Saudi youth views on hosting western music festivals: problematic performances and positive perceptions

Alhussain Hothan, Gareth Butler

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Abstract

This exploratory study distils the views of Saudis aged 18–30 on hosting Western music festivals as part of the “Saudi Seasons” tourism strategy. Although the strategy has typically focused on developing cultural heritage tourism or business events, several Western music festivals have also been introduced. These festivals included prominent international music artists across various genres and represented a major shift in the types of tourism experiences previously found in Saudi Arabia. Most festivals were primarily designed to attract younger Saudi cohorts and therefore this study explored the views of the Saudi youth through a series of focus groups. Focus group participants revealed that Western music festivals presented a range of paradoxical issues and highlighted the complexity of rapidly developing new tourism experiences. Thus, this study underscores the critical importance of carefully cultivating future Western music festivals so that they produce positive social impacts within the conservative cultural and religious context of the country.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalWorld Leisure Journal
Early online date10 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Saudi Arabia
  • music festivals
  • social impacts
  • tourism development
  • Saudi seasons

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