The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

(At the end of a very long, dusty and tyre-destroying road lies a wonderland that invites you to play... thanks to Sean Furlong for this shot)

Ten weeks seems like a long time. 70 days? Hell, that’s an age, isn’t it? Not so much - not when you consider it’s just 10 weekends, and every one of them is filled with planning, prepping, power tools and many missions to put together all the parts needed for That Amazing Thing You Plan To Bring To The Desert. Hell, when you put it that way there’s really no time to lose, and it’s all about making hay and striking the iron whilst tempus fugits ahead of us all.

70 days 'til we gather round the Clan!

In this newsletter:


(Before you can enter the city, you need to cross the threshold - and that means tickets, please... thanks to Gita Claassen for this shot) 

Yep: there are still some tickets available in our sale. If you (or anyone you know) still needs 'em, best to hop to it; they're flying and will be sold out soon.

Tickets? Get 'em here.

And STEP? AS always, STEP opens only once our sale closes. Keep an eye on our Tickets page, and our social media channels, for that announcement.




So, you've been playing with power tools? Again?!? Well... played. And thank you, for creating a project - after all, that's what makes this whole affair very different from other events. In case you didn't know, you don't HAVE TO register your project. You can actually just arrive on site with it - artworks don’t need to be pre-approved, and like people all artworks and performances are welcome! But we do suggest registering your project, because there a bunch of benefits:

  • our registration form is designed to help you plan your project
  • your creation will be listed in the WTF Guide (if you make the Feb 28th deadline)
  • registrations helps a lot with the curatorial/placement process
  • you & your crew will be on our records and will be able to request Direct Distribution Tickets in future 
  • our Creative team will be able to guide and assist you

Planning to burn your piece? Aha - in that case, you do need to register, because, you know, it's a good idea to know about things that are kinda dangerous (so we can plan around your piece in terms of placement and Event Safety Plan). So, keen to register your creation? Lekker - here's where:

Register Artworks here
Register Performances here
Register Theme Camps here




(Even the larneys. Thanks to Jonx Pillemer for this shot) 


Once upon a time, there was a funky little desert kumbaya that got real popular as it grew up. It became a fantastic affair, and attracted all kinds of attention - and at the start, everyone wanted to help out and pitch in, but as things got bigger, some folks just wanted to rock up and enjoy the fruits of other people's labour of love. They were keen on the action, but they just weren't up for working for it, or getting deep down & dirty in the trenches. So they sought out ways to pay for their comforts - and there were some cats who were OK with providing that comfort, for a tidy profit. The End.

Nah. Not the end - and not OK.

As our event has grown, so has the incidence of people looking to profit off campers looking for a paid service. Here's the news: that's not how we roll in Tankwa Town. If there's anything unclear about how this aspect of AfrikaBurn works, or if someone you know could use some clarity on why the event doesn't function like a commercial festival, we have some handy info and a nifty flow chart that lays it out clear as day:

Check out our Plug, Play & Profit guidelines for more info on this.


               (Temperatures in the upper 40s, heatwaves so staunch you can surf them - it's all in a day's work for Town Planning. Thanks to Robert Rabbit for this shot)


Yep: that's our Town Planning crew, hot-footing it across the baking plains as they map out our 2017 city grid in anticipation of your arrival in some weeks' time. Does it really take this much time to set up an ephemeral desert city? Yes indeed, it does.

                                                                                                                                                                                              (thanks to Robert Rabbit for this photo too)


Also in the Tankwa Karoo this week were members of our Outreach team, on one of their regular visits to check on progress with the schoolkids in the area. These are the kids who're now riding bikes to school instead of walking over the sharp-ass stones, thanks to your assistance. Another way our Outreach team has been making a difference is in the building of the Brakfontein Hostel you see above. Members of our community have recently been assisting with fitting out the electrics, doors and tiling of the hostel ahead of kids in the area taking occupancy next month. Massive thanks go out to everyone involved for their efforts (which involve working in baking heat for the love of it. Respect.).

Our Outreach programme runs all year, and provides assistance to communities in need not only in the Tankwa Karoo, but also elsewhere in the Northern and Western Cape. At present, we have a donation drive on to help kids in the Tankwa (who don't stay in hostels) with transportation to & from their schools.

If you'd like to help out, or make a donation,
head to this page of our site. 

This world is filled with easy ways of being a human. If you're looking for 'somebody else' to get shit done, congratulations, you've landed on the right planet. However, if you're not, and you're all about getting things done and actively participating, well hell, then you've landed in the right community - and there are many ways you can wake up your skills if you're so inclined. One of those ways is by stepping up and volunteering - and if you're looking for ways to do that, registering as a volunteer is a great start.

Do that right here (if you've registered before, you're also be able to update your details)

Looking to offer a specific skill? Great -
check out this list of options and step up for those that suit your skills and aptitude.

If you're still at a loss, but would like to just pitch up at a Volunteer day and chat with our crew, no problem - there's a volunteer session happening at our workyard in Obs, Cape Town, this very Saturday; come along and introduce yourself:

Check out our event page for the Volunteer day at our Nansen St yard
Got any questions? Shoot a mail at

                                                                                                                                                (A burn at Lakes of Fire in 2015 - thanks to Braai Bliksem for the shot)

Far from the baking hot plains of the Tankwa, to way over on the other side of the planet in the Michiagn area of the USA where there's a burn on a lake, called, strangley enough, Lakes of Fire. For the past 4 years, there's been a Burner Exchange programme that's seen artists heading both ways to share their experience and build artworks.

It's on again - and you right there are welcome to step up and apply to become the lucky artist who could head over later this year. Interested?
Head to this post on our site for all the info and the link to apply.

Thanks to Sol & Braai Bliksem for stepping up to manage this year's Exchange!


(we have no idea who took this photo of Skippy up a pole, but would like to say thanks)
They're the self-organised art assistance posse that steps up and helps artwork crews prep & finish their pieces with a little help from friends, and they're looking for more folks to join their band of crazies. This is what they have to say:

"We want anybody driven and willing to slut their way from art piece to art piece, lending a hand, leg, and alternative appendage. If you have and want to flaunt your skills with a paint brush, can monkey your way up to work at dizzying heights, know which is the business end of a hammer, can wield a saw or power drill, and generally are able to get a nail into a piece of wood, you’re the person we’re looking for. The ArtSluts Collective is the group for you. Beware, though, that this camp is not for sissies! We arrive early on site and we work long hours in the dry, hot desert to ensure that everyone has an amazing experience.

Keen to join them in the dust and lend a hand?

CEXx Talks & Workshops

Yes, ladies and gents and ladygents and ladyboys and everyone who doesn't fit those pigeonholes - CEXx is one of our community's sex-positive camps, and they're bringing the juice once again. Here's their callout:

"Awkward. Uncomfortable. Embarrassed. That’s how most of us feel when we talk about sex. However, at Camp CEXx, there are no taboo subjects. All topics are on the table! CEXx will provide a respectful, welcoming, safe, sane and consensual space to explore, embrace, learn and grow.

Camp CEXx – stands for Consensual, Educational, Xploration of sex. Along the lines of the famous TEDx talks. CEXx is a camp at AfrikaBurn that empowers people with knowledge and education of all sorts, specifically on the subject of sex. 

So, if you have something to say, an experience to share, something to teach in ANY arena of SEX, and, to any age, Please SPEAK UP!, be heard contact us at CEXx Afrikaburn Facebook, or email to schedule your gift to the Burn!"





There's a rather large and pretty magical tree taking shape - and every day the project grows, just like the tree itself will in the dust. It's the brainchild of Nix Davies and a cluster of Kaospilots - and it's going to tower above the plains when you arrive on site. The image above? That's the internal structure that'll be holding up the tree and its branches...

It's called
Yggdrasil, The Tree Of Life and you can catch a project update on their YouTube channel from Nix right here.

There's a rather amazing jet turbine-powered organ taking shape thanks to the efoorts of Andy Wilding's dreams to have fire play an organ in the desert. Sound amazing? Just wait until you see it in action. To get a glimpse of the process, check out his video here.


Just a couple in this newsletter - but there are a bunch heading our way soon, keep an eye out.



Presented by the NowNow Tribe, this is the 4th in their longrunning series of mini-film-festival fundraisers:

Dress up in your dustiest desert attire for the fourth annual Burning Bioscope. This film-festival-fundraising-fandango is back to drop you another dose of desert inspiration. Featuring a selection of short films and desert survival tips, this night promises to get you in the mood to come and Play.

Thursday 16 March 2017
19:30 - films start at 20:30
The Labia Theatre - 68 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town.

Check out the event page on Facebook here.




As we race towards the dust, there are a bunch of Ranger Training dates coming up. They're designed to help us ramp up the numbers of folks walking the dust in the orange, looking out for you so you don't end up face-down, or otherwise hurt or in danger. If you're good with people, please consider joining our Rangers and helping us to hold the space and hold it right.

Check out these upcoming dates and attend the basic training if you're able - and bring a friend!

Cape Town Thursday February 23rd

Jozi Saturday February 25th





Remembering Justine

Justine Butler nee Botha, mother of four - Frances, Sam, Katie and Mia, daughter of Maureen Botha and sister of Nicci Botha and caring nurturing friend to many - slipped away from us on Saturday 11th of February 2017. She was deeply loved by many, as was apparent at her packed celebration of life yesterday in Pinelands.

Justine was a committed mother and homemaker, a midwife and nurse who was always just a call away from a friend in need. Her infectious laugh, kind words, gentle advise and ‘we can fix it’ attitude just made her inspirational, gregarious and loving character a pleasure to be around. There are many times we can recall of sore tummies from all the laughter from the stories she used to tell.

She had a tough strong exterior as well as a soft soul that stole the hearts of the AfrikaBurn community and further beyond. There was never a task too big for our naughty nun, police woman, vibrant colourful nurse and friend who loved to dance. She was a key member of the Volunteer Portfolio committee for a number of years and created and managed the AfrikaBurn Lost and Found booth, after assisting us at Off Centre Camp prior to that. Her and her assistant Muriel made so many ‘burners’ laugh in the booth, that they queued up simply to hear them.. even if they hadn’t lost anything!

She was an unfaltering passionate voice for AfrikaBurn at all times, and she had the ability to unite people (and lost items) like no other, that was true in everything she did. She reassured many of us with consistent care and attention to detail, along with her quirky humour. She delighted all who had the priviledge of meeting her and was a reminder of the good in this world. We will all miss her Off Centre Camp will never be the same again!

In loving memory we have renamed the AfrikaBurn Lost and Found booth ‘Just In (e)’


Life's short, folks: make it beautiful, and make it count.

Travis Lyle
Minister of Information

Still reading? Well alright - check out the latest blogpost from Mutant Reaper over on the Binnekring Blog right here. It's packed with first-hand tales of That Mighty Storm Of 2012. Which could come in handy if - as we suspect - we may be in for a wet year this time round. 


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