“We didn’t just want to take the Glastonbury experience and stick it in Morocco,” says Nick Griffiths, director of Beat Hotel Marrakech (19–22 March). “It’s important for us to create something with a strong local flavour.” What does that sound like for the festival’s second edition in Morocco?
Well, anything from “ethnic-electronic” live duo Sound of Mint through cratedigger Guedra Guedra to up-and-coming DJ Malika (pictured), who brings a “colourful, stimulating and borderless perspective on dance music,” says Griffiths. The acts’ sounds may vary, but there’s one thing they all have in common: hailing from Casablanca. The epicentre of Morocco’s emerging dance music sub-culture – where “DJs are merging and re-contextualising a host of styles” – has provided a ready source of talent for the festival programmers to tap: “There’s a scene here,” agrees Camille of La Confiserie Sonore (AKA “The only radio station playing electronic music in Morocco”). “It’s small, but it’s good, and it’s growing.”