Concrete, searing heat and £12 beers: inside Doha’s World Cup fan festival

Upbeat Fifa say ‘nothing is forbidden’ at vast site, but quality of experience that awaits crowds is open to questionIn the tetchy heat of a Doha lunch hour, there was a welcome loosening of ties – and then, surprisingly, of tongues. It came as Fifa launched a World Cup fan festival so vast that 40,000 supporters will soon be able to congregate in shared communion near the Corniche: to watch, to cheer, to drink overpriced beer, if only between 7pm and 1am. Perhaps even to love, too.“It will be a multidimensional, festival-like experience,” promised Gerdine Lindhout, Fifa’s head of experiential marketing and promotion. “It’s not just about football, it’s about gaming, lifestyle and amazing food. We have decided to go huge in Doha!”

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