What I’m listening to before the Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival from 21 to 23 June 2018

It’s almost time for the Essaouira Gnaoua and World Festival to take over the laid-back town of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. Held this year from 21 to 23 June, the festival vibe kicks takes over the town as music lovers flock to the seaside town, Gnaoua concerts take place until the early hours, and the best parties happen on rooftops with views of the main stage.

This year, however, I’m choosing a weekend at the cottage in Quebec with some of my dearest friends over Gnaoua festival vibes Essaouira. But nevertheless, I have prepared a playlist for readers who may be attending the Gnaoua Festival in Essaouira, or wish they were.

If you’re attending the Gnaoua festival for the first time, I have a few tips:

Don’t miss the opening parade on Thursday evening. The Gnaoua bands parading through the streets of the medina, each one more lively than the next with the superstar maalems looking super cool kicks the festival off in style!

I know festival attire is important, but trust me, it gets cold in the evening in Essaouira so you’ll want to take this in to consideration when planning the weekend looks, especially if the wind picks up!

Buy a VIP pass from the main merchandise tent to gain access to a special area in front of the stage.

Check out the schedule of events as part of the Arbre de Palabre at the Institut Francais. The line up interesting the last time I attended the festival, often featuring musicians participating in the festival. Be sure to arrive early.

Head poolside for a recovery day on Sunday. If your weekend at the Gnaoua and World Music Festival is anything like mine  used to be, you’ll need it!

Essaouira is not what it used to be for food. One of my favourite restaurants in all of Morocco, UMIA, is located in Essaouira and it’s a must visit for lunch.

For more information, visit the festival website: http://festival-gnaoua.net/fr.

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