Festival of sacred music in Fez
In Morocco, the city of Fez comes alive each year at the opening of the Festival of Sacred Music of the World. The event, created in 1994, is held in the spring, usually during the month of June. With its success, it attracts more and more artists each year. A symbol of tolerance, the festival brings together a diversity of cultures, with different religious traditions. Initially devoted to the three monotheistic religions, Fez has opened up to sacred music from around the world: Buddhist, Hindu and animist. A wide range of music is therefore offered to the spectators who come to enjoy the sacred songs.
An open and singing dialogue opens up, where peace reigns and conflicts are forgotten. According to Mohamed Kabbaj, organizer of the event, the festival of sacred music is a “cradle of cultural and spiritual conviviality.
For centuries, the city of Fez is a place of cultural meetings. Many scholars, philosophers and artists have lived there. It owes its success among intellectuals to the creation of the famous university, the Qaraouiyyîn, built in 857. Moreover, Fez is an atypical city, extremely pretty, and by nature seductive. It is the third largest city in Morocco, the medina (old town) with its magnificent Arab architecture is protected by UNESCO. The city has hardly changed since the 12th century. When attending the festival of sacred music, travelers should walk around the four corners of the city, as the organizers always make sure to dispatch the concerts to different places in Fez.
On the Bâb Makina square, one of the most imposing of the city, a large stage is installed where several shows follow one another according to the hours. At the Batha Museum and on the Arc de Triomphe square, in a landscape full of history, near the Zerhoun mountain, other music concerts are also organized. And, some of the city’s cafes offer free shows for children. During the festival, no matter where you walk in the city, you will hear the notes and harmonies of sacred music.
All sacred music is represented, without any discrimination: African, Tibetan, Sufi, Muslim, Christian, etc. The Fez Festival helps people, even the most minority, to claim their culture. It protects cultures that tend to be forgotten because of war, genocide, or other reasons. The Festival of Sacred Music is so symbolic of exchange, respect and peace that the UN has elected it as one of the “twelve most important events in the world that have contributed positively to the building of dialogue between different cultures and civilizations…”.
Shortly after the festival in the city, symposiums are organized, this year the themes were the meaning of music and the sacred. These are the “Fez meetings”, they allow people from all over the world to share ideas. Fez is a rich place of exchange, where modernity, sacred values, faith, culture and heritage harmonize without any problem.
During the festival, you will have the opportunity to dine in the very good restaurants of the city of Fez, like the Majestic. In a very pleasant setting and for a reasonable price, you will eat very well. The restaurant is located at the foot of the mountains, the dishes offered are fine, tourists are always happy to go there. The restaurant “Les 3 sources” offers a more rustic cuisine, meals are served by the pool in the summer, in a beautiful garden decorated with palm trees and orange trees. You are guaranteed to have a good time.
Fez has about 30 hotels and guesthouses where you can stay during the festival. It is best to make reservations in advance. In the medina, the Hotel du Glacier and the Pension Talâa are good values. They are very well placed and offer an impeccable service.
The historic city of Fez, with its sumptuous landscape, offers tourists an almost magical and timeless festival. Ancient, sacred and modern music come together to uplift souls and ease tensions. Hailed throughout the world, the Festival of Sacred Music in Fez is a magical moment, where the meaning of the word “respect” takes on its full value. Much more than an artistic event, the Fez Festival is the emblem of peace in the world.