African sunsets, full moon and thousand stars, what more do you need? Sunsets in Africa and in the desert are often spectacular.
The sanddunes and the camels in Essakane were the perfect setting for the sunset (picture 1,2 & 3). The full moon (picture 4) made it even more special. Listening to the African music (picture 5) close to the warm firebaskets and dancing under the stars made the festival and the stay in the desert an experience of a lifetime.
In the evening from 8 pm till about 2 am you could see and hear the great performances at the mainstage. Every time it was a big surprise which artists would show up. The well known Tuareg group Tinerawen announced in the program at internet didn't show up. Also Zap Mama from Belgium announced in the leaflet at the festival didn't show up. But in this 9th edition in 2009 at 8, 9 and 10 Januari we had performances of Salif Keita (picture 1) at the first night and of Vieux Farka, the son of Ali Farka Toure, Desert Blue and Habib Koite at the last night.
You could sit in front of the stage (picture 4). Half way the stage people were dancing the whole night. The half circular dune ridge at the background formed a natural gallery where the audience had a good overview and was kept warm by fire baskets (picture 5). By all those fires in the full moonlight it looked like a fairytale.
Have also a look at the videos to get an impression of the festival.