The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

                                                                                                                    (First on site and climbing skyward: SkyLabyrinth crew photo by Carl Pretorius)

The wind sighs over the stones - but in the distance, the disinctive sound of pozi-drives can be heard whirring away. It's true: SkyLabyrinth crew are already on site. They report that it's 40 degrees at midday - so they rise at 4:30am, and siesta at midday in the shade, in order to tackle the monumental task of turning hundreds of old telephone poles and bazillions of walkway planks (sourced from invasive Red River gum), into the world's first 3D labyrinth that will raise you up to 4.5m above the desert plain. Elsewhere, preparation fever is setting in: our DPW family held their last social braai before the desert at our HQ last week, with many faces old & new readying to haul out soon to start building our temporary city on a solid foundation of rock 'n roll.

Moral of the story? Less yadda-yadda, more clickety clack. 

In this newsletter:


                                      (Yes, our first event was called Afrika Burns, and yes, this is our very first ticket. Artwork & layout by Megan Judge, Marius Roux and Lil Visser)   


It's March - and that means things are moving toward their end as far as tickets go. Here's the latest:

Anathi Ticket and Subsidised Ticket applications closed two weeks ago, which means finish en klaar. Thank you to everyone that made us of our lower-priced options - it's evident that these are making the circle bigger for around 1 000 people who otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford the experience, which is fantastic as far as inclusion goes.
General Sale tickets are flying now - and we expect the sale to end soon, as in 'in the next couple of weeks'. Loudly:


So get yours now - and tap that dozy friend of yours too: once they're gone, they're gone, and then you'd need to hustle a resold ticket through the secure platforms available. To get tickets, simply
log into our website and then click the ever-cryptic Buy Tickets button.

Need ticket info?


                                                                                           ('Trike' mutant, by our DMV crew, and 'The Hand Of God' by Daniel Popper, 2011, shot by Jonx Pillemer)



Hear that - zoom! - yep, that's the sound of the Theme Camp registration deadline zipping past at the speed of life on Feb 28th. Does that mean that you should stop prepping that amazing camp & experience you had planned to share with the citizens of our ephemeropolis? Hell, no - you can still create a space and experience and invite others to share in it, but you did miss the deadline as far as placement and having your camp listed in our WTF Guide this time round.

Want info?
Get it here.


Feb 28th was also the official cutoff for registrations of Artworks with fire, pyro and sound components - but if yours doesn't feature those, you're still able to register your piece right up until April 1st (which is the final cutoff, for inclusion in this year's WTF Guide listings). And in case you didn't know, you're even able to bring your piece right into the desert without any registration at all - and if & when you do, all you need to do is head over to Arteria at Off-Centre Camp, where our Art crew will assist you with finding a great location in the Binnekring.

It's here.


As with art, so with Mutant Vehicles - you still have time to register your mutant, but time's ticking - March 20th is the cutoff for you to get your mutated machine listed in our event guide.

Mutant Vehicle info
is this way.


You've got a performance, workshop, talkshop, marching band, or other event of some kind planned for the dust? Great - go ahead and register that, on Tribe, by creating a Collective and then registering your Binnekring Event. Once you do that, our Comms team will be able to list your event in this year's WTF Guide.

*registrations happen by
logging into our website
- creating a Collective
- then registering your project to your Collective


Want to get your project known to the population of Tankwa Town - before the event, and now, during the lead-up period? Radio Free Tankwa - our community radio station that streams 24/7/365 and also broadcasts on site in Tankwa Town - is wide open for your submissions of PSA's (Public Service Announcements).

Don't let the fancy name intimidate you - PSA's can be as humble as a simple voice note recording on your phone, but you could also create your PSA with sound effects and backing music if that's your schtick. Whatever you do, if you have a project and you want to inform people, get busy and get sending them into

To get a taste of what other PSA's sound like, tune in & turn on at (it's completely non-commercial, eclectic, doesn't eat a lot your data and we suspect you'll like it a lot).

                                                                                                     ('Twisted' by The Brandnetels, at our Decompression last year. Photo by Joffrey Hyman)


Short and sweet: yes, it's on, and it happens same time, same place:

When: June 1st
Where: Killarney Race Track, Cape Town
What: you, your costume, decor, bike, artwork and a cast of thousands just like you.

We'll have more info soonish, see you there.



We're a busy bunch, all of us, at this time of year - and among the many activities that help to make our city in the desert run smoothly are sessions at our HQ that are open to anyone, to lend a hand or get trained up volunteering in a range of capacities. Here are upcoming dates & activities at our HQ, and also up in Jozi:


March 16th
Basic Ranger Training (9am - 3pm)
Senior Ranger Training (9am - 1pm)
Where: HQ (8 Junction Rd, Salt River, Cape Town)


March 16th
Basic Ranger Training (9am - 3pm)
Senior Ranger Training (9am - 1pm)
RSVP & location info:


These are the days on which anyone's welcome to come along and learn some new skills, whilst meeting all sorts of new people similarly interested in this mad experiment we're all part of. We have two days left at our HQ coming up ahead of our date with the dust:

March 16th
When: 10am - 3pm
Where: 8 Junction Rd, Salt River, Cape Town
What: signwriting, painting, carpentry, sewing, etc

April 13th
When: 10am - 3pm
Where: 8 Junction Rd, Salt River, Cape Town
What: final prep of signage, artwork assistance




To make magic in the desert takes a lot of work behind the scenes, in garages & studios and elsewhere, many weeks and months before the magic arrives in the desert. And all of the projects you see in the dust - which are a gift, to you - take sweat, effort and materials to come alive. Check these projects out, and if you can support them, do that - what goes around now comes around later for us all.


                                                                              (The collective noun for a group of flamingos is a flamboyance. Thanks to Robin Pender for this shot) 


There's a crew coming from the Middle East, and they're bringing actual flaming flamingos. 12 of them in fact - and they're calling out for two things: 1) some help in building these flamebirds and 2) custodians who would like to adopt a firebird during event week, and then bring it back to the flock for a flaming good show at the end of the week.

Got a love for pink birds on fire? Great - contact them via
their Facebook page, or drop Robin a line on


The original crew behind the Tankwa Town Library have shuffled on to a new project - The Tankwa Town Retirement Home! Don't worry - the Library lives on, and an able crew have taken that on, but as they tool up for the dust, the Retirement Home crew are doing some real-world gifting and civic responsibility at an actual retirement home in Sutherland, in the Karoo. The Johenco Old Age Home is desperate for any assistance in the form of donations of adult diapers, deodorants, toothpaste & brushes, wheelchairs, zimmer frames and books for their library.

Feel free to bring the items along to the desert, and drop off at the Tankwa Town Retirement Home, or contact Trevor on

                                                                                                                              (Thanks to Heath Nash for this shot of the Our Workshop crew in action)

Here's word from the Our Workshop crew, who are based in Langa: 

"Hi there all Burners! We're Our Workshop, an NPO based in Guga S'thebe Community Arts Centre in Langa, made up of a group of creatives making beautiful upcycled products from waste materials - and we're coming to the desert this year with a theme camp named 'Our Place' where we will bring our skills of fixing, making and sharing to all Burners. Stop by by in the dust to meet some new faces, have some meaningful conversations and simply come by to fix that broken costume or high heel! 

We're a crew of 15 people mostly from langa and surrounds - but not everybody has the equipment needed for camping. We are needing help to get the gear together - basically anything one could need to survive in the desert for a week. Tents, sleeping bags, blankets, chairs, cooking gear (crockery and cutlery), containers, tables, buckets, lights - anything you think could help us make a great camp to share with others."

Contact the Our Place crew on or via their Facebook page. You can also support their project over on their crowdfunder page.



The team that's bringing the biggest board game the Tankwa has ever seen need your support to make more stuff happen! Whether you can donate paints, tools, hands or cold hard cash to make the dream of a life-size board game based on Monopoly come alive, they're calling for your assistance. 

To contact the team:
To support with a donation
click this link to their funder.
To work with us or donate your time, mail

out their video to get a sense of what they're up to.

Remember the red rope installation last year? That was the work opf Benjamin Langholz - here's word on his latest plans:

"Hey AfrikaBurners - last year my crew and brought you Urge, a red rope installation super deep in the desert. I'm super excited to bring a new project to Tankwa Town in 2019 called Stone 7, which invited you on a journey between the energies of earth and sky. Experience an alternative reality where potentially destructive energy has been harmonized with our most basic law of nature to create a moment of physical and mental elevantion as you make your way along the path of 500kg floating stones, 2.5m off the desert floor. I can't wait to share this with you - but I need your help to make it possible!

We received a Grant from AfrikaBurn - but we're still 30K short of making our dreams come alive on this project, so please help us out by
donating over on our crowdfunder page. And we're also looking for two strong pairs of helping hands that would be interested in joining our crew - email me on Oh and hey - I'm also searching for a permanent home for Stone 7 to live on, post event. Any ideas?"


This is a call for collaborators and builders! The Union crew are calling for enthusiastic builders - experience appreciated, but not critical - and also any mutant vehicles, light artists, video mappers and / or any other creatives who're looking for a project to collaborate with. The Union is a 20x20m circular 'maze' type burn, with layers that will be peeled off. It's a spiritual journey designed to connect you with your inner self, to others and your surroundings. And it's a capital letters WORKING CAMP, which means joining them isn't for the faint of heart, but the reward will be well worth your time and energy. Keen? Step up and join their support camp, which will involve a time investment from 20th April to May 7th. 

Contact Maya on (or hot them up via
their Instagram account)



This gloriously-coloured 13 metre creation - ILUKULUKU - is searching for Working At Heights skills, by which they mean high site & rope access riggers, carpenters, builders and painters. Got skills? Love you a bit of height? Step right up and help them make their temple of curiosity happen.

Yes? Mail



Got questions about artworks, mutant vehicles or theme camps? First timer and feeling a little overwhelmed by the info and daunting prospect of heading into the desert to do the thing? Don't stress - members of our community are hosting a chilled Burner Bar session in Somerset West to answer your questions.

When: Wednesday, March 13th, 6 - 10pm
Where: Triggerfish Brewery, Firgrove Rural, Somerset West
Event page?
Get it here.



There's been a lot said about our event over the years - including stuff like "Someone's getting rich" and "It's the whitest thing on earth" and "It's destructive to hold the event in a national park" (it isn't actually held in a national park, by the way) - and to open the floor to discussions, we have an event named Town Hall. It's an open invitation to you to come along and raise any issue, or get answers to any question directly from our team.

In the Cape Town area next week? Come on down, and bring your questions, suggestions and friends - it's a great way to connect with our community and get the lowdown from the source:

When: Wednesday March 20th, 7 - 10pm 
Where: Our HQ (8 Junction Road, Salt River, Cape Town)
Event page?
Right here.


You respect your mother, right? Of course you do. So, if & when she were to be disrespected, how would that make you feel? Correct - you woudn't be happy about it. This is why we're getting behind the global initiative started by Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old from Sweden, who decided she wasn't going to take our collective mother - Mother Nature - being disrupted and destroyed by climate change.

Next Friday, March 15th, people of all ages will be taking to the streets, worldwide, in the name of raising the issue of climate change and how it affects not just us as a species, but all species on our planet. Importantly, this is an initiative being led by schoolchildren, which is a sign that the next generation really are the hope of our world.

Need more info?
Find it here.

See you on the streets!

53 days until gates. Potentially 13,000 humans on the ground in the city we all create together. Something like 89 theme camps registered already. Around 100 mutant vehicles also registered. 88 artworks in the pipeline. 1 million Rand distributed to projects via our Grant systems. And how many plug & play camps? Zero. Number of brands pimping you products in the dust? Nought. That's how we roll - let's keep it rolling.
Onward to the dust,

Travis Lyle
King of Keyboard Cha-Cha

Hey! Still reading? Grand - there's an extremely qualified human out there, who would dearly like to return to our event this year to lend a hand at Arteria, doing the important work of assisting art crews with their placement and generally making art come alive. Her name is Kari Bell, she volunteered her skill and experience last year - and we'd like to alert you, so that you could possibly help her to get back to our city of dust this year to continue doing the great work she does. Check out her funding page here, and show her some love.


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