Atlas Electronic: an annual Moroccan-Dutch music festival in Marrakech


The Moroccan city of Marrakech is renowned for its culture, music and festivals, making it an exciting place for underground music and cross-cultural collaborations, like Atlas Electronic, an annual festival hosted by a team of Moroccan-Dutch organizers. . This one-of-a-kind festival focuses on local and international music, as well as art exhibitions, storytelling and more.

Atlas Electronic was designed by Karim Mrabti who was well known for organizing club events in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Despite this, however, he wanted to try something different. He looked to his ancestral country Morocco and noticed the growing scenes of clubs and events, and with that, he decided to organize his own events there. The summer of 2016 will see the first inauguration of Atlas Electronic.

To say that the first edition of Atlas Electronic was a success would be an understatement. In fact, the festival showcased an exciting roster of artists from Europe, the United States and Africa. They include DVS1, Wu15, Optimo, Bambounou and others. The festival started with performances by James Holden and Maalem Houssam Guinia, and ended with acts by various artists such as Rotterdam-based Philou Louzolo, known for his afrofuturist sound.

Of course, Atlas Electronic would hold every year since then with even more artists from Africa and overseas participating. In 2019, the festival first collaborated with the African Music Archive and RE: BOOT from Germany, and was even in talks with Red Light Radio and Boiler Room.

As exciting as musical acts can be, it’s not the only fun activity to have. Participants are treated to traditional storytelling, live paintings, workshops and panels, as well as the opportunity to relax in yoga sessions and designated shisha spots. Atlas Electronic takes place in a remote region of Marrakech with stunning scenery and greenery to complete the experience.

Atlas Electronic has played a very important role in being inclusive both for its artists and its participants. In fact, Mrabti is proud to be able to showcase music and art from Africa and abroad by carefully balancing the ratio of foreign and local attendees of 50-50. In an interview with Sense Noise, he wanted Atlas Electronic to have a stronger impact on local attendees through this approach, and not just a one-off event. Simultaneously, he also helped sponsor travel visas for artists and foreign participants who might have difficulty traveling to Morocco.

If you want to follow announcements and highlights, you can visit Atlas Electronic on their official Facebook page at facebook com / atlaselectronic.


Gerald R. Schneider