- Title: Lebanon kicks off renowned Baalbek music festival
- Date: 9th July 2017
- Summary: BAALBEK, LEBANON (JULY 7, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF LEBANESE SINGER RAMI AYACH PERFORMING ON STAGE
- Embargoed: 23rd July 2017 12:44
- Keywords: Baalbek Music Festival Lebanon music festivals Ramy Ayach Aline Lahoud Brigitte Yaghi
- Location: BAALBECK, LEBANON
- City: BAALBECK, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA0016OZVIVP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Lebanon's famed Baalbek Music Festival kicked off on Friday (July 7) with thousands of music lovers flocking to watch stars like Ramy Ayach and Brigitte Yaghi.
The opening night celebrates the 60th anniversary of its "Lebanese Nights" concert, which has given voice to the country's music and heritage for decades.
"We wanted to find people, with amazing voices, and that would accept to sing for the Lebanese heritage and old songs. We of course wanted some of their new songs as well, we mixed all this heritage with some of their new songs. It is like passing the torch, to this young generation, and telling them to go ahead, because those who started at Baalbek in the 1950's and 1960's were 30 and 35-years old like them,'' said festival Committee President, Nayla De Freige.
This year's event features a generation of pop stars, including Ramy Ayach, Aline Lahoud and Brigitte Yaghi, who performed classic Lebanese hits as well as their modern repertoires.
For festival goers the musical event revives the country's rich musical culture.
"It was great, the youth were uplifting, they return Baalbek's image that we knew, that was in the times of the greats like Fairouz, and may she rest in peace Sabah, and Wadih Al-Safi. This gives us hope that the young generation will preserve this heritage, and continue raising Baalbek's image,'' said festival attendee Faten Haydar.
"This reminds us of our history, of our past, of Sabah. I wish we go from good to better, this is what conquers terror, these are the Lebanese people, this is the beautiful image that I see and remember from my childhood, and God willing it will be even better,'' added another attendee Radwan Bazzi.
The internationally renowned Baalbek music festival will host a wide array of Lebanese and global artists for six nights at its historic venue among Roman ruins in the Bekaa Valley.
The eastern town of Baalbek is home to some of the best preserved Roman temples, in which acclaimed musicians including American jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald and British singer Sting have performed.
It is one of scores of international and local summer cultural festivals in Lebanon, held mostly in the open air, including one in Beiteddine Palace in the pine forest of the Chouf Mountains and another in the Phoenician port of Byblos.
Founded in 1956 by then-President Camille Chamoun, the Baalbek festival is considered the most prestigious of the country's annual festivals, having welcomed the Arab world's musical legends such as Um Kulthoum and Fairouz.
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