A video of Pitbull in which the singer is singing in front of a jam-packed audience in Riyadh has received heavy backlash on social media.
Cuban-American rap star Pitbull launched Riyadh Season Festival with a sold-out concert. Riyadh Season Festival is termed as the Middle East’s largest celebration of music, dining, and entertainment also featured a parade and fireworks. 16 events will be organized in October alone. A total of 75,000 events have been planned for all age groups and interests.
The mega entertainment event is part of the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s Vision 2030 to promote the leisure and tourism sector and provide a unique experience to visitors. The event will continue till March 2022
The viral video shows a large number of spectators are enjoying and dancing along with the singer Pitbull in the vast field spread over 5.4 million square meters. The crowd cheered as the performance of the singer ended.
The video has been receiving criticism from people all over social media. A debate ensued if Saudi Arabia is moving toward evolution and westernization. Saudi Arabia is the land of Islam, from where the religion propagated which is swiftly moving away from traditionalism towards secularism and liberalization. Netizens have claimed that it is inappropriate for the country that holds the two holiest sites of Islam to arrange a musical concert on its land.
Another group said that while attendance in mosques and schools has been banned due to coronavirus, people are allowed to attend the concerts. “Capital of Saudi Arabia. (On the pedestals to make the land of Tawheed more appealing to the western lobbies),” said a social media user on Twitter.
The concert also sparked criticism over human rights abuses in the Kingdom as well as Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Yemen. Human rights activists compared the concert to the lack of freedom for dissidents, activists, and critics.