This June, Morocco is becoming an open air stage attracting musicians and artists from around the globe. This month, it happened that three of Morocco’s renowned festivals are held simultaneously to the delight of music lovers.
Already in its third day, Morocco’s most famous Mawazine festival saw 60,000 fans attend French Montana’s rocking concert in Rabat. The festival’s 17th edition, running from June 22 to 30, continuous to satisfy the different music tastes of Rabat’s audience scheduling five stages with themes ranging from Moroccan, to international, Arab and world music.
Last year, over 2 million music lovers attended the concerts of Mawazine. This year the festival is expected to maintain momentum as it promises the audience enchanting concerts by a panoply of stars including Bruno Mars, Kadhem Assahir, Marwan Khouri, the Chainsmokers, Jamiroquai, Chronixx, and Nansi Ajram, in addition to Moroccan singers.
In the centuries-old city of Fez, another festival has stood out by its originality and high-caliber artists. The World Sacred Music Festival, slated until June 30, saw its opening concert attended by Princess Lalla Hasnaa, the youngest sister of King Mohammed VI.
The festival celebrates spiritual and mystical music that rhythms with the city’s time-honored architecture and deep-rooted history as the “Athens of Africa”.
Further to the south in the Atlantic city of Essaouira, a mesmerizing festival managed to maintain its specificity and popularity intact throughout its 21-year history.
The city, known for its long history of coexistence between Jews and Muslims vibrates during the three-day festival to the rhythms of Gnaoua, African and Jazz music in the open-air.
Besides celebrating music, these festivals are a chance to showcase Moroccan talents and showcase Morocco’s potential in organizing international cultural events.
The fact that thousands attend concerts where they sway and dance to the sounds of music is a brim of hope in a region plagued by extremism-triggered instability.
These concerts send a clear message that Morocco is an oasis of peace and stability with a people thirsty for music and culture.