Saudi Arabia’s biggest music festival is happening

Saudi Arabia’s biggest music festival is happening

Thousands of Saudis are attending to an electronic music festival, with DJ Tiesto, Black Coffee and David Guetta being top acts at the three-day MDL Beast festival.

“This is the biggest music festival in the region,” said DJ Cosmicat, one of a few female Saudi artists performing at the event, France24 reports.

“The whole country is going through a huge change,” she said in a statement released by the organisers.

The multi-stage festival attracted 130,000 fans on its first day, said organisers, calling it the “largest music, arts and culture festival Saudi Arabia has ever seen”.

Saudi Arabia has eased tight restrictions on various forms of entertainment as de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seeks to shake off his country’s ultra-conservative image.

He has scrapped decades-old bans on cinemas and women drivers while allowing gender-mixed concerts and sports tournaments.

But this relaxation in the kingdom was accompanied by a repression of opponents. NGOs denounced the arrests of journalists, writers and activists in November, as well as the ongoing trial of a dozen feminist activists arrested since June 2018, FranceInfo reports.