Dancing in the Desert : Why The Oasis Festival is a Moroccan MustArticle by: Nicole Lindstrom
Mon September 14, 2015 | 00:00 AM
Morocco is a travel hotspot for worldly explorers and Marrakesh is hotter still. For the music-savvy, pairing the trip with Oasis Festival is a must, and here is why:
Thirty minutes outside the madness of the Marrakech Medina, red sand and green cacti span the Atlas Mountain horizon. Here, in bathing suits and souk scarves we stepped into a world of palm trees and beachy beats, welcomed by the grandeur of the Fellah Hotel to the Oasis Festival.
With its deep colored, adobe dar-style villas, art installations and zen vibe, the Fellah created an illusive dreamscape for dancing in the desert to the world’s best underground electronica, house, and disco talent, with the likes of DJ Harvey and Âme.
The hotel’s proximity to the hustle and bustle of Marrakech made it the perfect retreat destination with easy access to all of the culture and wonders of the famous Moroccan city including the sites of Jardin Majorelle and the Jemaa el-Fnaa.
As the first of its kind in Morocco, the three-day festival held an exclusive debut B2B set from Chloé and Michael Mayer, and a first-ever B2B set with the Guy Gerber and Matthew Dear.
Others on the lineup included Axel Boman, Adriatique, DJ Tennis, Derrick Carter, Will Saul, Agoria, Alex Niggemann, BLOND:ISH, Danny Daze, Ellen Allien and Fairmont.
Early afternoon and late evening hours were spent poolside, wandering between local food vendors and sporadically skipping the sun (or heat of the dance floor) in The Secret Souk with Nicole Francesca Manfron and Jasmine Hamed-Segall. Here, lounging on pillows and Beni Ourain and Berber wool rugs, we fawned over tiles, antiques, and Jasmine’s indigo garments and jewelry designs.
The space, curated by The Secret Souk team, is an oasis within Oasis. It's replete with live painting by Yann Chatelin , a henna artist, and products including handmade soap by L'ART DU BAIN, recycled handcrafted glasses by BELDI, authentic tamegroute pottery, and fine leather goods.
The Nomad Cafe , a popular spot in the famous Jemaa El-Fna, set up shop at Oasis and offered a welcomed escape into the world of fine Moroccan cuisine. Known for modern twists to traditional dishes, their farro with toasted almonds tasted just like buttered popcorn and the chicken brochette was the perfect complement.
And of course, true to the Moroccan spirit, Touco’s created an authentic local street food experience hosted by residents from the Tassoultante village. Their cozy tea hut brought endless conversations from around the globe into the wee morning hours, making it easy to lose track of all space and time.