Jeddah World Fest took place 18 July, and welcomed 40,000 fans to become Saudi Arabia’s largest ever music festival.
The event took place in the grounds of King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah. It ties in with Vision 2030, a plan to open up Saudi Arabia as an entertainment destination and relax some of its stricter laws around events.
The country’s General Entertainment Authority is set to inject upwards of $60bn into the sector over the next decade.
Artists who played at Jeddah World Fest included 50 Cent, Chris Brown, Janet Jackson, Future, Steve Aoki and more.
The event was promoted by Roqu Media and produced by The Manual London, featuring the largest outdoor festival stage ever built in the Middle East.
The Manual co-founder Richard King commented: “Jeddah World Fest was the first of its kind in many ways – the first festival in Saudi Arabia, and the first large scale outdoor show, amongst many other ‘firsts’. We created a historical moment where the audience came together to produce an experience never before seen in market.”
The event was supplied by Protec, which delivered audio, lighting and rigging.
Protec project manager Luke Doyle commented: “The show looked and sounded incredible. The stage structure was the largest ever seen in the Middle East. This type of event had never been done to this scale in KSA and it was a great show to be a part of.
“As the line-up wasn’t 100% confirmed until the last minute, we were under immense pressure to fulfil the technical rider for each artist. We had catered well technically for the event using stock from our Riyadh and Dubai warehouses, however, we had to move quickly to discuss the requirements with the relevant artiste’s teams and production and get the extra kit rushed into the country once the last line up was finalised.
“The event was also a few days behind on build schedule, so we were tightly pushed on time to deliver from our side with only two nights for build and rehearsals. 22 crew were on site and managed to set up in two days and derig in one shift.”
“The extreme climate was a constant challenge. Working long hours, it was imperative to keep the crew hydrated. We worked throughout the night to avoid the intense heat and humidity during the day. Hydration salts in Camelbaks and frequent water breaks kept the crew well hydrated.
“Constant communication with our client and the production team (who were supportive and always positive), good teamwork with other companies on site, long hours and a great deal of hard work from all the team led to us overcoming the weather and all the other challenges a show of this magnitude possesses delivering an incredible event that we are very proud to have been a part of.”