All about Mawazine

A Maroc Cultures Association initiative, Mawazine Festival-Rhythms of the World, created on October 23rd 2001, is part of an approach promoting openness to cultures by offering the public a musical journey to the four corners of the planet.
Each year since eleven years now, the Festival allows many artists, Moroccan in particular, to live a special moment of recognition while bringing together the biggest international celebrities.


Through Mawazine Festival, Maroc Cultures Association offers Rabat a unique cultural dynamism, but also wonderful tourist and commercial opportunities. Mawazine has thus contributed to opening Rabat to the world, rooted in the values of the past and resolutely turned to the future.
A simple festival at first, Mawazine – Rhythms of the World, has now become the main musical event in the Maghreb, an international event that knows how to communicate tolerance and respect through music and art; the universal values at the core of this creation. It is also a unique occasion to bring together audiences from all backgrounds to share the same passion: Beauty.

By inviting thousands of singers and musicians from the four corners of the world, Mawazine – Rhythms of the World calls for sharing and conviviality between cultures. Thus, during the eleven editions, the Festival strives to spread among Moroccans, especially youth, values such as tolerance and dialogue between peoples and cultures.
Investing in quality without falling into elitism, Mawazine – Rhythms of the World democratizes culture in Morocco. Thanks to a free access to 90% of shows, the Festival is today a grand popular event that is very appreciated by Moroccans, all generations considered.


During these last years, the public experienced very rich musical expressions that accompanied the singing and dancing of internationally renowned artists, including the South-African group Freshly Ground, the Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo, the Ivorian group Magic System, the Cuban orchestra Juan Marcos, the Afro-Cuban All Stars, the legend of Cape Verde Cesaria Evora, the Columbian Yuri Buenaventura, the Guinean Blitz The Ambassador, the African masters Cheikh Lo, Mory Kanté, Salif Keita and Youssou N'dour as well as the American jazzman Al Di Meola with the greatest Moroccan lutenist Saad Chraibi.
Jazz lovers will also enjoy exceptional representations of Ibrahim Maalouf, George Benson, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Harry Connick Jr.

The diversity of Mawazine – Rhythms of the World is also illustrated by music representations with a more regional and spiritual vocation that, from Spain to Iran, will allow the public to discover music as magical as that of Ali Azam & Niyaz, Lole Montoya, Sara Tavares, Ana Moura, Alexey Arkhipovskiy, Aynur, Kayhan Kalhor & Erdal Erzincan, Taraf de Haidouks, Homayoun Shajarian Tahmoures & Sohrab Pournazeri and the inimitable Goran Bregovic.

Mawazine – Rhythms of the World has also become, throughout the editions, the incontrovertible appointment of the biggest world stars: Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Scorpions, Jimmy Cliff, Gloria Gaynor, The Jacksons, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Deep Purple, Enrique Iglesias... but also Khaled, Nancy Ajram, Warda Al Jazayria, Amr Diab, Hussain Aljassmi, Majda Roumi, Kadem Saher, Ahlam, Tamer Hosny, Walid Toufic, Sherine, Cheb Mami, Najwa Karam, ...who have performed to the greatest pleasure of their fans.

Real promoter of the Moroccan scene, the Festival also spotlights the best artists of the kingdom. Mawazine has been the occasion for the public to rediscover the giants of the national scene namely Nass El Ghiwane, Karima Skalli, Abdelhadi Belkhayat, Abdelouahab Doukkali, Naima Samih, Jil Jilala, the Megri brothers.

During these last years, Mawazine has been open to other artistic expressions. The Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow was invited to present his works of art, just like the photographers Michel Nachef, Fouad Maazouz or Touhami Ennadre. Not to mention collective exhibitions like Traversées that brought together the best contemporary artists of the Arab world.

In its quest for openness and exchange, Mawazine gathered the greatest thinkers, philosophers, anthropologists and renowned artists, the time of a symposium or a roundtable, to reflect before an audience of festivalgoers, eager to learn and live new experiences.

The most awaited moment in the Moroccan cultural calendar, Mawazine – Rhythms of the World is today a synonym of gateway, journey and harmony, a unique event that turns Rabat each year into a gigantic open-air stage, where street shows and parades make of the capital a joyous carnival of sounds and colors.

Mawazine Festival has gained a solid reputation based on the international circuit of cultural events. In May, during nine days, the festival hosts over 1500 artists from around the world. At stake: more than 125 shows spread over seven sites. Sign of its growing success, Mawazine festival held 2.500.000 festivalgoers and over 30 million viewers in 2013, allowing it to become the 2nd biggest festival in the world in terms of multitude.

Besides its cultural influence, Mawazine also acts as a wonderful engine for local economy. Apart from the thousands of direct jobs it generates, the Festival contributes each year in boosting the tourist and commercial networks of Rabat thanks to tens of thousands of visitors that come to the capital during the event.

All these reasons explain the fascination that many foreign journalists have for Mawazine – Rhythms of the World. The tone of most of the articles portrays not only a real admiration for the Festival and its programs, but also and especially an admiration for the country whose know-how allows to organize each year an event that rivals the biggest cultural manifestations on a global scale.

This year, Mawazine –Rhythms of the World, celebrates its 13th anniversary. Besides its reputation, established beyond the borders of Morocco and Africa, the Festival represents a unique image and style, showcasing the Moroccan patrimony and serving as an open window to the continents that grant it a privileged place in the history of the biggest international events in the world. A subtle and delicate balance, that Mawazine –Rhythms of the world will once again honor on the occasion of its 13th edition, taking place from May 29th to June 6th 2015.

Mawazine figures

  • 502 accredited national journalists
  • 227 accredited international journalists
  • 8 street shows
  • 2 original creations
  • 118 shows
  • 3 creative workshops led by experienced artists
  • 40 countries represented
  • 5 continents
  • 2 500 000 spectators
  • + de 38 millions viewers

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