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MDL Beast festival to debut in Saudi Arabia

David Guetta, Martin Garrix and Steve Aoki are among acts confirmed for electronic dance music (EDM) festival MDL Beast, the latest addition to Saudi Arabia’s flourishing festival scene.

The inaugural MDL Beast festival is taking place from 19 to 21 December 2019 in Riyadh, home to the 70,000-capacity King Fahd Stadium which recently hosted k-pop stars BTS.

The multi-stage festival will feature 18 international headliners and 28 global dance acts including Afrojack, Camelphat, J Balvin and Tiësto, as well as 24 local and regional performers, such as EDM DJ Cosmicat and local DJ duo Dish Dash.

Steve Aoki, who this summer performed at Roqu Media’s Jeddah World Fest – the first, major, ticketed music festival in the country – comments: “When I got the offer to play at the three-day MDL Beast festival, I was thrilled to become part of it and be back in the region again. It’s go[ing to] be an incredible event with tons of acts and lots of new names.”

“We’re confident MDL Beast will be like nothing seen before and we cannot wait to experience this transformative musical milestone”

Ahmad Alammary, DJ and member of the festival team, adds: “More than just a music festival, MDL Beast is also a platform with multiple [projects] including ongoing seasonal local and global events, online and radio channels, recording studios, and a non-profit foundation promoting music education and therapy.

“We’re confident MDL Beast will be like nothing seen before and we cannot wait to experience this transformative musical milestone.”

“I’m so proud of the fact that we’re hosting this festival in Saudi; it’s a great reflection of the Saudi audience being able to experience the music they love,” comments Cosmicat. “As one of the first female EDM DJs here, I’m excited to be flying the flag and representing women on the scene.”

As Saudi Arabia continues to boost its live entertainment offering and cement its place on the international touring map, criticism is still levelled at artists who opt to play in the kingdom. Nicki Minaj pulled out of Jeddah World Fest following pressure from human rights organisations and BTS’ appearance in the country sparked a mixed reaction from fans.

Fans can register for tickets to the MDL Beast here.

 


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Jim Wong to head up new Live Nation Electronic Asia unit

Live Nation has formed a new electronic music division, Live Nation Electronic Asia, in response to what it calls “the region’s rising demand for electronic dance music”.

The new venture is headed up Jim Wong, an independent Hong Kong-based promoter who has promoted and booked more than 500 acts in Hong Kong and mainland China over the past three years.

He comments: “I am excited to join Live Nation, especially considering the enormous potential this new venture creates for electronic music fans and artists. My team and I are passionate about electronic music and we are committed to contributing to the growth of this community in Asia.”

The first event for Live Nation Electronic Asia will be Tïesto’s Clublife China tour, which visits eight cities in China from 13 to 21 October, with Creamfields events in Hong Kong and Taipei following in December.

“Our overarching goal is to connect artists and fans for unparallelled live music experiences,” says Alan Ridgeway, Live Nation’s president of international and emerging markets, “and it’s undeniable that fans in Asia, especially China, are eager for more electronic music.

“Combining Jim’s experience with Live Nation’s network and resources allows us to accelerate our presence in this genre, giving fans even more electronic music performances through both concerts and festivals.”

Live Nation is active in eight other markets in Asia, including Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

 


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