Over seven lakh people attend Saudi Arabia’s largest music event

The kingdom is now witnessing a rise in COVID-19 infections, and authorities are worried about the spread of the new omicron variant of the lethal virus.

Hyderabad: Over seven lakh people attended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) MDLBeast Soundstorm music festival, officials stated on December 20, at the end of the four-day event in the oil-rich desert kingdom.

The electronic music event took place at a time when Saudi authorities are attempting to transform the kingdom’s conservative image and diversify its economy, only a few years after the kingdom repealed a ban on music and dancing.

Despite boycott demands due to Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, international artists and musicians, including renowned French DJ David Guetta, performed at the event.

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The kingdom is now witnessing a rise in COVID-19 infections, and authorities are worried about the spread of the new omicron variant of the lethal virus.

With roughly 8,860 deaths, Saudi Arabia has the highest number of COVID-related mortality among Arab Gulf countries.

The president of Saudi Arabia’s general entertainment authority Turki al-Sheikh stated that 7,32,000 people attended the event, which was described as “one of the largest music festivals in the world.”

Since its inception in 2019, the event has attracted big crowds, the majority of whom are young men and women who may openly mix and dance to western music.

The kingdom is attempting to diversify its economy away from oil, spending extensively in the tourist, entertainment, and sports industries in recent years.

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