Tankwa Town: a blank canvas which, for 11 months of the year, is a beautiful Karoo gravel plain where the surrounding veldt is home to myriad small critters and a wonderful array of indigenous flora. And then, at the end of April, a town erupts: a town that’s your home for a brief period, and is then restored to its previous condition – by you.
Even though the content of all theme camps, artworks and activities are self-organised by our wildly energetic and creative community, Tankwa Town requires a large amount of planning and organisation in order to fit it all together.
Thank you to everyone who registered a camp, artwork, performance or mutant vehicle – all of it adds up to the magic of the experience. To get your bearings and locate the many offerings that this year’s event will offer, take a good look and familiarise yourself with the layout. There’s something for everyone out there on that beautiful flat plain, which, for just a short period every year, becomes a wonderful town where the possibilities are endless.
This is the year of the Great Switcheroo!
But wait – what the hell is the Switcheroo? This year, in the name of experimentation and urban planning, we’re switching the use of Tankwa Town around. The Town layout will remain the same, but the use of the space is going to change. To sum it up: we’re switching the sound zones around.
What are the reasons for this?
• Since Tankwa Town first rose from the dust in 2007, there has always been a high demand for quiet camping.
• We’ve been having curatorial headaches with quiet and reflective spaces wanting to be places far out – yet at the same time we need to put loud systems far out to get them away from camping.
• Placing large sound systems near to the largest camping areas isn’t working, as this means lots of people don’t want to camp in these areas.
• So the solution – the Switcheroo – is to put the loud zone in the area of our Town that has the least camping space available.
• So it makes sense to place the loud camps and installations in the area that has less camping space available. ie: the 2-ish area.
• This also enables us to make the Binnekring come alive at night, instead of being a dark area.
So, if you’re a territorial Tankwatonian and very attached to “your” spot at Tankwa Town, you’re going to have to be brave and roll with it. You can always stay in “your favourite spot” (if it’s available) – but it just may be in a different curatorial zone. Bear in mind that the movement of large sound rigs away is limited to only the 2ish area: if you’re camped at 6ish, or further away, chances are good sound levels won’t affect you, because sound rigs will be placed facing outward, away from our city (and away from you).
Take a look at the map below to get a sense of how this will change the soundscape of our city – and click on the map if you want to check out the larger downloadable PDF version.
Massive thanks to The NowNow Tribe’s Claire Du Plessis for volunteering her time & skills on the map you see above. Sit tight for our 2018 Survival Guide, and more, coming soon.
Here’s our city map for 2017 – this is the same map you’ll find in this past year’s WTF Guide. Click the image for the large PDF version.
As you can see, we’ve made some small adjustments: the corner of 10ish, which once extended far out enough to create the sense of two separate spaces, has been trimmed. This makes our entire ‘inner’ space, which is where almost all Artworks are placed, now one big open space.
Camping at the lower portions of 10ish Boulevarde has also been expanded – and we’ve added a new area: Walk-In Camping, which is beyond 4ish. If you arrive later in the week and need a campsite, park your car (in the parking area next to the gate area) and hitch a ride into the city to get to Walk-In Camping. It’s a great space if you want quiet, as there’ll be no generators, sound systems or vehicles. As always, the lay of the land, and watercourses, dictate where we can safely camp and have event activities – as with everything in the desert, Mother Nature calls the shots. This is why there are signs stating ‘NO CAMPING BEYOND THIS POINT’.
Want a copy of this year’s WTF Guide? Here you go – click the image to read or download the PDF version.
Many thanks to everyone involved in creating this year’s WTF Guide – especially designer Jeanne Fourie, and mapmaker Guillaume Vagrante, as well as all our Wranglers who assisted in compiling the listings content.
In 2017, we were very happy to finally have our Survival Guide available in English, Afrikaans – and isiXhosa! To read & download the Guide in the language that suits you best, click that cover here:
Looking for the 2017 poster? Here you go (click the image for a large downloadable PDF version):
Below is what our city map looked like at the 2016 event.
Click on the map to view the zoomable PDF version (or download it).
Our town, over the years, has grown into a city. If you’d like to check out the progression over the years, scroll down.
Below is what our city looked like in 2015.
2012’s event documents:
– Event Guide
– Survival Guide
– Event Guide
– Survival Guide
This is the pre-event plan as sketched out at a planning session in 2006.
There are still some items missing here; they’ll be added here soon.