Rapper Nicki Minaj to headline mega music festival in Saudi Arabia

1 / 6
Raed Abuzinada and Robert Quirke at the press launch of the Jeddah World Fest on Tuesday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
2 / 6
Raed Abuzinada and Robert Quirke at the press launch of the Jeddah World Fest on Tuesday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
3 / 6
Nicki Minaj Minaj will be joined by a host of other global stars including DJ Steve Aoki and English singer Liam Payne. (AFP/File photo)
4 / 6
The press launch of the Jeddah World Fest on Tuesday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
5 / 6
Raed Abuzinada and Robert Quirke at the press launch of the Jeddah World Fest on Tuesday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
6 / 6
Updated 03 July 2019

Rapper Nicki Minaj to headline mega music festival in Saudi Arabia

  • Event organizer Roqu specializes in creating world-class festivals in partnership with cities and governments all around the globe
  • Other stars performing at the event will be DJ Steve Aoki and singer Liam Payne

JEDDAH: Organizers of the mega music festival, being held in Saudi Arabia, have revealed the first wave of international artists to take to the stage.

Rapper Nicki Minaj, musician Steve Aoki, and singer Liam Payne are to perform at Jeddah World Fest, which will be emceed by DJs R3wire and Varski and broadcast on TV around the globe.

The event will take place on July 18 at King Abdullah Sports Stadium. 

The music festival is part of the Jeddah Season of activities which falls under the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage’s (SCTH) ambitious program of seasonal entertainment for the Kingdom.

Raed Abuzinada, sector development chief of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and director general of Jeddah Season, said the Jeddah World Fest would be the biggest music event of its kind and would be covered by MTV.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The Jeddah World Fest stage is designed by the same team behind the world tours of Ed Sheeran, Madonna, U2 and other top stars.

• The stage for Jeddah will be 100 meters wide, 18 meters high and 50 meters deep and will be the largest music stage ever built in the Middle East.

• The event will take place on July 18 at King Abdullah Sports Stadium.

As well as featuring a star-studded lineup of international artists it would also provide an opportunity for local talent. “There is a stereotype of the Kingdom all over the world, and today it is disappearing. In its place is a new picture of the Kingdom, that accepts everyone,” added Abuzinada.

Robert Quirke, president of event organizer Roqu Media International, said: “Projects like this, no matter where they are in the world, from Toronto to Tokyo, are always extremely challenging. But here in Jeddah it’s actually been a relief, because the team has been so professional and has been a big support to what we are doing.

“Jeddah World Fest is the first ever international festival of its kind in this country, which is really spectacular, and the fact that it’s right here in Jeddah makes it even more special.

“What we are doing specifically, is creating a world-class live music international festival in the city of Jeddah. It’s an outdoor music festival, on a similar scale to iconic festivals in different countries around the world.

“What makes this project unique among every other project in Jeddah this year, is that this is produced specifically for global TV broadcast, and that’s really special,” Quirke added.

“It’s going to be really special for the people who go to the event, but what is going to be even more special is the hundreds of millions of people who see this show all around the world. So, when you turn on your TV in New York, Berlin or Sydney, you see Jeddah. And that’s special.”

He said the first person to perform at the festival this year would be Nicki Minaj.

“She is an absolute global icon. She has 130 million followers on Instagram, she is considered one of the top 10 female performers of all time, she’s had multiple awards and she’ll have her new album come out this year.

“She is going to get a lot of attention for Jeddah in the most positive way you can imagine. She’s going to be actively on her social media, she’ll be posting right from the stage in Jeddah and at her hotel in Jeddah. Everyone is going to know that Nicki Minaj has landed in Saudi Arabia,” Quirke said.

“Second of the lineup is Steve Aoki, an American DJ based in Las Vegas. He is one of the most spectacular live DJs I’ve ever seen, and his global fans agree. Aoki is an incredible electronic artist and headlines the best shows such as Tomorrowland and Ultra Music Festival. It’s going to be like nothing ever seen before here.

“We’re also very happy to announce that R3wire and Varski will be emceeing the show. They are the MTV ambassador DJs, they were signed by Ministry of Sound and they perform all over the world from Tokyo, Hong Kong, Asia, and Europe. They go to all the top festivals, so while we’re making the changeover from Nicki Minaj to Steve Aoki or Liam Payne, these guys will make sure that the crowd stays absolutely pumped,” he added.

The second wave of festival performers will be announced later this week.

-----

Where to get tickets: www.jeddahworldfest.com

 

 

 


Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 10 sec ago

Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

  • The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen
  • ‘Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors’

BAGHDAD: Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil plants, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.
The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the kingdom’s vast oil output.
The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war.
But the Wall Street Journal has reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.
Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied reports Iraqi territory “was used for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”
“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said in a statement.
“The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution.”
Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.
Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Gulf waters.
Recent raids on bases belonging to Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups linked with Iran, attributed to Israel, sparked fears of an escalation.
There have been no military consequences so far, but the strikes have heightened divisions between pro-Tehran and pro-Washington factions in Iraq’s political class.
Baghdad has recently moved to repair ties with Saudi Arabia, a key US ally — much to Iran’s chagrin.
Riyadh recently announced a major border post on the Iraqi frontier would reopen mid-October, after being closed for almost three decades.