Fez is home to several important festivals and moussems, ranging from annual pilgrimages to week-long celebrations of Fassi cuisine. The focal point of the cultural calendar, though, is the nine-day-long Festival of World Sacred Music, a highly regarded gathering of global musicians that has produced spin-offs in the UK and North America.
Festival of World Sacred Music Since 1994, Fez has hosted the Festival of World Sacred Music (t 0535 740535, w fesfestival.com) each June, which has developed into the country’s most interesting and inspiring cultural festival. Recent years have seen Sufi chanters from Azerbaijan, kathak dancers from India, a Javanese gamelan and a Byzantine choir from Greece. Concerts take place throughout the Medina and in the Ville Nouvelle: at the Musée Batha; by Bab Boujeloud and Bab Makina; at the Institut Français; and sometimes further afield, such as amid the ruins of Volubilis.
Fez Festival of Sufi Culture The Fez Festival of Sufi Culture (w festivalculturesoufie.com) is usually held over a week in April and comprises a number of performances that take place each night in the courtyard of the Musée Batha (organized discussions are held during the day); it’s a rare opportunity to experience the music of the world’s most renowned Sufi musicians and vocalists.
Moussem of Moulay Idriss II The largest moussem held inside a major city, the Moussem of Moulay Idriss II takes place in Fez each September and involves a long procession to the saint’s tomb. The Medina is packed out, however, and you will have a better view from Place Batha or Place Boujeloud, before the procession enters the Medina proper.