Crossing Cultures and Making Friends with Music – Friendship Fest, Marrakesh, Morocco

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I missed hearing David Crowder sing last night in a city not too far away, because a first grandchild could be arriving any day. Priorities.

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Still, thinking about how much joy his music gives me got me reminiscing about another concert…in a far place…years ago.

We were living in Morocco at the time, and all our children were high schoolers. Somehow we heard about this crazy music event called Friendship Fest being held in Marrakesh. It was a weekend-long festival of Moroccan artists sharing the stage with international bands. Some of our favorite bands were on the roster.Blog - Friendship FestPhoto Credit:

It was May, 2005. Our kids were still in school, but we took off for a long weekend in Marrakesh. Carloads of friends (local and foreign)made that trip. To be a part of such an event would probably be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we weren’t going to miss it.

The Newsboys band (in those days with Peter Furler) was my draw. For my husband and guitarist son, Nathan, it was more Phil Keaggy maybe. The thrill of just being there also compelled us all, joining an audience of friends and hundreds (later we found out it was 1000’s) of Moroccans. So amazing!2015 Aug Flowers, Blog, Friendship Fest 007

All that balmy May weekend, on this open fairground, the artists took turns on stage. A Moroccan group (hiphop, reggae, pop) and then a foreign band would perform. The audience was pumped. People coming and going but most of us staying, mesmerized.Blog - Friendship Fest - Moroccan BandBlog - Friendship Fest - Moroccan Band playing with Phil KeaggyBlog - Friendship Fest 2 (2)Blog - Friendship Fest 4Blog - Friendship Fest 6Blog - Friendship Fest - Newsboys 7Friendship Fest Delirious Blog - Friendship Fest - Newsboys 5

So I’ll stop with the pictures. If only there was a way to describe the sounds, the emotion, the energy, the unity we felt together on those evenings. How the artists engaged the audience. It was completely captivating.

I’ll close this out with a YouTube video of Delirious? singing History-maker during Friendship Fest. At 3:09, you will start seeing a bit of the huge audience (85,000 people over a weekend). Our teenagers and their friends were up front, but we hung in the back of the crowd. Seeing all those Moroccan young people and kids from other parts of the world jumping together to that great song still gives me goosebumps. Joy!

Musical Event Celebrating Community and Friendship Between Americans and Moroccans to Continue

YouTube Video – Jeremy Camp Live at Friendship Fest, Marrakesh, Morocco, 2005

Friendship Fest DVD

The First Waltz, Documentary of Friendship Fest (if you can find it)

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