Exploring Taragalte Festival for a leisure experience
From 23 to 30 October, 3rd year Leisure & Events Management (LM) students from the Concepting & Events minor, travelled to Morocco to do research into how the festival experience at Taragalte Festival can be improved. This unique 3-day cultural and nomadic lifestyle festival is held in the last oasis before entering the vast expanse of the Sahara Desert. As it happened, the festival was literally blown away in a fierce sandstorm but the students kept going and came up with useful ideas.
The collaboration came into being after a visit from the Taragalte Festival director Ibrahim Sebai to Inholland’s diversity research group in the spring of 2018. The visit was so inspirational that Sebai invited Inholland students to examine the festival features that influence the visitor experience. No sooner said than done!
Five students signed up and went off to Morocco with suitcases full of useful literature and Dutch delicacies. Besides working hard behind the scenes, helping to set up the festival, they also spent a lot of time researching how to bring locals and tourists together.
In the end, they delivered two deceptively simple tourism offers; a henna space and sunrise mindfulness walk. Both provided a platform for meaningful encounters and deepening the quality of the visitor’s festival experience. ‘It has been interesting to see how they organised the festival in a totally different way’, one of the students said. ‘I’m really impressed by how good they are at adapting to the conditions they have and really feel inspired. I think we can learn a lot from that.’ Moroccan superstar Oum was one of the main attractions at the 2018 edition of the festival.
‘This was our first experience working with Taragalte, but certainly not the last’, coordinating lecturer Philippa Collin said. ‘With their rich network of international musicians and social entrepreneurships such as Playing for Change and Carpet of Life, we see plenty of opportunities for more multi-disciplinary collaboration.’ The students were also enthusiastic and shared their experience:
‘Being at the festival really opened doors to finding new ways of working together with other cultures.’
‘The most important thing I learned this week was making sure you’re able to be flexible. It’s important to be able to adapt to your surroundings because really awesome things can come from it.’
‘It’s useful for my concepting & events course because it takes the theory from the classroom and throws it out in the desert which is very real. It’s a great way of deepening learning.’
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Coordinator of the Concepting & Events minor: Andreas Bischoff