MDL Beast brought a new standard to Saudi Arabia's EDM market, and the festival's organizers didn't leave locals in the dust. Saudi talent played no small role in making the Riyadh gathering a success, having been present at every level of production from promotion all the way to its monolithic stages.
The 45,000-capacity main stage, dubbed Big Beast, didn't only play host to international superstars like Tiësto, Martin Garrix and David Guetta. Saudi duos Simi Haze and Dish Dash opened the stage on the first and second nights, respectively, with locals Cosmicat, DJ Baloo and Vinyl Mode bringing the heat as well.
“What I like about this festival is that it’s very different - it’s a complete fusion, some Arab artists and a lot international DJs and it all works really well," said R3hab of MDL Beast. "I think that’s very special and I’ve never seen that before.”
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In addition to the performing artists, the festival also elevated the careers of emerging Saudi clothing designers, of which there were many. The retail therapy zone gave them on opportunity to showcase their garments to a previously untapped market.
“I have made it my personal and professional mission to promote and celebrate Saudi creative talent. Saudi Arabia’s fashion industry is booming, and I am proud that MDL Beast has been able to support so many up and coming designers," said Marriam Mossalli, founder of Niche Arabia. "Having the opportunity to create this retail area in a festival the size of MDL Beast gives Saudi Style a truly global platform.”
“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," said Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority H.E. Turki Abdulmohsen Al-AlSheikh. "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.”
The 2020 edition of MDL Beast has yet to be formally announced. More information will be made available on the event website.