Baalbeck International Festival
The Baalbeck International Festival is the oldest and best-known cultural event in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean. Since 1955, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have flocked to the city of Baalbek in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon to attend the annual festival. Classical music, dance, theater, opera, and jazz as well as modern world music are performed each July and August in the ancient Roman Acropolis, one of the largest and well preserved Roman temples ever built.
The festivals date back to the mid 20th century with the first organizing activities being held in 1955. After one year, president Camille Chamoun named it the Baalbeck International Festival, which became a governmental institution whose goal was to promote tourism and Lebanese culture. The festival was held in July and August in the ruins of the Roman temples. In 1966, it established a drama school for the promotion of works done by Lebanese authors. After the Lebanese Civil War and the cessation of activities, the festival reopened for incoming spectators. Cultural events such as classical music, opera, jazz, modern world music, Lebanese Nights, rock and pop music as well as ballet and theater regained their past location with over 40,000 yearly spectators watching in the unique historic setting of Baalbek.