The region's hottest stars set fire to the Hala February Music Festival in Kuwait
Musical concerts are the most awaited events at the Hala February Festival. Every week, two concerts are held on both Thursday and Friday, starting at about 10:00 pm and going all the way till 3:00 am. These concerts are held at the Ice Skating Rink.
The first of these concerts was held on Thursday and young Moroccan singer Jennat kicked off the show at 10:15 pm. By 11:00 pm, almost 80 percent of the theatre seats were occupied and people were still pouring in. The total seating available on this night was 2,400, and according to the organizers, more than 90 percent of the tickets were sold out. The price of tickets ranged from KD 15 to KD 150. The concert was very well-organized with three entrances and the decor and lighting added to the overall ambience. Jennat finally ended her performance at 11:30 pm. The concert was broadcast live on KTV and Rotana channels, in addition to receiving air coverage on local radio station 103.7. The audience was frisked for security reasons and cigarettes, lighters and cameras were confiscated. Officials from the Ministry of Information were present and kept a vigilant eye on the crowd to ensure nobody danced or indulged in any kind of immoral activities.Undercover officials were present at the theater and one of them told the Kuwait Times reporter that they were keeping a close watch on the vehicles to prevent vandalism or robberies.
The second performance started around midnight with the popular Lebanese singer Elissa taking center-stage. She was criticized for being arrogant and refusing interviews with the media and she also said no to having any pictures clicked with her fans, including children. Elissa released her first album in 1999, and became famous in the Arab world.
About 15 minutes after Elissa finished her performance, Amr Diab, the most popular Egyptian singer came onstage much to the audience’ frenzy. He was at his charming best and cracked up the crowd with his wit. Diab stepped off the stage and mingled with the audience and while some of his fans wanted to shake a leg with him, the hovering officials didn’t allow them to do so. Amr started his career about 30 years ago, and released his first album in 1983. He has even performed with international bands and some of his songs have been translated to other languages. He won many accolades, including the World Music Award for Best Sales in the Middle East three times in 1998, 2002 and 2007.
The second Hala February concert was held on Friday night and two top singers, Nawal and Mohammed Abdo, performing to a packed audience. Nawal kicked off the show at 10:25 pm. Dressed in a long red outfit, she enthralled the audience with her most popular songs. Many of her fans screamed out to her and told her how much they loved her and wanted her to sing all her best numbers. Nawal released her first album in 1983 and became very famous in the region. She’s also considered the first female singer in Kuwait. Her musical performance ended at 11:20 pm and Saudi legend Mohammed Abdo burst onto the stage. The audience gave him a standing ovation and welcomed their beloved veteran singer who has a huge fan following in Saudi Arabia. Born in 1949, Abdo started singing at a young age in 1961 when he was a student. He went on to present his first song in 1966 and in 1967, he released 30,000 copies of his first record.
Four other concerts will be held this month as a part of the Hala February music festival.
By Nawara Fattahova