For the longest time, one of my only complaints about Beirut was the lack of a true arts and cultural scene. I mean, how many times can you eat at the same restaurant, drink at the same pub, and pretend to have fun at the same club?
Yes…, Beirut has Music Hall, and yes there are almost weekly performances by local bands/musicians in bars and pubs around the city, as well as a smattering of art exhibitions…but what I am talking about is more than that. More than just a one off event and the annual summer festival..but the continuous sense that the city is truly alive with musical, artistic, and cultural activity.
That being said, I’m really happy to see that Beirut is finally (and deservedly) getting it’s own music and art festival!! Beirut can now join the ranks of the 3 B’s – Baalbeck, Byblos, and Beiteddine.
The Beirut Music and Art Festival (BMAF) “is a concept born from a vision that looks to fulfill Beirut’s role as cultural capital of the region. The Festival’s aim therefore, is to enhance, promote, and strengthen the cultural scene in Lebanon and the Middle East, by proposing a combination of local musicians, world-class performers and art in all its forms.” credit
“Beirut is a capital city, at the crossroads of three continents and a gateway between East and West. Musical and artistic trends tend to take off from capital cities, the cultural centers of a country. As the cultural heart of the entire region, Beirut deserves to have its own Music and Art Festival, like Baalbeck, Beiteddine or Byblos…the time has come,” said co-director John Kassabian. credit
And I couldn’t agree with him more.
According to the Beirut Music and Art Festival’s Facebook Page,
“May 19th to June 12th 2011 will usher in the renaissance of Beirut’s golden age of art and culture with the advent of the first annual Beirut Music & Art Festival (BMAF), held in the Beirut Souks, Downtown, presented by John Kassabian (organiser of Beirut Jazz Festival), Fadi Ghazzaoui (Hamra Street Festival) and Imad Darwich-Houssami.
The Beirut Music & Art Festival and it’s fusion of more than two hundred local and international collaborating artists will put culture back on the daily agenda, transforming the quads of the Beirut Souks into an art and music metropolis.”
Did you read that people? An art and music METROPOLIS!
Ahhh…This city just keeps getting better and better.
Now it’s only a matter of choosing which performances and exhibitions I’m going to go to! For sure I’m going to check out @technodejohnny when his band, EpiSode, performs on June 1st from 8:30 – 9:30! link As well as Earth, Wind, and Fire on May 27th at 8:30 pm. link
Who are you planning on seeing? It’s the first time that I’m hearing about most of these artists, so any guidance would help! For those of you in Beirut, I’m thinking we should plan a tweetup around these performances and go as a group? Whaddyuh say?
Oh, and for all of you photographers out there (and I know there are many of you), upload your pictures of the Beirut Music and Art Festival to Twitter, using the hashtag #beirutfest for it to appear on the official Beirut Music and Art Festival website!
Beirut Music and Art Festival quick links:
For everyone’s sake..I really hope that the Beirut Music and Art Festival is a runaway success. So much so that Beirut sees the worth in hosting artistic, musical, and cultural events all year around (and not only in the summer time)!