Entrepreneur Michel Elefteriades, founder and co-owner of Elefteriades Productions and Elef Records, has over two decades of multidisciplinary experience in the fields of arts, music management, cultural engineering, entertainment and hospitality. We spoke with the mastermind about his legendary concept MusicHall Beirut, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Congratulations on 20 years of MusicHall Beirut! Looking back, what have been some of the greatest moments of the past two decades?
The most iconic moment was the opening of the MusicHall Beirut in 2003. In 2013, as we celebrated the 10th anniversary, we began to expand beyond Lebanon by establishing a new branch in Dubai. That same year, we relocated MusicHall Beirut to a new outdoor venue at Beirut’s Waterfront for the summer season. In the summer of 2019, MusicHall landed in Jeddah, making it the very first club to open in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And in November 2022, we opened another branch in Doha, Qatar.
How has MusicHall Beirut evolved over the years and what challenges you’ve faced along the way?
We neither follow trends nor fashion because fashion fades in no time. We are not looking for improvement or evolution; we have a classical, framed format, and our formula has been a success from the start. Since day one, we made sure to set a high standard in terms of the show, food, service and so forth. Throughout the years, we worked on maintaining this quality. Although the shows might change, the talent is constant.
Opening in KSA was challenging for us; we had to make sure to replicate the same experience as the one in Beirut while adapting it to the country. Another challenge was Covid-19, as well as the crisis Lebanon has been going through since 2019. MusicHall had to close its doors for almost two years, but we’ve been back since July 2022.
With experiential venues now in vogue, how are you leveraging this trend?
We disrupted conventional nightlife 20 years ago and set a trend. We have been imitated many times, but we will never be duplicated.
Do you have any projects or expansion plans in the pipeline?
We were planning to open MusicHall in Egypt. Although we are ready to start operating there, the project is on hold for the time being.
I’m working on new projects in Europe, the details of which I will share at a later stage.