From their inaugural edition in December of 2019, Bahrain-based alternative festival Sound + Fiction have dedicated themselves to the  growth of both local Bahraini and regional musical communities throughout the MENA region through their series of live performances, talks, workshops, and panels by some of the regions best musical talents and industry leaders. Stemming off from alternative record label Museland, Sound + Fiction has quickly cemented itself as a much needed platform for the alternative and underground sounds of Bahrain & the MENA region.

While last years’ edition took place over just three days, this time around the festival is set to run from November 1st to 30th, with  Sound + Fiction partnering up with Ableton, Alliance Francaise, Verano Creatives, and the US Embassy in Bahrain in order to make the month long festival possible. 

The weekly schedule is slated to feature performances by 3-4 artists that will be streamed online for free, and will include accompaniment by visual art and music videos. Appearing at Sound + Fiction are legendary Bahraini prog-rock band Osiris, the UAE’s Dream-pop outfit WYWY, Hamdan Al-Abri (of Abri & The Dreamfleet), 6-peice fun/rock/jazz group Kuwaisiana, Majaz, Kuwaiti collective/label Kalibr+, Kenyan DJ Coco EM, and Dublin-based experimental composer Sharon Phelan, amongst many others on the extensive lineup

Additionally, the program includes a series of workshops that cover a wide range of musical topics including randomized music production, musical applications of machine learning, conductive music, with a particular highlight being a workshop titled ‘Knowing Your Artistic Worth’ with producer/singer/actor Xenai.

Finally, a series of panels and talks are due to take place, inducing an in depth sit down with the founders of Osiris, a listening session covering and discussing Bahraini music from the 60s to the 80s, as well as a panel on building networks and connecting music communities around the world.

“We realized that the impact of the pandemic will last longer than anyone anticipated, and that in such situations the arts tend to suffer most [...] we felt it is even more important now than ever, to keep our work going and create a safe platform for people to still share their music, interact with each other and engage with the community” said program founder and director Ali Al Saeed on the move to an online format for the event.

Sound + Fiction Kicks off Tonight November 1st at 8pm Bahrain time with a special interactive livestream titled The Dive In, which features the festivals organizers, guests, and performers sharing and playing music, and discussing the upcoming festival.

For more information on Sound + Fiction, as well as a detailed breakdown of the program, head over to their website

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