MDL Beast, the largest music, arts and culture festival Saudi Arabia has ever seen today opened its gates and on day one welcomed more than 130,000 eager fans from across the region and further afield. Crowds gathered at Saudi Arabia's first ever multi stage music festival to watch global music superstars including Tiësto, Martin Garrix, Black Coffee, Swizz Beatz and Rick Ross plus local talent Cosmicat, DJ Baloo, Dish Dash and Simi Haze.
MDL Beast is a landmark moment and truly unique experience for Saudis and international visitors to the Kingdom alike, as it is the first time they have been able to enjoy so many different areas of Saudi Arabia's culture, arts and music industries showcased in one purpose built venue.
The Main Stage, 'Big Beast' was opened by Simi Haze, the Saudi born identical twin DJs who have been taking the fashion and music worlds by storm and have now returned to their home country to perform at MDL Beast. The 45,000 person capacity 'Big Beast' stage is the biggest built in the world this year, and the dynamic duo kicked the festivities off in awesome Saudi style!
In the Underground Beast district, visitors saw nineteen acts over 3 stages made from containers all decorated by local graffiti artists. Combined with some of the best audio visual equipment and design, the underground zones provided a uniquely different perspective to the Main stage and attracted huge crowds of locals and international festivalgoers.
Artists including Cosmicat and Vinyl Mode took to the stage in the Underground Beast district and played their hearts out to unseen before crowds.
Cosmicat said: "This is the biggest music festival in the region, here in Saudi Arabia, we have never had a music festival before, and now we are doing it big! It's not just the first, it's the largest and we are expecting probably over 200,000 people so it really is pretty big! It's great for the locals and for local artists, it gives them such a huge platform to show the world what Saudi is capable of!"
The retail therapy district, MDL Town and Saudi Alley local food court welcomed men and women to sample the very best of local and international brands in food, fashion & design. Chefs from all over the world created bespoke menus and mocktails especially for the event, and designers were on site showcasing their amazing Saudi designs to the world.
On day 1, 22 shows were put on by performers, all totally unique to MDL Beast. The Arts Beast district featured a series of incredible immersive performances and visual spectaculars, while street theatre performers roamed the grounds interacting with guests.
As night fell, The Arts Beast district visitors were treated to scenes of stunning light parades and illuminated drumming troupes weaving their way through the festival.
One festivalgoer commented:
"I never expected to see shows like this here in Saudi, with so many performers travelling in from all over the world to put on special shows just for us. It's an honour to welcome them, and I was absolutely in awe of all of them!"
John Rash, Creative Director, MDL Beast Festival said:
"We are so proud of what we have been able to do here today and that we can showcase Saudi Arabia's potential for more large-scale events like this in the future. MDL Beast will create a new, unique genre of international festivals going forwards. Watch this space - the Beast will be back!"