Essaouira Mogador is a town at the Atlantic coast of Morocco

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The Gnaoua Festival

Essaouira Festival of Gnaoua and World Music

Festival d'Essaouira Gnaoua Musique du monde

The Gnaoua Festival in 2023 will be in Essaouira
22 - 24 June 2023


The festival of 2022 was a
which was held from June 3 to 4 in Essaouira
and on 9 and 10 in Marrakech,
on 16,17and 19 in Casablanca
and on 23 and 24 in Rabat.

Gnaoua Tour 2022


The program of the Gnaoua Festival Topur 2022



Since 1998, the Gnaoua Festival of World Music is held in Essaouira, normally in the last week of June. It brings together artists from all over the world. Although focussed on gnaoua music, it includes rock, jazz and reggae. Dubbed as the "Moroccan Woodstock" it lasts four days and attracts annually around 450,000 spectators.


Maroc : la musique gnaoua inscrite au patrimoine immatériel de l’Unesco
Le Monde Afrique 13 décembre 2019)

The Gnaoua Festival and world music continue to train its nextgeneration.
With OMMA (Ouled Mogador Music Action) which is in its 4th edition. The aim is to stimulate the creativity of young talents and help them improve their skills in the musical field.


Read about the Gnaoua Culture and the icon of Essaouira Maalem Mahmoud Guinia


"A Saxon in Morocco and the Others" film marocain-Festival Gnawa Essaouira
An ethno-musical journey by accompanying five people
during the 17th Gnawa and World Music Festival of Essaouira in Morocco
Doku-fiction film by Fouad Boutahar"ساكسوني في المغرب والاخرون" فيلم قصير

1st prize gold award in the international category of the 21st edition
Presentation of the director Fouad Boutahar (PDF)

Histoire du Festival Gnaoua (Gnawa) et Musiques du Monde d'Essaouira


Ambiance (Festival Gnaoua 2011)
par sourdoreille


But suddenly something changed.

"Prior to arriving in Morocco I had never heard of the Gnaoua and World Music Festival, a 3 day event that is held every June in Essaouira – and it just so happened that I timed my visit with this enormous music festival.

A few days before the festival I noticed a huge change in the vibe of Essaouira.The town usually has a population of just 60,000 people.Over 400,000 people attend the festival. Yes, it’it’s really that insane. Suddenly, my chilled out, relaxing beach town turned into an overwhelming mass of people. And with the festival goers came the touts, the scams and the doubling of prices. When I went to renew my hostel stay on the first day of the festival, I was told the prices had now doubled because of the festival. I found myself really starting to dislike Essaouira. I suddenly had hassle from men in the street – grabbing me, trying to touch my breasts, whispering in French in my ear and then calling me a slut and a whore when I walked away. I could no longer sit and enjoy a meal without a dozen different men sitting down with me and trying to convince me to go back to their house. There were crowds everywhere and there was nowhere to escape. I decided to try and stick it out. My plan was to hide away in my hostel for the three days and wait for the chaos to pass.This was a really bad decision. Having to deal with the hassle and abuse for those three days drove me absolutely insane and by the end of it I was exhausted and stressed and had a desperate urge to flee the country."

From Attempting to find calm in Morocco, Never Ending Footsteps Posted by Lauren on September 2, 2012

"Now in its 14th year, the Essaouira Festival is largely dedicated to the North African Gnawa style of music, which combines trance-like rhythms with hypnotic bass lines. Traditionally used in healing rites and celebratory events, it has been known to send listeners into rapturous spasms. In addition to Gnawa, the festival also features a host of jazz, blues and rock artists, all set against the picturesque backdrop of Morocco’s Atlantic coast. Performers this year include Salif Keita and Ribab Fusion."
Rolling Stone Middle East by RS Staff June 23, 2011



Download posters 1998 - 2019 here!


2019-22 edition


2018 - 21st Edition

2017 - 20th Edition


2016 - 19th Edition


2015 - 18th Edition


2015- 18th Edition

2014 - 17th Edition


2013 - 16th Edition


2012 - 15th Edition

2011 - 14th Edition

2011- 13th Editio0

Get all editions here (External link)

2001 2000
1999 1998


1998 Poster

The first official poster 1998

More about GNAWA etymology here

Gnawa Casablanca

External links:

The Sacred and the Profane : Gnaoua and World Music Festival, Essaouira, 2016 

The Festive Sacred and the Fetish of Trance 


Liens en français: 

Festival Gnaoua et Musiques du Monde d'Essaouira ( 

Gnaoua a Essaouira - Asmâa Hamzaoui ( VIDEO )




Eid al Adha
Eid el Kebir

External links
Official website EN

Festival Gnaoua et Musiques du Monde



Internal link

Gnaoua culture