“Entrancing festival crowds” –  Reports from Master Musicians of Joujouka festival May 2024 edition

Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival, May 2024 © Fadel Senna / AFP

Agence France-Presse profile on the “ancient mountain music” of the Master Musicians.

The Master Musicians of Joujouka festival in Morocco last weekend 24-26 May was widely reported in the press.

A team of reporters from Agence France-Presse (AFP) attended the festival and recorded footage and interviews with group members.

In a collection of “the week’s best photos from Africa” over the last week the BBC published two photos from the festival with the caption: “The joy of the festival continues inside a richly coloured tent as a group called The Master Musicians of Joujouka entertains onlookers with their rambunctious performance.”

Master Musicians of Joujouka festival report on the BBC

A report published by RFI in France said: “A hypnotic drum beat blends with ancient Sufi-inspired tunes in a tent in a Moroccan mountain village where local musicians regroup once a year when they don’t play the world’s top stages.”

An In Focus report published by Newsweek En Español said: “El grupo Maestros Músicos actúa durante el Festival Musical de Joujouka, en el norte de Marruecos, el 27 de mayo. De acuerdo con su sitio oficial, desde 2008 este evento anual ofrece una oportunidad única de pasar tres días con los Maestros Músicos. Debido a la naturaleza del evento, el número de personas debe estar estrictamente limitado a 50 personas.”

Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival, May 2024 © Fadel Senna / AFP

TV5Monde in France reported: “La performance instrumentale, hypnotique, dure près de trois heures sans que le rythme ne baisse.

“Chaque printemps, les maîtres musiciens de Joujouka, dont la musique date de 4.000 ans selon la légende, accueillent une cinquantaine de personnes qui vivent au rythme de la musique et de la nature durant trois jours.”

A report in the Hindustan Times said: “The Master Musicians of Joujouka draw on centuries of local tradition with a hypnotic sound that captivated the 1950s Beatniks, the Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones and fans everywhere since. The Joujouka collective has performed at top global venues from Paris’s Pompidou Centre to Britain’s Glastonbury Festival. But every spring, they like to play to a more intimate audience of only about 50 devotees in their village located 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Tangier.”

Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival, May 2024 © Fadel Senna / AFP

John Egan, a musician from the United Kingdom and former member of the psychedelic rock group Ozric Tentacles, told AFP: “It’s a splendid experience. It’s incredibly powerful music. It’s almost impossible to have multiple musicians playing in tune at that pace.”

Master Musicians of Joujouka Manager Frank Rynne said: “This music has grown in the world because it maintains something alive that people can identify with, like an ancient spiritual connection.”

In a dispatch reported by MSM, group leader Ahmed El Attar, said: “The music must never stop resonating in the village.”

The healing properties of the music were reported by This Is Beirut: “According to Abdessalam Rrtoubi, a 64-year-old ghaita player, the music’s power to “heal souls” is endowed by the group’s patron Sufi saint, who is buried in the village. Many devotees, like Japanese musician Haitaro Hanamura, return year after year not only for the music, but also for its therapeutic properties.”

Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival, May 2024 © Fadel Senna / AFP

A report published by France 24 said: “Les lumières s’éteignent, un grand feu est allumé devant la scène, et le « monstre » débarque en dansant et agitant deux branches d’arbustes. La légende voudrait que les légers coups assénés par Boujloud sur les spectateurs apportent bénédiction et fertilité.”

France 24 also published an English language report: “In one highlight, three boys appeared in traditional women’s clothes, signalling according to local belief the coming of Boujloud, a half-man, half-goat mythical figure.

“The lights went out, and the creature appeared before the flames of a blazing fire, dancing and waving branches to bring blessings and fertility.”

The UK-based Al-Arab publication asked what is the story of the music in their report of the festival:

انتقلت موسيقى جهجوكة من قرية جبلية في المغرب تحمل الاسم ذاته إلى أنحاء مختلفة من العالم، وانتشرت عبر المهرجانات الدولية، الطبل والغايتة والشبابة من آلاتها المميزة، فما حكاية هذه الموسيقى؟

Master Musicians of Joujouka festival report in Al Arab

The Master Musicians of Joujouka host a second festival in the village this weekend 7-9 June. For more information on extremely limited tickets available now click here

The Master Musicians of Joujouka have announced details of next year’s festival in the village scheduled for 13-15 June 2025. For more information and to book click here

Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival, May 2024 © Fadel Senna / AFP

Very limited number of tickets available for Master Musicians of Joujouka festival 7-9 June

Boujeloud at the Master Musicians of Joujouka festival May 2024 – photo Richie Troughton

Second edition of this year’s festival has four limited spaces open to book now.

The Master Musicians of Joujouka welcome guests to their village in the Ahl Srif mountains in Morocco from 7-9 June.

Following cancellations due to unforeseen reasons the sold out festival has a limited number of four tickets available to book.

The ticket includes travel to and from the nearest train station, with drop off on Monday, 10th June. All food, drink and accommodation is provided. The Master Musicians of Joujouka play music each day of the festival.

Please email joujouka@gmail.com to find out more and book.

For more information about the festival click here

Contact numbers for Master Musicians of Joujouka festival guests

Boujeloud at last year’s Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival – photo by Syd Howells

Master Musicians of Joujouka festival 24-26 May 2024.

The Master Musicians of Joujouka host the first of two festivals in their village over the summer this weekend 24-26 May.

Guests should by now have confirmed their anticipated arrival time at Ksar El Kebir train station for taxi shuttle to the village on Friday, 24th May.

Festival organisers can be contacted on +212 6 76 29 39 44 (Moroccan number) and +33667541483 (for WhatsApp).

The Master Musicians and their families look forward to welcoming guests to experience life in the village for three days and nights and a full immersion into the Joujouka experience.

For more information email joujouka@gmail.com

More information about the festival here