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Festival In The Desert On World Cafe

Tinariwen at Mali's Festival in the Desert.
Alice Mutasa
Alice Mutasa Photography
Tinariwen at Mali's Festival in the Desert.

In light of ongoing conflicts in Northern Mali, we checked in with Chris Nolan, an organizer of Festival in the Desert — the music festival that takes place each January in the Sahara region where much of the recent fighting has occurred. On today's installment of World Café, Nolan discusses the festival's history and elaborates on the decision to postpone the event this year.

We also hear excerpts from a 2005 interview with Robert Plant and his guitarist Justin Adams about their experience playing Festival in the Desert; they also describe the event's ability to bridge cultural gaps.

The segment closes with a song by Habib Koite, recorded at the 2012 festival from the forthcoming album Festival au Desert Live From Timbuktu.

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