The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

Baardskeerder masthead design by Mea Waffle

                                           (The 'Ego Booth' by Daniel Popper and crew - and Clan and 'The Wish' in background, 2008, as shot by Jonx Pillemer)  


The human ego is a helluva thing. It informs our sense of self, and in some of us it can drive a sense that our lives matter more than others. And this can also extend to a sense of superiority, as is evident from the state of our planet and the way that our species has presumed dominance over other lifeforms (or for that matter inanimate forms). And so we find ourselves at a crossroads, one at which we're faced with the choice of change: personally, socially, politically and planetarily. But then this would be a familiar refrain - and in the dust of the desert that we've all enjoyed these many years, these issues have always surfaced as we've collectively navigated news ways of being. Out there, we've all been humbled: by dust, wind, fire and the many trials that are thrown at us, at our own invitation. So what's it going to be: business as usual? Or a new way?

In our hearts, we know the answer. Have a chat with your ego - tell it to pipe down and start listening.

*with apologies to Descartes.

In this newsletter:



                                                                                                                                    (Our humble Ticketing Booth of 2013, photo: Conrad Lattimer)


Since our event was cancelled on March 13th - which seems a long time ago now - we've been providing updates when possible about the status of our pursuit of a final decision on refunds. As per our April 1st announcement, our standard clause since 2007 on all tickets has been that we do not offer refunds - but in that announcement, we also indicated that our team would do everything they can to find a solution that is as fair as possible under the circumstances. And we're still at it.

Now, you'd be familiar with the maxim 'you can't please all the people, all the time' - and we're aware that ain't never gonna happen - but in order to get a sense of how you feel about refunds, we did share the Refund Feedback Form on our
May 28th 'Refund Update' announcement. To everyone that filled that form out, THANK YOU! The input that you provided has really helped our team in drafting the options that will be made available to you once the legal process we're engaged in is wrapped up. 

Regarding that, we now await word from the Insurance Ombudsman in the UK (which is where our insurer is based) on the case that we've put before them. It now sits with them - and much as we would very much like to hasten the process, it's out of our hands until a final decision is made. Hurry up and wait? And then some.

If you've felt that this has dragged along for what seems like forever, we feel you: it's been a long slow and painful crawl for us too, and one that none of us have enjoyed in the least. So please do know this: though our team is now smaller by necessity, we remain as always available to answer your questions, and will continue to keep you informed. As soon as there's any movement, rest assured we'll announce that across every channel at our disposal.


                    (Tafelberg and high ground along the Cedarberg dusted with snow, June 18th, as visible from Quaggafontein. Photo: Monique Schiess)                                                                                   


The winter breeze brings a kiss of rain to the sandy plain...and if you listen very very closely, you can hear the lilies and vygies popping up on cue, eager to make the most of the blessed rains down here in Africa. And how do we know this? Ah, well: with all the necessary permits, a small number of our team were out in the Tankwa at our new location, Quaggafontein, over the last two weeks. And they all report that it was bitterly cold, but very beautiful.

At Quaggafontein, a team made up of our crew and volunteers interested in surveying the new site for prospective event locations (in other words: 'places where a Tankwa Town could be placed in future whilst leaving the absolute least impact') was kept busy with scouting expeditions in seach of vast sandy patches with just the right mix of almost fokol life (thanks to sheep and goats and wind erosion of many decades' making). We're in search of the 'Goldilocks Zone' - not too soft, not too hard, just right - that would be perfect for future Tankwa Towns.

Does this mean we're able to announce the dates of AfrikaBurn 2021? Nope, not yet: right now, even we don't know when that will happen. Because lockdown and regulations and all that shizzle - but as soon as we do, you better believe we'll be making lots of noise.


Keep an eye out for news about forthcoming expeditions to Quaggafontein: as you can see above from the Contact Form on our Land website, many plans are afoot - and if among them are activities that suit your skills and interests, you're very welcome to send a mail letting our team know you're interested in volunteering your time and joining us as we embark on this exciting new chapter. To do that, click here to visit the website, lekker.



On May 2nd we embarked on our first expedition into uncharted territory with HomeBurn - and it turned out to be a fabulous and wild ride as we rolled through burns, workshops, discussions, performances and a whole bunch of great music from a wide range talented music lovers who shared the music they love with around 5,000 participants over the 36 hours that our schedule ran.

And now we're one week away from
eCompression, which is our next ambitious escapade into the digital dust. Will it feature the same range of colourful collaborative and creative experiences as HomeBurn? So far, it definitely seems so: thus far, we have an impressive range of storytelling, live performance, artworks, burns, discussions - and also a special stream live from the Tankwa, where a small number of our DMV will provide both a ride around the desert on a mutant vehicle, and also another superb desert sunset.

Oh - and on the day (and just like Tankwa Town) you'll also be greeted at the gate by our fabulous Greeters!


If you're wondering how you could participate by sharing an activity, artwork, performance (or any other type of content), all you need to do is get in touch with our team and they'll assist - mail us on - or, if you're keen but are a little apprehensive because you don't know how to set up a live stream (or a pre-recorded clip), don't stress: tonight, Thursday the 25th, we have a free Stream Tutorial happening on the HomeBurn website, and everyone's invited to sit in and glean some tips.

To participate in the Stream Tutorial, and have our man Bash from the DMV will talk you through it all,
click through to the HomeBurn website at 7pm right here.


To pull off our virtual events there are some real-world costs - and then, just like any AfrikaBurn event, we also want to enable support for the artists and performers that provide the experience you enjoy, and for some of them setting up a live stream means data costs and setup expenses. So, though we have a 'pay what you can' ticketing structure, we're appealing to you to make a donation of some kind which will help us to continue to stage these events, and also provide support to the community members that are sharing their talents with us.

To make a donation before the event to support artists and some the costs involved, head over to our tickets page:

eCompression Tickets? Step right this way.

When: 10am - 2am, Saturday July 4th
Where: wherever you are
Event page on FB?
Right here.




The fantastic crew that joined us last year in the dust from Langa - the Our Workshop team, headed up by upcycled design bright spark Heath Nash - has been facing some serious challenges due to lockdown. The primary challenge? Their team aren't able to work, in their Workshop - so they have a plan afoot to at least enable their team members to work from home, stitching beautiful quilts, and earn at least something to tide them by until the workshop is once again open for them all to gather and work.

To help support Our Workshop, head to their crowdfunding page right here.

Second among their challenges is that whilst sat at home, there's a drive to help each member get online and market their products - but to do so, they would require a smartphone or laptop, but these are largely beyond the reach of the team members concerned.

To find out how you can assist, or to donate an old phone or laptop,
head over to their website and get in touch.



Over the years in the dust, the Space Cowboys camp have generously shared their camp and given us all great experiences - and under lockdown, they're keeping up that generosity by assisting a variety of Covid-19 relief efforts both in Jozi and the Western Cape - and if you'd like to give back soem of that love and see it passed on to deserving causes, head over to their website to find out which initiatives they're assisting.


In addition to raising funds directly to assist various organisations, the artist Nix Davies (likely known to you as a member of the team that raised the Yggdrasil Tree of Wonder in Tankwa Town in 2018 among other amazing artworks) is generously selling the fine art prints you see above, as an additional means of generating funds for the Space Cowboys' plans to provide support where its needed most by communities affected by Covid-19.

To see Nix's prints and read more about her initiative, head over
the Forest of our Minds Facebook page, or do the same by checking out the website she's set up.

Well played to all members of our community out there that are on the frontlines making a difference!



Times may be challenging, but when they get too much, remember: you've weathered storms, you've handled Tankwa curveballs on the R355 and you've always emerged better, stronger and more human as a result. Things may get you down round about now, and cracks may widen, but don't forget: it's the cracks that let the light in. Stay strong, true and human out there - the future's bright, if we make it so.

Until next time, share your light and keep it real.


Who made this?

Publisher, writer, editor: Travis Lyle
Proofreading & general eyes: Tim Doyle
Powered by: humility, optimism and double-shot bulletproof coffee


Still reading? Lekker - check out this great piece by Black Rock Smitty in which he smashes stereotypes and takes no prisoners.


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