Oasis Festival 2022 in Dakhla, Morocco

Often called the Pearl of southern Morocco, Dakhla is a city located in a lagoon, offering a breathtaking contrast between the waters of the Atlantic and the sands of the Sahara.

Often called the Pearl of southern Morocco, Dakhla is a city located in a lagoon, offering a breathtaking contrast between the waters of the Atlantic and the sands of the Sahara.

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It doesn’t take water to make waves in the desert. This has been proven every year since 2015 by the Oasis Music Festival, which brings vibrant sound symphonies of electronic dance music to the meeting point between the Sahara and the sea in the uniquely positioned peninsular city of Dakhla. This year’s festival, September 23-24, expands to incorporate the themes of feel-good and adventure in addition to punchy bass and sweaty dance floor grooves and promises to bring a new melody experiences that touch the whole body and beyond.

Adjustment

With a history that predates our oldest records and a geography uniquely defined by the intrusion of land into the sea, the city of Dakhla, where the weather is comfortable year-round, creates the perfect setting for a suite of festive activities. The lagoon created by the peninsula’s inner coast and the mainland is a popular kitesurfing destination, attracting tourists from all over the world. The region’s history includes a long period of Spanish rule, which sets it apart culturally from other regions of Morocco. Women can move about the city freely and unaccompanied without attracting attention. Beyond the poolside parties that will shape festival-goers’ experiences, one of the local cultural experiences that any visitor must try is an afternoon saharwi tea, an occasion at which the local mix is ​​steeped , poured and served with different methods over multiple servings, creating a multi-course experience.

The music

The lineup for this year’s event blends the best of the overseas music scene with offerings from local favorites in the genre. Pioneers of the Moroccan electronic music scene, Amine K and Yasmean, anchored the lineup in local flavor. Based in Casablanca, Amine K is considered an ambassador for electronic music, bridging the gaps between the African and European music scenes with his Dubai-based sets and international excursions. According to the artist, who names BB King and Jimi Hendrix among his musical idols, music saved his life and showed him a path to freedom and acceptance that he wants to share with everyone, including those who are heading towards Dakhla.

From his mother’s cassette collection, Yasmean has shaped the electronic music scene in Morocco since a young age. She started writing articles for a local electronic music magazine in Casablanca, then progressed to curating sets and creating opportunities for other DJs by booking shows. She believes everyone deserves a free platform for self-expression and giving other musicians a platform is a key part of her artistry.

Other artists included in the festival lineup hail from Dubai and across Europe, with Ame, Anja Schneider and Tama Sumo representing Germany; Agoria, WAHM and Myd taking over for France; KiNK from Bulgaria and Jyoty from the UK. AMVN, with its roots in Dubai, bridges the gap, representing the city where many of these artists first make an impression in the respective markets.

The place

The bassline HQ for the weekend takes up residence at the Dakhla Club, a 55-bungalow resort positioned just 100 meters from the sea. Sunset views are available from the sea viewpoints and a friendly and attentive staff becomes familiar during your stay. The resort is heavily geared towards kiteboarding, making it easy to incorporate an experience into any stay, and the spa services are not to be missed.

The menu

Anise Meski: Casablanca-born, Canadian-raised, and trained with a keen sense of balancing the classic and the innovative, Marrakech-based Mouton Noir’s Aniss Meski will be one of the chefs serving plates at this year’s festival. . The foodie prides itself on taking approaches to classic dishes with an emphasis on local ingredients and signature combinations. It can elevate a simple dish, like steak and fries with a week-long red wine marinade, or build around a “boring” vegetable, like Jerusalem artichoke, with coffee paste and egg yolk seasoning. grated egg.

Yasmine Ksikes: Coming from the kitchen where she learned the ropes of her mother’s apron, Yasmina Ksiskes is a Los Angeles-based chef who teaches others the basics of Moroccan cuisine and offers classics from the region at private events . Ksiskes is known for her inventive touch with all the fresh, local produce she can find and her talent for taking a plant-based approach to her country’s indigenous cuisine.

Barometer: As the first mixology bar in Morocco, this gourmet-inspired bar prides itself on creating its cocktails with homemade macerations, infusions and bitters.

Oyster Bar: Due to the exceptionally pristine conditions of the lagoon, which is ecologically protected and devoid of intensive fishing or marine industry, the region’s oysters have become prized for their freshness and superiority. They are hand-pulled in a traditional practice that involves no machinery, preserving their undiluted quality. Oysters drawn from nearby waters are first sold to vendors right on the coast, and only if there are enough left will they be shipped to outlying towns, ensuring that those served in town are of the best quality you can get. to find.

The experience

After nights spent dancing to dispel worries and frustrations, restorative healing practices for the body are offered in the form of yoga and pyramid sound healing sessions. Once the body’s needs are met, festival-goers have the option to feed their appetite for adventure through coastal explorations on guided boat trips or more extreme excursions like kitesurfing and quad biking. Between bursts of activity, periods of restoration and pulsating hours, festival-goers should expect a weekend that unfolds smoothly between excitement, rhythm and relaxation.

This story was created by Detour, a journalism brand focused on the best black travel stories, in partnership with McClatchy’s The Charlotte Observer and Miami Herald. Detour’s approach to travel and storytelling seeks to tell tales hitherto underreported or ignored by moving away from the usual routes framed by Eurocentrism. The detour team is made up of a list of award-winning journalists, writers, historians, photographers, illustrators and filmmakers.

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