The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

 (Irrefutable evidence that unicorns do exist - here's Simon Bannister's in the wild, as shot by Jonx Pillemer)

And the rest of the building, and all the people inside it too. Winter? Yup: it's landed - finally - with a wet thump, and halleluja for that - every drop of rain is a blessing right about now. It being winter, you could be forgiven for thinking that it's all quiet on the burning front because this whole AfrikaBurn experiment is restricted to The Thing We All Do In The Desert, but oho - oh no, not quite. As the years have passed, so our community and the activities it's engaged in have grown. Decom, Afterglow, planning for the annual Bosberad, all that makes it a busy calendar. Yep, even in the depths of winter the fire burns on. After all, how else would we all keep ourselves warm?
In this newsletter:



Thanks for being so patient - here's the news you were waiting for: yes, our Decom is ON and it's going to be a massive experience with 6 stages and the biggest sound systems in the country and headline acts and a merch store and a pamper parlour and VIP area and... nah, just kidding. Would we do that to you? Nope - this year's event is a costume ball, a pageant, a carnival and a fiesta all rolled into one - and YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Just like Tankwa Town, the space provided is a blank canvas which you're invited to fill with the thing you love doing. More than that, it's a costumed affair, so dust off your best Tankwa finery and take advantage of the chill in the air to layer up and wear all the things.

We've had a bunch of people step up with artworks, decor and activities - but if you have a thing you want to bring, get in touch - email and our crack team of chaos wranglers will get back to you and help plot where your thing could fit in. What, where, etc? Here you go:

Date: July 15th, 12 midday - 10pm
Venue: German Club, 8 Roodehek Terrace, Cape Town central
Tickets: R100 in costume, R200 not in costume, kids 14 and under R20

Get your presale tickets right here

Head this way for the event page on Facebook
You'd like to volunteer? You're a terrific human, well done - there's no shortage of ways you can pitch in, including joining the setup & strike team, assisting with decor or doing time as a Greeter at the gate, and a whole lot more - mail, thanks!

                                                                                                                              (Thanks to Liz Blom for this shot of the rare Sonica in its natural habitat)


Ahead of our Decom in a few short weeks, we've got another signage sesion happening at our yard - and this one's a special occasion, as it's the last session The Mistress Of The Signs, Sonica, will be presiding and abiding.  So, if you're up for getting a little messy, bring along some clothes that you can splash paint on, and prepare to have a whole lotta fun with a bunch of folks who know the difference between Comic Sans and Times New Roman and ain't afraid to flaunt it.

Big love and oodles of appreciation to Sonica for her sterling work as our Signage Lead - you rock, lady!

Date: July 1st, 10am - 3pm
Venue: 6 Nansen Street, Obs, Cape Town 
What: Paint, brushes, mirth, fonts, a dog named Max
Food? Drink? Yup: light refreshments provided, as always

Click here to head to the
event page on Facebook.


So you've shaken all the dust outta your hair and head (until next time) and you've got a hankering to make the world a better place? Fantastic - that's the magic working, right there, go with it. In case you weren't aware, we've launched a new programme: Spark Grants, which are available to anyone who'd like to make a difference in their community - or in someone else's community. 

Sound like just the nudge you need to take your idea and make it a reality? Great -
click this way over to our website and read all about how you can apply for Spark funding!.



The most dangerous thing about AfrikaBurn? Driving like a muppet on the R355. This year we saw a fatality occur on the road - and it wasn't the first. That's a harsh reality you there need to communicate to anyone you know who drives like a bat outta hell. For us as AfrikaBurn the organisation, and as the community, we're providing support to the victims of the incident that happened after our event. We're also putting together a team of people who are interested in ramping up road safety - if you'd like to get involved in that team, mail

Thus far, R172 070 has been raised, and an additional donation will be made by AfrikaBurn once fundraising is wrapped up. Physical therapy is being provided for the survivor of the crash, Ainord, who has been seeing a knee specialist for the torn ligament in his right knee. Trauma counselling is also being provided, and a trust is being set up by members of our community in the legal profession who are offering their services as a gift. If you'd like to make a donation to assist those affected,
head to the donations page.

Thank you to everyone that's offered their assistance and support. Please remember the seriousness of this incident when next you travel the R355. 



As our humble town in the dust has grown into a city, so numbers and data have become an important means of understanding who our people are, where they come from and how they experience the thing we all do out there. With that in mind, we're happy to say that the results of this year's survey are in - and they make for pretty impressive reading.

Thanks go out to our man with a plan The Tim Doyle for wrangling this data into something that's easy to read and understand - and also to everyone that provided their assistance and advice on how to structure the survey so the responses provide the kind of info we can use to make our main event better in many ways.

Interested in seeing all that beautiful data?
Click this way to be taken to our survey results.

                                                                                                                               (Thanks to Julian Van Jaarsveld and Bob Pombo for this great image)


A couple of weeks back, the first Jozi Burner Summit was held - and a fine showing of community interest it was. After the session ended, those in attendance had the opportunity to pop over the road and check out the venue for Afterglow, our Jozi community's post-burn event. Whether you're a virgin or a veteran, this night of creativity and connection, mystery and mischief - and not to mention some kickass soul-shaking beats - is just about perfect for you and your fellow dust nuts.

The gathering happens in never-before-seen rooms and rooftops and hideaways at the outrageous Prop House. There'll be two smokin' dancefloors dropping a wide selection of beats including Afro house, funk, nu-disco and world beats - so whatever you wear, be sure bring your dancing shoes!

Date: Saturday July 1, 8pm - 4am
Venue: The Prop House, 91 Frere Rd, Jozi

Event page on Facebook is here
Tickets? Get 'em this way. 

Oh, you're keen on getting involved and volunteering? Fantastic - head this way!




Sticking with things Jozi-centric, if you're in the area next week, you could do worse than head to the upcoming Burner Bar to connect with the highveld community - in attendance will be some veterans who can answer any questions you might have about AfrikaBurn or burn events in general, and provide info about Afterglow (including ways you could get involved).

Sound good? Here's the info:

Date: Wed, June 28th, 7pm - midnight
Venue: Blind Tiger Cafe, 2122 Parkview, Jozi

Event page on Facebook is here.


You might know him as Ring Flash Guy, or you may have spotted him working with the Fata Morgana crew on a life-size burning T-Rex. or even have encountered him in our Media Centre on site - his name is Simon O'Callaghan, and he's responsible for popping our cherry as far as producing the first published book featuring our little dust gathering, and also the big mothership in Nevada. As a documentary book, it does the job of covering many aspects of what we do, including Mutant Vehicles, Artworks, Theme Camps and it also features interviews with art builders and many people involved in this madcap experiment over the last 11 years.

It's been an ambitious endeavour involving getting permission from over 300 people to include their portraits in 'Burn: Into The Flames of Burning Art' - beacuse consent - and to ensure his book does right by the way we work in our community, he'll be donating 50% of proceeds to funding future art. If you'd like to check out his photos, and the book they feature in, head along to the launch that's happening soon.

Date: July 7th, 6pm
Venue: PH Centre, 49 Maynard Street, Gardens, Cape Town

(and yes, Jozi crews - there's a launch planned for your area too,
keep an eye on this page for info)

To see the book online, head this way to
Simon's site.



- General Feelgood's Afternoon Delight show, as broadcast via Radio Free Tankwa on site this year
- Papa Deadly interviewing
AfrikaBurn co-founder Paul Jorgensen on RFT
Town Hall recordings from the most recent session on June 3rd held at the Armchair Theatre in Obs, CT
- the delightful sound of rain landing on roofs and in water containers after many months of drought



Nope, not quite yet - don't forget that this is your newsletter, so if you have news, snippets of info or anything else you'd like to notify our community about, send in your content. We have a very convenient Newsletter Submission page on our site that you can chuck your info, links and images into.

Travis Lyle
Minister of This Requires A Bigger Coffee Mug

Still reading? Wonders never cease - if your eyes are still up for more, we can recommend taking them over to this amazing video shot at Midburn, which wrapped just over 2 weeks ago ion the Negev desert. Congratulations to everyone involved on what looks like a spectacular burn!


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