1. Transahara, Merzouga
Held in a secret location in the Erg Chebbi dunes near Merzouga, the Moroccan desert rave features ambient electro and psychedelic beats from European and American artists. Five days of groovy costumes and whimsical art in an otherworldly setting make comparisons to Burning Man inevitable, but Transahara is a much smaller affair, with an organized schedule and no wild camping: everyone stays in tents or comfortable hotels. In 2022, it’s been pushed back to May 13-17, so be prepared for afternoon temperatures to top 30°C.
2. Mawazine Rhythms of the World Festival, Rabat
Mawazine, which rocks the Moroccan capital for nine days from May to June, is resolutely international: world stars play in front of huge crowds at the OLM Souissi, Moroccan musicians make the headlines on the beach of Salé and a mixture of nationalities walks on the other stages. The 2019 edition attracted nearly three million people, making it more than 10 times the size of Glastonbury and one of the largest music festivals in the world. Access to all but the VIP areas is usually free.
3. World Festival of Sacred Music, Fez
It’s hard to imagine a more atmospheric setting for a contemplative music festival than the holy city of Fez. Launched in 1994 and usually taking place over 10 days in early June, the World Sacred Music Festival is a shining star on Morocco’s cultural calendar. Featuring styles as diverse as Chinese fiddle music, klezmer folk melodies and African-American gospel, it brings together artists from different faiths in promoting a culture of peace.
4. Gnawa World Music Festival, Essaouira
With their hypnotic rhythms, soulful voices, flamboyant outfits and offbeat dance moves, Gnawa musicians are popular all over Morocco, but Essaouira is their capital. The city’s effervescent, multi-stage music festival offers the opportunity to appreciate their artistry in a global context. Usually held in June and mostly free, the program features daily concerts by top Gnawa bands alongside guest stars from West Africa and beyond, playing a stimulating mix of jazz, folk, reggae and blues. .
5. Oasis Festival, Marrakesh
This late-summer gathering is almost like a North African satellite of Ibiza and Croatia’s party scene: think yoga, cocktails and champagne on a laid-back playlist of underground house and techno. With a bohemian vibe, Oasis is small enough to feel intimate, with previous editions taking over cool and quirky hotels south of Marrakech, setting up DJ stages, pop-up art galleries and food stalls in their gardens. This year, the races from September 16 to 18.
6. Jazzablanca, casablanca
While jazz tops the menu, Casablanca International Festival side orders can include pop, rock, hip-hop, folk, and the kind of modern mash-ups you’d expect from a music event. also cosmopolitan and creative. The organizers of Jazzablanca are on a mission to make jazz accessible to everyone, which is why some concerts are free. Usually held in the spring or summer, this year’s edition is expected to take place in the fall.