(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The 2012 Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts starts today, with organisers expecting high turnout.
"We receive thousands of phone calls a day asking about the festival's activities and tickets to concerts," the festival's executive director, Mohammad Abu Summaqa, told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.
"We expect a full house for most of the festival's concerts" sales of tickets for these concerts are very good so far," Abu Summaqa added.
"Many tourists from the Gulf and other Arab states call every day to check about the festival's concerts and ticket prices."
On Tuesday, Aqel Biltaji, head of the Jerash Festival higher committee, visited the event site and checked on preparations, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
The festival, which features music and dance performances by prominent artists from Jordan, the Arab region and beyond, runs through July 14.
As part of the festival, Ramadan Nights will be held at the Royal Cultural Centre from July 23 until July 29. A total of 115 performers, bands and troupes will take part in the festival and Ramadan Nights.
This year's festival includes a diverse line-up of local and Arab artists including Lebanese singers Melhem Zein, Wael Jassar and Fares Karam, Shereen Abdul Wahhab and Tamer Hosni from Egypt, and Iraqi singer Hatem Al Iraqi.
Jordanian singers include Diana Karazoun and Yousef Arafat, among others.
The festival will also include poetry recitals, seminars, plastic arts exhibitions, performances and workshops in Jerash and at the Royal Cultural Centre in the capital.
In January, the Ministry of Culture said JD1.7 million had been allocated for the event.
In 2011, the government revived the Jerash Festival, which was first launched in 1981, after a four-year suspension.
In 2008, authorities launched the Jordan Festival, a nationwide theme-oriented event under which the Jerash Festival became a component, a move that faced bitter criticism from fans, artists and associations.
At the time, officials said the idea of the Jordan Festival was to hold activities in different parts of the country to promote the Kingdom's archaeological sites.