Riyadh feels the beat with region’s biggest music festival

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)
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Updated 16 December 2021

Riyadh feels the beat with region’s biggest music festival

Riyadh feels the beat with region’s biggest music festival
  • 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

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 https://tickets.mdlbeast.com/


Human Rights Commission chief and New Zealand Foreign Ministry official hold talks in Riyadh

Human Rights Commission chief and New Zealand Foreign Ministry official hold talks in Riyadh
Updated 26 May 2022

Human Rights Commission chief and New Zealand Foreign Ministry official hold talks in Riyadh

Human Rights Commission chief and New Zealand Foreign Ministry official hold talks in Riyadh

RIYADH: Awwad Al-Awwad, president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, met Jonathan Kerr, the director-general of the Middle East and Africa Department at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in Riyadh on Wednesday to discuss a number of issues relating to human rights and the development of bilateral cooperation.

Also present at the meeting was Barney Riley, New Zealand’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia.


Saudi authorities seize amphetamine pills hidden in plastic beans

Saudi authorities seize amphetamine pills hidden in plastic beans
Updated 26 May 2022

Saudi authorities seize amphetamine pills hidden in plastic beans

Saudi authorities seize amphetamine pills hidden in plastic beans

RIYADH: Authorities in Saudi Arabia foiled an attempt to smuggle thousands of amphetamine pills and arrested two suspects, the General Directorate of Narcotics Control said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Maj. Mohammed Al-Nujaidi said security officials who monitor drug smuggling and distribution networks that target the Kingdom intercepted 403,000 amphetamine tablets. They were found in the possession of a Syrian national and a Saudi citizen in Jeddah, hidden in a shipment of fake plastic bean pods, he added. The two men were referred to the Public Prosecution.

Al-Nujaidi said that the Ministry of Interior’s security forces, in coordination with the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, will continue to work to uncover plots to smuggle narcotics into the Kingdom and arrest those responsible.


US congress delegation hails work of Muslim World League during meeting with its leader

US congress delegation hails work of Muslim World League during meeting with its leader
Updated 26 May 2022

US congress delegation hails work of Muslim World League during meeting with its leader

US congress delegation hails work of Muslim World League during meeting with its leader

RIYADH: A delegation from the US Congress has praised the work of the Muslim World League in promoting common human values and promoting the urgent need for peace in the world. It came during a meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Iss, the MWL’s secretary-general, in Riyadh on Wednesday.

The American delegates included Chris Stewart, a representative from Utah, Lisa McClain, a representative from Michigan, and Guy Reschenthaler, a representative from Pennsylvania, all three of them Republicans. They were accompanied by a number of officials.

(Supplied)

During the meeting, they discussed a number of issues of common interest, and Al-Issa affirmed that the Saudi Arabia represents the unifying spirit of the Islamic world.

The US delegation also hailed the MWL for its leading role in building effective alliances at the national level and between international organizations to consolidate the values of friendship and cooperation among nations and peoples.


DiplomaticQuarter: US Embassy celebrates 80 years of ‘shared history’ with Saudi Arabia

DiplomaticQuarter: US Embassy celebrates 80 years  of ‘shared history’ with Saudi Arabia
Updated 25 May 2022

DiplomaticQuarter: US Embassy celebrates 80 years of ‘shared history’ with Saudi Arabia

DiplomaticQuarter: US Embassy celebrates 80 years  of ‘shared history’ with Saudi Arabia
  • The US Legation opened in Jeddah in 1942. Full diplomatic relations began in 1940 and the US Mission, located in a traditional house in the old city center, was upgraded to the status of an embassy in 1949

RIYADH: The US Embassy in Riyadh has marked the 80th anniversary of the establishment of its first diplomatic presence in Saudi Arabia, highlighting what it described as “eight decades of shared history, strong partnership and united vision” with the Kingdom.

The US Legation opened in Jeddah in 1942. Full diplomatic relations began in 1940 and the US Mission, located in a traditional house in the old city center, was upgraded to the status of an embassy in 1949.

In 1952, the embassy moved to the current consulate general location, which at the time was an isolated, beachfront property to the north of the city.

Along with all other foreign missions, the US Embassy was transferred to Riyadh in 1984. The former embassy compound in Jeddah is now a consulate general in the heart of one of the Middle East’s most dynamic cities.

The theme of this year’s celebration was “Shared History, Strong Partnership and United Vision,” highlighting the enduring foundation of the strategic ties and friendship between the US and Saudi Arabia.

“From the very early days of modern Saudi Arabia, the US, its leaders, its companies and its people supported their Saudi friends on their remarkable journey toward success and prosperity,” the US Embassy in Riyadh said in a statement to Arab News.

“The US-Saudi relationship has naturally evolved over the years. It has grown to encompass trade, culture, education, security, and especially the close ties between the Saudi and American people. What has not changed during the past 80 years is the shared vision that has always guided the cooperation between the US and Saudi Arabia in these and many other areas,” it added.

“As Saudi Arabia pursues the ambitious goals of Vision 2030, the US is supporting the Kingdom’s efforts in the same spirit of partnership that has been one of the key pillars of US–Saudi ties. Today, in every field, in every sector, Americans and Saudis are working together, learning together, conducting research together and, more recently, performing together in concerts, films and athletic competitions.”

This engagement translates into $54 billion annually in US-Saudi trade and investment.

American companies have been an integral part of the Vision 2030 economic transformation of Saudi Arabia, while the US and Saudi Arabia also enjoy robust cultural and educational ties.


Saudi Arabia reports 540 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Saudi Arabia reports 540 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death
Updated 25 May 2022

Saudi Arabia reports 540 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Saudi Arabia reports 540 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death
  • Of the new infections, 146 were recorded in Jeddah, 122 in Riyadh, 50 in Makkah, 38 in Dammam and 32 in Madinah

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia reported 540 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Health. As a result, the total number of cases in the Kingdom grew to 764,789.

The authorities also confirmed one new COVID-19-related death, raising the total number of fatalities to 9,135.

Of the new infections, 146 were recorded in Jeddah, 122 in Riyadh, 50 in Makkah, 38 in Dammam and 32 in Madinah. Several other cities recorded fewer than 20 new cases each.

The ministry also announced that 570 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 749,141. It said that 6,513 COVID-19 cases were still active.