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Beirut.com 14 Feb 2016

8 Reasons To Attend The Al Bustan Festival This Year

Every year, Al-Bustan Festival wows us with incredible performances and events, and while every year is incredible, this year is special. Marking the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, the festival organizers have a treat for all theater and literature lovers – actually, all people!

Here are a few reasons why you can’t miss out on Al-Bustan Festival this year:

1. The amazing theme.

This year, the festival’s theme is titled Midwinter Night’s Dream as a play on words for the Shakespearean play “Midsummer Night’s Dream” in honor of 400 years passing since his death. The Shakespearean theme will transport you to a different world and give you an experience that you’ve never had!

2. The impeccable orchestra.

The Al Bustan Orchestra is comprised of many great musicians, some of which are soloists. Coming from all around the world, they are ready to wow you. There is nothing more magical than a night of classical music played by skilled musicians, be sure to take in every note.

3. You can make a whole trip out of it.

Most of the performances take place at the Emile Bustani Auditorium, so it’s the perfect opportunity to stay at the gorgeous Al-Bustan hotel in Beit Mery and take a break from the city! You can feel like you had a mini-vacation: a cushy hotel room, a fantastic theatric performance, and dinner at one of the amazing restaurants of the area. And the best part? The hotel is offering special rates for festival goers – so you can find a great deal!

4. You can watch your favorite stories come to life.

Most of us have had the pleasure of reading Shakespeare’s work, but seeing it performed would be a completely different experience. The actors and singers would bring to life the tales you studied and heard about for so long. The first two weeks of the festival will see incredible performances of Midsummer Night’s Dream and Othello vs Othello, so make sure not to miss out. Also on the menu: Romeo and Juliet and King Lear!

5. It’s an excuse to dress up and have a good time.

Any excuse for a fancy night out, is a good enough excuse. Al-Bustan Festival is the only festival in Lebanon that offers the opera-like experience we so lack. So gather your friends, dress up, and get fancy!

6. They’re creating a tradition.

The best part of Al-Bustan Festival is that they’re creating a tradition for Lebanon by perpetuating art and culture in the face of instability. Being a part of such a solid artistic tradition would be an honor, which is why it’s important for all of us to encourage this tradition by attending and participating in the hopes that we can enrich our country’s culture and arts scene.

7. It’s the perfect date-night.

Tired of going out for drinks and meals at the same places every week? Well, here’s an opportunity to surprise your date with something completely fresh and new. Nothing is more romantic than watching a beautifully sung opera with the magical orchestra playing, listening to impeccably performed music together is sure to bond you for life and help you create memories that will last a lifetime.

8. It doesn’t break the bank.

The awesome people organizing Al-Bustan Festival have worked hard to ensure that almost everyone can afford to attend the events. With price points as low as $45, you’ll be able to enjoy a night of fine art and culture. But it gets even better: you can buy a meteorcard (a prepaid card for just $150) that will give you access to 5 concerts!