Saturday, January 23, 2016


The 22nd Fes Festival of World Sacred Music takes place in Fes from Friday May 6th to Sunday May 15th. This years theme is The Women Founders

Again this year The View From Fez,  as an official media partnerwill bring you the most comprehensive coverage of the festival, with news, reviews and photographs.

 Please note this programme has changed since first published.

Opening night 

Friday 6 May. Bab Al Makina: 21h00 A: €60; B: €30

The opening night premiere is - A Sky full of Stars:
Women of myth and poetry from Scheherazade to the Queen of Sheba.

With women artists from Morocco, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Italy and Africa, with an oriental orchestra. (See more details here)

Saturday 7 May
Jnan Sbil Gardens: 16h30 €20
Sahar Mohammadi with Ingie Women’s Qanun Ensemble – Iran & Azerbaijan
Sacred Persian song

Sahar Mohammadi

Bab Al Makina: 21h00 A: €50; B: €25
Durbar: Indian Night: Premiere (See more details here)
Glory of Princes and in praise of the Gods: a dazzling musical engagement between the great musicians of India

Sunday 8 May
Jnan Sbil Gardens: 16h30 €20
Christine Salem – Reunion

Christine Salem

Bab Al Makina: 21h00 A: €50; B: €25
World Divas
First part: Hindi Zahra – France & Morocco
Second part: Oumou Sangaré – Mali

Oumou Sangaré

Monday 9 May
Jnan Sbil Gardens: 16h30 €15
Officina Zoé – Italy
Women’s songs of love, work and healing with Maria Mazzotta (voice) and Maristella Martella (dance)

Maristella Martella 

Dar Adiyel: 18h00 €20
Rageshri Das
Khyal Song from Kolkata, India

Programme Change! Both concerts scheduled for the Sidi Mohamed Ben Youssef Cultural Complex will now take place at the Prefecture Hall opposite the Batha Museum (see map ref blue 1).
19h00: Shashank Subramaniam and Rakesh Chaurasia
Masters of the Bansuri flute from Chennai and Mumbai, India

20h30: Ustad Irshad Khan – Toronto, Canada
Sitar and surbahar

The price is 20 Euros per person, whether you stay for one concert or both. This makes no difference if you have a pass.

Ustad Irshad Khan

Dar Adiyel: 20h30 €20
Rageshri Das
Ghazal song from Kolkata, India

Prefecture Hall, Batha: 22h30 €20
The King of Ghosts: Premiere – India & Morocco
Cinema/Concert : composed by Soumik Datta, Johannes Berauer and Cormac Byrne for the film Goopy Gayen Bagha Bayen by Satyajit Ray (1969)

EXTRA CONCERT: May 9 - Jiangsu Women's National Orchestra from China will perform at 21h00 at Bab Al Makina. This concert is free of charge

Tuesday 10 May
Jnan Sbil Gardens: 16h30 €15
Hawniyaz: inspired by Kurdish, Persian and Azeri traditions
With Aynur (song), Kayhan Kalhor (kamantche), Salman Gambarov (piano) and Cemîl Ǫoçgirî (multi-instrumentalist)

Dar Adiyel: 20h00 €20
Yulduz Turdieva: Shash-maqâm from Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Yulduz Turdieva

Sidi Mohamed Ben Youssef Cultural Complex: 23h00 €20
Parvathy Baul and Mehdi Nassouli – India and Morocco
Mystical Poetry of Nomads, from Bauls to Gnawas

Wednesday 11 May
Sidi Mohamed Ben Youssef Cultural Complex: 20h00 €20
Lamar: Arab song from Palestine

Prefecture Hall, Batha: 21h30 €20
Farida Muhammad Ali – Iraq

Farida Muhammad Ali 

Dar Adiyel: 23h00 €20
Ariana Vafadari – Iran & France
Gathas: Zoroastrian song

Thursday May 12
Jnan Sbil Gardens: 16h30 €15
Lalla Rquia Ouhmad and the Women’s Ensemble – Morocco
Sacred Amazigh Song from Tiznit

Riad Dar Bensouda, Qettanine: 18h00 €20
Shaikh Hassan Dyck and Muhabbat Caravan
Meditation with Sufi flavours

Shaikh Hassan Dyck

Bab Al Makina: 21h00 A: €50; B: €25
Istanbul – Fes: Premiere – Turkey & Morocco
Mevlevi whirling dervishes with the Mohammed Briouel Andalous Orchestra

Mevlevi whirling dervishes

Friday 13 May
Jnan Sbil Gardens: 16h30 €20
Virginia Rodrigues – Brazil
Heavenly voice

Bab Al Makina: 21h00 A: €50; B: €25
Ahlam from the United Arab Emirates.

Saturday 14 May
Jnan Sbil Gardens: 16h30 €20
Yom – France
Silence of the Exodus
With Yom (composition, clarinet), Farid D (cello), Claude Tchamitchian (double bass) and Bijan Chemirani (zarb, daf and bendir)

Bab Al Makina: 21h00 A: €60; B: €30
Samira Saïd – Morocco
Star of Moroccan Song

Sunday 15 May

Programme Change! The Tribute to Oum Keltoum has moved to Sunday 15 May, extending the Festival by one day.


Sufi Nights at 23h00 are free of charge and are held in the garden of Dar Tazi, the Festival headquarters. See programme HERE

The Fes Forum is held on the first five mornings of the festival (ie Saturday to Wednesday); venue to be announced. Most of the proceedings are in French, but there is simultaneous translation into English and Arabic. You may ask questions in English as most of the panel members speak it. See details HERE

Friday 6 May
Discover the Fountains of Fes - Starting point to be confirmed: 16h00
With smartphone app, accompanied by music by Susie Ibarra and local artists, this discovery of the Fes fountains will conclude with a live concert at the Karaouine Library.

Children Today, Musicians Tomorrow - Venue to be confirmed: 16h00
Screening of the film Chota Divana, the little princes of Rajasthan – India, with a concert performed
by children from Fes

Chota Divana

The Mamas – giant African puppets will perform in the Medina throughout the Festival

Jnan Sbil Gardens: Taragalte Cultural Caravan for Peace
The Association Zaila’s nomad-style tent in the Jnan Sbil Gardens will feature the culture and music of the Moroccan Sahara.

Things you need to know ! 

Festival Venues: This year, afternoon concerts are to be held in the Jnan Sbil Gardens.
Note that there is no afternoon concert on Wednesday, which makes this a good time to go on a day trip out of Fez.

Big evening concerts are held at Bab al Makina, the open-air parade ground in front of the Royal Palace.

Free concerts are held each evening at Boujloud Square, close to Bab Boujloud. See details here
Nights in the Medina concerts (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) are held in smaller venues including the music conservatory Dar Adiyel, Sidi Mohamed Ben Youssef Cultural Complex,, the Prefecture Hall in Batha opposite the Batha Museum, and Riad Dar Bensouda.

Seating and Ticketing

Seats are not reserved. Get to the venue in plenty time if you want a good seat.
Seats are raked at Bab al Makina; elsewhere they are on the flat. There are no chairs at the Nights in the Medina or Sufi Nights venues, but carpets on the floor.

At Bab al Makina, you can buy A or B seats. A seats are located closer to the stage; B seats towards the back of the auditorium. If you buy a pass, you automatically have A seats. There are side screens at Bab al Makina, one on each side of the stage.As an indication, a pass to all events costs 305 Euros and automatically includes A seats for concerts at Bab al Makina. You can buy tickets on this site closer to the time. Tickets can be delivered to your guesthouse if you are staying in the medina; other arrangements will be made if you are staying elsewhere.

Weather can be variable: it can rain, be very cold and windy at Bab al Makina, or stiflingly hot. It’s best to bring layers, something waterproof, a sunhat and a fan. See extended weather forecast HERE
Seats are not particularly comfortable. If necessary, bring a cushion.
Consider taking a trip or arranging an activity on Wednesday as there is no afternoon concert.
Reserve your accommodation in good time as guesthouses closest to festival venues fill up quickly. Getting to the venues is always on foot.
Many restaurants serve dinner early and/or later so that you can attend evening concerts.

Fes Map

Translations and map - Thanks to Helen Ranger at Fes Riads
The View From Fez is a Fes Festival official Media Partner
See our Fes Festival previews:
Opening Night Preview
Homage to India Preview
Divas of the World Preview
Nights in the Medina 1 Preview
Nights in the Medina 2 Preview
Nights in the Medina 3 Preview
Istanbul to Fez Preview
Tribute to Oum Keltoum Preview
Samira Saïd Preview
Forum Sessions Preview

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Abd Rahman said...

Bring a fan,you say, to the concerts. Nothing is worse than sitting next to someone waving a fan inches away from one's face whilst listening to music!

Unknown said...

Thank you for your beautiful concerts in Fez. I love your city and was welcomed to it long ago. I look to return with joy. Carola

Ray from Ottawa said...

THanks for the information - any chance of posting a map which indicates the venue sites? I've been to Fes but am not familiar with most of the locations.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updated information. This will help me plan my attendance at the festival. Any chance of posting a map of the location of the venues for those of us not very familiar with the various places we will be trying to make our way to. Cheers, Ray