Here’s an exercise: name all the big annual outdoor rock festivals you can. Glastonbury, Roskilde, Fuji Fest, Big Day Out. There are tons of them around the world. But can you name the most remote annual rock festival?
The answer is probably Festival du Desert in Essakane, Mali. Every year, musicians and music fans from around the work find ways to get to the city of Timbuktu. Once there, you drive for half a day through the Sahara to Essakane for a three-day rock festival hosted by the Tuareg, a nomadic tribe that normally trades in salt.
So who would agree to play such a festival? Damon Albarn of Blur and the Gorillaz, for one. He released an album called Mali Music after he played. And in 2003, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin played a set. By all accounts, it’s a very good time with quality music.
Just beware, though, the area can be hit by plagues of locusts. No, really. Locusts.
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