Immersive Worlds Await
Theme camps are the interactive core of a Burn. They create an ambience and a visual presence, providing interactive and communal spaces, often with activities. Fun, frivolous or food for thought, they are open to all and a gift to those who enter.
These camps are created by the combined efforts of participants, who join together in crews. They are a way to apply the participation, communal effort, self-expression and gifting principles, by devoting time, energy and resources to creating immersive worlds for other people to enjoy.
Examples of past theme camps include sound camps and bars, chill and chai tents, theatrical and artistic venues, fetish temples, safe spaces and kids corner. You can take a flick through some pics.
Consider getting a group of friends together to bring your world vision to life. Check out our set-up guide and make sure that you register your camp for placement. While we always love spontaneous combustions of creativity, we need to make sure that everything and everyone has a place to call home for the week.
Photo: Jorgenn Dobleene
Theme Camp Guidelines
You’ve dreamed up the idea, now it’s time to get into gear. This guide outlines the things to consider when you are planning, when you are on site and when it’s time to leave.
Becoming a registered theme camp at Burning Seed provides your group with a number of great benefits:
- Your camp will have an allocated space on the paddock. This means you can get prime position, reserve a secluded spot or ensure you are next to camps you collaborate with;
- Your camp will be listed on our site map and in our What Where When guide along with any events you want to run. The site map and WWW guide will be handed out to all participants at the event;
- Your camp will be able to share information on Burning Seed’s social media sites;
- Your camp may also be eligible for a small grant to help offset some of your expenditure.
Application for placement
Applications for placement are not yet open for Burning Seed 2020.
Burning Seed can only offer placement to a limited number of theme camps. In 2019 we will be offering placement to 60 camps. The number is limited based on the size of the site and to ensure a good ratio of camps. Successful camps will be selected by the Theme Camp Team based on the following criteria:
- Previous performance at Burning Seed – Did your camp turn up? Did you do what you said you were going to do in your previous application? Were you just generally awesome? Did you MOOP or did you Leave No Trace?
- Variety – One of the best things about a burn is heading off on an adventure and not knowing what you’re going to find. Our aim is to provide a wide range experiences for everyone that make the journey to Burning Seed. Offer something unique and you’re almost guaranteed a spot.
- Aesthetics – Will your camp look visually spectacular? Will you be a shining beacon in the night?
- Inclusivity – Are you open to everybody or catering for a select few?
- Safety – Safety First not third.
- The Ten Principles – Show us how you embody the ten principles into what you are bringing to Burning Seed
- Run Times – Are you open for business 24/7 or planning to only run 1-2 short events? We acknowledge running a camp is hard work and everyone needs some time off, if you’re only running a couple of events we suggest you think about if your camp can provide an open or shared space when you’re off partying. We highly recommend sound camps limit themselves to 3-4 events.
Placement and Space
We place camps according to sound, size, activities, numbers of people in camp and placement in previous years. Sound camps or louder camps are placed on the western side of the Paddock, near or facing The Effigy in our high-noise area, while camps seeking quieter locations get placed in the quiet camping zone to the east. When working out the space that you will need, please factor in everything that forms your front of house and let us know how many tents and cars that your crew will have.
We will try to allocate your desired space to you taking into account the constraints of the event site and areas available for Theme Camps. You may use space around your allocated area as long as it is not allocated to event infrastructure or another Theme Camp.
Placement will consider various factors:
- What the Theme Camp is offering
- Collaborations with other camps / villages
- Proposed sound levels and run times
- Location preferences
- Site infrastructure requirements
- Requirements from other event organising teams
Theme camps are a central part of the experiences made at Burning Seed. We will always make the case for continued and greater support from the Burning Seed Organisation. To reflect this, Theme Camp Grants started receiving a greater proportion of revenue in 2020. As a result in addition to the regular returning theme camp grant, there are larger grants to theme camps or villages that apply for them.
These grants aim to encourage the talented people involved in theme camps to generate art, encourage interactivity, increase cooperation and to enable the growth of new camps. This new funding model was created through community feedback to create a funding model that reflects community and Seed Org goals into the future. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LARGE GRANTS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON.
As in the previous few years small grants will also be available to returning theme camps that have previously received placement. Camps must also have a good performance (especially LNT) history. These grants are designed to help offset some of the costs of creating and transporting your infrastructure to the site. Typically small grants will be in the range of $400 to $800.
To receive your Grant money, you will be required to provide receipts, a payment requisition form and either an invoice or Statement by a Supplier.
Camps offering special activities for kids (aged under 16) may also be eligible for an addition grant that is subsidised by kid’s ticket revenue. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Theme Camp Memorandum of Understanding
All theme camps will be required to sign a Theme Camp Memorandum of Understanding (available at the link above). By doing so, you acknowledge your responsibilities for creating a safe camp and to Leave No Trace.
Leave No Trace Plan
All theme camps will be required to submit a Leave No Trace Plan (available at the link above) as part of the theme camp application process. Theme camps will detail how they will proactively minimise MOOP in their allocated theme camp areas.
All theme camps will be required to submit a Risk Assessment (available at the link above) as part of the theme camp application process. Theme camps are required to identify all potential risks associated with their camp infrastructure and planned activities and detail how they mitigate these risks.
Fires, burns and flame effects
Bush ﬁres are of very real concern to our neighbours, and Burning Seed’s ﬁre licence restricts our use of open ﬁres. Propane cookers are okay, but individual campﬁres and solid-fuel stoves are not permitted. Fire is restricted to the burning of the 3 large art burns (including the Effigy and Temple), community ﬁre pits, and designated burn barrels. Personal ﬁreworks and ﬁrearms are also prohibited.
Theme camps may apply to have one of the designated fire barrel within their camp, you can do this through the application process.
If you are incorporating flame effects or pyrotechnics into your art, art car or Theme Camp, you need to register with the fabulous Fire Art Response Team to ensure that you comply with Burning Seed’s safety standards. Registration closes with FART. TBA. To register, email email@example.com and one of their teamsters will send you a burn permit application form, info pack and compliance guidelines.
Burning Seed requires all theme camps to:
- Conduct a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) or Risk Assessment that covers all activities performed by the camp; and
- Apply controls to reduce any identified potential risks.
Theme camps are responsible for the ensuring the safe erection, use and occupancy of any structure that forms part of your camp. It is recommended that all theme camps utilise the checklist provide in Appendix A2 of the ABCB (2015) Temporary Structures Standard.
Further safety information regarding structures can be found in National and State regulations. Specifically:
- Australian Building Codes Board (2015) Temporary Structures Standard
- Australian Building Codes Board (2016) National Construction Code (specifically part B1 and NSW Part H102)
- State Environmental Planning Policy (2008) Exempt and Complying Development Codes
Theme camps are responsible for ensuring the safe conduct of any performance or participatory event.
Burning Seed’s insurance policy will not cover ‘Personal injury or Property Damage to property of persons actually participating in any performance, sport, game, contest or display involving athletic, acrobatic, military or equestrian skill or the use of firearms, missiles of any kind, explosives or combustibles.’
Service of Alcohol
Many Theme Camps choose to run a donation or gifting bar; ‘hell yeah’, who doesn’t like a free drink! The gifting or service of alcohol must be done responsibly and should be conducted in general accordance with the principals of Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA). Specifically, if your gifting alcohol you must:
- Not supply alcohol to anyone under the age of 18;
- Be able to recognise the signs of impending intoxication and, not serve anyone who shows these signs or anyone who arrives already intoxicated;
- Understand the principles of ‘standard drinks’ and drink drive levels;
- Discourage patrons from actions that can harm themselves or others;
- Supply drinking water whenever alcohol is being served; and
- Understand the impact of alcohol misuse and abuse on our community.
More information about the Responsible Service of Alcohol can be found here.
The last few years of Burning Seed have seen our favourite works of art become mobile, as they transform into Art Cars, or the Mutant Vehicles of Red Earth City. While we love the new creativity participants are bringing to Seed, it’s also important we keep the rest of the City safe.
At Burning Seed, all powered vehicles or human powered vehicles over 250kg for use on the Paddock need to be registered and licensed with REDMV. If you are planning on bringing a Mutant Vehicle to Burning Seed this year and it’s powered or over 250 kilograms, you need to complete a Mutant Vehcile application and have this approved.
Please note: Submitting an application will NOT automatically mean you can bring your Mutant Vehicle to Burning Seed.
Activities and promotion
Our Theme Camps have their own special activities or “big” event. Once you know what spectacle you plan for our enjoyment, please let our comms team know so they can help promote your events through Burning Seed blog. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven’t already, create a Facebook page or group where you can share your plans, invite and inspire people to join, and broadcast news about your camp. Again, please let us know about your newly created Facebook profile so we can add it to our Theme Camp listings. There is also a Facebook group theme camps called Burning Seed Theme Camps – you may discuss or share anything theme camp related here.
You will also need to submit your event details to our What Where When event guide which is handed out to participants along with a site map, when they arrive at the entry gate. Application forms will be made available closer to the event – you must keep an eye out on the official Burning Seed page and the Burning Seed Theme Camps page for announcements.
Bring everything you need for your camp – tools, water, fuel, food etc — and make sure your crew does too. Bring water to spare and the right type of food for potentially six nights in the bush. The Theme Camp Team and Department of Planning and Infrastructure are there to support you, not supply you with what you need.
We highly encourage theme camps to collaborate between themselves and with the general populace. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Share Resources: An enormous amount of resources go into creating an event. Leave No Trace has to go further than just taking your rubbish with you. Sharing resources and reducing your footprint is encouraged. Get in contact with other camps and see if you can share something! Transportation, generators back-of-house facilities, even storage space in between events can all be shared and help minimise waste and expenditure by camps.
- Adopt-a-Burgin: Theme camps take a lot of effort to run, why not get some more help! Sign up to ‘Adopt-a-Burgin’ when you submit your application and you can take on a newbie or two. You get help, a newbie gets the best Burning Seed experience and you both get new friends. Winning!
- Share-a-Space: Not going to run your sound system 24/7? Why not let someone use the space in your camp while you have some down time? Lots of people look to run workshops or events and don’t have a theme camp of their own. If you’re happy gift your space to someone sign up to ‘Share-a-Space’ when you submit your application
Gates open for early entry on Sunday 20th September 2020. The event has limited capacity for early arrivals. Only approved Theme Camps are approved for early entry and only a reasonable number of people will be provided early entry based on the size of your camp.
A full list of names of your camp early arrivals will be requested pre-event. No Theme Camp early arrivals may arrive on site prior to the date above. If you have an early entry requirement prior to that date or to volunteer in another area (e.g. Effigy build, Temple build, Art), then you must request early entry through that Team, not Theme Camps.
All early arrivals must have their own ticket to enter.
On arrival, please request the Gate crew to radio the event Theme Camp Coordinators and a member of the team will meet you at your allocated location.
We recommend you are on-site no later than midday Wednesday 23rd September.
Pretty please don’t run your generator late at night or early in the morning. Place the generator as far from other camps as possible and make sure people can’t trip over power cords. Cover your generator with a sound shield or bafﬂe (DO NOT bury your generator to muffle the sound). Wherever possible, please share generators between camps.
If you have a large sound system and/or plan to play sound early morning/late night, you will be placed in the Loud area. All Theme Camps must orientate their speakers to have the least impact on the Quiet Camping area
If you have anyone in your camp who wants to go to sleep when you’re partying and they don’t want loud music disturbing them we suggest three options:
- ear plugs;
- set-up a satellite camping area away from the main theme camp area; or
- set them free.
Sort your waste as you go by setting up separated recycling collection. Be responsible for your own rubbish. You and your crew also need to bring your own cups, bowls, plates and cutlery; disposables are strongly discouraged. If you are operating any kind of bar, encourage all bar-flys to bring their own cups instead of resorting to disposable ones.
If your camp is high-traffic and/or runs late into the night, visitors to your camp are likely to leave MOOP behind. Come prepared to take extra rubbish home with you, and prime your campmates to ongoingly educate visitors about LNT.
All Theme camps will have to vacate site by midday Wednesday 30th September 2020 after the event has closed. Before leaving:
- Ensure a full and complete MOOP sweep of your camp area and surrounds; and
- Obtain a Leave No Trace clearance from the LNT Team (this can then avoid post event misunderstandings on the condition of your site).
If you absolutely need to leave later than this, you must get approval from either the Theme Camp Team or the LNT Team. Camps still on-site after midday Wednesday 30th September 2020 will be marked as MOOP.
Leave No Trace
As part of the Theme Camp Agreement, you will need to organise a Leave No Trace plan for your camp.
Make sure everyone does a MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) sweep of your camp before you leave. Every little bit of MOOP, including nails, cable ties, peanut and egg shells, glitter, cigarette butts, anything that is not part of the natural environment, must be taken away. Leave no trace really does mean LEAVE NO TRACE.
Rubbish and recycling
Plan ahead! Theme Camps can generate a lot more rubbish and recycling than an ordinary camp. Consider what you pack in so you have less to pack out or dispose of. Take unnecessary plastic wrappings off items, transfer items sold in plastic bags or boxes to tupperware or crates. Bring plenty of heavy-duty garbage bags.
Be kind to your neighborsand don’t dump your rubbish in neighbouring towns, roadside bins or service stations on your way out. Instead, plan for a rubbish and recycling run to anyone of the below, after the event:
- Narrandera: Cypress Centre Recycling, 1 Dalgetty St, Narrandera
- Wagga Wagga: City Council Waste Management Site, 132 Ashfords Rd, Wagga Wagga
- Coolamon Tip: Located 5km SSW of Coolamon. Head South on Wagga Hwy less than 1km, turn right on Rock-Coolamon Rd. Drive 5km, tip is on your right. Open Mon 9am-1pm
- Ganmain Tip: Located at the end of Grave St (by the cemetery) in the far SE corner of town. Go south down Gresham St from Coolaman Ganmain Rd (also known as Waterview Rd) until it hits Grave St, turn left, keep going and pray for signs. Open Mon 2-5pm.
Theme Camp Registration
In order to complete your application please download the application pack and complete the following documentation BEFORE starting your application:
- Theme Camp Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): This document details Burning Seeds expectations on how a Theme Camp operate at Burning Seed.
- Risk Assessment: Each camp must complete a Risk Assessment or Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) detailing how they will operate safely at Burning Seed.
- Leave No Trace (LNT) Plan: Each camp must designate one member to be the LNT lead, they must agree to be responsible for their camps MOOP and develop a plan on how to LNT.
Theme Camp applications for 2020 will be announced soon. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
Theme Camp Grants
On top of our returning Theme Camp Grants, the following large grants are available to officially recognised theme camps at Burning Seed 2019. There are 3 categories this year; Art, Community Service (activities or food etc) and Infrastructure. To submit a proposal for a grant, hit the button below.
Grants will be capped at a maximum of $1000 and will be selected by the Theme Camp Team based on the strength of the proposal, reasonable and realistic costings of the project and with the goal of maximising the grant's impact out on the paddock.
We look forward to receiving your submission and good luck!