Oasis Festival’s third edition took place at the stunning luxury music resort The Source on the outskirts of Marrakech, Morocco on September 14-17. The small and exceptionally well-organized festival featured a lineup that many had traveled far and wide for. Where else were you going to hear the likes of big name artists such as Solomun, Nicolas Jaar, Jackmaster, and Modeselektor play to a festival crowd of no more than 3500? Musical curation aside, the festival décor was absolutely stunning and the layout featured many beautiful and laidback places to rest in between dance sessions at the two stages. Finally, a festival designed by grown ups with impeccable taste, for grown ups! Local Moroccan food stalls were aplenty as was a champagne bar, rooftop cocktail bar with stunning views of the nearby Atlas Mountains and sunsets, daily yoga, henna tattoos, reflexology, manicures, and a shisha lounge for those needing a break from the four by four dancefloor.
For early arrivals as the doors opened daily at 4pm, the luxury hotel’s pool was an enticing start to the day and a perfect oasis to chill in whilst listening to the opener’s set whilst sipping on champagne under the hot African sun.
Whilst the headliners pulled out some showstopping performances (big shout out to Nicolas Jaar’s impromptu DJ set that he put together with two hours notice replacing Maceo Plex - it was no doubt the standout set of the festival), we were also really taken with sets by Patrice Baumel, Axel Boman back to back Jackmaster, Chloè back to back Ivan Smagghe, KiNK, Matthias Meyer back to back Patlac, and Young Marco.
Young Marco’s Friday night set was a refreshing break from the deep house and techno that had featured on opening night with the Solomun playing an epic eight hour set that went well past sunrise. Young Marco’s performance featured plenty of disco with remixes of epic golden oldies including Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” (something we never expected to hear at the festival!) making for a fun and uplifting energy that carried revellers from sundown into the night.
Following on from Young Marco’s disco vibes was the incredible live talent from Bulgaria, KiNK who showed us all what live electronic performance is all about. Opening with a remix of Stardust’s classic “Music Sounds Better With You”, things just only got funkier from there. Playing a three hour live set is no easy feat, yet KiNK did it with ease also making time for an audience participated live synth solo which one lucky front rower was tasked with. It was hands down the highlight set of Day 1.
On Day 2, Resident Advisor took over the Arena stage streaming to their Facebook page from open to close. French Djs Chloé and Ivan Smagghe played back to back for two and half hours keeping things funky fresh with their slant towards electro house and nu-wave disco.
On Sunday, our friends Patlac and Matthias Meyer played for two hours back to back at sunset. By the end of their set, the duo who have been friends for over twenty years had packed out the Arena stage’s amphitheatre dancefloor who were all grooving along to their deep and melodic house beats. Hot on the heels of probably the best BBC Radio Essential Mix to be released in 2017, Amsterdam’s Patrice Baumel’s set was also one of Sunday’s winners proving why he’s one of the underground’s best.
Over on the main stage on Sunday, Nicolas Jaar’s live set was as expected nothing short of amazing, and completely different to his last minute DJ set he’d played the night before. The dancefloor was packed and the atmosphere electric. Axel Boman and Jackmaster were faced with the daunting task of following on from the legendary taste maker’s performance which had included live vocals. As they (no doubt quite nervously!) took to the decks as the crowd dissipated, it wasn’t long before they’d rekindled their support and the dance floor was once again full and cranking. The pairing of the two for a back to back set made for a great balance in musical genres with Jackmaster pushing straight house and Axel Boman keeping things as Axel Boman likes to do, just the right amount of weird and interesting. The tastes of the two incredible talents made for a beautiful musical journey that was fun, uplifting and the perfect closing set for one of our favorite festivals of 2017.