Monday, July 05, 2010

Rolling Stone at Morocco's Fez Festival

For those who grew up immersed in the music culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Rolling Stone magazine was an essential way of keeping track of what was happening in the world of music, politics and popular culture. Based in the USA, Rolling Stone is published every two weeks and, after some criticism about going "down-market" in the 1990s, it is now back on track.

Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner (who is still editor and publisher) and music critic Ralph J. Gleason. To get the magazine off the ground, Wenner borrowed $7,500 from his family members and from the family of his soon-to-be wife, Jane Schindelheim. Rolling Stone magazine was initially identified with and reported on the hippie counterculture of the era. However, the magazine distanced itself from the underground newspapers of the time, such as Berkeley Barb, embracing more traditional journalistic standards and avoiding the radical politics of the underground press. In the very first edition of the magazine, Wenner wrote that Rolling Stone "is not just about the music, but about the things and attitudes that music embraces." This has become the de facto motto of the magazine.

That Rolling Stone should cover the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music was a real plus as many of its readers would otherwise never have heard of the festival. Rolling Stone's man at the festival was the easy going Mark Kemp (pictured right) who threw himself into the festival with obvious delight.

The View from Fez has not yet obtained a print copy of the Rolling Stone issue with his work in it, but we can report that Kemp has assembled a tasty selection of photographs that now appear on the Rolling Stone online version under the headline MOROCCO'S FEZ FESTIVAL: PHOTOS FROM THE WORLD'S MOST ECLECTIC FESTIVAL !

You can see the full set of photographs HERE. Photographs are by Mark Kemp, Gerard Chemit and Frederic Poletti.

"One of the criticisms of the Fez Festival in past years was that the performances were too exclusive: not enough music was offered to local Moroccans who couldn't afford the big-ticket shows at Bab Makina and the Batha Museum. Organizers in recent years have added popular concerts held at the vast Bab Boujloud square next to the medina, which can hold up to 10,000 people. In this photo, mostly local music fans wait for Moroccan Sufi star Abdellah Yaakoubi to perform on Saturday evening." - Mark Kemp.

No comments: