The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version here

 (A gypsy wagon, a top hat and a rocket - yep: must be Thursday on the Binnekring. Thanks to Megan Bester for this great illustration)

Right about now, with the dust still very far off, it's hard to imagine the ass-whipping we're all going to get come the end of April. And make no mistake: the experience always whips your ass. That's why we do it, after all: because it wakes us up. Sometimes it's a welcome awakening and one which we invite. Sometimes it's a literal whipping - a storm comes up out of nowhere and you find yourself hanging onto your guy ropes in a howling gale, shouting through the sandstorm 'This is not my beautiful life - how did I get here?!?' Some cry foul and turn tail, others embrace it and emerge better for it. The best way to ensure you're ready for everything the desert will throw at you? Plan, plan and plan again - and right about now is the best damned time to get cracking with that.
In this newsletter:

- AGM 2016

(Tatooine is knackering: Artist Marcel De Quervain and droids, as shot by Migal Van As, 2016) 

You hadn't heard? Hell, listen up: project registrations opened 2 weeks ago, and they're coming in thick and fast. And just exactly why the hell should you be registering? Well, unless you register your Artwork, Theme Camp, Mutant Vehicle or Performance, our team can't assist you with placement or technical advice - and That Amazing Thing You Want To Do won't be included in our WTF Guide come April, which will mean nobody will know where it is, or what it is. Which would be kinda pointless. So, if you've got sketches, ideas, SketchUps or even so much as a dodgy drawing on a napkin you knocked out over an inadvisable yet inspiring number of (insert favourite poison here), hear it now: registration forms are OPEN and all you need to do is crack on and get busy.

Here's where you can do the thing:

Register a Theme Camp
Register an Artwork
Register a Performance
Register a Mutant Vehicle

And hey - in case you're in need of inspiration for That Amazing Thing You Have Planned, dip into the info around our theme for 2017. Which is? PLAY:



Every year since way back, in line with project registrations, we also open Grant Applications - and for you right there with that mind-boggling piece (the one you drew on that napkin), this means that you have a shot at getting some funding for it. How does it work? Here's how:

- Grants are available for Artworks, Performance and Mutant Vehicles
- You need to register a project BEFORE you apply for a Grant
- No project is funded 100% (in order to spread the pot around and encourage self reliance and initiative)

So, you're interested - great. Just don't forget: Grant applications have deadlines, so if you'd like assistance with funding, you need to wikkel, hustle, pull finger and start hitting those keys sharpish: 

Apply For A Creative Grant HERE (Deadline is Oct 28th)
- Apply For A Mutant Vehicle Grant HERE (Deadline is Nov 25th)

And in case you're a little rusty: remember to log into our site first using your Bio details, then use the forms.



If you were there last year, you'd know that the first Streetopia was a resounding success - but not in the traditional sense of 'someone made loads of money' - because it's a 100% free event, that's only aim is to fill the streets of Obs in Cape Town with art, performance, music and good vibrations. And in that sense, hell, it was one kick-ass day in the sun for everyone concerned. And it's on again - same time, same place, same invitation to you right there to step up and fill the streets with whatever your heart desires.

It all happens through the collaboration of civic bodies, residents and artists, who all come together with our team and community to bring a small slice of our desert experiment alive in an urban setting. So if you have a piece you'd like to exhibit, a topic you'd like to have a discussion about, a performance you feel would go down well - or if you simply feel like dressing up in your finest Tankwa Town costume and adding to the colour and vibe of the day, get involved!

Check out the new Streetopia website for info on how the day is planned, and how you can plug in:

Location: Observatory Village Green & Lower Main Rd, Cape Town
Date: November 26th 2016
Time: 10am - 7pm

Check out the event page on Facebook here.


Yep - as with everything we do, you're absolutely welcome to step up and pitch in to help make the event happen. Check out the Participate page on the site for info - or you could just go right ahead and email



AGM 2016

It's that time again: our Annual General Meeting, when we vote in new Members and Directors and tick the admin boxes so the wheels keep smoothly turning ever onward for our organisation, our events and for our community. You're welcome to attend - just be aware that (like any old AGM for organisations that require them), only Members are able to vote on the items that are on the agenda. If you're interested, we'll share that agenda with you in our next Baardskeerder.

Date: October 29th
Venue: AfrikaBurn HQ, Bijou building, 178 Lower Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town
Time: 10am - 3pm



Keen to get involved and meet some of the folk who work to make magic happen behind the scenes? Step right up; we have another Volunteer Day happening soon! It's all in aid of prepping some material for Streetopia, which is coming at us in 7 weeks' time. 

Our crew will be getting down and dirty painting signs and making benches - so if you're qualified to drive a paintbrush, or a dab hand with a hammer and screwdriver, you're welcome to join our crew next weekend. 

Date: Saturday 15th October
Venue: 6 Nansen Street, Observatory, Cape Town
Time: 9am - 3pm (or anytime in between)
Bring: old clothes you don't mind getting paint etc on

Lunch & refreshments will be provided (as will great music and an endless stream of wisecracks)




Our Outreach crew are tooling up for the end of the year - and as part of their ongoing assistance to communities in need, they're going to be heading out to the Tankwa in November to provide aid to the karretjiemense of the Karoo (as they've done every year since 2011) as well the communities in the vicinity of our event site. This year, they're looking to put together 150 - 200 Xmas boxes for the kids of the Tankwa, and are looking for materials to help make those happen. 

So, if you have shoe boxes, gift wrap, sticky tape and general Xmassy stuff, that'll do nicely - and the kind of items they're looking to provide the kids would be socks, panties, toothbrushes, tooth paste, hair brushes, hygiene products, art materials, hand made craft and toys.

If you're able to assist, feel free to drop items at our workyard (6 Nansen St, Obs, Cape Town) during office hours, or email


You can tell that the wheels are starting to trun out there in our community - because we're getting crews stepping up and asking about next year, and sharing their ideas for artworks, camps and mutants. What do you call that? PARTICIPATION, is what. Here's a snippet of the dreaming being conjured up by Nix Davies, the artist behind that glorious gold X you would have seen last time round in the dust:

"Once upon a time, 17 years ago, a golden seed was born. Unfortunately, it was locked away in an elusive dream, a mere fragment in an artists' mind. And there it lay - dormant until recently, until a strange sequence of events unlocked its magic. This happened under a giant golden X, where memories and melodies made from the rattling spurs of Space Cowboys combined with wild beserker Viking cries.

It all added up to a secret code of passion and dreams - and awoke the seed of a dream. And from the seed came a tree, a tree with a life of its own that would grow wherever it chose. Its power would merge worlds and whisper into the hearts of those it required to care for it and nourish it. The Tree would create limitless opportunities and unions - and it would be bigger and more magnificent than they could ever imagine or dare to dream."

It would be called Yggdrasil: The Tree Of Wonder, and The Tree Of Life.



Shooter Henry Martin has taken around 1500 photos over the past few years in Tankwa Town - and he's created a page on Facebook so you right there can browse his great shots, and try to see if he caught you in the throes of the desert.

Head over to his page -
Did I Take A Pic Of You At AfrikaBurn? - and browse to your heart's desire.



Yep: the dust is stirring, for definite - and here's where the action is - at the events kicking off all over our community. And when we say 'all over', we mean it: there's something in KZN, Jozi and Cape Town. Check out these dates and support them if you're able!

Green Jams & Ham Fundraiser

As an ode to the 2017 theme of 'Play' (and to the great man himself), a gallant crew of enthusiastic dust lovers plan to build a Dr. Seuss inspired roaming Mutant Vehicle. To support them, take yourself and your tush along to their Green Jams & Ham fundraiser to discover tantalising tunes from the ever-fabulous Alex Cruz and Marc Who, the genius behind the legendary High T sessions.

Venue: The Mash Tun, Mason's Press, Woodstock, Cape Town
Date: 7th October
Time: 8pm

See the Facebook event page for more info.

Burning Bar Jozi

This is another in the series of events organised by the Jozi contingent - so if you're in the area and would like to know more about AfrikaBurn, how it works and where you could get involved, this one's for you. For this session, the focus will be on project registrations, so if you have questions, the Burning Bar crew have answers.

Vanue: Cafe Mexicho, 78 4th Avenue, Melville, Jozi
Date: 20th October
Time: 7pm - 11pm

Check out the Burning Bar Facebook event here.

The Spirit Train's Charitable Affair

The crew of the wolftrain that's packed so much heart into its appearances in the dust over the past couple of years is staging a fundraiser soon - and it has three principle aims. One: raise some funds for Kaya, a kid from Salt River that their crew is helping get through school. Two: provide some assistance to the RecordBox initiative that's helping the KwaLanga community realise a space for audiences with a love for inspiring and thought-provoking Rhythm, Poetry and Spoken Word.

It's happening in a fantastic dungeon in Cape Town - and will feature the banging beats of Jannette Slack and Ali B, who many of you would remember as the geezer who's provided amazing soundtracks to our collective Sunday sunsets in the dust.

Venue: Cape Town Club, 18 Queen Victoria St, Cape Town
Date: Saturday 15th October
Time: 8pm

Facebook event page can be found right here.

KZN Precombustion

If you're in Durban or surrounds, this one offers an action-packed session that will include movie screenings, fire performance, market stalls, hula and poi workshops, artworks, light painting and a whole whack more of activities from midday until late - including the amazing fire performance you see above. Oh - and did we mention there's a cracker lineup of DJ's (that in fact includes the writer of this very newsletter?) True story - there'll be AfrikaBurn crew on hand to answer any questions and generally shoot the breeze.

It's all being pulled together by members of the KZN burner crew, consisting of members of the AmaDeadlies and Camp VT Tranquillity. What's more, and no surprises here - if you're keen to get involved, the crew are wide open to you pitching in helping out, or adding to the fantastic variety of stuff happening.

Venue: NMR, 61 Masabalala Yengwa Ave, Durban
Date: Saturday 5th November
Time: 12 midday - late

Check out the Precombustion event page on Facebook here.


Amper, amper - maar nie heeltemaal nie: we'd like to take this opportunity to once again gently and lovingly bash you around the ears about project registrations - and Grant applications - being open. No time like the present foilks - please help our team to help you by stepping up and clicking the links you can find above to get your project in the mix. After all, any muppet can pick some plastic kak off a shelf and 'participate' by chucking it on and dancing to great music in the dust, but that's not actually how you actively contribute to building the magic of our city. Dream it up, write it up and step up: you never know, you could unlock something magical, and learn a whole lot of new skills in the process.

Travis Lyle
Minister of Information

Well look at that, you're still reading - OK, here's something else for you. Now, it's a long while yet until we're all hauling trailers into the back of beyond, but it's never too early to learn the fundamentals of how to safely weight your trailer. Check out this great video that illustrates the dangers of putting too much weight on the back of your trailer - and remember it when you pack everything and the kitchen sink and hit the road next year. Enjoy.


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