The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

                                                                                 (Lights on at all times, and never overtake if you cannot see clearly ahead. Photo by Jonx Pillemer)


No tarred roads. No shade. No water. No mobile signal. No nearby stores. No wifi. No fast food joints. No mall. No ATM. No beer tent. No Luxury Brand™ VIP Area. No soft grassy campsite. No sponsors. No headline DJ’s. No mercy from the sun, wind, rain or cold. No deadlines. No meetings. No 9 to 5. No boss. No branding. No advertising. No social media. No influencers. No problem.

If you’re well prepared, that is...

This ain’t no party, it ain’t no disco & it ain’t no fooling around. This is a serious desert fandango, so to help you be as ready as possible, this final newsletter before the dust contains critical info that will make the difference between surviving or thriving in the Tankwa Karoo.

Let's do this thing.

In this newsletter:




With 3 days to go until our Gate Opening Ceremony cracks the seal on another desert fandango, tickets should be the last thing on your mind - but in case you're still looking for one, here's the news:

- the deadline for STEP (our Secure Ticket Exchange Programme) has passed: any unsold tickets still in the system will be placed back into ticketholder's Quicket accounts, which they can then sell directly or place onto Ticketpony for resale.
- Ticket Transfers: this option remains available up until next Friday, enabling anyone with an unused ticket to sell it.
- Ticketpony: this system (which enables sellers to set their own price) will continue running, also until next Friday

Need info about legit resold ticket platforms? Need a Vehicle Pass? Kid's Ticket? Get all the info
on our Tickets page.


Want to know how early you can arrive, and not? Planning to arrive at a specific time? Take a good look at the image above, and remember: unless you've been allocated a Work Access Pass (which, as it sounds, is a pass to enter our event site to do critical work in setting up a project) you won't be allowed in the gates until 8am on Monday 29th April.

                                                                                                                         (Snippet of this year's WTF Guide cover artwork, by Rachel Smith and Lizl Schmuhl)   


Need to know the number and location of artworks, theme camps - and when & where events in the Binnekring will happen? The WTF Guide is your friend. Yes indeed - it's here, and it's full of the info you need to help you navigate the experience you're about to embark on. Also comes with Burn Schedule, and map with listings - and now, with added Mass Evacuation indicators that will be handy in the eventuality of a flash flood, or fire. Neither of which have been major factors in the past at our event, but as with all things in the desert, it's a good idea to be prepared as possible.

Get your WTF Guide & Map right here - and share it with anyone you know who's coming to the dust. Don't forget you can also pick up your copy on arrival at our event gate.

                                                                                                                                           (Photo of R355 by Alex De Mooi Magee, taken 11am Thursday April 25th)


Our crew have been travelling the R355 - the only road to & from our event site - for weeks now, and we can happily report that grading of the road surface in both the Northern and Western Cape provinces is now sorted. The result is that the road surface is generally in great condition. This doesn't mean that you can cane it at 120km/h - hell no: the usual rules apply:

- Speeding shreds tyres, kicks up stones that can crack other driver's windscreens, and prevents you from being able to see the drainage lines at the edge of the road in time to avoid them - and they are often deep enough to roll / destroy a car, trailer or caravan
- Keep your speed between 50 and 70km/h, depending on how heavily loaded your vehicle / trailer is


- not in dust, and most definitely not on a blind rise - this is how head-on collisions have happened in the past
- Slow vehicles, use rest stops to pull over and let others pass


Lastly, a word to truck, 4x4 and SUV drivers - please, pay very close attention to this - of all the 13 years of accidents and incidents on the R355, it would be true to say that larger, more powerful vehicles have caused, or been in, the largst number of most serious accidents. The reason for this is a false sense of safety: drivers of large & powerful vehicles often cannot 'feel' their tyres or the road surface as well as smaller vehicles, and sometimes feel the rules of the road do not apply to them, as they 'can handle' the speed and see further. Try telling that to the victims of head-on collisions and the numerous smaller vehicles that have been rolled, damaged and had sharp stones crack their windows after being kicked up by speeding large autos' wheels. Drivers: take it easy, on your own vehicle and on other road users.

For more road safety advice, tuck into
our Survival Guide's Rules of The Road section

Oh - and please remember to keep your


(yes, we know that all caps means shouting, but we shout because we love you, and wouldn't want any of you to suffer the horrific injuries or worse that can and have happened on the R355 in the past. Please: take it easy on the road)

                                                                                                                (They're tiny, but they do huge damage: look out for them, and the signs of their presence)


Yep - we're still broadcasting this message, because it's a critical update that relates to wood transported to our event.

Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer. Get to know the name (poly = many, phagous = feeding, therefore: the beetle that feeds on many types of trees). In case you didn't get word yet about this issue, here's the lowdown: this invasive beetle and the Fusarium fungus that it infects trees with are killing many species of trees, and woody plants, across South Africa. And here's where you come in: if you're bringing wood of any kind to our event site, you need to be on the alert and inspect the wood to make 100% certain you're not spreading this beetle's progress.

Our advice (whether you're bringing wood for your campfire) is to pick up firewood at your last possible opportunity, which also makes sense as far as saving on your fuel bill. And as far as 'last possible opportunities', that would be in Ceres in the south or Calvinia in the north - or from either of the roadside stores on the R355 (Halfway House or Tankwa Padstal). And for projects bringing wood as part of artworks or theme camps, we advise that you closely inspect the wood for any signs (like the image above) of infestation - and not bring that wood, at all.

Want resources about this beetle, and how to prevent its spread?
Click here.




Our event is held in an extremely remote location - and out there, there's little to no mobile phone signal. So, if you're on site at our event and have a critical need to contact someone, how do you do that? And if someone needs to contact you, how would that work? Here's how:

- on the highest points of our event site, it is possible to pick up one bar of MTN network signal on a mobile phone. This does not work for calls - it's only functional for text messages, and it can frequently disappear and reappear due to a patchy connection. To send & receive text messages, get an MTN sim card for your phone, and charge that sucker to full.


Emergency messages can be sent to - and our team will check these daily. If the message is determined to be less than critical, it will be passed up for more important and urgent requests. Please do not send any kind of message requesting to find out whether Johnny at Camp Duck People is having a good time - messages of this nature won't be responded to.


In the case of genuine medical emergencies, our team can be reached on +27 87095 3610

Please note that that number cannot be used for general purposes - it strictly reserved for critical emergency purposes (and any general request for anything other than a critical emergency will politely but firmly be turned down).


There is no wifi available at our event site - and what little contact there is online is strictly reserved for our crew's operational purposes, and for medical team co-ordination with hospitals and medical evacuation teams in the towns nearby. If for some reason you have to make contact with your employer, friends or for any other reason, please rather head to Tankwa Tented Camp (1km from our event site) and enquire about the use of their wifi.



                                                                                                                                                                                                     (Thanks to Maya Bogaert for this shot)


Word from the Union project's lead, Maya:

"We want your stories! Come and join our Union crew and Unite with your inner self at our art build. Bring a piece of wood and a pen / marker and write off your negative energy, by writing it down on the wood and add it to our structure. This is an opportunity for you to journey to your inner core and emerge better for it. Join us - we burn Friday night!

Peel off your layers
To get to your core
Find your personal freedom
Get United!"

More info? Head
here to check out their Insta, and here for their FB.

                                                                                                                          (Project O by SKOP goes up with Perimeter crew in attendance, Jonx Pillemer, 2016)

This season's hottest fashion fire is ORANGE. Say what now? Here's the deal: in the dust, there are dangers - and they could consist of things like rebar without caps or guy ropes without lights on them, or very large (or even not so large) burning structures. Occasionally the danger can even be a fellow human, who gets irate or entitled about protecting a patch of real estate for their late-coming friends, or people can also occasionally be a danger to themselves by overindulging. In all of these cases, and more, we have a body of community members who step up and train up to keep others safe - and they are our Rangers.

If you're good with people and, you know, like being a good person and helping keep others safe from danger (or unecessary anger spasms), or you'd like to assist with fire permiters, you're invited to step up and train up as a Ranger, or a Green Dot, or Fire Perimeter Marshall, at a training session in the dust. Here's the schedule:

Monday 29th

09:30 - 13:30: Basic Ranger Training
14:00 - 17:30: Green Dot Training

Tuesday 30th April

10:00 - 12:00: Senior Ranger Training
16:00 - 17:00: Fire Perimeter Training

Wednesday 1st May

09:30 - 14:00: Basic Ranger Training 
14:00 - 18:00: Green Dot Training

Thursday 2nd May

16:00 - 17:00: Fire Perimeter Training

Friday 3rd May

16:00 - 17:00: Fire Perimeter Training

Saturday 4th May

16:00 - 17:00: Fire Perimeter Training

Sunday 5th May

16:00 - 17:00: Fire Perimeter Training

All training sessions happen in the Training Tent at Off-Centre Camp (located between 8ish and 9ish roads between Binnekring & Buitekring)






Yep - the Decom is ON, and you're invited to set aside a little costume and decor, and bring it along to make a slice of Tankwa Town come alive in Cape Town. Bring your bike too, and whip around the track - and get dressed in your Tankwa best, so you can enter the Best Dressed Contest. 1st prize? A ticket to AfrikaBurn 2020...

When: June 1st
Where: Killarney Race Track
Event page on Facebook?
Right here.

                                                                                                                                               (Photo by Jonx Pillemer, anti-Dark Side LED reader by Thomas Birch)



So you're in the dust, and there's no wifi. And there's no mobile phone signal. So... how do you stay in touch with the latest updates & bulletins about the weather (which can be crazy fierce) or Burn Schedule changes, or to find our about spontaneous gatherings that take shape at the last minute? Here's how: you bring an FM radio, and then, you can tune into Radio Free Tankwa, which broadcasts across our entire event site on 99.9FM.

But wait - there's more! This year, for the first time,
Camp Smoken Token will also be broadcasting on, on 88.8FM! True? Dead true - but you right there, if you don't bring an FM radio, will be kak outta luck as far as being up to scratch on changes to the flow of things (or emergency alerts). So do the thing - and plug your camp rig, your portable speaker or even your headies into our community radio stations, and enjoy.

We're really looking forward to seeing how you participate in this year's temporary autonomous zone experiment.

See you in the dust.

Travis Lyle
Head of Communications

Hey! Still reading? It's not too late to read our Survival Guide in case, somehow, you hadn't already done that. Tuck in, sharpish.


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