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Stephen Arnold Music Creates Sonic Branding for International Cultural Festival “Riyadh Season”

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DALLAS—(October 16, 2023)— Stephen Arnold Music, the world leader in sonic branding, created a new sonic identity for Riyadh Season, a months-long mega festival comprising cultural, arts, sports and entertainment events in Saudi Arabia. The studio delivered a complete sonic toolkit of thematically and emotionally consistent sounds and music evoking the spirit of Riyadh Season and designed to capture the imagination of a diverse global audience.

Developed by Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA), Riyadh Season attracts millions of celebrants to the Saudi capital for worldclass concerts, sporting events, art installations, films, amusements and more. Its goal is to boost economic and tourist activity in the kingdom and broaden its appeal to travelers around the world. “Riyadh Season is literally an activation of the city of Riyadh,” says Stephen Arnold Music President Chad Cook. “And our role was to bring its brand sonically to life.”

The studio’s central task was to develop a sonic logo and brand anthem to support the event’s new visual branding. They then produced a host of variants, based on mood, audience, length and format, for use in broadcast, digital and social media throughout the festival’s four month run. “The sonic branding arouses feelings of celebration, excitement and joy,” says Cook. “It versatile enough to appeal to people in Europe, North America and the Middle East, to families and to young adults. It’s global and inclusive.”

The challenge for the creative team was to create a signature sound in tune with the festival’s core values of diversity, excellence and authenticity, and memorable enough to connect with consumers on a deep level. “We wanted to understand GEA’s vision for Riyadh Season now and in the future,” explains Cook. “What is the focus of their marketing effort? What do they want to communicate? Who is their audience?”

Cook notes that by engaging with people on an emotional level, the sonic branding will not only help build recognition for Riyadh Season, it may also change perceptions of Saudi Arabia. “Although it includes elements of Saudi Arabian heritage and musical traditions, it’s not a traditional Middle Eastern sound,” he explains. “It communicates a feeling of modernity and cultural richness. It inspires unity and transcends borders.”

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