Fes Festival of World Sacred Music

23rd edition: 12-20 May 2017

festival image

Dates for next year’s festival have been released. We will bring you news of the theme and the programme as soon as they are available, and you will be able to buy tickets on this site. We’re expecting the theme to be released in September, and the programme to follow shortly thereafter. Send us an email if you’d like to be on the mailing list: fezriads@gmail.com.

Here is some general information about the Festival. Scroll down further to see the 2016 programme to give you an idea of what to expect.


Festival Facts


Check our site here to see the type of accommodation you can expect in the Fez medina. We can advise on making sure you make a booking close to Festival venues. Let us know your dates, bed arrangements and budget, and we will send you some options.

Seating and Ticketing

  • Seats are not reserved. Get to the venue in plenty time if you want a good seat.
  • Seats are raked at Bab al Makina; elsewhere they are on the flat. There are usually no or few chairs at the Nights in the Medina or Sufi Nights venues, but carpets on the floor.
bab al makina plan
Plan of Bab al Makina. The stage is on the left.
  • At Bab al Makina, you can buy A or B seats. A seats are located closer to the stage; B seats towards the back of the auditorium. If you buy a pass, you automatically have A seats.
  • There are side screens at Bab al Makina, one on each side of the stage.
  • A pass to all events including the Fes Forum has historically cost 305 Euros and automatically includes A seats for concerts at Bab al Makina.
  • You will be able to buy tickets on this site as soon as they go on sale. Tickets can be delivered to your guesthouse if you are staying in the medina; other arrangements will be made if you are staying elsewhere. Contact us for details at fezriads@gmail.com.


  • Afternoon concerts are held in the Jnan Sbil Gardens. Note that there is no afternoon concert on Wednesday, which makes this a good time to go on a day trip out of Fez – ask us for details of our day excursion to the Roman World Heritage Site of Volubilis, the important pilgrimage town of Moulay Idriss and the imperial city of Meknes. Contact us at fezriads@gmail.com.

batha museum

  • Big evening concerts are held at Bab al Makina, the open-air parade ground in front of the Royal Palace. It’s off the western edge of this map, across Boujloud Square.




  • Free concerts are held each evening at Boujloud Square, close to Bab Boujloud.
  • Nights in the Medina concerts (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) are held in smaller venues including the music conservatory Dar Adiyel (blue 5), Sidi Mohamed Ben Youssef Cultural Complex (blue 4) and the Prefecture Hall in Batha opposite the Batha Museum (blue 1).
  • Sufi Nights at 23h00 are free of charge and are held in the garden of Dar Tazi, the Festival headquarters (blue 2).
  • The Fes Forum is held on the first three mornings of the festival (ie Saturday, Sunday and Monday) in the Jnan Sbil Garden. Most of the proceedings are in French, but there is simultaneous translation into English and Arabic. You may ask questions in English as most of the panel members speak it.



  • Weather can be variable: it can rain, be very cold and windy at Bab al Makina, or stiflingly hot. It’s best to bring layers, something waterproof, a sunhat and a fan.
  • Seats are not particularly comfortable. If necessary, bring a cushion.
  • Consider taking a trip or arranging an activity on Wednesday as there is no afternoon concert. We have an excursion to Volubilis (the Roman World Heritage Site), Moulay Idriss (the most important pilgrimage town in Morocco) and Meknes (an imperial city), with lunch in Moulay Idriss. Contact us to book. You’ll find some more ideas here.
  • Reserve your accommodation in good time as guesthouses closest to festival venues fill up quickly. Getting to the venues is always on foot.
  • Many restaurants serve dinner early and/or later so that you can attend evening concerts. Keep an eye on the What’s Hot! page on this site.


Here is the 2016 programme:



Women Founders


Full pass to concerts and forum: €305


Bab Al Makina: 21h00  A: €60; B: €30

A Sky full of Stars:  International Premiere

Women of myth and poetry from Sheherazade to the Queen of Sheba

With women artists from Morocco, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Italy and Africa, with an oriental orchestra.



Jnan Palace Hotel, Ville Nouvelle 10h00 Fes Forum: Giving Soul to Globalisation

Today is organised by the Obs-Le Monde media group, with the theme Without Women, Nothing is Possible.

Jnan Sbil Garden: 16h30   €20

Sahar Mohammadi with Ingie Women’s Qanun Ensemble – Iran & Azerbaijan

Sacred Persian song


Bab Al Makina: 21h00  A: €50; B: €25

Durbar: Indian Night: Premiere

Glory of Princes and in praise of the Gods: a dazzling musical engagement between the great musicians of India


Boujloud Square: 22.00   free of charge

Regional Choir of Fes  |  Abdellah Yacoubi: Aissawa Chant

Dar Tazi Sufi Nights 23h00: Touatiya Tariqa: Dar Dmana hal touat



Jnan Palace Hotel, Ville Nouvelle: 10h00 Fes Forum Giving Soul to Globalisation

Theme: Women: Perspective, Experience & Reflection presented by philosopher Yves Michaud and Mohamed Metalsi of the Human Sciences Faculty of the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes. They will pay special tribute to sociologist and author Fatima Mernissi, a native of Fes who died late last year.

Jnan Sbil Garden: 16h30   €20

Christine Salem – Reunion

Maloya revisited


Bab Al Makina: 21h00  A: €50; B: €25

Divas of the World

First part: Hindi Zahra – France & Morocco

Second part: Oumou Sangaré – Mali


Boujloud Square:  22h00   free of charge

Mourad Bouriki  |  Lamia Zaidi

Dar Tazi Sufi Nights 23h00: Harrakiya Tariqa from Safi



Jnan Palace Hotel, Ville Nouvelle: 10h00 Fes Forum Giving Soul to Globalisation

Theme: Women: Perspective, Experience and Reflection

Jnan Sbil Garden: 16h30  €15

Officina Zoé – Italy

Women’s songs of love, work and war with Maria Mazzotta (voice) and Maristella Martella (dance)



Dar Adiyel: 18h00 and 20h30   €20

Rageshri Das

Ghazal Song from Kolkata, India


Prefecture Hall (opposite Batha Museum): 19h00   €20 (stay for the next concert here for the same price)

Shashank Subramaniam and Rakesh Chaurasia

Masters of the Bansuri flute from Chennai and Mumbai, India


Prefecture Hall (opposite Batha Museum): 20h30   €20 (no need to pay a second time if you attend the previous concert here)

Ustad Irshad Khan – Toronto, Canada

Sitar and surbahar


Bab Al Makina: 21h00  free of charge

Jiangsu Women’s National Orchestra – China


Boujloud Square:  22.00   free of charge

Over Boys  |  H-Kayne


Prefecture Hall, Batha: 22h30   €20

The King of Ghosts: Premiere – India & Morocco

Cinema/Concert : composed by Soumik Datta, Johannes Berauer and Cormac Byrne for the film Goopy Gayen Bagha Bayen by Satyajit Ray (1969)

 Dar Tazi Sufi Nights 23h00: Chadilia Tariqa from Tangier



Jnan Sbil Gardens: 16h30   €15

Hawniyaz: inspired by Kurdish, Persian and Azeri traditions

With Aynur (song), Kayhan Kalhor (kamantche), Salman Gambarov (piano) and Cemîl Ǫoçgirî (multi-instrumentalist)



Dar Adiyel: 20h00   €20

Yulduz Turdieva – Uzbekistan  

Shash-maqâm from Bukhara


Sidi Mohamed Ben Youssef Cultural Complex:  20h.00   €20

Ensemble Dialogos – Bosnia and Herzogovina

Heretic Angels: Popular Rituals and Beliefs


Prefecture Hall, Batha: 21.30   €20

OY – Switzerland & Ghana

Space Diaspora


Boujloud Square: 22.00   free of charge

Participation of the French Institute in Fes: Daniel Masson: electronic music |  Omar Boutmazoukt: Amazigh Song


Sidi Mohamed Ben Youssef Cultural Complex: 23.00   €20

Parvathy Baul and Mehdi Nassouli – India and Morocco

Poetry of Wandering Mystics, from Bauls to Gnawas

 Dar Tazi Sufi Nights 23h00: Assaouia Tariqa: M’kadmine evening



no afternoon concert


Sidi Mohamed Ben Youssef Cultural Complex: 20h00   €20

Lamar – Palestine

Arab Songs from Palestine


Prefecture Hall, Batha: 21h30   €20

Farida Muhammad Ali – Iraq

The Voice of Maqâm


Boujloud Square: 22h00   free of charge

In association with the Pakistan Embassy: Najat Atabou



Dar Adiyel: 23h00   €20

Ariana Vafadari – Iran & France

Gathas: Zoroastrian song

 Dar Tazi Sufi Nights 23h00: Machichiya Tariqa: Al Houda Ensemble from Tangier



Jnan Sbil Garden: 16h30  €15

Agraw – Morocco

Sacred Amazigh Song from Tiznit


Riad Dar Bensouda, Qettanine: 18h00   €20

Shaikh Hassan Dyck and Muhabbat Caravan

Meditation with Sufi flavours


Bab Al Makina: 21h00   A: €50; B: €25

Istanbul – Fes: Premiere – Turkey & Morocco

Mevlevi whirling dervishes with the Mohammed Briouel Andalous Orchestra


Boujloud Square: 22h00   free of charge

Mahmoud Al Idrissi  |  Khalid Ali Orchestra

 Dar Tazi Sufi Nights 23h00: Bouchichiya Tariqa



Jnan Sbil Gardens: 16h30   €20

Virginia Rodrigues – Brazil

Celestial Voice


Bab Al Makina: 21h00   A: €50;  B: €25

Tribute to Oum Keltoum with the Cairo Opera Orchestra: Egypt



Boujloud Square: 22h00   free of charge

Diego Cortès | Reda Taliyani

Dar Tazi Sufi Nights 23h00: Derqaouia Tariqa: Abdemjid Sweri from Essaouira



Jnan Sbil Garden: 16h30   €20

Yom – France

Silence of the Exodus

With Yom (composition, clarinet), Farid D (cello), Claude Tchamitchian (double bass) and Bijan Chemirani (zarb, daf and bendir)


Bab Al Makina: 21h00   A: €60; B: €30

Samira Saïd – Morocco

Star of Moroccan Song


Boujloud Square: 22h00   free of charge

Ba-jloud: music of the Jabali tradition | Aminux

 Dar Tazi Sufi Nights 23h00: Hamdouchiya Tariqa: M’kadmine evening



Friday 6 May

Starting point to be confirmed: 16h00

Discover the Fountains of Fes

With smartphone app, accompanied by music by Susie Ibarra and local artists, this discovery of the Fes fountains will conclude with a live concert at the Karaouine Library.


Venue to be confirmed: 16h00

Children Today, Musicians Tomorrow

Screening of the film Chota Divana, the little princes of Rajasthan – India, with a concert performed

by children of Fes


Throughout the Festival

In the Medina: The Mamas – giant African puppets

A mixture of stilts and puppets, these four African giants more than 3m tall wander through the medina. Carrying their babies on their backs, they journey to a tenderly poetic universe, a hymn to African beauty.