The Middle East’s biggest dance-music event, the MDLBeast festival, is back after its inaugural 2019 session. Rebranded as Soundstorm (following from the entertainment brand’s eponymous first album), it is scheduled to be held in Riyadh from December 16 to 19.
The 2019 iteration boasted performances by David Guetta, Tiesto, Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, Afrojack, J Balvin and Rick Ross, a stellar roster that attracted more than 400,000 attendees.
While the line-up of DJs and artists for 2021 is yet to be revealed, we are told the festival will be “bigger and better in terms of number of artists, and feature global superstar headliners, international dance acts, and local and regional performers”.
Talal Albahiti, chief operating officer and head of talent booking and events at MDLBeast, says: “Our inaugural festival in 2019 was pivotal for the music and entertainment scene in Saudi Arabia, as it put us on the world map and revealed just how rich music culture is in the kingdom and the region. Saudi Arabia is undergoing transformation and with it, the popularity and appetite for music and festival culture is growing exponentially. MDLBeast is supercharging the creative industry, and we’re excited to continue showcasing it to the world.”
First-release tickets for Soundstorm will be available from Thursday, September 2. Attendees can choose between day passes and a pass for all four days. Tickets start from 135 Saudi riyals ($36), which includes transportation aboard a “party bus” shuttle from select locations in Riyadh to the venue, and go up to 2,999 Saudi riyals for VIB ("very important beasts") passes. The 2019 venue was located 45 minutes from the main city, although it is yet to be confirmed where the festival will take place this year.
The four-day pass is available across four tiers: Storm Chaser, Storm Blazer, VIB and VIB-BOX. To register interest, visit https://mdlbeast.com/soundstorm/register.
Ahead of his set in 2019, hailing the kingdom's efforts in opening up to musicians, Guetta said: “I feel like we are writing a new page of history together.” His words could not ring truer today.