2021 Baalbeck festival to highlight Lebanon’s indie music community in streamed concert

The pre-recorded show was shot amid the historical Roman ruins

epa07698062 Lebanese Oud musician and singer Marcel Khalife (C) performs on stage at the opening night of the annual Baalbeck International Festival (BIF) in Baalbeck, Beqaa Valley, Lebanon, 05 July 2019. The festival runs from 05 July to 03 August 2019.  EPA/WAEL HAMZEH
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The past and future of Beirut's cultural scene are set to come together in a special performance from the Baalbeck International Festival this weekend.

Set to be streamed on the event's YouTube and Facebook channels on Friday from 5.45pm GMT (8.45pm EEST and 9.45pm GST) #ShineOnLebanon will feature 10 indie music artists performing pre-recorded sets amid several Roman archaeological sites across the Beqaa Valley.

Locations include the Temple of Venus, the Stone of the Pregnant Woman, the Basilique Civique and the Niha Temples.

A new generation of artists representing Lebanon's indie music scene will take to the stage, including Blu Fiefer, Postcards and the Makram Aboul Hosn Quintet.

For the eyes and ears

As the annual festival was cancelled for the second year running, owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the Baalbeck International Festival has migrated online, once again, to stream a concert amid majestic settings.

In 2020, the festival produced the epic Sound of Resilience concert.

Performed without an audience in front of the Temple of Bacchus, the lavish affair featured the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, the choirs of the country's Antonine University and Notre Dame University-Louaize, and the group Qolo Atiqo.

In addition to nationalistic works by the Rahbani Brothers and Fairouz, the programme also included works by classical musicians Beethoven and Verdi.

This week’s #ShineOnLebanon concert is all about laying the seeds for the future.

"This initiative aims to offer a platform and visibility to the vibrant local music scene, encouraging Lebanese musicians, singers and composers to showcase their talent and creativity," reads the festival's statement.

Here are three acts to check out as part of #ShineOnLebanon:

1. Blu Fiefer

The Lebanese-Mexican singer's performance comes on the back of the release of her latest single.

Sint el Ew is a remake of Ghassan Rahbani's 2000, featuring the sprightly RnB stylings Fiefer is known for.

The self-directed music video is predominantly shot on an iPhone and features modern and archival footage of Beirut.

2. Postcards

A stalwart of the indie scene, the group have released an album, 2018's I'll Be Here in the Morning, three EPs and five singles.

Their brand of hazy and psychedelic rock should go down a treat amid the evocative setting of their Baalbeck performance.

3. Makram Aboul Hosn Quintet

Composer and bassist Makram Aboul Hosn will lead his group in performing works from his swinging new album Transmigration, which features the cream of Beirut's jazz scene.

When announcing the release in February, Aboul Hosn said: “The music that you will listen to in this album is, first and foremost, a representation of how I see the world, and what I hope for it to achieve for you is exactly what it achieved for me: comfort, a sense of love, unity and refuge.”

The #ShineOnLebanon concert by Baalbeck International Festival will be streamed on the festival's YouTube and Facebook channels from 5.45pm GMT (8.45pm EEST) on Friday, July 9. More details are at baalbeck.org.lb

Updated: July 06, 2021, 2:37 PM