Moga Festival loosely takes inspiration from the cult favourite Burning Man but very much heads with that in its own direction. This year again it provided a majestic getaway with a fantastic collusion of musical worlds, as well as lots of local cultural offerings to explore and of course a fantastic location that is truly immersive.
Set in the stunning Essaouira in Morocco, which is so historic and steeped in magnificent ancient architecture that is has been used as The Red City in the world famous Game of Thrones, the food is as delicious as the views. It is a place of palm trees and gorgeous sunsets, beautiful sand beaches and stone buildings that look to be crumbling.
The air is humid and the ground dusty and each evening there are the most breathtaking sunsets that cannot be ignored. All this means the crow who attend are fashionable culture vultures from all over Europe, not just hardcore ravers. There are a few thousand in all but the whole gathering still feels intimate.
Away from the music there is plenty to explore, from local craft markets selling various bits of local clothing, beautiful smelling argan oils and many more arts and crafts which took place throughout the festival. All this helped to feed back into and involved the local communities as well as things like quad rentals, horse and camel excursions, kite surf clubs and more.
In all 6500 people attend with an extra 1000 arriving for the Xtras programme. The four stages all get carefully curated so as to offer different moods and grooves for different times of the day and the mix between locals and incoming artists is about 50/50. The decoration is sympathetic to the local region and the production always classy and tasteful.
There are too many musical highlights to mention but the crowd came alive to the perfectly suited desert house sound of Behrouz on the Pool Stage. Romanian minimal hero Praslea served up an intricate selection of with synths and compelling drums. The dreamy house of Matthew Dekay on the Pool Stage was a real hypnotic session, while Terekke’s 90-minute submersion in deep, dub house was another masterclass on Day Three.
Moga is a place to explore local cultures, cuisines and traditional music from local musicians, as well as world class DJs from the vanguard of house and techno and everything in between. It is a real travel experience as well as an unforgettable festival and should 100% be on your to do list for 2020.
Photos by olirileyphotography