They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and so it is that there was much anticipation for this year’s Les Dunes Electroniques. After four years away due to local social and political turmoil it was back in 2019 and attracted 6000 people from all over the world.
The location is one of the main headliners, of course, because it is set in Ong Jmal in Nefta, Tunisia a desert where Star Wars has filmed many scenes. It’s a place where camels and lasers come together in the Sahara desert, the sky is always either electric blue, or deep orange and red during sunrise and sunset, and the heat envelops you all day long.
The music itself played out around circular constructions built 20 years ago for the Star Wars space-opera. It played non stop for 30 hours and it was nice to see that a large portion, around 5000 it is reported, of the people dancing were local Tunisians.
For us there were many musical highlights including a slick back to back between French house icons Apollonia, who dug deep and serve dup everything from classic to trippy to vocal to tech edge tunes. Luciano was always going to be a big drawn and he serve dup a slick set of string minimal that really got under our skin. Death on the Balcony was another highlight with their dreamy desert sounds perfectly suited to the location and Behourz was a similar story with his shamanistic, spine tingling sounds.
The accommodation is also worth mentioning as it is more than comfortable and ranges from hotels to guest houses to hostels and luxury rooms. Add in the well organised site itself, pleasant crowd and great sound quality as well as absolute wealth of local culture to explore either side of your visit and this really is an essential boutique festival in a truly magical part of the world that you need in your life.