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.
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!