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What’s it like at Blazing Swan Festival?

Blazing Swan is a regional Burning Man event held in Kulin, Western Australia.

Cam and I attended the 2018 event as a guest of Big Lewis, the founder of the festival. You might remember him from the Life at the Circus series – he introduced the Day 5 video (I made 30 x short videos during the 2018 Western Australian Circus Festival.)

We’ve been talking about getting to Blazing Swan for a few years and we were stoked that this year we were finally able to make it.

It’s a pretty amazing event. The 11 principles are pivotal. When you first arrive a band of ‘greeters’ takes you through a short introduction to make sure everyone agrees to adhere to the principles.

The principles aren’t just for the festival though. They’re meant as a way of life, with Blazing Swan (and Burning Man and all the other ‘Burn’ festivals) teaching and reinforcing the benefits.

One of the principles is ‘immediacy’ which is all about being in the present. It’s actually pretty much impossible to film the festival and also to be fully present. I felt this dichotomy throughout the festival and found when I was editing that I was missing whole chunks of my experience. That’s because I was ‘experiencing’ rather than filming. I’m ok with that, but also sorry I can’t show you some of the really great sessions we attended in Shiva’s Tea House.

Before we went I searched YouTube to find out what to expect at Blazing Swan Festival. All the videos seemed to be made for people who had already been, or who already had an understanding of what it was all about.

Hopefully this video will help you if you’re wondering, “What’s it like at Blazing Swan?”

Find out more about Blazing Swan.

The 11 Principles

  1. Radical Inclusion
  2. Giffting
  3. Decommodification
  4. Radical Self-reliance
  5. Radical Self-expression
  6. Communal Effort
  7. Civic Responsibility
  8. Leave No Trace
  9. Participation
  10. Immediacy
  11. Consent