Morocco’s policy of funding and initiating cultural diversity “seems to be paying off”:
Every summer, Morocco hosts a wide variety of national and regional musical festivals. While the country is arguably not any more diverse than other North African or Middle East states, the Moroccan authorities have a strong tradition of supporting local culture.
There are some general pop festivals in Rabat and Casablanca that host mainstream international artists such as Beyoncé and Elton John.
Other festivals are more specialised. The Sacred Music Festival of Fes highlights the diverse genres of Moroccan and Sufi music. Meanwhile, The Gnaoua Festival of Essaouira is dedicated to gnaoua music, which developed in communities of former African slaves who, when converting to Islam, kept a part of their spiritual traditions. And there is the major Timitar festival in Agadir, now in its 12th year and which I’ve just returned from. It’s dedicated to the music of the surrounding Souss region and its language but has expanded to cover other areas…[FULL STORY]