Mawazine – Rabat, Morocco’s Festival to Celebrate Global Music (with a Side of Political Controversy)!

For eight days in May, the annual Mawazine Festival brings the party to Rabat, Morocco!

Welcome to Mawazine!

 Welcome to Mawazine Festival, where thousands of locals and visitors flock to see the latest and greatest acts of the music world for eight amazing days.

Welcome to Mawazine Festival, where thousands of locals and visitors flock to see the latest and greatest acts of the music world for eight amazing days.

Welcome to Mawazine Festival, where thousands of locals and visitors flock to see the latest and greatest acts of the music world for eight amazing days. Mawazine Festival is Morocco’s largest music festival!

Starting in 2002 and located in Rabat, Mawazine was born out of the desire to have a festival of modern bands and popular music as well as being one of the best destination festivals in the world. Producers of the Mawazine festival invite the best international and local DJS from all over the world. Held each year at multiple venues throughout the city, this festival takes your music festival experiences to the next level.

The Beginnings
Every Mawazine festival welcomes well over a million attendees every May. Mawazine combines the amazing typical music fest experience as well as the relaxing vibes of a vacation getaway. Nothing beats that! The Mawazine Festival in its early years started off with just a few bands and very enthusiastic attendees.

For the Love of Moroccan Music

Mawazine has certainly grown into one of the most popular festivals in all of Asia, and is quickly gaining traction throughout the world. Unlike typical international music festivals that go out of their way to outsource famous artists to headline events.

Mawazine also puts a great deal of its energy into promoting and supporting its local artists. Although, there is a great chance that you will know many of the artists featured on the lineup, don’t let that stop you from checking out new bands! Many of the names you see on the lineup our local bands that are well loved and supported by the community.

The Mawazine Experience
Throughout the weeklong Mawazine Festival, you’ll witness live art installations, incredibly moving musical performances, meditation and yoga classes, as well as talk on living sustainably. Morocco calls in some of the best in the music business to teach attendees workshops on everything from sound engineering, song writing, promotion and advertising, and so much more.

Even in all the music excitement at Mawazine Festival, make it a point to stop by at least one of these lectures. A music festival experience is always enriched with actual intellectual content from real professionals in the business. You never know what you might learn or whom you will meet!

What Makes Mawazine Different?
In comparison to your typical music festival experience,  Mawazine is hailed as one of the most globally eclectic festivals around. It aims to promote a lifestyle of diversity and allows smaller bands that would be censored an ignored in Africa otherwise to be heard on the global stage. With so many avenues to draw from, attendees to Mawazine come with an open mind and open heart. Many of the events, talks and seminars held during Mawazine allow attendees to expand their mind, knowledge and musical taste.

First Timers at the Festival
If you’re looking to attend Mawazine, but don’t know much about the featured artists, don’t worry! Go for the experience and with the knowledge that you’ll have a great time listening to new music for the first time. Many attendees don’t know EVERYONE that is playing so you’ll be no different. The festival is designed as a way to introduce people to all the fabulous music that you may or may not have heard of.

If you’re really preparing yourself before you visit the Mawazine festival, take some time to listen to some of the featured bands. Search for them on the internet and make a playlist so you will be more familiar before you go. Flip through the Festival app as well so you can check out some fast facts about all of the acts on the lineup.

The Music and Performers

 The lineup of Mawazine Festival features popular singers and musicians of the modern age. The music of Mawazine Festival is very eclectic

The lineup of Mawazine Festival features popular singers and musicians of the modern age. The music of Mawazine Festival is very eclectic.

The lineup of Mawazine Festival features popular singers and musicians of the modern age. The music of  Mawazine Festival is very eclectic. If you’re tired of the same old type of electronic and dance festivals, try out Morocco for the more luxurious yet standard international music festival experience.

Attending  Mawazine is an experience all in itself. Having the opportunity to see over 50 mind blowing and culturally eclectic artists is all the reason you need for venturing out to Rabat. From indie acts to regular rock staples, all of your favorites are here! You’ll be able to see artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rihanna, James Blake, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and more!

The shows and performances at  Mawazine Festival are always very intimate and memorable. The festival is filled with musicians that go out of their way to make a personal connection with fans and to give them amazing sets. The stages are set and decorated with the inspiration of the surrounding countryside in mind. At night the stages come alive with bright light and colorful laser shows.

Dressing for Mawazine Festival
A quick search on the Internet for  Mawazine  will yield pictures of festival goers dressed rather creatively. Many attendees choose to go for a comfortable yet indie inspired theme that varies from person to person. Many wear light colored clothing, colorful fabrics, and trendy styles.

When you’re planning your outfits for Mawazine Festival, understand first that it will be hot. Prepare to wear skirts, dresses or shorts no matter the style. Less is more for most attendees when it comes to clothing choice. Think typical festival wear meets global styles. When choosing footwear, try your best to wear covered shoes that are comfortable. Incase it rains, you want to avoid getting mud stuck between your sandals.

Prepare yourself for Japan at night! In the evening, temperatures fall and you should either have extra layers or a different outfit altogether for nighttime activities.

Getting to the Festival
While many of the Mawazine Festival attendees are locals, several people do fly in for the festivalEveryone that has gone to at least one of the past festivals will tell you that you should arrive as early as possible!

On your way into the venue, many people will either get lost or fear they are lost before ending up in an entrance line for hours on end. To try to avoid this, leave a few hours before your arrival time to prepare for any unforeseen trouble.

Ticket Pricing and Accommodations
Mawazine is one of the cheaper festivals that you can attend this year. If you’re deciding which festivals to add to your schedule, consider checking out this music fest! For the amount of quality music, information, and experiences you are getting, the ticket prices are basically a steal! Check the website to keep tabs on the ticket prices- try to buy as early as possible to get the best bang for your buck.

If you’re looking for a place to stay during Mawazine Festival, look no further! Many veteran attendees of this festival will tell you that staying close t the city center in a hotel or bed and breakfast is the best idea. However, f you can’t afford staying downtown or would rather not, don’t worry! Check surrounding cities and the festival website for other hotels to stay in.

No matter how prepared you feel, you should definitely read all the material that is on the festival website. The site features festival survival guides, packing tips, how to arrive, what to do after you arrive, the best way for you to leave, and everything in between. Be sure to tie down all your bookings and accommodations months in advance as they do sell out quickly.

Pro Tips to Surviving the Festival
So you’re ready to get to the festival—there are just a few tips I have for you to make sure everything goes smoothly. Before you take off on your way to Morocco, make sure you have everything you want to see planned out in a schedule. Have a copy of the map with you either printed out or on your phone.

During the festival, make it a point to always follow the buddy system throughout the events at Mawazine Festival. Safety should always be your number one priority and you should have an emergency plan in case anything goes wrong. Consider picking up a walkie talkie as your cell phone coverage may not work in this country. Pick a meeting place for you and your friends through out the day so you guys can all check in on each other. This is especially helpful if technology stops working.

While you’re making sure you and your friends are safe and having the time of your lives, don’t hesitate to make new friends! Mawazine Festival is all about having shared experiences, so reach out to your neighbor and start chatting. Don’t worry, everyone is very friendly.

So this May, take a chance and travel to Mawazine for one of the best music festivals in Morocco, and quite possibly, the world!

Visit information about festivals section to explore a full list of festivals happening around the world yearly!