Sandance beach festival8 Comments 16 October 2011
Sandance the Third had one extremely important factor on its side: timing. The weather was bearable (although still too hot for anything but shorts), the Dubai crowds are back with a vengeance; the tourist and visitor season is in full swing. All this resulted in hundreds and hundreds of partiers swarming towards Atlantis in taxis come sunset last Friday, like moths to a big sandy flame. Richard Ashcroft made a fantastic start to things, impressing even non-fans with nothing but his guitar, a few mic effects and his powerfully rasping voice (although he did moan about us mentioning his age in our interview – it’s nothing to be ashamed of, Richard!). After a brief silent interlude, Chicane followed, smoothly making the transition from guitar-based music to dance. Example was up next, with a short but highly-charged set that crescendoed with current smash ‘Change The Way you Kiss Me’. (And, according to insiders, he was most keen to stick around and watch the other DJs afterwards). David Morales then stayed on stage for a long while, mixing up recent hits a treat, and many of the crowd were relieved when Sasha’s performance wasn’t as trance-heavy as we’d expected it to be. The real win of the night, however, was the organization: drinks queues were kept to a minimum by the army of bar staff, the enormous taxi queues were extremely well managed, and those waiting were even given free water. The third Sandance has shown us that its organisers can now easily handle 10,000 slightly sun-singed people. All the emphasis for the fourth one next month, then, is on the quality of the performers.