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“Great Music Experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Festival Gnaoua

Festival Gnaoua
Ranked #23 of 55 things to do in Essaouira
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Attraction details
Owner description: Touted as an “African Woodstock” on its official website, the Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival is about more than just the music. Bringing together indigenous Gnauoua musicians with renowned artists from all over the world, the festival celebrates the importance of music as a tool to preserve heritage and culture.
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Music Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2013

My second trip to this exciting festival and just as enjoyable as 2006. However, although this time there was more Moroccan music some ways the experience lacked the genuineness of our earlier visit. More of the music is in private ticketed venues which loses much of the excitement of the late-night jamming I had remembered from my last visit. But this is a wonderful festival of music not to be missed by anyone who loves jazz and world music and who wants something a little different. Best gig for us was the last session on the main stage with Will Calhoun et Maâlem Mustapha Baqbou.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Colin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“My favorite music festival”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2013

I love Gnaoua. I go every year and wouldn't miss it. It has an amazing history and is very touching. Much more than a music festival.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank joeman098
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“A rare mix of musical traditions brought together in a unique setting”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

The Gnaoua Festival is a great introduction to Gnaoua music if you don't know it but also features international jazz and world music performances, all run efficiently in readily accessible venues and brings a real buzz to Essaouira; enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. A real experience.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank John C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Gnaoua festival brilliant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

My husband and I returned to the festival after a 6 yr absence. It is now bigger and the emphasis is still on the gnaoua but international artists are taking the lead as well. Superb acoustics, superb artists and a most enjoyable and cultural experience. Go it beats Glastonbury hands down.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank dreensy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Fun festival, music and dancing all for free”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

We were in Essaouira for a couple of nights and happened to coincide completely unplanned with the festival. We saw a warm up the night before the festival officially started and the first night. Whilst we didn’t artistically appreciate or have any awareness of the performers it was a good fun evening. The crowd are were all friendly and enthusiastic although with any festival too far forward in the crowd can get lively with jumping, dancing and a bit of pushing around.

The music and costumes were great and although not the type of music we are used to was interested and fun to listen and watch.

Everyone young and old, tourists and locals were there and happy for kids to run around very late into the night.

Essaouira gets very very busy, we noticed a big difference from the day before and the day the festival started. You have to pre book any accommodation well in advance. Personally we wouldn’t come just for the festival but it was a bonus to have free entertainment during our short stay.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank TheBaileys2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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