Festival au Desert

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Festival au Desert was originally an annual gathering and festival for the nomadic Touregs in the north of Mali. The festival was originally held in Essakane, 65 kilometres from Timbuctu – but due to the security issues in north of mali they now arrange it amon the sanddunes just outside the city centre.  If you´re interested in more of the history of the festival you can find it here.  The festival has been open for the external world since 2001 – and in addition to traditional Toureg music you will also see music from other parts of Mali and Africa, and also some European musicians.  

If you want to go to a special festival – this is the place to go. First of all you will have a chance to see the dusty but wonderful Timbuctu, but to be in the middle of the desert and hear all the wonderful music is just magic. You will meet other tourists mixed with locals and camels. Except from the stage, which is modern, the whole festival site is built with traditional toureg tents. To sit in the sanddunes and see camels ride by, toureg men with their head covered by the ethel , local women dressed up for party – it is amazing. One time I will definitely go back! I will post some photos here for now – later there will be a lot of photos on my Flickr site!

Oh – yes, I was working too. Mosly waiting, though. I worked with the press – so after accomondating them in the right tent, there was not really much to do. Answering practical questions – which was not really easy since the information-flow was close to none-existing. And when it existed it was in French – which I cant really say I know much of. I try though. And I´ve decided that the mission for this year is to learn proper French!

2 Responses to “Festival au Desert”
  1. oli says:

    do you know how i could go around volunteering to help for the festival? i dont play any music but would love to help out. thanks

    • elinsworld says:

      If you contact the festival administration, they will be able to give you the information needed and the right contact person.
      Mail them at info”at”festival-au-desert.org. Good luck 🙂

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