Bet Lahem Live Festival

August 3rd - 6th, 2023



The largest creative resistance festival in Palestine

  • Over 25,000 people from across the globe come to Bethlehem Live to join in innovative social change
  • For four days dozens of panels and workshop convene to re-strategize ushering in an authentic community of justice and equality

Due to the worldwide pandemic COVID-19, Bet Lahem Live Festival 2020 has been postponed until further notice. Check back here for the new date.



“Only a community rooted in a deep process of reenvisioning will lead us to a future of love and harmony.”

Sami Awad // Founder //

What makes Bet Lahem Live unique?

Local & Global Artists

Bethlehem Live is a global movement of art, community, and cultural power.

Community Building

This is the one free event that ensures there is a space for everyone.

Economic Development

Our market opens up new markets for new, aspiring businesses.

Peer to peer Network

Our workshops provide new opportunities to develop resiliency.

Comedy Shows

Our comedy lined up provides the much needed moment of light-heartedness.

Justice Orientated

At the heart of Bethlehem Live is the pursuit of social justice.


In cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and Bethlehem Municipality, Holy Land Trust organizes an annual summer artistic and cultural festival in the heart of Bethlehem. The reason this program was initiated is, despite the critical importance of the city both historically and religiously, Bethlehem previously lacked any annual cultural festival. Given that Bethlehem is one of the primary tourist attractions in all of Palestine, this seemed like a significant oversight.

This first-of-its-kind festival is called "Bet Lahem Live" because most of its activities will be held live on Star Street. Star Street, the main street running through the heart of the old town of Bethlehem, was once an area of robust economic activity. Since the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada in the year 2000, however, the economic situation for those who worked and lived on Star Street deteriorated. More than 80 shops out of 98 were eventually closed. Now, it remains in place mostly as a historical artifact. The street does not maintain any semblance of life or the commercial and touristic activities that it once did, despite being listed as a world heritage site by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science, and Culture (UNESCO).

Due to the street’s closure, and its neglect by authorities, pilgrims do not pass by the road that has always been the only path toward the Church of the Nativity. The road is, according to Christian tradition, the route taken by Joseph and Mary on their way to the Grotto of the Nativity.


The purpose of the festival is to give this street the opportunity to revive its cultural and artistic spirit, tourism, and commerce. Most of the four-day festival’s events will be held on Star street. These events include:

  • A festival bazaar and marketplace. We will reopen and rent the street’s shops to sell traditional handicrafts and homemade Palestinian products in cooperation with Bethlehem’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
  • Children’s activities. We will host artistic and entertaining activities for children, including face painting and clowns. This will help attract Palestinian families to shop at the bazaar and give the children a chance to be part of the Bet Lahem Live events. 
  • Evening musical performances. The most prominent local and international artistic and traditional dance groups will give nightly performances.

Bet Lahem Live Festival Goals

  1. To host an annual summer festival of arts and culture at the heart of the city of Bethlehem.
  2. To encourage the Bethlehem Municipality and the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to consider the touristic and economic opportunities that this street can create if the closed shops are reopened and the old town gets the attention it deserves.
  3. Revive the forgotten old city of Bethlehem and the historical Star Street, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a summer festival.
  4. Reopen the shops on Star Street, which have been closed since the year 2000 and once represented the main source of income for most of the residents in the area.
  5. Promote local commerce by showcasing Palestinian products, handicrafts, and traditional food.
  6. Promote Bethlehem as a summer tourist destination.  
  7. Expose pilgrims and tourists of all creeds and ages to the history and dynamism of Bethlehem, and raise awareness in the international community about Palestinian history, lifestyle and culture.

Join Us

If you are an aspiring artist looking to use your platform to advance the movement of peace and equality, this festival welcomes


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