Morocco is home to various music and cultural festivals that are perfect for summer trips. If you’re interested in discovering the country’s festive traditions visiting Morocco during the summer festival season, it’s the ideal way to go beyond the classic sightseeing routine. Moroccan summer festivals provide an insight into the traditions of culture through music. As a visitor, you can expect to see a multitude of Moroccan music styles, from Gnaoua to Andalusian, Hadous, Sufi, Arabic pop, and much more. Attendance at the seminars and workshops is part of the Fes Holy World Music Festival and the Gnaoua Festival.
Summer Events and Festivals in Morocco
1. Fes Festival Of World Sacred Music
The world-class music festival in the ancient city of Fez has been recognized by the United Nations as an “event that contributes significantly to intercultural dialogue”. Every year, this popular summer event in Morocco attracts music fans from all over the world to experience the performances of internationally famous rock stars and Sufi musicians. Celebrating its upcoming anniversary, the festival will feature performances by Nass el Ghiwane and Youssou Ndour. At the four-day Forum called Rencontres de Fes, politicians, social activists, academics, and religious leaders will meet in a dialogue on today’s pressing issues. These include conflict resolution, climate change, urban renewal, social justice, and much more.
When: June 14 to 22
2. Gnaoua Festival
The annual Gnaoua Festival in Essaouira attracted half a million visitors to the seaside town with a mix of jazz, rock, pop, and traditional Gnaoua performances. Indigenous to North Africa, trans-inducing Gnaoua music is a fusion of pre-Islamic African and Sufi elements. In addition to a full list of traditional Gnaouia performers, there are also artists like Baloji, Moh! Kouyaté and desert blues superstars Tinariwen will take the stage this year. The most famous is certainly the huge festival of Gnaoua à Essaouira, which is held every year in May and offers a very diverse program of world music and Gnaoua music. The city is flooded with tens of thousands of tourists, not to mention the many Moroccans who come en masse from the four corners of the country to get the most out of the tourists who are liberal with their holiday money.
When: June 20 to 23
3. Mawazine Festival
Started in 2001, this famous summer festival in Morocco boasts six stages in the capital of Rabat and the city of Sale across the river. Each stage has a different focus, including the international, discovery, world music, and oriental stages, which are dedicated to regional artists. The popular festival lasts for eight days and attracts millions of fans. This year, the event will feature artists such as Black Eyed Peas, Mashrou Leila and Najwa Karam.
When: June 21 to 29
4. Sefrou Cherry Festival
The Sefrou Cherry Festival, held every year at the end of June, is on the UNESCO list of the intangible cultural heritage of mankind. About 20 miles from the city of Fez, Sefrou hosts many performances and cultural experiences every year during its Cherry Festival. The top summer festival in Morocco, popular with locals and tourists alike, started in 1920 and hosts a beauty pageant to crown the annual Miss Cherry.
When: June 28 to July 1
5. Timitar Music Festival
Every year, the Timitar Music Festival showcases local Amazigh (Berber) musicians and international performances in Agadir. On the festival’s website, the event is “dedicated to dialogue between Amazigh artists and musicians from different perspectives”. The festival’s 16th edition now features performers such as Najat Aatabou, DJ Ali T, and Eugenio Bennato.
When: July 3 to 6
Get: Monuments in Morocco
6. Asilah Arts Festival
Every year, artists and visitors flock to Asilah’s medina for a month-long art festival. This famous summer event in Morocco also serves as an opportunity to sell the work of artists as well as a forum for intercultural dialogue. During the festival, the Hassan II International Forum Center will offer a series of performances for writers, musicians, artists, and spectators alike. On the Atlantic coast, about 40 kilometers south of Tangier, the walled medina of Asilah features murals painted annually by local and international artists, which are a good addition to the annual festival.
When: Stars late July
7. Oasis Festival
As summer begins to fade, the Oasis Festival descends to Marrakech in mid-September. The new edition of the Moroccan festival roster, the electronic music event, debuted in 2015. Oasis quickly gained recognition and was named one of the best music festivals that year. The performers will continue to be included in the program, but currently, Four Tet, Jayda G and François X are scheduled to be among the artists performing at the three-day event.
When: September 13 to 15
8. Jazzablanca Festival, Casablanca
The International Jazz Festival will take place in July this year in Casablanca. Since 2006, more than 400 artists from around the world have performed at Jazzablanca. In 2018, Jazzablanca decorated the floor of its multicultural music arena with more than 75,000 participants. The festival has not yet released the names of this year’s performers. In 2018, Beth Ditto, Tom Odell, Africa Band, St. Germain, Fred Wesley and New J.B’s, Kamaal Williams, Jowee Omicil, and Scott Bradley Post Modern Jukebox, among others, performed. Casablanca aims to highlight local Moroccan jazz talent
Where: Casablanca, Morocco
When: July 2-7
Hope you enjoyed the brief list of the top 10 summer festivals in Morocco that offer umpteen beach sports and fabulous scenic views of the city. There are various famous spots at the mentioned Festivals of All Seasons Celebrated in Morocco which delivers many attractions. For more engaging blogs like these head on to our other blogs and ping us in the comment sections below if you hold any queries regarding the travel destinations.
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