Five big Moroccan events, not to be missed, with free entry !
Celebrating life, is one of the main reasons why you should visit Morocco. Here are, below, five of the biggest festivals you can attend around the country.
Gnaoua and World Music Festival (Essaouira)
Essaouira (Mogador), is a peaceful port city, known for its beautiful sandy beach, and its famous Gnaoua and World Music Festival, which attracts, every summer, about 300,000 of people, coming from all over the world, to celebrate Gnaoua art.
bold, almost insolent bet in a context very different from today
Moulay El Hassan and Bab Marrakech squares, in the old town Medina, have witnessed many concerts, given by famous bands and artists, such as: Nass Elghiwane, Mamalam Mahmoud Guinea, Mamalam Hamid Aksri, Vincent Ségal, Barbès National Orchestra, Cheb Khaled, Cheb Mami, Paulo Fresu, Natha Kumar, Las Migas … and many other international artists.
According to Neila Tazi Abdi, the founder and producer of Gnaoua and World Music Festival, the event that was considered as a “bold, almost insolent bet in a context very different from today“, has finally succeeded to celebrate its 20th anniversary, clearing the way, for many young artists, to perform before a wide audience.
Once you are there, do not hesitate to enjoy the natural attractions of the windy city. If you like kit surfing, trekking or getting a good massage with argan oil, Essaouira is the right place for you.
Nomads Festival (M’hamid Elghizlane, Zagora)
Who would refuse to spend authentic time, in the company of incomparably good people, listening to good music, and gathering around tolerance and discovery? M’hamid Elghizlane will offer you all this, and more.
The International Festival of Nomads takes place, every year, in M’hamid Elghizlane (plains of the gazelles), an oasis in the province of Zagora, which was, many years ago, a meeting point, linking Morocco to Africa, as commercial caravans used to take their rest in this area, before heading to Timbuktu . Today, the festival becomes a cultural crossroads for international nomadic artists, who like to take part of the festivities, and enjoy three days of art, that includes: singing, music, painting and cooking.
Want more? Attending the festival will give you the opportunity to visit Erg Chegaga, the most beautiful dunes of the Moroccan Sahara, which are located near the oasis of M’hamid Elghizlane, and where you can feel the pleasure of walking around the place, either on camels, by 4X4, or by quad bikes. You can also spend the night in the open air, surrounded by the beautiful dunes, in a transcendent atmosphere, that will transport you to a world of serenity and tranquility, and make your life more zen-like.
The concert for Tolerance (Agadir)
For twelve years now, The concert for tolerance, in the city of Agadir, has become an inescapable event. National and international artists perform in front of more than one hundred thousand spectators, singing peace and tolerance, two values that bring the Agadiris to celebrate, every October.
Agadir, the sunny city with the beautiful weather, opens its arms, to welcome guests who want to spend unforgettable moments, wandering around its extraordinary beach, with golden sand, or attending its cafés and restaurants that overlook a magnificent view of the ocean, in addition to its attractions and luxurious hotels, which are characterized by their fascinating architecture.
The Fez Festival of World Sacred Music (Fez)
Fez, The cultural and spiritual capital of Morocco, the lively and rich in color city that welcomes its visitors, organizes the festival of world sacred music, to promotes peace and dialogue between religions and cultures, from all over the world, during nine days of celebration. This festival aims at bringing together the different civilizations that interpret and consecrate universal human values.
Youssou N’Dour, Randy Weston, Wadi Alsafi, Magda Alroumi, Ben Harper and other artists and celebrities have been participated in the twenty-two editions of the event, and their shows were organized in some important heritage sites, found in Fez.
Visiting Fez will mark your memory forever. Many discoveries await you. The mysterious labyrinth streets of the city will lead you to a world of secrets and exoticism, where you will be pleasantly disoriented. In the medina, there are districts for each profession; Seffarine for metal manufacturers, Attarine for spices, perfumes and traditional medicine, the famous tanneries and Nejjarine for carpentry. Do not forget to visit Alqaraouyine, the oldest university in the world, still operating today, and the Roman site of Volubilis, 70 km from the city.
Mawazines Festival Rhythms of the World (Rabat)
It has been sixteen years now, and the Mawazine Festival Rhythms of the World has never ceased to surprise us. More than two million people attend its editions, which bring together a thousand of artists, from more than thirty countries, of all over the world. Mawazine has set and achieved the goal of bringing cultures closer and making them accessible to everybody, in two of the most beautiful Moroccan cities; Rabat and Salé.
You will never be disappointed, if you choose to attend this festival, since you will have the opportunity to visit some of the historical monuments, such as: the Hassan Tower, and its famous columns, and the mausoleum, with its Islamic architecture. You will be received by two of the royal guards, in their traditional uniforms, with the big smile that everybody admires. You can also taste a good Moroccan tea with mint, in the kasbah of the Udayas, and a tour of the ancient Roman city, Chellah, is always recommended.
Morocco is a country that paves its own way towards modernism, and yet, still clinging to its unique history, and to its plural culture that does not seem to have revealed all its secrets yet.