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Arab Indie Music Fans, You Can’t Miss This New Festival in Riyadh

Souad Massi. Photo:

Riyadh is set to host its first-ever Al Wasla festival on March 4-5 with an exciting lineup of indie and alternative artists. The show has proved to be extremely successful in Dubai for the last three years, inviting musical talents from various parts of the Arab world.

Highlights include Egyptian musicians Cairokee, indie legend Hamza Namira and Algerian sensation Souad Massi. A few local talents from Saudi such as Al Farabi. Hajaj, Fulana, and Statues of Signing Men will also be performing. Supported by the General Entertainment Authority, the festival has been organized by Wasla, and will see over 15 bands playing live music over the two days, and covering various genres from jazz to electropop. The majority of performances will be in Arabic with a few in English.


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The festival will take place in a picturesque outdoor venue, specifically, a grass valley just outside Riyadh. Aside from the performances, festival-goers will have the opportunity to have a barbecue brunch or eat from a number of food and beverage outlets made available. A number of local talents such as fashion designers, boutiques, and local artists that have made a significant mark on the country will also be present.

Omar Ayat, the co-founder and music director for the festival expressed his excitement on hosting the show in the Kingdom, saying, “This is the first Wasla is in Saudi Arabia, and we are proud of our diverse lineup this year. We have four regional headliners coming for the first time to Saudi and over 20 Saudi bands that we have scouted over the past two years that cover mostly Arabic and some English pop, rock, jazz and fusion. Almost half of these talents are women, and most of them are Saudi.” Founder and CEO of Wasla, Amr Ramadan added: “For our first festival in Saudi, we are focusing on creating what we call the Wasla experience. There is much more talent on offer than just music. We have a program for the whole family.”

The Al Wasla Festival takes place on March 4-5 at The Hidden Valley, Riyadh. Tickets are available to purchase at

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