To our Beloved Blaze Community,
It is with a heavy heart that we announce Blazing Swan 2022 has been cancelled.
As heartbreaking as the situation is, we want to let you know that tickets are fully refundable. A questionnaire will go out to all ticket holders, who can decide to either opt for a refund or transfer their tickets to Blazing Swan 2023. We appreciate your understanding in advance and ask you for a few weeks for refunds to be processed.
If you have any questions regarding the cancellation and the refund process, please do refer to these FAQs first before contacting our team. Our comms and ticketing volunteers are going to be understandably very stretched in the coming weeks.
This has certainly been a challenging year, largely due to the uncertainty of running a large-scale volunteer-run event during a pandemic. We overcame many challenges and were confident we would overcome others. However, the state government’s announcement on Monday – stating that public outdoor events over 500 persons cannot go ahead – confirmed our worst fears: the burn will not happen this year.
While it is deeply disappointing to us that Blaze won’t go ahead, we also acknowledge that it is our civic responsibility to act in accordance with health advice to keep our community safe. In such uncertain and challenging times, the mental wellbeing of our volunteers are also important to us, and pushing them forward on a slim chance the restrictions will ease is also not the right thing to do. Our Volunteers are not only our lifeblood, but they are also invaluable to us as human beings and as part of the Blaze family.
We look ahead to the future and take what we have learnt this year to make Blazing Swan 2023 the most spectacular one yet. And once again, a big thanks to all of our amazing volunteers and everyone involved in trying to make it happen.
A big hug and thank you for the support and love poured into this community! Without communal effort, the burn would simply not be possible.
Blazing Swan Committee
2022 Cancellation FAQ
With the opening of the borders on March 3rd, the WA state government introduced level 2 restrictions, meaning all public events over 500 persons are no longer permitted. Blazing Swan falls under this category, and with no confirmed end date for these restrictions, Blazing Swan is unfeasible to be held on its planned date of 13th April 2022.
In addition to this, it is a part of our civic responsibility to recognise that Blazing Swan has the potential to impact not only those attending Blazing Swan 2022 themselves, but the local communities that Blazers travel through, as well as friends and families upon return to the default world.
Yes, as per Terms and Conditions of Sale, all ticket holders are eligible for a 100% refund due to cancellation.
You can read more on our ticketing terms and conditions here
A Questionnaire will be sent out to all ticket holders offering them the option to keep their ticket to the Blazing Swan 2023: Poseidon’s Flame event (held on 5th April 2023), or receive a full refund. If you do not respond to the questionnaire by a specified date, you will automatically receive a refund and your spot will not be reserved for the 2023 event.
While the state government announced its hopes to end level 2 restrictions within one month, it gave no commitment on doing so. While it committed to reviewing the restrictions at the end of March, this already puts us past the date at which all trucks have mobilised to site, with construction of temple, effigy and basic infrastructure of Jilakin Rock City, already well underway. This time scale makes the event unsustainable to run under two weeks into April for both Blazing Swan and its 43 registered theme camps. Furthermore, the state government modelling predicts WA’s COVID peak to happen at the end of March, making an extension of the restrictions likely.
We are not a large corporation or company. We are a small, Not-For-Profit association that exists to promote our objectives as outlined in the Blazing Swan Constitution.
We exist for our Members and our Community. Each year, funds from ticket sales are put back into the Blazing Swan event and the resources required to run it. These include art grants, building materials for temple, effigy and infrastructure, equipment hire, and warehouse lease for build projects and equipment storage.
While having to refund tickets at this point in time puts Blazing Swan in a financially challenging position, after the experience of 2020, we learnt a lot about managing budgets in such uncertain times. Furthermore, we hope to gain government grant assistance for major events. While this puts immense pressure on ourselves as members and volunteers of the association, we hope this combination of factors will still allow us to successfully run Blazing Swan again in 2023. Despite this, if you are in a position to do so, we would love you to be able to assist us by donating to Blazing Swan by following the link below:
The more funds that are gifted back into the eve
As with all major event insurances in the current climate, our cancellation insurance does not cover COVID-19. However, we do hope to gain access to government grants to assist in ensuring that Blazing Swan is in a strong financial position despite the cancellation.
Postponing the date requires the venue, or another suitable venue, to be made available. The land on which Blazing Swan is held is also used for the Kulin Bush Races; for the rest of the time it is a working farmland, making it unavailable due to cropping and harvest season.
Due to the obvious nature of the Blazing Swan event, it is impossible and unsafe to hold during the drier summer months due to fire bans.
The land where Blazing Swan is held is a private property and access is only possible with the land owner’s permission. Although we understand that many people are already prepared and self-sufficient for the event, we strongly advise against travelling to the event site and must point out that any unannounced arrival at the event site would amount to trespassing on private property. We ask that you remain respectful of the landowners.
What should Theme Camp, Artists and Mutant Vehicle crews that invested time, money and resources in creating projects for the 2022 event do now?
Many community members that are involved in building projects for this year’s event will naturally be asking what cancellation means for them – or will justifiably be frustrated that their plans would now have to be put on hold. To these crews, we extend our deepest regrets and sympathies.
We feel and understand the disappointment of seeing something you love so much stopped in its tracks and that all of our many plans will not come together at Blazing Swan this time around. We do hope that the efforts you have put in have not gone to waste, as you will be bringing your art pieces and theme camp offerings back in Blazing Swan 2023. We also hope that the reduction in time pressures gives you more of an opportunity to develop your art piece or theme camp even more in the next 13 months.
If you have suffered some loss, please feel free to reach out to the Art or Theme Camp Coordination Teams for support and information about possible next steps.
The next step for Blazing Swan as both an event and an association is to continue efforts to put us in a more financially secure position for 2023. This includes government grants, fundraising and donation campaigns.
We also hope to build up our volunteer base and assets that were already stretched to the max due to COVID uncertainty and statewide material/asset shortages respectively. This will make the road to Blazing Swan 2023 much smoother for all those involved behind the scenes.
The best way to help a community volunteer run an event like Blazing Swan is of course to volunteer in the lead up to next year’s event! Although the state government announcement on Monday banning events over 500 people hit the final nail on the coffin for Blazing Swan: Poseidon’s Flame running in 2022, we were under enormous pressure due to the shortage of people and resource shortages due to COVID uncertainty this year. While we understand it has been a challenging year overall, volunteering is the lifeblood of our community, and the more people we have on the ground, the easier it is to get stuff built, find resources and keep us safe during the event.
Further to this, if you are in a financial position to do so, you are welcome to donate to support community association: [https://blazingswan.com.au/donate/]. The better our financial position moving forwards the more funds we are able to have to support the event infrastructure and arts and theme camp grants going into 2023.
For those involved in the organisation of Blazing Swan, working behind the scenes as volunteers, it often adds a lot of workload to an already busy life. Be it the committee, our management, our team leads, our volunteers, the theme camps, the artists and musicians, this for all of us is a passion project within the community.
The last few weeks and especially the last few days have been extremely stressful for everyone involved. We want to thank everyone for their time, patience, efforts and support. And a thank you to those who have expressed concern and sympathy online within the community as well – sometimes the smallest kind word goes a long way.