The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

 (Move all the things into place! Is it the old LEDHEDz bus? Yep, now part of our Operations hub. Thanks to H for the shot from site, taken Wednesday)  

It's all fun and games until April comes a-knocking. It all feels a long way off yet. Loads of time still, plenty time. And then suddenly your calendar leans over, stares deeply into your eyes and quietly states the obvious: "Very soon you'll embark on an experience that could best be described as voluntary survivalism, and you appear to be under the impression you have lots of time to prepare. Take it from me: April's not 'coming' - it's here."

Don't you just hate it when that happens? Calendars can be so cruel sometimes.   

In this newsletter:


(Tickets, please... thanks to Jonx Pillemer for this shot of Die Hek at last year's event)    

By now, you should have heard that spare tickets left over from this year's allocations of Direct Distribution Tickets to project crews are now available in our Leftover Sale. It's true - and there are still some left, so if you're after them, log into our site and click the cryptically-titled 'Buy Tickets' button to be taken to the checkout. Right here.
And Kid's tickets and Vehicle Passes? The same applies: they're available at the checkout. And Community tickets, or Subsidised tickets? The Community ticket bird has flown for this year, but Subsidised applications will close next week Friday April 6th. 

Got tickets you can't use?

STEP - it's the best way to avoid scammers and resell your ticket safely. If you don't want to wait on STEP for your ticket to be matched with a buyer, then you could always use Ticketpony - like STEP, it's managed by our ticketing agent and allows for direct exchange of tickets and payments betwen buyers & sellers.

Need more ticket info? It's all on
our Tickets page, take a look.


You there - yes, you! You, with that growing pile of survival gear and that faraway look in your eyes - you're the very lucky recipient of your very own Survival Guide 2018, congratulations! Now available in three deliciously inclusive flavours of English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa, this is the manual that so people speak about when they mutter 'Read The Fokken Manual' in response to perfectly reasonable questions like 'Will I die in the desert?' (probably, if you don't prepare properly) and 'Are there charging stations for my hair straightener?' ( It's a desert, not a music festival.) and even 'Can I bring my pet / flares / fireworks / feathers / drone / grilled cheese vending stall?' (no, no, no, definitely not, hayibo and maybe, if you strip it of all branding and are prepared to cook & serve them as gifts).

Yep, it's here - and we'd like to shower a bunch of people with gratitude for the hard work, beady eyes and design skills that got this year's guide to the finish line - shouts go out to Gala Malherbe, Claire Du Plessis, The Tim, Ranger Stilletto, Princess Feisty and Bongi Vusani - you rock our world!

Click here to be magically transported to our Survival Guide page, where you can download a copy that suits you - and please share it with anyone you know who hasn't been to Tankwa Town before. If you'd like a printed copy, remember you can ask for one at our event gate, or pick one up at Off-Centre Camp.



What to do if you lose your printed version of this year's Survival Guide whilst navigating our city of dust? If you're tech-savvy, you'd have loaded this year's app onto your device, and would then be able to decipher the many wondrous things you stumble upon. But wait: there's more - this time round, thanks to the hard work of volunteer app developer Nathan Stasin, there'll also be QR codes at or on artworks, and you'll be able to scan those to reveal info such as the Collective name, artwork title and background info.

Impressive? We think so. If you'd like to get on this right away, be our guest; here are the links to make that happen:
- iPhone

Look out for more info on other forthcoming apps - and shower the creators with love!

                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Thanks to Graham Abbott for this shot)


Every year, even since 2006 before our event began, the R355 has claimed victims: many, many tyres, numerous rims and more than a few trailers have all been slashed, wrecked and buckled beyond recognition. And every year, we've warned participants to take spares, check loads, turns lights on at all times, drive cautiously and never, under any circumstances, overtake when the road ahead is obscured by dust. Unfortunately every year, the road continues to take its toll - and over the years that toll has included the lives of a handful of people who have been involved in accidents. It's a sad reality that we have done our best to manage, but at the end of the day, how drivers approach the challenges is where the issue lies. 

We, as AfrikaBurn, can only do so much - we can erect safety signage, and we can hammer you with road safety messages - but we cannot be present to ask every driver to slow down and drive safely. But you can.

So this year, while we roll out the largest road safety campaign of our event's history, we're appealing to you to speak to your campmates, friends and family and impress upon them the importance of observing maximum caution when driving to or from this year's event. It goes without saying (what a curious expression, no?) that sober driving is critical on a challenging road. Our team, along with concerned members of the community and a large contingent of all the relevant regulatory traffic and EMS departments from the Western and Northern Cape that manage the R355, have been working on a high-visibility safety campaign that will be deployed soon. You'll start noticing it before you leave the tar, and chances are high you'll be stopped at traffic control points. Expect delays. Expect lots of reflective signage, and expect to be pulsed on Exodus. You might get frustrated, but frustration is a small price to pay for your safety.

Whatever you do, please inform drivers in your crew, camp and network to take it easy, and take it slow.


                                                                                    (South Africans love nothing more than a braai and lumo rave clothing. Thanks to Jonx Pillemer for this shot)


As we race towards the 23rd of April, so across our community many volunteer and training sessions have been happening - in Cape Town, Jozi, on the Garden Route and elsewhere. Of them all, there's one particular category that we're looking to beef up, as they're numbers mean the most in terms of the safety of our community: Ranger and Fire Perimeter training.

We love a good bonfire, but to ensure they go up (and down) safely takes many dozens of keen eyes and helping hands - and you right there, if you're good with people and have ever wanted to give back, are able to step up and join their ranks. Keen to be on the frontline, or to help people avoid danger? Step up, by checking out these training sessions happening on Saturday April 7th:

Ranger Training Cape Town
Fire Perimeter Training Cape Town
Ranger Training Jozi

...or, would you like that in green?

Like a mobile Sanctuary crew, our Green Dots range around around Tankwa Town keeping an eye out for us when we're a little lost or burdened. They provide compassionate and emotional support, hold space, have chats and hang out with anyone who might be having a rough time of it. If this sounds like something that you'd like to do, you too can join our Green Dots. Hell, you may even already be a member (and not even know it). There's a training session happening soon in Cape Town on April 4th - the only catch is, you need to train up as a Ranger beforehand.

For more info,
click this way over to the Facebook event page (or, if you dislike the big blue thing, you could always email


Our entire city is built on the spirit of volunteering - every camp, every artwork, and also 99% of the teams that work behind the scenes too. All of the activities you'll find at Off-Centre Camp are similarly driven by volunteering - so if you're looking for something to do, or a way to get involved and experience the burn on a deeper level, there are a bunch of opportunities open to you, check these out:

                                                                                                                                                                                 (All together now...Jacqui Woolfson took this shot)


Our community hub, Off-Centre Camp, is home to a big stage, with a sound system - and it's always open to you to step up and perform, make a speech, host a discussion or generally be available to an activity that you'd like to share with the community. Got skills, and looking to share them? Shoot a mail at and our team will pick up on it and find you a slot that suits. Of course, you can always just rock up in the dust and check in about open slots. 


This is the eye of the needle, where everyone checks in and is welcomed home to Tankwa Town. Our Die Hek crew is looking for a dedicated bunch of nutters who want to get everyone processed sharpish (because nobody that's travelled the R355 wants to hang around when there's a whole city to explore).

Keen? Great -
click here to be taken to a signup sheet, and prepare to have loads of fun with the Heklers.


We apologise, that should read Leave No Trace... but hey, if you'd like to experience the desert after the crowds have all hauled out, there's a way to do that: join our LNT crew of volunteers, who work with DPW. Yes? You're a good human, and should email to get the lowdown and how to make that happen. You'll be fed and housed, and are guaranteed amazing sunsets with a charming bunch of nuts.  


Our Airspace crew are the critical team that manages everything that flies into, out of, and above Tankwa Town. If it has wings (or rotors, or a parachute, or... you get the idea), then they have to know about it, because things that fly must fly safely, and land safely too. Got a love - or experience of - aviation? You'll do nicely. Click this to join their team.


You still there? Yeah, it's a long one, thanks for hanging  in there. Up next: a whole lot of amazing projects, with a serving of updates, links and info. Ready? Tuck in:

                                                                                                                                 (Thanks to Jeffree Barbee & Pops & the whole Dung Beetle crew for this image)


Does it really eat plastic, piss diesel and fart LPG? Well, yes, it actually does convert plastic waste (of all types) into fuels liquid and gaseous. The tech behind this is open source - and the crew behind it are a special kind of genius. They've devised a mobile solution that can and will make an impact on single-use plastic wherever it roams. And we at this year's event wlll have the honour of hosting its first run, as the Dung Beetle kicks off its planet-saving, ass-kicking tour of duty. Mounted on a versatile platform housing the gasifier and condenser also serves as a performance stage, with a beetle-ball artwork designed by Nathan Honey.

Plastic bottles at the burn will be able to be converted into diesel & LPG to power gennies and the occasional flame puffer out of its rear, providing power to the stage's sound & light. Formidable? And then some.

Find out more about this amazing project on
their Facebook page, or over on their website.

                                                                                                                                                   (Thanks to Daniel Stachelin for this shot of the caterpillarish artwork)


Now just exactly what the hell have we got here? Turns out, it's a collaborative mobile artwork, that eats other artworks - or at least, that's what it'll look like, once it's in action on the Binnekring. Meet the Hungry Caterburner, a sweet project that's coming all the way from Germany to be with us this year. It's a Creative Grant Recipient project - like 24 other projects - and you can find out more about it on this great 'meet the crew & hear about our project' blogpost over on te Binnekring Blog that comes with a custom-mixed DJ set from one of their crew.

Thanks to Daniel from the Caterburner crew for sending in the blogpost - if you've got one in you, feel free to shoot it at us on

                                                                                                                                                                                                         (Cheers to the Vkings for this shot)


It may look little here, but then that's because it's a maquette - but word from the VKings is that thanks to your homing of numerous fundraising unicorns, the The One ?EyeD M0N$STER has grown to a full-sized 2.7m artwork. Bravo!

                                                                                                                                                                                               (Henri Jacques, thank for sending this in)


Are you? Well done, you. But seriously, IAM stands for Interactive AfrikaBurn Music - and the idea is? A musical pyramid! Here's how it'll work:
1) The master DJ starts a new specially-composed group of instrument tracks
2) You and your friends are invited to climb the steps of the MY-An Tower of Power
3) Each set of steps is connected to a specific set of tracks on the DJ's computer - and by climbing up & down, you and your friends change the sounds, effects and timing of each instrument track
4) Additional controls like slides add to the fun

Yes? Hell yes. To find out more, click on over to the
IAM Facebook page and await a mysterious message...
                                                                                                                                                                (Here we go again. Thanks to Lindsay Cessford for this shot)


If you were at our event in 2015, 16 or last year, you'd have seen the products of SKOP, the Sutherland Kuns Opvoedings Projek (which, for our international readers, is the Sutherland Art Education Project - but in Afrikaans, 'skop' means to kick). SKOP, as it sounds, is an arts initiative that has seen skills transfer and social development happening in the Karoo town of Sutherland, where previously unemployed artisans have collaborated with artist Nathan Victor Honey, who's happily something of a repeat offender when it comes to creating very large and amazing artworks in Tankwa Town.

Lindsay Cessford's the project manager this time round on SKOP IV - which will be revealed soon on the ground - and she's been sending a great a series of updates. Her latest is in, as the crew have landed in Tankwa Town to begin erection after prepping and dismantling this year's artwork.

You can read up about the progress in her posts on the Binnekring Blog:
Part I, Part II and Part III.




Mocambican dancer Rosa Mario is on a mission to dance out messages of togetherness and connections. She's accomplished this in Senegal, Maputo and Sao Paulo - and soon, in Tankwa Town. To make it happen, she and her crew are calling out for some support in the form of a sound system and for someone to shoot some footage. Got what they're after? Contact to help them bring the dance alive.


With some of the large-rig dancefloors of last year not part of the mix this time, into the fray are stepping a bunch of smaller but no less amazing immersive musical experiences - and one one of those that's set to impress is Arkology. They're staging fundraisers - so we advise you to show their Facebook page some love to get alerts - and are calling for some cold cash love to get their geodesic, cybernetic and altogether fantastic sound space set up & rocking.

Got a love for sound spaces? Shower the Arkolites with your love
right here on their raiser.



Over in Langa, Bridges For Music have been building a music school that's almost complete - and as one way of raising funds and awareness, the B4M crew are behind an endurance bike ride from Cape Town to Tankwa Town, non-stop, that's open to 5 riders who are up for the challenge. Endurance triathlete Isra Garcia - who's also trekked the Burning Man Quest from San Francisco to Black Rock City - will train up any contenders before they hit the road. To find out more about the music school this initiative supports, check this out.

Think you've got what it takes?

Departure: Sunday 22nd April, 5am
Arrival: Sunday 22nd 11pm(ish) at Camp Ubuhlanti

                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Shout out to the Vikings for this photo)


The same crew that brought you last year's Yggdrasil: The Tree Of Life are at it again - and this time round, they're raising a dinkum Viking longhouse, right on the Binnekring. But will it burn? Nope, not this time round - the structure (which features a 1.5 ton table slab of reclaimed exotic eucalyptus) will be dismantled and rehomed at The Land on the Garden Route. To raise a longhouse takes fundraising - so they're hosting a banquet that promises a feast for vegans, veggies and carnivores alike. Inclusion? Sounds like it. Expect a good portion of interactive actors, fire and live music as they sail into the unknown to search for the edge of the world...

When: Saturday April 7th, 7 - 11pm
Where: 111 Main Rd, Muizenberg, Cape Town
Tickets: R180 per Viking
Event page?
Right here.
Interested in joining this project?
Sign up here.


We don't know anything about these Garden Route disco nutters, but we like them already. They're the Revival Collective and they're building a tribute to light - by hosting a dance fest that will blast the finest old school funk, rock 'n roll and shameless disco dance hits out at a beach boogie on Robberg Beach in Plett. And who's invited? The whole famdamily, bring the kids. With the funds raised, they plan to build a simple pyramid structure that will instill peace and serenity. Sounds like a plan.

When: April 3 - 4, 5:30pm - 4am
Where: Robberg 7-8
Tickets: 50 bucks
Event page?
Here you go.


This one's a collaboration, between the Fine Balance crew, and the amazing femmes behind this year's Skeleton Leaf Of Change. It promises to a be an amazing evening of live and electronic music - because each crew is surrounded by hordes of living friends, and together, that makes a lot of fantastic and creative people. The lineup is so large, we'd have to have another newsletter to get 'em all in. But take our word for it: this will be a very special occasion.

When: March 31 - April 1st
Where: Know Thy Farmer Restaurant, Oude Molen, Cape Town
Tickets: presales are R80 through Quicket, and R120 on the door
Get it here.



What could this year's Decompression hold? Well, now - that, like in Tankwa Town, is entirely up to you.

When: Saturday May 26th
Where: Killarney Race Track, Cape Town
What: as we said, that's your call. Bring your decor, your costume, your mutants and your dust. Bring, and come. We go.

(we'll have more for you on this soon - but as you plan for the dust, plan to not pack it all away)

Not entirely, but almost - and by the way, thank you for reading. Really. In other news, we're in the news over on the Burning Man Journal (and we're kinda happy about it) for being resilient and innovative and all those good things. No idea what we're talking about? Hell, it's 10:55pm on Easter Thursday night and this has been a marathon Baardskeerder, so here, read this.
Onward? Yebo!

Travis Lyle

Minister of OMG These People Are Amazing, Let's Make Lots of Noise About What They're Doing

Yussis. You're a trooper. Now, if your eyes haven't already sealed shut from all that reading, do spare 1:45 to check out this animated video clip, created in collaboration with our Theme Camp and Comms teams, and the driving force behind the very sweet camp Sweet Love Cinema. We think you'll agree it's pretty oh god that's quite enough of that already, there's too much to do.


Google+ Facebook Twitter Email


AfrikaBurn • P.O.Box 191, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925 • South Africa •   Unsubscribe here