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The Schmooze

Israel’s Desert Music Festival

Crossposted from Haaretz

Mitzpeh Gvulot started off as a pioneering Jewish settlement in the Negev. Set up in 1943 as an experimental station to examine the prospects for agriculture in the desert, today the site is home to a different kind of experiment: indie music.

The In-D-Negev festival was created as an attempt to get the musical desert outside of Tel Aviv to bloom and so far it has been a success. The annual independent music festival, which starts today and lasts through the weekend, is now considered the scene’s largest, giving bands that normally play basements and dive joints the chance to show their talents to thousands and to feel part of the community.

Matan Neufeld and Assaf Kazado, two friends in their late 20s, initiated the festival in 2006. In addition to a weekend of appearances under the aegis of Mother Nature, In-D-Negev also includes art exhibitions, musical documentary films and sleeping in tents in a groovy atmosphere with a bit of musical distortion.


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