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.
“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.
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:
- SLOW down, pace yourself, take it easy
- If you feel like you’re losing some control or going too far, then STOP
- Give SUPPORT to your mates & the rest of the community if you can see others struggling
- 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...
- Be prepared - if you’re out to party make sure you have food, water and all you need
- Be aware of your personal limitations - know your boundaries
- Don’t be afraid to say NO - if you’re offered something you don’t have to take it
- Look out for your mates & the wider community - take care of them if they’re partying too hard
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.