Beirut gets its own music and art festival!

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 Music and Art Festival 2011

love the logo!

“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

Earth, Wind, and Fire BMAF

Earth, Wind, and Fire are a must!

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:


Facebook Event Page

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter – @bmaf2011

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)! 😀



Filed under life in Lebanon

8 responses to “Beirut gets its own music and art festival!

  1. Its the first time I hear about a lot of these performances as well….and a tweetup would be super!!

    I like how the city is slowly getting back to “real life” or “worthy life” no matter the situations around it. The city is truly getting so much better 🙂

  2. Nadim

    Awesome post Dani! It’s brilliant to see people excited about this, since it is giving local talent the exposure and support, at the caliber it deserves. Went down last night and the three bands performing were awesome! In for getting all the tweeps together and invading the crowds of BMAF!

  3. The more the merrier 🙂 May Beirut and Lebanon only see the happy and joyful and lively!

  4. You guys also can attend during the month of May :
    Cabriolet Film Festival 2011 on 27-28-29 of May at 8pm at St.Nicolas stairs, Gemmayzeh

    Laboratoire d’Art invites you for its third edition of Cabriolet outdoor film festival -Free entrance- open to public
    For more details please check our website on
    facebook event page :

    facebook group page :

    ( Corporate Identity + promotional ads + website are designed by myself)

    Hope to see you there !

  5. joannadee

    ohhh this is greattttt! Though I’m so sad that I won’t be in Beirut during the festival 😦 😥
    At the risk of sounding not cultured, of all the artists on that list, I know:
    1) Earth, Wind & Fire: Can’t miss (though I have to :()

    2) Tania Kassis (Some chick who made a song using the call to prayer or something of the sort.. dunno if she’s worth the ticket tbh i dunno much else about her)

    3) Marcel & Rami Khalife: HELL YEAH! Marcel Khalife is a Lebanese legend, and Rami is his very talented son.. I’d definitely watch this one

    4) Ilham Madfai: Brilliant Iraqi musician, plays Oud like you wouldn’t believeeeeee, I’d watch this one as well…

    Enjoy Dani! 🙂

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