MDLBeast Soundstorm 2023: Who's headlining the region's biggest music festival?

MDLBeast Soundstorm 2023: Who's headlining the region's biggest music festival?



The A-list headliners include Calvin Harris, J Balvin, Pharrell Williams and Wizkid.

Riyadh, are you ready? Just when we thought we couldn't be more excited about MDLBeast Soundstorm 2023, the region's biggest music festival has announced further additions to its star-studded musical lineup.

MDLBeast Soundstorm 2023 runs from 14 to 16 December, and is in its fourth edition. Taking place in the Banban desert outside of Riyadh, the festival is your chance to catch local and international talent in the Kingdom.

Black Eyes Peas: 14 December

Black Eyed Peas are ready to bring their unique blend of hip-hop and pop to Riyadh. Taking the stage on the opening night of MDLBeast Soundstorm 2023, they’ll get the crowd jumping. Hailing from Los Angeles, Black Eyed Peas has been a powerhouse in the music industry since the ’90s. From I Gotta Feeling to Where Is the Love, the band has consistently delivered chart-toppers. With multiple Grammy Awards, MTV Music Awards, and Billboard Music Awards under their belt, the group has proven time and again that they are masters of their craft.

Calvin Harris: 14 December

Calvin Harris, whose birth name is Adam Richard Wiles, boasts an impressive array of accolades, including BRIT Awards, Grammy Awards, and Ivor Novello Awards. He held the coveted top spot on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid DJs for an impressive six consecutive years. His chart-topping tracks span from classics like Acceptable In The 80s to modern hits like This is What You Came For. Throughout his illustrious career, he has collaborated with notable artists such as Dizzee Rascal, Ellie Goulding, Frank Ocean, and Rihanna.

H.E.R.: 14 December

H.E.R. is an American singer-songwriter with a voice that effortlessly oscillates between soulful depths and ethereal highs. Her debut album was released to critical acclaim and earned her Grammy recognition. Songs like Best Part and Focus have cemented her status as a rising star in the music industry. She has also collaborated with the likes of Chris Brown, DJ Khaled, Ed Sheeran and Wizkid, who is also performing at MDLBeast Soundstorm 2023.

Martin Garrix: 14 December

Over the last decade, Martin Garrix has cemented himself as one of EDM’s most prolific artists. He is a DJ and producer known for his hits AnimalsIn the Name of Love, and Scared To Be Lonely. American Singer-Songwriter Miguel is known for the Grammy Award-winning Adorn, plus the singles All I Want Is You, CoffeeHow Many Drinks, Simple Things and Sky Walker. Martin Garrix last visited Riyadh in January to headline the Diriyah E-Prix concerts.

Metallica: 14 December

Performing in the Kingdom for the first time is none other than Metallica. Formed in 1981, Metallica has been the driving force behind heavy metal’s global domination. With James Hetfield’s unmistakable vocals, Lars Ulrich’s thunderous drumming, Kirk Hammett’s electrifying guitar solos, and Robert Trujillo’s bass mastery, this rock band is a powerhouse of musical talent. Metallica’s discography boasts a treasure trove of headbanging anthems. From Fade to Black to Master of Puppets and One, each song is a sonic adventure. With several Grammy Awards and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they have proven time and again that they’re not just a band; they’re a musical institution. 

R3HAB: 14 December

It’s time to get hyped up as R3HAB takes the stage. This guy knows how to work his magic behind the turntables and create beats that will make you lose control of your dance moves. Surrender yourself to the irresistible blend of EDM and catchy melodies that only R3HAB can deliver because once the music starts, there’s no way you’ll be able to resist the urge to dance your heart out to tracks such as All Around The World and Rock My Body. R3HAB is no stranger to the Kingdom having performed at Gamers8.

Travis Scott: 14 December

The Goosebumps hitmaker will perform for the first time in the Saudi capital on Thursday, 14 December on the Big Beast stage at the region’s biggest music festival. The Houston-born artist has consistently charted his own path, establishing himself not only as a music pioneer but also as a cultural icon and fashionista. Arguably one of the biggest names in rap music, Travis Scott’s music has been streamed billions of times. In 2019, he performed with Maroon 5 at the Super Bowl halftime show and fronted the Netflix documentary Look Mom I Can Fly, chronicling his rise to fame. In 2022, he joined forces with Drake and 21 Savage on their blockbuster album Her Loss, and this year released the critically acclaimed album Utopia.

Wizkid: 14 December

Wizkid is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and music sensation from Lagos, Nigeria. His music is a captivating fusion of Afrobeat, reggae, dancehall, and contemporary pop, often addressing themes of love and life. His hit tracks include Holla at Your Boy and Essence, a collaboration with Justin Bieber and Tems. One of Wizkid's career-defining moments was his collaboration with Canadian rapper Drake on the hit single One Dance, which became a global sensation in 2016. He has also worked with Burna Boy, Chris Brown and Skepta.

Anne-Marie: 15 December

Anne-Marie hails from Essex, England. In 2018, she released her debut album, Speak Your Mind, and her subsequent two albums peaked at number two in the UK Album Charts. Her hit songs include 2002, Baby Don’t Hurt Me, Don’t Play, Friends, Rewrite the Stars and Rockabye. Over Anne-Marie’s career, she has been nominated for ten BRIT Awards, and a Billboard Music Award. She has appeared as a judge on the TV singing competition, The Voice UK. Plus, in 2022 she performed at the opening of the Riyadh Season festival.

Axwell: 15 December

Axwell, whose real name is Axel Christofer Hedfors, is a prominent figure in the world of electronic dance music. The DJ's career took off in the early 2000s when he and his Swedish House Mafia cohorts began producing a series of hit singles and remixes that helped shape the modern EDM landscape. Their tracks, such as Don't You Worry Child and Save the World, have become anthems of the genre and are celebrated for their infectious melodies and energetic beats. Individually, Axwell has produced a string of solo hits, including Center of the Universe and I Found You.

Black Coffee: 15 December

DJ, record producer and songwriter Black Coffee will also take to the MDLBEast Sounstorm stage. Black Coffee will make it a night to remember with his distinctive “Afropolitan house” music. With multiple awards under his belt, including a Grammy win for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album, the celebrated house music DJ will showcase to the Kingdom the deep house music that his DJ sets are known for.

Chris Brown: 15 December

Chris Brown hails from Virginia, United States. He was discovered at 13 years old by Hitmission Records. He later signed with Jive Records and released his debut album in 2005. The self-titled album Chris Brown entered at number two on the Billboard 200 and sold more than three million copies in the United States. Over Chris’ career, he has sold more than 217 million records across the world. His hit songs include Beautiful People, Kiss Kiss, Look At Me Now, Loyal and Under the Influence. He has collaborated with artists including Busta Ryhmes, Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne and T-Pain.

Outlandish: 15 December

This Danish group performs hip-hop music with a rich blend of Middle Eastern and North African influences, combined with thought-provoking lyrics. Outlandish's music explores themes of identity, cultural diversity, and social issues. Their breakthrough single Aicha in 2002 became an international hit, and their thought-provoking songs have touched on subjects like the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, global unity, and the challenges of immigrant life.

Pharell Williams and Phriends: 15 December

Pharrell Williams is an icon of the fashion and music world. He and his childhood friend Chad Hugo formed The Neptunes, whose innovative beats and production work revolutionised hip-hop and R&B in the early 2000s. Their signature sound can be heard on hits like Nelly's Hot in Herre and Snoop Dogg's Drop It Like It's Hot. Pharrell's solo career took flight with the release of his infectious single Happy. He is also known for the tracks Get Lucky with Daft Punk and Blurred Lines, a collaboration with Robin Thicke. In February this year, Pharrell was appointed as Louis Vuitton's new men's creative director.

Solomun: 15 December

Solomun is an influential figure in the electronic music scene. Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Solomun's musical journey has taken him from a small town to the global stage. DJ Solomun is celebrated for his ability to create immersive and dynamic sets, and his selections often include a blend of deep house, techno, and melodic tracks, creating a unique and mesmerizing sonic journey for the audience.

TImbaland: 15 December

Born Timothy Zachery Mosley, Timbaland is a highly influential American record producer, rapper, and songwriter. Emerging as a pioneering force in hip-hop during the 1990s, Timbaland gained prominence for his innovative production techniques, characterised by eclectic beats, syncopated rhythms, and a futuristic sound. Timbaland has worked with everyone from Aaliyah and Jay-Z to Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott and Nelly Furtado. His most popular tracks include Apologize, a collaboration with One Republic, The Way I Are with Keri Hilson, and If We Ever Meet Again featuring Katy Perry.

Will Smith & Jazzy Jeff: 15 December

No stranger to the Kingdom, Hollywood actor Will Smith will bring a dose of nostalgia when he performs with DJ Jazzy Jeff on Friday, 15 December. The dynamic duo burst onto the music scene in the late 1980s with their infectious blend of hip-hop and humour and hits like Parents Just Don’t Understand, which won the first-ever Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance in 1989, and the summer anthem Summertime.

Wiz Khalifa: 15 December

American rapper, singer, songwriter, and actor Wiz Khalifa is also joining the MDLBeast fun. Khalifa gained widespread recognition with his breakthrough single Black and Yellow, an anthem celebrating his city’s sports teams. Khalifa’s career soared with the release of his major-label debut album, Deal or No Deal. However, his most recognisable achievement is the chart-topping hit See You Again, a heartfelt tribute to the late Paul Walker featured in the “Furious 7” soundtrack.

50 Cent: 16 December

The rapper 50 Cent – real name Curtis Jackson III – will perform on Saturday, 16 December, as part of his Final Lap Tour. Get ready to sing along to his hits ranging from In Da Club to Candy Shop. The New York rapper rose to fame back in 2002, as he was discovered by Eminem and signed to Shady Records. His first album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, sold more than 30 million copies and received numerous awards and accolades.

Afrojack: 16 December

Afrojack (real name Nick Leonardus van de Wall) hails from Holland. He went from learning graphic design to playing in local pubs. Today, he is one of the highest-earning DJs in the world. Over his career, he has collaborated with artists including David Guetta, Nicki Minaj and Missy Elliott. This won’t be the first time you can catch Afrojack in Saudi Arabia, as he previously performed at last year's edition of MDLBeast Soundstorm and the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023. Popular in the kingdom, he is loved for his high-energy shows, spinning hit after hit. We’re hoping he plays his famous numbers including Ten Feet TallTurn up the Speaker and Unstoppable. 

Alan Walker: 16 December

Alan Walker hails from Bergen, Norway. He is a producer and DJ, and best known for his songs Force and Sing Me To Sleep. A big draw on the live music scene, Walker has wowed crowds around the world at mega festivals including Coachella, Tomorrowland and Ultra Music Festival. Walker’s global smash hit Faded has received over two billion views on YouTube and one billion streams on Spotify, earned diamond certification in Germany and multi-platinum certifications in over ten countries. His other global hits include Alone, All Falls Down and On My Way. The DJ previously performed in the Saudi capital back in July for the Gamers8 concert series.

Armin van Buuren: 16 December

Armin van Buuren is one of the world’s biggest DJs and producers. He was born in the Netherlands and has headlined shows and festivals across the world including Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra Music Festival and Tomorrowland. He has held residencies at Hï Ibiza and Las Vegas. We’re hoping he plays his famous dance hits at MDLBeast Soundstorm, which include Blah Blah Blah, Great Spirit, Leave A Little Love and Music Means Love Forever. The DJ has collaborated with Alesso, Steve Aoki and Trevor Guthrie, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed for surprise guests.

David Guetta: 16 December

David Guetta is no stranger to the MDLBeast Soundstorm stage, having headlined the event in 2022. The popular DJ hails from Paris, France, and is famous for his electronic beats and collaborations. His popular songs include TitaniumShe Wolf and Don't You Worry. Over his career, he has sold more than 10 million albums and 65 million singles. Plus, he has won Grammy Awards, American Music Awards and Billboard Awards. 

J Balvin: 16 December

Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin has become a global sensation in the realm of Latin music and will take to the MDLBeast Soundstorm stage this year. The rapper has delivered a string of chart-topping singles, including tracks like Mi Gente with Beyoncé and I Like It, a collaboration with Cardi B. He's also worked with Bad Bunny, DJ Khaled and Maluma, racking up Latin Grammys and Billboard Music Awards along the way.

Pusha T: 16 December

Pusha T is a rapper renowned for his unapologetic storytelling. Hailing from Virginia Beach, Pusha T first gained prominence as one-half of the hip-hop duo Clipse, alongside his brother Malice. However, Pusha T's solo career soared due to his affiliation with Kanye West's GOOD Music label and his beef with Drake. His most popular tracks include If You Know You Know, King Push, Numbers on the Boards, and Mercy, a collaboration with Kanye West, Big Sean and 2 Chainz),

Steve Aoki: 16 December

The one and only Steve Aoki is about to bring an adrenaline-pumping experience like no other as he unleashes his signature brand of EDM in Riyadh. With his electrifying remixes and original tracks like Boneless and Delirious, he’s got the magic touch to ignite the Gamers8 crowd and turn the atmosphere into pure euphoria. The superstar DJ was last in the Kingdom for the Gamers8 festival in August.

Swedish House Mafia: 16 December

Swedish House Mafia was officially formed in 2008 and consists of Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso. Famous for their EDM meets progressive house music sounds, they are regulars in the region, as they were headliners at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix concerts and MDLBeast Soundstorm 2023. Over their career, the group has worked with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Tinie Tempah and The Weeknd. We’re hoping they play their hit singles including the dance floor anthem Don’t You Worry Child, Lifetime and Moth To A Flame.

Other global acts performing at MDLBeast Sounstorm include Alec Monopoly, Anfisa Letyago, Ash, Camelphat, Damian Lazarus, Hot Since 82, Jamie Jones, KAS:ST, Luciano, Marco Carola, Nic Fanciulli, Nicole Moudaber, Reiner Zonneveld, Ricardo Villalobos, Sam Divine and Tarek Antabi.

Regional artists who will take to the various stages include Anmarz, AZM, Cosmicat, Disco Misr, Dish Dash, DJ Leen, Dorar, Dul, Fulana, Gooner, K.Led, Majid, Mindwhere, NØFOTO, Nomad, Omar Basaad, Malba, Musab, Rag, Saoud, Shaolin, Space Music, Tarab Electro and Zone+.

MDLBeast Soundstorm tickets are available via Platinumlist and start from SAR 169 for one-day general admission passes, and go up to SAR 1,999 for one-day VIB (very important beast, of course) passes.

So, put the 14 to 16 December in your diary, as it's about to get loud.

GO: Visit for tickets and more information.