The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

 (Moody morning glory with DPW in the Tankwa - thanks to Kristy Derbyshire for this shot)

Time flies like an arrow, and fruit flies like a banana. Badoom tish. But seriously, jislaaik. Now is the time of our frantic, of our last-minute dash and yes indeed, of the almighty to-do list. Why? Because there are only 11 days until gates, and that in the bigger scheme of things doesn't amount to a whole heap of time. What was that about failing to plan and planning to fail? Uhuh: turns out, to be fully self reliant in a remote desert takes a whole lot of planning and prep - and no small amount of assembling all the things. After all, if & when Mother Nature decides to kick our collective asses - and she does her damndest, every year - you, and your camp, best be ready to handle whatever she serves up. Once more unto the dusty breach? It's what we do best.
In this newsletter:


    (And they all went in, one by by one: thanks to Jonx Pillemer for this shot of Die Hek, at last year's event)  

It's the home stretch - and now's when we see quite a few people seeking tickets. If you're looking, don't forget our Leftover Sale is still open (and there are still a few tickets left in there - but that sale will close Sunday midnight). To buy those, as always, just log into our site and click 'Buy Tickets'.

STEP of course has been running for secure resales - and as it does every year, that will close for new tickets being put into the system (and requests) at midnight next Wednesday the 18th. Once it closes, any tickets unsold on STEP will be returned to owners, who are then able to sell them privately (or via
Ticketpony) them right up until our event closes on April 29th.

Don't forget: there are scammers out there, and they're keen to take your money. Our social media crew have been working overtime to smack their many fake profiles down, but you need to stay alert to ensure you don't get taken for a ride. If you want tickets, please check out the info on
our Tickets page for ways in which you can buy legit tickets.

                                                                                                         (Jack. Spare tyres. Compressor. Snotplugs. Tyre weld. And keep it at 70km/h or less)


We've said it before, but it bears repeating - the R355 wants to eat your tyres, and if you drive too fast, with a heavy load, and don't pay close attention to how your vehicle feels on the road, chances are really great you will get a flat, or a blowout, or sidewall punctures - and you may even roll your car. All the usual R355 wisdom applies: take it easy, don't overload (we know that's a tough one, but still) and do not drive over the middle-mannetjie (middle strip, where sharp stones stack up). Stick to 70km/h or less, and stay on the tracks. And seriously - yes, even you with the 4x4 - DO NOT OVERTAKE IF YOU CANNOT SEE AHEAD (OR THROUGH THE DUST). That's how head-on collisions occur, and there have been many over the years.
In other - happy - news the Western Cape provincial roads department have confirmed that grading will take place on the R355 from Karoopoort to the W.Cape provincial border shortly. The Northern Cape graded from Bloukrans (outside Calvinia) to the border 3 weeks ago. With
some rain (which comes sporadically in the next 10 days) and some vehicles, chances are good the road will be 'blink gery' (ie: ridden smooth) by the time you hit the dirt. 

In other, other, news the rollout of our temporary road safety signage is on track, and you're going to see a lot of it (because it's reflective and large). Please don't take any for souvenirs - and if you see that the Tankwa wind has knocked it over, help us out by getting it upright, thanks.

                                                                                                                                                 (Tune in & turn on - by bringing an FM radio to Tankwa Town)   


If you're bringing an artwork, camp, performance, mutant or other project to the dust, and you'd like to get news out about what it is, and where people can find it, then all you need to do is speak into a microphone of some kind (you could simply create a voice note on your phone, or you could go full singing-and-dancing soundscape if you wish) and send that into 

If the Radio Free Tankwa crew receive it, chances are very good they'll play it out over the airwaves in Tankwa Town, on 99.9FM (quite possibly on rotation). If you're completely tech-averse, but still want to get word out on RFT, you can also simply take your voice along to the radio caravan (at Off-Centre Camp), where RFT's team will stick a mic in your face and ask you to talk. Don't be scared: for most of them, it's also their first time (because it's manned by volunteers). 




Yes, it's true - this year's map is out, and you can download the PDF right here. And a printed version? As always, it'll be inside this year's WTF Guide (which is almost wrapped) you can pick up yours at Die Hek (our event gate) and also over at Off-Centre Camp.

                                                                                                                                                                            (Thanks to URI for this shot of their crew)


As we prep for round 12 of our humble desert kumbaya, the Bergie Bag Project has been walking the talk out here in the default, gifting to those fighting for survival on a daily basis. Callouts to our community and a whip-round have rustled up no less than 50 bags worth of useful supplies and surprises for people sleeping rough. Tidy.

In other news, #CleanOurKasi in eMfuleni hosted an environmental pollution awareness session for 60 kids and adults, sparking conversations about littering, recycling, tree planting and collective responsibility - in essence, this Spark Grant funded an Each One Teach One session about how healthy environments make for happier hoods.

Lastly, driven by Leave No Trace, the Urban Resilience Initiative in Muizenberg (which occupies under-used public spaces and community allotment gardens in and around the village) used their Spark Grant for a collection scheme of organic and recyclable waste and permaculture workshops, with funds spent on tools and equipment. That's them above. Respect.

Who's responsible for all this? You are - by buying a ticket to our event, you fund these projects which set out to make a difference in these hoods. All it takes is a Spark. Thank you.

Look out for more Spark Grants, when we call out for more projects that are looking for funding later this year. Shout out to
our Outreach crew, who've driven this round: superb work, well done.



Out there in the baking hot Tankwa, a bunch of things are hammering away as the days to gates draw nearer - among them RESET from Peru, whose piece is an architectural marvel (which you can see a bit of, above from their progress video). Add to that the Clan crew, who are on track as our main effigy happily nears completion, and also the SKOP IV posse, who hauled out from Sutherland 8 days ago and have been making great progress on their impressive and very round structure. What else? Oh, just about another 120 other art projects, 100 theme camps and many dozens of OMFG! mutant vehicles are barreling along - and all will be revealed very soon when you arrive on site.

You know what else is on track? Craig Els' walker beast, which is a kinetic mechanical animal. Want a sneak preview?
Hit this to view the clip of the beast walking its stalk. And then there's Mankala...
                                                                                                                                (Thanks to Cian from the Mankala crew for this shot of Mpho Molikeng)

Mankala? It's an explosion of indigenous cultural expression that's not to be missed, and consists of a bunch of drums and percussion instruments that are available for you to jam on, along with a range of indigenous musicians whose agenda is to promote African culture and its deep ancient rhythms...

Each day, Mankala will host a range of activities:
10 - 2 Discussions with Sotho, Zulu and San elders about different aspects of indigenous culture, focusing on divine connection through music & dance, traditional medicine and more
2 - 5   Experiential traditional music & dance workshops
5 - 6   Acoustic jams - bring your instrument!
6 - 8   Interactive performances of Sotho, Xhosa, Zulu and San music and dance
8 - 10 Live performance by Qhuzilini Sithole, Mpho Molikeng (above), Morena Leraba and more
10pm - midnight: DJ's and producers play some funky Afrikan beats, mixing in recording from each day's live sessions. Including Aero Manyelo, Dwane Kapula, Coco Lupu, PJ the DJ and others
Midnight - 1am (wind down)

On Wednesday of the event week,
Mankala is joined by Pops Mohamed to host daily workshops and performances.

'Nothing African about AfrikaBurn'? So, about that...



                                                                                           (Perimeter crew at Subterrafuge, going up in 2015. Thanks to Cameron Griffiths for the shot)


If there's a burn in Tankwa Town, you can rest assured there's a cluster of fire-wise and able-bodied Perimeter crew. But, as always, we need enough Perimeter crew to make sure every burn comes down safely from start to finish - and we're looking for more folks to step up. If you've ever had fire training - or even if you haven't, but would like to assist - then there are training sessions happening daily on site in Tankwa Town. They're only about an hour long - and our Art and Fire teams would very much appreciate the assistance. Art crew members - this also applies to you: after all, if you train up, you can run your own perimeters (and also assist other art crews).

Training sessions in Tankwa Town ahoy:
20th April (pre-gates), and then 25th - 29th, every day, in the Training Tent at Off-Centre Camp.

If you'd like to get a sense of the science behind working a Fire Perimeter,
take a look at this.


If you've ever had need for sage advice, or someone to mediate a land-grab in Tankwa Town, or just needed to know directions to the medics or where to find Sanctuary, chances are you'd have come across a Ranger - and they'd have helped you. If you're a people person, and are good at mediation or generally just like helping others, you too can step up and join the orange - to find out about training sessions happening in the dust, click this way.


If it flies, it lands at our Airport - and those on board also have to pass through a satellite Gate - which is where you might come in. If you love things that fly and would like to assist our Airspace and Hek crew by stepping up for a shift (which consists of checking people in & scanning tickets), you'll be warmly welcomed by our crew on the ground at the Airport. Yes? fantastic - click here to sign up.



All those bras and panties you don't wear anymore - yes, even you, Steven - can go to a good cause, so if you have any spare that you could donate, bring them to the burn. This year, the ZABRA AfreeBra initiative will be collecting them to distribute to shelters for abused women, orphanages and rape and human trafficking victims. Obviously, give them a good wash beforehand, but they'll go on to make a huge difference to those who could really use it. Men's underpants are also welcome. Take your donations over to our Ranger HQ, where you'll see a sign for the donation drop-off. If you'd like more info, email


So you'd like to use a bike at the burn - and donate it after? Turns out, there's just the thing for that: Pedals For Peace. Their bikes have been selected for durability in the Tankwa, and are donated to communities in and around the region for whom some mobility makes all the difference. Yes? Click right this way to make it happen

                                                                                                            (Anthea Delmotte's amazing painted postcard of the Burning Van, by Burning Mail)


So you've got some sketchy skills? Maybe a dab hand at paints? Hell, even if you'd just like to take a crack at it, we're calling out for you to doodle something - anything related to AfrikaBurn - onto a standard-sized postcard, and send it in, so it can become part of our Artefactory Exhibition, which is hosted in a shipping container at Off-Centre Camp each year. Yes? Fantastic - get your postcard sent off to:

Post Box 191
Cape Town

by no later than the 18th of April (or you could just bring it along to the Artefactory itself on the day - ask for Robert). More info? Mail






If you're in Cape Town and into deeply immersive sounds, you could do worse than head out tomorrow night to support Arkology as they roll out the dance carpet for one last boogie before their crew head to the dust and start building their amazing sound stage.

When: Friday 13th April 10pm - 4am
Where: Club 89, 89 Long St, Cape Town
Tickets: R60 <10pm> R80
Event page?
Get it here.

p.s: the Arkology crew are calling out for some assistance hauling their 20kvA gennie to site, between the 20th and 23rd - got a trailer and a heart to help? Contact the crew via their Facebook page

After you get back from the dust, what better way to wash the dust off than with a sunset swim, right? Right - here's news on a little gathering that's way chilled, and very informal, but bound to be lekker:

When: Sunday, May 6th, 4 - 8pm
Where: Clifton Beach, Cape Town
How: Look for the flag
Event page?
Cost? Fokol, bring and come.


For those in spots, Thursday is Leopard Day - so wear your spots and release the beast, by joining the Leopard Mafia at their 5th birthday shindig. Alex Cruz will be busting beats - and body-painters will be on hand to bring out your beast.

When: April 26th, 3pm
Where: Camp Just NOW, on 9ish
What: Panthera pardus and associated spotted beasts
Event page?
Here you go.


As the sun sets over the desert on the Friday evening, absolutely everyone is welcome at the Kabbalat Shabbat welcoming ceremony, which will be followed by a traditional Friday night dinner, hosted at Alienz Coffee Shop. Bring a plate and cutlery, and if you can contribute veg delights, that would be great but not mandatory. Please let them know if you'll be there, so they can plan around the numbers for feeding or if you can help prepare. To let 'em know that you're coming, please visit the event page on Facebook.


Love reggae? Dub? Reggaeton? Dancehall? Ragga? Cumbia? Steel drums and delay pedals? Bong-skanking dope beats? You need to get your hynie over to the Reggae Pavilion on site (which you'll see inside the Binnekring near 5ish) and drop some beats - because Fred and the crew are looking for DJ's.

Make contact with the Pavilion posse over on their
Facebook page.

Word from Captain Tom who mans our Airspace portfolio is that not one single licensed drone operator has applied to fly over Tankwa Town this year. This isn't surprising, as there aren't a whole lot of licensed drone operators in the whole of South Africa. What's more, recreational drones aren't licensed - and the only way to fly a drone over our city is to have all the (many) certifications and licenses required by the Civil Aviation Authority.

In summary - the only drones allowed to fly near an airport are those operated by trained pilots, who've got their OK from the CAA. And none are coming this year. So if you see a drone, ask the muppet flying it to put it away. Why? Because unlicensed drones flying near our airport will see our airstrip shut down - which in turn will mean no medical evacuation facility. And that's no laughing matter. Leave 'em at home, thanks folks.

For real. It's April 12th, and it's popping off in every direction. One more hairy Baardskeerder next week, and then it's dust in the eyes, ears and unmentionables for all of us. Good luck with that packing & prep, see you soonish...

Travis Lyle
Head of Communications

Hey! Listen to this. (and then bring an FM radio to the event, so you can hear more, live, on 99.9FM)


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