The 15th edition of Zouk Mikael International Festival is set to return to the Kesrouan town’s Roman Amphitheater this July, with a four-concert program appealing to a wide range of musical tastes. Staged July 8-17, the event is continuing its mission of throwing the spotlight on Arab artists – which it’s been pursuing since starting in 2003.
“In years past we have had three aims,” festival president Zalfa Bouez said at the event’s Palm Beach Hotel news conference. “Firstly, to satisfy the tastes of the Lebanese audience of all ages and backgrounds. Secondly to try to support the talents of young artists, in order for them to become successful, and to be cultural ambassadors for Lebanon outside of the country.
“Thirdly to strengthen Lebanon’s cultural and touristic scene.”
The festival will kick off with a concert by Franco-Algerian singer-songwriter Souad Massi. The much-loved performer has a worldwide fan base and has performed in Lebanon several times in the past few years. Her playlist promises her popular mingling of Berber and Arabic lyrics and easily digested tunes arranged for – and performed on – guitar, sometimes backed by a fusion ensemble.