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CHAMPION OF THE DAY
Baalbeck Festival relocates to Jdeideh
Better results expected this season
This year's Baalbeck International Festival has been relocated from its traditional location in the historic city of Baalbeck to ‘La Magnanerie de Jdeidé’, a 19th century silk factory in Jdeideh. The decision to relocate the festival came in the wake of the unstable situation of Baalbeck, affected by the war in Syria.
“We expect positive results in the festival this year,” said Nayla De Freige, President of the Baalbeck International Festivals committee. Last summer, the festival witnessed a drop in the number of visitors to around 10,000 visitors. De Freige said the relocation was a good alternative to maintain the festival's traditional feel and preserve its image in the minds of locals and tourists.
Due to the relocation, the program of the festival was modified. A concert for Assi Hellani was deferred to summer 2014. The performance of the soprano Renée Fleming was cancelled. The remaining shows maintained the same schedule.
The festival’s committee will build a stadium with a capacity of 2,500 seats in the new venue. The festival's annual budget reaches up to $2 million. But this year, some variation in expenses will occur. According to De Freige, additional expenses will be incurred, including the cost of building the stadium and podium. “The final budget will be figured out when the festival is concluded,” she said.
Reported by Rana Freifer
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Jul 10, 2013
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