Crowds flock to Morocco fes­ti­val

The China Post - - ARTS -

Morocco’s Mawazine fes­ti­val opened over the week­end to record crowds but faced some con­tro­versy, with 300,000 fans flock­ing to see star at­trac­tions such as Jen­nifer Lopez and Phar­rell Wil­liams, or­ga­niz­ers said.

Last year’s in­stal­ment — the fes­ti­val’s 13th — drew 2.6 mil­lion peo­ple in Rabat and or­ga­niz­ers said this year’s edi­tion saw 160,000 mu­sic fans turn out just to watch Lopez on open­ing night on Satur­day.

But lo­cal me­dia crit­i­cized the pop star for her “sug­ges­tive poses” and for be­ing “scant­ily” dressed dur­ing a show that was broad­cast on public tele­vi­sion, al­beit with a slight de­lay.

Gov­ern­ment spokesman Mustapha Khalfi, a mem­ber of the Is­lamist Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment party, strongly de­nounced the broad­cast on state tele­vi­sion.

“What was broad­cast is un­ac­cept­able and goes against broad­cast­ing law,” Khalfi wrote on Twit­ter.

The per­for­mance of Wil­liams, now world fa­mous for his 2014 smash hit “Happy,” re­ceived more uni­ver­sal ap­proval.

“I loved it, there were lots of young peo­ple and Phar­rell Wil­liams’ per­for­mance was full of joy. I want to go back!” one fan told AFP.

On Sun­day, Nige­rian R& B duo P-Square de­lighted tens of thou­sands of on­look­ers, with one young fan who came with a group of friends say­ing, “It was great! We love you, P- Square, thank you!”

The fes­ti­val runs un­til June 6 and will also see live per­for­mances by in­ter­na­tional acts such as Sean Paul, Avicii, Placebo, Akon, Sting, Usher and Ma­roon 5.

Au­di­ence mem­bers re­act as they hold up plac­ards while watch­ing Nige­rian group P-Square and Moroc­can group Barbe a Papa per­form dur­ing the 14th edi­tion of the Mawazine mu­sic fes­ti­val in Rabat, Morocco on Sun­day, May 31.

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