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Egypt: The 7th Cairo International Song Festival, Egypt


The 7th Cairo International Song Festival

By Dr. Maged El Bialy.


In a previous article I have written a review of the Cairo International Conference Center and how it is well equipped not only for conferences but also of local and international events. One of the annual events organized by the CICC is the Cairo International Song Festival from August 20th to the 28th of the same month. It is a huge song festival where competitors from all over the world gather to perform and be judged by professionals in the field of music.

I had the opportunity to meet with the man who handles the controls of the CICC. Former Ambassador Salah Kamel Selim and currently the Chairman of Executive Board of the CICC welcomed me from Tour Egypt in his office. Mr. Salah, still known by the employees in the conference centre as the Ambassador, explained to me the broad lines of the festival and its aim. He said that the song festival does not have any commercial aim. The one aim of this annual festival is to promote tourism and to highlight the Egyptian culture. Ambassador Salah said that the festival is a meeting ground for international performers where they can compete by presenting their art. He added that in return Egyptian tourism would flourish. That is why in the opening ceremony there will be Egyptian ballet dancers and performers singing in three languages (Arabic, English and French) the secrets of why tourists want to come again to Egypt.

On asking former ambassador Salah Selim whether he feels that there is a shift of profession from diplomacy to management of the CICC he said, "Diplomacy has changed a lot. No more raising the flag and attending parties. A diplomat is deeply involved in trade, commerce, culture and tourism and promoting the country. The job is the same in the CICC. We promote tourism, too, and as a great example is this song festival".

The 7th Cairo International Song Festival has simple regulations that are encouraging to attract competitors. These regulations are as follows:

  • Composers, Interpreters and Arrangers only can participate in this Festival.

  • The song must not be longer than four minutes.

  • The song lyrics and music must be original and unedited and have never been performed in any festival in any country anywhere in the world.

  • The winner of the grand prix is not allowed to participate in the following years festival.

  • Participation in this Festival will be taken into consideration upon receipt of the following:

  • The registration fees that are non-refundable.

  • Three copies of lyrics accompanied with translation into English, French or Spanish.

  • Three copies of the piano part and orchestras score.

  • A recording of the song on cassette with the voice of the chosen interpreter with either piano or guitars and drums.

  • Six recent colored photos of the composer, the interpreter and the arranger, as well as their biography.

  • One copy of the official entry form completed as indicated and signed.

  • Nationality of the participant, and a copy of his passports.

  • The winners of the first three prizes will perform half playback on the stage in the closing ceremony

  • The Jury Committee has the right to veil any of the prizes or even to award any prize with equal shares

  • The 7th Cairo international Song Festival has the exclusive rights to publish, edit and exploit the selected songs on radio, television or cassette or any other media according to the rules of the SACEM (Paris), without territorial limitations.

  • For non-Egyptian selected songs, the festival offers the following to the participants:

  • Regarding air ticket, the festival will cover it from the nearest location where Egypt Air operates

    The festival will host the interpreter only in a three star hotel, accommodation is on bed and breakfast basis. Accommodation will start two days before the festival and ends one day after the festival

  • The Application form should be filled and signed by the participant.

  • The Registration fees (non-refundable) which are as follows:

for Egyptians L.E. 200

for non-Egyptians US$. 200

Registration fees can be paid in cash or as a bank transfer on account no.113/50/5 US $- Bank of Alexandria, Nasr City branch.

Winners on the occidental contest will be separately awarded like those participating in the Arabic contest. For the occidental contest the grand prix is US$ 10,000, the first prize is US$ 4000, the second prize is US$ 3000, the third is US$ 2000 and an arrangers prize of US$ 1000.

The opening ceremony of the song festival is on August 20th, 2001. Three singers, each will be singing in a different language, will start the opening ceremony. Part of the program of the opening ceremony will be a performance by well-known Indian performers called "Shimak Davar". On the 21st of August the Cuban "Banda Sason" will put the Golden Five beach resort in Hurghada in some Salsa beats where you can dance the night away. On the 23rd of August the famous Kazem El Saher will be singing in the Cheops Hall in the CICC. On the 24th of August the Cuban band will perform in "Mena Village" in the North Coast and at the same time there will be Arabic song performances in the Chinese Garden in the CICC. The Cuban Salsa band will again perform in the Sonesta Hotel in Cairo on the 25th and the 26th of August. Finally on the 28th of August, the closing ceremony of the festival will take place. Participating in the closing ceremony are the prize winners of the occidental and oriental competition. The Cuban Banda Sason will perform a final show. There will be a performance from a Greek singer called "Bessy" who was a contestant of last years festival. A group from Equador will do a performance of singing and dancing in addition to Arabic singers. The festival is open to the public through tickets except for the opening and closing ceremonies, entrance is only by invitations.

I will be covering the events of the 7th Cairo International Song Festival so watch out on Tour Egypt for the latest updates.

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Last Updated:
May 23rd, 2011

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