SOUNDSTORM, organized by MDLBEAST and the highlight attraction of ‘THE LOUDEST WEEK IN RIYADH’, has been praised by global superstar David Guetta as being a crucial part of “witnessing history in the motion” in Saudi Arabia.
Guetta, who headlines 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”.
Guetta, speaking at a Friday ‘Future Rave’ press conference at SOUNDSTORM alongside rave record label partner MORTEN, with whom he performed a DANCE tent set the night before, said: “When it comes to Saudi Arabia, I’ve been directly involved since day one with what it 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. I’m like ‘wow, I’ve never seen anything like this before!’. I’ve seen women crying of happiness because they came to their first concerts here.
“I thought it was incredible how Saudi wanted to open the country. This is a country that’s young, and the efforts that are being made to make young people happy here are amazing.
“I have received some critics for coming here but I am very proud of being in Saudi. Why would I not be here for that if they want to party? If they want to party, I’m here.”
Guetta, who also revealed that his favorite classic track to play during sets is 2011 hit ‘Titanium’, is far from the only star to grace SOUNDSTORM this weekend. Friday under the skies at Banban was the second of three nights at the desert festival, with the star-studded event welcoming hundreds of thousands of revelers to hear 260 hours of live music from 200 artists across seven stages.
The BIG BEAST stage on Friday was home to the most memorable of nighttime sets courtesy of global sensations DJ Khaled and Swedish House Mafia.
Grammy-award winning DJ Khaled, born in New Orleans to Palestinian parents, revealed to SOUNDSTORM that he overcame his fear of flying to perform in Riyadh.
DJ Khaled said: “I have a real fear of flying but the first place that I jumped on a jet for 10 hours for – all the way over the pond, over the water – was here. I came here to Saudi Arabia. I’ve always wanted to be here. When I told my mother and father I was coming to Riyadh, they started crying with happiness.”
The main SOUNDSTORM setting also rocked to the sounds of Arabic music icons Nancy Ajram and Amr Diab, both of whom appeared with dance sensation Salvatore Ganacci. Peggy Gou’s stream of inspired sounds brought the night to a perfect end.
SOUNDSTORM 2022 sees 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 meters. As well as EDM, hip hop and R&B, SOUNDSTORM this year has added indie to its diverse range of musical genres.
Elsewhere at SOUNDSTORM on Friday, Riyadh-born Skinny’s set on the DOWN stage was adored by his legions of fans, while Cassy went down a treat at UG2.
Ramadan Alharatani, CEO at MDLBEAST, said: “Riding a strong wave of momentum following our spectacular first day showing, SOUNDSTORM resumed exactly where we concluded in the early hours of Friday morning – with a tremendous buzz around the event site and a real sense of elation amongst everyone in involved.
“Our second day illustrated why artists and audience alike, from all around the world, have joined us in Riyadh for this three-day music extravaganza. On Friday alone, over 80 musicians, from genres of all kinds, performed on stage in front of fans in their tens of thousands. This sends an inspiring message that music knows no bounds and is artform for all, a message that will be on full display throughout Saturday’s third and final chapter.
“A special mention also must go to the VIB section at SOUNDSTORM this year, which has enhanced fan experience. The elevated platforms for VIB and Premium ticketholders have been exceptionally well received and reflect the immensely positive vibe of SOUNDSTORM 2022.”
SOUNSTORM tickets are still available to purchase for Saturday. As well as Guetta, the 2022 festival comes to a grand conclusion with live offerings from Bruno Mars, Marshmello, Afrojack, Lost Frequencies, Jorja Smith, and many, many more.