AfrikaBurn 2024: 29 April to 5 May

DESTINATION: Part III of The Spirit Train Story

Words: Mike Kennedy / Photos: Christiaan Barnard

…is the end of a cycle and the start of another.
When it comes the time to put pen & paper down, close the computer & become the classroom clown. The moment of truth when logistics and plans cease to be and we witness the fruits of our loom. Like two oceans merging and the distant memory of self-proclaimed Burn virgins, we pull together in spirit to load up the train & everything with it … with only Tankwa Town in sight. What we are ceases to be and how we return is within a transformed reality.
With meticulous precision we break down what is entailed to arrive on site and have a camp and project ready for the beginning of the week. It is after all registration day and Lobo needs to be booted & suited.

For each day that Lobo roams we begin with a slow meandering of the Binnekring – an opportunty to see Lobo in motion as he was born to be. The majestic nature of the beast is at its peak whilst moving, and this generally happens three times a day (take off around midday, the move to our ‘home’ or deep playa evening position, and return to camp at the end of a solid day & night). Clearing the moop from each position is our responsibility and it comes with a great deal of anxiety – especially at 04h00/06h00. If you are reading this, please do not moop on our dance-floor (this includes your water bottle or bicycle).

The train can be a dangerous vehicle given the multiple carriages & gaps to cross in between. As such for every movement made we enlist ‘walkers’ to ensure a protective perimeter around the train as he moves. Safety is of utmost importance and we cannot stress it more to those who surround us/any mutant vehicle.
It has been a privilege – over the 3 years of Lobo’s presence at AfrikaBurn to be the chosen sound-rig for the Clan Burn. This year we have something really special in line, featuring actual sampled sounds from the playa itself. Keep your ears peeled to the ground for this …
And the true test of one’s strength presents itself after the final blow-out, ritual Sunday party … the Monday/Tuesday pack-up.

If there’s a granule of energy left in your body, best preserve it for this unavoidable task. It doesn’t end with the exodus from Tankwa, but weeks (sometimes months) later when personal or hired items are returned – many of which with a repair in-between! Sometimes you can feel the sting long after you’ve washed the dust from your heels. For the most of it though … it’s always the memories and connections made that last the longest!

If you enjoyed this read, or enjoy yourself at The SPIRIT Train at AfrikaBurn 2019 – please come help us replenish costs incurred by attending our annual Afterburn fundraiser events (Sat 11th May / CT & JHB).

We look forward to seeing you there, and sharing your experiences of this year’s event, and how Lobo blew your mind, heart and soul.

This is Part III of a 3-part series – to see parts I & II, click on:
Inspiration (PtI)
Perspiration (PtII)

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