Oasis Festival Brings Underground Electronic to Morocco

by Akhil Kalepu

Sep 15, 2016

© Sad444 | Dreamstime

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Electronic music isn’t as widespread in the Middle East and Africa, but it’s a growing scene. Just last year, Marrakech hosted its first festival dedicated solely to underground dance music, Oasis Festival. Billed as “the first of its kind,” the event is the brainchild of Marjana Jaidi, the half-Moroccan founder who visited Marrakech as a child and wanted to bring some of America’s festival culture to Morocco.



Inspired by Mexico’s BPM festival, Darren James Thomas, who focused on cutting-edge artists rather than going down a checklist of superstars, curated 2015’s lineup. Jaidi also makes an effort to incorporate the local culture, partnering with local businesses to provide food and an on-site souk at The Source, a luxurious resort complete with recording studio located just 20 minutes from the center of Marrakech.


A photo posted by Oasis Festival (@theoasisfest) on


Last year’s festival was a success with 2,000 people attending from more than 25 countries. While the numbers don’t match the arena festivals of America, Oasis succeeds in providing an intimate festival that focuses more on the sounds than the spectacle. Highlights from this year’s lineup include Bicep, Dusky, Maya Jane Coles, Tale of Us, Booka Shade and even techno pioneer Derrick May.



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