The Al Bustan Festival as a non-governmental organisation, it consists of a 9 members board committee, alongside with an academic & support committees and the festival team (10 members). Tickets revenues cover about half the cost of presenting world-class performances, the other half is covered from contributions given by individuals (membership & donation), private sponsors, diplomatic missions (embassies) and foundations. Annual Budget: Approximately 800.000 US dollars. The Al Bustan Festival is member of EFA, the European Festivals Association & ISPA, International Society for the Performing Arts. The Festival has commissioned contemporary composers to create new works for it: amongst such works is John Taverner’s “Feats of Feasts” which was given its World Premiere at the 1996, performed by the Yurlov State Choir. Roxana Panufnik composed a piece for 1999 which was performed by the Chilingirian Quartet in its World Premiere, as well as Naji Hakim, composer and organist, was being commissioned to write a choral work, using Khalil Gibran from his book ‘The prophet”. For the 2013 edition, the Festival will have the World Premiere of “Tous les hommes dansent” (all men dance) by Zad Moultaka & Mezwej Ensemble which had Creation residency in Marseille - France. The festival represents a diverse group of stakeholders, which include: • Musicians/Bands/Music Groups • Live Music events and performances producers • Music venues • Instrument, equipment and décor manufacturers • Audience • Regulating, Licensing and Funding Bodies • Tour Promoters and Managers • Booking Agencies • Hotel (staff and facilities) • Sponsors • Environmental campaigns and related NGOs
The Al Bustan Festival is an international festival of Music and the performing Arts that takes place annually over five weeks during the months of February and March. The Al Bustan Festival was the first and sole “Classical” Music Festival of this size, in the region. Its main objective is to revive the cultural life of a country re-emerging after seventeen years of civil war. Throughout the years, the Festival succeeded in establishing a Classical Music season in Lebanon. Also its primary aim is education. This is an intrinsic part of the Festival and involves a range of activities beyond the performances given on stage. The Festival provides a rich environment for the cross-pollination of the Arts: meetings between visiting and local artists, drama workshops, dance masterclasses, lectures, etc.
The festival is unique in Lebanon in the concentration of artistic activity (more than 260 artists invited from different countries, more than 8000 attendees from local and regional countries)and the sheer number of its performances, 32 to 35 each season. Each year the Festival programme is structured round a central theme. (http://www.albustanfestival.com/previous-festivals/events-by-year/) By contributing in the evolution and refinement of cultural tastes, the Festival hopes to accomplish its Mission by reaching greater artistic achievements and opening new opportunities to the artists of tomorrow. Performances take place for the most part in the Emile Bustani Auditorium as well as the Crystal Garden Glass Conservatory in Hotel Al Bustan. Other locations are used for specific events (acoustics) like churches, Assembly Hall of the American University of Beirut, Etc. Its multi-faced approach intermingles pure classical works with theatre, dance and unusual and exotic presentations: Oriental, Jazz, Sacred music, World music, mimes, Marionettes, etc.