Sound storm to hit Riyadh as top artists fly in for music extravaganza

RIYADH (Arabnews): Entertainment organizer MDLBEAST has announced that over 370 music artists and experts will fly in for Riyadh’s “Loudest Week,” which features the XP Music Futures conference and SOUNDSTORM 2022 events.

These details were revealed by Ramadan Al-Haratani, CEO of the company, at a special media preview held in the capital recently. He said the firm remains committed to advancing the regional creative economy through the development of local talent.

To be held from Dec. 1 to 3, SOUNDSTORM 2022 will be headlined by some of the world’s bestselling artists including Bruno Mars, DJ Khaled, Marshmello and Post Malone. Arabic music lovers will also be able to enjoy performances by Egypt’s Amr Diab, Lebanon’s Nancy Ajram, and Saudi’s Rabeh Saqar.

XP Music Futures, the music conference in Riyadh from Nov. 28 to 30, will take place in the JAX district. Industry pioneers including Mathew Knowles, Hardwell, Amy Thomson and Elyanna will join hundreds of leading music movers and shakers for panel and solo speaker sessions across XP’s day program.

Al-Haratani said music and entertainment plays a significant role in contributing to the economy. SOUNDSTORM generated SR395 million ($105 million) in spending by concertgoers last year. This year, XP Music Futures is helping to attract further “global investment and partnerships through the relationships we’ve built,” he added.

A recent survey conducted by MDLBEAST showed that 89 percent of young Saudi artists and musicians see the festival as an opportunity to grow, develop and empower the Kingdom’s art and music talent. Also, 84 percent now believe they have opportunities for success in Saudi Arabia.

“Our focus for this year’s SOUNDSTORM is to enhance the visitors’ experience across all aspects, all the way from (the start of) their journey to the moment they leave and everything in-between,” said Al-Haratani.

Al-Haratani said security would be beefed up at this year’s event, with over 3,800 personnel on site, which is an average of one guard for every 35 guests. The festival would be monitored by over 300 CCTV cameras, with health services also provided.

In addition, MDLBEAST supports “Respect & Reset,” an anti-harassment campaign. The company would act against any person who is abusive or offensive. This includes verbal, written or physical threats, Al-Haratani told Arab News.

The SOUNDSTORM site is expected to be double in size compared to last year. “When we design the event, we design it with the ‘guest experience’ sort of lens. So we looked at the guest journey and worked on the infrastructure requirements pre-arrival to the site, including tripling the parking size for all ticket holders.”

“We’ve also worked on the infrastructure of the roads leading towards the site. And then once you arrive on the site, we’ve enhanced the experience through building bridges that allow you to connect with all the stages and the elevated platform to enjoy the show in an exclusive way,” he added.

Al-Haratani said the parking lot would be accessible to all ticket holders, while the premium and VIP guests would have access to the stage-connecting bridges, also known as the “Storm Loop,” and to the dedicated lounges and terraces.