Opening Times
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Friday 9am-5pm
Saturday 9am-2pm
Bank Holidays 10am-4pm

Gnaoua Music Festival

Gnaoua Music Festival, Essaouira 12-15 May 2016

Book early as accommodation books up quickly

The Gnaoua music festival is becoming increasingly popular. If you are interested in attending the festival, best to book your trip early to avoid disappointment.

The Festival

The annual music festival in Essaouira 2016 is its 19th year and has become a fixture on the world music festival calendar. Focusing on the traditional Gnaoua (Gnawa) music, it also includes jazz, pop, rock, and contemporary world music by musicians from all over the world.

The origins of Gnaoua music lie in sub-Saharan Africa but it has evolved to include a mix of Berber, African and African Islamic spiritual religious songs and rhythms and combines ritual poetry with traditional music and acrobatic dancing. 

The festival is based around Essaouira, the picturesque Atlantic coastal town, with two main stages hosting free access concerts and a few “intimate” venues hosting artists for which tickets must be purchased (up to around £15 per ticket).  Over the 4 days, there are more than a dozen free concerts in Place Moulay Hassan, another half dozen in the second free concert venue and many more in the intimate venues. 

Whilst the running order for 2016 has yet to be announced, that from last year gives a great indication of the scale of the festival: http://www.festival-gnaoua.net/en/artiste/edition/2015/

Time to Book your Trip Now

The festival attracts great interest, so good accommodation is at a premium and needs to be booked well in advance.

Essaouira is only 2 ½ hours' drive from Marrakech and its international airport and about 3 ½ hours from the beautiful High Atlas Mountains. This means your time at the festival can easily be topped or tailed with a stay in either of these wonderful locations.


2016 Prices - from £145 pp

(includes 4 nights accommodation & transfers, but excludes flights*) - call us on 01239 710814 for a quote or fill in our Enquiry Form.

Itinerary Summary - Flying to Essaouira*

Tuesday 10th May Flight to Essaouira from London Luton (3.5 hrs). Transfer to Essaouira (approx. 20 minutes)
Tuesday 10th May - Friday 13th May Four nights stay at Riad Zahra in Essaouira, including breakfast
Saturday 14th May Transfer to Essaouira Airport for return flight to London Luton

* For those wishing to arrive on the 11th or 12th May flights are available from various UK airports to Marrakech and transfers to Essaouira can be arranged as part of your package. London Luton flights to Essaouira are only available Tuesdays and Saturdays.


Pricing: *Based on 2 people sharing a room (B&B), staying at Riad Zahra, Essaouira (alternative accommodation can be arranged), includes return transfers to and from Essaouira airport, but excludes flights.


Extend Your Stay - If you wish to extend your stay, extra nights can be arranged in either Essaouira, Marrakechor another destinations of your choice.