Morocco music festivals
Music festivals in Morocco are among the trendiest in Africa
In the last ten years, Morocco festivals, specially music festivals have exploded in number and fame of music festivals. This liberation of artistic expression began with the Boulevard festival. Since 1999, it is the most awaited cultural event in Casablanca. If you enjoy urban music, rap, electro or rock, you won’t be able to miss it.
Today, Morocco hosts more than 50 music festivals a year. A range of choices that can be explained by a certain artistic impetus of the youth who experienced the Arab Spring in 2011. The kingdom also plays a role through a policy of support for artistic initiatives. Moroccans has understood that music festivals in Morocco can increase the frequency of tourism in the country, attract more foreign investors and promote sustainable economic benefits.
If Morocco is so dynamic, it is also because it is at the crossroads between Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. An advantageous position three hours from Paris and attracting more and more tourists. A trip to Morocco is the assurance of leaving for a trendy destination.
Lists of Morocco music festivals
Atlas Electronic music Festival
Morocco music festivals are numerous. The most international is the Atlas Electronic Festival. It takes place in Marrakech at the end of the summer. You will be disorientated! Popular and traditional African groups rub shoulders with international artists. Watch video.
This is one of the four electro festivals that count with the Morroco Desert Festival, Oasis and Moga and 5 editions already took place.
Atlas Electronic Music & Arts is a brand new four day music and arts festival in a beautiful, exotic location just outside the bustling city of Marrakech, Morocco. At the foot of the Atlas mountain range, 20 minutes away from the city, you find Villa Janna. The swimming pool, olive groves and other sites are part of the idyllic festival grounds. And if it all got a bit too much, there are relaxation areas to wind down via gong meditations, films from visual artists and yoga sessions during the day. Atlas Electronic keeps it intimate in terms of the amount of visitors and aims to draw an interesting mix of international public and locals.
Atlas Electronic stands for connectivity in the broadest sense of the word. It is committed to connecting disciplines, cultures and like-minded people from all over the world. In becoming the main channel through which creatives of all kinds can communicate and thrive, Atlas Electronic aspires to serve as a global cultural bridge. By not binding itself to a location, Atlas Electronic is able to spread and apply acquired knowledge to new situations very much like a nomad would. Kicking off in North-Africa, we wish to approach many more corners of the world with fresh curiosity.
Run by a collective of Dutch-Moroccans, the music policy was mostly slanted towards electronic music with a bit of traditional Gnaoua and desert blues thrown in as well.
Essaouira Gnaoua festival
If Essaouira has become one of the leading tourist destinations in Morocco, it is undoubtedly thanks to the Gnaoua and World Music Festival.
This musical event, unique in Morocco and the world, was created for the first time in 1998. For more than 20 years, the Gnaoua and World Music Festival has been able to highlight the traditions of Essaouira and bring a particularly vibrant ancestral music abroad. What has allowed Gnaoua music to spread beyond the borders of the Kingdom is undoubtedly its fusion with foreign groups, and the presence of key figures throughout these two decades. We can name in particular the passage of incredible jazz greats, whose reputation is no longer to be proven, such as Marcus Miller or Macéo Parker. In another register, the arrival of Cheb Khaled had electrified the Essaouira squares, and the magnificent Hindi Zahra had illuminated the main stage in 2016.
The Gnaoua Festival has made a place for itself thanks to unique musical scenes, married to artistic residences or private scenes in the most beautiful places of Essaouira. Throughout the city, from Moulay Hassan Square to the French Institute of Essaouira, through the Bastion Bab Marrakech, the whole city of trade winds vibrates to the sound of the guembris. A music festival in Morocco that also succeeds the bet to be free for most of the stages, including the Jam Session with the headliners that take place on the open air stages of the medina of Essaouira.
The Oujda International Raï Festival
This Morocco festival is a showcase event of one of the most popular genres in Morocco. How to develop a panorama of Moroccan festivals while forgetting Raï? Since 2006 opular music par excellence in the Maghreb and therefore also in Morocco even if born in the Oranie region in Algeria, the genre is well represented by the international Raï festival Oujda.
Every year for almost 20 years, the festival L’Boulevard offers a panorama of the best of hip-hop culture at the University Racing Stadium of Casablanca. But not only. Last year, in addition to Oxmo Puccino or the Moroccan star Toto, the event had placed on its poster Sofian Saidi, The National Orchestra of Barbès or Mad Professor & The Robotics.
The time when North African hip-hop was just emerging with Intik’s rap is now long gone. And the Boulevard, like other festivals such as Hip-Hop Family in Rabat or the International Festival of Urban Cultures, testifies to this evolution of mentalities which has been asserted within the Moroccan diaspora at the same time that rap was taking root in France.
Moga Festival in another of the big electro music festivales in Morocco. This one takes place in Essaouira every year since 2017. Moga Festival takes over the picturesque city of Essaouira, a city of culture and crossbreeding, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These are 3 days of celebration, jubilation, music and encounters, which will remain engraved in the minds. A unique journey in the ancient “Mogador”, punctuated by highlights, a link between traditional and electronic cultures. The Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa welcomed the avant-garde of the international scene and the cream of the Moroccan scene.
For a weekend, the moga tribe of raving globe-trotting festival-goers, coming from all over the world, met in the Cité du Vent, to dance to the rhythms of hedonistic electronic music, call the “desert house” or “hippie house”, MOGA gave pride of place to this emerging current mixing oriental and exotic sounds to the deep and hypnotic tempo of club music.
Jazz Morocco music festivals
When people think of Morocco they don’t always think of jazz but the music scene is big here.
Several Moroccan towns have a jazz music festival each year attracting local as well as international artists. Tangier’s Jazz festival is one of the biggest in Morocco and attracts visitors and artists from all over the world to the famous “White City.” Tannjazz is usually held each September.
Another jazz destination is the Chellah Festival in Rabat which has a vibrant mix of European and Moroccan music on a jazzy theme. This attracts crowds and really brings the city to life.
TanJazz is one of the best jazz music festivals in North Africa. Since 2000 this moroccan music festival has been attracting crowds to Tangier each year. This is actually one of the best times to visit the area in and around Tangier and join in the fun. Each September jazz bands and their fans come to Tangier to enjoy the city and listen to some fabulous music.
TanJazz attracts musicians from all five continents and there is an excellent programme for visitors. Tickets can be booked via the official website. Several hotels are within easy reach of the main venues at the Italian Palace but there is nothing quite like exploring tangier and coming across an impromptu bar performance. At TanJazz some of the top performers include the Marabout orchestra, Roberto Gatto, and Ivan Melon Lewis. There are dance masterclasses too as well as the concerts and street performances.
This festival is also renowned for the way in which it inspires young people to play music. TanJazz des Enfants gets kids together to create music and join together with the beat and harmony.
Just outside Rabat lie the ruins of Chellah. This is a ruined medieval necropolis that is now a famous visitor attraction but the original site has been in existence since pre Islamic times. It is also the site of the Roman town Sala Colonia. Much of the ruins were destroyed as a consequence of the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake and the complex became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. Today Chellah is associated with Jazz and each year there is a festival held in the atmospheric ruins.
For five days each year Chellah becomes a concert stadium with local and internationally renowned artists playing music amongst the ruins. Most musicians are from Europe along with Moroccan bands and there are some eclectic performances on the ancient site. Getting to the site is easy by taxi.
Chellah is very atmospheric and the open air jazz is the ideal time to sit outside and dance to the beat. Generally the event takes place each September and is increasingly popular with the Moroccan jazz scene. The festival began in 1996 and has grown ever since. Artists in recent festivals have included Nicolas Simion, Samira, Qadiri Quartet, and many more. This is a great place that is informal and quite a unique location for a jazz and swing event. With interesting cities nearby there are good opportunities to combine a musical visit with some sightseeing in Morocco’s capital Rabat.
DISCOVER OUR TOURS TO SAHARA DESERT IN MOROCCO
Our most popular Morocco Sahara Tours . The trip from Marrakech is rich in scenery and includes an unforgettable stay in a Desert Camp.
A great experience starting from Fes including camel trekking and at least one night in a tented desert camp in the Merzouga Desert.
Our experts can create exceptional tailor-made experiences for our clients. Contact us and we´ll plan your perfect trip in Morocco.
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.
Morocco Desert Tours – Sahara Tourism
☏+34 638 903 318
Jemaa el-Fna. Rue El Ksour, Marrakech 40000