I have yet to put finger to keyboard for my story about Burning Man this year other than the article the ABC picked up of the adventure I had with a luxury 5 course meal in a desert, however right now Burning Seed is fresh in my mind so I’m going to write about that.
Burning Seed is the Australian equivalent of Burning Man but a seed event. In other words it helps people understand the principles of the event without having to travel all the way to the US. First thing I’d say is that nothing I know is as good as Burning Man, although the Woodford Folk Festival has attributes which are similar.
Burning Seed took place in Matong National Park in Australia about 5 hours west of Sydney and was a fantastic experience. I only managed to get down there for the last 3 days, however that was ample to get in to the vibe.
There was certainly a Burning Man feel, but with only 1,500 people compared to 68,000 I’m sure you can understand that they’re not in the same ballpark.
I went to bed after work on the Thursday and at 1.30am the next day I started my trip. Driving via Bathurst, I took an extra 4 hours to get there with my driving time being around 8 hours.
When I arrived, I was welcomed warmheartedly and joined the Dirty Birds camp. I can’t stress how much the welcoming of Lost (aka Jack) helped me connect and after setting up my mini camp in the 4×4 I was using, I made my way into the thick of it.
It was at the Trash Mansion I started to kick things off and after a few cold drinks and cocktails, compliments of the people running the camp, I was dancing away to funky tunes and meeting amazing people. It was here I made a friend and we ended up wandering around and visiting the tea cave and other venues chatting to interesting people on our journey. It was freezing cold and the blanket I brought provided warmth to 4 of us as we huddled with our cups of steaming tea.
In Burning Man style, during the early hours I set up a coffee spot and provided coffee and creamed rice to anyone who was still awake before having breakfast wraps back at Dirty Birds and grabbing a couple of hours shut eye. I awoke at 1.30pm and prepared myself in a funky little outfit and grabbed my bottle of whiskey to join the Whiskey and Poker session at the Saloon.
This was my favourite camp at the event and was set up like a full saloon with a bar, pianola (self playing piano) and barber’s chair for anyone who fancied a haircut. We got in to the poker before attention was drawn to the young lady who was having surgery on her finger as we played.
She’d cut her finger in a blender earlier and fortunately her boyfriend was a doctor and capable of performing the operation she required. It was amazing to see and quite an incredible experience for us all. We did of course provide her with shots of whiskey to help dull the pain as he operated!
I was fortunate to meet an amazing pair or sisters who I ended up spending the rest of the evening with.
We prepared a massive platter of delights which wandered around and offered this to people as the sun set with glasses of our home made sangria. Dancing and massive frivolity ensued till the next day when they drove home as they lived locally and I continued my adventures back at Dirty Birds where I prepared 7 small glass bottles with ashes from the Burning Man with personalised calligraphy labels.
I met with friends in the afternoon and played golf and boules at the Country Club whilst I watched beautiful people dancing and hula hooping as well as playing with other movement toys.
I had a chance encounter with a very generous friend who gave me some drinks to help prepare for the evening ahead. I watched the burning of the temple and connected with myself and others as the flames licked the wooden structure – it really was an amazing experience and quite spiritual for me.
That evening I was fortunate to connect with a lovely couple. She was an actress and he a magician. We chatted ad infinitum and found ourselves back at the saloon where I made the mistake of having a shot whilst leaning backwards over the bar – something I’ll be sure to be extremely aware of in future as I ended up inhaling the home made whiskey which is something I don’t intend to repeat!
I finally ended up going to bed that morning around 5 am after two days of amazing adventures and surprisingly I wasn’t feeling too fatigued despite the wine and other drinks I’d had.
Monday morning I ended up chatting to new friends, laughing a lot and generally enjoying the morning with all those who remained. I gave away a range of food, clothes and other items I’d brought for the event and then was treated to great conversation and an early dinner at Jess’s in a nearby town (she was one of the sister’s I met a few days previous) before the long drive home.
I thoroughly enjoyed the long drive home which included a couple of stops where I simply pulled the duvet over me from the back when I was parked up in Dubbo and grabbed some shut eye as I knew I was sleepy and not fit for driving. Some sleep, lots of water and the occasional energy drink lead me home safely after an amazing few days away.
Thanks Burning Man for having Burning Seeds … I’ll be back!