Postcard from...Beirut


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The Independent Online

It would have been the kind of party Beirut is famous for – despite US strikes and the civil war in Syria on its doorstep, nothing can get this country down.

Some of the biggest electronic acts would have been making their way to the Lebanese capital, as well as revellers from across the world. Yet yesterday morning, 24 hours shy of the start of the Creamfields festival’s first Beirut edition, organisers announced through Facebook that the event had been cancelled.

Setting up a festival in Lebanon is no easy feat. Even the most established, the Baalbeck, has had to adapt to the changing security situation. Indeed the June festival was this year moved from its normal Roman ruins setting to an old silk factory in Beirut – but still went ahead.

Unlike Creamfields. Fifteen thousand people were scheduled to be dancing the night away next to the Mediterranean. But ticket sales dropped off after a car bomb in South Beirut in August killed almost 30. A double car bombing in Tripoli two weeks ago put the country further on edge. Big names started to pull out, and several European countries changed their travel advice to “negative”.

The Lebanese feel their infamous party scene has now too been destroyed by the blasts.