Dance all night at a music festival on a former Star Wars set in the Tunisian desert

Electronic music festival ‘Dunes’ is back after a three-year hiatus for a third instalment. 30 DJ’s will play across two arenas non-stop for 30 hours, spinning tunes under the relentless desert sun and a canopy of the clear night sky. The former Mos Espa Star Wars set and desert locations used for The English Patient offer another planetary experience for partygoers.

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Abandoned sets for the shooting of the movie Star Wars in the Sahara desert on a background of sand dunes. Image by ©Marques/Shutterstock

Tunisia was more than just film locations for Star Wars - the towns, architecture and scenery inspired one of the most famous film series ever made. Since then, the film set used for Mos Espa has stood slightly neglected and dusty in the desert, welcoming tour groups but not used to its full potential. That’s about to change with the return of Dunes Electronic music festival taking place at Mos Espa 21-22 September 2019.

Ong Jemel in the Tunisian desert
Ong Jemel, setting for Star Wars and The English Patient. Photo by: Erin Harvey

Dunes started out in 2014 as a unique project between the Tunisian Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts of the Republic of Tunisia with the aim of developing tourism and jobs in this beautiful but often overlooked part of Tunisia. Created by the team behind ‘Plages Electroniques’ in the French Riviera, Dunes gives a truly different experience to the average dance festival as the out of this world setting plays host to renowned DJs taking festivalgoers from day to night and day again with 30 hours of uninterrupted electronic music across two stages.

Salt lake in the desert
Chott el Djerid, a salt lake close to the festival site. Photo by: Erin Harvey

Both Mos Espa and Ong Jamel (Neck of the Camel), which was the setting for both the English Patient and Star Wars, offer a magical setting like no other festival. The traditional medinas of nearby Tozeur and Nefta will also have a programme of music and cultural events taking place over the weekend. Add into the mix friendly Tunisian locals, affordable prices for the festival and a plethora of accommodation options for all budgets and Dunes becomes a ‘must do’ for festival goers this year.

After dancing for 30 hours under the desert sun, check into Dar Tozeur, Diar Abou Habibi or Dar Hi to recharge in luxurious settings. Cool down with a dip in the natural oasis pool in the Corbielle of Nefta, and once rested, head to the jaw-dropping canyons at Tamerza and Mides to make the most of the trip.

Visit ther jaw-dropping canyons of Tamerza
Tamerza, Tunisia. Photo by: Erin Harvey

Tickets and Getting there: Tickets start from £48.50, Tunisair fly daily from Tunis (50 minutes) and Paris. Overnight trains from Tunis are cheap but slow. Driving from Tunis or Enfidha is approximately six hours.

More information here.