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Old 8 Dec 2009
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Malian Music Festival Roundup

It's the end of the year. Festival time! For some odd reason, the Sahara likes to cram its festivals on top of one another, back to back, at the coldest time of the year. Make sure you bring a warm coat and mittens. Many of the festivals have important cultural and social objectives -- see the attached links for more information. Hopefully this year will find a good amount of foreign visitors, not scared of by a few unfortunate but isolated security incidents. But as a friend told me: "We don't need tourists to have a good time." The party continues as planned.

Fete du Chameau (Camel Festival)
Tessalit, Kidal Circle, Mali
December 29th, 30th, and 31st, 2009
A lesser known festival, probably due it's locality (deep in Azawad, near the Algerian border). Expect camel races and music from Tinariwen.

The Saharan Nights of Essouk
Essouk, Kidal Circle, Mali
January 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 2010
"The Essouk festival is a three-day celebration of music and culture, aimed largely at a local audience of nomads, but also at festivalgoers from other parts of Mali, Africa and the world."

Festival au Desert
Essakane, Timbouctou Circle, Mali
January 7th, 8th, 9th
The large and well known international festival, hosting over 30 music groups. Everyone who's anyone from Mali and W. Africa -- Tinariwen, Amadou and Mariam, Afel Boucoum, Vivian N'dour, Dimi Mint Abba -- and quite a few from abroad as well. A special anniversary, celebrating its 10th year.

Festival Tamasonghoi
Bourem, Gao Circle, Mali
January 12th, 13th, and 14th 2010
A new festival, in its debut year. A long list of artists, both Tamashek and Songhai, including Etran Finatawa, Tamikrest, Kanna, Atia, Douma, Amanar, and Azawagh.

via me @ sahelsounds

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Old 8 Dec 2009
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sweden
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Hi Chris,
Are you going to cover all of them?
That would mean a busy two weeks.

Aren't there any festivals later on?
Which one would be the best to focus on touareg music & culture?
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Old 9 Dec 2009
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essouk, cancelled!

Apologies for the faulty info --- the Essouk festival has been rescheduled, tenatively, for Feb. or March - check the website for info...

Jens - as I haven't been to any before, I can't speak with authority, but understand that the festivals of Essouk and Tessalit to be Tuareg festivals, while the others are more varied.
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Old 9 Dec 2009
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you haven't mentioned the Festival Sur Le Niger in Segou.
February 3-7, 2010.

That's fun too, I've been there in 2007. Draft , good music and no cold at all!

Welcome on Segou Festival website to 03 at 07 February 2010


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