I’m in Marrakech: home of bustling markets, friendly locals and positively oozing with history and culture. But, as the sun drops below the horizon, a new and very different Marrakech appears.
I have been invited to join an eclectic bunch of British music lovers for a series of rock concerts running over three days. Planet Rock have taken over a hotel, converted the conference centre into an intimate auditorium and given guests exclusive access to the headliners.
What first stuck me was that my fellow rockers are dedicated to rock music and have planned this trip well in advance. They have dropped their responsibilities and followed their passion to be at this set of three gigs in Morocco with likeminded people.
The gigs are amazing: full of energy and totally deafening. Performers and fans alike benefit from the intimacy that having a small audience creates. They are having fun.
The Temperance Movement, Black Star Rising and Fish and his band have been flown over by Planet Rock to perform both new and old numbers whilst the 500-strong fans roar, dance and sing along. Talking to them it becomes clear that this has cult following, groups and fans all bonded into a private club by their common love of rock music.
The music and adulation fade after the set ends, and – spirits being high – everyone agrees that the party has to go on. So armed with beer, everyone heads up to the pool and our own after-party. Tomorrow will be a new day (with a slightly subdued start, I’m sure). After a day by the pool recovering, it will be back to the auditorium for the next band and more crazy times. Bring it on…