Dancing with the desert - InDNegev 2021

“Last year, the festival didn’t happen because of coronavirus,” said Assaf Ben David, one of InDNegev’s organizers. “It really feels like coming home.” 

 Festival-goers are seen at the InDnegev 2021 festival. (photo credit: Yonatan Boger)
Festival-goers are seen at the InDnegev 2021 festival.
(photo credit: Yonatan Boger)

This year, InDNegev celebrated its 15th anniversary by successfully bouncing back after a long cultural shutdown. 

The three-day music extravaganza that celebrates Israel’s up-and-coming bands in the Negev desert attracted music lovers for three days over the weekend.

Festival-goers camped next to the stages, spending the breaks between performances breaking bread, sharing ‘Pakal Cafe,’ and playing guitar, Frisbee and soccer together.

Techno lovers experienced clubbing culture in the desert via InDTronix, a large fabric gazebo featuring DJs that seemingly played non-stop.

The festival also offered bars and outdoor restaurant corners throughout its many sandy corners. 

“Last year, the festival didn’t happen because of coronavirus,” said Assaf Ben David, one of InDNegev’s organizers.

“It really feels like coming home.” 

inDnegev Festival (credit: MATAN LEWI)inDnegev Festival (credit: MATAN LEWI)

Ben David is a member of the original team of festival organizers who launched the first InDNegev back in 2007. 

“We were all post-army university students who wanted to come together and create something. It was the new age of Facebook, which was a great platform to reach people through. The demand grew every year, and the festival became what it is today.” 

This year’s line-up boasted well-established Israeli bands and performers, including Mercedes Band, TATRAN, Lola Marsh, Tomer Yosef and Assaf Amdursky.

In addition to featuring household names, the festival provides a platform for promising newcomers to showcase their music. 

 Lola Marsh is seen performing at InDnegev 2021. (credit: Yonatan Boger) Lola Marsh is seen performing at InDnegev 2021. (credit: Yonatan Boger)
 

“We’ve performed here and there, but not in this unique format,” said Eden Atad, lead singer and guitarist of No Point Baby, a Tel Aviv-based post-punk band that performed at InDNegev for the first time this year.

No Point Baby performing at InDNegev. (credit: Tomer Gilat)No Point Baby performing at InDNegev. (credit: Tomer Gilat)

“Getting to see a lot of Israeli artists in one place is very exciting. We’re a small community at the end of the day. InDNegev creates a bigger sense of community for the music scene, much more so than what we feel on a daily basis. We also get the opportunity to do something we love, which is pretty rare. Everyone part of the festival is driven by passion.” 

 The Borito Band is seen performing at InDnegev 2021. (credit: Nitzan Nahumzon) The Borito Band is seen performing at InDnegev 2021. (credit: Nitzan Nahumzon)

Yael Copeland, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of Borito, a Tel Aviv-based indie-pop band that also performed at InDNegev for the first time, shared the same sentiment as Atad: “It’s so special to be a part of this community of people that are insisting on creating something that’s bigger than themselves. It’s really amazing, especially this year when no one was really sure if the festival was going to happen.” 

Copeland attended InDNegev as an audience member twice before, and this is the first time she returned as a performer. 

“The festival is always changing and developing,” added Ben David. “It’s like a living organism. It started out small and spontaneous, and today it’s a huge event, conserving its young and fresh spirit throughout the years.”