It’s almost that time again folks – ticket time! And with ticketing season, as every year, comes a flood of questions: ‘Why the hell are tickets so expensive?’ ‘Why can’t you have services gifted?’, ‘Where does the money go?’ and so on. Here’s a bunch of background for you to consider, if you have questions of that nature.
Health and Safety
Recent changes to South African event regulations mean that more than ever, our event’s required to have a wide range of health & safety equipment and accredited services that are unavoidable with an event the size that AfrikaBurn is (which, in 2015, means 9 800 participants and a bunch of service provider personnel).
None of these are cheap, but more than that, it’s good to remember that when an event only attracts a couple thousand people (as Tankwa Town did in its early days), health & safety requirements cost relatively little – now that we’re firmly on the map and have a very large number of people in one place for a week (or longer), the reality and the responsibility of making sure all of you stay healthy for the duration and get home in one piece becomes significant.
Little-known fact: whilst our DPW are busting a nut out there before and after everyone else, we’re legally required to have a medic and emergency vehicle on site, every single day for close to 2 months.
“Why can’t you just get volunteers, or have free services supplied?”
It’s a reasonable question, but essential services need to be accredited and contracted months ahead of our event dates, for event license approval. Which means most of them cannot be on a volunteer basis – though we do use volunteers where we can, as always. When an event grows to the size of ours, some costs can’t be avoided, and certain essential equipment can’t be borrowed.
There’ll be 9 800 participants and a couple hundred of essential crew in Tankwa Town in 2015. This means the practical requirements for managing these numbers have grown, including additional outlay for surveying, roads, signage, toilets, transport, event infrastructure and many other things that make our experience better. Preparing and cleaning up Tankwa Town for larger numbers also means more teams on the ground, for longer – and this includes event crew, security, medics, DPW and others – all of whom need to be fed, housed and transported.
Extended event dates
A seven day event means more fun and a longer experience of the magic out there but it also means increased costs. More of everything is required, including staff on site such as crew, medics, security, insurance and a range of others services. This all affects your ticket price, regardless of whether you attend for the whole event or just a couple of days.
AfrikaBurn’s not just limited to the event in the Tankwa Karoo – our organisation is the visible part of a social movement that aims to reinvent the world anew, and it takes many good people to make the wheels turn on a year-round basis – dedicated people who need to pay their way through life, which means we need salaried staff. In the past many people generously donated their time by working for free; some incredible volunteers for as long as 5 years. They can’t do that anymore, as the workload is too great. Thus, our organisation has grown to over 30 people around event time, with a small core of 5 people employed year-round in an office in Cape Town. All of that humanpower adds up.
In addition to the operational costs of running the AfrikaBurn event in the Tankwa Karoo, we also maintain a workshop space that enables our DPW, DMV, and Outreach teams to work year-round.
The good news
In 2013 we explained that for the 2014 event, ticket prices had to be raised due to a range of unavoidable costs – but we made a commitment to keep ticket prices as steady as possible for as long possible. Tickets for the 2015 event have increased by R59 – far below inflation. Once again, we’re committed to keeping tickets at around this mark for as long as possible.
If the General Sale ticket price is simply way too much, don’t lose hope – remember that there are a limited number of Low Income Tickets available, which you can submit an application for.
Interested in our financials, or how we’re run?
As a registered Not-For-Profit Organisation, AfrikaBurn charges only what it costs to run the event, and the organisation. As a NPO, there’s no profit – and nobody (including any of the Directors, Members or our Ops team) takes any profit share whatsoever. Another aspect to consider is that our event operates entirely without sponsorship.
If you’d like to take a look at our accounts, we invite you to do so by checking our financials. We’ve had 3 unqualified audits to date, and we’re always happy to discuss the way in which we structure our team and organisation – so if you have any questions, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].
If you’d like to know more about how our organisation is structured and managed, please check out our Governance & Transparency page.
More Ticket info?
Need more practical info on tickets, like how you buy them, what they cost and how they’re structured? Head over to our Tickets page, thanks.