Wasla is a full day festival in Dubai showcasing a wide spectrum of contemporary and alternative Arabic music and film, also incorporating a youth based art hub. Last year’s lineup included the hottest Middle Eastern artists, featuring the likes of Mashrou’ Leila, Souad Massi and Jadal, while this year audiences will be privy to artists from Tanya Saleh to Cairokee. The festival will take place in February and ticket prices will be announced soon!
This one is for the electronic music and beach enthusiasts. Sandbox by Nacelle is a festival in El Gouna, the Egyptian version of St. Tropez, where you can dance barefoot in the sand for three full days, enjoying music from top international DJs on two different stages. Dixon, Âme, Mike Servito and many other global veterans have made their Egyptian debut there alongside the finest local talents. No line-up or ticket prices have been announced, but we’re pretty sure Nacelle won’t deceive us and we’re pretty excited about this one.
This is where Marrakech’s ancient and mysterious culture is soundtracked by the finest house and techno, with the Atlas mountains providing an idyllic backdrop. A perfect and unique gateway, the lineup is beefed up by legendary DJs like Kink. Early birds tickets are sold out, but you can always buy a Release 1 ticket for 140€.
Sónar (Istanbul, Turkey)
Every raver knows Barcelona’s Sónar festival, and this year they decided to come back to the Middle East for their 2nd edition of Sónar Istanbul, featuring the best house and techno being spun by Fatboy Slim, Booka Shades and Jon Hopkins to name a few. Early bird tickets are now on sale for 50€.
Chill O’posite (Dahab, Egypt)
Fascinated by the simplicity of Dahab, Jordanian founders chose it as the setting for Chill O’pposite, a regional festival gathering the best regional DJs and bands, giving the crowd the chance to either chill, or do the opposite. Unlike other festivals, this one is spread out in multiple locations from downtown locales to mountainous destinations with breathtaking views. No line-up or ticket prices have been announced yet.
Beirut & Beyond International Music Festival (Lebanon)
Dedicated to showcase the Arab region’s independent music, Beirut & Beyond International Music Festival has succeeded at ensuring itself an established place amongst regional festivals. In partnership with the Oslo World Music Festival, the festival features a different guest curator every year. 2017 was curated by Cairo experimental superstar Maurice Louca, presenting Yasmine Hamdan and HAT, among other artists from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan. No line-up or ticket prices are yet announced.
Orbit Festival (Tunisia)
If techno was the keyword you were looking for, then Orbit is your go to festival. With headliners like Dax J, DVS1, La Fleur, and Radio Slave for 2017, we are sure that this year’s edition won’t disappoint. Taking place in one of Tunisia’s biggest clubbing spots, El Guitoune, Orbit is a straightforward raving experience where you can lose yourself to some proper techno. Line up and tickets prices are not announced yet.
Gnaoua World Music Festival (Essaouira, Morocco)
Held in the lovely Moroccan port city of Essaouira, this yearly festival welcomes a unique selection of artists, focused primarily on the traditional and experimental Gnaoua artists of Essaouira and wider Morocco. Alongside several beet stages, expect markets, street performances and theatre, causing the city to burst life three consecutive days. Performances are diverse, ranging from jazz and soul to rock and contemporary world music. Tickets and line-up are not announced yet.
Cairo Jazz Festival (Egypt)
An elegant festival, this one is for jazz enthusiasts around the region. Known for its cosy and warm atmosphere, the Cairo Jazz Festival takes place at the American University in Cairo, bringing local and international jazz artists.. After parties are held in Cairo Jazz Club to expand the experience even more. Tickets or line-up are not yet announced.
Wickerpark Festival (Lebanon)
For eight days every September, the alternative music festival Wickerpark takes place in the coastal Lebanese town of Batroun, showcasing some of the region’s finest talents along with the more established ones. There are also capoeira and instrument-making workshops. No tickets or line-ups announced for 2018.