Hal Badeel (Alternative Solution) Festival for Arts launches its first series of performing arts events in Townhouse Gallery's factory space between 24 March and 17 April, turning the art gallery into a stage for music, dance, puppetry and film screenings.
The festival is an independent initiative by two young artists: Mido Sadek and Saber Sayid, who address the issue of shutting down of cultural spaces in Cairo.
The group recycled Townhouse's Factory space from an exhibition hall to a theatre, as an experiment. "With many artistic spaces closing, such as Rawabet Theater, we wanted to try and use spaces such as garages and warehouses, which are empty for art," an organiser of the festival Maha Moneb told Ahram Online.
With a focus on independent arts and younger performers, the festival is bringing to the stage many Egyptian artists across various disciplines.
The volunteer-run festival is not charging any ticket fees at the door to make the festival more inclusive. They are also placing a screen on Nabrawy Street outside of Townhouse, where there is a popular local cafe, and many bystanders, allowing them to see the performances inside the hall.
"Until the festival starts, the space is also open all day for rehearsals and pop-up events by any artists," Moneb said. "We encourage people to pass by and take a look at what we've done with the stage," she added excitedly.