Foreign visitors need to check the latest travel advise of their respective government and check recent security information.

Caravan for peace: next stops

The artists who will play during the Caravan for peace leaving Bamako on the 27th of January to Djibo (Burkina Faso) on January 29; Laongo (Burkina Faso) on January 31st; Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) on Febraury the 1st; and Ségou (Mali) from February the 5th, are:

  • Amanar
  • Haira Harby
  • Malikanw (The voice of Mali)
  • Mariam Koné
  • Oum (Morocco)
  • Génération Taragalte (Morocco)

These groups will be joined by others from Burkina Faso and Niger.

To be confirmed: Oumou Sangaré, Tadalat, Terakaft, Mamar Kassey, Noura Mint Seymali (Mauritania) , Cheik Tidiane Seck (Mali) , Floby ( Burkina Faso)

If you wish to follow the caravan, you may get in touch with one of our partner agencies who have organized some tours that are adapted to the route of the caravan:

  • OASIS TOURISME. Officer: Mohamed Ag Elmehdi (
  • KANAGA ADVENTURE TOUR. Officer: Leonardo Paoluzzi (
  • FROM HERE 2 TIMBUKTU. Officer: Guy Lankester (

Festival au Désert in BERLIN, 8-10 January 2014

From 8-10 January 2014 the African festival is guesting at the Berliner Volksbühne, Akademie der Künste and Kino Babylon venues

At the invitation of Christoph Schlingensief'sOperndorf Afrika (Opera Village Africa) and the StiftungPartnerschaftmit Afrika e.V. (Partnership with Africa Foundation), for the first time ever the "IN EXILE: Festival au Désert" is presenting films, discussions and a major concert in Germany.

Download the Press Release »

Caravan for peace: the Programme

Dear friends of the Festival au Désert,

the Caravan for peace, launched during the festival of Taragalte (Morocco) on the 16 of november, includes the following concerts:

  • Departure from Bamako on the 27 of January to Djibo, Burkina Faso (refugee camp of Mentao) 205 km North of Ougadougou. The Caravan will be joined by the artists and the team of the festival of Taragalte (partner of the Caravan) coming from Morocco and from artists coming from Niger.
  • the concert in Djibo will be on the 29 January at 9:00 pm
  • Departure to Ouagadougou on the 30 January and concert on the 31 January at Village Opera in Laongo, 30 Km from Ouagadougou (close to the refugee camp of Sagnogo) at 9:00 pm.
  • Departure to Bobo-Dioulasso on february the 1st and concert the same night at 9:00pm in Bobo Football Stadium.
  • Departure on february 3rd to Segou in Mali where the Caravan will be hosted by the Festival sur le Niger (partner of the caravan)
  • On february the 6th, GREAT NIGHT FOR PEACE, concert with the artists of the caravan and other artists invited by the Festival sur le Niger.

The list of artists of the caravan and of those for the GREAT NIGHT FOR PEACE will be soon available.

Festival au Désert, edition 2014: BREAKING NEWS!

Dear friends of the Festival au Désert,

it is with sadness that we inform you that the Festival in the Desert can not be held in Timbuktu 9,10 and 11 January 2014.

Despite all the efforts that have been put in place by the Government of Mali, by MINUSMA and ourselves, to try to keep the 14th edition of the festival to the foreseen dates and in Timbuktu, it is clear that the security situation in Timbuktu is not yet appropriate to allow to make our festival ensuring the safety of all persons.

The Cultural Caravan for Peace, which was launched on November 16 in Morocco during the festival of Taragalte, will reach Burkina Faso in late January and ends on February 4th in Ségou. We'll give you more details as they become available.

We thank you for your understanding!

Press Release AZALAI project

After two years of researches and activities, the project AZALAI – Laboratoire Nomade, supported by the Culture programme of the European Union, will end on November 16 with a conference in M’hamid el Ghizlane, Morocco, during the Festival Taragalte (15-17 November).

Download the Press Release »

Press Release from the Africans for Africa Network

Dear friends of the Festival au Désert,

The Africans for Africa Network recently announced a North-South collaboration which sees Mali’s famed now exiled Festival au Desert make its way to South Africa thanks to the support of Emthojeni Arts Residency in Eastern Cape.

Read the Press Release »

AndyMorgan's speech during last Womex

"Ladies, gentlemen and fellow Womexicans…

On the third of January this year, Ansar Eddine, one of the three armed Salafist groups who ruled over the northern two-thirds of Mali and imposed a brutal form of shari’a law on its people, issued what they called their ‘political platform’.


This is the beginning of the very interesting speech that Andy Morgan had given during the session to present the award to the Festival au Désert.

Read the whole speech »

Africans for Africa Network - MEDIA RELEASE

Africans for Africa Network launches game-changing North-South Collaboration at WOMEX 13

Wales Cardiff, 25 October 2013: The recently inaugurated Africans for Africa Network today launched a game-changing North-South collaboration at WOMEX 13.

Read the Media Release here »


If you wish to participate to our festival as a volunteer, you may submit your demand by filling the form in the section Projects-Volunteering.


We have opened our electronic shop where you can buy the tickets .

14th edition of the Festival au Désert

Dear friends of the Festival au Désert,

It is with great pleasure that we inform you that, following the constant positive evolution of the political and social situation in Mali, we resumed preparations for our next edition, which, if everything is confirmed, may be held in Timbuktu around the 10th of January 2014. The final dates will be posted on our website soon.

But before that date which represent the "Great Return" long-awaited of the festival in its land, we inform you that the Festival in the Desert:

  • participated from 4 to 6 September in partnership with the International Festival Ain Farba 's (Mauritania) with artists from Bamako (Amy Koita) Kidal (AMANAR) and also refugee camps M'bera (Imarhane and Tadiazt) . This is to celebrate with the Malian refugees the return of peace and to advocate for reconciliation.
  • it will be present through many of its artists at several concerts in the United States: on 14 and 15 September in Chicago (Bassekou Kouyate, Sidi Toure, Mamadou Kelly, Leila Gobi and others); on 19 September in Manhattan for the 25th anniversary of Radio Afropop program (Mamadou and Bassekou ) and especially during parallel cultural events in the UN General Assembly in New York in the last week of September 2013.
  • From October 28 to November 03, the festival in the desert is invited for a Scandinavian tour in Sweden and Norway.

From 15 November: Festival in the Desert Festival will be in M'Hamid, Morocco, at the Taragalte festival to actively participate in the launching of the Cultural Caravan for Peace in the Sahel-Saharan region organized by Taragalte Festival; Batterfly Work Foundation (Holland); Festival on the Niger and the Festival in the Desert.

This caravan will pass through Mauritania (Nouakchott, Kobeni), Burkina Faso (Bobo Dioulasso, Village Opera Ziniaré near Ouagadougou, the camp Djibo) before joining Timbuktu for the 14th edition of the festival in the desert and finally at the Festival on the Niger in Segou in February 2014.

All information on the programme and on the conditions of participation will be soon be available on our websites.

We look forward to be with you in Mali to share together images of peace and reconciliation, not of war!

La Direction

WOMEX 13 Professional Excellence Award

Dear friends of the Festival au Désert,

we are very proud to announce that the Festival au Désert won the WOMEX 13 Professional Excellence Award.

The award will be delivered on Sunday morning, 27 October 2013 at the WOMEX Award Ceremony.

Read more ...


Dear friends of the Festival au Désert,

“Until the music can return to its roots with freedom of expression and dignity, the Festival au Desert has become, a Festival in Exile.”

Soon on this website, the list of the concerts scheduled within the Festival in Exile.


Dear friends of the Festival au Désert,

it's a great pleasure to inform you that the Freemuse Award has been given this year to the Festival au Désert "which in spite of extreme Islamists’ attempts to silence all music in Mali, defends freedom of musical expression and struggles to continue keeping music alive in the region".

The Freemuse Award is sponsored by the Björn Afzelius International Culture Foundation (BAIK). Björn Afzelius, who died in 1999, was a Swedish rock singer who became a passionate spokesman for suppressed people around the world combining his musical career with political activism.

It is the first time that the Freemuse Award is given to an organisation. The award is given to an individual or an organisation that “has worked for freedom of musical expression in a remarkable way”.

• Festival au Désert in Exile...