Aug. 16--TICKETS are selling like hot cakes for a major festival opening this week, with some shows almost sold out.
Big names in the Arabic music world will take to the stage for the fifth Bahrain Summer Festival, which will run from Sunday until September 9.
Lebanese superstar Magida El Roumi will perform on the opening night followed by Arab Idol winner and Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf on September 1 and renowned Iraqi singer Farida Mohammed Ali on September 5.
The festival will also include classical music performances, Bahraini folk dances and an act by popular cartoon character Scooby-Doo.
It is being organised by the Culture Ministry as part of celebrations to mark Manama being named Capital of Arab Tourism 2013, and will be held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIEC).
Organisers are also expecting large numbers of concert-goers to travel from neighbouring Gulf countries to watch some of the region's top stars perform.
"Tickets are selling much faster than we expected," said an official from the organising committee.
"All tickets are selling fast but especially for three of the main attractions: Magida El Roumi, Farida Mohammed Ali and Mohammed Assaf.
"More than 80 per cent of tickets have already been sold for the Magida show, 60pc for the Mohammed Assaf show in September and 40pc for Farida's show.
"It is hard and unpredictable to say how fast they will sell, but from past events we know that tickets will sell faster as the dates approach."
This year, the festival's mascot Nakhool will be joined by Nakhoola, as they entertain and educate children at Nakhool City, located at BIEC.
"There will be many small events coinciding with the larger performances," said the official.
"Also, there will be daily shows for children. We are also hosting a number of workshops that will be held at the BIEC.
"There is going to be something for everyone."
Held under the theme 'A Journey of Joy', the festival is a melange of art, theatre, music and dance, bringing together talented artists from Lebanon, Germany, Thailand and India.
On Tuesday, three Thai artists -- a soprano, violist and a pianist -- from the internationally-acclaimed Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music of Thailand will render Reflection of Thais.
The following day, popular cartoon character Scooby-Doo will perform a theatrical and musical act until August 25.
The festival will also include Bahraini folk music, which will be performed in different areas of the country from August 22 until September 6.
Renowned Sanostra dance group, from Germany, will perform an amalgamation of dance and acrobatics on August 29 and 30. A children's performance, Barney Let's Go! Live on Stage, will also be staged from September 2 until 6, while a theatrical show called Mystic India will conclude the festival on September 8 and 9.
Tickets can be purchased at Virgin Megastore and for more information, visit www.bahrainsummer.bh.
(c)2013 the Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
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