Phil Smart resigns from Board of Red Earth City

Burning Seed regrets to announce that one of our three long-serving directors, Phil “Sherpa” Smart, is stepping down from his role as director after 12 years serving in various leadership roles. Along with Richard Martin and Robin MacPherson, Phil is a founding organiser of Burning Seed in 2009/2010 and of Red Earth City. He will continue to serve the community in his role as a Burning Man Regional Contact, as he has done since 2010. His humble leadership, years of expertise, and calm wisdom has supported countless Burning Seed crew.

A call-out will shortly be held for submissions for new directors. Information about applications can be found at Board EOI Form (

See you on the paddock, Sherpa!

A more personal message from Phil
Burner friends and family,

Just letting you all know that I have made the decision to step down from my role as a director of Red Earth City, the organisation behind Burning Seed.

Burning Seed has been through a lot in the past few years, especially with the prolonged restructure process, and then with the pandemic stuff piled on top it became ever more apparent that it’s fallen on the directors to rebuild again, and tbh I just don’t have the energy or desire to do it all over again and there are other things I'd like to do.

Seed needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, and it needs a fresh crew to do it. The good thing is that the community has come a long way and grown so much over the years, with currently 3 official burns, more on the way, and numerous other burner groups and unofficial gatherings around the country, so there are plenty of potential crew members out there and now is the time to step up to get the event happening in 2022.

As part of the discussions with the other directors around my resignation, the following were agreed upon to happen in a timely manner:
* Appoint a minimum of 3 new directors (by end of February 2022)
* Financial status report, including plain English explanations in addition to spreadsheets, account documents etc
* Restructure status update and timeline/roadmap to 2022 event
* Gifting of my shares in Red Earth City (which are of little value and only necessary due to the current entity structure) to another burner entity or entities
* Afterburn report for the 2020 Virtual Burn to be produced and shared to the community and BMOrg

It’s now up to the remaining two directors to follow through with these tasks, and for the community at large to hold them accountable.

This wasn’t an easy decision to make, but ultimately I have achieved what I set out to do all those years ago, since coming back from my first Burning Man in 2001 and feeling very much like the ‘only burner in the village’ for a long time, which was to plant the seed of organised burner culture in Australia.

I’m one of those people who can truly say that Burning Man has changed my life, and it continues to, so while I may not be a director any more, I still intend to be an active participant in the global burner community and will continue to serve as a regional contact for Burning Man in Australia, as I have since 2010.

I’m grateful to everyone that made Burning Seed what it is, and I mean EVERYONE. I look forward to seeing what comes next, and to roaming a playa or paddock with you some time soon.
In dust we trust.


Red Earth City is an Australian Burning Man Organisation officially affiliated with the Burning Man Project's Regional Network.
Formed from Red Earth City Pty Ltd.
ABN 72 141 969 226
Registered Office: 4/71 King St, Newcastle, NSW 2300
Postal: PO Box 2012, Cairns, 4870