Held over eight days at the end of May in Morocco's cultural capital of Rabat, Mawazine, which is also known as “Rhythms of the World,” was started in 2001 as part of a government initiative to promote a more liberal image of Morocco. It has since grown into a big name event, attracting an international crowd of revelers that includes celebrities.
The event draws an eclectic global line-up, featuring not only big international names like Rihanna and Stevie Wonder, but also popular pan-Arab and Moroccan artists (ever heard of Berber fusion rock?). Beyond the music, the festival is also a stage for artists to exhibit their work in individual and collective shows, street performances, and workshops.
What's particularly unique about this festival is the location in the UNESCO World Heritage designated city of Rabat. During the event, the entire city essentially becomes a giant open-air music venue with the stages set up across the town. Most events are also free, making them accessible to the local population.