From Burning Man to Afrikaburn

Buy your copy of TRANSFORM here; documenting the world’s most awe inspiring transformational festivals, including Afrikaburn and Burning Man.

As a dedicated attendee of Burning Man, for me Afrikaburn has always necessarily had an element of comparison to the mothership in Nevada.

“It’s like a smaller, less overwhelming Burning Man,” or, “it’s just like Burning Man but a little less deathy…” (the extreme weather at Burning Man mixed with large moving vehicles, huge things to climb and intoxication adds near death edge to everything there.)

However, what I’ve realised is that comparisons between them are pointless. Because what is truly amazing about both is that can you find the most beautiful, open and giving community where you instantly feel at Home, whoever you are. My experiences at Afrikaburn have always revolved around that community of incredible people who I met at every step along the way.

The brilliant geeky balloon man who let me hold his string of hundreds of balloons, feeling the tug of the erratic African wind from the bobbing balloons caught high in the thermals.

The wine and cheese providers who laid on outstanding cheese and balsamic vinegar canapes at the outer limits of town while the sun set, painting the sky with the most mind blowing deep reds and pinks like I’ve seen nowhere else in the world.

And of course my beautiful wife, who I asked to marry me on our way to Tankwa Town for the first time, and sealed the deal there in a suitably silly ceremony a year later.

And when it comes down to it it’s these experiences which makes Afrikaburn, Burning Man, and all transformational gatherings, so mind blowing. Not the massive lasers, or the bone shaking sound systems, or even the extraordinary mind bending art. It’s the sheer human dedication, creativity and kindness which has come to create these things and so deeply permeates the community there, something that is particularly apparent at Afrikaburn.

And it’s these aspects which leave attendees enriched and inspired, creating a spark which they take out into the default world and, I believe, can incrementally make our planet a better place. And it is these aspects which the TRANSFORM Festival Journal aims to document and help spread to new audiences in order to amplify these incremental changes into the bigger ones which we so badly need.


Written by : Lachie Gordon Athié

Photo credit : Lachie Gordon Athié