fes

Fes Festival of World Sacred Music

21st edition: 22-30 May 2015

Fest 2015 poster 

The theme of the 2015 Festival is Fes: an African Reflection. It focuses on the the travels of Hassan al Wazzan, also known as Leo the African, as well as on Sidi Ahmed Tijani, the great Sufi master who is buried in Fez. The programme will be published shortly and you’ll find it in English here first.

Fez Riads can help you with accommodation and you will shortly be able to buy tickets through this site.  If required, we will deliver tickets to your hotel.

Festival Facts

Venues

  • Afternoon concerts are held in the garden of the Batha Museum (map reference blue 1). There is no afternoon concert on Wednesday.
  • 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.
  • Bab-Al-Makana-Paco

  • 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 Batha Museum (blue 1).
  • Sufi Nights are held in the garden of Dar Tazi, the Festival headquarters (blue 2).
  • Medina Mornings are new this year: venues to be confirmed.
  • The Fes Forum is held on the first four mornings of the festival (ie Saturday to Tuesday) at the Batha Museum. 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.

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 no chairs at the Nights in the Medina or Sufi Nights venues, but carpets on the floor. At the Batha Museum, there is some seating on carpets on the floor in front of the stage in addition to the chairs.
  • 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.
  • There are side screens at Bab al Makina, one on each side of the stage.
  • As an indication, a pass to all events in previous years has cost 300 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 booking opens. Payment is via Paypal, using your credit card. You do not need a Paypal account to use this efficient and safe system. Tickets are electronic and should be printed out at home. They can then be exchanged at the concert venues (times strictly limited, and to be published soon). You only need to do this exchange once. If buying tickets for a number of people, only one person need collect the tickets.
  • If required, we will collect your tickets for you and deliver them to your guesthouse in time for your arrival. The charge for this service is Dh500 per group of tickets.

Tips

  • 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. You’ll find some ideas here. Contact us to book.
  • 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.
  • Who was Leo the African? Amin Maalouf’s book is a great introduction.
  • Leo