Fes Festival of Sacred Music in Morocco
The Fes Festival of Sacred Music is one of the widest acclaimed world music events. For fifteen years the festival has been bringing together musicians and visitors from all around the world and uniting them in Morocco with the spiritual music from a variety of different cultures. The idea of the festival is to promote peace through the interfaith music, this years theme is “The Tree of Life.”
East and West meet to form a unique emotional and cultural experience uniting the public with a shared sense of spirituality. The Fes Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Morocco. Artists come from France, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Senegal, Armenia, Poland, the U.S., India, Greece and Morocco to create a program with a wide range of art, entertainment, intellectual awareness, and spirituality. Every year the Fes Festival runs for a ten day series.
Each morning there are a series of round table discussions promoting dialogue on cultural awareness and understanding. While there was an increase in conflict in the Middle East it became a crucial goal to increase the understanding. The founders aimed to bring together the world in its many faiths regardless of the historical atrocities. Musicians, authors and intellectuals come together in hopes to resolve pertinent issues of the times, discussing religion, democracy, music, social justice, conflict resolution and even climate change.
The Imperial City
Fes is known for its strong cultural, intellectual and spiritual presence. As a city at the heart of Moroccan civilization, and has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. The evening concerts are held at Bab Makina, the entrance to the Royal Palace. Afternoon concerts are held in the Dar Batha Museum, a slightly smaller area.
The drum is a crucial element for the spiritual music of the Fes Festival. The festival comes alive with Sufi chants, Pakistani qawwali chants, flamenco Christian saeta, Egyption madhi odes, sacred incantations of ancient Indian and Turkish whirling. Locals often fall into chants from the hypnotic rhythms, and the Muslim call to prayer echoes over the loud speakers through the city gates.
Wide Range Program
In recent years the festival has opened with Christian, Jewish and Muslim childrens chiors as a symbol of peace and unity. Along with the round table discussions and performances there are also film events, photography and art exhibits. This years program focuses on our origin, existance and individuality and will feature The Gospel According to John by Abed Azrie and Spiritual Songs from the Arab World lead by Sami Yussef. The festival will also focus on the balance between materialism and spirituality.