We’ve got a big announcement to make folks – Tankwa Town has a new home!
Next year at our 2020 main annual event we’ll bid farewell to our beloved Stoney – and in 2021 Tankwa Town will rise from the dust of its new home at Quaggafontein Farm in the Tankwa Karoo.
The property lies just below the Northern Cape border with the Western Cape, and is 30kms south-east of our present event site as the crow flies. Still accessible from the R355, the landscape will still be rocky beneath our wheels, feet and camps, ringed by mountains and incredible Tankwa sunrises and sunsets – and the Tafelberg will still be in sight on the horizon.
After many years of careful thought, deep discussion, diligent research and active exploration by our Land team (led by Monique Schiess), it was a catalysing conversation between two old friends in the desert back in May that brought us to this point, where AfrikaBurn has been offered the use of a piece of land to stage its event to further its aims in terms of the principles that inform the event and culture. One of them was our Operations Manager Brian Little and the other, Duncan “Charlie” Parker, who is a trustee of the Mapula Trust.
That quiet conversation lit a spark between the two and in the afterglow of our 2019 event, this spark began to solidify into something more concrete, when the idea was proposed to connect AfrikaBurn and the Mapula Trust around the land, to unleash the potential of collaborative effort.
One of the primary objectives of the Mapula Trust is the preservation and stewardship of parcels of land with a biodiversity value. And while most of the Quaggafontein and Vaalfontein portions of the land have been severely degraded through decades of overgrazing (as confirmed by soil scientist Johann Lanz and botanist Dr Phil Desmet whose opinions were sought), they do feature biodiversity unique to the area, which can and will be regenerated outside of our event footprint, as part of the stewardship agreement. The land also lies alongside the Tankwa Karoo National Park, which opens up opportunities for collaboration with an organisation expert in and committed to preserving the unique environment of the Tankwa Karoo.
Charlie, along with the Loki rhino mutant vehicle and the Love Your Planet crew that he’s part of, have been long-term passionate Burners and contributors and we are incredibly grateful to him and the Mapula Trust for their generosity and vision.
And we are grateful too, to Henk and Faan, who opened their hearts and their land to us back in 2007, and to JP and Sox and Neil who embraced the experiment with equal enthusiasm in the years that followed. Stonehenge has been home to Tankwa Town for 13 years, and it is fitting that in 2020 we come together to celebrate, to sing a swansong to her shimmering horizon, to dance in her dust, and to look back with love once last time at the place it all began.
To everyone who participated in helping us get here, thank you. To everyone who has waited and wondered about the land over the long yards of these past years, thank you for your patience and your interest in what this exciting new horizon holds for us all.
We’ll have more updates – including photos and details about Tankwa Town’s new city grid and its various components – for you soon, stay tuned. If you’d like to know more about the process that got us to this point, and what changes this will mean for our event and for you as a participant, our Comms team have tooled up a very detailed website that features pages that explain the various aspects that led to the move, and what it holds for us as a community, and for our main annual event.
Questions & Suggestions?
If you’ve got questions or suggestions, take a look at the link above – on the new land-related pages of our website, you’ll find email contacts and a suggestion form to use. Or, if you’d like to join an upcoming discussion session, there’s a Burner Bar taking place tonight in Cape Town (with live stream), and we’re also hosting a Town Hall next week at our HQ:
Burner Bar – 16th October, 6pm to 10pm
(78 Bromwell St, Woodstock, Cape Town)
Facebook Event Page
Town Hall – 23rd October, 7pm – 10pm
HQ: 8 Junction Rd, Salt River
Facebook Event Page