People new to Burning Seed often assume that a Burn is like a festival — a mostly passive experience where event producers organise everything and you just need to rock up for the show.
Instead, a Burn is created by its participants, not for them. There ain't no fancy-pants production company curating from up on high or digging our ditches down below. There are no sugar-daddy sponsors, advertisers or stalls either. There is only you + me and a gifting economy.
Together, we pool our resources, skills, ideas and imagination to create the funding, the city, the entertainment and the experience itself. It's a week filled with art, Theme Camps, gifting, performances, crewing, music, fire and more. We also take care of our day-to-day needs and the environment, while we're there and when we leave.
It is this very act of collaboration and participation that makes Burning Seed special, and our week culminates with the burning of the Effigy and the Temple before the city returns once more to forest.
But while we still call Australia home, our heritage is the global family known as Burning Man, which began life on a San Francisco beach in 1986 and has been taking place in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert since 1991.
Each year, tens of thousands gather on an ancient lake bed to create Black Rock City, a whirling dervish of radical expression, collaboration and art that lasts a week and culminates with the burning of a wooden man and temple, before the city disappears again without a trace.
This annual torch for creativity and community has jumped Black Rock City limits, sparking a subculture and regional Burns around the world, including Kiwiburn, Afrikaburn and Nowhere, among many others. And that’s where we come in.
As one of two regional Burns in Australia, we have built our own Red Earth City on the east coast since 2010; first in Bellingen and now in Matong State Forest, NSW. Our kissin' cousin, Blazing Swan, is showing how the west was won by inaugurating a WA Burn in 2014.
Our experiment in radically participatory creative community has jumped our own Red Earth City limits as we continue to bring these principles home to other projects under the umbrella auspices of Burning Man Australia.