It’s one thing to go and experience some world class music, but quite another thing to do it all while soaking up some truly unique local culture and customs. And that’s exactly what MOGA offers, as well as traditional Moroccoan music and so much more. 

It all happens in the city of Essaouira, which is a dusty place of ancient stone buildings, dramatic sunsets and sand beaches. It is also where Game of Thrones has been filmed. But there is plenty to do without leaving the confines of the festival itself. Across one stunning weekend, regional acts mix with big names from around the world and play on a fine array of stages by the pool, beach and gardens. The pace is laid back, the people inviting, the ambiance magical and the crowd help make it so. They are a nice mix of the old and the young, the adventurous music lovers and those who prefer a more grown up dance. 

Essaouira port is always bustling with local fisherman bring their catch of the day back to shore and nearby restaurants offering up the freshest eats you can imagine. You can also enjoy quad bikes in the dunes, swimming, water sports, a photography exhibition at cultural centre Dar Souiri as part of OFF Moga and course lots of great music. 

Kenny Dope is a real highlight, digging deep into funk, soul, house end hip-hop and spellbinding the loving crowd, while Radio 1, NTS, Boiler Room and Rhythm Section International man Bradley Zero is perfectly at home with his rough around the edges house, downbeat funk and organic world selections. For more club ready sound, Blond:Ish came correct and Romanian minimal man Praslea took us on a hi fidelity trip, Behrouz’s desert sounds are a fine mix with the setting and Mathew Dekay’s dreamy house never sounded better than in the balmy Moroccan weather. 

All in all Moga is a feast for all the senses – the sights, smells, sounds and feels you will experience over the course of the weekend are second to none. The important 50/50 split between local musicians and visiting talents also makes this one socially aware and a must visit for any real music lover.

Photos Credits:

@Juliet Airs

@Momo Filali

@olirileyphotography

@Joseph Ouechen