The 3rd annual Bahrain Summer Festival 2011 concluded after a month of cultural activities. The quality of the performances and turnout easily made this year’s festival the most successful one to date.
Organized by the Ministry of Culture under the theme “A Victory of Joy”, the festival was geared towards promoting unity within the community and expressing hope and optimism in the future of Bahrain, as well as restoring tourism to the Kingdom.
Following this year’s success, the Ministry of Culture plans on featuring even more quality acts and expanding the venues to allow even more people to take part in next year’s festival, as well as rolling out a number of other initiatives over the upcoming months to sustain and build on the success.
Over 83,000 people from Bahrain and abroad flocked to the Cultural Hall, Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Center (BIECC), and the “Nakhool Tent” to witness the eclectic mix of world-class performances and shows, not to mention the numerous entertainment venues, hotels, and shopping centers which supported the festival.
The Nakhool Tent averaged nearly 1,600 visitors per day, while the world-class artists performed in front of capacity crowds nearly every night with more than 37,000 people pouring into the Cultural Hall and Bahrain International Exhibition and Conference Center (BIECC) venues to witness some of the best acts in the world.
“The Bahrain Summer Festival re-affirms Bahrain’s place as destination full of enjoyment underpinned by the people’s desire to spread the messages of delight, hope and optimism everywhere,” Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Culture, said.
The Minister thanked all those who played a role in this success, noting the enormous efforts by the Ministry’s team to put forth a festival of a high standard on par with the esteemed position of Bahrain.
From the very beginning, the festival had auspicious start as throngs of people packed the Nakhool Tent for the launch and queued up outside the Cultural Hall well before the scheduled start time for the first pair of shows featuring Lebanese vocalist Samar Kammouj and Cuban dance group “Dance Cuba.” The overwhelming public demand prompted the Ministry of Culture to change venues from the Cultural Hall to the much larger BIECC.
The highlights of the this year’s festival included first-time appearances, including the vibrant “Merchants of Bollywood” show, percussion specialists The Dhol Foundation, record-breaking bubble artist Jano Yang’s “Gazillion Bubble Show”, the talented youngsters of “Georgian Legend: Samaia’s Little Virtuosos”, Theatre Tout A Trac’s humorous take on Alice in Wonderland, socially-conscious rhymes of “Chen Lo and The Lo Frequency”, and local group Mohammed bin Faris Band’s collaboration with Kuwaiti Folklorist Band in “Fan Al Sut”. Long-time kids favourite and festival stalwart Barney the Dinosaur also returned this year to take kids on a magical adventure through space,