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Category: ‘Festival’

Maraya Concert Hall Smashes A Guinness World Records Title As The Largest Mirrored Building In The World!

AlUla, Saudi Arabia – Located in the north western province of AlUla, Saudi Arabia, Maraya Concert Hall has set the Guinness World Records™  for largest mirrored building in the world. “Maraya” means “mirrors” in Arabic, and the “mirrored wonder” got this name due to the giant mirrors attached to its structure which reflect AlUla’s breath-taking landscape. This includes the Hegra region, which is the first historical site in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.

The “Maraya” is a giant mirror cube, a silent and respectful building, a” site-specific landmark”, meaningful and elegant with intrinsic and extravagant simplicity, a true “Land-art Architecture”.

The extraordinary new façade of the Maraya Concert Hall was unveiled with a special ceremony held by the Royal Commission for AlUla during the second season of the Winter at Tantora Festival. The concert hall can hold up to 500 seats and hosted leading and prominent international artists, including musician Omar Khairat and opera singer Andrea Bocelli. The festival began its artistic journey with the renowned singer Aziza Jalal, who surprised her fans with a return after a 35-year hiatus.

Located in Wadi Ashaar, near the volcanic freeway, The Maraya Concert Hall is highly equipped with the latest theatrical and operatic sound systems. The structure is cube shaped with the exterior walls covered entirely in mirrors that reflect the picturesque nature of AlUla.  A landscape which has captivated creatives, artists and architects since the Nabataean civilisation and to the present day.

The external cladding displays 9,740 square metres of mirrors, which exceeds the minimum of 6,500 square metres. Commenting on the achievement, Amr Al Madani, CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla, said, “AlUla is a cultural heritage to the world, and this step comes in fulfilment of AlUla’s vision, to create a regional and global cultural centre. We have developed Maraya Concert Hall as a hub for world events, concerts, celebrations, gatherings, and business conventions. The mirrored hall is a global platform where nature, culture, and human heritage coexist in harmony.”

Al Madani added, “We are proud to celebrate the opening of Maraya Concert Hall, and we thank our partners, experts, engineers, and architects, who worked day and night to create this astounding monument in the heart of the marvellous desert environment of AlUla.”

Designer Florian Boje of Gio Forma said, “As evident in the architecture of the Nabataeans, Maraya Concert Hall was created utilising segmentation and [by] sculpting the blocks. This unique edifice makes us think about the unique landscape of the geological saga, the radical abstraction of the enchanting environment of AlUla, and the uncommon incursions for man in the natural landscape; the reflections give an overwhelming balance and a deep sense of the connection of human heritage with nature and its intertwining and harmonising together, which provides us with the responsibility of protecting our human culture that is combined with the exceptional nature of AlUla.”

The development of the Maraya Concert Hall came within the framework of the cultural and heritage statement of AlUla, which was recently issued and published by the Royal Commission for AlUla, inviting global arts and business communities to join the Royal Commission in a new cultural chapter in the rich history of AlUla.

The cultural and heritage vision of AlUla states, “The artistic mission of AlUla is clear, and [it] will remain the destination for artists to draw their inspiration from a site that highlights the monuments of historical civilisations.”

“What remains of great cultures is art and architecture. Successive civilisations have formed the cultural scene with their knowledge and experience, and AlUla will remain the artistic destination for artists to enhance a spirit of imagination and inspiration in their being, and the expression that constitutes the infrastructure of AlUla and its structures and daily life to enrich the encounters of the visitors.”

During the current season, the Winter Festival of Tantora witnessed a celebration of international events, including the “First Hegra Conference of Nobel Prize Laureates 2020,” which was held in the city of AlUla from January 30 to February 1. Eighteen Nobel Peace Prize laureates in various categories like economics, literature, physics, chemistry, physiology, and medicine joined the event along with an elite group of intellectuals, politicians and social leaders from 32 countries around the world. They presented theses’ to meet the challenges affecting humanity and the world. The conference sought to make a significant impact and offer provisions to urgent global dilemmas, and the discussions aimed to provide precise solutions regarding the future of education, health, agriculture, and the world’s economy.

The Winter at Tantora Festival offers a wide range of diverse experiences that cater to all tastes from all walks of life. The festival took place every weekend starting 19th December 2019, and until the 7th March 2020. Guests had the unique opportunity to visit the historical heritage sites before they are closed to the general public until October 2020 when AlUla will be open for tourist throughout the year. For more info please visit https://experiencealula.com

– The 26m high building includes a concert hall, capable to host generously 500 guest and unique performance stage as well as a dining hall with a breathtaking roof terrace and art features including the installation of the the renown Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama .

– The gigantic stage features an unseen high-tech background ,a large retractable glass window of more than 800 square meters ,providing an exceptional outdoor view on Alula’s amazing landscapes blending the magic of nature and entertainment.

– The Stage design includes high-tech equipment to host the world’s most innovative and powerful shows.

Guinness Book of World Records

To qualify for a record in the Guinness Book of World Records as “The Largest Mirror-Covered Building in the World,” the Maraya Concert Hall has achieved the following criteria:

1. The façade of the building is made entirely of mirrors, not just glass.

2. The building is a permanent structure.

3. It is open to the public.

The size of the stage and the mirrors’ façade were verified on the date of registration with the Guinness Book of World Records on December 26, 2019, by independent surveyors from AECOM led by Thomas Koenig.

Gloria Gaynor Closes The 22nd Habanos Festival With Glamorous Gala Evening Dedicated To The Romeo And Julieta Brand

  • The event welcomed 1,200 guests and hosted the Habanos Awards as well as the traditional Humidors Auction
  • The famous singer Gloria Gaynor performed in the final evening concert, marking a glittering end to the XXII Habanos Festival
  • The Humidors Auction raised historic amount of 4.270.000 € with all proceeds going entirely to the Cuban Public Health System

February 29th, Havana, Cuba  The XXII Habanos Festival culminated this edition with the Gala Evening, marking a glittering end to a week packed with activities for lovers of the world’s best tobacco, arriving from 60 different countries around the globe. 

In this year’s edition of the traditional Humidors Auction five humidors from some of the most prestigious Habanos brands were auctioned, together with a special humidor donated by Simon Chase family to Habanos. The auction has raised the historic amount of 4.270.000 € with all proceeds going entirely to the Cuban Public Health System. For the first time in this traditional auction a humidor from the Cohiba brand reached 2.400.000 €.

The Gala Evening paid tribute to the 145th Anniversary of the Romeo y Julieta brand, presenting its three new vitolas in a new line, Línea de Oro. 

Attendees had the chance to taste, exclusively, the three new vitolas that make up the brand’s most Premium line: Hidalgos (57 ring gauge x 125 mm length), Nobles (56 ring gauge x 135 mm length) and Dianas (52 ring gauge x 145 mm length).

Throughout the evening, held in Pabexpo in the city of Havana, over 1,200 guests enjoyed an outstanding musical line-up headed by the famous international artist and pop icon, Gloria Gaynor, as well as other performances including Camerata Guido López and the Maestro Patterson Orchestra, Director of the Cuban Radio and Television Orchestra. In addition, there were artistic performances including the Company led by Santiago Alfonso, winner of the 2006 Cuban National Dance Award, and the great Vengsay Valdés, Director and first dancer of the Cuban National Ballet. 

The closing ceremony also hosted the Habanos Awards with Alexander Avellar receiving the prize in the Communication category, Jean Claude Reichling winning the award in the Business category and Servilio Jesús Córdova Torres  in the Production category, respectively.

Also, the winning couple of aficionados of the III Habanos World Challenge International Contest were Tarek Gamaye and Fabi Hammad, from the United Arab Emirates.

The Gala Evening, full of surprises and music acts, will conclude with the traditional humidors auction, with all proceeds going to the Cuban Public Health System. 

World’s Largest Cigar Festival Opens In Havana!

Habanos s.a. Announces Results Of US$ 531 Million Turnover As The 22nd Habano Festival Opens In Havana

Havana, Cuba – Havana is hosting the XXII Habanos Festival, the largest international event for aficionados of the finest tobacco in the world, Habanos, which will be held from the 24th of February to the 28th.

The event will be attended by enthusiasts of this unique product from all over the world, with the Bolívar, Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta brands taking centre stage.

Renowned habanos brands will announce special editions of their products, such as the Bolívar Belicosos Finos Reserva Cosecha 2016 and the Partagás Legado. In addition, in commemoration of the175th anniversary of the Partagás brand, the special humidor Partagás Tropicales will be presented, of which only 450 will be produced.

Corporación Habanos, S.A., which exclusively markets the 27 habanos brands worldwide, will announce during the opening of the XXII Habanos Festival its financial results for the 2019 fiscal year.

Press Release – http://www.multivu.com/players/uk/8695951-habanos-growth-of-531-million-turnover/

Attendees, from more than 60 countries, will enjoy a comprehensive program full of activities designed to explore some aspects of the Habanos culture.

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400K Crowd At Beast Festival Marvel At Record Breaking Soundstorm

A 400,000 strong crowd showed up to marvel at the record-breaking Soundstorm that was MDL Beast Festival – rocking Riyadh over three unforgettable days.  

MDL Beast, the largest music, arts and culture festival the Kingdom has ever hosted was awarded a Guinness World Record certificate for the world’s tallest temporary stage.

Riyadh 22nd December 2019 – MDL Beast Festival has launched Saudi Arabia onto the international festival scene in spectacular style, with over 400,000 flocking to the site to be entertained across five unique stages and five districts including Art Beast (performances) MDL Town (food & beverages) and Retail Therapy (style).  

H.E. Turki Abdulmohsen Al-AlSheikh, Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority said “What thousands of people have witnessed here over the past three days is the first of what we hope will be many cultural, artistic, and entertainment experiences brought in great scale and color to this wonderful country that is rich with legacy, culture, and capabilities, as we open ourselves up further to the world and invite others to come in and experience what Saudi Arabia has to offer. We are so proud to have attracted the best local and international talent to Riyadh, the heart of the Kingdom, and we can’t wait to tell you about what’s next for the country, and MDL Beast… watch this space.”

Music  On the Big Beast stage, crowds of 45,000 plus enjoyed the most incredible sets from an unprecedented line-up of international superstars from around the world including Martin Garrix, David Guetta, J Balvin, Afrojack, Monsta X, R3hab, Salvatore Ganacci, Steve Aoki and Sebastian Ingrosso, performing alongside the best of Saudi Arabia’s EDM DJs including Cosmicat, DJ Baloo, Vinyl Mode and Dish Dash.

R3hab commented: “What I like about this festival is that it’s very different – it’s a complete fusion, some Arab Artists and a lot international DJ’s and it all works really well. I think that’s very special and I’ve never seen that before.”

Korean band, Monsta X, said: “We are so excited to be at MDL Beast, as a Korean pop band performing on the Big Beast main stage in Saudi Arabia! This is so much more than a music festival, we feel that it’s another big opportunity to connect the world together as one. We are overwhelmed by the amazing support that we’re getting from our monbebe and we will keep working hard to bring our music all over the world.”

Steve Aoki stopped by his purpose built PizzAoki parlour to meet fans and enjoy a slice. In true Aoki style, he also threw ten cakes into the crowds during his high energy DJ set before teaming up with J Balvin and Monsta X on stage for special performances. 

MDL Beast XP  Local and international festival goers continued to come together in the MDL Beast XP area, which hosted its own music production studio on site, and looked to the future by encouraging a new generation of Saudi locals to experiment with sound and get closer to the music. 

Arts  Over the course of the festival, 22 performance troupes from across the globe put on totally mind-blowing spectacles, while 40ft unicorn camels were seen parading through the crowds, representing the incredible blend of tradition and modern culture that the arts programming at MDL Beast has represented. 

One elated festival guest commented, “It’s such a first to be able to see so much talent and entertainment in Saudi Arabia, especially of the amazingly high quality we have witnessed over the past 72 hours.  With all of the international performers flying in to perform, it really has been a very special experience. We are truly witnessing a big change in this country – we know it won’t happen overnight, but MDL Beast has played a huge part in the next chapter of this country.”

John Rash, Creative Director, MDL Beast Festival said: “What the team here in Saudi have created has surpassed even my wildest dreams, turning an international vision for a world class festival and elevating it to a whole new level with every conceivable detail. I am honoured to have been part of such an incredible landmark moment, not just in Saudi history but for international festivals going forward. Watch this space, the Beast will be back!”

MDL Beast is a three day festival, 19-21 December 2019, bringing together the best in electronic music, performing arts and culinary craft – just outside of Riyadh in a purpose built venue, the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.mdlbeast.com

Follow MDL Beast on Instagram to be kept updated on the line-up and to view interviews with local and international DJ talent performing.

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ENDS

MDL Beast Fest – The Saudi Soundstorm Has Arrived, Wowing Over 130,000 Fans On Its First Day

Riyadh 20th December 2019 – 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.

Music

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 festival goers.

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!”

Culture

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.

Art

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!”

About

MDL Beast is a three day festival, 19-21 December 2019, bringing together the best in electronic music, performing arts and culinary craft – just outside of Riyadh in a purpose built venue, the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.mdlbeast.com

Follow MDL Beast on Instagram to be kept updated on the line-up and to view interviews with local and international DJ talent performing.  

For further information and assets including B roll, web video content and stills please go to https://mdlbeast.studiomediahouse.com/en

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MDL Beast Fest – Ground Breaking Changes to the Music Scene in Riyadh

Riyadh 16th December 2019 – Since the opening up of Riyadh’s entertainment industry, there hasn’t been anything quite like the MDL BEAST Festival. There is no doubt that this festival is set to continue a wave of revolutionary cultural shifts in Saudi Arabia as we know it. 

The Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scene in Saudi Arabia may not always be first of mind when listing some of the most popular dance capitals of the world, but bubbling under the surface is Riyadh’s best kept secret – a world filled with great music, talented DJ’s,  creative and innovative producers and a thriving musical community that is about to take centre stage.

It’s not just the music scene that is seeing significant changes in Saudi Arabia, there have been notable international sporting events successfully hosted in the Kingdom, and for the first time, the country is opening itself up to tourism and diverse cultural influences from all over the world.

Along with Saudi’s first female DJ – Cosmicat, there will be a host of local DJs and artists playing at the festival, including producer Dalal, DJ DesertFish, DJs & producers K.Led & Majid, DJ & producer Vinyl Mode, DJ Baloo and many more!

“Things are changing really fast, for the better. Now that it’s really happening…It’s going to be quite the event to be part of” comments DJ Cosmicat.

These DJs discuss the significant changes they have witness first hand; not just in Saudi as a whole, but within the music community. This is an exciting time for Saudi’s music industry, they have all seen an increase in popular club nights, packed shows, sold out gigs and concerts. All of this has no doubt been leading up to MDL BEAST on December 19-21 2019 in Riyadh.

“MDL BEAST will create the standard for the Middle East. If you’re working, you’re a part of history. If you’re performing you’re a part of history. If you’re just in the crowd enjoying the music. You’re also a part of history.”  explains DJs and producers DISH DASH.

These local DJs will have the opportunity to perform alongside some of the global EDM scene’s best-known artists for the first time. The likes of David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Tiësto, Camelphat, Black Coffee, R3hab and many more, are all about to descend on one of the biggest global entertainment events to wrap up 2019.

“I cannot explain or put into words how overwhelming and exciting this experience is going to be.” says DJs and producers K.Led & Majid.

Though music is a vital part of the festival, it is not the only thing that will set MDL BEAST apart from other festivals of its kind. As well as music, the MDL BEAST from the east, will feature various iterations of the arts – from performance to visual, and there will be a focus on culinary craft and many more cultural treasures that make up Saudi’s rich heritage.

The first of its kind in Saudi Arabia; MDL BEAST is a three-day festival taking place (in a purpose built venue), on the 19-21 December 2019.

Follow MDL Beast on Instagram to be kept updated on the line-up and to view interviews with local and international DJ talent performing.  

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