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Out of AfriKa(Burn)

By Helena Sheridan

I got infatuated by the concept of Burning Man in 2012. At the time I had no idea it would lead me to experience Burns on three different continents.

I didn’t realize it would suck me so deep into a culture of people so diverse, yet so similar, that I would eventually draw a (small) salary from it and get to be involved all year round in creating spectacular events and experimental communities.

DPW in Tankwa Town.... (Photo credit: Adriaan V Zyl)

DPW in Tankwa Town…. (Photo credit: Adriaan V Zyl)

In 2015 my involvement as the Coordinator of AfrikaBurn’s Department of Public Works gave me an opportunity to travel to Australia and work with Red Earth City’s Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

The setting, the faces and the accents may change, but at its core the spirit of the people, who give so much of their time to put on an event of this nature, remains the same. This is my tribe.

Same / Same, but Same, but Different

To date I’ve been lucky enough to work at Nowhere, the European regional Burn in Spain (2012 and 2013) with around 1000-1200 participants and at AfrikaBurn, the world’s biggest regional, in the Tankwa Karoo of South Africa (2013 to 2015) with numbers in the range 8000 to 11,000.

Burning Seed 2015 was a fantastic middle ground in terms of participants (3,400 or so) and I really enjoyed the sense of community I found at Red Earth City.

....meet DPI at Red Earth City

….meet DPI at Red Earth City. What is it with this crew and containers??? (photo credit: Andy Flint)

Interestingly the concerns and issues that plague the membership and the Operations Team at AfrikaBurn HQ in Cape Town also resonate with the Burning Seed team in Australia.

The rapid growth of the events, the constant need to reinforce the message of consent, conflicts between the Ten Principles, keeping everyone happy in a radically expressive environment and burn-out amongst key team members seems to be all too evident both sides of the pond.

Meeting the Challenges of Event Growth

How does a decommodified event start to pay key crew-members? To what extend do we rely on volunteerism and how does involvement not become exclusive if only certain people can afford the time to work on the event? How do we keep growing our events while making sure the culture and Principles of the movement are not lost in the influx of virgins? And at what time can we expect big sound systems to shut up for a while so we can hear the sounds of the beautiful environments in which we find ourselves?

I certainly got new insight on some of these questions during my time at Seed 2015 and I hope I provided the crew on that side with some new perspectives too.

For one thing, I was really inspired by the amount of time, money and effort the citizens of Red Earth City put into theme camps (at AfrikaBurn there are no theme camp grants and there’s a lot more focus on mutant vehicles and big artwork).

With the rascals at the Grong Grong

Helena (centre) hanging out with the Red Earth rascals at the Matong local

It did me good also to see how the communities in Sydney and Melbourne hang out, get creative and take Burner culture back to the cities where they live. Seeing how involved people get in their camps or artworks allowed me valuable perspective as someone who has always just seen the practical, infrastructure side of such creative events.

Come say Aweh

I hope more of the core crew and participants from Seed can come visit us in South Africa to see how much we do with so little. The third world (and our location 3hrs from ANYthing) certainly makes us think outside a lot of boxes and a lot more ‘McGuyvering’ is implemented.

I think our two events can learn a lot from each other and together we can all take big bold steps into the future.

I want to thank everyone who hosted me, offered me a couch, a tent, a sleeping bag, a meal, a drink, a puff, a pill, a good time. I have much admiration for the crew putting on this spectacular event without a cent to compensate the time they put in and I have made a whole lot of fantastic new friends.

Come to Tankwa Town, I will look after you!
Yours in dust and deet…. Helena

AfrikaBurn takes place between 25 April and 1 May 2016 – at the time of writing, tickets are pretty close to selling out, so get in quick.

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Wanna be part of the Seed Crew? The Wranglers need a 2iC!!!!

Photo Credit: Onur Karaozbek DSvision.netA BIG THANK YOU to the just over 8 per cent of participants at Seed last year – around 280 souls – who supported the 2015 event as Community Crew. The good news? We’re gonna do it all again in 2016!!!

Every year, as the event grows, so does the need for more Community Crew to get involved and gift their time and skills. For many on Crew it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn something, make new friends and contribute to the community.

You know what’s holding Seed’s growth back? Crew. Crew. Crew. Too few people are signing up which has left us kinda understaffed over the last couple of years – remember the cap on tickets last year? Yep that’s cos we got too few people signing up for Crew…

[YOUR NAME HERE ], 2iC, Crew Wranglers = SWEEEEET!!

So we start the new year with a call-out for one of the key Crew leadership roles that helps to make it all happen – that’s right! There’s a Crew Wrangling leadership role available and it has YOUR name on it!

We’re seeking a 2iC (second in charge) Crew Wrangler to work with all Seed teams to help identify and fill crewing needs in 2016 and beyond. Check out the role description like now!

What IS Crew Wrangling??!

2016 Crew Wrangling Co-Lead Carly says Crew Wrangling is a hugely important, varied and rewarding role with Seed….

“The 2iC Crew Wrangler is really vital to the overall success of the event – both in terms of recruiting enough people, matching them to the right roles and making sure the whole thing is a win-win-win – for Seed, for the Team and for the individual. No pressure!”

“We need crew pre-event, on-site and post-event, who can commit to anything from a few hours a day to dozens of hours during the year, and with skillsets ranging from finance to construction, medical to catering. But it doesn’t stop there – we’re keen to talk to anyone who wants to contribute!!!

“People love the opportunity to crew – we did a crewing survey last year and the satisfaction rates were through the roof – people said they really loved the experience and that they’d not only come back next time but also recommend it to their friends.”

Curious? Up for the challenge? Get into it!

The 2iC Crew Wrangler will work with the Crew Wrangler Team Co-Leads to reach out into the community and act as magical crewing matchmakers, linking individual skills, interests and capabilities with Seed’s crewing needs.

C’mon… you’re curious right? So check out the 2iC role description, get busy with your email to the Wranglers to register your interest and to find out more. If you interested in something that’s not this Crew Wrangling opportunity take a gander at the other Crew roles on the website and/or register your interest in crewing with the Crew Wranglers.

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So long and thanks for everything!

Written by Neil Power (Neillo)

At the recent Team Leads’ Summit, a number of key contributors to the success of Burning Seed stepped down after busting several guts over several years to help deliver our little forest gathering….

Bear - Rangers

 

Bear: When Seed needed someone to take the Rangers team by the horns, we had no idea of the gift that was Bear was coming our way. Ranger Mammoth to his mum, Bear brought the experience and enthusiasm we needed to take Rangers from the “it’s getting there” to “it’s bloody here and it’s great” status. Bear leaves us with arguably the most helpful and critical Paddock team ready to roll for many years to come. Almost everyone has a Bear story and we should all consider ourselves lucky for that.

Jodi

 

Jodi York: Our now former Mistress of Finance since almost year dot is also taking time out to smell some roses. Jodi ran the Finance team with such diligence and focus that Burning Seed started to look like a grown-up event far earlier than we possibly deserved . She could crack a whip with such grace that you almost made mistakes deliberately just to be on the receiving end of it. Jodi also did some time on Town Council.

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 1.27.52 PM

 

Jane Lyons: The heart and soul of the Comms team since waaay back is taking time away from the coal-face. Jane has driven Seed’s engagement with the community and greater public for the other 51 weeks of the year, and has worked tirelessly to ensure delivery of everything from the Flaming Galah and the Seed website to the What Where When guide, Info Centre and media on-site, and so much more besides. Her efforts to inform and educate the community have been critical to the development of the event we see today.

Jayman

 

Jayman:Jayman steps down this year as co-lead of the Theme Camps team. Nice one brother, but no glowing praise for you yet as we still have to deal with you now you’re on Town Council. (You know, it might get awkward.) Theme Camps – the most visible and physical manifestation of participation on Paddock – have thrived under Jay’s guidance in the last couple of years. Things are bigger and brighter than ever on the Paddock, thanks to Dr J and his merry mob of co-leads and minions. Just bring your own cup.

Sabina

 

Sabina Nowak: Co-Lead of the Crew Wranglers is stepping back after two years revolutionising how we make sure we have enough hands on deck to make this event work. We’ve never had the crew we have now, and that’s thanks in no small part to Sabina’s incredible efforts as part of our Crew Wrangling Team.

 

The Captain

 

Justin McGhee: The Captain of all sorts has contributed to Seed with Team Lead stints at Theme Camps, DPI, Artery and Event Coordination as well as three years thinking big-picture stuff at Town Council (truck full of medals backing up shortly). As happy with a hose in a filthy dunnie as he is dealing with an art submission, Skip has been everywhere. He got on with stuff and for the most part got it done. Burn passion personified.

None of these folks are going too far and we’ll be seeing them again in the future… but, for now, some well deserved time off beckons. Thank you, guys and girls. Thank you very much indeed.

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Join the Crew!

Photo credit: Adam B Taylor

Participation is the lifeblood of Burning Seed. Photo credit: Adam B Taylor.

So there you are, still basking in the afterglow of your Burn, compulsively reading all the stories on Facebook, and reliving those beautiful and fun memories of Seed 2015.

The good news is that you can maintain that glow ALL YEAR ROUND by joining the crew!!!

Pulling this Seed thing off is a huge, huge effort and we always need more hands, hearts and minds to get involved.

Crewing is an awesome gift to the community, and it doesn’t matter whether you can spare an hour or 100 hours a week (joking!!). It all really helps.

Find out more by checking out the website or talking it over with friends who are already involved.

We’ll be checking in with the community throughout the year for different community crew needs, but for the moment we’re keen to find people for a couple of areas:

We need a new Crew Wrangler!

Yes! We are super keen for a new year-round Crew Wrangler! Crew Wranglers really are Seed Superpeople! They make the magic happen by working with team leads to identify where the skill needs are and connecting with the community to fill them. They’re also amazing troubleshooters and total nerds when it comes to managing crew rosters. If you have got what it takes, then give it up and get on board!

We need Communications people!

Comms is always, always, ALWAYS on the look out for amazing people to help us crew this 365-day joint – if you’re an web developer, IT graphic designer, a writer, a publisher, a project manager, a curator, a photo/videographer, a media/issues management specialist, a social media maven or just so goddam mustard keen to crew with Comms, get your freak on and fizz it up with that motherhugger!

To express your interest or to find out more, contact the Crew Wranglers at jointhecrew@burningseed.com

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Join your PEERs and support our community on the Paddock

 

This year, we will see a new breed of Rangers at Red Earth City. The P.E.E.R. Rangers are Psychological & Emotional Emergency Response (P.E.E.R.) Rangers. They will be identified by a purple-coloured arm band as well as the usual orange Ranger CostuForm. 

Peer Purple Web 03 smallRole

PEER Rangers will provide support on the Paddock for participants who are having an emotional, mental or psychological crisis that goes beyond the capacity of their local Burner community and Red Earth City Rangers to manage, but that does not yet need medical services.

They will provide immediate emotional, psychological and peer support to participants of all ages, who may require a safe space to process their experiences and to regain a more balanced outlook.

This may involve attending to someone who is experiencing an intense emotional response resulting from:

  • a violation of their personal space
  • altered states of consciousness
  • interpersonal issues.

This role has been developed to better deal with consent and psychological issues after some people experienced these at last year’s event.

Knowledge and experience

 The PEER Rangers will undergo some specialist training as well as the usual Red Earth City Ranger training throughout the year and leading up to the event.

Ideal Community Crew will have previous medical, mental health, and/or psychological counselling experience (eg. psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists) or harm reduction. We are also looking for individuals who have broader qualifications or experience in telephone crisis lines, life coaching, peer education, foreign aid, health or emergency services.

This list is not exhaustive and all of these skills are not mandatory. If you believe that you have valuable skills and experience that are not listed here, please get in touch with the REC Rangers via the Facebook Page to discuss your suitability.

To sign up, rock on over here.

 

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Rangers just got hotter

Rangers costuform

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]T[/bra_dropcaps]hose super-heroes and super-heroines of Seed are back and sexier than ever. Rejoice in the orange glory of our Rangers new ‘Costuforms’. High visibility – check. High swag – check. UV50+ protective – check. Flame retardant – check. Yes! You read that right – EFFING FLAME RETARDANT!!

From the recruitment team at Outpost Oodnawoopwoop:

The Red Earth Rangers are regular Burners who take their Civic Responsibility seriously and Gift their time by walking the weird in Orange. Rangers are regular Participants – like YOU – just with a two-way radio and some training about who to ask for on the other end of it.

We roam in pairs and serve in a guardianship role as the eyes and ears of the community and help to keep participants safe. We are occasionally also called upon to act as an objective voice of reason and assist participants in resolving conflicts and situations that they can’t handle themselves.

Rangers also play a critical role in managing the perimeter for the Effigy and Temple burns, and are the first point-of-contact in the event of fire or medical situations. Presence of mind (ie sobriety) and an ability to keep a cool head in an intense situation are the only prerequisites.

It’s a cruisy, fun, engaging, and [mostly] laid-back gig that is a great way to meet people and see parts of Red Earth City that you otherwise might not. It’s also leads to getting more hugs of appreciation than you ever thought possible!

Even if you’re a first-time Burner, you can join the hi-vis ranks of the Rangers this year at Burning Seed! Ranger operations run for the duration of the event and operate 24-hours. Training sessions will be held pre-event in both Sydney and Melbourne in September, as well as on site at the event.

Wanna sign up as a Ranger? Check our recent Community Crewsday call out or sign up under the Participate tab on the Burning Seed website.

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Build it and they’ll actually come — the making of an info booth


[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]Y[/bra_dropcaps]ou could have knocked Scarlett over with a feather — or the merest tickle of a tutu. 
Our resident Centre Camp artist had been struggling to build our whizz-bang new info centre booth with very limited help. But then our trusty Crew Wrangling Team had it’s wicked way with her, and suddenly a dreary Melbourne Saturday morning became a hub of collaborative kickarse know-how. 

What a difference a community makes!

On 18 April, 12 people descended on Reclamation artists warehouse in Coburg to help Scarlett build a new circus-inspired booth for the Red Earth Info centre. They came. They sawed. They conquered! Oh, and they painted too.

A smaller gang of Centre Camp rockstars have since been working on the metalwork that will adorn the info booth.

Check out some of the pics below.

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Wanna tap into your inner Flashdance and help weld? Or are you gagging for a hit of sawdust? Jump on Centre Camp’s Facebook page or contact our Crew Wranglers via our Community Crew page.

 

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Show us da money — 2014 finance report now available

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]T[/bra_dropcaps]he 2014 Burning Seed finance report is now available for your reading pleasure — Burner bean counters unite! The report covers all the financial comings and goings of last year’s event and is developed by our money mavens, the Finance Team, with input from all the teams.

Over 100+ hours, every transaction is verified against physical receipts, performance against budget analysed and justified team-by-team so that we understand why our forecasts were inaccurate. All of this is found within the report, along with year-on-year comparisons, assessment of challenges and recommendations for improvement. This report is reviewed and approved by all six members of the REC town council prior to publication.

But wait but wait. There’s more… so much more than meets the eye to our Fabulous Finance Team. Wanna know what it takes to keep the finger on the financial pulse? Read on, McDuff

But who was that masked maven?

Finance works year-round behind the scenes to manage money, pay bills, file external paperwork, report on performance and generally take care of anything that features a dollar sign. Long before the event starts, the finance lead works with individual teams to cost their visions, then massages those components together into a coherent and balanced budget for approval by the Town Council.

Once the starting gun fires, finance is in ongoing communication with various teams about their expenditure, paying bills, putting out fires and re-budgeting around unexpected issues, while monitoring ticket sales (our main income) against forecasts so that everything is in place for the number of participants we will have.

On Paddock, finance manages the cash from ice sales and incidentals, but mostly takes a breather knowing that things are about to get very busy! Post-event, finance works double time to pay all outstanding bills, coordinate with teams to get financial reports and receipts, prepare the finance Afterburn report, and coordinate with the accountant to prepare final accounts and pay taxes.

Meet the faces of finance

For the last couple years, finance has been a solo performance by Jodi Rivet. This year she is joined by a very capable lieutenant and understudy: the lovely and talented Caroline Brosnan.

[bra_button text=’2014 Finance AfterBurn report’ url=’http://burningseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Afterburn2014_Finance.pdf’ target=’_blank’ size=’large’ style=’rounded’ color=’orange’]
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The big wrap: 2014 AfterBurn report

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]I[/bra_dropcaps]t’s here! Da big wrap! Every year, our dedicated Team Leads and Crew get together post-Seed to review the event — what went well, what didn’t go so well, and recommendations for how we can make the next year even better!

Each Team develops a detailed report and we’ve summarised them all here in this handy, er… summary. You’ll find pdfs the full Team AfterBurn reports below.

You — the community — make Seed what it is. We’ve seen huge growth at Seed in a relatively short time, and it’s your engagement — your creativity, your passion and active participation — will help to make sure that, as a community, we manage that growth in a sustainable way.

Take a look at the AfterBurn summary, take a deeper look through the full reports and let us know how you want to get involved in helping to make the good stuff better, helping to fix what didn’t work so well last year, and helping to implement recommendations identified for 2015.

Let’s do this!!

Note: To read the flipbook, press the magnifying class under the book and it will allow you to zoom in and read the text. To return to the layout view, just press the magnifying glass again.

For those who want to download the AfterBurn report, we’ve also provided a pdf.[bra_border_divider top=’20’ bottom=’20’]

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Individual team reports

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Feedback

[gravityform id=”19″ name=”2014 AfterBurn feedback” title=”false” description=”false”]
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Join the crew and role with us!!


[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]Y[/bra_dropcaps]o! Hola! 
So, we need hearts and hands and minds… and you wanna feel a greater connection with your tribe — right? Right? Well here’s your chance! Whether you build houses or websites, cook for people or cook the books, fix bodies or fix bad copy (ahem!)…

WE WANT YOU, WE WANT YOU, WE WANT YOU ON COMMUNITY CREW!

We’re six months out from the Burn and we’re recruiting for key Community Crew roles RIGHT NOW!

Our Burn has grown so much in only a short time and we need your help to create an even bigger, better, burnier Seed in 2015. So, these skill sets are always in demand: lawyers, accountants, builders, carpenters, doctors, nurses, paramedics, graphic designers, content writers, editors, web designers, project managers and event managers (phew!)

But we’re open to anyone who wants to invest time ahead of the burn, on-site or after the event. Check out these job role descriptions below and get in touch QUICK! if you’re interested to find out more:

[bra_button text=’Red Earth Info Lead’ url=’http://burningseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/InfoCentreTeamLead.pdf’ target=’_self’ size=’medium’ style=’rounded’ color=’orange’][bra_button text=’Kitchen 2IC’ url=’http://burningseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Kitchen2iC.pdf’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ style=’rounded’ color=’orange’][bra_button text=’Ice sales team lead’ url=’http://burningseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/IceSalesTeam-Lead.pdf’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ style=’rounded’ color=’orange’][bra_button text=’DPI crew’ url=’http://burningseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/DPI-Crew.pdf’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ style=’rounded’ color=’orange’][bra_button text=’ARTery crew member’ url=’http://burningseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Artery-Team.pdf’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ style=’rounded’ color=’orange’][bra_button text=’Leave No Trace 2ICs’ url=’http://burningseed.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RoleDescriptionLeaveNoTrace2iC.pdf’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ style=’rounded’ color=’orange’][bra_divider height=’10’]

To register for more opportunities and to join the crew, get in touch with our Crew Wrangling team. To take a look at other roles, check out our participation portal.

GO YOU!!

Pic thanks to Shaan Ali