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Saturday, 28 December 2013 12:00 AM

Moroccan International Music Festivals 2014

Gnaoua (Gnawa) Music festival – Essaouira

2014 : June 12 - 15 ; 17th edition.

The annual music festival in Essaouira focusses on the traditional Gnaoua (Gnawa) music, but includes jazz, pop, rock, and contemporary world music by musicians from all over the world.

Around 250 Moroccan and 150 International artists and musicians attend this festival with 2 main stages hosting more than a dozen free concerts free access concerts and a few “intimate” venues hosting artists for which tickets must be purchased (up to around £15 per ticket).

Gnawa music’s origins lie in sub-Saharan Africa but has evolved to include a mix of Berber, African andAfrican Islamic spiritual religious songs and rhythms, and combines ritual poetry with traditional music and acrobatic dancing. The line-up of bands is normally announced quite late, but for more information read their official site.


Fez Festival of World Sacred Music – Fez

2014: 13 - 21 June; 20th edition.

This wonderful spiritual festival, held annually in Fez by the Spirit of Fes Foundation, exploring the “vast repertoire of music and rhythms created across the globe since the dawn of time”. The aim of this Festival is to “harness the arts and spirituality in the service of human and social development, and the relationship between peoples and cultures”.

It allows you to bump into whirling dervishes from Iran as well as mystics, chanters and dancers from all around the world. For more information read their official site.

A festival celebrating the local culture of Fez is held concurrently. Both festivals allow visitors a wonderful insight into traditional life in the old walled city.


Mawazine Rhythms of the World Festival - Rabat

2014: 30 May – 7 June ; 13th edition

The Rythms of the World festival spotlights new talents from Morocco and Internationally , performing on around 7 stages – each focussed on a different music style. This huge festival attracts significant international talent and vast crowds. For more information read their official site.


Festival International des Nomades - M'Hamid

2014 : 14-16 March, 11th edition

The Festival International des Nomades is held annually by L’Association "Nomades du Monde" (the "Nomads of the World" Association) to share the richness of the Nomadic culture.

Held in a unique location, the 3 days of festival contain concerts, exhibitions, conferences and workshops related to the heritage of the region. Besides the experience of the desert location, it gives attendees the opportunity to see into the Nomadic world, including camel racing. For more information read their official site.


Important Note

Many of these festivals attract a huge number of visitors and accommodation can become difficult to book - hence it is important to plan well ahead if you are interested in attending.