Morocco’s Music Festival Ticket Proceeds Goes to Earthquake Funds

Visa For Music turns 10 this year and it is donating all of its ticket proceeds to managing the special fund for earthquakes in Morocco.

Visa For Music at Theatre Mohamed V Rabat. Music Press Asia

From Nov 22-25, Visa For Music (VFM) is set to captivate music enthusiasts and industry professionals alike as it unveils a lineup of renowned panel speakers and exceptional musicians.

This four-day music festival, which takes place in the vibrant city of Rabat, Morocco, is setting the stage to serve the music scenes of Africa, and the Middle East as its priority.

After 292 concerts promoting over 1,850 artists, VFM continues this year with the aim to export talents around the world. Their stories in some ways have a sense of urgency.

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The Roar of Atlas Mountain

If you are new to news coming out of Morocco, earthquakes over the century are continuously challenging the way of livelihoods.

Its latest challenge is on how to rebuild the once picturesque villages and towns near Atlas Mountain – its recent earthquake on Sept. 8 devastated the region, killing about 3,000 people.

Image by Mosa'ab Elshamy AP. Earthquake Atlas Mountains Sept23. Music Press Asia
[Motorists drive along a road on the way to earthquake-affected villages in the Atlas Mountains, near Marrakech, Morocco, on September 9. Mosa’ab Elshamy/AP]

So, it is reasonably apt the festival decided to take on a philanthropic role through entertainment. Visa For Music is to donate all of its proceeds from ticket sales to the special fund managing the effects of the earthquake in Morocco.

According to a recent report in the New York Times, the Moroccan government has recently pledged to spend about $11.8 billion to rebuild and repair homes of an estimated 4.2 million Moroccans in the next five years.

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In the Atlas Mountains, traditional architecture had long endured, with picturesque flat-roofed houses, built with mud and stone bricks mixed with straw, clustered together across spectacular landscapes that were a draw for visitors.

Many of those structures collapsed, partly because of the sheer force of the earthquake, but also because the seismic standards put in place two decades ago were often not followed.

Visa For Music Africa Middle East Music Festival 2023. Music Press Asia
[Visa For Music Africa Middle East Music Festival 2023. Music Press Asia]

Morocco Connects

Having created over 500 speed-meetings connecting 8,400 professionals from 85 countries, VFM also organizes training and workshops to provide an opportunity for artistic projects and collaborations to take place.

Moroccan Music

Musicians taking center stage at VFM promise an auditory feast spanning genres and continents.
Opening night gig set scheduled for midnight on two separate stages are Moroccan musicians Mehdi Yakin and Meteor Airlines.

READ MORE about music festivals and conferences here.

The Leila, a Moroccan artist from Oujda blends regional styles with rock influence. Merging Arabic Darija and English, she creates rich styles of musical tone unique to her region.

For something more current The Casablanca Street Cats is the brainchild of a music project blending jazz, neo-soul and ethno-jazz. Their music combines iconic melodies and African influences that transcend borders.

Click here for the full live music program at VFM.

Nayo Lome Orchestra Visa for Music 2023. Music Press Asia
[Nayo Lome Orchestra Visa for Music 2023. Music Press Asia]

Live at Rabat Morocco

Each year VFM selected about 30 acts from over 1,000 applications to perform their 40-minute showcase to the public.

Outside of Morocco, here’s our editor’s top choice to see:

The kamele n’goni singer from Bobo-Dioulasso, Aboubakar Traore, will perform his famous repertoire of the Mandingo griots.

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[Music Press Asia is the Newswire service and distribution for the music industry in Asia Pacific. Music Press Asia]

Joining them is the enchanting Amsterdam Andalusian Orchestra (AAO) and the Amsterdam Klezmer band. Exploring Arab-Andalusian styles, combining klezmer, jazz and Balkan influences, this fusion will be a fun-filled gig to say the least.

Gonia, a South Korean jazz group, gives a taste of Korean rhythms blending the country’s tradition and jazz music.

Full list of artists can be found here.

Hadra Chefchaouinia Visa for Music 2020. Music Press Asia
[Hadra Chefchaouinia Visa for Music 2020. Music Press Asia]

Music Conference – AI & Heritage

The VFM’s conference program is equally exciting this year. Join other participants at the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in passionate conversations from protecting and promoting African heritage to creating a viable streaming ecosystem for music creators.

The panel – International Creators’ Dialogue: Fixing music streaming, ensuring a viable ecosystem for music creators – will be held at the Instituto Cervantes on Nov.25. Moderated by Zahra Mani (Austrian composer) and presented by ECSA; International Music Council.

Click here for the full conference program.

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Distinguished panelists at VFM previously include industry moguls such as Maria May, the founder of WOMEX, and Youssou N’Dour, the Grammy-winning Senegalese singer and politician. These luminaries bring their wealth of experience to discuss the evolving landscape of the music industry, from digital innovations to the global impact of diverse musical traditions.

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