Nestled on the eastern shore of the Red Sea, stands Al-Balad, a 1-mile area of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where culture and commerce has thrived for nearly 1,400 years. In 2014 Al-Balad earned its place on UNESCO’s World Heritage Preservation List, reviving an important piece of Saudi culture for future generations. MDLBEAST, an entertainment company anchored in the Kingdom, was looking to help forge new traditions there, creating a need-to-see-it-to-believe-it music and art festival where the past and present would converge in perfect harmony.
For two years we navigated the narrow pathways of this historic city and got to work pulling off the impossible. Addressing incredibly complicated infrastructure and logistical issues to build a breathtaking brandscape that became a canvas for digital artists. Meet Balad Beast. 2 days. 5 performance venues located inside a UNESCO World Heritage site. This multisensory experience turned nooks and crannies into projection-mapped works of art that honored Al-Balad’s storied past. The gateway to Hip Hop was marked at Bab Square – where joy was unleashed. Deep House defined Roshan Square, while Omda Square became a blissful EDM block party set amidst stunning architectural relics. Mesmerizing. Illuminating.
Over in Mirkaz Square indie artists performed under the stars, while Souq Square sat in the shadows of an ancient marketplace, offering up House and Techno music along with the latest Saudi streetwear styles. Creativity played out on walls, on and off stages, in crevasses, and courtyards as roaming performers delivered over-the-top-entertainment.
Not only did this next-level festival make history it delivered brilliantly for MDLBEAST generating headlines and fueling a social media frenzy. An activation that persevered Al-Balad’s rich traditions while helping to forge new ones – making what’s old new again.