The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

 'Bottle Skull' by Alan Munro and crew, as shot by Migal Van As - a reminder to all in the Cape to SAVE WATER

UP & AT 'EM!
It's that time of year once again: project registrations are flooding in, and ideas are so thick in the air you could catch a bunch with a butterfly net. Fair enough: the wheel has turned and everyone's looking forward towards April, and everything that lies between here and the start of That Dirt Road. As a result, this here Baardskeerder is rammed with all sorts of interesting developments, callouts and not a small amount of updates on some truly impressive creative endeavours. Trot on, dig in and up & at 'em!

In this newsletter:



(shot by Jonx Pillemer) 

So, you've got this project, and it's going to blow minds to smithereens come the end of April? Fokken-A, well played - thanks for the effort, we hope it all goes clickety clack all the way to Die Hek and beyond. Between now and then, of course, you would be aware that you're able to register your project - and with that comes the opportunity to get advice from our team on stuff like placement, technical advice and logistical challenges like transport.

Registration also means that your project's able to be included in our WTF event guide, but there's more - thanks to the tireless efforts of our tech crew, you're now able to list your registered project on
our Community Directory, which enables you to indicate if you're looking for crew or collaborators. Because, you know, community's all about building bridges and connections.

Haven't registered your project yet? No worries - there's still time to do that, but we suggest hustling to do it sooner rather than later. Here's where: 

Theme Camps
Mutant Vehicles



                                                                                                                        (this shot of the ActionArte crew performing at 2015's event is by Sean Furlong)


Speaking of projects and building community, for many years now, we've had various initiatives that are designed to make our event more accessible and inclusive. One of the ways we've set out to achieve that has been through making a tickets available to groups of marginalised artists and cultural practitioners who do not have the means to participate at AfrikaBurn.

These plans have been bearing fruit well over the past couple of years, and we're ramping them up even further in 2017 - so, if you're a Theme Camp or a Creative Grant beneficiary, you're encouraged to diversify your crews by applying for Community Tickets - or an Outreach Grant. Interested? Here's where you can find out more and apply:

Sounds great -
take me to the info!



The short & sweet of it: our next (and final) ticket sale is on Friday Feb 3rd, at 12 midday SA time. To buy 'em, you'll need a Bio - and if you have one already, just remember to log into our site once ahead of the sale in order to activate your Bio.

To activate your Bio, or create one, head this way:

Need info on tickets? As always, it's all over on the incredibly cryptically-titled Tickets page of our site.



In order for an epehemeral city to rise from the dust and be built by you, a lot of materials and supplies have to be moved - and often with large projects, this means suppliers make deliveries to Tankwa Town. You know, like a real city. As time has passed (and some projects have become quite large), so we've had to develop a system that prevents trucks cruising around the city looking for folks that have secured a delivery of wood, water, tents or all the other things that make camps and artworks possible. That's now been nailed down as a set of Supplier Guidelines which are particularly relevant if you plan on bringing a large camp or project to the event - and those have been freshly published:

Read all about those right here.

                                                                                                                                                      (thanks to Jonx Pillemer for this shot too)


People often remark that there are no fights in Tankwa Town, and it's something that we as a community can be rightly proud of. But there's a reason: not only are you all a rather well-adjusted bunch of nuts, but there's also a corps of community mediators who walk the dust every year and help people to avoid danger, and generally get along. They're our Rangers, and they're a noble bunch of level-headed folks.

But here's the thing: as our city has grown (we'll be 13 000 this year), so the need for more Rangers has grown. To meet this need, we're calling out, we're hollering from the rooftops - hell, we're even sending smoke signals far and wide  - for all interested parties to join the Orange. If you're good with people, and mediation, please consider stepping up and attending one of the many training dates coming up. 

The next one is this Saturday in Cape Town - biut if you're elsewhere in teh country, don't fret - we're coming to you too, soon.

Check out the
Ranger Training date info for this Saturday here - and keep an eye out on our channels for future dates in your area.

Thanks to all who've stepped up so far!




Who are we? Where do we come from? When do we arrive, and how many of us are there? The answers to these and many other questions can now be revealed, thanks to the power of 21st-Century supercomputing - and a nifty Stats page put together by Alastair Mason, one of our tech geniuses.

What you see above is the numer of people on site per day at last year's event - but the Stats page also shows you what area of the planet people are coming from, and how many there are in those areas - all of which helps us understand our community more, and plan best for them on the ground.

Interested in checking out stats? Behold the glorious data:



Talking of data, and code, and all things tech - they're at it again! Yep: they're our tech crew & volunteers, and this very Saturday they'll be tackling some juicy chunks of code, as well as stuff like mesh networks and generally tinkering with the mysteries of helpful machines and thge languages they speak. 'Mesh network?', you say? Uhuh - we're taking a shot at that this year (but no, you won't be able to log into wifi and Instaspam the planet with your Tankwatonian selfies).

Keen to join 'em? Grand - the Hackathon kicks off at 11am this Saturday at our HQ in Obs, Cape Town, and is followed by a discussion around the AfrikaBurn app, and then a mesh network meeting:

Hackathon Facebook event page
App Discussion Facebook event page
Mesh Network Meeting event page



Out there, we have an airport, it's true. To be fair, it's not permanent, and it's hardly OR Tambo International - it's a very small arrangement, put in place in order to service our need of medical evacuation, and the occasional flight in or out ferrying folks who can afford that kinda thing. But it takes a dedicated team to run it, and ensure that no flying metal lands in the wrong place  - or anyone, god forbid, inadvisably wanders onto the runway (or even tries to ride their bike along it: yep, we're looking at you, Hanky Panky).

Know anyone that's in love with aviation, and may be willing to help out? Captain Tom would like to hear from them, whether they're up for the full list of duties, or simply able to lend a hand in some areas:

Check out the
Assistant Airport Manager position here.




No doubt about it - there's a whole lotta shakin' going on out there as many projects gear up and get into the groove. Check these out for ways to assist projects, step up and join a crew or otherwise get involved in helping to make Tankwa Town come alive with desert play:



Over the past few months, an amazing project has taken flight: it's a monstrous baobab tree, and it incorporates the tale of a mystical tree... here's word from Agust and Nix, project leads on something that promises to put the awe back into awesome:

"We have an exhibition coming up at Youngblood Gallery that kicks off on First Thursdays 2nd of Feb and goes on for the duration of February. How exciting! But right now, to make our project happen, we're looking for five roles to be filled that are half-time/full-time voluntary positions:
- Communications person, actively speaking to our volunteers and coordinating with them to confirm sign ups and their journey into the desert.
- Campaign manager, Kickstarter - we would love to give one of you this responsibility!
- Project manager, step up with Nix and Agust to oversee all tasks
- Logistics manager, sourcing materials and oversee transport logistics
- Home Camp manager, organic food logistics and camp setup for maximised community comfort
And then we have three roles that we need a lot of:
- Ambassadors, spread the word “Have you heard about the tree?”, instigate curiosity and intrigue
- Design crew, We need you NOW and for a month ahead! We need to design the tree in big and small detail based on the myths and legends of Baobabs and the Tree of life! Please contact 
- Build crew, we still need more builders, riggers, healers and all-arounders.
Wanna help on build weekends (in Citrusdal or the desert)? Sign up here.
Wanna be on the build crew? Please sign up here.
Any inquiries please contact
Design and exhibition contact "


Word from the Wild Ass team:

"The Wild Ass Saloon was a hit at Trickster, with an authentic saloon full of cowboys, saloon girls and the whole shebang - a small smokey saloon with a dodgy game of blackjack being played until late in the night; dimly lit with gas lanterns and whisky shots flowing; a bean stew on the fire…

We return for the theme Play, and we need more cowboys and Saloon girls to join our posse. If you're looking to participate and need a camp to join please contact us. It's not hard work, hanging around playing cards, and you can add your creative bit if it fits in.  We want to extend the saloon to include a drybar - a place to chill on the Binnekring, and your suggestions welcome. This in an interactive theme camp that needs a few people running it at a time. We are also dreaming of building a stage coach art car….

Looking forward to hearing from you, Nikki and James. "



The Greasemonkeys say "We're a camp of enthusiastic burn mechanics, and are looking to beef up our tool collection as many of our precious tools have gone walkabout at the burn. If you have any old or unwanted tools, consider donating them to a good cause. We are looking for any tools which are in good working order, that could help us fix vehicles or bicycles. We always need more of the essentials, common spanners and sockets (10, 13, 15, 17), allen keys, screwdrivers and pliers but any of the more “exotic” tools would be greatly appreciated as well.


Donations can be dropped off at Stoke Suspension Works, Cnr of Pickwick Rd and Micawber Rd, Salt River, during office hours or Saturday mornings. Or we can collect. Contact"


                                                                                (romantic sunset shot of the Lobo crew at work, by Christiaan Barnard. Sharp, Chris!)


From monkeys to wolves, it takes a whole menagerie to make Tankwa Town happen. This call's from the posse that have created and gifted The Spirit Train to our citizens each year for the last couple years:

"We're a 23-strong crew of skilled artists & tradesmen looking for some more crews (men or women) to join us – in particular SOUND ENGINEERS.

We have some amazing people on-board and would like to invite a few more. PLEASE INBOX US with your skillset (if any), AB experience, email & cellphone details (

Anybody joining us will be guaranteed a comfortable camp - you will however need to join us for the complete 12 days we are in Tankwa ... but it's truly worth it!!

If you're up for joining us, mail "


(project sketch supplied by Liam Charlton)


If you didn't know, trade in pangolin - Smutsia temminckii - was recently banned worldwide on account of some muppets believing (like some do with rhino horn) that its scales assist in virility. Which is like saying chewing your nails makes you superhuman, but there you go: the poor critter's in dire straights as a result. In order to highlight the plight of this beautiful and endangered creature, a Mutant Vehicle crew are creating Pangorarri - and they're calling out for hands on deck to make this mutant come alive.

Comes with authentic scales, and mechanical fist pump action. Batteries not included. Keen on joining the crew? For more info and to get in touch, mail


Speaking of (ahem) wood, there's a member of our community who's got a large pile of hardwood that she'd like to offer to anyone planning projects. Reclaimed / recycled wood? Always a damn good plan. Here's the word from Leoné Pieters:

"Greetings fellow burners! In light of all the creative endeavours for Burn 2017, anyone interested in a rather HUGE amount (or even a little) of various beautiful hardwood off-cuts?? Send me an email at (I'm in Meyerton, near Vereeniging, Gauteng)"





It's a new year, and with it, here comes a new volunteer session down at our workyard - and this time round, we're going to be sewing bunting & moop bags and doing some printing on bags. Hell, we may even make some cushions, because we're crazy like that. 

For those who love painting, we'll be prepping boards for signs, cushion making and and... basically, if you're good with needles, thread, paint, brushes or just generally crafty, you're welcome to join us on the day. 

Light refreshments & drinks will be provided - bring yourself, bring a friend (and if you plan on working with paint, think about clothes you don't mind working in or getting splotchy). 

Hit this for the Facebook event page.



As our community grows, so the opportunities to connect and compare notes - and even chat about collaborating on projects with folks from your area. Coming to the Garden Route for the first time is the first Burner Bar which, like so much to do with this strange and beautiful thing we all do, is a self-organised initiative. It's happening this Saturday the 21st Jan, If you're in Knysna, Plett, George or thereabouts, pop in and meet some people bound to as wonderfully weird as you:

Burner Bar facebook event page.  





Yoh, now that’s what we call a packed newsletter. But there you go, it’s a busy time of year. If you’re back on the pony at work, well done - it’s much the same here at our HQ, where action stations are being manned, womanned and even personned. No surprises, considering there are - holy shit - just 98 days until we all gather round the Clan once again. 98 days? Huh. Tempus fokken fugit…


Travis Lyle
a.k.a Blitzvingers

Hey! Still reading? Well alright - if you’re feeling compressed and need a 4-minute breather, we recommend this.


Google+ Facebook Twitter Email


AfrikaBurn • P.O.Box 191, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925 • South Africa •   Unsubscribe here