Listen, I totally get it – clubbing at White and partying at C U NXT SAT are safe. Chilling there is always going to be fun but, if you ask me, things get quite dull there. It’s the same drill every week! Drunk, happy people and empty wallets by the morrow.

There’s so much more to Lebanon – culturally, musically and entertainment-wise. It’s about time you get into new shoes and venture somewhere you haven’t been before. Our advice: hit up the Zouk Mikael Festival which combines two of our favorite things: music and Lebanon. Here's five more reasons you should go.

1. Cheap Prices, Happy Faces


The peeps hosting this festival are all about spreading music and making it possible for musicians from all ages and walks of life to express themselves. When you understand that music is not merely a form of entertainment but also a necessity, you understand that it should be made accessible to everyone.

Fifty dollars for a concert is not affordable, and it is for this reason that we truly appreciate the reasonably priced tickets at the Zouk Mikael Festival.

2. The City of Peace


Fifteen years ago, this town was chosen as the ‘City of Peace’ by UNESCO and compared to the beautiful cities and towns of France. Situated in the gorgeous rolling hills of Keserwan, this quaint, town definitely doesn't get the recognition it deserves – it is a humble abode of both history and nature. For that sole reason, it is worth venturing into this town to stroll through the ancient Ottoman souk, visit the countless monasteries and the beautiful churches, and get a breath of the fresh mountainous air.

The cherry on top is the immense, open-air Roman style amphitheater that hosts the festival.

3. Our Favorite Bands Unite

(Photo via Facebook)

In celebration of Light FM’s 25 year anniversary, Pindoll, Mashrou’ Leila, The Wanton Bishops, Sandmoon, Loopstache and Who Killed Bruce Lee – who are some of our favorite bands in Lebanon – will all be playing together on August 2. Also, Loopstache just released a new album that you’ll be able to catch up on if you missed their release party at Station Beirut last month. You no longer have to feel guilty about missing out on Jim Beams.

Life is good, innit?

4. Bryn Terfel and Monica Yunus


Far from indie rock music and blues, Bryn Terfel and Monica Yunus hit the stage on July 31 for an operatic performance. The Welsh Bryn Terfel is a world-renowned classic who has sung roles for Mozart, Wagner and others, whilst the Monica Yunus, an American soprano singer, is also famous for her beautiful, captivating voice. In a word, it's going to be surreal.

In addition, the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra accompanied by Gareth Jones will be playing along with Yunus and Terfel.

5. Naseej

(Image via Imgur)

To be quite frank, this seems to be the most exciting act imaginable (for music lovers, that is). Naseej is a beautiful eruption of oriental music, with both simple and complicated touches of jazz, medieval and contemporary music performed theatrically. This project has gone on a “a musical journey from East to West, Medieval to Andalusian, Ancient to Contemporary, with a Sufi soul.”

Behind this unique idea are Mike Nassey, Sary Khalife and Ayad Khalife who, particularly influenced by old Arabic poetry, have all had strong visions and profound notions of art in all its forms. They have collaborated to put forward something truly unique at the Zouk Mikael Festival. I, for one, cannot wait for this experience.

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