Lebanon is a country rich with history, culture and tradition. The Phoenicians are the ancestors of the Lebanese who created the first written alphabet as well as began to sail the seas as trade merchants. They were well known for creating a royal purple dye color from a sea snail (Hexaplex Trunculus) and almost drove it to extinction in their quest for trade.
Speeding up history to 2016. Lebanon has been burdened by a heavy load of refugees fleeing the war in Syria; harboring approximately 2 million refugees in a country with a total population of 4.5 million can be a tough and hard duty.
As well as being caught in a web of foreign policies and having its entire stretch of land borders practically closed due to the war in Syria and the state of Lebanese-Israeli relations, does not ease life here…
Although, throughout all of this, the Lebanese people are a strong and life-loving populace. They’ve turned bunkers into night clubs and sorrow into joy.
The Psychedelic scene in Lebanon started around the year 2004. With small gatherings of friends in secluded locations. As more people were invited and showed up to the parties, newer, bigger locations needed to be discovered. Before you knew it, small parties were taking place; under the radar of course.
Slowly but surely Psy-trance spread across Lebanon. For the past 4 years, due to the efforts of many organizers, artists & attendees Psychedelic Trance has been out in the open.
Lebanon has all 4 seasons. Parties kick into high gear in summer as the outdoor season opens. Lebanon is located on the Levant Mediterranean coastline and therefore, one side of the country meets the beach while the other side is carpeted by mountains upon mountains upon mountains.
Within these mountains you can find hidden gems such as natural swimming pools as well as one of the world’s most magnificent stalactite caves. The higher up the mountains you go, the more changes, upon reaching approximately 1,800 meters, the environment changes as the oxygen becomes richer, it feels as if you’re walking into a new world!
1 night parties hover anywhere between 300-500 people and festivals hover between 600-1000 people on average.
It’s easy to tell why in winter the Psychedelic scene doesn’t do much since nobody wants to be crammed indoors when you live in such a beautiful location.
The highest peak in Lebanon is 3,000+ meters and it does snow!
There is no desert in Lebanon, only the Bekaa Valley which was famous for it’s wide-spread cultivation of Cannabis & more specifically Hashish.
Archaphael – Schlabbaduerst Rekkords
Psychonautik – Psyde Effect Records Kalevra – Psyde Effect Records Tokes – Kamayura Records Tuma – Nutriadance Records Willy – Independent Da Wood – Independent
Psyde Effect Records
Some are being set-up but this is the only local record label at the moment!
Psyleb – Forest Frequencies Forest Frequencies is a yearly festival hosted by Psyleb that incorporates various electronic music such as Psy & Techno & House & DnB. It’s the oldest festival and has been happening for 5 years. Hexaplex Festival is a new festival, the first edition of the festival is happening this year in 2016. Hosted by Analog, it is only a Psychedelic festival and has a Chill stage which will have bands as well as some alternative chill music. You can find it on the festival map on Mushroom Magazine 🙂
More Deco artists:
Deco artists in the country are rare because the material such as Lycra is not as cheap as other countries and 3D mapping projectors are expensive and hard to get a hold of. However we do have artists who do dabble in psychedelic art. Just not on a decoration scale.
All sounds are played, Prog, Goa, Forest, Dark & Hitech. Although Dark seems to be the predominant style.
When parties are starting? When they are closing or have to close?:
There is no curfews for parties, Organizers choose when to end as they please. Usually outdoor gigs start around 5-6-7pm and end around 8-9-10am,
Are there clubs that open in the morning, is it easy to find one, do peoples have open private afterhours…:
There are certain clubs which are open after hours but they do not play Psychedelic music and unfortunately are limited to Techno.
Tell us about prices. Average entry for a party (small – mid – big-sized), beer, water etc.:
Small party: 15-20$ Medium Party: 35-40$ Big Party/Festival at the door: 90-120$ Water: 1.5$ Beer: 3$
Are there traffic controls after parties / festivals, which kind of tests are used?:
Security searches people’s belongings and sometimes frisk you. Apart from this, there is some occasional police checkpoints where they might search the car for drugs and it’s best that you don’t carry any drugs since they can get you into some serious trouble.
Ants – Bliss Street, Hamra Sweet Lake Boutique – Mar Mikhail, Ashrafieh Morning Glory – Main Highway, Jounieh Mar Mikhail or Hamra or Jbeil for drinking. Mama Urth Yoga center. Zenith –> They host healing session & gatherings of all kinds! (Find them on FB)
Best places for activities:
Baalbak – The great roman ruins of Lebanon featuring one of the best preserved and biggest roman temples. The Cedars of God – The great cedar tree forests are a wonder to be hold and a national treasure as well as a UNESCO heritage site. Located in Bsharre/ Tannourine/ Arez, Lebanon Jbeil, Byblos is the oldest city in the world which is still inhabited to this day. Filled with ruins and ancient architecture as well as a crusader castle; it’s a trip! Beirut’s is a city that will take time to see. It’s got different architecture depending on where you go. Some places are brand new, some as old as the 15th century. Renowned Poet & Philosopher Gebran Khalil Gebran’s home is located in Bsharre and is open to public visits.
Best place to stay:
There are many places to stay, ranging from 5 star hotels to couch surfing, Airbnb or cheap hostels in Beirut. Of course in Beirut the accommodation would be more expensive and the further out that you go the cheaper it gets!
Best place to eat:
Lebanese restaurants are the best for the local food. Stick away from the fast food if you want a genuine Lebanese gastronomy experience. There are plenty of vegetarian, organic, vegan shops scattered throughout Beirut, predominantly located in Ashrafieh. Places like the Olive Garden.
Lebanon is very close to the top of the world’s culinary experiences. The food is one of the best and most unique in the world, recipes have been passed down generation through generation. If you want to experience real Arabic cuisine then Lebanon is your destination! Some interesting facts about Lebanon: Lebanon has 18 religious communities. It has 40 daily newspapers. It has 42 universities. It has over 100 banks (that are banks and not branches of a bank). 70% of the students are in private schools. 40% of the Lebanese people are Christians (this is the highest percentage of all the Arab countries). There’s 1 doctor per 10 person in Lebanon. (In Europe and America, there’s around 1 doctor per 100 person). The name LEBANON appears 75 times in the Old Testament. The name CEDAR (Lebanon’s tree) appears 75 times too in the Old Testament. Beirut was destroyed and rebuilt 7 times (this is why it’s compared to The Phoenix). There are 4.5 Million Lebanese in Lebanon and around 18 Million Lebanese outside Lebanon. Sky Bar was voted number 1 night club in the world in 2008. Beirut is the 10th most popular shopping destination in the world. Beirut was named “World Book Capital” in 2009. Lebanon, the country, was occupied by over 16 countries (Egyptians – Hittites – Assyrians – Babylonians – Persians – Alexander the great’s Army – the Roman Empire Byzantine – the Arabian Peninsula – The Crusaders – the Ottoman Empire – Britain – France – Israel – Syria). Byblos (city in Lebanon) is the oldest continuously living city in the world. The country’s name is known to be the oldest in the world and has remained unchanged for over 4000 years. Lebanon is the only Arab and Asian country that has absolutely no desert. There are 15 rivers in Lebanon (all of them coming from its own mountains). Lebanon is one of the most populated countries in its archaeological sites in the world. The first alphabet was created in Byblos (city in Lebanon). The only remaining temple of Jupiter (the main Roman god) is in Baalbeck, Lebanon (The City of the Sun). The name of BYBLOS comes from the BIBLE. Lebanon is responsible for 6-7% of the world’s Cannabis production. Lebanon was part of the hippie route in 60’s. Lebanon is the country that has the most books written about it. According to Christianity, Jesus Christ made his 1st miracle in Lebanon, in Sidon (The miracle of turning water into wine). The Phoenicians (Original People of Lebanon) built the 1st boat, and they were the first to sail ever. Phoenicians also reached America long before Christopher Columbus did. The 1st law school in the world was built in Lebanon, in Downtown Beirut. People say that the cedars were planted by God’s own hands (This is why they’re called “The Cedars of God”, and this is why Lebanon is called “God’s Country on Earth”). Lebanese are trilingual (They speak 3 languages: Arabic, French & English). The creators of Tom & Jerry are originally Lebanese. (Joseph Barbara & William Hanna) King Solomon’s temple was built with Lebanon’s cedars. Egypt’s Pharaohs imported Lebanon’s cedars, marble and timber. Lebanon is the first Arab country that had a constitution. Lebanon, which represents 1/40 of the total area of the Arabic Peninsula, produces 70% of the publications in the Arab world. In springtime, and on the same day, you can ski in the mountains and/or swim in the sea. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. Most people associate this quote to a speech made by US President John Kennedy in 1961. In fact, it came from one of Gibran Khalil Gibran’s books. (Lebanese writer and artist) The creator and the production manager of the iPod is originally Lebanese. (Tony Fadel) The richest man in the world comes from a Lebanese descent. (Carlos Slim) The lebanese Hassan Kamel Al-Sabbah was a technological leader whose inventions in electricity had a great impact on the development of the 20th century technology and he was the first one who was working on creating electricity from sunlight.