FIFA promises free concerts for fans at World Cup in Qatar

September 7, 2022 GMT
FILE - Branding is displayed near the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, in Doha, Qatar, March 31, 2022. Qatar recently arrested at least 60 workers who protested going months without pay and deported some of them, an advocacy group said, just three months before Doha hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The move comes as Qatar faces intense international scrutiny over its labor practices ahead of the tournament. The workers' protest on Aug. 14  — and Qatar's reaction to it — could further fuel the concern. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
FILE - Branding is displayed near the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, in Doha, Qatar, March 31, 2022. Qatar recently arrested at least 60 workers who protested going months without pay and deported some of them, an advocacy group said, just three months before Doha hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The move comes as Qatar faces intense international scrutiny over its labor practices ahead of the tournament. The workers' protest on Aug. 14  — and Qatar's reaction to it — could further fuel the concern. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
FILE - Branding is displayed near the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, in Doha, Qatar, March 31, 2022. Qatar recently arrested at least 60 workers who protested going months without pay and deported some of them, an advocacy group said, just three months before Doha hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The move comes as Qatar faces intense international scrutiny over its labor practices ahead of the tournament. The workers' protest on Aug. 14  — and Qatar's reaction to it — could further fuel the concern. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
FILE - Branding is displayed near the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, in Doha, Qatar, March 31, 2022. Qatar recently arrested at least 60 workers who protested going months without pay and deported some of them, an advocacy group said, just three months before Doha hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The move comes as Qatar faces intense international scrutiny over its labor practices ahead of the tournament. The workers' protest on Aug. 14 — and Qatar's reaction to it — could further fuel the concern. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
FILE - Branding is displayed near the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, in Doha, Qatar, March 31, 2022. Qatar recently arrested at least 60 workers who protested going months without pay and deported some of them, an advocacy group said, just three months before Doha hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The move comes as Qatar faces intense international scrutiny over its labor practices ahead of the tournament. The workers' protest on Aug. 14 — and Qatar's reaction to it — could further fuel the concern. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — FIFA promised Wednesday to stage free concerts with international stars for visitors to the official Fan Festival in Qatar during the World Cup.

FIFA said the Al Bidda Park in central Doha will host “concerts starring top global and local music acts and live works by internationally acclaimed performance artists” during the 29 days of World Cup games. The tournament starts on Nov. 20.

The festival site next to the Corniche waterfront and close to the West Bay neighborhood will be the official viewing area for fans to watch the 64 games on giant screens. A policy on alcohol consumption was confirmed Saturday that will allow sponsor Budweiser to serve beer after 6:30 p.m.

FIFA said it also plans to hold soccer games at the venue featuring former World Cup stars who are part of its Legends program.

More than 1 million visitors are expected at the first World Cup hosted in the Middle East.

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FIFA said official fan festivals are also planned in other cities worldwide during the tournament.

No music acts have yet been confirmed for the Doha venue.

Since the 2006 World Cup in Germany, FIFA has run fan zone viewing areas with local organizers in host nations. The first edition included a pre-tournament show in Berlin featuring Nelly Furtado and Simple Minds.

At the 2012 European Championship co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine, Elton John gave a free concert at the official Kyiv fan zone one day before the final. The concert was also an AIDS charity benefit.

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