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Riyadh feels the beat with region’s biggest music festival

Held in Banban in Riyadh, MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM will run from Dec. 16-19 and feature over 200 DJs and stage performers. (File/Supplied)
Held in Banban in Riyadh, MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM will run from Dec. 16-19 and feature over 200 DJs and stage performers. (File/Supplied)
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16 Dec 2021 05:12:17 GMT9
16 Dec 2021 05:12:17 GMT9
  • Held in Banban in Riyadh, MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM will run from Dec. 16-19
  • SOUNDSTORM organizers put 8,000 security staff on ground, use latest tech solutions to offer best-possible experience for fans
Zaid Khashogji 

RIYADH: The region’s biggest music festival begins in Riyadh on Thursday featuring a star-studded line-up of more than 200 EDM DJs and stage performers.

Held in Banban in Riyadh, MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM will run from Dec. 16-19 following the XP Music Conference that has been going on this week.  

Top international acts taking part in MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM include Armin Van Buuren, David Guetta, Deadmau5, DJ Snake, Eric Prydz, Martin Garrix, Paul Kalkbrenner, Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Adam Beyer, Amelie Lens, Carl Cox, Charlotte de Witte, Jeff Mills, Nina Kraviz, and Sven Vath.

Regional artists Anmarz, Cosmicat, Spaceboi, and Zone+ will be among those performing at the festival. There are so many performers that organizers have added a day to the festival, which will now run from Dec. 16 to 19.

“There’s a lot of surprises definitely with MDLBEAST this year, like two additional stages to the overall offering at the festival,” said MDLBEAST chief executive Ramadan Al-Haratani.

Organizers of MDLBEAST said an additional day was added to accommodate the plus 200 artists expected to perform at the music festival. 

“We’re also introducing an app to help navigate and ensure the guests’ journey and experience goes smoothly. We want people to have the choice and freedom of where to go and who to see at the festival,” Al-Haratani said.

Al-Haratani also reaffirmed MDLBEAST’s commitment to delivering the best-possible experience for fans with unprecedented security measures at SOUNDSTORM this year.


More than 8,000 security professionals and response teams will be on the ground — approximately one member of security staff for every 30 attendees — and 335 CCTV cameras will monitor every part of the venue.

According to event organizers, this year’s beefed-up security measures have been brought in to help prevent unsocial behavior and create a safe space for festivalgoers.

“COVID-19 was actually positive in a way, as it gave us some time to plan a bit more for the festival in terms of the security measures and tech solutions we could implement. Global ratios are typically one security guard to 70 attendees, but we have managed to double that this year.

“We have zero tolerance toward any and all forms of harassment, as well as illegal substances on the ground. All the staff have been trained to prevent all that. We urge people to read and go through our code of conduct that can be found on our website,” Al-Haratani added. 

People attending SOUNDSTORM have been advised by organizers to familiarize themselves in advance with security and safety points to be used in case of any emergency, and encouraged to become active bystanders in reporting any incidents of wrongdoing via the official MDLBEAST app.

While MDLBEAST has taken steps to minimize congestion, festival ticket holders have been asked to arrive early to ensure smooth entry to the venue. Restrictions will be in place on roads around the site and, where possible, ridesharing has been recommended to help reduce traffic. There will be no access to the festival through King Fahd Road and taxis and drops-off will be at the park and ride area.

MDLBEAST has advised that only Storm Blazer and VIB ticket holders will be allowed to use King Khalid Road and Salbukh Road to access parking. Storm Chasers have been told to use park and ride facilities to enter the festival, accessible via Abi Bakr Al-Siddiq Road or Prince Faisal Ibn Bandar Ibn Abdulaziz Road. 

No Storm Chaser ticket holders will be granted access via King Khalid Road and Salbukh Road unless they are travelling with a VIB or Storm Blazer visitor with a parking pass. Any category of ticket holder can travel in the same car as a VIB or Storm Blazer who have been requested to collect their passes in advance of the event from the Virgin Megastore at Nakheel Mall or Riyadh Boulevard.

A limited number of festival tickets are available from

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