Bruno Mars, DJ Khaled and Post Malone to play at Saudi Arabia’s Soundstorm festival

The music event returns in December with a bumper line-up of pop stars and DJs

More than 700,000 people attended last year's Soundstorm festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Courtesy MDL Beast
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Bruno Mars, DJ Khaled and Post Malone will headline Soundstorm music festival in Riyadh.

The trio of pop stars will each make their debut performance in Saudi Arabia as part of the epic dance festival, which returns this year with a slimmer three-day format, from December 1 to 3.

The previous two Soundstorm events ran for four days.

Also joining the bill this year are Nigerian Afro-pop star Wizkid and a range of leading DJs including David Guetta, Marshmello, DJ Snake, Carl Cox and Solomun.

Further artists announcements will be made soon.

Tickets start from 109 Saudi riyals ($29) and are now available on the official website. Attendees can choose between a single day pass or a pass for all three days.

On-site complimentary parking is available for all ticket holders.

Held in the district of Banban, on the outskirts of Riyadh, Soundstorm is one of the largest music festivals in the Mena region.

Soundstorm by MDLBeast is scheduled to take place in Riyadh from December 1 to 3. Photo: MDLBeast

According to organisers, MDLBeast, more than 730,000 people attended last year’s event.

That explosion of interest among Saudi youth is not surprising, according to MDLBeast chief Talal Albahiti.

“Saudi Arabia’s music scene has been thriving for the past two decades behind closed doors,” he said.

“With every edition of Soundstorm, we further blow these doors wide open. It’s incredibly special to see music lovers enjoy this new reality, in a safe space with the highest standards of music entertainment.”

It is a message echoed by Guetta, who performed at the last two Soundstorm festivals.

"I have seen how the region’s dance music scene evolved with people putting their cultures into it," he told The National after his 2020 festival appearance.

"It is a great thing to see and I am just proud to be part of what is going on.”

Popular sounds

Amr Diab at last year's Soundstorm festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Getty Images

With previous iterations featuring a plethora of Arab pop stars such as Nancy Ajram to Amr Diab, the inclusion of Bruno Mars and Post Malone will have Soundstorm leaning further into western pop and mainstream sounds.

The inclusion of Mars is a particular coup for the event, with the US singer's only appearance in the Gulf being a 2019 New Year’s Eve gig in Abu Dhabi.

He returns to the region on the back of the success of Silk Sonic, an RnB duo with singer and multi-instrumentalist Anderson .Paak.

The group made an immediate impact, with their debut single Leave The Door Open topping the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, in addition to winning four Grammy Awards in April, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Silk Sonic’s debut album An Evening with Silk Sonic was also critically acclaimed, with the group being praised for their traditional approach to 1970s soul and RnB.

Post Malone will also come to Saudi Arabia with new material, having released his fourth album, Twelve Carat Toothache, in July.

The collection already spawned three US chart-topping hits One Right Now, Cooped Up and I Like You (A Happier Song).

Malone will follow up his Soundstorm performance with an already-announced concert in Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Park on December 3.

More information on Soundstorm is available on mdlbeast.com

Updated: October 19, 2022, 5:06 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS