Morocco’s overall development has given rise in the last few years to the birth and rapid development of a show business that somehow reminds that of Mexico or Cuba during the 1940s. There was obviously some entertainment in Marrakech under Hassan II but, as it is happening in other sectors, the organization and typology of the product offered is completely different.
The content of these shows is also different. The influence of Western music is quite obvious, and music genres such as Gnawa o belly-dance share the stage with pop singers, dancers and go-go’s o jazz bands. Pure fusion.
It should be said that the word “cabaret” does not mean the same as in the West. Moroccan cabarets are a sort of nightclubs where only traditional Moroccan music and dance are performed by excellent orchestras.
There are also several karaoke venues, since Moroccans love singing. There is a karaoke in almost every Moroccan city. In Marrakech, the best karaoke is called Cantobar, a club where you can sing but also have dinner and drink (alcohol is served). It is open until late.
But if you are looking for some rock and other, more dancing genres, you should visit venues like the Jad Mahal, in the luxurious Hivernage neighbourhood, and the African Chic or La Bodeguita in Gueliz. There you will enjoy live music performed every day by excellent bands.
For jazz lovers, there are also venues that offer shows in the style of 1940s cabarets: elegant restaurants with tables set around a dance floor and/or a stage where o show is performed during up to five hours. Customers alternate dancing with dinner and enjoying listening to the fine music.
Traditional genres, such as street entertainment, still coexist with these shows and many of the artists that used to work only in streets and squares now work double shifts: in the street during the day and in the theaters in the evening. The situation could be quite idyllic if it wasn’t for the fact that, as usual, employers fulfill certain characteristics more often than not: Moroccan immigrants back in their country or French who set up a nightclub with little money and even less idea of what that means artistically.
Staff (artists and non-artists) is often treated with disrespect and contracts and agreements are seldom fulfilled. Moreover, employees rarely get their social security rights and salaries are incredibly low if compared to the owner’s profits and acts of humiliation are much too common.
But, unfortunately, this does not only happen in the show business sector. It is the kind of development that has landed in Morocco, and it is here to stay.
Come to Marrakech and discover its nightlife. The Ochre City offers culture and a fascinating tradition, monuments and countless tourist attractions, as well as a delightful gastronomy and the widest range of shopping opportunities.
Moreover, hotels in Marrakech are of the highest quality and quite affordable, and particularly Marrakech riads, which are full of charm and very inexpensive. You can also stay in a wonderful villa in Marrakech, closer to the countryside, where its inhabitants will welcome you with open arms.
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