MDLBEAST’s SOUNDSTORM 21 truly made a monstrous impact on the Middle East over four scintillating days in the desert. Over 732,000 visitors attended from around the world, men and women danced together to world class DJs like David Guetta, Jeff Mills, Major Lazer Soundsystem, Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, Armin Van Buuren, Carl Cox, Claptone and many more as locals enjoyed a musical event unlike any other in their lifetimes.
This landmark event offered four days of non-stop entertainment from over 200 global, regional, and local acts. A wide array of tastes were catered for from EDM to pop, local Arab sounds to house, techno and much more. It was a groundbreaking affair on a huge scale. The range of creative artists on offer, the gigantic stage designs, explosive pyrotechnics, lights and lasers all set a new benchmark. The stages included four main areas, BIG BEAST – the world’s tallest and largest stage which featured international headliners, as well as DANCE BEAST and UNDERGROUND. BIG BEAST.
MDLBEAST CEO, Ramadan Alharatani, commented: “SOUNDSTORM 21 is a beast that changed lives, built a whole new reality in the region and redefined electronic festivals! It exceeded the expectations of everyone, including us as organizers, along with the artists and fans. It has been a success on every level, having attracted a huge number of music lovers and provided them with a safe space to enjoy the highest standards of music entertainment. We are very proud.”
First up was the XP Music Conference which featured a large number of leading industry figures, regional and international, who addressed topics that are essential for the amplification and evolution of the region’s music industry. The live performances, panels, workshops, Q&As, keynotes, fishbowl discussions and screenings were centered around four main pillars which are the building blocks of the development of the regional music industry: Talent, Scene, Policy, and Impact.
Over the course of the weekend, the world’s best EDM artists including Sebastian Ingrosso, Arab pop stars Elissa, Myriam Fares and Balqees and fast rising locals Dish Dash all served up fantastic sets to the diverse crowd made up of men and women of all ages. The third day saw Wael Kfoury, Tamer Honsy and Armin Van Buuren all make explosive appearances while the standout set came from fan favourite David Guetta. The final day was all about Jason Derulo and electronic dance music phenomenon Steve Aoki as well as a diverse selection of international and regional artists that were tailored to every musical taste.
Said David Guetta of playing MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM 21, “When I play here it has a special meaning, and it’s incredible to witness history in the making. I came to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2018 to perform and the first ever mixed concert, and I didn’t even realize it. When I spoke to locals, and they said this is a history-making moment – it made the experience so much deeper than just performing at a festival. It’s unbelievable to see the dance music scene grow in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, and not only does it change the lives of people, but I believe that it can really change and unite the world.”
Global DJ Armin Van Buuren added, “I’m proud to perform in Saudi Arabia for the first time, and it’s incredible that so many people here love my music. I hope that together with events like MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM 21 we can continue to spread the love for trance music and inspire more people to come to this spectacular festival in the future.”
With new attendance records set, and over 200 artists delivering a four days of nonstop world-class entertainment and breathtaking performances, MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM 21 truly raised the bar in the Middle East.
Featured Image Credit by: (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images for MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM )