More than seven lakhs attend Saudi Arabia’s biggest music event

Hyderabad: More than seven lakh people attended the MDLBeast Soundstorm music festival in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia), officials said on December 20, at the end of the four-day event in the oil-rich desert kingdom. .

The electronic music event took place at a time when Saudi authorities are trying to transform the kingdom’s conservative image and diversify its economy, just a few years after the kingdom repealed the ban on music and dance .

Despite demands for a boycott due to Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, international artists and musicians, including famous French DJ David Guetta, performed at the event.

The kingdom is now seeing an increase in COVID-19 infections, and authorities are concerned about the spread of the new omicron variant of the deadly virus.

With around 8,860 deaths, Saudi Arabia has the highest number of COVID-related deaths among the Arab Gulf countries.

Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki al-Sheikh said 7,32,000 people attended the event, which has been described as “one of the biggest music festivals in the world. “.

Since its inception in 2019, the event has drawn large crowds, the majority of which are young men and women who can openly mingle and dance to Western music.

The kingdom is trying to diversify its economy away from oil, spending heavily in the tourism, entertainment and sports industries in recent years.

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