AfrikaBurn, Coconut-Prawn Curry & frozen Tequila
Andrew Whitehouse, Executive Creative Director at FoxP2, attended the AfrikaBurn (a South African take on the famous Burning Man) event held in the Karoo in April. He took some pictures and jotted down some words exclusively for MarkLives.
I was going to Afrika Burn anyway and thought I’d offer a camper van to take some of the more adventurous Foxes to experience something different. In the end there were about twelve of us, two campers, two cars and some tents. 5 hours later we arrived in the middle of the Tankwa Karoo. We set up camp facing the sunset and cracked open some ice-cold champagne. You see the trick is to do it with style. We had a kitchen, microwave oven, fridge, double beds and importantly showers. We were eating Coconut-Prawn Curry and frozen Tequila by sundown. Afrika Burn is not a trance party. Sure you can attend some of the trance parties but basically you can choose the experience you want. There is no official party or event. People just decide to set up a party area or tent. It ranges from Igloos with video and big soundscapes to 90’s rock to Rasta chill-out tents to lumo-psychedelic-jungle parties with 15 foot glowing Octopuses on the dance-floor. Or you can chill at your campsite around the fire looking at the Milky Way as only seen from the Karoo.
But, to be honest, the best part about the event is the creativity. The time and effort people put into some installations is absolutely mind boggling. Scooters dressed as a massive pair of Prada Bunny Slippers were taking kids on rides all day. The kids look like they come straight off the set of Mad Max with dusty hair and no shoes. A giant 20 meter dragon-kite twisted and turned above the desert. One of my favorites was this giant burning pendulum which swung 360 degrees at night. It was so big it makes the Cape Town 2010 Ferris wheel look like a toy. The beautiful part is that all of these creative endeavors are privately funded and not for commercial gain. What’s more is that they burn everything. And we all love to burn stuff – this is no red-neck bonfire, it’s huge.