The Mediterranean Festival of Al Hoceima – First Day Report (July 28th )

Thaghrast concert

The Mediterranean Festival of Al Hoceima, one of the biggest successful cultural and artistic events, puts a spotlight on an important number of artists and musicians in its 4th edition. The festival brings artists that belong to different cultural and geographical spots together to celebrate their cultural belonging through their artistic creation. This year’s edition is characterized by a heavy list of participants coming from different countries and regions. The success that the three previous editions of The Mediterranean Festival of Al Hoceima had constituted a real boost to the Rif Association of Solidarity and Development “ARID” to come up with this fourth edition of this cultural manifestation.

As expected, the opening day of the festival went all well. After some inaugurating speeches by the head of ARID association, the festival director and the head of the Municipality of Al-hoceima, the air of Mohamed VI Place was rocked and chanted by the nice music played by the different participants. The large number of the audience also rendered the opening day of the event very remarkable.

After the speeches were delivered, the first performer hit the stage, and it was Thaghrast (Al-hoceima, Morocco), the two-year old new band, which everybody got to know lately because of its successful participation in the famous festival Mawazine in Rabat. And as everybody expected, its participation was melodic, jazzy and pretty rocking. It played professionally that one would suspect that it is only a two-year old band.

Thaghrast is considered to be among the most successful young groups in Al-hoceima and in Morocco as well. It participated in many occasions inside and outside Al-hoceima. It participated in Festival Tiroba in Agadir in which it won the first place in the category of modern Amazigh music. But one of the most remarkable participation of this group was in Festival Mawazine in Rabat where they finished first in the Fusion category. And it is thanks to this latter participation that Thaghrast got nationally and locally well-known.

Next was Jalal Chakkara from Spain. Together with his group consisting of Spanish and Moroccan musicians, Jalal chakkara also had a share in the rocking of the air in Mohamed VI Place. They played Arabic songs mixed with some Spanish accompanied with some popular Spanish dances. And this is a real proof of the openness of The Mediterranean Festival of Al Hoceima to other cultures and languages- an objective that ARID set for the festival.

The voice of the Amazigh woman was also present in the opening day of the fourth edition of The Mediterranean Festival of Al Hoceima. This voice was represented by that of Massa Bouchafaa, an artist and singer from kabylie, Algeria. Mass is the star of popular music in Kabyle. She has gained an important audience in France. Her music is most of the times composed by her husband M’hend Bouchafa, an author and music composer. She tries through her music to defend her own culture and identity of origin. Her participation in The Mediterranean Festival of Al Hoceima was very remarkable. Her nice and harmonious songs made of the ending of the opening day of the festival a special one. Almost everybody got to dance to her music, and this shows how her music attracted the audience’s attention and care.


This report was accomplished by Agraw team
Video: Miloud Ayadi
Photos: Adil Amghar & Bilal Bakkali
Article written by Hicham Boughaba

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