U2 star Bono gave Mali's annual Desert Festival a big boost on Thursday night (12Jan12) by appearing onstage to launch the three-day event.
The Timbuktu-based festival is located in a former warzone, close to an al-Qaeda terrorist hub - prompting music fans to stay away in recent years.
But defiant Bono was among the opening acts performing for an audience made up of lucky tourists, nomads and local music lovers.
Organisers have been criticised for staging the festival just two months after three tourists were kidnapped.