Chili's set for Beirut despite red hot warnings

Published August 27th, 2012 - 08:55 GMT
The Red Hot Chili Peppers will be adding some spice to Beirut with their upcoming gig
The Red Hot Chili Peppers will be adding some spice to Beirut with their upcoming gig

A concert on Beirut’s waterfront next week by US rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers is going ahead, say the organisers despite fears over unrest and travel warnings issued against Lebanon.

The September 6 concert is expected to see a number of fans from countries around the region, including the UAE, travelling to the Lebanese capital.

“The Red Hot Chili Peppers are still coming,” said Nagi Baz of Buzz Productions by email to tabloid!. “Their concert will be held in downtown Beirut, one of the safest spots in Lebanon,” he said, adding that 15,000 attendees are expected.

“This is the biggest rock event ever staged in Lebanon and we’re very excited to have the guys over.”

That’s in spite of a recent spillover of violence from the ongoing conflict in Syria, including a spate of mass kidnappings. Several Gulf countries have ordered their nationals to leave the country in the face of threats, particularly against Saudis and Qataris whose governments are staunch opponents of the Syrian regime.

Baz acknowledged the unrest but said it’s unlikely to affect downtown Beirut. “It’s been a good season for us here, despite the regional unrest: as you might already know, Buzz Productions is also the producer of the Byblos International Festival and we had sold-out shows this summer by Slash, Snow Patrol and B.B. King, to name just a few.

“The current unrest you’re probably alluding to is confined to a very small area in the north of the country and has no incidence on our day-to-day life in Beirut.”

The concert will take place in the same area where Pope Benedict XVI is due to hold an open-air gathering during his three-day visit to Lebanon on September 14-16.

Do you think the Chili's are wise to go ahead with the gig - attracting thousands of fans into the country - despite fears of unrest and travel warnings?

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