Atlanta, GA. in the late 1980’s was a burgeoning scene of activity. The Mattress Factory art shows were hugely successful and this led to a number of fringe happenings. I was happily able to collaborate with many event organisers and producers in this brief time. in 1999 I attended the Burning Man Festival in Nevada and this was a turning point in my life. In 2000 I worked closely with Grady Cousins and Charity Ellis to produce a 2-week long Arts event in Atlanta called “Connect”. In 2005 Grady and I worked together again on staging another “Connect” event in San Francisco; this time staged at the Artaud Theatre for 2 weeks.
In 2002 in Atlanta I co-founded the Atlanta Ripe event which staged a number of events that led to the regional Burning Man event staged in the south-east. I relocated to the San Francisco Bay area in 2003 and worked with Grady Cousins and Eric Oberthaler on establishing a Balinese inspired musical ensemble that performed Bale Ganjur (marching Gamelan) and taught and performed Kecak (monkey chant). One People Voice essentially was an extension of onepeople. We toured through many states in the USA and began teaching larger Kecak workshops at the annual festival in Nevada, Burning Man. By 2005 the ensemble was invited to perform at the Bali Arts Festival in Indonesia, this production was called SITUBANDA. Following that successful tour, we continued with tours in the USA. This ensemble morphed into Gamelan X. By 2007 I took a major leap of faith and returned to South Africa to establish the first Africa Burning Man Regional Event called ‘AfrikaBurn’. Preceding the event in South Africa, I produced two fundraisers in Oakland. The first, ‘BURNT’ was produced in Oakland and hosted by the good people at NIMBY in 2006. In 2007 I worked with NIMBY again, and we produced ‘Cinco de Playa’. These events would help in funding the Triple Bypass project due to begin work in Cape Town later that year. And now, AfrikaBurn is a hugely successful event with well over 14,000 people gathering for a week in the Tankwa Karoo.
Following my move to Australia in 2008, I worked closely with the Town Council for Red Earth City of which ‘Burning Seed’ was one of its incentives. We staged our first Australian Burning Man Regional event in Bellingen, NSW. After 3 years of ‘Burning Seed’, I started working closely with a number of artist/producers in Perth and co-founded the ‘Blazing Swan’ event. It is staged in Kulin WA and now is in its sixth year. This has again proven to be a very successful event.
In the latter part of 2017, I was invited to serve as the structural manager at the ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ event. It is now in its seventh year and is staged at the historic Werribee Mansion just outside Melbourne. This proved to be quite an undertaking as I oversaw the building of a number of stages, a large art project and worked directly with structural engineers in Melbourne to ensure that all structures would get signed off on, and then submitted to the Wyndham Council before the event could go ahead. I have just recently completed my second year with Cake 2019 and we had a record-breaking attendance of 13,500 people on New Year’s Day.