Category Archives: Events in Morocco

Essaouira Gnaoua World Music Festival

Each June the charming port town of Essaouira comes to life with the rhythmic beats of the Gnaoua World Music Festival  This year’s festival took place  from May 14 to 17 and the final concert took place Sunday, May 17th.  The festival has become so popular that it has been described as the “Woodstock of Morocco”.  You can hear some of the music on videos uploaded to their site.

gnaoua musicians Essaouira Morocco

The Gnaoua festival is a veritable melting pot of musical influences and inspiration. Foreign artists mingle and play music with the mystical Gnaoua musicians. The Gnaoua masters invite jazz, blues, reggae, pop, hip-hop and rock musicians to explore new paths through impromptu jam sessions.

Over the years, the festival has become bigger and bigger with up to 500,000 visitors to Essaouira over four days. Unlike other festivals many of the performances are free to attend.

Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix were both inspired and influenced by this sleepy town of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast of Morocco in the 60’s and 70’s.  It has a magical quality that transports you to another time. It’s relaxed and easy to navigate with no feeling of being rushed as in most modern cities.

The Gnaoua are a spiritual brotherhood of mystics…  for more on their background as mystics and healers https://www.fest300.com/festivals/gnaoua-world-music-festival

…their hypnotic repetition of a series of chants in Arabic can create a trance-like state. I’m going to have to go there!

 

Marrakech Atlas Etape – cycling in Morocco

Etape cycling tour in Morocco Marrakesh

Never mind the classic European cycling climbs of the Alps and the Pyrenees, there are plenty of other mountainous areas to get stuck in to before the summer months.

After the triumph of the first Marrakech Atlas Etape in 2013, registration is now open for cyclists who wish to join in 2014.

Cycling seems to be all the rage in Morocco and the Marrakech Atlas Etape is one of the toughest challenges. The full route is an eye-watering 140km but there are other options too. There’s also a 60km option, with just 360m of climbing.

It’s inevitable that 2014 will prove just as popular as last year given that the route not only provides participants with a truly memorable experience, but also raises vital funds for the worthy charity Education For All (EFA).

This Moroccan-based charity, which was founded in 2007, helps to educate under-privileged young girls in the Atlas Mountains.

Their motto is “We may not individually be able to change the world but we can help to make a difference to a person’s life and indirectly many more.”

The event will take place on Sunday 27 April 2014. You can find out more or register here: www.marrakech-atlas-etape.com