In its second edition, the Qimam International Festival for Mountain Performing Arts was launched and organized by the Saudi Theater and Performing Arts Authority for a week. This occurred at seven locations in the Asir region.
There was also a carnival march on Art Street in Abha on vehicles designed to simulate the cultural and folklore aspects of the countries taking part. In addition, traditional and popular costumes that lend rich diversity to the festival were shown. These included 16 Saudi and 14 international bands, presenting about 32 performances.
CEO Sultan Al-Bazai of the Saudi Theater and Performing Arts Authority confirmed that Qimam is the first international festival specializing in mountain performing arts, which will contribute to raising awareness of the archaeological heritage sites of Asir. Abu Shahra Palace in Al-Maqi, Shamsan Castle, the historical village of Bin Adwan, Malik’s historical palace, Al-Mushait palace, and the castle Abu Nuqat Al-Mutahmi.
Al-Bazai added that the festival will witness singing concerts that are characterized by mixing distinctive voices and performing groups, in which visitors will get to know young talents.
It also seeks to highlight the rich folklore of the Saudis in their various regions, as it presents a unique positive image of the Kingdom’s arts, folklore, and heritage. It contributes to the development of the theater and performing arts sector, in a distinctive festive atmosphere, as well as improving the quality of life and developing the cultural sector, in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the National Culture Strategy.
Qimam International Festival aims to raise awareness of the arts and ancient heritage in the Kingdom and the world. It also aims to introduce visitors to its history, arts, methods, and how it is performed. It concludes that heritage has a role in uniting people, which is the main message that the festival stresses. This helps boost the kingdom’s image as a cultural leader around the world.
The festival sites host a range of activities and areas, including fashion exhibitions, theater events, activities for the villagers, platforms for live performances, a children’s area, shops for craftsmen, heritage items, and souvenirs, live cooking events featuring famous local chefs, and a special area for kitchens and restaurants of a local nature for productive families, in addition to restaurants and cafes of a modern nature.
Visitors can also take advantage of the opportunity to stay in the Asir region to practice mountaineering (hiking), hiking, mountain biking, camping, and stargazing, in coordination with local tour and tourism companies.