The Electronic Music Festivals in the Region To Look Forward to in 2023

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In recent years, the Arab world has emerged as a hotbed of electronic music festivals, providing a platform for local and international artists to showcase their talent while creating a new cultural phenomenon in the region. Although the Middle East might not be the first destination that comes to mind when thinking of music festivals, the scene is nevertheless flourishing, with an ever-growing number of events that cater to hundreds, not to say thousands, of fans. 

What sets these festivals apart is the unique blend of traditional and contemporary sounds that seamlessly come together to create a sonic experience like no other. The region’s rich cultural heritage and artistic traditions have been infused with the modern sounds of today to create a new niche that reflects the diversity of the region behind deck while creating a sense of community that transcends borders and boundaries.

Having gained significant traction on the global music scene, with the region’s unique cultural fusion and breathtaking locations attracting both local and international artists alike, the opportunity to perform for a new and enthusiastic audience has been a major draw for artists, with many eager to beam their beats on these vibrant stages.

With its distinct cultural flavor, awe-inspiring venues (MDLBeast’s Soundstorm in Riyadh received a Guinness World Record for the tallest temporary stage)and a lineup of artists that span various genres and nationalities, these events have captured the attention and hearts of music lovers worldwide. As anticipation builds for the upcoming festival season, below, the ultimate list of electronic music events in the region to clear your calendar for in the next handful of months, in case you missed the inaugural ULTRA Festival in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Aegis Festival, Lebanon

April 20-23

 

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Coming right in time for Eid, end of Ramadan celebrations will be taken up a notch this year for those around Lebanon right now as the energy-boosting Aegis Festival is finally back to provide you with just the right amount of dopamine and fun after weeks of abstinence from food, drinks and extensive partying. For 72-hours, organizers are expected to bring back the sonic experience that made their fame in previous years, across two stages this time and a stellar roster of artists that will make you dance up until the early hours of the next morning.

From local talents to international acts, that include gigs from Peggy Gou, Marco Carola, Lamache, and Zeina, amongst others, the vibrant celebration of music, culture, and community, will also seek to take pressure off the shoulders of attendees with a rich catalogue of soothing and relaxing activities to make sure each and every ticket-holder can keep up with the techno-centred gathering at their own pace. Held hand in hand with French Record label Yoyaku, Lebanese collective ‘retrogroove’, as well as ‘Somewhere’, the immersive experience is one to mark on your calendars as it will surely be a moment to make sure not to miss.

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Magic Break, Turkey

April 20-23

 

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The countdown has begun for the highly-anticipated 18th edition of Magic Break, one of the biggest spring festivals on the Mediterranean sea. With over 30 world-class artists including Argy, Brina Knauss, Joyhauser, Laolu, Chris Avantgarde, Massano, Polo & Pan set to rock the stage, the festival promises an unforgettable experience from April 20-23rd, 2023 in the coastal city of Antalya, Turkey.

Considered a favorite among music lovers, the festival promises an unforgettable experience, offering a wide range of accommodation options all located by the seafront while attendees can also immerse themselves into the rich local culture, customs, and century-old history.

Sandbox, Egypt

May 11-13

 

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The countdown has begun, and Sandbox Festival is rapidly approaching. Scheduled for May 11 to13, 2023, the festival has just announced its first wave of headliners, promising an unforgettable experience at the exquisite Red Sea Riviera in El Gouna, Egypt. Amongst the many artists performing are Agents Of Time (DJ Set), Astra Club aka Carlita B2B DJ Tennis, Cici, Dan Shake, Denis Sulta, Desiree, Francesco Del Garda, Hamish & Toby, HVOB (Live), Jayda G, Moodymann, Palms Trax, Sama’ Abdulhadi, Seth Troxler, Sugar Free, and many more, all taking the stage on the historic and mesmerizing shores of the Red Sea.

Deep House Bible, Morocco

May 19 – 20

 

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Last year, Deep House Bible put up an incredible event against the backdrop of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. This year, it seems as if organizers haven’t had enough of North Africa as they’ve just announced heading back to the region next month, with the renowned globetrotting event set to unfold in the Moroccan south, in the Agafay desert to be more precise.

Promising a stellar weekend blending art, culture, dance, and music all together, the lineup invites global and local DJs alike to beam their sound with party-goers who can expect to dance to the rhythms of Diplo, Carlita, Keinemusik, &ME, Adam Port, and Rampa amongst others.

MOGA Festival, Morocco

October

 

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The 2023 edition of the annual music festival will once again take place at the ancient citadel town of Essaouira — also known as Astapor to Game Of Thrones fans — this October. While the lineup has yet to be announced, if the previous iterations’ billing, which saw  International DJs and Moroccan and local Gnawa artists, is any indication, it’s not one you want to miss.

Oasis Festival, Morocco 

Oct. 27-29

 

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The Oasis music festival has ironically been making waves in the desert since 2015, bringing together music enthusiasts from all over the world for a truly unique sonic experience. This year’s event, taking place from Oct. 27-29, is set to be bigger and better than ever, with a lineup that promises to deliver thumping bass, sweaty dance floor grooves, and new experiences that will take you through an unforgettable musical journey.

Soundstorm, Saudi Arabia 

Dec. 14-16

Soundstom Festival boasts a sprawling five-and-a-half million square meter site with park areas filled with food outlets and street performers. Known as the ”loudest week in Riyadh,” attendees can immerse themselves in the sounds and rhythms of their favorite artists while experiencing a carnival-like atmosphere. With plans for expansion in the works, the festival has grown into the must-attend event for music enthusiasts in the region. 

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