Morocco’s Mawazine music fest in hot water

Singer Jennifer Lopez performs during the 14th Mawazine World Rhythms International Music Festival in Rabat. (Reuters)

Morocco's Mawazine festival opened over the weekend to record crowds but faced some controversy, with 300,000 fans flocking to see star attractions such as Jennifer Lopez and Pharrell Williams, organisers said.

Last year's instalment -- the festival's 13th -- drew 2.6 million people in Rabat and organizers said this year's edition saw 160,000 music fans turn out just to watch Lopez on opening night on Saturday.

“Happy” singer, Pharrell Williams, performs on stage at Morocco's biggest music event, the Mawazine Festival, in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday May 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

“Happy” singer, Pharrell Williams, performs on stage at Morocco's biggest music event, the Mawazine Festival, in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday May 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

But local media criticized the pop star for her "suggestive poses" and for being "scantily" dressed during a show that was broadcast on public television, albeit with a slight delay.

Government spokesman Mustapha Khalfi, a member of the Islamist Justice and Development party, strongly denounced the broadcast on state television.

"What was broadcast is unacceptable and goes against broadcasting law," Khalfi wrote on Twitter.

The performance of Williams, now world famous for his 2014 smash hit "Happy", received more universal approval.

"I loved it, there were lots of young people and Pharrell Williams' performance was full of joy. I want to go back!" one fan told AFP.

On Sunday, Nigerian R&B duo P-Square delighted tens of thousands of onlookers, with one young fan who came with a group of friends saying, "It was great! We love you, P-Square, thank you!"

The festival runs until June 6 and will also see live performances by international acts such as Sean Paul, Avicii, Placebo, Akon, Sting, Usher and Maroon 5.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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