Reviewing 2019: Chair Report, Financial Report & AGM Minutes
BURN ARTS CHAIRPERSON REPORT 2020
As times are tough in 2020, many of us on the Committee have been thinking about
how grateful we are to be part of a community that is so resilient, adaptive and
collectively minded. What Modifyre looks like in 2020 is still up for discussion,
however as we move forward into 2021, we will be thinking a lot about our cultural
values and “what makes a burn” in the wake of this current pandemic, our new
bushfire reality, and the likelihood that many of the systems which entrench social
inequity continue. We invite our community to use this externally-enforced period
of cocooning as an opportunity to reflect on the elements of a burn that are
important to you, right now.
Though at this point it seems like ages ago, in 2019 our community blossomed.
Modifyre 2019 was astounding- a sell-out year with 500 people, almost no
incidents, and further cementing our position as the wholesome, radical, creative,
and inclusive event that we are. The ritual sound-offering that lulled the entirety
of our event into silent contemplation for the spiralling Temple Burn was
something that many of us will never forget, as rituals for holding intense
collective experiences seem more important than ever in the 2020 context.
Personally, I am especially proud when I hear stories of members inventing and
trialling activities for the first time at Modifyre, and then taking what they learned
back to events in the Default World. Just one example of many is the “Pronoun
Burning Ceremony” that took place one night at our burn barrel outside the heart,
which was created on-the-fly at Modifyre by a couple of newbie burners. A unique
event that I heard referenced throughout the rest of the burn, this ceremony has
been subsequently been hosted and refined at various queer events around
Brisbane with young non-binary people. For me, this is what Modifyre is for: it is
the “petrie dish” in which to try out your bravest and most context-responsive
ideas, before applying your new learnings back home.
Meanwhile, our contingency fund looks healthy, and we have also received a multiyear
permit that lasts until 2023, so for the first time, we have some stability in
regards to our site and finances. A massive thanks must go to our Event Production
Team who worked so hard to put on an amazing event, especially Tom “Bundy”
Hamlyn, our head of DIC (or DIC Head), who held it all together before, during and
after the event.
However, BURN Arts is not just a vehicle for producing Modifyre, but is a year round
participatory arts organisation. In the last twelve months we’ve achieved a
lot as an entity:
1) We received funding to build our own Solar Trailer, which can be loaned to a
variety of civic projects to run off renewable energy. (Thanks goes to Beau
who has put a massive amount of time, skills and resources into making this
2) We’ve released a year-round micro-grant scheme for funding civic projects
outside the burn. We hope to keep growing this arts fund and supporting
more projects in future (maybe one year they’ll be just “grants” instead of
“micro-grants”!) We supported the Future Histories Tours by our very own
Shane “Sugar” Sugrue, which was hosted in an abandoned lot in East
Brisbane. Using his own experiences of wrangling participatory art at
Modifyre to take on issues of place identity, gentrification and apocalypse
(how relevant!), the feedback I got from folks who hadn’t attended
Modifyre before was sheer marvel at the effort, the creativity, and the
welcoming vibes that our community created.
3) We’ve also created the BURN Arts Scrapbook (a play on the Burning Man
Journal) to record and share your musings, experiments, happenings and the
discussions taking place within our community. This has been especially
useful for sharing some of the bigger themes that we’re talking about.
Anybody can contribute to this space, so please take a look!
Lastly, we’ve been looking to the future by engaging in the creation of a Strategic
Plan. This is a living document, which helps us to identify areas that we’d like to
concentrate on cultivating for the next five years (so it can change and is not set
There’s plenty of initiatives outlined under each one of our goals, which the
committee would love to hear your feedback on. We ask all of you to send us an
email at email@example.com with comments in the next four weeks before we
review and publish the final document. We also encourage you to take a look to
see if you’d like to contribute to any of the initiatives that we’ve outlined in
there! There are plenty of opportunities, including sub-committees, to get in on
Lastly, a big thanks to the rest of the BURN Arts Management Committee, who have
put in the hard yards this year to get our systems in order and these new initiatives
up and running. You are doing a fabulous job steering us through this uncertain
We wish our community all the best through the next six months- we are with you!
BURN ARTS TREASURERS REPORT 2020
This year we had both our 2018 and 2019 Annual Accounts verified.
(I am going to round the numbers out as I speak so that we don’t get stuck in
• In 2018, with 350 ticket buyers we made a net profit of $12,900 ($12,962.87)
• Selling out at 500pax in 2019 gave us an income increase of $33,300 ($33,326)
for a net profit of $46,200 ($46,288)
• Our net Assets are currently valued $90,300 ($90,295.94) – this includes our
bank assets, fixed assets and is less our ticketing fees
• Our actual cash is currently sitting at $53,700 ($53,773.55)
• So the good news is that the Organisation is financially soluble and we’re in a
really good position to sustainably grow the organisation - both financially and
culturally – if we manage these funds well.
• The forecast budget for the next Modifyre – capped at 600 – is an income of
$71,300 ($71,329) and expenditure of $45,900 ($45,965.95) giving us a profit of
• We have been able to increase expenditure on those items we need and
consider a community service; truck hire for the duration of the event, a much
needed fire suit and a drug and alcohol testing station managed externally by
Blow Me First.
• We’ve also been able to introduce micro grants up to $300 for artists who are
looking to bring their participatory art to a civic space – with these grants
currently capped at $2000 per annum.
• All in all, and particularly in the current climate, we are in a really fortunate
BURN Arts Inc.
Take a look at our minutes here: