(Hi, I'm the R355. I love the taste of your tyres. Got any spares? Shot by Jonx Pillemer)
THIS IS IT
All the dreaming, scheming, planning and packing - it's all coming to a head now. All the lists, all the prep, all the check-ins with your crew: "Get the rebar? Packed the solar shower? PV panels? Got the deep-cycle 12 volt battery? Water sorted? Tarp & planks for evaporation pond?" Yep: this is it folks, the home stretch as we all pack up and ship out. Now, we don't wanna harsh your mellow or kill your buzz, but we do want to save lives - so expect hard hitting road safety advice from every angle in these last few days before gates, and also on the road. We're not screwing around - because the R355 doesn't miss a beat when it comes to destroying tyres, and rolling vehicles, so we're doing everything we can to make this year's event as safe as possible, within and beyond the event - but we need you to pull your corner too. After all, this whole experiment's aim is to create positive change, not casualties.
This is the last Baardskeerder before the dust - tuck in, enjoy, and share it with anyone who could use the advice and links, thanks.
In this newsletter:
- ROAD ADVISORY
- LAST STOPS
- WEATHER ADVISORY
- WTF & APPS
(On the other side of this line, everything will be different / shot again by Jonx P)
GATE & ACCESS
Our event officially starts when gates open at 8am, on Monday the 23rd. If you don't have a Work Access Pass (provided free to all essential project setup crew), please do not arrive before then, because our gate crew cannot allow you in. If you're an early bird, and will try to arrive on Sunday to get a place in the queue, please listen up: the landowners of Stonehenge Private Reserve have requested that no off-road camping happens at or near our gate before it opens. The reason for this? Cars leave scars (on soft desert sand) that last for ages. Not OK. If you're arriving before gates, rather head over to Tankwa Tented Camp and request to stay over there, then haul into the queue early on Monday morning.
Speaking of Monday 8am, we have a special surprise in store that involves something big. Watch our channels (or listen in on radiofreetankwa.com / social media) for news on that.
- ticket, in your name (printed, or on a charged device)
- photo ID or Passport (SA driver's licenses are fine too)
- pick up or ask for a WTF Guide & event poster at gate. They're free, gratis and mahala.
TICKETS - FINAL UPDATES
- All our official ticket sales closed last Sunday at midnight - but should you still be up the creek without a ticket, you're in
luck: resales are happening all over the place. The best & legit ways to buy (or offer resales) are detailed on our Tickets
page. Please, read the info so you can make safe purchases or sales.
- Every vehicle needs a Vehicle Pass (and you can buy one, by going directly to our ticket checkout). Towed trailers
do not need a VP, but anything carrying passengers (like a motorcycle, truck, campervan etc) does. One VP per vehicle.
- Caution: our social media admins have smacked down 23 - count them: twenty-three - different fake Facebook profiles of
scammers who are very keen to take desperate people's money. Remember: only tickets issued via our ticket agent's
site, Quicket, are legit. If it's not issued by them, it could be a fake or scam.
Need Ticket Help?
Mail [email protected] for general ticket queries, or [email protected] for Quicket-related queries.
p.s: if you end up with tickets you can't sell, perhaps consider gifting those? That would be lekker for those who get 'em.
(Look out for, and pay attention to, our road safety signage from Ceres to Calvinia / photo Papa Deadly)
It's a long road, the R355, and deceptive: it's so straight, you might think you can drive as fast as you like. And it's so long, you might want to cane it to make good time. Neither are good ideas: that's how vehicles get rolled, and how drivers fall asleep at the wheel. To go the distance, safely, we advise switching drivers and sticking to the suggested speed limit of 70km/h (or less if you're in a large and overloaded vehicle). In a slow vehicle? Pull over at rest stops, to let others pass (whether to or from the event) so that people are not forced to overtake you in clouds of dust.
Road prep checklist:
- check your oil and water, and make sure your battery's good to go
- check your tyres, and get them rotated and replaced if necessary
- check your car's spares, and those for your trailer
- pack tyre sealant, snotplugs and a compressor to repair tyres on the fly
- double-check your load, whether on roofracks or trailer, so that nothing could shake loose (and cause an accident)
- need directions? They're right here.
- please be polite to the road safety teams manning vehicle control points: they're there to keep you safe
- lights on at all times, so other road users can see you clearly day or night in the dust
Using a trailer? Please check this very helpful clip out, which explains weight distribution in a very clear manner.
Lastly, pay close attention to your vehicle's handling when on the dirt road: the sooner you detect a deflating or punctured tyre, the better - or else it will end up looking like this:
Whether you drive into the Tankwa via Calvinia* in the north, Ceres in the south or Worcester and De Doorns in the west, you'll be welcomed by the local community (who after 12 years now know you're good people). Consider these locations as your last chances to stock up with supplies and water - or for that matter to check your tyres and load.
According to our 2017 Survey, just under 50% of you pass through Ceres en route to the desert, and this year to welcome you and as part of road safety initiatives, the Ceres Vryburgers are setting up a Pitstop where you'll be able to check your tyres, trailer and load - and if necessary, get spares & supplies to repair punctures and keep your load strapped on tight. You'll also pass through a road safety control point, at which you'll be handed a leaflet with important contacts for tow trucks, tyre repair, mechanics, hospitals and much more.
No matter what direction you're coming from, be lekker to the locals: many in towns en route have become members of our community over the years and when push comes to shove, it's them that assist us - and you - in emergencies.
*note: Calvinia hs ben faced with water shortages for some time, so we do not recommend stopping there to fill up on camp water.
(Expect extremes. Thanks to H for this shot)
Yes, we know: where are all the "Happy! Happy! Yay Tankwa Town here we come!" posts? Look at it this way: unless we help you be as prepared as possible, you'll have a kak time out there, so bear with us as we do our best to make sure you're ready for everything the Tankwa throws at you. Radical self reliance? It starts way before you hit the dirt road.
The forecasts we use (Yr.no's Stonehenge reading, and also Langste Doring which is a neighbouring property owner's weather station on Wunderground) have been showing rain forecast for Monday - and now Wednesday morning. This is great news for keeping the dust down on the road, and firming up the road surface. Will the biblical deluge descend? Will there be white-out wind conditions? Probably, possibly and most likely - but it's impossible to predict what the Tankwa will throw at us. All we can suggest is that you be ready for rain, and that your camp be lashed down tight enough to handle extreme wind. Where does that wind come from? Prevailing winds are SE / NW - orientate your camp or tent so they're positioned best to handle whatever comes. Because it will come, like it does every year.
Every year, as you pack up your camp (and do a linesweep to ensure you leave no trace), you have an opportunity to donate any unwanted but useful food and beverages. We call this Collexodus, and donated goods go towards supporting DPW and Leave No Trace volunteers who stay behind to turn Tankwa Town back into a naturally spotless patch of the Tankwa Karoo, and also to the school feeding programme run by the Tankwa Kinderfonds, an initiative run by local farmers at Elandsvlei Primary that ensures the schoolkids from communities in need enjoy a daily meal.
What can be donated as you're in the queue waiting to head home?
- dry goods, canned goods, snacks,
- unopened packages of food
- unopened beverages including long-life milk, water, booze, soft drinks and fruit juices
- spare campmates who want to stay behind and join our Leave No Trace volunteers
What cannot be donated?
- perishable food
- opened packets, bottles or containers of anything
- broken camping equipment
Want to know more about Collexodus, and how it helps Elandsvlei Primary? Check out Loz's blogpost right here.
There it is - this year's WTF Guide! Released last Friday over on the Tankwa Town page of our site (where you can also view previous year's maps and posters and more), it's freshly printed - and you'll be able to pick up a copy of it, and our 2018 poster and Survival Guide, at our event gate on arrival. Ask there, or, ask for it at Off-Centre Camp. As always, it's the most informative document in Tankwa Town and details our event services, what's new in 2018 and of course all registered Theme Camp, Artworks, Mutant Vehicles, Performances and Happenings and also this year's Burn Schedule.
Huge thanks to volunteer designers Rachel Smith and Lizl Schmul for their amazing work on this year's WTF!
Indeed - well, not exactly quite a clone of the WTF Guide, but yes - there are apps available this year, and there are two types this time round, and they've both been developed by volunteer coders who've gifted their time and effort to help you navigate the experience:
QR Code Scanning Artwork App :
(if you loaded the QR Scan app previously, please update - a glitch as been fixed)
- Android (not yet listed on Play store - please search for it, should be loaded in next 24 hours)
DON'T FORGET: to make sure your app carries the latest info, update & refresh before leaving signal.
As if they didn't have enough to do, the clever radio rats over at Radio Free Tankwa have found the time to knock together a great little WTF Guide podcast - and you can listen or download it right here on their Soundcloud. It's packed with great advice about, well, everything you're going to see and experience in the dust soon - so share it with friends and campmates, thanks. Goes well with packing, red wine and long drives on the R355 (but not long drunk drives anywhere). Enjoy.
What's the deal with Ice this year? First, there'll be more of it - because more volunteers have stepped up to gift their time and sweat to get you the ice faster. Second? It'll be the same price as last year: R50 for a 5kg bag. Third? No, sir or ma'am, you cannot use that credit card in the desert. And last but not least, you may be happy to know that there'll be a big-ass 20x20 shade tent for you to queue in (for less time than last year, thanks to volunteers on shifts - who you're welcome to join if you'd like to step up).
If you'd like to know more about Ice this year, check out the Ice Queen's blogpost over this way.
THE DUNG BEETLE - ROLLING INTO TANKWA TOWN!
What happens when a crew of environmentalist burners and engineering geniuses get together with a plan to save the planet ftom being smothered in plastic? You get the Dung Beetle Project is what! Yes folks - the Beetle is a legitimate plastic-eating, diesel-pissing and LPG-farting mechanical animal, and it makes its debut in just a few days in Tankwa Town. How does it work? You feed plastics in, and get fuel out - and it's mobile, so it will be travelling to heavily-polluted locations where fuel is expensive but a daily staple. In Tankwa Town, the Beetle will be looking for your plastics - so check out the specs on the image above, and start separating!
Want to know more about this (pretty damn impressive) project? Head here for the full lowdown.
GUMBA WANTS YOUR MATERIALS!
Over at UWC, there's a crew of students that are looking to create a number of projects that promote social cohesion. They're called Gumba Society, some of them are members of our community - and they want your salvageable project materials that could be used in construction. Got plywood, or other wood? Maybe some useful bits of metal? Dismantle your project, haul it back to Cape Town and then contact Ntsiki on [email protected]
BEDAZZLED NEED YOUR SUPPORT (AND COSTUME CAST-OFFS)
They've been the officially unofficial costume camp since back in 2008, and they've saved countless slapgats from the dire end of being in Tankwa Town looking normal. They're called Bedazzled, and they're a bad-ass clutch of dames who love nothing more than creating large swathes of fabulosity - but to do so take cold hard cash, and donations of cast-off costume items. If you can show them some love so they can do what they do so well, support them over on their raiser (or bring along those items you no longer use and donate them at Camp Bedazzled at the corner of 7ish & Binnekring).
Short and sweet: the Arkology crew are hosting their final fundraiser tonight, Thursday April 19th. So, if you've got some time to spare and would like a taste of the amazing immersive sound space they have planned, check out their gig and show them some love.
When: Tonight, April 19th, 7pm
Where: Waiting Room, 273 Long Street, Cape Town
What: music lovers, sharing great music
Tickets: R40 <11pm> R60
Event page? Right here.
THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
We love you, and we can't wait to see you again out there on the beautiful Tankwa. Remember the road safety advice - and share it with your friend who doesn't read much more than Tinder profiles or fast food menus. Soon, we're all going to be creating magic together in a place where nobody tells you what to do, what to wear or who to be. See you there.
Onward to the dust.
Minister of Oh Shit I Need To Pack And Get Outta Town
Hey! You still there? What on earth are you doing - get going and get packing, gates open on Monday!