AfrikaBurn 2024: 29 April to 5 May

Image credit: Aidan Cramer

Are you bringing a camera to AfrikaBurn?

While we actively encourage our participants to leave their cameras and mobile phones at home, AfrikaBurn is such an amazing visual treat that you may want to bring your fancy-pants camera to Tankwa Town and try to take that Photo of a Lifetime™.

However, as AfrikaBurn is an event that is held on private land, you can’t simply arrive and start snapping away.

If you plan to take images and capture media in any shape or form at AfrikaBurn, and you would like to share that content anywhere outside of your own devices, then you will first need to read and understand our Rules and Etiquette Document and (possibly) also need to apply for media accreditation.

We take individual experience, personal space, and privacy very seriously at AfrikaBurn, and if you do not follow the guidelines, then you may find your own AfrikaBurn experience very uncomfortable. 

Are you planning to do anything with the images and content that you collect at AfrikaBurn when you get home?

If so, you must be registered and accredited as press or media.

We have very strong copyright and protection of personal information agreements within our ticket terms and conditions.

If you don’t register before arriving in Quaggafontein and are not accredited as press or media, upon discovery, we would ask you to delete all the images you have captured on-site and hold all your devices until you leave the event site.

This measure is in place to protect our participants and artists from having their creations used without permission.

There is further detailed information in the ‘registration and accreditation’ drop-down below, but in order to gain access to the event, you must get accreditation. If you are in doubt … please contact us and register (we are very nice).

For example, if you plan to:

  • make a short film about your AfrikaBurn experience for your vlog or streaming channel
  • write and publish an article for a newspaper or blog
  • record participant interviews for radio
  • exhibit your photos taken at AfrikaBurn
  • publish your photos to your professional Instagram profile
  • use your content captured at AfrikaBurn in any commercial way
  • do anything other than look at your photos on your personal devices

You have to register as media using the form below. Once approved as media, you must also sign the Tankwa Town Media Agreement document. This gives our community full control over how your content captured at the event can and cannot be used.

Despite the harsh sound of all the above, we absolutely love working with respectful and ethical members of the press, documentary filmmakers, photographers and creatives. All the images you see on this entire website have been gifted to us to use by past participants and have been captured and shared in a responsible manner … it’s just the right thing to do.

So, whether you’re a happy snapper with a point ‘n shoot, a professional photographer, or even taking shots for a media title, you need to be 100% respectful of people’s right to privacy. Even if they’re naked as the day they were born, the onus is on you as the photographer to request permission if the image you intend to record would in any way infringe on another person’s rights.

One important thing to bear in mind about AfrikaBurn is that it’s not a public event – it’s held on private land, with access limited to those who have tickets. This means that unless you have express written permission to publish people on photos or film, you can’t.

Why? Because it’s kak against the spirit of what we do to publish your fellow participants in the media without their knowledge – especially when the person you plan on photographing is naked or semi-naked. In the same sense that you wouldn’t want your photo taken and published without your knowledge, taking pictures of other people – no matter whether naked, fully clothed or asleep – without their permission is unacceptable. This includes images that could make their way onto social media sites or be featured in the mainstream press.

Suppose you’re taking shots of inanimate objects, art or landscapes. In that case, these considerations change – but in those instances, if you’re shooting an artwork or other creation, it’s good practice to attribute those artists and creators where possible. If you don’t know the name of an artwork, Mutant Vehicle, or Theme Camp, check out Quaggapedia for the details – or just ask someone. The team at our Arteria (located right next door to Off-Centre Camp) are at your disposal: you can always ask them for the ID on artworks and artists – and they have event guides available for you to use for the same purpose.

Though there are lots of festivities at AfrikaBurn, in essence it’s an arts event that attracts people from all walks of life who are involved in myriad projects that come to life in the desert. It’s not a music festival.

So, in your pursuit of your story, consider your focus. If you’re planning a video about pretty people making duckface on dancefloors, you’re really not adding anything to the smorgasbord of colourful content already available on the internet. However, if you plan to hone in on artworks, personal stories and the creative process? That’s the kind of storyline and content that does justice to the hard work and creativity that’s on show in Tankwa Town. It will be more popular.

If you’re applying for accreditation, know this: proposals that keep the essence of the event in focus are favoured above any other, as the art, mutant vehicles, magic, costume and décor created and gifted by the thousands of participants is where the real story lies.

If you’re only looking to capture the dancefloors at our event, perhaps consider other events – because (much as we love and respect the crews that pour their hearts into incredible immersive sound spaces) there’s a lot more to AfrikaBurn than sound systems, dancefloors, and sparkle ponies.

If you’re aiming to shoot a music video, promotional clip or get footage at AfrikaBurn that’s aimed at marketing a product, please be aware that permission and accreditation are not provided for projects of that nature.

Why? Because – in line with our principle of Decommodification – our community doesn’t seek to profit off each other or use our culture as a backdrop for commercial enterprise. This includes using AfrikaBurn, or the artworks and people who make the event what it is, as props.

So here’s the deal: as mentioned, personal use of photos, whether kept for private use or shared on social media, is fine – though the usual rules of consent and consideration still apply. However, with the rise of Instagram and Facebook, new aspects to using photos taken at AfrikaBurn are worth considering.

For example, can you take photos of people at AfrikaBurn to promote products such as clothing, costume wear or accessories by @ and # tagging them on social media platforms?

The short answer: no.

Just like a camping gear or clothing brand, or commercial film shoot of any kind, would never be permitted to come to the event and make use of the art, people and creative contributions as a backdrop or set for their shoot, so the same applies to influencer shoots – or shots shared after the event that seek to draw attention to the products featured in the image or video footage. There may be many other events where this form of promotional use of images is absolutely fine – but AfrikaBurn is not other events: it’s an explicitly decommodified space. In other words, nothing in Tankwa Town can be used as a photogenic background for any commercial entity, brand, service or product.

If and when this does happen, our Comms team will step in and request that the content be removed – and anyone leveraging our event or community by using them as a backdrop for a brand photoshoot (on Instagram or anywhere else) can be refused entry at future events.

Civil aviation regulations that apply to drones & UAV’s have rapidly changed over the last few years, with the result that any drone-mounted camera footage is now strictly controlled, especially near areas such as active airspace and over people and populated areas (both of which our city features).

Only drone pilots that are fully certified and permitted in line with CAA regulations are able to apply to shoot airborne footage in or near Tankwa Town.

Recreational drones are not permitted, under any circumstances.

If you have any plans to capture stills or film from a drone, you would need to follow the same registration process as all other registered operators of flying and aerial craft. For more info, read up on the guidelines on Quaggapedia.

To obtain accreditation, you must submit a detailed proposal of what you plan to cover, film or shoot at our event as part of your application.

For more info on Media & Photography guidelines, read our download the Rules & Etiquette doc.

Accreditation applications for our 2024 event close on March 26th 2024.

PLEASE NOTE: Accreditation for AfrikaBurn does not entitle the recipient to any benefits (including tickets), and the right to refuse accreditation applications is reserved.

Make sure this is the email address you registered your Burner Bio under. If you haven’t registered a Burner Bio, please create an account here.
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Your proposal should include information on the focus of your coverage, and details on where you plan to broadcast or publish.

PLEASE NOTE: proposals that focus on the culture, participants and creative process will be considered favourably. Stock photography or projects of a commercial nature will not be approved. PDF’s only, minimum 300 words.
Whilst we’ll try to set up interviews and connect you with our team, there are no guarantees out in the dust.
Shifts consist of 2 hours, and entail assisting members of the media and photographers / filmmakers with questions and accreditation.

Need to contact our team regarding film, photography, blogging or media? Email [email protected]