About half a dozen of these guys go from café to café in Essaouira every day playing the same few tunes and then pass a hollow drum around, hopefully to be filled with money. The notion comes easily that they're only able to play a handful of songs. Every year in May, Essaouira hosts a festival of gnawa and other African music on a stage in the main square. Though I've been to this town several times over three decades, I've never made it to the festival. However, I was fortunate enough to be shown some images of performances over the years by a local photographer and was surprised to see some of these street musicians playing alongside some of the featured artists on the main stage. It must be a hell of a comedown to play centre stage for a few days a year and then have to return to itinerant busking for a few coins.