The DJs who are playing at MDL Beast Soundstorm’s festival are a curious bunch. Lured there mostly by the gargantuan fees the Saudis offer in exchange for being used as regime propaganda fodder, they do their utmost to avoid referencing the fact they’re playing there.
The vast majority of the DJs on the lineup have not referred even once on their social media platforms to their appearances at the festival. Which is something incredibly unusual in this day and age – they really do think they can accept the gig, play it and move on. With the dance music press compliant, this has a chance of success.
I’m also told part of this strategy is hoping that no news relating to Saudi Arabia appears – not least because mischievous bloggers like me might use the opportunity to write about it. Unfortunately for them, this part of the strategy has blown up in their faces – after the French arrested a man in connection with the Jamal Khashoggi case.
It later transpired French police arrested the wrong person – but from this perspective, that won’t matter. The questions over Saudi Arabia and whether their government had a role in the murder of journalist Khashoggi is back in people’s minds – as are the DJs who are now playing a festival funded by that same government…