In the shadows of Ramses II’s temple of Abu Simbel (300km south of Aswan), Danish pop trio WhoMadeWho performed to thousands of live-streaming spectators on Monday 22 February morning, marking the bi-annual sun festival at Abu Simbel.
“Ramses... Ramses,” shouted out the Danish band during the no-audience event broadcasted live through this link
Under the helms of Egypt’s ministers of antiquities, tourism, and culture, the performance of the Copenhagen underground band was organised by French media platform Cercle amid strict safety measures against COVID-19.
Over 3,200 years ago, one of Egypt’s most powerful pharaohs, Ramsess II, had the temple carved into a sandstone mountain on the banks of the Nile to align with the sun twice a year — in February and October — to celebrate his birthday and ascension to the throne and to mark agricultural seasons.
Formed in 2003, the band WhoMadeWho consists of guitarist Jeppe Kjellberg, drummer Tomas Barfod, and singer/bassist Tomas Høffding, and together they released a number of successful albums, touring several countries while performing various themed experimental pop projects.
The show at Abu Simbel, one of the most popular remnants of the Pharaonic era, witnessed heightened security measures this year. The UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its four colossal statues at the entrance, was partially buried in the sands before being rediscovered in the 1800s.
In the 1960s, it was relocated to make way for lake Nasser, the man-made reservoir of the Aswan High Dam. The solar alignment has since occurred on the 22nd of February and October every year — one day later than the original date.
For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture