MOOP Squaddies take LNT to the STREETS!

Burning Seed’s very own MOOP SQUAD! hit the streets of Melbourne in December much to the surprise and delight of pre-Xmas shoppers. MOOP (or Matter Out of Place) is a serious business for burners - find out why

The MOOPSquaddies - Carly Bobarly, Di Paulger (of Mint fame) and PRINCESS TRASHBAG herself (the delectable Nikki Santos) - spent a few hours around Bourke St. Mall, Collins St. and Federation Square during Christmas week, MOOPing it up for the Melbourne masses!

“It was a really busy day,” said Carly, ”with heaps of families out shopping and looking at the Christmas decorations and displays. We each picked up about a medium bag of MOOP, mostly cigarette butts and stray candy wrappers/paper.

“To be honest, our main goal was not so much the huge amount of MOOP collected, but spreading the message to families and Christmas shoppers that 1) anyone can pick up rubbish and have a good time while doing it and 2) reusable bags are preferable to plastic, that is, try and cut down on your plastic while shopping.

“We walked around singing a few jingles about rubbish (courtesy of Will and Brendan at MOOP Patrol HQ) and approaching people carrying plastic bags, offering them a calico bag in exchange, and asking them(or their kids) to add the plastic bag to the train on Princess Trashbag's dress.


Kids saying no to plastic? FANTASTIC!!

“We had a mostly positive response from the shoppers (only 2 people refused the calico bag) and the kids were fascinated by Nikki's crazy attire. I heard many parents explaining what we were doing to their kids. It felt good!!”

Check out all the photos from the day here at the MOOP SQUAD- XMAS Edition on Facebook.

Seed’s very own MOOP Daddy and Leave No Trace (LNT) Team Lead - Maddocks - says this is exactly the kind of off-Paddock activity Seed’s Leave No Trace team wants to encourage.

“This year at Burning Seed we had an unprecedented number of participants so the task of Leave No Trace was significantly bigger than ever before.

“What’s fantastic is to see the MOOP SQUAD and other Seed participants taking LNT to the default world and spreading the MOOP message - these Melbourne based burners are doing some fantastic work, including a couple of recent Merri Creek clean ups involving dozens of participants."

Take a MOOP journey through Red Earth City with the 2015 interactive web-based MOOP map. There’s heaps of information about different areas of our forest playground this year including Theme Camp LNT performance, plus photos, videos and more.


And the 2016 Burning Seed theme is…

WANDERERS_verona_rupes_03Ok, you space trippers and big dippers, the 2016 Burning Seed theme moon walks among us. Druuummmmm rooooolll: it's Deep Space.

Wondering how we travelled through time and space to reach this place? We collected 97 suggestions from the community via our online voting app, Town Hall Social, with 413 votes helping us to create the shortlist - trolls notwithstanding (Zzzzzzz). Team Leads then voted for the top pick at the Summit in November.

For a quick history of what themes walked before and the wherefore of having one, you can go here

Thanks to Victoria Vickery, who made the Deep Space suggestion. Her choice was thrown into inspiration wash of our Team Leads and turned into the following blurb by the stylin’ scribing of our outgoing Comms Lead, Jane Lyons. 

In January, we'll youhoo the community again for applications for our Theme Design Lab. In the meantime, check out some inspirational images, thoughts and talks: Neil DeGrasse and his astounding facts; a TED talk on challenging perceptions in space; and images from Erik Wernquist's film Wanderers, which are based on actual space footage.

Deep Space

For millennia, humans have been inspired and guided by the stars and the Deep Space that stretches endlessly around them. Before even the ancient Greeks or Galileo, Aboriginal people have used the secrets of the night sky to survive the Australian landscape, passing down dreamtime stories that science is now using to further unlock the mysteries and histories of our stars and universe.

And as technology has made the flesh both willing and able, humans have reached as far as we could for these celestial bodies. Nations have laid down swords to build shuttles and stations, and both our efforts and popular imagination have sought to boldly go where no man or woman has gone before.

But we are not only part of this universe; the universe is part of us, says famed American astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

The atoms that make up life on Earth can be traced back to stars that collapsed and exploded, scattering their guts across the galaxy. Celestial lights begot life as these guts of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen solidified into solar systems, planets and life itself.

Is our desire for Deep Space a desire for our birthplace? As we reach for those stars, are we reaching for ourselves too - a journey of discovery into the unknown limits of the universe and ourselves, or a return to the merely forgotten? A primal homecoming?

At Burning Seed, we love to greet each other with “Welcome home”. For us, the Paddock is both a return and a mini-world beyond our known worlds. It’s a journey of discovery that is as much about place as the unknown space that we explore together and within each and every one of us.

And within each and every one of us lie deeper spaces still. Microscopic galaxies spin round and round as electrons orbit our atom suns, moving us continually through time and space - pointillistic mirrors of the universe that surrounds us.

Such connection, says DeGrasse, is the fundamental juice of the universe. We are not small in the face of it. Instead, we are beings enlarged by our star-birthed atoms, connecting us one to another through the sheer act of participation in life.

Or Deep Space is just a flimsy excuse to wear that hot space-chick outfit, ride ‘em space cowboy, or brandish your Star Wars nerdism with pride. Take your pick.

How will you participate in Deep Space at Burning Seed 2016?


Summit – all questions great and small

Summit 2015

Team Leads and 2ics in action during the Summit.

Teams Leads, 2ICs and leads-to-be gathered at the Summit in Sydney on November 27-28 to chew the fat over this year’s event and tackle some of the big questions for next year and beyond.

It was also an opportunity for a changing of the guard (sob) and the introduction of a new council that will be the vanguard of Burning Seed’s future.

To read these stories, hitch a ride over here to say hooroo and check out the new council here.

But back to that meeting….

Over two (very) full days at St Peter’s Tortuga Studios, 32 people gathered to hear each Team Lead give a brief presentation on the highs, the lows and the so-sos of their area this year.

Another year’s Summit put to bed – and now we dance.

It was also an opportunity for everyone to ask questions about each Team’s AfterBurn report, a more detailed overview that is prepared before the Summit and which every organiser is expected (ahem) to pore over.

But the big questions were a family affair, with the group throwing around a few hot agenda potatoes together. These included:

      • 2016 Burning Seed dates (soon, my lovelies, soon!)
      • Ticket sales: Now that Seed is selling out, the dynamic of how we sell and price tickets will need to change. Much discussion has led to the formation of a ticketing subcommittee to investigate and propose solutions and direction.
      • Community Crew numbers: Recruitment was an issue across all the teams, with only 8 per cent of Burning Seed participants signed up as Community Crew.
      • Event capacity & ticket caps: Issues with recruitment and infrastructure limit our rate of growth.
      • Paid positions: With the event growing rapidly and many key people gifting the equivalent of full-time or part-time jobs, the question of pay is raising its head. 
      • Proposed new teams or initiatives: These include a Civic Services Department, which will help organise our new teams – Indigenous Affairs, Fun Police, Temple Guardians and Sanctuary (harm-reduction chill space).  Other initiatives include a Ceremony Coordinator and a Burning Seed Archivist. 
      • Effigy design: While the community can still contribute conceptual ideas, the design of the Effigy has come back in house.

Wanna be more than a fly on the Summit wall? A Burning Seed AfterBurn report will be available online in the new year, giving you an overview of each team area.

For those who nerd out with numbers, details and facts, the Summit minutes will soon be available along with each team’s AfterBurn report. These give a more detailed account (aka long) of what worked, what didn’t work and recommendations for each team.









Inter-Burn travel fund for Melburn Theme Camps and artists

Melburners IncFantastic news for Melbourne-based Theme Camps and artists!

MelBurners Inc. is offering travel grants to support projects going to other Australian or New Zealand Burns in 2016.

They have a total of $500 to offer, so grants may either be split into smaller amounts or given as one $500 grant.

The travel grant is not for personal travel. It aims to support the transport of infrastructure (i.e freight) for Melburners to showcase their projects at Modifyre (QLD), Blazing Swan (WA) and Kiwiburn (NZ) in 2016.

Melburners Inc is the incorporated association that was set up in 2015 to run Melbourne Decompression events and manage distribution of any profits to benefit the local burner community,

Applications are now open and can be made at any point over the next year. For more information about the travel fund or Melburners Inc. membership, please visit the Facebook Page or email info@melbournedecompression.com.au

Melburners Inc.


Canberra Decompression 2015

Written by Sacha Fawkes

Canberraburners Party in the Park

Party in the Park

The initial post Seed decompression of Canberra burners happened on 18 October with our embers still glowing from the Mother Seed.

A quirk of the Berra’s event cycle meant that our original site was filled with flower lovers and revels so on the morning a quick location change was enacted to Black Mountain Peninsula.

This spit of land spurts out into Canberra’s central artificial lake and its lush trees and bends hide all of civilisation but for the tip of Parliament jutting above the treeline.

Sticky fingers

Early arrivals erected a marquee for sound equipment and a plethora of eager sticky fingered enthusiasts throughout the day meant we were never left bereft of sonic stimulation.

Over the day around 40 folk came through our slice of paradise at the periphery of the bends in our almost island. Our improvised banquet grew throughout the day from home made dips, chips, carrot sticks into diverse BBQ and hedonistic salad variations.

Burner Banquet

BBQ Burner Banquet

Fun and games

Popular throughout the day was chess, bowling, and frisbee with the creative arts of circus, dance, and freestyle rap flowing like a sweet treacle river rapid dapper flapper ecstatic matter of fact.

But by far the greatest time was spent in discussion about the big, small, important and banal as we bathed in the communal energy of intentional immediacy.

From 3pm, until darkness fell, we inhabited a space not far from the Paddock. Well, it would’ve taken a while to walk between them but mentally we approached union. The default world leaked in slightly more to our porous potlatch, but this allowed us to further connect with each other as we planned additional parties, collaborations, and shindigs over the following months.

Canberra knows how to chill

A Capital Canberra Decom

Another Decom!

A second smaller decompression gathering was held on the 22 November in Canberra’s Glebe Park; spreading out our gatherings adds the kindling of enthusiasm to our embers from Seed.

We skipped the amplified music for this latter local gathering due to sharing our shady sanctuary with many other groups, but once again faced a bounty of food and conversational frolicking with our community becoming more familiar with itself.

Our energy wants to grow, the philosophy spills into the mainstream in a myriad of minute multiplicities, with radical acceptance we welcome the overcoming of stereotypes and with radical expression we connect in ways that transcend the individual and enrich the all. Our resilient community and culture is fractal, see you at the next burn!


Sydney’s three-day Decom bonanza

Day One - Burner Gallery

Day One – Burner Gallery

written by Onur Ka

A truly epic Sydney decompression wave hit all us crazies in a ponderous manner! 27 – 29 November saw three days of shenanigans curated and produced as full-scale decommodified Burn events in three different locations across the Emerald City.

Day ONE: Burner Gallery

St Peters – Tortuga studios hosted the well-known (free) Burner Gallery exhibition, showcasing over seven photographers and three videographers work while Minters set up a gifting bar alongside the beer bucket as well as various DJs spinning chill tunes all night long accommodating well over 150 punters.

The night carried on to local dives on Newtown’s King St while many were already tucked in bed for a crazy night out to be had the next night!

Day Two - Warehouse Party

Day Two – Warehouse Party

Day TWO: Warehouse Party

In a very special Marrickville location, the main event took place on the Saturday 7pm to 7am: a crazy gathering with four gifting bars, three camp corners, one consent room and a crazy stage with a big number of DJs and live music representing various camps from Seed.

This ticketed event brought together around 300 people for a memorable night. BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE!!!

Day Three - Burner Beach

Day Three – Burner Beach

Day THREE: Beach Party

Sunday 29 November saw Sydney Burners host an epic wrap up to the WEEKEND LONG DECOMPRESSION by setting up corners at the majestic Milk Beach for a free waterside picnic party!

Serving food, drinks and playing tunes for hours on end watching the sun set in good old Sydney town.


HUGE props to the Sydney Burning crew for their planning and implementation of one of the biggest if not best Sydney Decoms in recent memory!


Introducing Temple Guardians to Burning Seed


Temple of Babylon, 2015. Pic by Carnal Imagery

A number of Burners have taken the participation bull by the horns (man, we LOVE it when you guys do that) and have formed a group to support the introduction of Temple Guardians at Burning Seed.

It’s aim? To support those who see the potential of the Burning Seed Temple as a sacred and healing space, and to institute the kind of Temple Guardian shifts that you find at the Burning Man Temples in Nevada.

Our own brand of guardians want to support community temple visits, educate people about its significance, and protect the artefacts and the space itself.

There has been much discussion in the group about how to hold the space and how the guardians will interact with the community. Got something to say about it too? Join this flourishing micro-community here.



Melburners do Decom!

written by Nick Westcott (Zuul)

The 2015 MelBurn Decompression held at Brown Alley in the CBD was another massive success this year. Moving to a new, bigger venue enabled the sale of 1140 tickets, making it one of the biggest Burner events to ever hit Melbourne.

Light me up

Lights, Camera, Action!

Level Up

The night saw three levels of spectacular Burner talent on display. The downstairs room showcased an array of DJ’s who represented many of the major Melbourne Theme camps.  The festivities of the evening included nine hours of phat beats and live performances, as well as an impressive live visuals display by the renowned Telekenetic Chair Repair.

The mezzanine was the art hub of the venue and a chill space for relaxing and immersing in the numerous artworks. Some of the major art projects in this room included Glowy Hole, White Forest, Magic Carpet, massage tables, as well as many other smaller pieces like the ever popular More Cowbell.

Melburners Do It

Melburners Do It…..

All Night Long

Blights Room saw an array of wonderful performances featuring dancers and bands as well as DJs incorporating live elements. Decor was provided by two theme camps, Kamp Kraken and Mint Country Club giving the room a taste of Burning Seed.

The outdoor garden was pumping all night with an ambiance suitably created by the Pelican Villa theme camp who ran the sound and music for the space. An array of taste sensations provided by the Bacon Emporium, Glam & Cheese and Hotel Unipig sustained burners throughout the event. The garden room was the last room to close at the end of the night, with music stopping around 9am, 11 hours after doors had first opened.

The Wisdom of Crowds

The Wisdom of Crowds

MelBurners Inc. 

This year’s Decom was the first run under the new MelBurners Inc. incorporated association democratic structure, which was put in place earlier in 2015. This allows all money to stay in the local Burner community and so far MelBurners has paid out over $15,000 in grants to theme camps and artists.

Overall the Decompression was once again hugely successful, which wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of the organising crew, theme camps, artists, community crew and everyone else involved.

(thanks to The Flash Mob and Lotus Universal Images for the pix)


Burning Seed has a new Town Council!

Written by Neil Power (Neillo)

The Directors of Red Earth City (REC) have decided recently to split the REC Town Council into two separate bodies.

Red Earth City Pty Ltd has been the legal entity behind Burning Seed since 2010. Its council has overseen the event and supported other Burner initiatives under the banner of Burning Man Australia. For more details on its history, you can go here.

The two new bodies will include: a Burning Man Australia Community Board, which will just focus on developing Burn culture around the country, and the Burning Seed Town Council (TC), which will focus solely on staging the Burning Seed event and its future growth and development. This is a tremendously exciting development as, for the first time, Burning Seed will have a Town Council that can concentrate just on the event.

The positions on the new TC include: REC Director Phil Smart; Event Coordinator and Finance Team Lead, Shaye Harty and Caroline Brosnan respectively; and nominees from Team Leads and the old REC Town Council, Jarred Taylor, Victoria Victory and Neil Power. But we also have space for someone from outside the event’s organisational group.

One of the TC’s many important tasks this year is to research and consult the community on the best options for a new legal entity under which Burning Seed can operate in the years ahead. It is hoped that this new structure will be in place for the 2017 event so this new TC is likely to be a short-lived affair.  

In the meantime, TC has responsibility for ensuring that Seed operates to best practice at all levels and it will be key in defining what sort of event Burning Seed is and wants to be in the future.

So if you would like to help us achieve all these goals, and if you (preferably) have experience in event management and development and would like to join Town Council, please email us at towncouncil@burningseed.com with details.


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 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 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 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.