The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version


                                      (Night scene around the Triple Bypass, the first and longest-standing artwork at our event / photo by Greg Hillyard, 2007)  


Tribe, Power, Time, Dream, Stof: The Primal Mud, Mirage, Archetypes, The Trickster, The Gift, X, Play, Working Title, Ephemeropolis - our journey together over the years has been one long (and very interesting) series of experiences and experiments. Do any of us really know what the dust holds for us? The only way to find out is to be part of it, and to make it happen - and this year, with our theme being Afroboratory and it being our last hurrah at Stonehenge Private Reserve, what we can be sure of is that this is going to be one very special year.  Gather your people, your bits and your wits - let's see what shakes loose in the dust...

In this newsletter:




Zoom - we're 65 days away from gathering around the Clan, and our tickets are rolling out swiftly. Here are the updates:

- Subsidised Ticket applicants are being responded to (so if you applied, sit tight and watch your mails)
- Anathi Ticket applications remain open
- General Sales and New Horizons tickets also remain open
- but time's ticking, and even we don't know when tickets will sell out, so get 'em while you can

Need info on tickets? As always, head to the Tickets page of our website.

                                                                                                                                             (The Psycculent, 2011 - photo by Sydelle Willow-Smith)


Sure, things in our temporary city of dust and experimentation might seem loose and unreal when you see it all on the ground, but in order for it all to come together takes some very real co-ordination between the project you bring, and the Wranglers on our team. In other words, deadlines are real now, so that a surreal experience can take shape in the Tankwa. With that in mind, here are some markers to take note of if you've registered a project:


- If you've registered an Artwork and plan to burn your piece, or for it to have a fire component and/or sound element, want to have a say in the placement of your piece and have it listed on our printed map of our event, please register by February 29th
- and if you'd like to have your Artwork listed in our WTF event guide, please register no later than March 29th


Our Theme Camp Wranglers are busy with Mad Map-Making March (even though it's technically still February), and if you've registered a Theme Camp, you'd have heard from them regarding your camp's location. Haven't heard from them? Get your camp lead to reach out to your Wrangler (or nudge them to check their mails, pronto).


If you're a Mutant Vehicle creator, and have been looking to secure a Mutant Vehicle Grant to cover some of your expenses, heads up: our MV Grant applications will close this Sunday, 29th February. To apply for a Grant, log into our website and first create a Collective, then register your Mutant to the Collective, and then apply for a Grant. For assistance, please mail our Department of Mutant Vehicles on 


                                                                                                   (Testing, testing...1,2,3... 'Dragon' by Daniel Popper, 2012 / photo: Vincent Raffray)


It would be true to say that our events are a melting pot of many technical disciplines and crafts - and among them, working with pyrotechnics and lighting are some of the (most obviously) visible, on account of their results causing humans to, well, ooh and ahh. But to get it right takes some serious skill - and we're happy to share news of workshops coming up that you're able to join, to skill up. 


For those with plans to build and burn this year, this workshop is your opportunity to have a one-on-one chat with pyro and fire safety experts, so come along (and bring your project sketches and ignition plans).

When: Saturday 29th February, 10am to 1pm
Where: AfrikaBurn HQ, 8 Junction Rd, Salt River, Cape Town
RSVP: please confirm attendance by emailing
Event page on FB? Right here.


Whether you've got a Theme Camp, an Artwork or a Mutant Vehicle, chances are good that you have some plan for lighting your piece. If you're looking for some practical tips and some expert advice from lighting expert Thomas Steiner (who's lit up many of the largest, and some small, pieces at our event over the last few years), come on over next week and join - like all of our workshops, anyone's welcome and they're always free.

When: Wednesday March 4th, 6 - 9pm
Where: AfrikaBurn HQ, 8 Junction Rd, Salt River, Cape Town
RSVP: confirm your attendance by mailing
Event page on FB? Here it is.

                                                                                                                                             (Rangers in the wild, 2015 / photo by Janneke Westrate)


Out there in the dust, the idea is that we all look after each other - and there's one cluster of good humans that take this aspect of our event to heart to the extent that they step up as volunteer community mediators and general safekeepers. Those would be our Rangers - and if you're good with people and would like to step up, here's your chance: there are a bunch of Ranger Training dates coming up, including a date in Pretoria, and even one in London:


14th of March, 9am - 3pm
4th & 18th April, 9am - 3pm

Where: AfrikaBurn HQ, 8 Junction Rd, Salt River


21st March, 10am - 1pm
11th April, 10am - 1pm

Where: 6 De Wet Street, Horison, Roodepoort
RSVP: 072 186 4281


22nd March, 10am - 3pm

Where: 29 Tromp Crescent, Pretoria


7th March

(for info on location, RSVP & more, email




A lot that happens in the dust is immediate, spontaneous (and kinda beautiful as a result) - but long before we're all wandering the serendipity of our experimental desert city, some crews are thinking ahead and calling out for collaborators. Check out these options, and connect.

                                                                                                                                               (Lobo and The Hauptbahnhof, 2016 / photo: Migal Van As)


The crew behind that wolfy Mutant Vehicle you see above are calling out for all Mutant creators to gather for a prowl and procession on the Tuesday of event week this year. From Mike Kennedy, Spirit Train co-lead: "Please join us on Tuesday 28th April at 13:30 for a Mutant Vehicle procession around the Binnekring as we take a 45min drive with as many beautiful mutants in tow as possible. When we find our position, we plan to drop anchor and create one massive circle of mutants for a 360 degree amphitheatre for people to dance within."

Up for it? Contact Mike to confirm on



The crew behind the massed African musical experience that is Mankala are calling out for you to bring your instruments to join their jams - so pack a djembe, a darabluka, a tabla, a marimba, a glockenspiel or any other percussive items and prepare to get your groove on, because Mankala are building a giant boma to house their spectacular sessions! 

And, if you'd like to help this fantastic crew bring their dreams to full fruition,
check out this video and follow the trail to see how you can support their funding drive. If you'd like to chat to the project lead about ways you could assist, contact Cian on


                                                                                                               (State of Bliss portal, designed by Claire Du Plessis, photo by Eric Wolhuter)


The sweetest late-night piano lounge in all of Tankwa Town - State of Bliss - are seeking piano players and accompanying musicians to perform in their fine establishment and whisk patrons away on magical musical meanders. Got skills? Step up and contact their team member Ellie on 



You'd know that we take a hard line on Plug & Play camps, and service mentality, in our decommodified temporary autonomous zone. You didn't? Well, there you go: it's true - since the spectre of luxury camps that had paid staff (some, even with chefs and cleaning staff) raised up a few years back, we've tightened things right up, to effectively ban any activity of this nature. Why? Because radical self reliance, decommodification, participation - and the gorgeous idea that at our event, for once in the world, wealth has no meaning. The dust don't care about credit cards - it cares about effort, humanity and what you do to make others' lives better.

With all of that in mind, a reminder: the only service enabled at our event is the delivery of materials required to make your camp, or project, come to life. You still need to build, sweat and clean up along with your crew - but suppliers need to be registered, so that our Supplier team can explain our culture, and how our event is very different to others.

If you're expecting deliveries supplies or equipment, please get them to email our team on to ensure they won't have any issues accessing our event to drop off the stuff you need.


                                                                                                                                                                            (DPW family, 2018 / photo: Ja Mean)


They're on site from mid-March, 6 weeks ahead of the rest of us, and they remain on site for many weeks after, attending to Leave No Trace efforts and making sure that all the many elements of our event infrastructure are taken down and safely packed away. 'They' are our fabulous, dusty and desert-savvy Department of Public Works, and they're holding their very own fundraiser next weekend, which promises to be a barrel of laughs and dancing. Strap on your dancing shoes for that - or, if you're not able to attend but have been on the receiving end of their generosity in the dust, you could always support them by making a donation to their online fundraiser right here.

When: Saturday, March 7th, 6:30pm - 1am
Where: Gandalf's, 299 Lower main Road, Observatory
Event page on FB?
Here you go.

                                                                                                                                                                                          (The Spirit Train crew, 2019)


Hauling a howling megawolf to the desert for the enjoyment of many thousands of people doesn't come easy, or free - so The Spirit Train crew are raising funds to make sure their crew and gear are all taken care of as they prep furiously ahead of this year's gathering at Stonehenge Private Reserve, which will be our last before we move to a new event site in 2021.

As part of their funding drive, the Spirit Train team are also looking to raise R20,000 to assist a young guy named Khaya who they met when an accident took place whilst moving their rig through the streets of Cape Town a few years back. They weren't directly involved in the accident, but they came to Khaya's aid, and have continued supporting him in ways that improve his living conditions and future prospects.

Show the steampunk wolf and his tribe, and Khaya, some love -
click on over here to donate & support!


                                                                                                                              (Esmaralda in her natural habitat, 2019 / photo: Frans Hollenbach)



If a dip in the pool with cool tunes and even cooler beer sounds like just the type of funraiser you're game to support, head on over and join the Esmaralda crew as they tool up and pool up ahead of this year's event. For every drink sold, they'll gift 3 in the desert - and the fantastic Congo Cowboys will be performing poolside on the day!

When: Saturday March 7th, 12 midday to 10pm
Where: 42 Sea Cottage Drive, Noordhoek, Cape Town
Tickets: get 'em from
this Quicket page right here




They've been building their amazing castle of curiosity for some time now - and as a final push to drum up some funds to make sure their rather large and rather impressive structure comes together in the way the've imagined it, the Ilukuluku crew are hosting a fundraiser event in Jozi featuring a belter of a lineup for those who like their beats deep and their nights lit up. On the night you'll be able to meet members of their crew, and find out about what this amazing project holds in store for us all.

When: Saturday March 7th, 2pm - 1am
Where: 3 Roberts Avenue, Johannesburg
Event page on FB?
Get it right here.




The ArtSluts London Chapter are hosting a fundraiser event in support of the 'Where Rabbits Go To Sleep And Dream' artwork that will first be erected in Tankwa Town this year, and then go on to become a permanent installation at the Loxton Riverine Rabbit Thinking Path in the Karoo. Get more info about the artwork here - and if you're in the area, check out the event, which will feature an opportunity to buy the ArtSluts Malebox via silent auction:

When: Friday, March 27th, 8pm
Where: Shoreditch, London
Event page on FB?
Click this right here.



Yup, it is for this round - but with only 7.8 weeks to go until we open gates on our last event at Stonehenge Private Reserve, chances are good that you're getting busier and busier, just like our team at our HQ. With that in mind, don't forget that this here newsletter is wide open for you to use as a bulletin board, so if you've got news you want to get out, head to this page of our website.

Onward to the dust!


Who made this?

Publisher, writer, editor: Travis Lyle
Proofreading & general eyes: Tim Doyle
Powered by: coffee, Nightmares On Wax, Felix Laband, Lemon Jelly, K&D Sessions, mild panic


Still reading? Well alright, limber up and tuck right in - this here is a fine slice of reading material that will fill you in about the fantastic plans afoot for DPW to have their own artwork this year. Formidable? And then some.


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