People, Culture

Festival of Casablanca: The East as the Guest of Honour

Per: Graziella CHASSANY  

The White City will vibrate to the rhythms of Eastern sounds from the 23rd to 25th August, 2013. This edition is a comeback after two years of abscence, a festival that wants to depict the image of a city perpetually in motion.

Each year, the city choses a continent or culture to dedicate to, this time around Casablanca is about to receive some big names in the Middle Eastern and North African music industry with live concerts, through a partnership between the city and the famous Rotana Music Label. The finalists from the popular TV show Arab Idol and Palestinian rising star Mohameed Assaf will perform on stage for the closing of the Festival. This is a first in the history of Arab Idol especially as Casablanca concerts will be free to access. 

According to organizers, about two million spectators are expected to turn out for this major event. Moreover, the mayor of Casablanca stated at the press conference that the site Rashidi, having a capacity for only 50,000 people is currently a work in progress and will not be included in the program this year for security reasons. Mohamed Sajid has also been very discreet about the issues related to the financial support of the city of Casablanca for the festival, saying " We have tried in the past editions to ensure the participation of the city is minimal. Almost all the funding for this edition comes from our sponsors." He did not, however, give details of figures or any investor names. 

Meanwhile, the people of Casablanca can enjoy the musical atmosphere in the city for free, three days, three stages and three shows! The three sites shows will be taking place are; El Hank, Sidi Bernoussi and BeN M'Sick. Among headlining acts will be stars like Elissa, Najwa Karam, Fares Karam and Najat Atabou. 

Text Imane Falah

Translation Karen Athwal