The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

 (Once upon a time in a desert far, far away, stood a Honey / Guidetti San Clan and an Echo by T.N.T. Thanks to Cameron Richards for this shot from 2010)
We're embedded in a bubblegum society, where our senses are assaulted by a daily deluge of branding and competitive consumption. To jerk us alert and awake again sometimes takes an extreme and not entirely rational experience - and that's what we sign up for, when we buy the ticket and prepare for the ride. It's a wonderful thing, though it may not seem like it when you're cursing blue murder in a whiteout, or sweating bullets at the roadside, changing your third flat tyre. But on the other side of the exhaustion, the dust and the heat lies a beautiful thing. We might never know what shape it takes, or even when or where exactly it will happen, but that's what we all hope for - and that's where we're all headed. 
In this newsletter:



(Maven of the portal, Julia Savage, stalking the queue last year at our event gate. Thanks to Die Hek for this photo) 

You know we have our last General ticket sale coming next Wednesday at 12 midday SA time, right? Smart, well played. Oh, you got tickets already, because you registered a project with your Collective and requested DDT's? Damn, look at you go. In case you didn't and you haven't, yep: next Wednesday is your best shot, as the window to request DDT's is closing swiftly. Hey, it's mid-Feb already, and we have just 63 days to go until we gather around the Clan again.

Vehicle Passes? Kid's tickets? Community tickets? Subsidised tickets? Maydays? They're all out there, waiting for you at the end of a click:
head to our Tickets page to get the lowdown, and do the thing. In case you aren't quick enough in next week's sale, don't forget: STEP opens shortly after for resold tickets (or you can buy off someone who can't make it).

                                          WARNING - CUIDADO - ACHTUNG - PASOP - PELIGRO - BASOBA

Round about now, scammers come outta the woodwork and do their best to hustle unsuspecting people out of chunks of cash for fake 'tickets'. We do what we can to smack them down, but you out there need to stay alert and informed, by reading the info on
our Tickets page.  Basically, if the ticket's not issued via our ticketing agent - Quicket - be sceptical.

                                                                               (Members of the Khoi/San community being shown around our 2016 event by the head of our Outreach team)


If you head over to our Tickets page and read the info, you'll notice that there's a huge difference between the top and bottom ticket prices. And that's as it should be: in South Africa, 'access' and 'inclusion' take on a different meaning to elsewhere in the world. This is why we have Community Tickets at R180, and support anyone who applies with Access Grants if they wish. Is it a perfect system, that heals all the ills of our history and present? Like hell - but it is a bridge, a step up that levels the playing fields for anyone who wishes to experience our event.

If you'd like to help us build this aspect of our event, and you know anyone who's a marginalised artist or cultural practitioner, or simply someone you know who would like to participate in what Tankwa Town has to offer (but can't possibly afford the cost involved), here's your chance: Community Tickets and Access Grants are your opportunity to make the circle bigger. Make sharp though: applications close on Feb 28th.

Log into our site and
click here to apply - and click here for more info. Well played to all who've applied so far!  


                                                                           (This is what the wall in our Creative department's corner looks like right now. Thanks to Papa Deadly for the shot)


Last year (as we do every year), we called out for Creative Grant applications - and we received a flood of submissions from projects in places as exotic as Japan, Germany, Peru - and even Polokwane. The Grants have been awarded, and we don't mind saying that there's a whole lot of amazing ahead that we'll get to see in the dust. 

Thanks to everyone who submitted applications for funding - and congrats to all the projects that have been awarded! Thanks also go out to everyone involved in the scoring and review process (which involves many folks who have been awarded Grants in the past). Want a sneak peek at the projects in play?

Click here, and all will be revealed.

                                                                                       (A rather large and rather secret artwork arrived on site, yesterday. Thanks to Robert Rabbit for the shot)


For large projects, crews and camps, it's often the case that heavy equipment, materials or specialised tech has to be delivered and set up by professionals who are certified and qualified. So, how do we square supplies and services of this nature with decommodification and self reliance? By consulting our community, and the companies involved, and arriving at a process that's as fair on everyone as possible. Our imaginatively-titled Supplier Process was rolled out last year ahead of this year's event - but as it's still early days in its making, we've reviewed the process and listened to the feedback we've received from our community and also the suppliers themselves.

This means the surcharge on suppliers and services will be waived for this year's event - but all the other requirements such as registration, refundable deposits and so on are still in place. If you've been wondering about how our system works in this area,
head to this page on our site and get the lowdown.


                                                                                                               (Big & small, welcome all: this is a Ranger in the wild. Thanks to Gita Claassen for this shot) 


They come in all shapes & sizes, but only one colour: orange. Yup, they're our Rangers, and they keep us safe in the dust. Not by acting as our police force, but rather by spying danger before we do, and helping us avoid it. So, we need them - after all, in a wild west city filled with fire, high winds, whiteouts, pyrotechnics, sharp metal, moving parts and non-conformist structures and about, oh, a million ways that things could go pear, it's really helpful to have sharp eyes and ears on the ground. If you've got those sharp eyes & ears, and are good with people, hear the call: we need as many people as possible to step up and train up as Rangers, so we can all emerge from the dust unscathed.

Interested? Fantastic:
click here to check out upcoming training dates in Cape Town, Jozi and the Garden Route.

To everyone who's stepped up so far - including Rangers from Black Rock City - thank you!

Tales Of The Orange

We've started a series of stories that involve Rangers and their good deeds. First up is a tale of a lost kid (which happens sometimes - but the orange always come through and save the day). lf you'd like to read the journey of a once-wasn't-a-Ranger-but-now-is,
check out Anonymom's great blogpost on our site.

                                                                                                                          (A burn, on a lake?? Yes, it's true - thanks to Matt Strzelczyk for this shot from 2014)


The results are in! Once a year (for the last few years now), we have the honour of hosting one Burner Exchange candidate from Lakes of Fire in Western Michigan, USA - and this year the successful artist who'll be winging their way down to join us in the dust is Robert K Kolb, aka 'Rocket'. He'll be bringing a project over named 'Learn N The Burn' which, as it sounds, is designed to be an acculturation kiosk where Rocket will be on hand to answer questions about other burns, and test your knowledge. Well played Rocket, see you soon!

Stay tuned for an update on who from our community will be making their way over to Lakes of Fire to build some art in a lakeside location.



We’re looking for an Arts Development Intern! If you've got the skills and interest in this area, you might just end up working alongside our Creative team, helping them with the various wild and frankly ambitious initiatives we have on the boil. This is a paid intern position - and if you're interested, you can learn more on the Vacancies page of our site.
                                                                                                                               (Thanks to Christa Schoeman for this shot of Feisty on her trusty mutant, Katryn)


The idea of Radical Inclusion, in SA, often gets speared on a specific range of issues: but in the hubbub, what's often left off the table is that inclusion isn't limited to the usual suspects. That's why it's always a good idea to remember that folks who are sober, straight edge or less physically able are also part of that important discussion.

Our very own Princess Feisty is disabled herself, has worked in the disability rights movement and as such has many years' experience consulting on matters of access and inclusion. She's your go-to if you have any questions that could help fill you in about you could improve your AfrikaBurn experience. Feisty reckons "Most disabilities are 'snowflake' conditions, which means they're unique and require require individual, not blanket, solutions."

Got questions? Pop Feisty a mail on  


Need some shutterply? Good with engines? Got DPW skills? Love to Leave No Trace? Read on dear reader...

                                                                                                                                                                      (DPW Parade, Saturday, 4pm - as shot by Jonx Pillemer)


Want to get to know the desert better and become part of our all-star Department of Public Works? Word from H, our DPW lead, is that there are some gaps yet to fill, and they include:

- Riggers: skills with rope & access, as well as rebar
- Power Puffs: laying out the electrical grid and lighting our town
- Scenic / Paint Shop: compressor work & making pretty things
- Recycling: sorting, separating and saving the planet by using a baler
- HEaT: Heavy Equipment & Transport; crane trucks, forklifts and moving all the things
- Love No Trace... hang on... Leave No Trace: planet lovers who can help us leave the Tankwa as we found it

There's a handy
DPW Application Form to be found on our site where you can sign up (just remember to log in first)


Over in Killarney Gardens in Cape Town lives the Tankwa Draak that's brought so many of you trancy joy over the years. The Draak's not making an appearnace this year, but his crew are offering some spare shutterply, batten and beams to anyone who's able to pick the load up. Interested? Contact Hennie on 082 339 3061.



See Thomas. Love Thomas. Help Thomas? Here's the deal: a kindly machine lover in the Knysna area has this glorious old-school rokkie, and he's willing to lend it to our DPW as a service vehicle. The catch? Thomas needs some mechanical love to get him on the road and into the desert. Got skills, in the Knysna area? Fancy lending a hand and driving Thomas to the desert? Contact H on and you could be doing just that.   


So you need a bike for the dust (but not after) - and want to make a difference as you go about getting one? There's a thing for that: Pedals For Peace offer a service where you get your biked to ue at the burn, and once you're done with it, they take it and distribute it to communities in need. Sound good?

Click here to get your wheels & change someone less fortunate's mobility. And to see P4P's past initiatives, head here.



We have so many Ranger Training dates lined up, it would take another whole hairy Baardskeerder to list them all separately, so we're going to just work some magic and hyperlink the image below directly to the Ranger Training & Info page on Facebook, so you can check out the many dates & locations at your leisure. Deal? Done, click ahoy:



Ever trained up as a Ranger - and are interested in joining our harm reduction crew? Green Dots are our roving representatives that assist participants who are having a rough time of it, and there's a training date coming up soon:

When: Feb 27th, 6 - 9pm
Where: AfrikaBurn HQ, 8 Junction Rd, Salt River, Cape Town
What: Ranger skills, applied to the distressed and dusty

Click here for the Facebook event page


As always in the lead-up to our date with the dust, we have many crafty tasks that need doing - like cutting, sewing, screenprinting and more - and these are what our Volunteers get up to on Saturdays in our yard in Cape Town.

When: March 3rd, 10am - 3pm
Where: ABHQ, 8 Junction Rd, Salt River, Cape Town
What: art, craft, lekker people and light refreshments in the shade

Event page on Facebook can be found here


Remember The Lost Couple? You know - they had masks on; he had a briefcase, and she was pulling a granny shopping cart? No? Jeez, pay attention: they're the Memnoc Collective, and they were back last year as The Grannies. Still no? Sheesh - anyway, they're a top crew that loves to add some theatre to the mix, and they'll be back this year with a project called The Wet Dream Aquarium - and to raise funds, they're hosting an evening that could be described as delinquent gin bingo. And it's in Jozi. Yes? Excellent:

When: Sat March 3rd, 3:30 - 10pm
Where: Breezeblock, 29 Chiswick (c/o Fulham), Brixton, Jozi
What: Prizes and gin and grannies and mirth
Event page?
Right here.


Definitely not, well, maybe, OK, for sure, definitely.   

Travis Lyle
Minister of Information (and occasional typos)

Hey! You trooper, you, here's something else to check out: an in-depth interview with one of our co-founders, and some insights into hwo we do the thing we do, with you and 13 000 others in the dust. Enjoy the read.


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