BEIRUT: It has been noted that the lion’s share of Lebanon’s summer festivals – the country’s yearly cavalcade of blue-chip performing talent and tourism dollars – are situated outside the capital.
Since 2012 the managers of Beirut Souks, the shopping mall erected on the site where the city’s historic souks once stood, have entered this market with Beirut Holidays.
This yearly festival welcomes a wealth of regional performers. Previous editions have included shows by such acts as Nancy Ajram and Wael Kfoury, in 2013, and the Michael Jackson tribute show, “Man in the Mirror,” in 2012.
For the 2014 edition of Beirut Holidays (July 29 until Sept. 6), the Beirut waterfront will be transformed into a venue for a slate of seven concerts, featuring six performers from across this broad region and a Canadian.
Syrian-born Georges Wassouf, the vocalist that some consider a master of tarab, will open the festivities with what we can assume will be a playlist of such much-loved tunes as “People’s Talk,” “I Swear to the Moon.”
On July 31, Lebanese crooner Fares Karam will bring his well-regarded brand of enthusiasm to his audience with his own much-loved songs, along with some new compositions, “Naswanji,” “The One who Lies to his Wife” and “I Saw Her on Hamra Street.”
A few days later, on Aug. 2, Egyptian actor, composer and vocalist Tamer Hosni will take the stage from his own one-night stand, during which he too is expected to perform hits whose titles can be translated as “Come Closer,” “The Toughest Feeling” and “Your Voice.”
For the second year in a row, the erstwhile enfant terrible of Lebanese stage and song Ziad Rahbani will once again take to the stage at the head of an ensemble performance.
This year’s show, “Artistat!” will see Ziad perform with a range of performers whose names have yet to be announced.
Beirut Holidays will also host a tribute to the late great Lebanese performer Wadih al-Safi, featuring musicians Joseph Attieh, Sarah al-Hani, Georges and Antoine al-Safi. The ensemble promises to honor Safi’s musical legacy with a performance of some of his most famous compositions.
Representing Lebanon’s host of divas this year is pop superstar Elissa. Known for her sensual voice, Elissa is expected to charm her audience with a robust array of finger-snapping numbers.
The North American content of this year’s Beirut Holidays will be provided by the one-named Canadian crooner Garou, who will draw a curtain to this year’s event. Known for his deep voice, Garou is expected to sample tunes from his latest albums “Seul ... Avec Vous” and “Au Milieu de ma Vie.”
Beirut Holidays 2014 will take place at the waterfront July 29-Sept. 6. For ticketing, please call 01-999-666.