Started in 2000 by non-profit organization MILL (Musique Improvisée Libre au Liban), Irtijal has long been a platform dedicated to elevating Lebanon’s alternative and experimental music scenes.
Despite the escalating economic and social circumstances in Beirut, Irtijal have decided to press on with the festival in celebration of their 20th anniversary. Due to health and safety concerns surrounding the covid-19 pandemic, the festival will be shorter this year, and instead will be spread over two seperate nights on November 1st and 8th.
Kicking off Day 1 on Sunday November 1st at Zoukak Studio is clarinet/qānūn duo Paed Conca & Ghassan Sahhab, followed by a solo performance by multi-instrumentalist Nadia Daou (a.k.a NÂR). Abed Kobeissy and Ali Hout take the stage next as duo Two Or The Dragon, before the Egyptian-born Aya Metwali and 3-piece band Calamita close off the opening show with what is sure to be a monolithic collaboration.
Day 2 takes place at iconic venue Ballroom Blitz, and features an opening performance by Fadi Tabbal (of Tunefork Studios) fresh off the release of his 5th solo album. Following Tabbal, ambient aficionado Sary Moussa (of Nicolas Jaar helmed label OTHER PEOPLE) is set to perform an intimate live set hot off the heels of his Radio alHara performance last week. Long-running festival collaborator Rabih Beaini (formerly known as Morphosis) returns as well this night, bringing his analog electronic stylings to the Ballroom Blitz stage.
In the penultimate performance of the night, post-rock group Kinematik Ensemble is joined by synthesists Ziad Moukarzel, Jad Atoui, and Teddy Tawil in a specially curated collaboration that's certain to be a highlight of the festival. Closing off Irtijal, Berlin-based DJ Marylou will whisk away attendees with a night of deep grooves
Tickets are on sale now at Irtijal’s website. Due to health concerns, attendance is sure to be limited, so make sure to book your tickets soon in order to not miss out on the excellently curated lineup.
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