Two Lebanese performing arts festivals will start regaling thousands of people on Thursday night in the separate venues of Tyre and Baalbek.
Majeda Al Roumi will sing in Tyre, while Mansour Rahbani will open the Baalbek Festival with the play Abu Tayeb Al Mutanabbi.
Elton John will open the Beiteddine Festival with a concert for 4,500 people, and play yet another concert later on to accommodate the demand for tickets.
According to the London-based daily Al Sharq Al Awsat, huge crowds are expected this year. It is expected that 60,000 people will attend the Beiteddine fest alone.
Fairuz, who will be accompanied by Ziad Rahbani in a new program, has also aroused huge demand for tickets, as has the play Notre Dame De Paris.
Tickets for Abu Tayeb Al Mutanabbi have been ran out, spurring the Baalbek Festival organizers to arrange an additional show. The play, inspired by the life of the famous Arab poet Abu Tayeb Al Mutannabi, will feature stage greats such as Ghassan Saliba, Carole Samaha, Jamal Sleiman and Sabbah Obeid.
Joining them will be more than 100 dancers and other cast members. Elias Rahbani, Ghady Rahbani and Oussama Rahbani participated on the composition of the music, and Marwan Rahbani is directing the play.
Sting will perform two sold-out shows on July 13 and 14 at the Baalbek Festival. The two concerts are part of his Brand New Day world tour, named for the title of his last album that featured Cheb Mami, Stevie Wonder and James Taylor. Sting will be singing his classic hits: Desert Rose, Englishman in New York, Russians, as well as songs from the Police, such as Roxanne and Message in a Bottle – Albawaba.com