RIYADH: Music fans flocked in their thousands to Banban, Riyadh, for the Middle East’s biggest music festival on Thursday.
MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM 2022 is expected to welcome more than 100,000 people over its three days, Dec. 1-3 – with acts running on the first day from 4 p.m. to 3:30 a.m..
More than 260 hours of live music are promised in Banban, and SOUNDSTORM this year brings a variety of music genres, including electronic dance music, hip hop, R&B, and indie music.
Some 200 artists will appear on seven stages at the event: Big Beast, Down Beast, Dance Beast, and four underground stages.
Day one featured local, regional and international artists from various genres, each giving exhilarating and electrifying performances as the loudest festival began with five musicians performing every hour.
Saudi female DJ Cosmicat, Brazilian DJ Shark, DJ Snake, Hardwell, Acraze, and locals Voidkid, Gehlen and Dish Dash started the journey for fans and, as the night grew louder, famous names Tiesto and Zedd took center stage to wow the audience.
American rapper Post Malone appeared on the Big Beast stage and performed some of his most famous songs.
British singer Michael Kiwanuka also featured, and provided a highlight while singing “Cold Little Heart.”
Abdulmohsen bin Hamid, 24, told Arab News: “I can’t believe that after years of listening to his music, I finally got to watch Post Malone perform for the first time in my beloved Kingdom.
“I remember his first song, ‘White Iverson,’ being my favorite.”
Bin Hamid, who was a VIP pass holder to the event, said that he found the organization and visitor experience to have been significantly improved.
SOUNDSTORM 2022 boasts more than 100 food and beverage vendors as it bids to enhance the festival experience for those attending.
Lovers of Arabic music also got the chance to hear their favorites on the first day, with Myriam Faris, Majid Al-Muhandis, Modi Al-Shamrani, and rapper Moayad Al-Nefaie all performing.
SOUNDSTORM has enjoyed a meteoric rise following its debut in 2019 and is now a fixture in the music calendar for fans and local and international stars.