The 24th edition of the Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival ended in an atmosphere of unprecedented popular joy, thus confirming the universal scope of this unique and fraternal event.
The curtain has fallen on the 24th edition of the Gnaoua and World Music Festival. An exceptional edition in many respects. Exceptional in terms of its audience, who came in droves from all over the world. A joyful and festive audience, expressing loud and clear their joy at finding the festival in its original format.
Thus, nearly 300,000 festival-goers wandered between Place Moulay El Hassan, the beach scene, Borj Bab Marrakech, as well as exceptional places such as Dar Souiri, Bayt Dakira or Zaouia Issaouia, for more intimate moments. They also extended the party in the alleys of the medina, under the ramparts and in the town squares, with spontaneous musical performances, improvisations and showcases.
This edition also stood out for its sharp but accessible programming, placed under the sign of communion, joy and sharing. For three days, more than 35 maâlems, undisputed masters of the festival, offered timeless moments of rare beauty, transporting the public through daring fusions and pure Gnawa tradition.
The headliners dazzled the audience: Hoba-Hoba Spirit, Ky-Mani Marley, Maâlem Hamid Kasri, Maâlem Majid Bekkad, Gnawa Diffusion, Maâlam Mokhtar Samba, Trio Jabrane, Les Tambours du Burundi, Larbi Imghrane, and many others. other artists who have ignited the stages of the city of trade winds.
In total, 480 musicians from Morocco and 15 different countries made world music resonate beyond the city walls, with some fifty concerts on the program. From the United States to Burundi, via Pakistan, France, Germany, Belgium and Cuba, musicians from around the world have once again responded to the invitation of their colleagues, the Gnaoua maâlems.
Organized by A3 Communication in partnership with the Yerma Gnaoua association, the Gnaoua festival also offered warm encounters with artists, workshops and a support project for the young generation of Gnaoua musicians. In a more relaxed setting, artists, journalists, festival-goers and cultural actors gathered every afternoon at The palaver tree over a cup of tea. It was a moment of exchange and sharing on a terrace in the medina, where artists came to meet festival-goers in a friendly atmosphere.
True to its mission of transmitting knowledge, preserving and promoting Gnaoua culture, the Yerma Gnaoua association launched this year the project ” Ouled Bambra“. It was an opportunity for the younger generation to rub shoulders with the greatest maâlems. Eight troupes of young Gnaouis, from eight regions of Morocco (Safi, Essaouira, Agadir, Marrakech, Casablanca, Asilah, Fez and Rabat), performed before a jury made up of professionals from the world of culture and music, who gave them advice and supported them.
Once again this year, on the various stages and spaces of the festival, a score unique in the world unfolded, combining an exceptional alchemy, intense encounters, serene exchanges and new friendships.
According to the organizers, the Festival received exceptional media coverage, with the presence of 300 journalists from all over the world, including Morocco, Italy, Spain, the United States, Switzerland, Germany, France, Portugal, England, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.