I really, really hope for everyone's sake the powers that be sort out the festival properly this year. I thought it was badly thought out - site far too spread out for the tiny amount of people and the ticket prices were outrageous for the few of us who weren't claiming journalistic privileges.
A small point for hardy adventurers, but don't expect showers, toilets or even water by day three. We were prepared, some weren't.
There were also some really substandard Western musicians. Swedish (?) hippies performing Native American chants was a particularly harrowing lowpoint for me. After a few lagers I was ready to bumrush the stage.
If you're into Malian music (and if you're not, you should be) it might be worth considering a few days hanging out in Kiafunke or checking out some of the smaller festivals instead.
Shame as the festival's potential is awesome and in many ways it's still a genuine event. It's magical drinking cold
, listening to tunes in the dunes and watching the veiled ones charge around on camels in their finery, but temper any idealised visions and pack some extra Euros.
Last edited by Richard K; 6 Jun 2006 at 23:14.