The region’s largest festival, MDL Beast, saw over 115,000 in attendees on its final day Saturday.
The venue hosted over 22 ensembles using five stages on-site, covering electronic music acts, performing arts and culinary crafts. One of the stages in the event also won a Guinness World Record for the “world’s tallest temporary stage.”
The third and final day opened with the kingdom’s own Omar Basaad, a record producer, record label owner and a DJ. His newer single, Mona Lisa, recently took the first spot on Apple Music in Saudi Arabia.
Another local artist, Muhanned Nasser who goes by the stage name Vinyl Mode also performed at MDL Beast. He says, “This is a huge, innovative step in the Saudi music industry. I'm honored to be one of the artists participating in this event and one of the team members who executed this event.”
Apart from home-grown performances, the Riyadh-based festival wrapped up the eventing with acts from globally acclaimed artists like R3HAB, Afrojack, Steve Aoki, Salvatore Ganacci, and Sebastian Ingrosso.
Afrojack took to twitter, celebrating his first time in the kingdom.
“First time in #riyadh!!! @MDLBeast my friends, crazy!,” Afrojack said on Twitter.
Twitter users took over the social media platform using hashtag #MDLBeastFestival to tweet about the South Korean pop band, MONSTA X.
Twitter user @kyunfairie said, “I am beyond proud of monsta x. they were phenomenal, they worked the crowd so well and hyped everyone up, and they dominated the stage every single second they were on it. Thank you arab monbebe for showing them so much love and support.” Monbebe refers to the MONSTA X fan base.
The rise in festivals and the ever-increasing number of visitors points toward the country’s Vision 2030 which aims to “grow and diversify the economy.”
Turki Al Al-Sheikh, Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), said in a statement that the kingdom hopes to see more “cultural, artistic, and entertainment experiences brought in (with) 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.”
Most of the MDL Beast artists have performed at perennial festivals like Tomorrowland and the Ultra Music Festival. But MDL Beast, over the course of three days, welcomed nearly 400,000 visitors – a significant bump in numbers over other international festivals.
An estimated 130,000 attendees flocked to the MBL Beast Festival on day one, and a record 150,000 attended day two.