Hezbollah’s Syria role forces Baalbek festival relocation


baalbeck festival relocates near beirutLebanon’s Baalbek International Festival which has always been held in the town’s spectacular Roman ruins, will move to a silk factory in Jdeideh, al- Metn region a suburb of Beirut amid security concerns linked to Hezbollah’s role in the the Syrian conflict, according to local reports.

“For the first time in the festival’s history, concerts will be staged in Jdeideh al-Metn, in the magnanery (silkworm nursery) of the village’s 19th-century silk factory “, the organizors said in a news release

“We chose this place because it is still unknown to the public,” the release said. “It is located on the outskirts of the capital and it is accessible to all regions.” the organizors added.

This development comes after the American soprano Renee Fleming, who had been due to headline the festival, had cancelled her participation in the event.

The venue may have changed, but the rest of performance dates remain fixed. Marianne Faithfull will perform Saturday Aug. 17; vocalist and jazz pianist Eliane Elias will take the stage Friday Aug. 23; Marcel Khalife will perform with his oud Saturday Aug. 24; Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s dance piece PUZ/ZLE, with the participation of vocalist El Hage, will be held Friday Aug. 30 accoding to the organizors.

Rockets fired from inside Syria have hit border areas near the Baalbek ruins, which lie in a stronghold of the Shiite Hezbollah movement.

Hezbollah fighters have been helping the the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad in its crackdown against the mostly Sunni rebels seeking to overthrow the regime. The rebels accused Hezbollah of invading Syria and vowed to move the war to Lebanon.

Hundreds of Hezbollah fighers have reportedly been killed in Syria and buried in Lebanon. Ove 100,000 have been killed so far in the Syrian civil war according to activists.

The Baalbeck International Festival is the oldest and best-known cultural event in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean. Since 1955, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have flocked to the city of Baalbek in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon to attend the annual festival. Classical music, dance, theater, opera, and jazz as well as modern world music are performed each July and August in the ancient Roman Acropolis, one of the largest and well preserved Roman temples ever built.

Tickets for the new venue will be available for purchase at Virgin Ticketing box office. For further information you can contact the festival office at 01-373-150/1/2 or call the Virgin Ticketing box office at 01-999-666.