Sandbox (Gouna, Egypt)
Egypt’s renowned electronic music festival Sandbox has been attracting international attention ever since its first edition in 2012. With bigger bookings and higher attendance every year, Egyptian promoters Nacelle are far from slowing down after expanding to two stages in 2017, giving them the range to book both colossal acts and fresher underground talent from around Europe and the region. The dates for 2019 have been locked in but no line-up or ticket prices have been announced as of yet. More here.
Oasis (Marrakech, Morocco)
What started out as arguably Morocco’s biggest music festival has now cemented itself on the global festival circuit as an essential electronic music event for people not only across the Middle East but from Europe and the US as well. Taking place in Marrakech, Oasis has managed to bring in most of the artists that represent the electronic music status quo, from Carl Cox to Richie Hawtin to younger, more low-key dynamos like Avalon Emerson and much more. The first phase of 2019's lineup has been announced, featuring Apollonia, OR:LA, Âme B2B Dixon, Jayda G, Horse Meat Disco and more. The first and second tiers of the pre-sale tickets sold out before a single name on the lineup was announced. More here.
Chill O’posite (Dahab, Egypt)
Chill O’posite is a cross-border endeavor by Jordanian promoters Next Us taking place at Egypt’s Red Sea retreat of Dahab. The festival prides itself on being a hub that equally supports undiscovered and established regional talent. Chill O’posite made a move towards booking internationals like Nick Warren and Just Emma in 2018 with plans to expand further in the coming years. More here.
Beirut & Beyond International Music Festival (Beirut, Lebanon)
In partnership with the Oslo World Music Festival, this independent music festival has excited its visitors with a different guest curator every year. In the past Beirut & Beyond has showcased a variety of local as well as international names ranging from superstars to newcomers such as Yasmine Hamdan, Lekfha, or Basel Zayed. The festival that usually takes place every December in Beirut will be celebrating its 7th edition in 2019 and so far there is no line-up or ticket price yet announced. More here.
Orbit Festival (Tunisia)
Orbit Festival is basically a two-day long rave in one of Tunisia’s biggest clubbing spots, El Guitoune, and a must go for all techno lovers. In its last edition, the festival invited headliners such as German DJ Monoloc next to local artists like Mind Magnetic to celebrate some real techno. Line up, ticket prices as well as the exact date for this year's festival haven’t been confirmed yet. More here.
Gnaoua World Music Festival (Essaouira, Morocco)
Held in the Moroccan port city of Essaouira, the Gnaoua World Music Festival focuses primarily on the traditional and experimental Gnaoua artists of Morocco, turning the city on its head for several days thanks to many street performances and small stages. The lineup is varied, ranging from jazz and soul to rock and contemporary world music. More here.
Cairo Jazz Festival (Cairo, Egypt)
The annual Cairo Jazz Festival embraces jazz music from all over the world, inviting local and international jazz artists to the venue at the American University in Cairo for a one of a kind jazz experience. On top of that, the jazz celebration includes after parties that take place in Cairo Jazz Club. Tickets or line-up are not yet announced. More here.
Wickerpark Festival (Batroun, Lebanon)
Wickerpark is an alternative music festival based in the coastal town of Batroun in Lebanon. In September the event invites the region’s popular and on-the-rise artists for an eight day celebration. Next to the concerts, the past festivals featured workshops like capoeira and instrument-making. For 2019, there have been no tickets or line-ups announced yet. More here.
Atlas Electronic (Marrakech, Morocco)
August 29 - September 01
Known for its chilled and intimate vibes and stunning setting with the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains, this music and arts festival is a gem for everyone who enjoys camping in the desert, waking up to yoga and dancing to music all day long. It has already confirmed the dates for its fourth edition in the end of August/beginning of September. Tickets started at 123GBP and early bird tickets are already sold out. The (musical) programme will be released within the next months. More here.
Moga (Essaouira, Morocco)
Moga is an electronic music festival which is held in Essaouira, a Moroccan port city that charms with its historic old town and its small hidden alleys. In 2018, the three day long event excited with a huge line-up of international and local headliners like Acid Pauli, Agoria, and Amine K. Moga aims to combine the old with the new as futuristic electronic dance music meets with the traditional culture of the region like Gnaoua music. The festival also includes dance performances, art exhibitions, readings, and film screenings. Tickets and line-up have not yet been confirmed. More here.
Beat Hotel (Marrakech, Morroco)
March 28 - April 1
Morocco’s newest festival comes courtesy of the famous Glastonbury stage; Beat Hotel. Glasto’s main electronic music venue is bringing the standalone festival for the first time to Marrakech’s Fellah Hotel between March 28th and April 1st. Asides from a heavyset lineup of the biggest underground DJs, the festival will also focus on talks, workshops, and cuisine. More here.
3alganoob (Marsa Alam, Egypt)
In 2013 3alganoob was introduced as the first music festival that included camping in the region. What started off with a line-up of four bands and three movie screenings, significantly grew over the years. Instead of focusing on headliners, this festival is all about a deeper spiritual journey situated in the tranquil scenery of Egypt’s Red Sea. We are waiting for tickets and line-ups to be announced.
*Main image of Atlas Electronica by Tim Buiting.