Festival in the Desert Postponed Due to Violent Conflict in Mali
Due to recent turmoil in Mali, the promoters of the country’s The Festival in the Desert have postponed this year’s festivities. The 13th annual international gathering was originally slated to take place next month.
A Statement from the festival organizers’ reads:
The Festival in the Desert has for 12 years been an international event where cultures have come together. Artists from the Arctic Circle and the American Desert to the small Pacific Island of New Caledonia, from rock stars like Bono and Robert Plant to traditional musicians from remote desert communities, have found a warm welcome.
But today, times are difficult. International attention is focused on Mali for reasons entirely different than its legendary music. Conditions have deteriorated in the region. An international military effort has raised a state of emergency. The situation on the ground is volatile. Important historical monuments and ancient libraries are being destroyed in Timbuktu. Innocent civilians are scattering to escape the shooting and bombardment. War now grips Mali.
This week, the Government has requested that we temporarily postpone the Sahel portion of the Festival, as insecurity in the region could jeopardize the safety of tourists, technicians, artists, journalists, etc. The planned February Caravan for Peace in the Sahel, a action designed to transmit a message of reconciliation and tolerance, will be postponed most likely until late fall, after the rainy season.
The Festival’s organizers are working diligently on these, as well as Festival-in-Exile international events, which will commence this spring.
Additional updates will be posted on the festival’s website.