6 Thoughts I Had When I Went to Aegis Festival, Lebanon’s Noisiest Electronic Music Gathering

An electro eid

I’ve celebrated Eid in plenty of ways in the past, from family gatherings where my teta would stuff me up with all sorts of sweets and other delicacies, to having virtual link-ups with loved ones who were either too far away or unfortunately unable to congregate with the rest of us for reasons owing to the pandemic. I’ve also celebrated Eid by volunteering at local charities and spreading love to those in need, as well as by traveling to different parts of the world to experience the several ways in which the holiday is enjoyed across cultures. But one thing’s for sure, I never (emphasis on never) thought I’d spend the day that marks the end of the holy month of fasting by raving in the middle of Lebanon. 

Here’s how it went down: Two weekends ago, MILLE was invited to wander through one of the Cedar State’s noisiest electronic musical gatherings, namely Aegis Festival, which took place from April 21 to 23 in Lebanon’s coastal town Batroun, surprisingly coinciding with Eid festivities this year. With so many people keen on getting the party started after several weeks of abstinence from food and water, the 72-hour-long celebration of all things techno, house, disco, and dubstep, sought to bring people from all types of backgrounds, religious affiliations, and vibes, together for a shared experience of much-needed joy in a country that’s been struggling for far too long


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Despite the unusual timing of the festival, attendees withdrew themselves from Beirut`s bustling routine to step foot in an otherworldly decor, full of light-hearted spirits and infectious energy for three consecutive days.

In a regional scene that’s often muted by the prominence of rap and hip-hop, Aegis’ mission rang loud and clear: celebrate creativity, expression, and community with electronic music serving as a means rather than an end. Through various art installations, workshops, a zip line, and yoga classes, organizers sought to create an immersive experience fostering a sense of togetherness and exploration that transcended traditional boundaries to birth a moment of a new kind. 

With so much to do, to listen to, and see, below, six thoughts we had when enjoying an electro Eid.

  1. It was really safe 

Although there was no apparent reason as to why or how things could go wrong, organizers made sure to keep their odds of anything going south as close as possible to zero. From a large team of on-call medics present on site for emergencies  to an entire booth dedicated to providing a myriad of birth control options for attendees, no stone was left unturned in Aegis festival’s quest for safety and protection of its guests.

  1. Wherever you go in Lebanon, the sunset is guaranteed to be mind-blowing

Nestled on a lush hilltop in Arnaoon Village overlooking Batroun, North Lebanon, the festival’s location served as another reminder and further testament of how stunning the Cedar Country’s landscape is. From the moment you would arrive to the venue until the moment you would leave, the hues that stretched across the sky as the sun rose from behind the mountains or when it set to let the stars come out to twinkle in the night sky was an almost-tangible moment of pure magic that adamantly stayed with most of us well after the festival was over.

  1. It’s not just a stereotype, the Lebanese DO know how to party

To some extent, stereotypes tend to carry some amount of truth to them, and for the country that’s often referred to as the party central of an entire region, it definitely does live up to its preceding reputation. Considered as a hub for nightlife, Aegis festival just proved that Lebanon’s fire can never be dimmed no matter what. With day-to-night, or should we say night-to-day gigs, the 72-hour-long celebration of electronic music not only showcased the country’s love for music and entertainment in the best of ways but also its resilience and ability to overcome challenges in the face of adversity.

  1. Artists were surprisingly accessible

This might sound crazy to a few of you, but artists are just normal people— the only difference is that they’re behind the decks while you’re in front of them. And, as much as us party-goers need to be reminded of that, it was refreshing to see that the dedicated backstage areas of the festival were empty as performers were there for the same reason as us: to enjoy good music, party like there’s no tomorrow, and have fun. 

  1. Music unites amid turmoil

At the risk of sounding too cheesy, music is indeed a domain that tends to bring people from all walks of life together— despite what makes them inherently different. With festivals like Aegis, that rationale is taken to another level, pushing whatever struggle each individual or even the country as a whole is currently experiencing to the back of their minds and making it a problem for tomorrow as for 72-hours, everyone can forget their troubles and simply enjoy the moment. 

  1. Local artists were just as important as international headliners

We won’t try to deny it: Peggy Gou and Marco Carola were probably the reason why so many festival-goers made the journey to Batroun for the weekend. In their defense, it’s not every day you see international superstars put up a performance in Lebanon, especially given the challenging circumstances the country is currently facing. However, it was uplifting to see so many talented local artists featured in the lineup, even more so with the crowd responding positively to both big names and up-and-comers alike.

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