Amazing footage from the 2012 Festival in the Desert featuring Bono of U2, Tinariwen, Bassekou Kouyate, Khaira Arby, and many more great artists and this amazing culture. Learn more at thefestivalinthedesert.com.
The Festival in the Desert or ‘Festival Au Desert’ is currently in exile due to the unrest in Mali. Many of the Malian artists that have performed at the festival will be a part of a global experience which is the festival in exile so keep an eye out for Mali bands coming throughout the globe.
The Festival Au Desert, which started in 2001, takes place in the North of Mali, a few kilometers outside Timbuktu. It originally started in Essakane, in the very north of Mali deep in the Sahara desert, however due to the difficulty of this journey, and the safety of the region the organizers moved it to a more accessible site in 2010. This festival follow in the tradition of larger, traditional Tuareg Festivals like Takoubelt in Kidal and Temakannit in Timbuktu. These festival were strictly Tuareg and represented the time for nomadic Tuareg to get together and make decisions and exchange information among the many communities. These gathering were always festive in origin and were celebrated with song, dance, poetry and more.