To an outsider it's somewhat of a mystery how Morocco's capital of Rabat deals with the influx of 2.2 million Mawazine-bound visitors each year - dwarfing the city's actual population by a factor of three.
Economically positive - albeit infrastructure-annihilating - as these numbers may seem, Mawazine existence has been a point of contention within Morocco's political and religious spheres. Since the festival is organised by Mounir Majidi - personal secretary to Morocco's King Mohammed Vi - the priorities of the government have been called into question as the lavish expenditure involved in Mawazine is juxtaposed against a climate of poverty and illiteracy. Concurrently to these criticisms is a perceived moral threat to Islam, supposedly imported via the sexualised Western artists present on the roster. That isn't to say that this is just a transplant of a Western event though; homegrown talent increasingly permeates the line-ups, almost single handedly establishing Morocco as a player on the global festival scene.
To see this year's full lineup, please use the link below