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Massive Rave Takes Place in Saudi Arabia’s Desert

  • A four-day digital music competition befell in the socially conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Martin Garrix, David Guetta, and Tiësto had been among the many internationally well-known DJs to carry out.
  • Bloomberg reported that girls wore “skintight pants,” and the odor of marijuana wafted up from the gang.

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A four-day music competition befell in a desert in Saudi Arabia this weekend, and a Bloomberg report says it appeared remarkably much like its’ Western equivalents. 

MDLBEAST Soundstorm 2021 kicked off on December 16 on the outskirts of Riyadh, the socially conservative nation’s capital, and it featured internationally well-known DJs like Martin Garrix, David Guetta, and Tiësto.

MDLBEAST in Saudi Arabia

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A common view throughout MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM 2021 on December 18, 2021 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Neville Hopwood/Getty Images for MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM

The competition organizers say that 200,000 individuals attended on the second day alone, making it one of many best-attended music occasions in the world, the Saudi Gazette reported.

“Women and males danced with abandon” as digital music blared, Bloomberg mentioned, just for the rave to be briefly placed on pause for quarter-hour whereas individuals responded to the Islamic name to prayer.

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Bloomberg reported that the ladies at MDLBEAST Soundstorm 2021 wore all the things from “skintight pants” to “full-length robes and face veils.”

A general view during MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM 2021 on December 18, 2021 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

A common view throughout MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM 2021 on December 18, 2021 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Neville Hopwood/Getty Images for MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM

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Saudi ladies are required to decorate modestly, per The Week, which means that tight-fitting clothes is usually prohibited. Traditionally, ladies had been anticipated to put on the abaya — a free overgarment — in public, however Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman relaxed this costume code requirement in 2018.

According to Bloomberg, different sights to behold had been an indication of “pushing boundaries” as the dominion transforms. Previously, spiritual police as soon as punished eating places for enjoying music — a far cry from this weekend’s reported actions.

“Inebriated males stumbled via crowds perfumed with the distinct scent of marijuana,” mentioned Bloomberg, “alongside a restricted however notable show of native queer tradition.”

MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM 2021 on December 18, 2021 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

A view of individuals partying at MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM 2021 on December 18, 2021 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Darren Arthur/Getty Images for MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM

Cannabis, alcohol, and homosexuality are forbidden in Saudi Arabia, however Bloomberg described a “carnival-like” ambiance the place these guidelines had been apparently snubbed.

Critics have accused the competition organizers of “culture-washing.” Resident Advisor journalist Joe Siltanen mentioned it was an try and distract from the “authoritarian regime.”

MDLBEAST Soundstorm 2021 was only one occasion in a roster of actions this month, spearheaded by the crown prince, to create the optics of a softer and extra secular picture of the dominion. Recently, Saudi Arabia hosted a Formula One race and two art biennials.

An oil-themed amusement park can also be being opened as a part of Saudi Vision 2030, as Insider beforehand reported, which is a strategic framework to diversify the nation’s dependence on oil and transfer in direction of leisure and tourism.

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