War Child Partners with Beirut Hub to Revive Music Scene

May 28, 2021

Beirut, Lebanon

Beirut Music Support Initiative - War Child Holland in Lebanon_210527
The music of Lebanon has a long and evocative history. It’s capital city, Beirut, has become a center point for everything from post-war jazz to alternative rock - carving out a unique and unstoppable music scene led by young talent. Everything changed when COVID-19 arrived, followed by the 4 August explosions. We have joined forces with local music hub Onomatopoeia to restore the scene to its former glory.

The Beirut Music Support Initiative aims to bring back live music to the city and make it accessible to everyone. Despite the country's rich music history, the ongoing political crisis and economic downturn has resulted in a lack of support and funding for emerging arts and talents.

Reduced to Rubble

COVID-19 has only compounded the situation. Live sessions have been banned, bars and nightclubs forced into closure and independent musicians unable to make ends meet. Only a few months later, the industry would experience another cruel blow with the explosion of 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate at the city’s port.

With vital infrastructure and popular music venues reduced to rubble - all in the midst of a major recession - many young people have put their dreams on hold, finding little to distract themselves from the flashbacks and fatigue that continue to plague the nation.

Together with Onomatopoeia we are supporting some 150 musicians

Healing Through Music

Together with Onomatopoeia- an established name and local institution - War Child is moving to support some 150 musicians and people working in the field.

“This is more than reviving the music scene in Beirut - it’s about bringing the community together to embark on a process of healing”, says Ahmad Jaber, communications lead for War Child in Lebanon. “We are War Child so we know all about the power of music - its ability to incite hope. The people of Beirut really need this right now.”

Through a combination of virtual and live concerts - all streamed via social media - the initiative is already lifting the spirits of young and old, near and afar. It’s also giving a platform to young talent.

A New Chapter

Located in the quiet suburb of Achrafieh - an area well known for its vibrant culture and entertainment scene - the musical hub has become an invaluable escape from the city chaos. As COVID-19 restrictions loosen, we will work together with ‘Ono’ to create a safe space for local musicians and young music enthusiasts to come together. War Child will lend its expertise in psychosocial support to help the residents of Beirut deal with trauma and attempt to return to normal life. The initiative supports our ongoing restoration effort for destroyed homes and businesses.

How can you help? We are currently working hard to set up the Beirut Musicians Trust Fund - a crowd-funded platform providing cash grants to musicians involved in the initiative. Keep your eyes peeled on the website and in the meantime check out our dedicated Instagram and Facebook page.