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Theme Camp Initiatives for 2017

Theme Camps are one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the lifeblood of a Burn. They are a hothouse of Principles in action, with participation, gifting and communal effort giving birth to wacky genius, creative chaos and homes away from home. Decommodification, leave no trace, immediacy... hell, all the Principles come to party at these shindigs.

But Theme Camps work as hard as they play — 'cause it takes teamwork to make those dreams work, baby!

Adopt-a-Burgin

To create these shared visions, participants form crews and pool their time, energy and resources.  Each year, many Theme Camps offer spots for Burgins (take virgin, smoosh it together with Burner, and hey presto: you have a newbie).  Camp fees are common, with everyone contributing to a communal 'kitty' that allows the camp to build, supply, transport and maintain these visions at Seed.  Some camps will include meal plans, others not.  Either way, the Radical Self-reliance Principle still applies. We care for each other knowing that we are already — and always — prepared to take care of ourselves.

So we check in with the existing Theme Camps, they tell us their spots, and we share that information.  The rest is up to you.  So, check out the list of camps and go forth and connect.

And remember: ask not what a Theme Camp can do for you, but what you can do for a Theme Camp!

Share-a-Space

Are you hoping to run a workshop, yoga session or deliver a talk and need an event space? Look no further!  There are a number of camps who are happy to let people like you use their space whilst they get some down time. 

Believe it or not, not all theme camps party 24/7 (although some do).   We have compiled a list of theme camps who have generously offered to open their camps up for other people to host events in. Get in contact with a camp, see if your event aligns with them and see if you can work out a time that suits both you and the host camp. It is up to each camp to decide if they would like to host your event.

Upcoming fundraisers

Theme camp fundraisers are happening thick and thin, if you still have energy left after the last month of parties, there is still plenty to go! Here’s a quick run-down on what’s coming over the next couple of months:

Sorry if we have missed anyone. If you want help plugging your events feel free to shoot an email to themecamps@burningseed.com and we will help put it out there.

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THEME CAMP APPLICATIONS ARE GO!

Got a bar full of intergalactic cocktails to gift away? A hold full with enough rations to feed an army of space marines? Trans-dimensional DJs ready to assimilate a dance floor full of earthers? A mutant space vehicle ready to launch into the deep Paddock? All of the above? None of the above?

OK you just want to come and run a Theme Camp and have a good time?

BOOM! Now you can.

Theme Camp applications for 2017 are OPEN and will remain so until 1 July 2017!

How to apply

All the info you need for 2017 is on the Burning Seed Theme Camps page. Have a read through the Theme Camp guidelines and then start your  application by submitting the 2017 Theme Camp Application Form telling us about your camp and what you’re planning to launch onto the Paddock in 2017.

Information Sessions

No idea what we are talking about but want to find out?

The Burning Seed 2017 Theme Camp Team will be running information session in both Sydney and Melbourne in a couple of weeks. If you are a new or a returning Theme Camp, these nights will provide you with an opportunity to meet fellow Theme Camp crew and hear about how applications, grants and placement will work this year.

The info nights will be run at the following times:

  • Sydney: Tuesday 23 May from 19:00 to 21:00 at Orient Hotel, The Rocks (Top Floor, Orion Space) Event Page.
  • Melbourne: Wednesday 24 May from 19:00 to 21:00 at the Union Hotel Brunswick Event Page.

Upcoming Fundraisers

Some theme camps are well ahead of the game, weekends are booking up fast as fundraisers are being announced. It is well and truly party season, if you haven’t seen the events yet, here’s a quick run-down on what’s coming in the next couple of months:

There’s also a few save the dates for yet to be confirmed fundraisers:

  • Malt Shop Be Bop Hop Roller Arena: First Sunday of the Month 12pm - 8pm (July 2, August 6, September 3)
  • Pirainia: July 29
  • Burning Manly: Sundays when the sun is shining: Sunday Sun Sets )°( beach cleanup parties

Sorry if we have missed anyone. If you want help plugging your events feel free to shoot an email to themecamps@burningseed.com and we will help put it out there.

Communications

As well as blog posts  and email updates we will be using the following forums to communicate on a regular basis:

Burn Bright and see you at your local Info Night )°(

Photo credit: Andy Flint

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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

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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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Parenting on the Paddock

kidscamp1We love our baby burners at Seed, and at last count we’re expecting more than 100 kids on the Paddock this year. Whether it’s one or 100, kids’ safety is paramount and we’re building on previous Seed lessons by strengthening our protocols this year, which includes mandatory registration for kids at the Gate.

Gate registration means your kid’s name, your name, a phone number and your expected camping location will be matched with your kiddie’s wristband number and accessible only by our Ranger crew for use in case of an incident. Please let us know if you change your camping location!

Registration also means we we can quickly reunite your little one with you if they appear to be lost. And if you report them lost, we have protocols in place to lock down the site, including closing the gate to EVERYONE except emergency services vehicles. 

Activities for kids

This year, the Kids Camp crew have some new things on offer like the Kids’ Cafe — run by the kids — serving breakfast everyday. There is also a great new Junior Burners program running Ten Principle-based activities at Kids Camp and around the Paddock.

To help them run things smoothly, let them know whether you are rocking up by registering — even if you are not staying at Kids’ Camp and just intend to bring your little sparks down for a visit or some activities.

Boundaries at Kids Camp

While Kids Camp acknowledges and encourages radical self-expression, it has also put some boundaries in place to allow families with different ‘comfort’ levels to be included at Seed. There is no nudity, drugs or smoking around the children at Kids Camp.

This may not work for everyone, so Kids Camp invites you to register and bring your kids along for activities, but perhaps camp nearby in the general camping area. But whenever you are at Kids Camp, you will need to respect the boundaries they have put in place. It’s important to remember that some parents have co-parenting arrangements that would prevent them coming at all if these boundaries weren’t in place.

More info

There’s heaps more info for parents and kids alike on the Burning Seed website  and if you have questions or want to connect with Kids Camp and other Paddock Parents, visit the Facebook Page

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New Theme Camps in 2015

Expect another explosive expression of creativity this year at Seed with an ever-more diverse bunch of new Theme Camps joining the established crews on Paddock. Flaming Galah has had an exclusive reveal of some of the new Theme Camps registered for our Matong shenanigans in 2015 and it’s looking pretty effing awesome, Burners!!

Theme Camp Co-Lead Thomas Snow aka Pretty Boy says part of the joy of the Burn for all participants is the chance to walk into every
Theme Camp you can, introduce yourself and sit down for a chat. “Don’t be shy, these spaces are intentionally constructed to facilitate this exact type of exchange,” he says.

“One of the main draws for me in terms of Burner culture centres around inclusiveness, acceptance and the ability to have your own interests and desires reflected in the city we build. I often describe it as a choose-your-own adventure book, that you ultimately decide what kind of Burn you want to have by active participation.”

Bigger on the inside
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Tinyville will be a big draw at Seed this year.

For instance, if you wanna think big but live small, check out Tinyville. This cute village of tiny dwellings, constructed with 100% recycled and reclaimed materials, will be arranged around a central fun zone marquee/dome with acoustic jam stage, bar, couches, hammocks and other comforts.

Tinyville’s Rory was camped with Pirania at Seed last year and is a keen proponent of the rapidly growing Tiny House Movement here in Australialand.

“It’s my first time organising a Theme Camp — I loved Seed last year and was inspired to come back this year with Tinyville. I’m building my own tiny house and I wanted to share the ideas of tiny living with burners,” says Rory.

“Tiny living is quite well aligned with the Ten Principles of Burning Man. It offers an alternative lifestyle, which challenges the failing norms of society and which encourages positive social change.

“It empowers individuals on their quest for sustainability and independence. We want to honour this at Burning Seed by building a beautiful tiny village with spaces to facilitate workshops, discussion groups, music-playing, dancing, lounging and hugs,” he says.

Pretty boy says Tinyville is a great example of the evolution of Seed’s Theme Camps over the years.

“We’ve seen a distinct shift from a mostly sound-based Theme Camp experience to a more well-rounded interactive culture that caters to many different needs,” he says.

Wombat Manor
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Amelia and wombats go way back – she’s under the sign.

Wombat Manor is another fantastic new attraction at Burning Seed this year. At the heart of Wombat Manor is a touching and beautiful burner homage by a daughter, Amelia, to her recently passed Father, Ken.

“Dad always called all the houses we lived in Wombat Manor when we were growing up,” says Amelia. “While of course it’ll be a very personal experience for me to be part of it, I wanted to gift a space to Burning Seed this year that played to Dad’s memory. I wanted to make it something he’d be proud to see with the Wombat Manor name.

“What we’ve created will be a chill space designed for dialogue and decadence, a perfect Manor to lounge in and sip on fine spirits, discuss topical issues, peruse the library and enjoy and create special moments of decadence.

“At night we’ll provide a luxurious decadent chill out lounge for those who enjoy fine music, spirits, books and living in the moment. All music at the Manor will be acoustic jazz, chill, lounge – both live and recorded.

“We’re also filling our huge rental trailer with cushions and air mattresses so come by and snuggle till your hearts content,” she says.

Too Saucy
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Get creatively insane with Moarsauce.

The Moarsauce Institute was a renegade camp last year that’s gone legit in 2015. Despite being pitched as ‘A Camp for the Creatively Insane”, the Institute has taken a really sensible approach to setting up as a Theme Camp, says Pretty Boy.

“For new and aspiring Theme Camps one of the best things you can do is keep it simple, not try to do too many things all at once.  Focus on doing one or two things really well and then build from there.  Once you feel like you have the basics down then by all means go big. Moarsauce took this approach as renegades last year and its great to see them back and official this year, it’s something we’d love to encourage,” he says.

Tal from Moarsauce says while the crew has a long history of camping at Rainbow and other events, the Institute relied on the kindness of strangers last year. “Particularly the amazing Tea Kettle House, who kindly accepted us into their space and made us feel so much at home,” he says.

“We participated by providing our dome as a chill-out space to weary wanderers, running small workshops and cooking delicious French crepes. This year, as a registered camp, we’re all grown up.  We’ve adopted an amazing group of people that came with a dowry — a 21 seater bus.

“We’ve been busy converting the bus into a Crazy Scientist’s Lab-themed party bus, on which we’ll be throwing pop-up day parties around the Paddock, fuelled by dry-ice cocktails and tunes in collaboration with other Theme Camps including Middle Eastern Mafia, Pelican Villa and more. We want to bring our Creatively Insane spirit to every corner of the Paddock,” says Tal.

So the message to you people is get out there and experience the best our 2015 Theme Camps have to offer. If you’re a first timer, lucky you! If you’re a seasoned burner, grab a burgin, have them point to something shiny and start heading for it.

It’s one of the greatest gifts — to see a burn fresh again through new eyes. Above all, remember that your mum was right, be yourself at Seed and people will fall in love with you for who you are on the inside. It’s just that kinda place.

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First-timer friction: the winter of Burner discontent

Written by Jayman

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]W[/bra_dropcaps]ith winter upon us and Burning Seed less than four months away, spare a thought for the Principles left out in the cold — and the potential participants.

Over the coming months, there will be lots of potential newbies/Burgins/potential participants asking questions. To some of us, these questions might seem like commonsense or basic information that people could find themselves with a bit of research (I hear the radical choir sing “radical self-reliance!!!”)

Well, here is the thing. Apparently there is more than one Principle. At last count there are nine more and some regional events have introduced 2-3 more.

The Ten Principles are learned, seen in action and experienced. Throwing one Principle at people in isolation is not the Burner way. In everything we do, we should be trying to express as many Principles in an interaction with another human being as possible.

We are building a Community, not a radicalised, exclusive hipster enclave. The very purpose of a Burn event is to prove that there is another way and take back those learnings to the outside world and transform it. We are the Revolution, by making a new world a better world.

So, the next time you pull radical self-reliance out of your back pocket (‘cause it is likely one of the main two you have ready at hand), spare a thought for the other neglected Principles this winter. The Principles work all together, not in isolation.

A considerate response is a Gift of information. In the Immediacy of a sensible answer you are helping to alleviate the fear and uncertainty that a new burner might be experiencing as they make a crucial decision (either consciously or unconsciously) to join our Community.

And in answering even the simplest of questions with your beautiful and amazing Radical Self Expression in a way that does not inhibit the rights and liberties of the recipient shows Radical Inclusion and Civic Responsibility at its best.

Participate in ALL the 10 Principles to embrace new Burners.

For those newbies looking for a place to call home at Seed, Jayman runs the Orphanage Theme Camp. It’s a great way to experience the participation, gifting and community that is so integral to Seed. You can find them here.

Orphanage 2014

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Thinking Theme Camp? Top tips from your camp compatriots

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]s[/bra_dropcaps]o you’re planning your first Burning Seed adventure  — or your next one — and you’re looking at the July 1 deadline for Theme Camp application, and thinking: Theme Camps are cool. I’ll start one. How hard can it be? But if you have the juice and want to set it loose, consider all the options first — there are alternatives to setting up a new Theme Camp.

Theme Camps truly are the (soya) meat and potatoes of a Burn. They create the landscape for our city, they are the 10 Principles of a Burn brought to life, and without them Seed would be less… well, just less.

In the words of the great ObiBob of Ashram Galactica (Burning Man)*:

“The best theme camps aren’t born fully fledged, but evolve towards optimum by learning from interactions and challenges. Do something that grabs people off the street and starts some interaction; not just a one-way service (from you) or a challenge (to them).”

He’s right. It’s all about a shared, participatory, consensual, creative experience. And Burning Seed has seen an exponential explosion in Theme Camps over a relatively short time, from around 10 in 2010 to around 50 in 2014. It’s testament to the creative confidence we have in our community, but here’s a controversial question — do we need so many, or any more?

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Unicorn wrangler and Theme Camp Team co-lead, Jayman

Our very own Theme Camp Co-Lead and part-time unicorn wrangler Jayman says collaboration and/or participation with existing camps is a great way for people, particularly first-timers and/or those looking to dip a toe in the Theme Camp waters, to make the best use of resources.

Running a theme camp for a week is harder work than it seems,” he says. “Why not join forces to create one awesome camp, rather than have lots of small camps operating infrequently with few people?

Daryl, Chairman and President of the Mint Country Club (MCC) agrees. Set realistic goals and know what you’re capable of — if you overstretch yourself and your resources you’ll just end up with a really stressful week, not a joyous one,” he says.

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Mint Country Club’s very own mo man, Daryl Paulger. Gin gin!

MCC is a great example of how to do it right. It’s up there jostling for position among the Seed Theme Camp Titans like Trash Mansion and Bean Bag Babylon (BBB). MCC was first seen on the Paddock in 2012 and has seen steady growth over the last few years. The Camp is literally powered by Gin, mint (the herb), mint (the colour), some solar panels, the infinite energy of Daryl and Di Paulger and their crew of Minty marvels. 

Daryl says it’s literally ALL ABOUT THE 10 PRINCIPLES PEOPLE. “For instance, make sure anyone coming to help you with the camp is firstable to take care of themselves (ie radical self-reliance)… like it’s great to get help but if that person needs pegs to put their tent up or gaffer tape for their shade structure, it’s just going to drain your resources.”

You don’t have to get it right first time, says Jayman: “Subject to our sound guidelines, you don’t need to be an official theme camp the first time around. But whether you’re official or unofficial, make sure you list your events and happenings in the What Where When (WWW).”[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

So here’s some tips for would-be Theme Campers whether you’re official, unofficial or just plain off the grid:

  1. The What Where When (WWW) is Seed’s sixth sense. If you build it, they won’t come — unless they can see, smell, hear, taste or touch you. Or read about you in the WWW.

  2. Lighting, lighting, lighting – and more lighting. Help make your city beautiful and sparkly and colourful and flashy. And it’s also good for keeping people safe.

  3. You don’t have to have a massively loud sound-system that literally makes people’s internal (maybe external) organs vibrate. Theme Camps come in all shapes and sizes.

  4. Avoid MOOP – we leave no trace. Make sure you have systems in place to make that happen and to educate your camp and participants.

  5. You don’t need to start from scratch – Check out Adopt a Burgin to join an existing camp. Look at ways of helping out. Run events in Theme Camp spaces or at Centre Camp.

  6. If you have an idea and you really must run with it, throw the idea out there – there’s bound to be others inspired by your idea and keen to get involved. The Theme Camp Facebook page is a good forum for throwing around your ideas with camp compatriots while the state groups will be full of other keen beans.

  7. Think about innovative use of our space at Red Earth City.  Sunset Island literally happened like that – a eureka moment in 2013 for a Burner watching the sun go down over an empty space.

  8. Avoid unicorns. At all costs.

Want to learn more about Theme Camps? Check the Burning Seed website or visit the Theme Camps Facebook page. If you’re planning to organise a Theme Camp this year check our helpful set-up guide. We’d love to hear your thoughts about Theme Camps at Seed — share your comments!

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Kraken’s TENtacle moment with Wiradjuri

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]T[/bra_dropcaps]he writing is on the wall — Kamp Kraken has stretched its tentacular theme camp presence beyond the confines of the Paddock and shown how to make Burning Seed more than just one week in a land far far away.

For the past two years, Kraken has donated 10% of what it has fundraised during that year to a chosen charity. The Theme Camp kicked off this initative in 2013 with a donation to the Wiradjuri wall project, which was recently completed and unveiled.

Birth of an idea

The idea was first proposed by one of the Krew, dashing Dan Ducrou, who hopes to see more Theme Camps do the same.

“I proposed the idea in recognition of the fact that many of the wonderful people who make up Kamp Kraken want to make a positive impact on the people and communities around them. We are so lucky to have the time, freedom and access to resources that we do – why not harness a portion of this abundance and feed it back into the local community?” says Dan.

“I hope this is something other Theme Camps pick up on in their own fundraising ventures. Burning Seed is such an enriching, revitalising, delicious experience for all of us – we all get so much out of it – how easy and rewarding it can be to give back.”

Enter the Wiradjuri project

The Wiradjuri wall was a local community project that involved Wiradjuri elders and youth producing a public artwork in the heart of the Narrandera township.  The wall was a way to honour the Aboriginal cultural history of Narrandera shire and create a beautiful public space where special musical and cultural performances could occur.

Why did Kraken decide to share this particular TENtacle moment with the Wiradjuri project?

“We chose to support the Wiradjuri Memorial Wall out of respect for the Traditional Owners, the Wiradjuri, on whose land Burning Seed takes place. We wanted to support something that involved local community members, something that would have lasting impact and something that elevated recognition of the Wiradjuri in the Narrandera township,” says Dan.

“We also flew the Aboriginal flag above Kamp Kraken for the duration of the event – the flag was given to me by a Wurundjeri Elder (Traditional Owner of the greater Melbourne area) in the lead up to Burning Seed – and presented the following hand written note to the Wiradjuri Elder who Welcomed us onto his country.”

Today, we are meeting, partying, dancing and sleeping on the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri. For this we give thanks and pay our respects.

In being here, we acknowledge and are sorry for the deep hurt and suffering caused by white settlement.

We are sorry for the loss of language and culture, for the children taken from families under racist government policies, and for the cultural disinterest of broader Australia. We are sorry for the ongoing disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians that is born of structural exclusion, racism, dispossession and indifference.

We visit Wiradjuri country in the spirit of friendship. We hope to be part of a healing generation that openly acknowledges past wrongs, whilst searching for ways to build positive relationships and contribute to the local community.

In line with this year’s Burning Seed theme of ‘Re:Creation’, Kamp Kraken is proud to be contributing $800 to the Wiradjuri Memorial Wall – a local community project that will see Wiradjuri Elders and youth produce a public artwork in the heart of the Narrandera township.

This money was gathered through Kamp Kraken fundraising efforts in Melbourne, in the lead up to Burning Seed 2013.

Thank you for hosting us.

With love,

Kamp Kraken

5916

Babylonika BOOM!

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]ean Bag Babylon was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met them. From these humble yet worthy origins, BBB has grown into a behemoth of beat-fuelled be-jesusness that sets a benchmark for Theme Camp awesome at Burning Seed.

And now the folks at BBB have brought their dome’s atmos and vibe to Melbourne with a new club night — the Babylon Boutique — capturing the intimate, colourful and friendly nature of one of Seed’s most loved and iconic Theme Camps. Best of all, it has a VERY late/early license (6am). Melbourne.just.got.cool.

Babylon Boutique debuted on Saturday 9 May at the Korova Milk Bar with two floors chock a block full of Paddock favourites and new faces. The BBBers are all pretty chuffed, with BBB G (aka Sam Gibbard) taking time out from his hectic theme campery to say: We’re very happy with how it went — always brilliant to bring a bit of Burning Man culture to the CBD.”

For those who missed out this time around, don’t despair!! The Babylon Boutique are hoping to make this a regular night in Melbs, supporting BBB fundraising efforts and helping those coolest of Theme Camp cats throw free and effing awesome parties at Seed and other events around Australia, spreading the Burner vibe like it’s butter on hot toast.

For more info and receive your next invite, join their BBB Facebook group.