Over half a million visitors from all around the world will descend on the Moroccan town of Essaouira for the Gnaoua World Music Festival, reports Quality Villas. Held from June 20th to 23rd, the event will include grand performances from many of Africa’s top musicians.
The festival is very much a celebration of music. It began sixteen years ago as a celebration of authentic African culture, and now continues to promote Gnaoua music and the culture that comes with it.
Gnaoua music is a form of African Islamic music, highly inspired by religious teachings. Ritual poetry is combined with music and dancing to communicate important religious teachings and help the listener feel in line with their faith.
Today this style of music is played in many parts of the world but known best in Morocco. The music has been fused with blues, jazz and reggae and has influenced people from all over the world to come to the Gnaoua World Music Festival to perform with each other.
The artists who will perform this year include several top names in music. Eska will be the main headliner at the 2013 edition from June 20th to 23rd. Eska is known for having performed alongside many top-name jazz singers in the United Kingdom. Jazz singer Oum, rock music drummer Will Calhoun and the inimitable Annadi Al Bahri are also going to be there. In all, more than twenty different performers will take the stage over the course of the festival.
Shows will start at 19:00 on most days and will sometimes run as late as 1:30 in the morning. Each artist usually gets forty-five minutes to perform although the more popular performers tend to play for longer.
The entire festival will be held in the beautiful sea-side city of Essaouira, located in the central coastal part of Morocco. There will be three main stages as well as three smaller stages for more intimate events. Most of these stages will be located outdoors.
There is also the Fusion series to be aware of, which is held as a small part of the festival. It involves two different musicians performing together on the same stage. For example, traditional musician Maalem Mahmoud Guinea will be performing alongside singer Omar Sosa during one of the Fusion shows.
The Discussion Tree is also open during this festival. This features a series of seminars dedicated to all sorts of important matters in culture and society.
The total number of people expected to attend the festival is in the vicinity of half a million. Quite a crowd for Essaouira, usually a city of just 70,000 inhabitants!
Fans can come to the festival for free because it is held in many public spaces around Essaouira. However, the smaller indoor concerts are open only to those who have tickets, which can be bought at the door. For more information see the official event website at http://www.festival-gnaoua.net/en/.
Lastly, anyone interested in attending can reach the festival conveniently by plane on flights from Paris on the 18th June and 21st of June. Royal Air Maroc is the only service that will fly people into the city for this festival. Bus travel is also open from Marrakech, Casablanca and Rabat.
This Morocco event update is courtesy of Quality Villa Morocco (http://www.qualityvillasmorocco.co.uk) – specialists in luxury holiday villas in Essaouira and other popular destinations around Morocco.