The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

 (SKOP X by Nathan Victor Honey and the Sutherland Kuns Opleidings Projek crew, as shot by Graham Abbott)  

So you're back from outer space with a strange look upon your face...and you're looking to reconnect with that mad dusty crazy colourful thing that you participated in, in a desert far far away? Sounds about right - and this newsletter is designed to help you do precisely just that. Read on, dear reader and dig into the meat & bones of what lies ahead for our annual post-dust Decompression. Which, much like that rather large family campfire picnic we were all part of a month ago, is all about getting together, finding your people, and your self.
In this newsletter:


- SURVEY 2019



Settle back, and settle in - because we're going to take you through the full run of just exactly what's going down at the Decom, and it's a lot. Why? Well, because thankfully we have a wonderful community that have answered our annual call to step up and get involved which is, of course, the basis on which we do, well, everything really. 


We have - count 'em - 5 stages this time round, and each offers a different spectrum of sounds and performances. Here's the break down across each:

ILUKULUKU STAGE (downstairs indoors)

This is our indoor main stage, found downstairs - and it's rammed with a mix of performances as eclectic as Tankwa Town:

16:15 - ActionArte Acrobatic Performance
16:30 - Bandless (live performance)
17:30 - The Porchlights (live performance)
18:30 - The Burn Band (live performance)
19:30 - Martin Evans, Paul Cowan & Brendan Murray (comedy discussions)
20:30 - Kulture Clash (live performance)
19:45 - Dank Hank (DJ)
22:00 - Best Dressed Contest
22:30 - Steampunk Burlesque Dames
23:15 - Jews For Techno (live performance)
24:15 - close: Sunshine In Dub (DJ)
                                                                                                                                   (thanks to Johanna Maria for this shot of the Decom sunset last year)

R355 STAGE (outdoors)

17:00 - Lex-Vedda (live electronic performance)
18:30 - Klix Clan (DJ)
19:30 - Tommy Gun (DJ)
21:00 - Apache (DJ)
22:30 - Just J (DJ duo)
24:00 - TwoBurner (DJ)
01:00 - Steph Vass (DJ)

THE WATERFRONT (upstairs indoors)

Join this crew as they start the day slow at 2pm with a blend ambient & instrumental performers that will edge it up slowly and beautifully all the way to 2am  into a kaleidoscopic mix of electronic and organic sounds. The cast of performers includes Derek Organ, Laura Moss, Craig Swultz, Ray Ford, Dave Ridgeway, Alex Baker, Aaron Baker, Shane Penning, Django Flaherty, Luc Duval, Richard Elliott and Angie Lee.
ECLECTIC STAGE (upstairs indoors)

17:00 - Moody Bloom (DJ)
18:30 - Dylan Munro (DJ)
20:00 - Gifted DJ (DJ)
21:30 - Nathalie Bardin (DJ)
23:00 - Jay Deep (DJ)
00:30 - Saai


LOVE TUNNEL (outdoors 6 - 1)

18:00 - Anderson (DJ)
19:10 - SORD (DJ)
20:20 - Deep (DJ)
21:30 - Siphe Tebeka (DJ)
23:00 - Dave Irish & BamBeano (back-to-back set)

...and then of course it wouldn't be an AfrikaBurn event without loads of activities, artworks and mutant vehicles, so here's a quick rundown of what else you'll be able to experience on the day / night (like last year, our run time is 2pm - 2am):

                                                                                                                      (thanks to Karen Smith for this shot of Twisted Da Vinci at last year's Decom)


- The Doors of Perception
- Gondwana Digitata
- The Washing Line
- Twisted Da Vinci
- Superdry
- Silver Cloud
- The Fallen Star
- Jolly Brollies
- Rag Doll
- Dlulumida
- Triangle
- Ephemeropoly


- Grittles Steampunk Jetcopter Supertrike
- Zeus
- Calamity Jane
- The Mungeon

                                                                                                      (Carla Van Deventer, who'll lead the Firejam this time round, shot by Jonathan Durand)


- Firejam & Flow Arts, led by Carla van Deventer (above)
- AfriKhayaLethu (craft workshop & traditional dance)
- ActionArte (roaming acrobatic performances)
- Kid's playground
Massive thanks to every single performer, comedian, artist and mutant creator that's answered our call to step up and share their talents & artistry with our community! Don't forget - just like Tankwa Town, our Decompression event is a blank canvas that's wide open to you and that thing you love doing, and do so well. So if you have an activity, decor piece or performance that you'd like to bring along, don't hold back: you're welcome to simply roll up on the day and chat to our team, who will happily advise you on how you can get busy and do it.


Don't forget that we have a Best Dressed Contest, and hey, this is an AfrikaBurn event, and we don't do normal, so bust out your best dress or dust off that gorgeous costume you wore - because the Fashion Police will be on hand to ticket the best dress they see, which will be your invitation to step onto our main stage and get a crowd reaction. Depending on how the crowd roars, you could be in in line to win one of the 3 prizes:

1st prize: a ticket to AfrikaBurn 2020
2nd prize: a copy of Simon O'Callaghan's amazing '
Burn: Into the Flames of Burning Art' photobook
3rd prize: a shwag bag of rare & unusual AfrikaBurn items including posters, T-shirt, stickers & patches


When: Saturday June 1st, 2pm - 2am
Where: Killarney Race Track, Killarney, Cape Town
What: you, your costume, a community pageant, good times, boogie.
Event page?
Click on over this way (and see the full spread of announces in glorious technicolour)

Are the same price as last year, because we love you.
Get 'em here (or on the door).


Well, there is this one thing - and it's an apeal to you to help our core crew out, by stepping up and signing up for a volunteer shift. To pull the Decom off takes many, many hands - and all of those hands have a damn fine time doing creative and fun things like erecting artworks, sticking up decor and generally having a ball whilst making something amazing. All of which is to say please consider signing up to give us a hand. Yes? Yes!

Click this to step up & sign up & meet some lekker people and all that good shit.


Our theme - like our events - is wide open to you and the thing you want to do. So that idea you've had, and that inspired phantom of a concept that rose up to you in the dust - fancy dropping it into our Theme Callout suggestion box, along with some supporting rationale? The theme can be one word, it can be a phrase - but what it can't be is only a word or phrase: we'd need you to submit some explanatory text to support your suggestion. And this year, we're playing it a little differently (hey, this is an experiment, right?) - meaning that this time round you can:

a) write up a development for the ideas that we've been riffing on: 'The Idea', 'The Experiment', 'The Experience'
b) submit your own theme title and write up the supporting rationale for it

Just note that while we love personal stories, please don't preface your theme suggestion with your particular story (for that, you're welcome to submit a blogpost or story to

Yes? Lekker:



We've had spider Clans, robot bunnies, and this year we had a bedside lamp - but we have no idea what our 2020 Clan could look like yet. Have you got any idea? If you do, you're welcome to submit a Clan proposal.

Before you click on and submit your concept,
first read up about our Clan Guidelines, and then draft your proposal. Once you're ready to roll, send your submission to

The outcome will definitely not be predictable and the likelihood of it being anything like other Clans past is very small, but the deadline is very real, and it's the 31st of July, on the stroke of midnight.

For background on the history amnd significance of the Clan effigy,
read up right here.

Shout out to the accidental artist, Lindsay Cessford, who produced the concept and design for this year's Lamp Clan! Well played, Lamplady - and thank you (and Mike and his whole crew) for such a surprising and endearing piece of work. To find out about Lindsay's personal journey from wrestling wild bears in Alaska to herding wildcats in Africa (OK, those aren't really true), check out her blogpost 'The Making Of A Clan'.


If you're coming to the Decom and you have a Clan idea that you'd like to propose, look out for the glorious large-format posters of many Clans past - and step up and take a form, draw your sketch and drop it in the box. We look forward to seeing what ideas you have, on- or offline.


                                             (2018 Spark Grant recipient project: Community Arts Intervention Program in Tambo Village outside of Queentstown in Eastern Cape)


Over the years, our organisation has moved from primarly focused on our main annual event towards a year-round programme of events and social development initiatives. Now, in case like some people you may be asking "Uh, whut?" or indeed even "Uh, why?", here's the news: for many years, your ticket money has been ploughed into a wide variety of initiatives that seek to right some of the wrongs in our country, whilst simultaneously bringing the ethos and culture of our community alive beyond that fabulous thing we all do in the desert. And one of the many mechanisms we've created is our Spark Grant programme.

We're now in our 3rd year of Sparks, which are designed to enable people to create and drive initiatives in their community, or in someone else's community, that relate in some way to one of the 11 principles that inform what we all do. So - if you're inspired to make a difference, or know someone who could use some funding to kickstart their own bright idea, here's the news: applications for our 2019 round of Spark Grants are OPEN!

To find out more,
click here, read up and prepare to set a little corner of your world alight.

(to find our about the 22 previous Spark Grant recipient projects that kicked off in 2017 and 2018,
click here and read up)
                                            No matter how you view it, statistics are fun. Even spurious, nonsensical corralations. 

How many virgins hit that bell? Who camped in a second-hand tent? Did the reduced moonlight affect your ability to roll cigarettes, and if so, did it hamper your effectivity while volunteering on a toilet run?

We want to know how it was for you, so that we can learn from your mistakes and improve the experiment for everyone. So you, yes you, reading this relatively well-crafted (and heavily edited) pile of entertaining content, please take the time to fill out our Survey - it's really helpful if we get a wide spread of input and feedback from many people, because it all helps our team and community understand the landscape as far as who's involved in this magical and strange beast called AfrikaBurn, and what they all do (or don't).

Yes? Lekker - click this magic link to provide us with your input & insights, so we can do the thing even better.



That camp you stumbled on, that blew your mind with Ethiopian coffee? The toilets you enjoyed, back of your camp on the bushline? Those amazing artworks that stopped you in your tracks, where you made moments that will stay with you forever? The Operations centre, and Off-Centre Camp? And allll those many camps & tents & trailers & cars and roads with strange & funny names? The gate? The signs?


All of them.

Leaving no trace.

And for that, we have you, and our incredible Department of Public Works, to thank. DPW are now in the vey final phase of packing down and moving their core workshop containers and our crew Kitchen - and we're very happy to announce they'll be joining us at the Decom! 



Can't make it to the Decom, because you're in Jozi or Pitoli? Well, as it happens, you're in luck - because the howling dust lovers behind The Spirit Train project are hosting their very own Afterburn event, this very Saturday, and just like that mobile wolfmachine they rolled out this year, it'll be rammed with amazing music and no small amount of shit-hot lighting & all those things that make people go 'Ohhhh wowwww'.


When: Saturday June 1st, 8pm - 4am
Where: And, 39a Gwi Gwi Mrwebi St, Newtown, Johannesburg
Get 'em here
Event page? Right here.

Yep, true - and anyway, there's no time right now, as our entire crew are racing around like mad, prepping hard for the inevitable community carnival that the Decom will be on Saturday. We've got a LOT in store for you, so step up, dress up and do sign up for a volunteer shift if you're able to: we would really appreciate some support in tackling the bazillion tasks it takes to pull off a mini-version of Tankwa Town. Go on, then, thanks - we look forward to doing it with you soon!

Travis Lyle
Minister of Churning Out Non-Stop Decom Updates

Hey! You still there? Lekker - if you'd like to listen to something informative that's all about this crazy experiment we're all involved in, why not tuck into the latest issue of Burner Podcast; it features interviews with two our core crew and is bound to make you smile or at least go ahhh. Enjoy.


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