SARAAB is a brand new festival concept that takes you to the heart of the Red Sea Mountains of Il Monte Galala in Egypt.

On December 1st and 2nd, 3000 lucky people will dance in the shadow of the mountains with gorgeous views of the sea as two main stages and a cultured marketplace selling vintage pieces, art and fashion as well as mouthwatering food pops up provide nourishment for the mind, body and soul.

Playing will be Polo & Pan (DJ set), Maceo Plex, Âme (live), Éclair Fifi, Mano Le Tough, Bas Ibellini, Terr, Lamache, Maher Daniel, Gerd Janson, D’Julz, Salomé Le Chat, William Djoko as well as local heroes, Misty, Chiati (live), Aroussi, DNGR GNGR and Maie.

The festival is located only an hour away from Cairo and here we find out more from the team behind it all.

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How has this year been getting this festival together? Do you enjoy it, is it torture, or somewhere in between?

Launching SARAAB has been a rollercoaster of emotions: from excitement, to worry, to frustration – all the way to absolute bliss and euphoria. A passion-filled journey full of ups and downs towards amazing results. It has been enjoyable torture!

Creating something unique is never easy, but the magic was through the synergy of two teams: byGanz Extraordinaire and Astral Element.

Who is behind this festival and what are their backgrounds?

SARAAB is a new concept birthed in collaboration between byGanz Extraordinaire & Astral Element, bringing together over 19 years of experience into the project.

byGanz is a top regional leader in the events scene, constantly raising standards in setups and talent bookings through collaborations and mega events. Focusing on the sounds of the future, byGanz became a leader in the electronic music scene. In addition to local talent, byGanz has featured over 200 international and regional artists, with performances in the biggest and most popular venues in the region.

Astral Element are entrepreneurs, constantly engineering novelties and experiences in the nightlife and music fields. Makers and innovators at heart, they push the limits of creativity and technology, bringing the best of both worlds to deliver unforgettable moments.

The two teams make a salad of backgrounds including entrepreneurs, engineers, designers, business consultants, and artists. All of them, dreamers.

“We met in Lebanon several years ago, and it was love at first sight!” – says Ali Saleh (a co-founder of Astral Element) on meeting Ahmed Ganzoury (a co-founder of G’nK and byGanz Extraordinaire). The two had previously completed several successful projects in Lebanon and Egypt.

What was the initial idea and inspiration for the festival and when was that?

The inspiration comes from the name. “SARAAB” is the Arabic word for “mirage”. The way things are is not the way they have to be.

We are creating a surreal experience that will outlive the moment and continue to evolve over the coming years. The idea was born out of the collective efforts of like minded teams aiming to merge reality and illusion in the middle of nature. The choice came down to the secluded mountains of Il Monte Galala, overlooking the majestic Red Sea.

What are the key things to get right at the festival?

Safety first! To create a community-driven spirit and a connected crowd, our guests must be safe and comfortable. Next comes the story and the connectivity of the overall experience, making sure people arrive to a dream and leave with an ever-lasting memory. We’ve hand-picked the design elements and program to match the intended vibe and atmosphere.

What informs the booking and sound of the festival?

The curated lineup brings forward fresh sounds and artists, breaking away from the generic. SARAAB will provide a wide and cohesive range of styles, showcasing heavy hitters and underrated talent. This will reflect an uplifting vibe that complements the beautiful nature of the location.

The 21-artist lineup includes Maceo Plex, Polo & Pan, Âme live, Gerd Janson, D’Julz, Maher Daniel, Terr, Éclair Fifi, Mano Le Tough, Bas Ibellini, Lamache, Maher Daniel, Salomé Le Chat, William Djoko – in addition to local heroes, Misty, Chaiti Live and many others.

What were some of the biggest challenges of making this happen?

Like every new and unique experience, we overcame a lot of challenges in putting this festival together. Such challenges included identifying the ideal location, nailing down the best design, finding the right production team and putting together all the elements for a successful outcome. Capabilities were brought forward from Egypt, Lebanon, UAE, UK, and Netherlands to create this harmonious experience for our guests, and to ensure everything is aligned to our expectations and highly distinguished reputations in the region.

What are you most looking forward to about this year’s event?

We’re looking forward to the beginning of a whole new adventure that brings like minded people together, creating a community that continues to grow moving forward. Through SARAAB, we want to share our passion and harmony with our guests.

What tips have you got for anyone coming about things to do and explore?

SARAAB is a full 360 immersive experience. In addition to music, SARAAB will have something for everyone through art, delicious food and a marketplace.

Dance, laugh, love, and enjoy nature.

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