Blazing Swan 2020 Cancellation Annoucements

It is with heavy hearts that we annouce Blazing Swan 2020 has been cancelled.

In line with our aim of clear and transparent information, on this page you will find information on the annoucement and updates, supporting documentation and answers to frequently asked questions.

If, after reading, you still require more information or have questions please contact:

  • Tickets@blazingswan.com.au
  • Comms@blazingswan.com.au

Read more on refunds here

Response to WA Today (29th May 2020)

On the 28th May 2020, WA Today published an article on their website and social media.

The following is the response provided to the author via email from Blazing Swan.

——————–

Dear Aja,

After reviewing your article on Blazing Swan that was released from WAtoday yesterday, 28th May 2020, we would like to draw your attention to a number of factual and copyright issues contained within the story.

We request the following points be reviewed and the article be amended immediately so as to rectify the matter:

 

  • “Organisers of a Swan Valley music and arts festival that likens itself to Burning Man”

    • Blazing Swan is not likened to Burning Man, Blazing Swan is an official regional Burning Man event

    • Blazing Swan is held in Kulin. Kulin is located in the Wheatbelt area of WA, not Swan Valley; a difference of around 300 kilometers.

    • Blazing Swan is not a “Swan Valley Music and Arts Festival”, we are a week long regional arts event and an experiment in temporary community.

    • You can varify this statement from our website: https://blazingswan.com.au/blazing-swan-a-short-history/

    • We request the wording be updated so as to provide an accurate situation to your readership.

 

  • We are quoted that our ‘members ‘“Overwhelmingly” voted in support of no refunds’. There has not been a public discussion or announcement as to the extremes of how our membership voted. Our members voted and a majority won. This can be a minor minority or major. Either way, our membership voted in support of Blazing Swan’s ‘no refunds’ ticketing terms and conditions. This is not a quote, nor a fact and therefore use of “overwhelmingly” is subjective and opinionist language designed to provide a lead for your readership.

  • You can verify this with our statement on our member’s vote here: https://blazingswan.com.au/cancellation/ entitled ‘Refund Statement (30th April 2020)

    • We request the wording be updated to reflect the correct nature of the event.

 

  • I am quoted as saying we spent $100,000 on the Temple and Effigy however this figure refers to all art (which includes, but not exclusive to, the temple and effigy). The figure includes art grants, theme camp grants and the costs associated with them.

    • We request the wording be updated so as to provide an accurate situation to your readership.

 

  • The photos and video contained with the article have been obtained and used without permission of Blazing Swan or the credited photographer Sam Luckman.

    • We spoke with Mr Luckman yesterday morning. Mr Luckman confirmed that consent to use his photos has never been sought. Blazing Swan has not been contacted for its permission to use the photos shown in the article either.

    • It is noted that this is not the first time Mr Luckman’s photos have been used without consultation or consent by WA Today, and he is unhappy to be associated with this negativity provided by the article against the event.

    • WA Today is using images to drive readership, which will be used to sell advertisements. Images are being used without consent for commercial purposes.

    • One of our driving 11 principles is consent. Whilst this can be applied in a number of places, our community is highly attuned to consent of their image in photographs. So whilst you have failed to contact and gain consent for use of the images used in the article, you have also failed to gain consent from the individuals who are shown.

    • The image listed as the Temple build,  was not going to be the temple. What’s depicted in the image is the start of a scaffolding structure of one of the Theme Camps. We’d note that as an event we are highly conscious of our potential environmental impacts (please refer to our Leave No Trace principle) and do not wish the landowners where Blazing Swan takes place, to think we set fire to objects with large amounts of metal contained within them, as doing so would see metal which would then enter the ground which is used for growing of agriculture crops during the year.

    • We request the images be removed to reflect copyright ownership.

 

  • You mention “many happily ‘donating’ their money”. Whilst this has been a term used within our community, Blazing Swan has not asked for any donations, nor have we termed the financial inability to refund our ticket holders as a ‘donation’. At all times during our communication with our community and ticket holders we have stated that no refunds would be made, and that this was inline with our ticketing terms and conditions. We are grateful that many in our community wish to support the event and the association, but it is incorrect to refer to the financial inability to provide refunds as a ‘donation’.

    • You can verify this with all the statements provided on our website here: https://blazingswan.com.au/cancellation/

    • We request the wording be updated so as to provide an accurate situation to your readership

 

  • The terms and conditions of Blazing Swan tickets detail “they did not have to refund the money due to “actions taken by government or conditions beyond Blazing Swan’s control” This is selective language. Our terms and conditions are for no refunds, it includes no refunds due to cancellation of the event, not exclusive to. Our ticketing terms and conditions are provided during the purchase decision in line with other company’s product and services. The wording in the article appears as if we have deliberately worded for this particular event. This is not the case..

    • We request the wording be updated so as to provide an accurate situation to your readership

 

In regards to the Complainant’s  statements.

  • “She said it took a month of email exchanges to learn that the festival intended to keep the money,” this is factually incorrect.

    • Blazing Swan announced cancellation of the event on 16th March 2020. This communication was made to all ticket holders via email, as well as via our social media and website.

    • Two days later, on the 18th March 2020, Blazing Swan provided an update on the cancellation to the community via its social media channels and website. It was at this point that ‘no refunds’ were being made was communicated several times throughout this and future communications.

    • You can find a copy of all communications made, in chronological order, via our website – https://blazingswan.com.au/cancellation/

    • With regards to the Complainant specifically; – a total of 26 emails were exchanged between the Complainant and the volunteer team at Blazing Swan. The first email received on March 16th and was responded to on 17th March. Again, this email, many others to the Complainant and our public communications, reinforced to the complainant that no refunds would be provided.

    • We would also note that, despite being a volunteer organisation with all of our extremely small ticketing support team working full-time positions throughout this situation, we responded to a large quantity of emails and direct social media messages in a short timeframe.

    • With this timeline and these facts, it is clear that Blazing Swan has not, as the Complainant is indicating through the writing in your article, dodged responsibility to communicate with her about refunds. We have been very clear and consistent in our communication throughout the entire process

    • Again, you can find a copy of all communications made to our community via our website – https://blazingswan.com.au/cancellation/

    • We request the wording be updated so as to provide context of the situation to your readership

 

  • “Which for a usually 2000-strong festival was worth up to $600,000.”

    • The financial amount mentioned within this statement is an estimation from someone who has absolutely no involvement, experience or knowledge of the running of this event.

    • We understand the Complainant’s frustration at the situation, but self-accounting with self-estimated financial figures about an event that has not been attended does not provide any substantial evidence.

    • As the publisher without context being provided to your readership this financial figure is presented without any backing, evidence or substance. This should be provided with some form of context ie (estimated) to help better guide your readership.

    • We request the wording be updated so as to provide context of the situation to your readership

 

  • “I don’t know why they can’t just email us and say where the actual money has been spent.” In our 2nd cancellation statement to our community, provided two days after our initial cancellation,  Blazing Swan provided an overview and examples of some of the expenditure, explaining that much of it had been made and did not have the ability to be recuperated.

    • You can verify this with the statement provided 18th March 2020 on our website here: https://blazingswan.com.au/cancellation//

    • We request the wording be updated so as to provide context of the situation to your readership

 

I trust that this outlines our issues and concerns with the article and some constructive feedback as to how to rectify the article to provide a fair, balanced and most importantly, factually correct article for your viewers. We now await your confirmation of doing so.

 

Ultimately, we provide a valuable, expressive space for around 3,000 people each year to come and explore an arts and music festival. Our association stands with our community who are deeply saddened by the cancellation of our event. I assure you and our community that Blazing Swan is not a company cancelling our event so executives can walk away with a bank account full of cash. Like all not-for-profit organisations, we do not earn profits for our owners and any of the money earned is used in pursuing the association’s objectives and keeping it running.

 

This year, our event was cancelled because of a global pandemic. A pandemic which has sadly taken over 350,000 lives globally, 103 in Australia, with 570 cases and 9 deaths in our own WA community. We followed the Government’s instructions, cancelling our event right at the start of the pandemic.

 

It was not our decision to cancel our event, it was a decision that was taken out of our hands at the last minute; rendering us unable to deliver our event to ticket holders. Whilst the ACCC provides advice to support consumers in substandard products and/or services, this is typically when the supplier makes the decision in non-delivery, not when the government enforces a restriction upon them so as to stop delivery. Like many other situations that people currently find themselves in, this is an unprecedented event with unprecedented impacts and we have, and continue to work hard to communicate promptly and clearly with our community about our decisions.

 

Our event now hangs in the balance and articles like this do not help our situation. We are happy to be held accountable and be reported on but when facts are laid out inaccurately then we will speak up to seek corrections.

 

I would be more than happy to provide further information if required and ask that you email myself and cc’ my communications team so that we can do so in writing.

 

We await your response with regard to updating your article.

 

Thanks and Regards

Vida

Vida Barrett
Chairperson
BlazingSwan Inc.

 

Media Statement on Refunds (24th May 2020)

On Saurday 23rd May Blazing Swan was contacted by the media for a response on the event’s cancellation and refunds.

For transparency with our community, the full statement that was provided to their enquiry has been provided here.

 

———————–

Blazing Swan is not a typical “festival”. We build a temporary community from a blank canvas, which is focused on volunteers and a gifting culture.  It involves 12 months of planning and the complexities of building all site infrastructure and a solid volunteer base each year. 

This year due to Covid-19, 3 1/2 weeks before the event, Government restrictions on public gatherings forced our event to be cancelled. This also left us 1000 ticket sales short of our forecasted budget, and in the difficult position of not being able to provide full refunds and still stay solvent. Event cancellation insurance would normally cover us for situations like bushfires or flooding, but not in the case of a global pandemic.

In April 2020 after all crew and equipment returned from site, our financial situation was assessed to allow reporting to our members so they could discuss and vote on any refund options available to ticket holders. 

To provide some detail on Blazing Swans expenses, our financial situation looks like this. 

  • Annual expenses for the year of 2019 – 2020 – including our Fremantle community-based warehouse, that is used for storage and site prep, workshops and events, admin and accounting and volunteer resources, totals 25% of ticket income. 
  • Event planning and site resources that were already spent at the time of cancellation includes; transport, tools, volunteer merchandise and food, art and theme camp grants to our community and support, and the effigy and temple builds, totals another 25% of ticket income.  
  • Another 25% has been reserved for Annual expenses for the year ahead 2020 – 2021. 
  • The remaining 25% percent of ticket income is either available to discount tickets for next year, or to secure the future of the association, given the uncertainty that we face during this pandemic and restrictions on public gatherings. 

After consulting with the ACCC we have been given the following advice:  

“Exceptional circumstances such as the Coronavirus can directly affect a business’ ability to supply services as planned. If an event is cancelled due to government restrictions, you are unlikely to be entitled to a refund under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). However, we note that the ACL is not the only remedy options for consumers.

As outlined on our website, the ACCC considers that:

  • If your event is cancelled, we expect that you will receive a refund or other remedy, such as a credit note or voucher, in most circumstances.
  • As to which of these remedies is available, you may be entitled to a refund if the terms and conditions of your ticket allow for refunds. Importantly, if you had a right to a refund under these terms and conditions at the time you made your booking, businesses are not permitted to change the terms at a later time to deny you a refund.
  • Depending on your circumstances, you may also have other rights under common law, contract or state legislation.

If the business’ cancellation policy does not address cancellations for circumstances beyond its control, it may be possible to negotiate an alternative remedy with the business.”

 

Please find our Ticket Terms and Conditions below for reference.

https://blazingswan.com.au/terms-conditions/ 

Since cancellation, the organising committee have been taking action to reduce our annual expenses and seek government financial assistance. Our current legal and financial position makes it impossible to offer full refunds to everyone who purchased tickets. A best case scenario would be a 20% refund or discount on a future event, however Blazing Swan membership did not vote for this option.  Consistent with a Not-For-Profit Association, any funds remaining will always be returned to our community.

Our position is one of deep regret and we understand that people have been affected by this pandemic in many ways. We have received overwhelming support from the vast majority of our community for which we are eternally grateful. We also acknowledge some ticket holders need more information to fully understand our financial position. All official communication from Blazing Swan is available on our website, and we will continue to provide updates as the situation develops. 

https://blazingswan.com.au/blazing-swan-2020-refunds/  

——————–

Refund Statement (30th April 2020)

On the 16th March 2020, Blazing Swan notified its ticket holders and our Blaze community that the 2020 event would be cancelled due to Covid-19. The announcement contained that our next steps were to:

  • Have build crews stop work at JRC, pack down and return to Fremantle;
  • Investigate our finances, stop payments and commence gathering data on our current financial situation so that we could;
  • Hold a members’ meeting to review and discuss Blazing Swan’s current and future financial position.

As detailed in previous communications (www.blazingswan.com.au/cancellation) with the community, cancellation of Blazing Swan 2020 has put a significant financial strain on future events and the continuation of the association itself.

As we’re sure you can understand for next steps to be taken, financial data needed to be collated and reviewed and a members’ meeting needed to be held before communications could be made to our wider-community. As this Member’s meeting has now been held, we are able to provide an update to the community.

On Sunday 19th April 2020, a Members’ Special General Meeting (SGM) was held online in accordance with current Covid-19 restrictions.

At the half-day meeting, Blazing Swan Members were presented with information on the event, the cancellation and the 2020/21 goals for the event and association as well as the impact on the Nest. The meeting spent a considerable amount of time reviewing the cause and effect of the cancellation, and the association’s current financial position, as well as discussing information and legal advice from the ACCC and potential options for, and the impact of, providing ticket refunds to ticket holders.

At the end of the presentation, review and discussion, the membership considered both the legal and moral obligations for refunds as well as the financial effects a ticket refund would have for both the event and the association going forward.

Consideration was made to no refunds being made, partial refunds – either to be made immediately or as a discount for future events, as well as whether to wait and re-evaluate the financial position in 6-months’ time.

With regard to partial refunds, the membership decided that based on current financial status, the amount to be refunded would only be a very small percentage of the original ticket price and the result of refunding would place Blazing Swan in a dire financial position and jeopardize any future events.

The membership voted that, based on the current financial position of the association and in accordance with our ticketing terms and conditions, refunds could not be issued so as to help protect and ensure the future of both the event and association.

We understand that communication of this decision will be difficult for some among our community to hear.

We again thank those members of the community who have supported the event and association.  There will be many challenges ahead as we seek to secure the longer-term viability of Blazing Swan and we will be reliant on the continuing support of our community.

This situation and outcome has deeply impacted us all. The lost financial commitment and countless hours in planning and preparation over the last year by the Theme Camps, Artists, Crew Leads, Build Crews, participants and the Committee will be felt for some time. Now, more than any other time, we need to be gentle with each other.

We hope that we have provided enough information to demonstrate that we are taking actions in line with the wishes of our membership, which in turn is being driven by a tough decision to help foster the best chance of having an organisation and event for current and future burners to enjoy. 

 

Much love and dust

Blazing Swan Committee

Refund FAQ's

Is this decision final?

Yes, this decision is final.

The finances have been comprehensively reviewed, our terms and conditions have been reviewed, advice has been sought from the ACCC and a membership meeting has been held to review all information and based on this, votes have been cast.

 To ensure the future of the association and event, no refunds will be made. 

 

Why was it just a member’s vote? Couldn’t the entire community or ticket holders vote?

Blazing Swan is a not for profit, member-run association. Blazing Swan remains accountable to, and is held accountable by, its membership. Part of the responsibility being a member is to determine the direction of the association and event – this is determined through being a member and voting on business of the association.

 

How do I become a member?

Membership of the association is open to anyone in the community. The details can be found on the Blazing Swan Website. https://blazingswan.com.au/blazing-swan-membership/

 

Why didn’t your event insurance cover this event?

Prior to the event Blazing Swan had secured event insurance in case of cancellation. However, the policy specifically did not cover the event for pandemics. Despite thorough investigation, the Committee were unable to find any insurance companies willing to provide insurance for the event, or any event, which provided cover for a pandemic, such as Covid-19

You can find specific information on Covid-19 and our insurance policy in the ‘Supporting Information’ drop down on this page.

 

What about Government and other financial assistance like LotteryWest grants?

The Blazing Swan Committee has made efforts to secure financial assistance but unfortunately, at the moment, we have either not been successful or we are not considered eligible. The Committee will continue to follow up on this matter.

 

Who can I contact about this?

We hope that we’ve answered your questions with the information provided in this statement and the additional FAQs, but if you have further questions, please email tickets@blazingswan.com.au

Images: Dominika Debska & Cinebrah

Previous Cancellation Notices

Cancellation Announcement (16th March 2020)

In response to recent concerns regarding COVID-19 and mass gatherings, members of the Blazing Swan Committee requested to meet with the Kulin Council to discuss the future of our event for 2020. As a result of this meeting and in recognition of our civic responsibility to our community and to society at large, it is with heavy hearts that the decision was made to cancel Blazing Swan Perception 2020. For many of our community, you will have mixed feelings of sadness, anger, frustration and disappointment. As a Committee, we stand alongside you in these feelings.

There have been tough decisions to make and we will need to continue to face difficult choices to save our association into the future. We have all poured our hearts and souls into this event, but  Civic Responsibility remains paramount to protect our community, the Kulin community and the world we call home. 

With this cancellation will come many questions about the event’s future. We’ve done our best to provide a transparent response as to what has happened and what our next steps will be, as well as answering some of the questions that our community is likely to have. We ask that you take some time to read these.

The cancellation of Blazing Swan 2020 sees our association enter a very uncertain financial period with an undetermined future for the event itself. It is hard to express how disappointed we are by these unfortunate circumstances.

The Swan will not burn in 2020, but know that it will still burn just as bright in all of our individual hearts, as we stand together and get through this difficult time. We ask that you continue to act as Blazers do – looking out for each other, helping others, gifting what we can and leading by example within our groups and the wider community that surrounds us. 

From the bottom of our hearts, we would also like to thank you all for the heart warming love and support that you have shown us in recent days. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of those who have already offered to gift their ticket money back to Blazing Swan to keep our association and future events alive. We are feeling the love and solidarity of all of you beautiful people. 

Please take the time to reflect on close family, loved ones, friends and strangers far and wide, who are facing huge challenges and losses here and abroad. COVID-19 is affecting many people in unprecedented ways and our Blazing hearts go out to everyone.

 

Much love and dust.

Blazing Swan Committee

An Update (18th March 2020)

An update…

Thank you to the patience of our community as we continue to work through the current situation with regard to Covid-19 and the cancellation of Blazing Swan.

We’ve seen a real spectrum of feelings and opinions being raised and discussed on our social media as well as through our emails and DMs since our cancellation news was communicated on Monday evening.

Behind the scenes our Comms and Ticketing Team volunteers have been working through the direct communications, answering these as quickly as possible. But publicly we recognise that we have been quiet, and wanted to address where we’re up to, what’s happening and some further information – again, our aim is to remain as open and transparent as possible with the community.

The following question and answers are designed to help provide an update, and answer some of the more common questions that are being raised on social media.

 

Where do things stand on site?

At the moment around 20 people from the committee, event management teams and build crews are taking down the start of construction that would have made up our main burns, this activity is expected to take the next couple of days as it’s repacked and transported back to Perth for storage at the Nest.

As we have committee members split between Perth and JRC, those on site continue to assist with operations there, with members and volunteers in Perth continuing to provide supportive roles.

 

What are the next steps for Blazing Swan?

Whilst packing down the site, as a team we are working to cancel as many services we can – but each one has different contractual requirements and each will take time to resolve, any knock-on refunds from these will take time to resolve.

Even at the best of times cancellations are difficult to manage but bearing in mind the impact Covid-19 is having for everyone, we expect some additional delays.

From there, our next step remains to review and assess where the association stands financially and then discuss this with our members.

 

Can you provide more information about the finances and refunds?

Understandably, based on our no-refund situation, many people have called for Blazing Swan to be transparent in where it stands financially. Many are struggling to understand the costs associated with the event and why we cannot refund.

As an event we have contractually spent money in things like; the land Blazing Swan uses, the fire and ambulance service crews who are on site throughout the event, the building materials for Effigy and Temple, the contractors for the supply of portaloos and services for removal of waste water from site, as well as providing grants to artists and theme camps to help them bring their gifts to the event. Understandably, some of the items listed won’t now be used so it would be logical to assume we can cancel and expect a refund.

However, for many we have already made payments, for others we remain obligated to meet payment terms and for some – like the building materials in the Temple or Effigy we cannot reclaim costs for something we have already used.

At present we cannot release any financial information, not because we’re looking to hide it, but because at the moment, the numbers are changing every day and until all contracts and payments have been resolved, we simply don’t have that information to provide.

When we have returned from site, regrouped and the final figures are in – only then can we look to provide an update to our members. It is then that we can have discussions about if and how Blazing Swan can progress forward.

 

What about refunds?

For those who have contacted us directly about refunds, we have been working through your emails and DMs in a reasonable quick time – we appreciate your patience that you have with the 3 volunteers who are looking after this.

We’ve provided information on our website about why refunds are not possible at this time and so would encourage you to read this post in its entirety and check https://blazingswan.com.au/cancellation/ to find out more information in our FAQ section.

For those wanting the more direct and summary version – simply put, at present our financial situation will not allow for tickets to be refunded – should this occur the association and event will cease to exist.

That does not mean we will not be investigating ways for us to try and make amends for what has occured. There have been lots of suggestions in the online community about potential options and we assure you we will be looking into what’s possible – but all of this will need to occur after we have properly understood our financial situation and met with our membership.

 

Why haven’t you been responding to comments made on Social Media?

Blazing Swan has and moderates a number of pages and groups as well as the event page and Instagram channels.

Our belief is to have an open community with as little moderation as possible (https://blazingswan.com.au/facebook-moderation-guidelines/)  – we want people to have positive constructive conversations and discussions with as little involvement from Blazing Swan moderators as possible.

At the time of writing, our cancellation post across the numerous groups and pages had a combined comment total of 478. And whilst our Comms Team has read all of them, as volunteers, we do not have the resources to respond to each one individually. When many are feeling angry and frustrated, a likely outcome is to generate more anger and frustration without resolution.

Not responding does not mean we are not listening.

We will be investigating all avenues, taking every action possible to try and make amends of this situation. But it will not happen overnight and we ask for your patience as this happens.

 

We ask…

Finally, on our community pages we are seeing an increasing amount of unconstructive comments and hurtful words used in our community. Sometimes it’s burner ‘snark’, or humour, sometimes it’s intentional, but whatever the style, we’d ask for consideration.

We understand that everyone will feel differently about the situation, each person will have a different opinion as to ‘how things could be done differently’ and ‘what we should be doing’.

People are entitled to be upset and frustrated about the lack of refunds. People are entitled to express their opinion. Blazing Swan will do its best to keep the community up to date and explain what has happened and why.

But as a community, we should act how we want to be treated – with respect and kind words, despite a differing opinion.

We ask that you are considerate of your online community and neighbours.

 

Thank you for your time, patience, energies and support

Blazing Swan Committee

Blazing Swan 2020 Cancellation FAQs

Why is Blazing Swan affected by COVID-19?

Covid-19 is having a large global and national impacts and as part of our Civic Responsibility we recognise that Blazing Swan has the potential to not only impact those who attend Blazing Swan 2020 itself, but the local communities that we pass through, as well as our friends and families when we return to the default world.

What went into making this decision?

We recognise that there was a lot of information in the public space around Covid-19, particularly following the media announcement surrounding ‘mass gatherings of 500+ people’ on Friday. Our meeting with Kulin Council couldn’t occur until Monday, and elements of the event were already in build phase, crew were on site preparing the infrastructure and contracts on services for the event had already been arranged.

As an association, we aim to be as clear and transparent with our communications as possible. Whilst we always endeavour to keep our participants up to date, we needed time to consider the impact our decisions would have. 

Will there be refunds?

Should the organisation attempt to refund ticket holders, it would see Blazing Swan as an association and any future events terminated. There are simply not enough funds to refund everyone who has purchased a ticket.

Historically, the event is a challenge to run without any financial loss, even with full sales. Ticket sales also help cover association expenses, such as the Swan’s Nest, which holds a year-round lease and is accessible to the community. We have considered our financial position and Blazing Swan Inc is not in a position to offer refunds on tickets already sold to this year’s event. We regret the effect this may have on members of our community.

Although our Terms and Conditions state that tickets are non-refundable in these circumstances, we will do everything in our power to compensate ticket holders as much as possible whilst still ensuring Blazing Swan continues to run into the future.

 

You can read more on our ticketing terms and conditions here 

If you have pre-purchased ice or merch, please see our separate FAQ.

 

Please refer to ‘Refund Statement’ 30th April 2020 detailed on this page for further information

How much financial investment goes into Blazing Swan?

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 run it. 

Blazing Swan members can access our full financial statements, but to provide some context, we need to pay for things like; the land Blazing Swan uses, the nest lease which provides services to the Burner Community throughout the year, the fire and ambulance service crews who are on site throughout the event, the building materials for effigy and temple, the contractors for the supply of portaloos and services for removal of waste water from site, as well as providing grants to artists and theme camps to help them bring their gifts to the event.

Doesn’t the event insurance cover refunds?

As with similar events scheduled for this time, our cancellation insurance does not cover COVID-19. Despite the Committee investigating and attempting to get insurance to cover this situation since February, ultimately we were unable to do so.

Why not postpone the event?

Postponing the date requires the venue, or another suitable venue to be available. The land on which Blazing Swan is held is also used for Kulin Bush Races and for the rest of the time is working farm land.  We also need to be considerate of the potential bush fire risk should the event be held in hotter, dryer summer months.

Postponing would also have Blazing Swan Inc enter into an unsustainable financial position. It is not possible to transfer tickets to 2021. At the time of ceasing online sales, ticket revenue for 2020 was already 25% down on historic levels.

What if I purchased my ticket through a third party service such as Zip Pay?

Some third party services may have their own terms and conditions. It may be worth checking if you have purchased using a credit cards or Zip Pay, please contact them directly. 

Why can’t I go and stage our own burn on the event site?

The land we hold Blazing Swan on is 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 2020 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 round.

Please feel free to reach out to the Art or Theme Camp Coordination Team leads for support and information about possible next steps

Will you be offering refunds for ice or merch that has been purchased?

Yes, we will be cancelling any orders made for ice and merch, such as t-shirts, and anyone who has ordered these items will be refunded in full.

Please bear with us while we process this.

What are your next steps for Blazing Swan?

The next step for Blazing Swan as both an event and an association is to review our financial position, we are already working to cancel as many remaining services as possible. 

Once we have consolidated  an understanding of our financial position and met with our members to let them know what is going on and discuss the best way forward for the association and the event.

We will make every effort to communicate about the future of Blazing Swan and our next steps, but we ask for your patience as we work through this process.

Thank you to our Blazing Swan family

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 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.

Further Information

If your question has not been answered please contact comms@blazingswan.com.au

 

For further information on Covid-19

WA’s Cononavirus Health Information Line – 1800 020 080

If you’d like to more information about the coronavirus, take a look at these links: