More than 600,000 fans attended the 2022 edition of SOUNDSTORM, organised by MDLBEAST and the highlight attraction of ‘THE LOUDEST WEEK IN THE MIDDLE EAST’. This year’s event was 61% bigger than last year with revellers enjoying 260 hours of live music from 200 artists across seven stages under the Banban desert skies. Bruno Mars and David Guetta concluded the three-day festival with stunning Saturday shows.
SOUNDSTORM 2022 saw the BIG BEAST, DOWN BEAST and DANCE BEAST settings joined by four UNDERGROUND stages, on a site with a total area of more than 5.5 million square metres. As well as EDM, hip hop and R&B, this year saw indie added to the diverse range of musical genres across several stages.
First, there’s the Guinness World Record-breaking BIG BEAST, which is the largest stage of them all. Measuring 135.5 feet, the stage welcomed hard-hitting international DJs such as Tiesto, DJ Snake, Swedish House Mafia, R3HAB, DJ Khaled (and friends), Bruno Mars, as well as David Guetta.
David Guetta, who headlined Saturday night on the BIG BEAST stage at SOUNDSTORM, commented that the feeling of performing in the Kingdom was “so special” because it “feels like being part of something that’s bigger than me”. He played a ‘Future Rave’ set on Friday night with Morten and said: “When it comes to Saudi Arabia, I’ve been directly involved since day one with what is being done here, because I played the first SOUNDSTORM festival in 2019. What I see as I’ve started to play in Saudi is people with happy faces.” The BIG BEAST stage on Friday was also home to the most memorable of nighttime sets courtesy of global sensations DJ Khaled and Swedish House Mafia.
Appearing live in Saudi Arabia for the very first time, the concluding night saw Bruno Mars dedicate hit tune ‘Just the Way You Are’ to every fan watching his spectacular show on SOUNDSTORM’S BIG BEAST stage. Mars said: “Thank you to everyone for making our first time in Saudi Arabia so special – I’d like to come back again real soon.”
On Saturday, Solomun blasted off UG1 with a standout set and Steve Aoki followed Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike while Nervo, Claptone, Cedric Gervais, Timmy Trumpet, AfroJack, Morten, Acraze and more all played across the weekend. The final act on the BIG BEAST stage for 2022 to keep the legions of fans bouncing was electronic favourite Marshmello.
The Underground stage was divided into four different sub stages house and techno from Cirez D, Artbat, Carl Cox b2b Nic Fanciulli, Carl Cox solo, Sven Väth, Jamie Jones b2b Seth Troxler, Butch, Polo & Pan, Thomas Melchior and more on Thursday. On Friday, Adam Beyer, Maceo Plex, Anna, Loco Dice, Cassy, Hot Since 82, Damian Lazarus, Fred P, Janaret and more will line up and on Saturday Luciano, Solomun, La Fleur, Ricardo Villalobos, Solardo, James Hype, Art Department, Chris Lake and more brought the quality.
BIG BEAST headline acts on Thursday and Friday at the three-day festival included Tiësto, Swedish House Mafia, DJ Khaled, Post Malone, Nancy Ajram, Amr Diab, and many, many more.
Ramadan Alharatani, CEO at MDLBEAST, said: “This year’s third edition of SOUNDSTORM has emulated the success of its predecessors, exceeding our own expectations as well as our guests, delivering a world-class festival experience, and ushering in a brand-new chapter for the regional music scene. Whilst setting new benchmarks for future music events staged in Saudi Arabia and the wider region, we’re equally proud of the legacy these last three days leave behind.
“The response we’ve witnessed at SOUNDSTORM, and the feedback of huge anticipation we’ve received ahead of BALAD BEAST, highlights the love, appreciation, and demand for music amongst our communities. It is a beautiful mix that will advance the creative economy, inspire new talent, and propel the Middle East’s position as an emerging global hub for music, art, and culture.
“On behalf of MDLBEAST, I wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to all who have made SOUNDSTORM 2022 so enjoyable and impactful – from our dedicated staff and valued partners to the fans in attendance and artists on stage. We now look ahead to SOUNDSTORM 2023 and our fourth edition, so watch this space and stay tuned for news and updates in due course.”
This was a weekend that provided memories to last a lifetime. But fear not, because for people still in the region the beast is coming back soon to Jeddah on December 9th and 10th for BALAD BEAST, a stunning spectacle in the traditional courtyards of the city on the Red Sea with Carl Cox, Busta Rhymes, Rick Ross and many more.