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Burning Seed 2019 – Dates are locked in!

It may still be 2018, but planning is in full swing for Burning Seed 2019. After our annual summit last weekend, we have now finalised the dates for our event - Wednesday 25th September - Tuesday 1st October.

 

Why is Burning Seed not on the NSW public holiday weekend?

The Burning Seed event usually falls over the NSW public holiday weekend, however our dates each year are set on advice and recommendations from the NSW Forestry Corporation.

For 2019, NSW Forestry are expecting a total fire ban after September 30th. This means that any burning of structures, needs to happen before this date. As the NSW Public Holiday for 2019 falls on Monday 7th October (almost a week later than this year), it will not work to hold the event on that weekend.

While we know that this is not ideal for some of our community, Burning Seed would not be what it is without the burning of the Effigy and Temple.

What about school holidays?

As with the public holiday, we try where possible to ensure the event falls during school holidays. However, we are limited by the NSW Forestry Corporation recommendation.

When do we need to be off site?

This year saw our first Burning Seed closing ceremony and we added an extra day for participants to be off site. This worked fairly well in 2018, however adding an extra day does not mean an extra night of parties and events!

The closing ceremony will be held at 6pm on Monday 30th September with no scheduled events or amplified music to happen after that time. This means you can use Monday evening to relax, pack, hydrate and be well prepared for your drive home. Everyone must leave the paddock by midday on Tuesday 1st October.

When can I get my hands on a ticket?

Woah there! Tickets for Burning Seed usually go on sale between April and May. All info about tickets will be released closer to that time!

 

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Calling All Centre Camp Guardians

Won’t you help us create the most magical space?

Where burnfolk can gather in joyful embrace?

Where all beings are welcomed with learning and song,

A communal bliss-playground where all can belong?

The Burn’s beating heart, with enchantments astounding

With love flowing freely and laughter resounding

Could YOU help us actualise this divine dream

As a member of the Centre Camp Guardian team?

Centre Camp is a central space for the Burner community to gather and connect. Its welcoming magic takes place under a large stretch tent, and this year it will come alive with fun and uplifting activities, such as workshops, community events, and open mic nights.  Here, everyone is invited to share and receive their gifts, or simply rest weary bodies in preparation for future adventures.

As Centre Camp Guardian, you get to be a part of this magic.  You will help ensure all events run smoothly, and play a part in creating memories and experiences for all burners to enjoy.  You will be an active participant in making Centre Camp into a vibrant and inclusive community space, and in turn, magical memories of your own are guaranteed.*

As a Centre Camp Guardian, you are open, friendly and happy to engage with other burners.  A knowledge and understanding of the 10 principles is highly desirable, as well as a willingness to live them, model them and share them with others.

Another way you can contribute to Centre Camp is to bring your own personal gifts to the space.  We are still looking for people to run workshops, talks, yoga, discussion forums, dance offs, tea parties or any other kind of event or activity.  You are only limited by your own imagination. The space holds up to 100 people, and we can provide you with a sound system and a projector!

To join the team and contribute your own fairy dust to this hub of communal wonder, head over to http://burningseed.com/centre-camp/  and complete the form.  We look forward to welcoming you!

 

 

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Let’s Talk About GIFTING!

Of the 10 Principles, Gifting is the one for me that really makes a Burn special. It’s the foundation of how the event is run, and the connections we make with each other. But it’s also the principle that I think is least understood by Burgins (First Time Burners).

So, what is Gifting? Well I’ll tell you what it’s not. It’s not Bartering. Bartering is the exchange of goods. “I’ll give you this thing in exchange for you giving me that thing”. Gifting, on the other hand, is the offer of a gift with no expectation of return. And I say “offer”, because there are two parts to gifting - giving and receiving. It’s one thing to give a gift, but if your gift is not wanted, that needs to be respected. Consent applies to Gifting too!

Let me tell a story to demonstrate. I was Rangering at Afrikaburn one year, and a gentleman (covered head to toe in gold glitter, but that’s for a separate post) came up to me and offered me a token of thanks for my volunteering. It was a little Eiffel Tower keychain, the ones you buy at the $2 store. I asked him the significance of the token, as I thought it may have some importance to him. But he had a pocketful of them as “gifts”. He wasn’t French, and it symbolised nothing except a factory in China staffed by underpaid workers distributing unnecessary plastic into the world. I politely declined his “gift”, and asked if he would like to offer me a high five and a thanks instead.

At the end of my shift, my Ranger partner offered me the wire necklace he’d been working on throughout our shift as a gift and memento of our time together - it was beautiful, handmade, and I still have it to this day.

Junk you’ve purchased from the $2 store is not a gift, it is junk that somebody probably doesn’t want and is too polite to say so. It represents the unnecessary commodification we’re trying to get away from in the default world, and if it doesn’t become MOOP, it will definitely end up in landfill. Before purchasing “gifts”, consider whether you would be genuinely grateful to receive them yourself.

The best gifts? Your time. Your offer of assistance to someone in need. Prepared some extra food? Offer it to your neighbours. Camp mate forgot their pillow? Offer them your spare. Stumbled across someone struggling through a challenging experience? Stop what you’re doing and help them over to Sanctuary.

If this is your first burn, I encourage you not to bring “stuff” to gift. Instead, gift your time to help your theme camp set up, pack down or run events. Or sign up for a community crew shift (shameless plug!) - Burning Seed is run solely by people gifting their time and it’s a great way to meet people as well. You can check out the roles available and apply online here, or come along to the Part!c!pat!on Station near Centre Camp to fill urgent vacancies during the event.

Rhianna “Phoenix” Hobbs
Crew Department Lead

 

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Winner of the Burning Seed Theme Design

After receiving a number of amazing submissions and having a very difficult decision to make, we are happy to announce that the winning theme design for Burning Seed 2018: Ancient Future goes to Sarah Barber. Sarah's design work was used for both Deep Space 2016 and Deeper Space 2017 making Ancient Future 2018 a nice little hat trick!

The winner each year is chosen by Burning Seed Team Leads and Facilitators. To make it fair, they don't know who made the submissions and are simply given the posters to vote on.

Here are Sarah's words about her inspiration for this years design:

"The concept behind this shows various elements montaged together relating to ancient future. The focal point is a Scarab beetle which represents transformation, renewal & creation in Egyptian mythology. The Circle encompassing it is is of Mars which was the most commonly worshipped god among roman ancestors and also a possible future colony for humanity. I've tried to capture the idea further by juxtaposing ancient ruins alongside clean modern shapes (yet ironically also a pyramid) filled with modern cities with an overarching steampunk feel. In the background is a dissected watch which could be looked at as a way to time travel or perhaps we have broken time which is how we ended up in this little sanctuary we call 'Home'. In the ancient future only the weird will survive. To boldly go where we have gone before. Where lizard gods may roam the earth and time stands still - for on the paddock we are neither in the past nor future but the present Ancient Future."

What happens now?

Our talented design team will now work with Sarah to translate this design across all of the things! You'll soon be seeing Sarah's design on the website and Facebook pages and of course on our wristbands and publications for Burning Seed 2018. In the meantime, check out Sarah's awesome design below.

 

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Protecting the Community

There have been a number of conversations recently in the Burner community about how Burning Seed handles sexual assault allegations. We wanted to clarify the policies and procedures we have in place as well as our initiatives in this very sensitive area.

All forms of sexual assault, harassment and/or violence are unacceptable and are not tolerated at Burning Seed. Burning Seed is committed to challenging and preventing sexual assault and violence by creating Australia's​ first sexual assault response team at any burn or festival. Burning Seed is committed to creating a safe environment for everyone during the annual event. Sexual Assault is unlawful and we will ensure that every report will be treated sensitively, promptly, seriously and confidentially. The victim’s well-being and safety is paramount.

The Role of P.E.E.R Rangers

At Burning Seed, our P.E.E.R Rangers are available 24 hours per day to support victims of emotional and/or psychological distress. All P.E.E.R Rangers are highly qualified​, trained and experienced in managing and responding to these incidents. ​Burning ​Seed has every confidence in the team to act in a professional and ethical manner at all times.

As their work is focused on victim support, P.E.E.R Rangers are not responsible for ejecting or banning anyone from the event​. In the event of an incident​(s) where an ejection might be required for the safety of participants, the decision is made by the on-duty Rangers Lead and Site Manager on the day of the report​.

As well as dealing with any issues that occur at Burning Seed, our P.E.E.R Rangers are also committed to onsite community education and awareness of respectful relationships and achieve this via Porta-a-Loo posters, badges displaying positive messages and creatively engaging the community at the Gate and Greeters stations through information dissemination to participants.

The scope of their work does not extend beyond the event - ​this includes​ private fundraising parties. However, outside of the event the P.E.E.R Rangers have chosen to have an​ educational​ role and provide up to date info and awareness​ to the ​Burning Seed community regarding positive relationships, respectful interactions, ​bystander intervention strategies and addressing harmful attitudes. This is achieved through regular blog posts to the official Burning Seed website and the official Burning Seed Facebook page as well as detailed info in our Survival Guide and What, Where, When (WWW) Guide.

The reporting line and chain of accountability is such that P.E.E.R team members report directly to the Team Lead of P.E.E.R, who reports to the Site Safety Facilitator, who reports to the Event Coordinator.

​All​ retroactive incident​ reports or incident reports from off-site events should be directed to the local police for further follow up. Upon request the P.E.E.R. team will continue to provide support and/or counselling details to victims​.​ They will also continue to use retroactive reports to gather data on the trends of the behaviour of our community onsite, to help with ongoing training of P.E.E.R Rangers and to assist with education and awareness campaigns for the wider community.

Disclosures and Reporting of Sexual Assault:

All reports of sexual assault made to Burning Seed will be responded to in a non-judgmental, supportive, positive and empathic manner regardless of gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, cultural identity, religion, disability, age or any other protected characteristic.

In the event that a participant reports sexual assault, harassment or violence during the event, a Ranger and/or P.E.E.R Ranger must be contacted. The Burning Seed Emergency Response Protocol will then be enacted and followed by relevant Lead ​Rangers, Event Coordinators and Site Managers. P.E.E.R Rangers and/or Senior Rangers​ will then follow the Red Earth Ranger Standard Operating Procedure document.​ All incidents are recorded on an official Incident Report form.

What happens next:

  • If the victim decides to make a report​ to NSW Police, they will be supported to do so without judgment or influence of Burning Seed.
  • The victim has the right to withdraw the report at any time throughout the process without consequence. The victim has the right to choose not to be a part of any police investigation that may occur.
  • If Burning Seed believes that the ​immediate ​safety of others is at risk, Burning Seed has the right to eject participants. At least one participant was ejected at the 2015 event after a report of harassment was made to P.E.E.R Rangers.
  • Burning Seed may still inform law enforcement if we believe that participant safety is at risk, ​even if the victim has exercised their right to withdraw a complaint. ​The confidentiality and anonymity of the person(s) affected will be prioritised in these circumstances.

All reports to Rangers must be made by the person​ affected​. No third party reports will be accepted, however a third party can support the victim to make a report.

​I​f a report is withdrawn by the original reporter, the matter is deemed resolved and closed and no further action is taken (except in cases whereby Burning Seed believes that the immediate safety of other participants is at risk).  If the reporter and Burning Seed ​arrive at a mutually​ acceptable outcome, then the matter is deemed resolved​ and the matter is closed.

Burning Seed Commitment

Burning Seed aims to help keep participants safe at all times and alongside our dedicated team of P.E.E.R rangers is the support of paid contracted onsite services. This includes First Aid (Medics) and Event Security who are onsite for the duration of the event. NSW Police are available upon request for urgent matters and make regular visits to the site during the event.

Burning Seed is committed to:

  • Assisting those who have been affected by sexual assault and sexual violence by providing choices, information and support such as assisting victims to access medical care, legal options and information about counselling options.
  • Ensuring those who have been sexually assaulted are treated with dignity, respect and compassion and are supported throughout the event if they wish to make a disclosure to law enforcement.
  • Engaging the community in education and prevention campaigns including breaking myths surrounding sexual assault and addressing harmful attitudes towards sexual assault and harassment.
  • Ensuring that members of the P.E.E.R Ranger team are kept up to date with relevant policy and legislative changes that relate to sexual assault in NSW and that training guidelines are in accordance with the principles of the Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA).
  • Ensuring sensitive and identifying information regarding sexual assault is kept confidential at all times.

Burning Seed aims to exercise care to protect and respect the rights of the victim and alleged perpetrator(s) at all times. Burning Seed update and review their policies and procedures annually.

We thank you for taking the time to read this latest post and can’t wait to see you at Burning Seed 2018.

If you have been affected by sexual assault, harassment or violence and need someone to talk to, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Family Domestic Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732 or visit their website by clicking here.

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The 2018 Burning Seed Theme is…

After a whole ton of suggestions and loads of votes, the Burning Seed Theme for 2018 is..... Ancient Future

Here's some of the deets about how Ancient Future became the Burning Seed Theme for 2018.

  • We opened our submission process which received a whopping 87 theme suggestions (including Alpaca related themes a number of times!)
  • These then went out to the community via our poll and after 375 votes we had our top 5 list (unfortunately Alpaca's did not make the top 5)
  • The top 5 themes were voted on at our annual Burning Seed Summit and the rest is history - or is that future?

What does Ancient Future mean to you? It could be ancient wisdoms and knowledge that have been passed down through aeons, bloom and regrowth, the turning of the wheel with an understanding that the past becomes the future, or maybe it conjures up ideas of time travel and magic. The beauty of Burning Seed is being able to interpret the theme however you want!

Next: Over the coming months we will open the Theme Design process for Ancient Future. This is where we get you to get all creative and submit your designs for the theme which will then be used on our website, Facebook pages, Survival Guide, WWW Guide and a whole bunch of other stuff. More info on this will be coming later.

Thanks Burners! We will see you in the future - or is that the past?
N.B. we are going to use this joke ^^ A LOT!

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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

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Kitchen Crew Looking for a 2iC

Do you know your way around the kitchen? Do you want to be a part of the pre-event action? Do you feel like spending extended time in heaven (AKA the paddock)? This is an exciting opportunity for a 2iC to join the Yum Yums Crew in the Stockade Kitchen. The Yum Yums prepare meals add fuel to the fire of the souls who work tirelessly to build the Effigy, Temple, and prepare the site. Don’t worry though, they all do their own dishes!

What is involved?

This is a bigger time commitment than most roles as you will need to be on site some weeks before the event, but wouldn't that be amazing? For your hard work and dedication, you will rewarded with 3 meals a day, snacks and a tea/coffee station, one prepared meal per day during the event and access to kitchen food stores 24/7. Not to mention HOT SHOWERS and camping with an awesome crew.

If you can commit to 4.5 weeks to living the burn, we’d love to hear from you. Register your interest for Kitchen at http://burningseed.com/participate/communitycrew/

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The loo crew needs you!

Does a bear shit in the woods? Not at Burning Seed!

The Sanitation Services team is seeking new recruits for 2017 - burners who aren’t afraid to get down and dirty (not literally, we’ll be keeping you clean under the guidance of our Squeaky Queen!) and help deal with our toilets and other on site waste in a hygienic and environmentally friendly way.

To help us Leave No Trace we have portaloo toilets on site which are emptied twice a day by an external service provider. Our dangerous human burner waste gets turned into awesome renewable energy as biogas, and a safely sterilised fertiliser called biosolids which is used by farmers all over the world. Sometimes science and technology are amazing and poo is kind of cool.

The Sanitation Crew replenishes toilet paper and hand sanitiser in the portaloos, helps oversee the toilet pump outs safely in a sanitary manner keeping burners away from that shenanigan, generally makes sure the loo situation is not a hazard to human health (important!), and also deals with the waste from the different burns on site and other crew rubbish sources to help keep the Leave No Trace side of Burning Seed left nice and traceless.

Does this sound like you? Each loo crew member will need to do a 4 hour shift - you can do more if you’re gung ho. You’ll need to be onsite by Tuesday 26th September so that you can be part of our crew induction at 9am on Wednesday 27th September. You’ll need to wear covered shoes but you’ll be given all the personal protective gear you need otherwise (disposable aprons, gloves, garbage bags, hand sanitiser). And for being part of our crew you'll get early entry, showers & meals at the Stockade and also loads of kudos!

For more info on what it takes to be part of the number 1 and number 2 team on the paddock, check out the Sanitation Crew FAQ. For further details on the role and what it involves, contact the lovely Lara Warren at sanitation@burningseed.com.

To step up on the throne and sign yourself up to join the team, fill in the Burning Seed crew registration survey and select the option “Sanitation Services”.

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Peer Rangers looking for a 2IC

We all get by with a little help from our friends, but sometimes there’s a little extra help needed! The Peer Rangers provide emotional support on the Paddock & they (might) want you!

Do you want to get creative in supporting and encouraging respectful relationships of all kinds on the Paddock? Do you think you could help update policies and procedures, train an awesome team of Rangers and PEER's, drive a targeted awareness campaign, create posters and, most importantly, lend an ear when an ear is needed most? (Less commitment than Van Gogh required). This is a program, policy and engagement role where you will get your hands dirty! 

LadySparkles - Team Lead of Peer Rangers shared some of her most memorable moments in the role: "Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make a difference. You might just have the privilege of giving the exact thing someone needs at the exact time they need it".

LadySparkles is searching for the perfect 2IC - someone to plan for the future with, someone with experience in a helping profession (i.e. counselling / crisis intervention / sexual assault counselling / festival experience such as Nest at Rainbow or Mental Health Branch at Burning Man) who is passionate about building a safe and supportive community into our future. Time commitments will fluctuate, but weekly contact generally at a minimum a few months leading up to the event.

If this sounds like you, please read the following, and click through to the position description and get in touch: http://burningseed.com/blog/wanted-2ic-for-when-the-going-gets-tough/

*** there are a lot of you heading to the USA this year, if you’re interested - get in touch, we can be flexible with time commitments***

LadySparkles - PEER Team Lead