The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

                                                       (Soon, you'll be seeing this sign - and when we say 'CHECK YOUR LOAD', we really mean it. Photo: Jonx Pillemer)

[DISCLAIMER: Today's newsletter is brought to you courtesy of loadshedding, deadlines, and HTML. Thus, there may be glitches and/or font issues. Roll with it: consider this a training exercise for the ups & downs the desert will throw at you]

Time's speeding up. Projects are hammer and tongs across our community - the sound of welding, painting, sawing and sewing is singing out across all of our homes, workshops and gardens. DPW are packing and prepping, and load out in just a few short days to start building the infrastructure of our city. At our HQ, our Demarcation and Placement crew are beavering away over maps, moving the many pieces of the puzzle into place. In our yard, Metal Shop are chopping and grinding streetlights into life, and volunteers have painted a bazillion street signs. Our community - in South Africa, across Africa itself and even beyond - is a beautiful hive of activity, with thousands of moving parts independently moving towards one destination: Tankwa Town.

Gates open in 39 days!    

In this newsletter:


                                                                                                              (Yes, we do actually keep mementos of all past tickets & wristbands. We're sentimentical and archival like that.)   


The deadline, it has come: we can confirm that our ticket sale will close soon. When? Monday, April 8th. So, for all of you that have sat on fences (ouch) or delayed, heads up and fingers on buttons - get yours while you can:

- log into our website (
- then hit the Buy Tickets button

And once the sale closes? As always, that's when your only resort would be to buy resold tickets, through the legit channels set up by our ticketing agent: TicketPony, and STEP.

Need info on event tickets, resold tickets, kid's tickets and Vehicle Passes?


We've got word from Die Hek on gate opening & closing times - and for those crew members that are arriving early with Work Access Passes (which, as they sound, are for crew critical to projects being set up ahead of gates opening), or not, this is the lowdown:

WAP Access

Mon 22nd - Wed 24th April 9am - 7pm
Thurs 25th - Sat 27th 9am - 1am
Sunday 28th April 9am - 7pm
(once our gate closes at 7pm on Sunday 28th, that's it, until 8am Monday 29th)

Event Days

Monday 29th April - Thursday 2nd May 9am - 1am
Friday 3rd May 9am - 7pm
Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th May (GATE CLOSED / EXIT ONLY)


                                                                                                                      (Sign up, step up and pitch up - at the Participation Station. Photo: Jan Verboom, 2015)


Round about now, you're either deep into a project, about to jump into one, or you're starting to get the idea that AfrikaBurn isn't a music festival, and that it's kinda sorta more about a large number of people creating one massive experience, together. So, you're looking for ways to participate. That's a great start - here are some helpful tips about how you can plug in and get going so that you can make the most of your time in the dust:


There's still time - if you've got a Mutant Vehicle, an Artwork or a Binnekring Event - but them deadlines is deadly, and they're coming at us quickly. Theme Camps? Too late for our Placement team to wrangle, and too late for inclusion in this year's WTF Guide - but you're very welcome to create a camp experience and welcome the strangers that pass by, in.

To register projects:
- first log into our website
- then click 'Create Collective' (Collectives, by the way, are a great way to organise your camp or crew)
- then hit the 'Register' option that suits your plans best


If you've got skills, or you're looking for camps and projects that are open to new members, there's a page on our site that can help you join the dots. It's our Join A Project page, and it's where you're able to search all registered projects by type, and see who's up for fresh hands or specific skills. Yes? Go:
- log into our site first, then
- click on over to
Join A Project


No matter your skills or aptitude, there's a way for you to volunteer on site in Tankwa Town - and the big open secret is that it's pretty much the best damn way to plug into the spirit of our community and get the most out of your experience. How? By meeting amazing people, and getting up close & personal with the projects & moving parts that make up the  magical machinery that powers our temporary city, is how. 

To check out the many ways you can volunteer, click on over to
the Participation page of our website

                                                                                                                                                                                                            (Concept art by Severin Taranko)


Are wristbands art? We're about to test the question. Here's the lowdown: at last year's event, artist & designer Severin Taranko, who's a member of the German burner community, approached our lead of Gate & Ticketing (that'll be our rather fabulous Julia Savage) with an idea. He wanted to take our wristbands to the next level, by gifting his time and skills in order to create truly sublime pieces of art on your wrist this year.

He's attempted this daring feat before - and you can see his work on Burning Man's wristbands
on his website - and is now rolling with his plans. Taking inspiration from the culture & history of our event, and also that of the Tankwa Karoo and our First Nations Peoples' mythology, he's developing a beautiful range of textures and icons, which will roll out soon as we all enter the gates to our temporary city, in the form of beautiful woven fabric wristbands. 

To make it all happen, Severin's raising funds on his website - so if you're an art lover and like the sound of wearable art on your arm,
click this (and prepare to be very impressed).  

                                                                                                                             (Jozi burner Lauryn Clifford-Holmes in the dust, as shot by Jan Verboom)


You're planning to use personal shots, for personal purposes, personally? You're good to go, and wouldn't be required to apply for accreditation to shoot film or stills. But do remember: photo etiquette in the dust is a thing, because you and your camera (phone) will be snapping away in an environment where people are expressing themselves radically - and some of them might not want anyone to capture their personal moments. So, just like you wouldn't want someone taking a photo of you without your OK, it works the other way too. 

For everyone else (ie: media, photographers or film crews) the same applies, but to a greater degree, on account of publication. If you are a member of the media, heads up: our accreditation application deadline has been extended to March 27th. That's soon, so if you had plans, it's time to wikkel: head to the Press, Film & Photo page of our site and use
the application form sharpish.



Way back in 2014, the timing of the Clan and Temple burns changed from Clan on Saturday and Temple on Sunday to Clan Friday, Temple Saturday. And now, after some thought, we're switching the timing back. And the thinking is? Here's how it works: back in the days when the Clan's site was much closer to our city, we had challenges with sparks and embers getting near to camping along 10ish. Moving the Clan to Friday, and moving her further out, made sense and safety. Something else to consider (which is something we do a lot) is that many of our Temple structures have been built by crews from Jozi - and a Saturday Temple made sense as far as enabling those hard-working crews to hit the road home with enough time.


                                                                                                                                                               (It was already alight. We just held the perimeter.)

That's the history, and here's the update: having a Temple burn on the Saturday, just as everyone in the city's getting their Saturday night fever on, is a tough call. The Temple is our great exhale - and having it on the Sunday night enables us all to collectively have a sweet gentle end to what can be a pretty wild week. That, and the Temple crew this time have requested a Sunday burn. The same applies to having a Saturday Clan burn: it's the crescendo of our week together, which pulls everyone together, to gather around a rather large but nonetheless indisputably communal campfire.

So hear it from us now: Clan Saturday, Temple Sunday. And if the forecast wigs out and looks like it may mess with that plan, then hey, we'll review that, and roll with whatever Mother Nature tells us. And that's always a good idea.

As always, you'll be able to get the latest update on the burn schedule on the Burn Schedule board at Off-Centre Camp (or by listening to
Radio Free Tankwa on an FM radio).

                                                                                                                                                                         (Yggdrasil in all her lit glory / photo: Thomas Steiner)


The amazing lights on The Lighthouse Project? And those amazing colours & tones on the Clan last year? Remember the gorgeous glow of Yggdrasil? Those were all the work of Swiss lighting wizard Thomas Steiner. Thomas is back this year, to do what he does best: lighting up large structures to blow minds - and he's offering a free workshop to anyone who's interested in learning his craft.

Got a project that involves lighting? Come on down to our HQ next Wednesday, and skill up. The session covers the full spectrum, from simple installations all the way up to professional applications (which means that if you've collected a cluster of lights for your camp, home or projects, chances are you'll learn something that will serve you well in many different ways).

When: Wednesday March 27th, 6 - 10pm
Where: HQ, 8 Junction Road, Salt River, Cape Town
Facebook event page & more info?
Right here.




It's almost April, and for us as a community that means projects are kicking off, big time. Now's when we share resources, help others connect the dots, and show our support so that the many magical parts of our city can come to life.
                                                                                                                   (SKOP crew busy with concepts ahead of this year's event / photo: Nathan Victor Honey)


SKOP is the Sutherland Kuns Opvoedings Projek; in other words, it's the arts upskilling and social development project that's seen a crew of otherwise unemployed artisans from Sutherland in the Karoo co-creating many large iconic artworks that so many of us have enjoyed over the years: Subterrafuge, the Clan, Project O, and last year's SKOP IV. The project is led by artists Nathan Victor Honey, and they're in progress right now with SKOPX - but there's a curveball. Last week, all of their tools were stolen, in a burglary at their storage workshop, so they're in a bind just as they get going on this year's piece.

Show some love for the crew that has worked so hard to raise some of Tankwa Town's most stupendous pieces? Fantastic - here's how:
head to their crowdfunding page and help them get on track.
                                                                        (Thanks to Rooken Podesta for this shot of the Burning Mail crew stacking and packing their hundreds of postcards)

They're quite possibly the longest-running theme camp in Tankwa Town, and they've been sending countless thousands of postcards to every corner of the globe (to no less than 112 countries, no less) since 2007. Citizens and desert denizens, they are the fabulous Burning Mail - and they're calling for you to contribute paintings, drawings, collages, prints, multi-media works or any other kind of art inspired by AfrikaBurn or the Tankwa Karoo. Why? So that they can make a fresh run of amazing new postcards, just for you. 

Love the idea of your artwork travelling to distant shores, carrying sweet 'wish you here' messages? Crack on then: submit a 300dpi 106 x 146mm (.tiff or hi-res .jpg) and they'll turn it into a fantastic postal item. Deadline is March 29th - and you can send your images in to the Postmistress at


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
                                                                                                                                                                      (Thanks to Skyhook for this shot of the naked rainbow)

Wait - actual naked people? As in, with no clothes on? OMG! Is this proof that Africaburnz really is a naked fire-worshipping desert cult? Uh, nah - sorry to disappoint but these are just normal people, who like to strip off and feel free, naturally so, which really is no big deal. Yup - this is undressing for expressing - and they're recruiting. To join them in their rainbow-tinted birthday suits, you can step up by paying a small fee to buy a coloured parasol in a range of colours (now also available in pink!) and then you're able to join them in celebrating bodies of all types & sizes in their natural state.

Yes? Thought so -
get in there.
                                                                                                                              (The amazing Dixon's Violin, on our OCC Stage in 2016. Photo: Jacqui Woolfson)

OCC is our community hub, where you can find all our community services like Rangers, Medics, Sanctuary, Volunteer Booth, Kid's Registration, Lost and Found - and also a great stage & performance space. Like everything else in our city of dust, the schedule's open to your skills. Singing, puppet shows, beat poetry, discussions on philosophy or... whatever you'd like to share, really. Got a skill? Need a platform? Wanna raise an issue, or sing your tune? Step right up and click

Me! Me! Click me now to snap up a spot & take the spotlight.


More ILUKULUKU? Yup - the word 'iLukuluku' means 'curiosity' in isiXhosa and isiZulu - and as you can tell from the gloriously playful range of colours and elements in the render above, it's a massive adult-sized jungle gym for that'll feature numerous secret cavities and experiences that invite you in to explore them.

Of course, to make something as ambitious as this project come alive will take some effort and also funds - so if you'd like to see it come to life in the desert so that we can all turn into large children, hell,
throw your money at this here project!

More ILUKULUKU? Indeed - it's a big, big project, which takes many hands to raise and rise. If you're qualified to drive a paintbrush, and you're a lover of bright & bent geometrics, you're invited to join their next session!

Fri Mar 22nd (Prep Day 9am-6pm) AM, PM, ALL DAY
Sat Mar 23rd (Paint Day 9am-6pm) AM, PM, ALL DAY
Sun Mar 24th (Paint Day) 10am-6pm) AM, PM, ALL DAY
Location: Salt River, Cape Town.

Can't make Paintathon II? Join us 5-7 April for Paintathon III.

                                            (Thanks to Gerhard Nel for this shot of the big ellie in the dust last year)   


More ILUKULUKU? Yes, even mo... oh, no. This one's about the amazing Deliverance project (which some of you may know as Non-Deliverance, which was its first incarnation). Project lead Willem's a fully paid-up member of the Over-Achiever's Club, and that means this time round, they're not only bringing back their elephant (above), but also - this one's for you, cuddly baby animal lovers - a baby ellie! Yup - but to bring the whole herd out into the desert takes guts, gusto and cold hard cash.

Love elephants? Of course you do - so show these ellies some love, and they'll return the favour in the dust:

Click this to show the Deliverance elephant, and baby elephant, your love.

(and to get the lowdown about this project from their team, check out their video here
  (Absolutely dodgy photo of our Airport sign, scalped very badly, and completely uncredited. Thanks, loadshedding. Thanks so much.)  

Here's word from Amy, our Airspace comms volunteer:

"The airfield is not only a fun, exciting aspect of Afrikaburn, but also an essential service to allow your guardian angels to airlift burners who might need urgent medical assistance in this remote and challenging environment.

But it can’t happen without your help!

Please follow the link below or email to get radically involved!

Click here to join our team of plane-lovers that protect our community from things falling out of the sky.

With Love,
the Airspace team"



They're a renegade bunch, they are, it's true. From the get-go, they went all-out to break the mould and set themselves apart, as one of the largest rigs on site. So much so, that they've intentionally stopped their (amazing) music playing, to alert dancers to the fact that the dancefloor they host was covered in careless MOOP. So raise a toast and doff your hat to The Spirit Train - and once you've dusted yourself off, after the burn, show them some love - by checking out their Afterburn event. Will it feature lots of amazing? Sweetie, it always does what it says on the tin when it comes to these lovers of sound, wolves and gravel. Here's when & where:

When: May 11, 2pm - 3am
Where: Canvas Event Space, Paarden Eiland, Cape Town
Event page?
Right here, tuck in.

(is that really it, for Events, this time round? It is - and the reason is that that's all we received via our Newsletter Submission form for Events this time round. So, if you'd like to see your fundraiser or activity included here, do make use of our submission option - we send to 42 000 email addresses each time. They don't all get opened - but on last count, around 12,000 people did open and read up. So there's that.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Thanks to Papa Deadly for this shot)

We're rolling. Kitchen - by which we mean 'our Kitchen crew, that serve meals to DPW and our Ops team, among many others' rolled out of our yard at HQ this very morning. To Cindy, Barry, Nico, Spoons, Sheriff, Marley, Floyd and everyone else on their crew, we send thanks and love, and will see them soon.

DPW's advance posse have also left. Shit is getting real. Strap in, we're headed to the desert. We'll be fine: we're in this together, after all.

Yussis. My magtig. Mon dieu. Madre de dios. Hayibo. Yoh. But enough of that - there are things to build and solar arrays to array, evapotrons to make and blinkies to use to pimp loos on the bushline. There are dots to connect and balls to juggle. In case it's all getting overwhelming, know that you're not alone - there are 10 000 people with tickets in their hands already, and soon that number will rise to close to... uh, well, that depends on you nudging your slowpoke mates to pull finger and buy theirs. But enough already. 
Onward to the dust? Hell, yes. We can't handle the suspense any longer either.

Travis Lyle
That Dude Whose Keyboard Has Literally Worn Through The Letters Because of Newsletter Franticality

Hey! Still reading? Grand. Keep it up. It's an endangered pasttime. Want something else to check out? Check this out. It's the Dancing In The Dust fundraiser, and it happens TONIGHT in Kalk Bay. Get down there - these are good humans, who are building an amazing 6-metre dust devil, just for you, and 11,000 of your closest friends.


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