‘Diriyah Nights’ music festival launched in Riyadh

CASABLANCA: It took two years before the cultural actors of Morocco could finally push a big “phew” of relief. Thanks to the improvement of the indicators, one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic is recovering, not without difficulty.

For this, the government has drawn on its resources. During a session in Parliament at the beginning of December, the minister responsible recalled having released some 40 million dirhams (1 Moroccan dirham = 0.090 euro) in 2022, to help culture. A culture more than in the spotlight this year. Back to the highlights!

A smooth recovery

While Mawazine, Africa’s biggest music festival, was absent this year, other major events have made a comeback, such as the Marrakech International Film Festival and Marrakech du rire. The comedy show, founded by Jamel Debbouze, celebrated its 10th candle and was watched by nearly three million viewers.

Poster of the last Marrakech du rire (Photo, Supplied).

In the spiritual capital, the president of the Fez Festival of Sacred Music of the World, Abderrafia Zouiten, and his teams have done everything possible to revive this internationally renowned event. “Despite the very short deadlines, the teams set out to meet this challenge, driven by their desire not to let another year pass without meeting the expectations of the thousands of festival-goers”, he declared on the official website of the festival. event on the eve of the festival.

In Rabat, the Visa For Music festival was crowned with success. This artistic meeting, dedicated to music from Africa and the Middle East, welcomed more than two hundred artists and nearly sixteen thousand spectators during its 9th edition last November.

A few months earlier, the Gnaoua festival made a remarkable comeback. Due to the health crisis, the organizers have opted for a new formula. These musical meetings, which have become itinerant, offered the public around thirty concerts in four Moroccan cities.

Announcement of the Gnaoua festival in Essaouira (Photo, Supplied).

new resolutions

“Enjoy the present moment”: the adage has never been so relevant. For Moulay Ahmed el-Alami, since the Covid-19 pandemic, the public has “changed their state of mind”. However, the return to normal has not been easy for the organizer of the essential Jazzablanca and Tanjazz.

“For two years, it was quite complicated. We had no visibility. No one really gave us a date or hope for recovery. It was destabilizing, because we never stopped working. When in April, we had the “go”, we recreated a team and in two months, we relaunched Jazzablanca”, he says.

Same situation for the Tangier festival, relaunched in record time. Despite the obstacles, the two events, which notably received Ben Harper, Ibrahim Maalouf and Natacha Atlas, were sold out: “Internally, it was really hard, but we noticed that the public was thirsty to come back. and party. I never would have thought to say that, but these two years of pandemic have done us good, not financially, but to take a step back and realize that we really wanted to continue and do things well.

Adapting to new expectations is also the choice made by the French Institute of Morocco for its cultural programming this season. “We have seen a great enthusiasm from the public for outdoor shows. It is more difficult to attract audiences to conferences and literary meetings, because people have become accustomed to following these events online. So, overall, a recovery which is confirmed with an increase in attendance, but which is not yet at the stage that we knew before the period of the Covid-19 pandemic”, declares Gaëtan Pellan, director of the French Institute of Casablanca, at Arab News in French.

Festivals, concerts, plays, exhibitions, the Kingdom once again vibrates to the rhythm of culture. A good dynamic for the year 2023, which should contribute to the tourist and economic development of the country.

‘Diriyah Nights’ music festival launched in Riyadh