In­sider tips

Fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Lat­ifa Lakkis’ fa­vorites

Lebanon Traveler - - CONTENTS -

What’s the se­cret to By­b­los Fes­ti­val’s suc­cess? Hard work, all year round. Va­ri­ety of the pro­gram to best sat­isfy the needs of many seg­ments in the Le­banese mar­ket and abroad. Good or­ga­ni­za­tion in terms of man­age­ment, lo­gis­tics, hostess­ing and team work. The lo­ca­tion of the venue and that the By­b­los Fes­ti­val is in­te­grated in its city… By­b­los. What’s been the most ridicu­lous back­stage de­mand of an artist per­form­ing at by­b­los fes­ti­val? Out­ra­geously ex­pen­sive wines and cham­pagnes. Where is your fa­vorite post-fes­ti­val din­ner or drinks spot in By­b­los? Most of the restau­rants and pubs in By­b­los… each one has its own iden­tity. Mashrou’ Leila will be re­turn­ing to the By­b­los Fes­ti­val this year. Do you ex­pect their con­cert to be big­ger than be­fore? We cer­tainly ex­pect a sell out for Mashrou’ Leila at By­b­los. We’re re­ally proud of what they [have] achieved. Where do you go to un­wind fol­low­ing fes­ti­val fever? A week on the beach at Eddé Sands (70 247555) or Le Phenix de By­b­los (09 541400). In ad­di­tion the By­b­los re­gion has many at­trac­tions for ac­tiv­i­ties of all kinds for re­lax­ation, tourism, cul­ture, his­tory, pil­grim­age and eco tourism. Where would you take a band with 24 hours to kill in Le­banon be­fore their con­cert? Due to the lack of time, a good Le­banese meal at Bab el Mina (09 540475, ba­belmina.com), Feniqia (70 542135) or Adonai Le Petit Libanais (70 236778); Beirut or By­b­los sight­see­ing and some thrilling nightlife in the old By­b­los Souks or Pub­lic­ity area, are the win­ning for­mula for artists. Give us an idea of how the artist back­stage area looks at By­b­los In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val. Like a bee hive in peak sea­son. Where is your fa­vorite place to go for a ru­ral get­away be­yond By­b­los and why? The north or south of Le­banon. They both of­fer beau­ti­ful land­scapes, hos­pi­tal­ity of the lo­cal com­mu­nity, hand­i­crafts and agro-food pro­duc­tion. I like Tripoli for its cultural wealth, his­tor­i­cal back­ground and de­li­cious pas­try; Eh­den for its great cli­mate, restau­rants and cof­fee shops; and Sour for its cul­ture and great beach. Tell us about your hid­den gem in Le­banon... one se­cret des­ti­na­tion await­ing discovery. In West Bekaa you can find one or two places that have ac­tiv­i­ties, sports and horse­back rid­ing in a great land­scape, such as at the Villa Badih Chaarani ranch in Man­soura. Where is your fa­vorite place for Sun­day brunch? By­b­los Sur Mer ho­tel (09 548000, by­blos­surmer.com). Where do you hit for a sum­mer fish lunch? Any of By­b­los’ restau­rants lo­cated at the har­bor such as Pepe Fish­ing Club (09 540213, By­b­los Fish­ing Club – Pepe Abed). Where is the olive oil in your kitchen from? From Ri­haneh Press [Mount Le­banon] made by Ramzi Mouawad (09 790210, 03 667855). Out­side of the By­b­los Fes­ti­val, where do you go for your mu­sic and cul­ture fix? Beirut’s the­ater scenes at St. Joseph The­ater (01 202422) and Metro Al Mad­ina (76 309363, metro­mad­ina.com), clas­si­cal con­certs at St. Joseph Church and to Pierre Y. Aboukhater Am­phithe­ater lo­cated in Saint Joseph Univer­sity.

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