In the new issue of Songlines (October 2018 #141), I highlighted some forthcoming international festivals. Download a pdf here.
New York City, US
June 2-September 27
New York state of mind
OK, so this summer-long festival is in its homestretch, but there are still some cool gigs to see – and they’re free! This festival kicked off the summer in NYC’s iconic Central Park on June 2 with Gregory Porter and has seen more than 100 shows in 18 parks in all of New York’s five boroughs. Still to play are Eddie Palmieri La Perfecta & Tony Vega and an unmissable performance of Angélique Kidjo’s Talking Heads’ tribute Remain in Light on September 27 to round things off. Can’t make it in time this year? Make sure it’s on your calendar for next summer, in case you needed another excuse to visit the Big Apple.
The best in Arabic music making
This festival set in the stylish city of Montpellier is dedicated to celebrating the music of the Arab world. Created in 2006, Arabesques boasts a multidisciplinary programme with music, theatre, storytelling, cinema and dance. Here the delicate traditional sounds of the oud mix with the newest Arabic electronic music. This year’s line-up includes Le Trio Joubran, N3rdistan fronted by rapper Walid BenSelim, Dhafer Youssef, Souad Massi and many more across 12 days.
Transform: Trondheim World Music Festival
Pining for the fjords
Tucked away in the Trondheim fjord, this quaint town is home to the Transform festival, which brings both well-known acts and newer faces to central Norway for a celebration of music making. Cross pollination is a strong theme throughout the festival, which invites local musicians to play with the guest artists as well as other collaboration projects. This year’s line-up will include Ivorian bassist Manou Gallo, Fanfara Tirana & Transglobal Underground and desert blues band Tarwa N-Tirini on their first trip to Europe.
October 30-November 4
Celebrating a quarter century
Norway’s capital has been home to this week-long festival for 25 years. Having recently dropped ‘Music Festival’ from its title, this is still one of Europe’s biggest world music festivals: over 300 artists across 25 venues! The line-up always boasts a healthy mixed bag of innovative and traditional music and this year’s highlights include Bixiga 70, Gaye Su Akyol, Ibeyi and Kronos Quartet with Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat.
Bivouac Le Petit Prince, Morocco
Held in a traditional Berber desert camp 7km from M’Hamid, Morocco, getting to this festival is half the fun and an adventure in itself! Now in its ninth year Taragalte celebrates nomadic culture and spirit with concerts, artistic residencies, environmental and educational programmes and creative projects. This year’s programme is yet to be released, but the festival will host the Cultural Caravan for Peace, which promotes social cohesion in the Sahara and