions about Burning Seed - most are intrigued as they had not heard of us up until now. You’ll most likely have seen some bad press because while we responded to the media, journalists will always write their own stories. It’s worth noting though that the incidents reported around drug confiscations were small (less than 1% of our community) and not reflective of Burning Seed as a whole.

You may have also read some of the discussions on the unofficial Facebook groups. Passionate discussion is what drives our community but this can also lead to speculation and misinformation such as our event location moving. While we have explored other locations in the past (mainly due to the flooding last year), there are no plans at this time to move Burning Seed from Matong State Forest. We have a strong relationship with the traditional landowners and local community and are involved in the local arts scene, helped plant thousands of trees through Red Earth Ecology and assisted NSW Forestry with weed control to name but a few of our contributions.

We can assure you that any changes to the way Burning Seed is run or to details of the event, including the location, will always be communicated via our official channels - the Burning Seed official Facebook page and the Burning Seed website. If it doesn’t originate from one of these channels, it’s not official.

Burning Seed this year was the best yet. Our community of participants and volunteer crews came together to help the event run smoothly and ensured it was a great success. We are blown away by the support, love and hard work from our community, artists, theme camps, crew and everyone that makes Burning Seed special.

Burn Bright

Police getting involved with the Burning Seed community. Photo by Haylin Waitere of Oasis Theme Camp

12838

7 Steps to MOOP Magic on the Paddock

As Seed approaches and anticipation builds, the last thing you might be thinking about is the maggot infested food scraps that have to be taken home because someone in your camp brought an oversupply of perishable food which all turned into an icky mess of decomposing grossness in the stifling paddock heat.

Thinking ahead and pre-planning is critical to making sure you avoid this and other potential MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) related disasters.

Hopefully, you already know that there are no rubbish bins at Seed – except the ones you bring, which you then take away with you. So be prepared to manage and transport all your compost, recyclables, and general waste.

If this is your first Burning Seed you will soon learn that the less MOOP you bring, the less MOOP you have to deal with during the burn, and the less MOOP you have to take back off site with you. MOOP Magic* is all in the preparation – it’s about not bringing MOOP to Seed in the first place.

Hot MOOP Magic tips from experienced burners

  1. Food not MOOP - Be realistic about how much food you will get around to cooking and eating. Any perishable food you don’t eat/drink is not going to be pretty after a week in the heat. We shouldn’t have to spell it out, but don’t bring a whole chicken and then realise too late that you have to take the rotting carcass home with you.

     

  2. Composting – you can’t throw your food scraps in Matong State Forest. Yes, that includes those pistachio shells and orange peels. The forest is a semi-arid grassland habitat: nutrient-rich food scraps from 4000 burners in one week will promote invasive weeds that out-compete native species. Plan for your food scraps (ideally don’t create any). Work out how you are going to get them home to a compost heap. Bokashi composting is a great solution, as you will avoid nasty odors associated with bagging your compost. Since the bucket you use should be tightly sealed, you avoid maggot infestation. See below for some Bokashi composting info.

     

  3. Packaging – Strip off excess packaging from anything new before you leave home, including food items. Remove any boxes or wrappers or anything that will instantly become recycling or waste when you get to Seed. Basically, don’t bring MOOP to Seed in the first place!

     

  4. Bins – Even with the best MOOP Magic skills you will likely end up with some recycling, compost and waste to deal with. Whether you choose reusable hard plastic tubs or garbage bags, make sure you have a plan before you leave home. If using garbage bags get strong ones to ensure they go the distance – which is all the way home with you. It’s not ok to dump your waste at the nearest town, and, be advised that the local tip will not be open on the Monday public holiday in NSW.

     

  5. Glitter and other itsy bitsy things – Glitter can be fun for some, however when it ends up in the intestinal track of a worm (or the bird that eats the worm) it has lost its sparkle. So shine from within and avoid wearing anything that can fall off your beautiful self. Avoid MOOP mayhem by not having loose, sequins, bindis, bean bag beans or other little things. If you can’t guarantee it won’t come loose, leave it at home – especially feather boas. If bringing carpet – gaff the edges to stop loose fibers fraying and flying free.

     

  6. Smokers – Ciggy butts are our number one Leave No Trace problem at Seed. Smokers are encouraged to bring a personal pocket butt bin. Old mint tins, containers, or film canisters work a treat. Bling them up, make them yours, and bring some spares for your fellow burners. Represent for your less-conscious smoker buddies and pick up any piggy butts you see around the paddock. Have a friendly chat to anyone you see ditching their ciggies on the ground – ask them if they have a pocket butt bin, and if not, why not? All smokers at Burning Seed should have one!

     

  7. Community participation – We are all in this together. If you see MOOP while out and about on the paddock, somebody should pick it up, and you are somebody! Carrying a dedicated MOOP bag with you can really help. If you see a fellow burner MOOPing, have a chat. When you see others picking up MOOP, cheer them on!

Speak up on behalf of the forest and help ensure that together we Leave No Trace.

Continue reading below for some information on Bokashi composting.

Set up a rubbish and recycling system at your camp

Carry a bag around the Paddock and pick up any MOOP you find

Carry a small tin around to dispose of your cigarette butts in

Bokashi composting

This is an anaerobic composting system that uses bran inoculated with beneficial microbes to ferment the compost. The microbes are yeasts (Saccharomyces spp.), bacteria that produce lactic acids (Lactobacillus spp.), and phototrophic purple non-sulfur bacteria (Rhodopseudomonas spp.).

Steps

  1. Food scraps of all kinds — including meat and dairy products banned from aerobic systems — are placed in the bokashi bucket with some inoculated bran (available for around $10 - $15), and sealed. Use approximately 1 tablespoon of mix for every cup of scraps. Use more when adding high protein foods, eg meat, fish, cheese and eggs.
  2. Every second day, the leachate that is an inevitable byproduct of anaerobic composting needs to be drained. This leachate (juice) can then be diluted at a ratio of 1:100 when you get home, and used as a liquid fertilizer for your garden. Make sure you have a bottle to collect the leachate in and do not pour out at Matong State Forest as it will promote invasive weeds.
  3. When the bucket is full, it needs to stay sealed for ten to twelve days. Then, you can either dig a hole in your garden, and put the compost into it, where it will become friable soil in two weeks time. Or incorporate your fermented Bokashi waste in to your normal compost heap, where it will act as a compost activator.

A single Bokashi bucket should provide enough space for all of the compostable waste that you create at Seed over a week.

More info on Bokashi composting: http://www.bokashi.com.au/Bokashi+One/How+it+Works.html

How to make your own Bokashi bucket: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Ld_O45xGs

*No magic skills actually required – MOOP Magic is an illusion achieved through basic pre-planning and common sense*

Nat Giffney, LNT 2iC

10969

Introducing… Sanctuary

For many participants in this crazy and amazing experiment in community that we call Burning Seed, the experience - both for new arrivals (Burgins) or veterans - can sometimes be seriously overwhelming. The contents of a challenging workshop, an intense conversation, an inebriate evening or the sheer over-stimulation of the environment can each bring their own challenges. 

There are things you can do to prepare for having a GREAT experience: reading the Survival Guide; planning your party; having a good crew to support each other; and a sense of community and civic responsibility - all these things can all make the difference if you want to get the most out of your Burn.

Things don’t always go to plan though; and for those times where you can’t find your flow - you’re tired, partied out, anxious and overwhelmed or you’re partying a bit too hard - there is a brand new crew on the Paddock - Sanctuary.

Helping You Find Your Burn

Girlface is Team Lead for Seed’s inaugural Sanctuary. She says the idea is to create a space where people can come to receive support and guidance if they’re feeling challenged.

“It may be surprising but it’s common for people to feel disconnected at a Burn, not feel like they fit in - they might look around and feel like everyone else is having a great time and that can amplify anxieties or other feelings - it’s OK to feel that - it’s a real and normal human response.

“We’re creating Sanctuary to help people deal with this and get back on their feet through helping them draw on their inner strengths and encouraging them to find their own unique way to Burn.

“The idea of consent and intention stretches beyond sexual intimacy -we want to encourage people to pop by Sanctuary and learn about strategies for safer ways to party and enjoy the enhanced environment at Seed.

“We are an open and inclusive community and people need to feel cool about expressing themselves in the safe and non judgemental environment we collectively create,” Girlface says.

Making Connections

“I was working with the amazing PEER Rangers last year and we supported quite a few first time Burners who were not really familiar with the experience of how it all works at a Burn.

“They saw people getting into the whole radical expression thing and felt kind of disconnected - we talked them through it, let them know that there’s no judgement, that their Burn experience is all about what they want to make it.

“It was so great to see those same Burners the next day with massive smiles on their faces - they made it through the issues, put their anxieties aside and were having a wonderful, magical time - that’s so rewarding for me.

“Sanctuary will be working alongside the broader amazing Seed community to assist those who might be feeling disconnected," Girlface says.

Partying Safe

Girlface says the Sanctuary crew also have a role to educate and advise people in advance of the event to help them avoid finding themselves in the situation where they need Sanctuary.

“If there’s one thing to remember when hitting the Paddock it’s to know when to Slow down, stop, support each other & seek help:

  1. SLOW down, pace yourself, take it easy
  2. If you feel like you’re losing some control or going too far, then STOP
  3. Give SUPPORT to your mates & the rest of the community if you can see others struggling
  4. SEEK HELP - that’s where Sanctuary comes in (alongside Rangers, PEERS & Medics)

“As soon as anyone comes into Sanctuary - night or day - there will be someone to greet them and let them know what kind of support is available,” says Girlface

“We welcome anyone at Sanctuary but we would prefer it if you don’t need to come see us!”

To help make this happen...

  1. Be prepared - if you’re out to party make sure you have food, water and all you need
  2. Be aware of your personal limitations - know your boundaries
  3. Don’t be afraid to say NO - if you’re offered something you don’t have to take it
  4. Look out for your mates & the wider community - take care of them if they’re partying too hard
  5. Familiarise yourself with Theme Camp spaces where you can take it easy

Round the Clock Support

Girlface says Sanctuary will operate around the clock during Seed to provide support to participants who are feeling overwhelmed, challenged and disconnected.

“This is a new social experiment for most new arrivals and the Sanctuary crew will be working alongside Rangers, Peer and Medics to support people through that experience.

“If you are not feeling safe, if you’re feeling anxious, disconnected, confused and in need of support. If you’re friend is a bit too intoxicated or emotional and you’re not comfortable leaving them alone at camp, then please don’t, bring them down to the Sanctuary space.”

Sanctuary needs YOU

“We’re participants like anyone else with a caring and empathetic way of looking at the world and we need more people to help us crew during the event,” says Girlface.

“If people are keen to contribute in any way we really want to hear from them - you don’t need professional skills or any experience as such - just to be empathetic, caring, non-judgemental and passionate about providing support for people in times of need.

“We’re planning to provide some pre-event training, potentially tying up with Ranger training events in in Melbourne, hopefully Sydney and onsite.

“Shifts on-site will be around the clock and between 4-6 hours each and crewed by a shift lead together with between 2-4 crew depending on how busy it is - the Team Lead and 2iCs will be on call throughout.

If you want to sign up to join the Sanctuary crew visit the website and let them know. As well as filling in your crew application form, if you have any questions please shoot them an email at sanctuary@burningseed.com.

sanctuary

Sanctuary: A new crew on the Paddock

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love

There's support all around you but if you need Sanctuary it's there

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jayman

That first Burn can be pretty overwhelming

10739

The Bestest Seed Theme Camp? KIDS CAMP!

by HAVOC!

In 2011 a Leeton local, Aurora Sparkles, attended a crazy new addition to the area called... Burning Seed. Back then the population of Red Earth City was still under 500 and Aurora had such a fantastic experience that she spread the word to her local friends. In 2012 another Leeton legend, Jo Roberts, formed the first “unofficial” theme camp specifically for families - Burning Seed Kids’ Camp 1.0 was born.

Aurora, Jo and Mel Browell had about 30 kids that first year, growing to 45 kids in 2013. By 2014 there were 50+ kids and in 2015 we had 63 registered children on site plus all the other kids that visit from other camps.

Burner Family

After 2014 our local legends and founding Mother Monsters retired from KC duties in order to have some grown-up fun. Transitioning leadership of a big camp is not for the faint hearted but family Burners are a special breed.

Last year we had 54 registered families living on site. Kids Camp is a camp with special needs in terms of the relatively high proportion of dependents; imagine if half your camp couldn’t be Radically Self-Reliant (not just that one guy... you know who you are/he is).

So our operational model, while challenging, works really well and is always being refined. Having the support and strong relationships with past Camp leaders means KC is going to be better than ever this year as Bonnie Roppola takes the reigns.

So what happens at Kids’ Camp? SO MUCH FUN! We have a dedicated art tent, a baby and infant marquee, a mess tent that feeds everyone dinner every night, a movie tent and a shaded outdoor space and for the second time running a kids’ only loo. Last year my five year old started the Kids’ Café where they gifted breakfast to each other and passers by (cutest thing ever and a welcome self-reliance exercise for kids with tired parents).

Safe and Inclusive

Kids’ Camp is a reminder that Burning is not just about partying. For families to share the opportunity of a reprieve from the default mode; to see adults playing like children, to meet people of like mind from all sorts of places and socio-economic backgrounds, to focus on creativity and individual self-expression and look after each other outside of institutional models is a precious and rare thing. Kids’ Camp is Inclusion.

Not everywhere at a Burn is suitable for children but Burner parents get to expose their kids to as much or as little of the carnival as they wish to, without judgement. However, children need a safe place with clear boundaries; one they recognise as consistent and not too challenging. At Kids’ Camp we provide this safe place, where the environment is just adventurous enough to be exciting without pushing into causing them to feel insecure. They know where their friends live and can run around our lovely site freely. Our gift is to build and manage it with them in mind.

Kids’ Camp has no nudity, drugs or smoking. These boundaries are of course open to challenge on the Principle of Radical Self-Expression, yes, but as a tribe we have to allow for parents who may have boundaries that require a greater restraint, co-parenting arrangements for example. On the basis of Inclusion these things are non-negotiable on KC site.

KC Families are fiercely collaborative but this is not a drop and run zone; your children must be supervised by you or a guardian you have organized at all times. Leaving a child anywhere at Burning Seed without making adequate arrangements is taken very seriously and Rangers will be informed if a parent cannot be located in a reasonable amount of time.

Deep Space Cadets

So what’s new this year for Deep Space? Improved site management; families don’t travel light and everyone tends to bring the big rig so our population has reached critical mass. Kids’ Camp: Deep Space Cadets will be a child-centric activity world with camping encouraged for new families, sole parents and crew but there is still room for others on our fancy new grid system. We are designing an observatory and hopefully a water feature!

What we do know is it is time for more family theme camps to spring up; last year kids tickets represented roughly 6% of the population. The teens and tweens are not technically allowed to roam, so we need people to help create awesome things to occupy them. We encourage everyone at Red Earth City to think of ways of including kids in their own offerings and to let us know early so we can get it in the Junior Burner Guide. Registrations open soon! Now let’s hear from the kids…

"I like kids cafe. I also like the workshops and seeing old friends from the years before. I also like the art, like painting." Caitlin, 7

"My favourite thing about Burning Seed Kids Camp are the workshops and the grownups spending their time with the kids doing fun stuff. " Tegan, 9

To get in touch please email kidscampburningseed@gmail.com or visit us on Facebook 
You can also support our Kids Camp fundraising efforts by grabbing some of our awesome merchandise.

Kids Camp

Kids Camp

Kids Camp

Kids Camp

10586

Welcome to… The Watershed

The beautiful brains behind Splash Mansion are set to revolutionize the way Theme Camps manage their water on the Paddock... Trash Mansionite Professor Johnny Breakwell is not just a pretty face. That brilliant mind of his has been working overtime on ways to:

  1. make it wetter down there on the Paddock,
  2. help Theme Camps Leave No Trace AND
  3. give back to the local community in Matong and surrounds!

Making a Splash
In 2013 he created Splash Mansion: “It got me out from behind the bar at Trash”, says Johnny, “and for the cost of an hour or two each day it meant we got showers, kept cool and had some awesome fun.

“Splash grew bigger in 2014/15 and we ended up doing daily water runs - it made me think about how much water we were going through, not just our camp but others too,” he says.

Then at Seed in 2015 Johnny met Rowan Kos and these two legends got talking about water. Rowan suggested the idea of setting up a collective group of Theme Camps to better manage the supply of water to camps at Seed.

The Watershed
Skip to 2016 and welcome to the fruit of that conversation…. The Watershed.

This by burners, for burners, not for profit collective comprises a willing coalition on a mission to mutually obtain and distribute quality water to Theme Camps at the lowest possible price.

“This is a fantastic social enterprise,” says Johnny. “The Watershed is facilitating the purchase of a bulk amount of water for Theme Camps - something like 20,000 litres - from farmers local to the Burning Seed site at Matong.

“The farmers will donate their time and use their water licenses to sell us the water, and any profits they make after their costs are covered will go to support the local school in Ganmain.

“These little schools make a big difference in the community - any dollars we can raise make a big difference to these kids,” he says.

How it Works
Johnny says The Watershed is owned by Theme Camps that join the collective as members.

“The members are currently Splash, Sunset Island, Trash Mansion, Dirty Birds, Detox, Casbah and The Brink.

“These and potentially other Member Theme Camps will pay in advance for a water cube of 1000 litres - the cube will be delivered to them on site during set-up, and a water tanker will come by and fill it up. The empty cube will be picked up from the camp at the end of the event.

“The Watershed will bring a lot more drinking water into Theme Camps and also make a serious environmental impact on site - for instance by minimising waste packaging from water containers - no more taking empty cartons full of air home - and reducing the number of journeys needed for water runs during the event.

“But there are many other benefits - if Theme Camps know they’ll have water delivered on site they’ll have more cargo space for Theme Arts and it also gives them scope to gift more drinking water and nautical activities.

“Importantly - this is NOT about free water on the Paddock. The Watershed is only working with member Theme Camps, not individual participants. Everyone outside our Member Theme Camps will still be required to bring the necessary amount of water they need to survive for the week. This is just about providing

Making the Infrastructure Pozible
Johnny says that with stronger interest from other Theme Camps, funding is now needed to buy the water container infrastructure.

“Without some initial funding the Watershed may have to limit further memberships and have less impact than we might do in this first year.

The Watershed is running a pozible campaign right now to help cover some of these upfront costs for basic infrastructure.

“Each one of the 1000L water cubes we’ll use for distribution of the water to Theme Camps will cost about $80 to $100 and the Watershed crew will also need radios and cleaning products to sanitize the cubes,” says Johnny.

“We’re offering some sweet water-based perks for anyone who wants to donate from $1 to $10 or more - and every dollar counts to help us get this fantastic project off the ground," says Johnny.

Find out more about The Watershed or go visit the Possible campaign and donate!

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 5.08.29 PM

Find out more about The Watershed

Prof. Johnny Breakwell: it's vitally important to stay fully hydrated on the Paddock... (photo: Andy Flint)

Watershed

10385

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.

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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.

9183

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!

 

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temple03

 Myke's 2012 'Temple of Time'

temple02

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!!! 

temple01

Brad's Tower of Babel Temple design from 2015

9121

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

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!! 😉

8833

Burner Journeys… Finding Your Creative Power!!

by Acid Mama

The Burning Man (and Burning Seed!) community is a unique creative space when it comes to enabling people to push their comfort zones and try something new. For those of us who have had the opportunity to step up into our creative power and participate in a collaborative project for Burning Man or one of its regional events, we know how magical this experience can be.

Nothing fabricated about this - it's as real as it gets...

Being a Burner means doing cool stuff like DANGER!!

Furthermore, if you are a woman, as I am, and you’ve had this kind of opportunity, then you know just how empowering it can be to have your skills appreciated and encouraged, nourishing a part of you that thrives on creativity.

Getting Involved

In 2006 I experienced my first Burning Man and the incredible WOW-factor of Black Rock City. That year was eye-opening, challenging, and beautiful. When I left the Playa, I vowed to return with a major contribution. I’d enjoyed being a punter my first year, but felt that there was a deeper way I could participate.

In 2007, I bought an old school bus, gathered friends and talent, and rocked back up to Black Rock City with a hula-hoop camp. Our theme camp was bare bones, but still ticked the boxes. Yet still I wanted a deeper level of involvement.

During the next year, I relocated to study jewellery and metal fabrication at Uni – and this is where I found my niche. I got a job as the fine metals studio assistant, taught classes, ran open studio sessions, and assisted the students. On the side I was tinkering, playing and experimenting with welding, steel work and plasma cutting in the large scale metal fabrication studio. Then one day, somehow, through word of mouth, I got a call…

Finding Your Niche

“Prof”as he was called, had heard about me and my work through a mutual friend. He told me the story of his Burning Man theme camp and asked if I would join their crew – the Black Rock City Hardware Shoppe – a Burning Man fix-it camp that had been operating on the Playa since the mid ’90s. What had started off as a pop up tent with some rolling tool boxes, had, by the time I got involved, turned into a camp with massive acreage right on the Center Camp ring of Black Rock City.

We fixed, broke and re-made anything that came to our door; bringing welders, every hand and power tool imaginable, any nut and bolt we could gather. Incredible opportunities landed in our laps, as we helped large-scale sound camps, amazing art cars, even the Department of Public Works crew. During the next 4 years, my experience with Black Rock City Hardware Shoppe radically transformed my Burn, and my life.

Getting Creative - Flame Effects Archway At Centre Camp

If you ever wondered why we call ourselves Burners…THIS!

Bringing the Skills to Seed

Fast forward to Burning Seed 2015: I’d stumbled into being involved again, working as 2iC for Theme Camps, and being a part of the team creating the flame-effects archway at Centre Camp. 
This latter project was an amazing opportunity for me to get back into welding and metal fabrication, work collaboratively with men and women, and dabble in a realm I thought I’d lost forever when I left America. 

Through this project, a plethora of other opportunities have opened up, and I am deeply grateful for each of them. It’s now my turn to give back, and create opportunities for other women to explore metal fabrication and welding techniques.

Women: Rule the Weld!

Women (of Melbourne)! If you’ve ever wanted to upskill in welding and metal fabrication, now’s the time. Starting in May I’ll be offering a 6-session Women’s Welding Workshop every third Sunday, 10-4 pm. The course will be held at NORM Warehouse which has just moved to an awesome new space in North Coburg, right behind the Batman Train Station, next door to Bunnings.

The skills you will learn in the course could enable you to design, create and install incredible art on the Paddock, allow you to upskill in an area that nourishes and enriches a practice already in place, or simply encourages you to make wicked yard art. Whatever your intention is with this course, know that it is welcome and encouraged. The space I am cultivating will be exclusively run by, managed and filled with women: female instructor, assistant, studio manager, as well as female students.

Learn more about the course and enrol!! Alternatively, send an email for more information.

***

What do you think? Want to get more involved and unlock your creative potential? Burning Seed is a DO-OCRACY made possible ONLY BY YOU! Find out more about Community Crew positions, email the Crew Wranglers for information or check out the ARTery for more about how you can bring your imagination to life on the Paddock!

Wanna share your Burner Journey? Email us with YOUR story at comms@burningseed.com