AfrikaBurn 2024: 29 April to 5 May


… is your body crying happy tears!

In creating such a large artwork/mutant vehicle we set ourselves up for three main challenges – storage, transportation & maintenance for a 33-meter long beast.

Now to provide context of the task at hand with regards to the transportation – Lobo is a modular design that comes apart into many pieces, and no – we cannot simply tow it from point A to point B.

This beast ain’t no fan of asphalt and is far from road-worthy. Odorous beads of sweat appear on our foreheads at the simple prospect of writing this piece.
After our first year (at Afrikaburn) Lobo was packed up & returned to CT CBD for storage (which proved to be a spirit-testing exercise indeed), but since then we’ve had the pleasure (with thanks to Henk/land owner) of letting him rest at Stonehenge for the year.

The obvious disadvantage here is the distance between us & our project year-round, and the unforgiving environment. Several attempts & tens of thousands of Rands have been spent on manufactured covers to ‘wrap’ the entire train … but each time we return to find these protective layers shredded by the wind.

Ultimately a shaded garage structure on a plot of land nearest Cape Town is our goal (if you’re reading this & have a solution for us please email at [email protected]).

The train structure is cast from steel with wood panels to clad/enclose the side walls & flooring. We use NS4 protective paint on the steel to protect against rust and the wood was treated against water/warping only upon our original build-up in 2015.

This framework will be repainted again this year (upon arrival on the playa early April) along with other adjustments to the functional parts that are quintessential to Lobo.
As with the spirit that brought about Lobo in 2015 and a manifestation of our vision (somehow within just 3months, from concept to actualization) we simply couldn’t halt the process come 2016 … and so on. As such we continue to try to elevate your experience of Lobo with add-ons/modifications that can be as small as a tiny, hand-size steel lid that you flip open to see what’s behind it, to a full-size train station (2016-17 / the Hauptbahnhof Station built by our amazing German friends). We even cut straight through our DJ carriage (2016) to elongate it and make more space for the freaks & geniuses that surround us on the playa. To date we have splurged over a million buckaroos on this soul-feeding, cash-bleeding piece of mechanics. And with each rotation around the sun the cycle to seek out new ways of funding the project begins again.

After a break from AfrikaBurn (2018) and the return of Lobo in 2019 we realized that although we gifted ourselves a break from the community & work involved – it just proved our addictive natures & we’d be in hammer & nail again for 2019 preparations – but this time for twice as long !! #bewarethecreatorscurse
And so for 2019 The SPIRIT Train collective will contribute to the AfrikaBurn landscape in a way that we have not yet done before. That being a theme camp (Lobo’s Lounge/6ish on the Binnekring), our very own artpiece/structure – standing at 7m tall (the constantly-evolving installation in front of which Lobo resides each night, each year), our small mutant trike (AKA Gobo) and most notably – a seriously spruced-up Lobo with a mystical glint in his eyes.

How do we do this ?
It starts with a thought. Well … that’s the simple part. We have a constantly changing crew (besides 3-4 dedicated beings)of skilled & passionate artisans who are introduced each year & it can be a tedious process in itself simply ‘casting’, briefing & registering everybody. From that point onwards it becomes like a tree which spreads its branches outwards in a delegation of roles & responsibilities to make the magic flow each year in a smoother, more efficient way. There are always ways to improve on what you do once your feet land on the playa – and most importantly – learning to A D A P T helps. This may be the most fundamental lesson the playa & project management may teach you. There are times – especially in a temporarily-created city – where things may unfold differently to what was planned, and we have not the luxury of infrastructure nor the time to rectify things … but the show must go on. And it does …

So please reach out to us on the playa. Feel Lobo coming alive … because he IS aliiiive !! Please also consider reaching into your pocket and help us give you your R23.00 worth (if all 13000 burners donated R23.00 each we would receive the sum total of our 2019 project costs – yes – work it out!). But let’s imagine only 10% of you are reading this … perhaps each of you can help out The SPIRIT Train with R230.00 ?

Contribution options:
EFT to Standard Bank Account:
The Spirit Train
Acc No: 074717693
Universal branch code: 051001
Swift code: SBZAZAJJ
Standard Bank 220 Main Rd, Seapoint (Cape Town, South Africa)
PayPal Acc:

Pssst: We’re also holding a little after-dust gathering. Click the pic to find out more!

Read Pt I of this series here.

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