Essaouira, Gnaoua World Music Festival

starts your day with a smile, holidays change your office, travel changes your life. today it’s a little trip to discover an Atlantic pearl, also historically called « Mogadore » or the city of the wind. a great event takes place behind the walls of this beautiful city where everyone meets to discover a style of music that has become a global echo.


This is one of the most important events in the country, it is the Gnawa Music Festival of Essaouira, with massive participation of international musicians, lasts about three days and admission is free. This event focuses on hundreds of artists and we can find a great mix of different styles of music…don’t miss it!

About This Festival
Each June, the sleepy fishing port of Essaouira comes to life with the rhythmic beats of the Gnaoua World Music Festival. This charming 18th century port town with its whitewashed houses and iconic blue window shutters swells in size as it plays host to Morocco’s biggest summer festival. From humble beginnings in 1998, the Gnaoua World Music Festival celebrates the music and arts of the Gnaouas (or Gnawas), promoting the ancestral and musical contribution of the Gnaoua people to the world. This fascinating festival has grown rapidly in popularity and now attracts close to 500,000 visitors over the course of the four-day event.

The Gnaoua are a spiritual brotherhood of mystics, easily recognizable by their colorful robes and tasseled hats. They are descendants of slaves and mercenaries from sub-Saharan West Africa, mostly from the region of the old Mali empire dating back to the 16th century. Their background is reflected in their belief system, which draws on both Islamic Sufism and pre-Islamic Berber, Arab, and African spiritual traditions. They are known as healers, spiritualists, and musicians, with their songs making frequent reference to the ancient spirits of the Hausa, Bambara, and Fulani ethnic groups.

When the sun goes down the magic begins, and even the most reserved onlookers cannot resist the urge to move to the rhythm.



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