Words by Manal Aziz

Maybe it’s the fact that Villa Janna literally translates to ‘Villa Heaven’ or maybe it was something else. What we do know is that it was magical and that they’re coming back for more.

Philou Louzolo and Bana, the bandleader of the Moroccan wedding band Groupe Bana, met only a few hours before their show. Two strangers who didn’t speak each other’s language would make magic in the evening that followed. It is without further explanation that we are stoked to announce their return for this year’s edition of Atlas Electronic.

Whoever’s visited last year’s Opening Concert remembers the cross-over act Philou Louzolo & Groupe Bana. It was an unparalleled performance received with great appreciation by a packed Amphitheatre. An indescribable vibe created by the meeting of like-minded people. This would be the soundtrack that would resonate throughout the rest of the weekend.

With the Opening Concert, a weekend full of cross-cultural celebration is inaugurated. Anything from international headliners to traditional bands is represented on the main stage in the Amphitheatre. The open-air stage has already received sounds by the likes of James Holden, Maalem Hamam, Floating Points, Maalem Houssam Gania, Ben UFO, and Youssef Chegra, to name a few.

A great role in the Opening Concert is played by cross-over acts such as Philou Louzolo & Groupe Bana’s. How? These cross-over acts symbolize the coming-together, fusion, and synchronicity of separate worlds. Through common ground, interests, and appreciation artists from all walks of lives join into the creation of something new. All of this is catalysed by the power of an engaged audience.