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The Festival au Désert (Festival in the Desert) is an annual concert in
Essakane, Mali, showcasing traditional Tuareg music as well as music from
around the world. The Tuareg band Tinariwen first garnered international
attention with their performance at the 2001 Festival.
which 3000 guns were publicly burned to signify the beginning of the The
celebration manifests what was envisioned in the 1996 "Flame of Peace," in
reconciliation between the nomadic and sedentary communities of the southern
Sahara. EFES, a Tamashek association whose aim is to develop the region, hit
on the idea of grafting the Festival onto the great traditional gatherings of the
Tamashek people on a grand scale. For centuries these gatherings have
provided an invaluable opportunity for the nomadic Tamasheks to meet and
celebrate with various forms of Tamashek song, dance, poetry, ritual sword
fighting, games, and other ancient cultural traditions. EFES opened the event to
the entire desert region, to the whole of Mali, and eventually to the world.
In 2011 the Festival au Désert was held on 6-7-8 of January.