A 9-day celebration showcasing major musical traditions of sacred, spiritual and world music, the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music returns to Morocco for its 22nd edition from May 6-14.
Founded by scholar and philanthropist Faouzi Skali, the festival is like no other world music festival; rooted in spiritual values, the event was established to help bring world cultures together and enable people to communicate better with one another. Fes itself is an excellent backdrop for this, with the festivities not only confined to one square but spread across the city – visitors can, for instance, enjoy art exhibitions at the Dar Batha museum, talks at the Palace Jamai and free concerts in the medina and the new city.
Every year, the festival welcomes artists from numerous faiths, including Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism, all sharing a stage representing mutual respect and collaboration. Featuring a wide range of global musicians, visitors can also be introduced to lesser-known musical genres such as Japanese Gagaku and Indonesian Gamelan. The audience are also invited to take part in the proceedings, by means of round table discussions based on the themes of the festival.
By day, visitors can explore the charms the city has to offer, from the lively medina to the bustling souks selling all kinds of traditional and artisan wares, while night-time is when the real music celebrations begin. After the concerts, hosted at the Bab Makina and Palace Boujeloud, the party continues at the medina, where Sufi brotherhoods perform Sufi ritual trance performances as you relax on a woven Berber rugs and sip on a refreshing mint tea.
Over the years, the festival has been a highly popular event, not only as a cultural but also as a spiritual experience, so it’s well worth booking your accommodation in advance ready for a truly memorable stay. Our boutique hotels in Morocco promise a piece of tranquil luxury whilst still being at the heart of the action, bringing together the best of old and new Morocco.
Image: Bjorn Christian Torrissen, available under Creative Commons