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Rabat’s Mawazine Festival Brings More than Just Music

Performers at Rabat's Mawazine Festival.

Performers at Rabat’s Mawazine Festival.

The Guardian‘s Lauren Razavi takes a closer look at how Rabat’s world-famous Mawazine Festival has propelled Rabat as a premier cultural destination, and brings music and culture to the masses. She writes:

“Free access to the concerts was one of the foundations of Mawazine. It’s a festival for all Moroccans; we do not discriminate against people who do not have the means to pay for a ticket. Mawazine brings together people from all walks of life around a single passion: music,” says Aziz Daki, Mawazine’s artistic director.

The festival brings global acts from a variety of genres to Rabat, and this year hosted artists from more than 30 different countries in its nine-day run. Mawazine is one of the world’s biggest music festivals in terms of spectators and drew in an impressive 2.62 million for its 2014 shows. Rihanna, The Jacksons, Kylie Minogue and Elton John are among the names to have graced the stage at OLM Souissi in previous years.

Mawazine is the central project of the Maroc-Cultures Association, which was founded at the same time as the festival in 2001. The organisation, chaired by the head of King Mohammed VI’s private secretariat, describes itself as a non-profit aiming to showcase and promote high-quality artistic and cultural activities that are “worthy of the capital of the [Moroccan] kingdom”.

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