Rabat, June 21st 2019: Under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the 18th edition of the Mawazine Festival- Rhythms of the World kicked off on Friday night with fanfare and a cheering crowd. All generations were present, confirming the exceptional popularity of the event that was recently ranked, with over 2.5 million spectators, as the first musical event on the planet by the site Statista, far ahead of the Donauinselfest in Austria or even Coachella in the USA!
On the Nahda stage, the highly anticipated concert of the Lebanese diva Carole Samaha has gathered a large audience to listen to her most beautiful songs. Titles sang in unison by a charmed audience! The performance of Mohamed Réda, a figure of modern Moroccan music shared the oriental stage, has also received a standing ovation.
At OLM Souissi, it was time for Latin music with the Colombian singer J Balvin. A true prodigy, the South American star has delighted festival-goers with his unique style and reggaeton-inspired compositions. Ditto for the sublime Rosalía, who has also conquered the audience. As a Spanish icon, the 25-year-old singer has shown that she remains attached to her flamenco roots, to which she added urban sounds that made the crowd vibrate. A consecration for an artist who already has five Grammy Latinos nominations!
In Salé, Moroccan music was once again in the spotlight with Zahira Rbatia first, who has been acclaimed by the public. Originally from Salé, this exceptional voice performer has excelled in raï, aïta and chaâbi music. Accustomed to the festival, the Casablanca native Mustapha Burgundy was also full of energy. Regarded as one of the most popular artists of Moroccan music, the man not only has a great voice but plays the violin in a mesmerizing and electrifying! way
From Morocco to the mainland, the Bouregreg scene has honored a South African group like no other. BCUC delivered a crazy performance, sailing halfway between free jazz, hip hop origins, dissonant Stooges and the balanced energy of James Brown. With the group coming from Soweto, the famous township of Johannesburg, it is also the memory of Fela Kuti and his afro-beat cocktail made in Lagos that made festival-goers dance the night away!
The Mohammed V National Theater was also full of energy with a packed room. As is traditional, the Mawazine Festival-Rhythms of the World was inaugurated a little earlier in this legendary hall with an opening concert that will remain in the annals: that of the Flamenco Ballet of Andalucía, the most emblematic institution of Andalusian folk art. Ambassador of flamenco since its inception more than twenty years ago, the company has performed on stages around the world. Their visit to Rabat has made a great impact with an unforgettable performance.
A wonderful introduction to an 18th edition which is already announced as a great moment of popular celebration, music and discovery!