Fes Festival of World Sacred Music: 13-21 June 2014
This year marks the 20th anniversary of probably the greatest of world music festivals. The first one, in 1994, was organised by Faouzi Skali, a Sufi scholar, as a reaction to the first Gulf War. He felt that harmony in the world and between the three Abrahamic faiths, could be achieved through music. The festival has expanded a great deal since those early days, and now encompasses music from all faiths and belief systems. M Skali is still the Director General. This year promises to be very exciting, with wonderful artists: Youssou N’Dour with Johnny Clegg in a tribute to Nelson Mandela; one of the greatest Chicago blues musicians, Buddy Guy; top flamenco guitarist Tomatito; Jordi Savall, Françoise Atlan, Indian master of the tabla Zakir Hussain and the great Arab singer Kadem el Saher all bring a taste of east and west. There’s lots more: see the programme in English here, and order your tickets online here.
In the run-up to the festival, we’ll be bringing you news of what will be happening in addition to the music – which restaurants will be serving dinner at times convenient to concert-goers, all the fringe events and what you could be doing when there are no concerts.
Guesthouses are filling up. There are still options in all price categories, but it would be a good idea to book as soon as possible, especially to find accommodation close to concert venues.
Fes Forum: Giving Soul to Globalisation
This year, the Forum has the theme Cultures and Identities in Transition. The Forum is held on the first four mornings of the festival at the Batha Museum. There are round table discussions every day, with themes as follows. Most of the discussion is in French, with some English. We don’t have a list of participants yet. If you buy a pass, you automatically have access to all festival events, including the Forum. If not, you can buy individual forum tickets, or a day passes to all events.
Saturday 14 June: Mandela’s spiritual legacies: Lessons for our era
Sunday 15 June: Social harmony in plural, multicultural societies: what have we learned?
Monday 16 June: Morocco: managing and savoring diversity – an ideal, a model, a challenge
Tuesday 17 June: What would Mandela counsel today to achieve peace in the Middle East?
Free Festival Events
There are plenty of free events at the Festival:
- concerts at 22h00 every evening on Boujloud Square
- Sufi Nights at 23h00 evening at Dar Tazi (map reference blue 2). A different tariqa or Sufi brotherhood performs each night until about 01h00 outside in the garden.
- art exhibitions: these haven’t been announced yet, but usually take place at the Batha Museum and at Dar Tazi
- children’s events: again, no details yet, but these take place at Al Houria Complex in the new city
- this year the Hot 8 Brass Band from New Orleans accompanying Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy will be playing in city squares and in the medina lanes – watch out for them!