Afghanistan was the venue for a live rock 'n' roll music festival Saturday for the first time in three long decades.
Hundreds of young men and women came together for an extravaganza featuring local and international acts.
On the menu of the six-hour musical feast, Sound Central, were sounds ranging from blues to electronica and from indie rock to death metal. Bands on the bill hailed from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Australia, and Afghanistan itself.
Sound Central was held at the Babur Gardens in Kabul. It was something new and rare for the conservative Muslim country where music was prohibited under the strict Taliban rule.
Even today, several music shops are attacked in some cities in Afghanistan, while musicians are taunted for their manner of dress and hair style.
However, the music festival in Afghanistan was unlike concert in Western countries. No alcohol was allowed, and kebabs were the only snacks served.
The music was also stopped twice and bands left the stage in the late afternoon so that the prayer call could be heard from nearby mosques, Reuters reported.
Where I live, there's nothing like this. I heard about it, so I had to come. I came to escape the cancer of the Taliban, and this makes a refreshing change, Ahmad Shah, a visitor from Kandahar, told Reuters.
The location of the concert was kept secret until almost the last moment to avoid any violence or protest. More than 450 people attended the concert.
Rock and roll will change the world, and we hope it will change Afghanistan too. This is historic, and it's just the beginning, Nikita Makapenko, guitarist for the Uzbek band Tears of the Sun, told Reuters.
People who attended the concert were dancing and jumping toward the stage and thrusting their arms into the air to the sound of local band White Page.
The concert was organized by Travis Beard, an Australian photojournalist. Beard, who moved to Kabul and joined a band, wanted a platform to encourage musical talent there.