The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

 (San Clan 2016 going up in a blaze of glory, 2016 - thanks to Migal Van As for this shot)

Well now look at that: just 50 days until we gather round the Clan and see it off in grand style. Weather permitting, of course. Will this year be different to last year? Of course it will - it's always different, every time, because the only constant is the city grid: everything else is determined by you, and your creative inclinations. So, what have you got in store? Don't tell - let's keep it a surprise, save it for the dust. We love dusty surprises. 
In this newsletter:


(Please form an orderly queue: thanks to Kimberly Conner for this shot from last year)  

You got your tickets in our last General Sale? Well played! Oh, you didn't? Don't stress: resold tickets are still available, and can be bought (or sold) on STEP, which opened last Friday. If you're looking to buy, good news: the wait time isn't long, and many people are swiftly getting theirs (or selling them).

Looking to buy resold tickets - and avoid scammers? Want to sell yours safely?
STEP right this way to make it happen.

If you're looking for Vehicle Passes, Kid's tickets or Mayday tickets, just log into our site and hit the Buy Tickets button, and you'll be magically transported to the right place. 

                                               (If it's March, we must be planning...thanks to Monz for this shot of our Theme Camp Committee doing what they do best)


The deadlines have zoomed past - and with them, a deluge of amazing projects have come down the pipeline. Theme Camps? Tick. Artworks. Oh, very tick, yes. Mutant Vehicles? Ah - those are always quite late in the mix, due to the intense nature of chopping & building a mutant, so that deadline is still a way off yet, but word is that there are some wild creations on wheels coming to join us again. And what's all this about fewer large dancefloors? It's true - we've seen fewer Very Big Dancefloors register - but nature abhors a vacuum, so in their place have stepped up a bunch of smaller, more intimate dancefloors with a very diverse range of music - including one that's set to whet the appetite of anyone who loves authentically indigenous music. You can find out more about Mankala right here (or below in Events).

If you've been musing over whether or not to bring an artwork, don't forget that you can register art right up until our event dates - and you could even simply bring it along to the dust, where our Arteria crew will be on hand to assist you with placement and technical advice. If you're looking to register, don't forget you can just
log into our site, click over to your Collective and hit the appropriate Register button to make that happen. 


                                                                                (Grader in action 2 weeks ago on the R355 - thanks to Sunshine for this shot, taken on a DPW recce)


For all of us, the R355 - the road that leads to our event site from Calvinia in the north and Ceres in the south - presents a serious challenge. As we've always advised, it's not a road to take lightly. The good news is that the northern section has been graded already and is in fine fettle - and the southern section will see its surface get the same treatment in the weeks to come. 

When you hit the dirt come the end of April, you'll see a lot more road safety signage, and it's very likely you'll also see the provincial Road Department and SAPS at a number of locations. They'll be on the ground slowing traffic down, both on the ingress and also on exodus - because they're working with us to seriously reduce the number of incidents on the road. Our event may be an invitation to flirt with creative chaos, but we're all agreed that nobody signs up to get hurt. So as you travel the road, keep in mind that we all have to share the road in order to get home safe. The usual rules apply:

- do not overtake if you can't see ahead through the dust
- keep your speed around 70km/h or less
- slower vehicles should pull over at rest stops occasionally to let swifter vehicles pass by
- whatever vehicle you drive, do not overtake on a blind rise
- read
our Survival Guide for the full lowdown on best road safety advice  

Stay tuned for more updates about the R355 as we all head towards it - including news on Pitstops planned where you can fill up on essential supplies and check your tyres while supporting job creation in the Tankwa & surrounds.


                                                                                 (Border Walk #4 in the wild - thanks to Spark Grant recipients Borderlands-Deep South for this shot!)


Our Spark Grant programme kicked off last year, and it's bearing fruit in all directions across eMzantsi. The premise of the Grants is that they bring alive one or more of the principles that inform this wild thing we're all involved in. Here's the news on the latest projects doing good in their communities (or affecting others' communities positively):

- Border Walks are ramping up Inclusion, by bringing together diverse groups of locals who have immersed themselves in
  in the 'no man's land' of the Deep South of the cape for open-hearted explorations through the eyes of radically different
  guides who have a connection to the various sites. When the project concludes next month, over 100 people would have
  experienced being, playing and learning together.
- Participation's in action through a project in Goodwood that's homed vulnerable girls and helped them build skills through
  working with horses. A series of eight equine-assisted therapy session has enabled the girls to gain ground with
  teamwork, generating the self-confidence to try new things.
- Immediacy is at play in Tsomo, Eastern Cape, where a rural drama festival has taken shape that combines performances
  and workshops that have reached 1150 school-age learners. The Eastern Cape School Arts Project has also helped
  close the generation gap by creating opportunities for parents and children to do new things together, outside the home.

If this makes you feel good, it should - you did this, through your ticket money. Stay tuned for more updates in this area: your ticket cash is out there, doing all manner of good through the work of our Outreach team. Well done!



Yes indeed - everyone's favourite day in the park is back, with a new venue - and a bunch of activities added to the mix. Families in the shade on picnic blankets, kids running around like the nutters they are, performers busting a nut on the bandstand on the Open Mic, various camps and art crew chilling and sharing their build war stories, our Outreach crew filling people in about their initiatives and taking collections for communities in need and our Volunteer crew letting people know about the many ways they can volunteer before, at or after this year's main event - and you.

Oh - and there'll be Ranger Training on the day, for those who'd like to step up and join the ranks of the mighty orange.

Yes? Dead right, get in there - it's free, gratis and mahala - and it's all happening soon in central Cape Town.

When: Sat March 24th, 11am - 5pm
Where: De Waal Park, Gardens, Cape Town
What: a family affair, a picnic, a gathering
Event page:
right here



                                                                                                                                                    (Thanks to Jacqui Woolfson for this shot of OCC last year)


In the middle-ish of Tankwa Town is our community hub, Off-Centre Camp - and it's where many activities take place and where many essential services are based, like Rangers, Medics, Security, Sanctuary and so on. And there's also a stage - a big one, with sound and shade and even sophisticated stuff like microphones. Will wonders ever cease? Not if you step up and perform on the stage, they won't - which is what this call is about: our OCC wants you, and your performance, or your spoken word, or your interpretive dance. Anyone's welcome to take a slot and fill the space - bands, performers, musicians, nose-flautists, beat boxers - it's your space to shine, so get busy and get on board.

Got skills and want to show them off? Great - mail and our team will assist with giving you info and a slot to make all your own.

                                                                                                                        (Thanks to Sean Furlong for this shot of the Mini-Kring in the dust, in  2016)


You know the Mini-Kring, right? It's the miniscule version of the Binnekring, which is filled with miniature artworks and mutants and then burned, usually just outside the DMV porch. No? You're missing out, but that's besides the point - the point is, thanks to this year's Burner Exchange, this unique little assemblage of artworks is headed over to Lakes of Fire - and none other than longtime DMV volunteer and all-round dust lover Saarah Fletcher will be the one showing the burner community of Michigan and the Great Lakes how we roll, in mini style!

Congrats to Saarah - and thanks to Doxie and everyone else on the Lakes end (as well as Braai Bliksem and Sol on our end) for their work in making this happen.  



The desert can be a dangerous place - so we're thankful for the tireless efforts of our Ranger corps, who stalk the dust patiently, helping others to help themselves, and generally keeping people safe. They're volunteers, our Rangers - and they're people just like you, who love this crazy desert escapade and want to give back by giving some of their time.

To get a sense of what the journey from participant to Ranger is like, there's a really lekker piece recently written by Ann, a member of our desert diehard community, and now also a Ranger by virtue of volunteering. You can read all about her journey
over here on the Binnekring Blog.

And hey - if you've ever considered stepping up to become a Ranger, good news: there are numerous training dates happening all over the country (some of which happen this weekend). Here's the info in a conveniently-linked image, because we can all agree that this newsletter doesn't need even more text: 





There's a survey online that a community member's asked us to punt, as it's part of her thesis - and as we're always open to hearing what you think of our event, organisation, culture and outfit (does our dust look big in this?), we though we'd let you know about it, so you could pop your opinion into the mix.

Got an opinion? There are two ways to help Marinda Van Dorp get data that will shed light:
this one is for all of you who've been part of AfrikaBurn before - and this one is for those who've never been. (if you have any questions about the survey, shoot Marinda a mail on



There's a very special architectural artwork headed towards Tankwa Town soon - it's called RESET, and it's coming to us all the way from Peru. Amazing? We think so - but to make it all happen will take some hands and skills, and the crew are calling for those at their upcoming build days in Cape Town and Sutherland. Got skills? Love you some finely-designed architecture? Step right this way to find out more (or mail Ana on  


Our Sanctuary team have a plan to make the space even more welcoming and healing by enhancing the space with a lantern tree effect and an archway at the entrance - but to get the materials to site so that the magic can be built, volunteer Marnie in Nature's Valley needs some help. In the Garden Route area, and able to assist? Shoot Marnie a mail on



The Poly Project is a team of 7 crochet lovers who are building Poly - a 3 x 5 x 4 cuboid structure to be covered with thousands of plastic bags that have been crocheted into a beautiful colourful material. Poly will be in the dust this year for us all to enjoy - look out for it - but for it to happen, the crew needs help. Firstly, they still need to gather many plastic bags, and if there are any hands out there that know how to crochet, your help would be really appreciated. Secondly, in an effort to raise funds for the final touches, they're raffling off 1 ticket to this year's event - there are 100 raffle tickets available, at R50 each. If you win, but already have a ticket, you could gift to someone - or you could drop the ticket into STEP and get the money instead.

Contact the Poly Project on their Instagram @
poly_project or email to buy your raffle ticket.



Busier and busier they went, onward towards the horizon! Check out these events as time ticks on...


They're at it again - and it's their 2nd Stomp! Spanking. Steampunk. Lady Magnolia's Bevvy of Burlesque Beauties. DJ's laying on swinging electro, blues, funk, Charleston, jazz, tribal South American and rock & country vibes. Nuff said:

When Sat, 24th March, 5pm - late
Where: RUST, 79 Station Rd, Obs, Kaapstad
What: see above
Tickets: R110 (R155 with food option)
right here
Event page: this way



There's a very special stage stepping into the mix this time round in the dust - Mankala! It's a radical multidisciplinary art project that brings together legends in indigenous music, dance, poetry and storytelling from different African cultures including San, Zulu and Sotho. Bra Pops Mahomed, !Gubi family, Qhuzilini Sithole, Mpho Molikeng & a team of percussionists, dancers & DJ's are collaborating to share their ancient rhythms with YOU. It's a unique way to explore some of the many mystical stories & deep wisdom of Afrika through interactive traditional music workshops, discussions on uBuntu and whole-hearted interaction with elders and experts in Afrikan culture and its many creative expressions.

Find Mankala in the dust and bring your percussion instruments to participate in the workshops & performances - or just bring yourself and the crew will help you find an instrument that connects with your spirit.

Find out more here.  



The crew that brought us Yggdrasil The Tree Of Life are at it again - but this time round, their piece will not be burning. To fund their next ambitious project - ValhallaLand - they're holding an event in a new imaginarium in Muizenberg that will offer food, drink and music, just like in a Viking longhouse.

The project's a merger of some tree crew, and The Land project crew from Knysna, who together will build a house inspired by the longhouses of old with a majestic beast of a dining table cut from a 150-year-old bluegum tree that fell in the wildfires that affected Knysna last year. The table top alone weighs a ton and a half - and, along with the structure, will be taken back to The Land after this year's event.

When: Sat March 17th, 5pm - 1am
Where: 111 Main Rd, Muizenberg, Cape Town
Event page:
right here

Our upcountry cousins are gathering again soon to shoot the breeze - so if you're in the Gauteng area or surrounds and would like to connect with likeminded dust lovers, here's your chance: the March Madness edition of the Jozi Burning Bar happens next week.

When: Thurs March 15th, 7 - 10pm
Where: Zoolake Bowls, Princess of Wales Dr, 2196 Parkview, Jozi
What: fire, passion, dust & prep discussions
Event page:
click this way


We apologise to our more sensitive readers, but we couldn't resist. Moving on... there's a great little initiative taking place this weekend thanks to the tireless work of the Early Erections crew, who, like their name suggests, volunteer their services in Tankwa Town to help art crew and camps get their structures up. It's a Tent Erection Workshop - and you right there are invited to learn some radical self reliance from some folks who've done this kinda thing more than a few times.

When: Sat march 10, 2pm
Where: Pinelands Athletic Club, Cape Town
What: Tent Erections & instruction
Event page:
right here for you

We pay our respects to a fallen comrade, through these words from the man himself and his crew, friends & family: 

"Ian 'Fella' MacDonald died tragically on 20th February in a vehicle accident. He leaves his wife Renee and their three children. Ian was a man of many facets, and one of those was being a true Burner, in words and action. He was a founding member of the Love Your Planet and Loki crews. He was also a member of the toastmaster Club, and had recently given a speech on what he termed 'The Greatest Place On Earth'. His diary was found in the vehicle and in it, the words of his speech below. He had written his own eulogy.

Loki will not be at the Burn this year, as we collectively deal with our grief, but we will be back next year in honour to our friend. Please write your own tributes in the Temple this year if you knew Ian, or even shared a special moment with him out on the playa. 

R.I.P Fella. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust...

Loki and LYP Crew

Excerpts from a Toastmasters talk written by Ian:

Burn Baby Burn

"Imagine a place of wild, raw beauty. A place of extremes - of heat and ice, of storms and stillness. A place of connection and kindness. A place where strangers look you in the eye... and smile. A place of dazzling creativity. A place of fire, fun and freedom. A paralell universe, yet one that feels like home. This place exists. My favourite place on earth. This is AfrikaBurn.

For one week of the year, something truly extraordinary occurs in the middle of the Tankwa Karoo. But how? The magic comes from 11 guiding principles that Burners are expected to adhere to. These include communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, decommodification, gifting, immediacy, radical self-reliance and self-expression.

So much effort goes into creating this incredible community. So much intention is invested, that when it all comes togethjer, it just explodes! Over the last 3 nights, the beautiful art works, temples, and structures are burnt to the ground - the transience and impermanence of life. And then, just like that, it is time to leave this Utopia and return to the default world.

Participating in AfrikaBurn is a transformative experience - it exposes people for who they really are. The best of humanity. It's like a mirror being held up to one's soul. It changes the way I see the world. It inspires me, moves me and fills me with love. I am rebooted, refreshed and revived. It is my way, my Utopia, my Home. That place exists. That place is AfrikaBurn."

Our hearts and thoughts go out to Fella's friends and family at this time.



Think about it: a place where bigger isn't better, where anyone can be whatever they want, and where the value of your contribution is not measured by what it costs, but by the experience that it provides for a complete stranger. That's what we do: we haul ourselves into an extreme environment, to work our asses off so that we can make a positive impact on people we've never met before - or may never see again. If that sounds like a kind of crazy you're up for, then get your ticket and climb aboard.

Travis Lyle
Minister of Hmmm, This Is A Long One

Hey - listen up: you remember the Pendulum? No, not T ≈ 2 π √ (L / g) (which we love as well, it's amazing) - the other one, the huge swinging flaming one that makes a full circle 24m high. Here's the word: it's back this year. Nope, we're not kidding, it really really is. See you there.


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