Sunday, 7 January 2018

Festival au Désert 2004.Jan.9-11

A year ago I posted recordings this Festival from 2003, so now the follow-up  of 2004. Recordings made again by mps Pilot and broadcasted on Dutch Radio 4 VPRO 'Wandelende Tak'.
cold drinks at the 2004 Festival au Desert, Essakane, Mali
picture by Yann Latronche - source: gettyimages
The situation with the Festival au Desert is that it's still 'in exile'. According to a Guardian report there were plans last year to secretly organize it in late 2017 January, all involved were ready to go. But just before a terror attack happened on a military camp in Gao, which caused the death of at least 50 people, and made officials decide to cancel the (secret) festival.
This 2017/18 winter the organizers arranged a 'Festival au Desert' in a refugee camp in Mauritania together with UNHCR-Mauritanie. Let's hope the people living in the camp(s) can soon go to their homes and enjoy music in the place, where their heart is...

Listen to Afel Bocoum with Damon Albarn:

VA-DESERT-2004_Wandel Tak VPRO

playlist: 1.Afel Bocoum - Niafunke (Mali) / 2.Haira Arby - Tombouctou (Mali) / 3.Tamasheq Girls - Quinzame (Mali) / 4.Super 11 de Gao - Super 11 (Mali) / 5.Ali Farka Toure - Karaw* (Mali, from 2003 CD)  / 6.Nuru Kane - unknown title (France/Senegal) / 7.Tartit - Tihar Bayatin (Mali) / 8.Tamasheq - Takamba (Mali) / 9.mps Pilot - Desert Remix (Mali/Holland)

All audio recorded by DJ mps PILOT, 2004.Jan.9-11 at the Festival au Desert, Essakane, Mali. (*except where noted)
Broadcasted 2004.Feb.23 on Dutch Radio 4 VPRO 'Wandelende Tak' (my source is from the, not available anymore, radiostream)

Information about the 2004 Festival au Desert:

  • Sandblasters - interview with Tinariwen at the Festival (2004.Jan.08, The Guardian)
  • How the desert festival began (2004.Jan.08, The Guardian)
  • Songs of freedom - report about the Festival (2004.Jan.16, Independent)
  • In pictures: Festival in the Desert 2004 (2004.Jan.30, BBC website)
  • TV Guide: Festival in the Desert 2004 (2004.Feb, BBC Four)
  • Writings by mps Pilot about Festival not available anymore online (but my old copy included in download)
Interesting 2013 interview with Manny Ansar by Oualid Khelifi about the Festival au Desert.


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own
in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

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