The timeworn, colour fading walls of Cairo’s spectacular Salah El-Din Citadel are witnessing the final preparations of one of the country’s biggest, most anticipated music festival. The 28th Citadel Music Festival for Music and Singing which kicks off in the heart of Cairo’s glorious antique palace, opens its doors on Sunday, welcoming attendees to indulge into an artistic voyage, with music from all genres, and origins.

The festival brings musical troupes from all over the world, to perform at the Citadel’s two stages. Over 15 days, the musical fiesta will host 42 concerts for local and international troupes and individuals, some of them mark their first visit to Egypt.

The festival is one of the most significant and oldest events organised by the Cairo Opera House, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Antiquities. It is considered an important cultural event that offers a platform for a diverse group of local artists to showcase their talents.

Egypt’s Minister of Culture, Inas Abdel Dayem said the festival is among the ministry’s summer activities that showcase a serious innovation attempts, in line with the country’s sustainable development goals, aiming to enforce the community and raise people’s cultural and artistic awareness.

The 28th edition of the festival comes also to celebrate Egypt’s presidency to the African Union, with the performances of artists from Tunisia, Algeria, Namibia, and Guinea.

“The Citadel Festival for Music and Singing is one of the prominent, and most important art festivals organised by the ministry of culture, that managed to obtain huge publicity, due to its enriching music diversity,” Abdel Dayem said.

This year’s edition witnesses an increase at the tickets prices, increasing to EGP 20 from EGP 15 last year. The increase was justified as a result of the growth in concerts, to reach three concerts per-day instead of two previously.

The ministry also told the local press that the allocated budget of the festival has increased due to the hike of the rent cost of needed equipment.

The Citadel Festival for Music and Singing is considered to be the country’s only festival reasonable ticket prices. The budget-friendly festival attendees reached the 100,000 mark in last year’s edition, and the 28th edition is expected to witness further increase in attendees, due to the diversity in this year’s musical performances.

This year’s edition witnesses concerts for Egyptian singers Mohamed Mohsen, Ali El-Haggar, Medhat Saleh, Hany Shaker, Dina El-Wedidi and Amr Selim band.

From the Middle East, comes the prominent Tunisian singer, Ghalia Benali, and the Lebanese artist Tania Kassis.

Sufi music fans would also have an appointment with the genre’s enchanter, Yassin El-Tohamy.

For the underground bands, Massar Egbari, and Cairo Band are to mark their performance at the festival, and musician Hisham Kharma is scheduled to mark his first participation in the festival.

For the first time in a popular festival, veteran musician Omar Khairat meets his fans at the closing ceremony of the festival, which takes place on 1 September.