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Concerts can still be held in Kuwait, but organizers must take precautions

Concertgoers should not leave their seats and dance, or risk being escorted out

KUWAIT: Despite the recent stricter procedures and decisions by the ministry of information regarding musical concerts, shows are still being held, although organizers are more careful to avoid any problems or violations by taking more precautions during the event. Khaled Al-Mutairi, head of the media and organizing committee, said some individual behaviors during a concert held two weeks ago led to an “overreaction” by the information minister, who suspended the license of the organizer for three months.

“Iraqi singers usually enjoy great popularity in Kuwait, and people love to dance when listening to their songs. But inspectors are watching the audience to warn them or even escort them out of the theatre. But we have hired our own security staff for this concert to ensure rules are respected without depending on the ministry’s inspectors,” Mutairi said during a press conference on Sunday.

“Other reasons were also behind the minister’s decision, including a video that spread on social media showing women dancing in their seats during the concert. The video caused family problems for these women. But these were individual behaviors, as the rest of the attendees respected our traditions. The organizer should not be punished for these small violations. Sometimes the media exaggerates in describing the situation, and this was the case,” he added.

Violating concertgoers will be warned. “Our security staff will be watching the audience and will warn violators once or twice before forcing them to leave the concert. After all, this is a musical concert and the audience will interact, but they should not leave their seats and dance,” Mutairi explained.

The organizers have been preparing for this concert for two months. The organizer Khaled Al-Ruwaidhan insisted to hold this concert despite the fact that organizers of concerts face pressure and even sanctions by the ministry of information.

Mutairi also mentioned a concert by a South Korean band. “People suggested holding a concert of the BTS South Korean band that performed in Saudi Arabia, but I heard many negative reactions, so we refused to hold this concert as the society rejected it, although we would make money out of it. After that I heard from some teenagers that this band positively affected their lives including improving their school performance. So we may change our decision,” he noted.

During the conference, they announced that a concert by two young singers – Iraqi singer Oras Sattar and the Kuwaiti singer Mishari Al-Awadhi – will be held on Friday at the Duaij Al-Khalifa Theatre. Sattar said he is performing in this concert although the situation in his home country is not stable, as he already signed the contract long before the events took place. “I have to respect my obligations and I love my fans in Kuwait, so I decided to participate in this concert. I believe Iraqis will understand my situation. This is my second performance in Kuwait and I’m very excited,” he said.

Awadhi expressed his happiness to participate in this concert and his sadness at the same time on the death of his friend, Kuwait singer Hmoud Nasser, who passed away two months back, as he was preparing some songs with him for this concert.

By Nawara Fattahova

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