Brand New Heavies, 2manjDjs and Roger Sanchez at Sandance
The second Sandance ever brought the British acid jazz stalwarts Brand New Heavies over, alongside sets from the Soulwax boys and Ibiza legend Roger Sanchez, in March last year.
DXB Beach Festival (LMFAO, Pete Wentz etc) – Nasimi Beach, September 30
Hosting 27 acts across a whopping three stages, the DXB festival had the rambling party atmosphere of a proper festival, rather than a glorified gig. Headliners at the September gig included LMFAO, Dave Seaman, The Cataracs and Pete Wentz with Black Cards.
Nokia presents the 5th annual Chill Out Festival – Nasimi Beach, April 8-9
The two-day, fifth-anniversary Chill Out Fest boasted an incredible line-up, including a Middle Eastern premiere from neo-soul queen Erykah Badu (complete with 14 piece band), Norwegian electro giants Royksopp and Brit electro princes Hot Chip, all between April 8-9 last year.
Richard Ashcroft, Example, Sasha & Chicane at Sandance – Atlantis Oct 14
For Brits of a certain age, a nostalgia-tinged acoustic show by former-The Verve frontman Ashcroft was the highlight of their musical year. Luckily the kids were kept entertained with some cutting modern electro from Sasha and Chicane, in October last year.
Sandance NYE – Dec 31
This fifth Sandance festival had a defiantly electronic, party theme lacking from its guitar-dabbling predecessors. Seeing in 2012, the first Sandance sell out crammed in scene-defining sets from the likes of Groove Armada, Roger Sanchez, Above & Beyond, Faithless’s Sister Bliss and surprise hits Goldish.
Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival
The tenth anniversary edition of Dubai’s annual jazz fest has seen an expansion to an incredible nine days, with return performances from headliners James’ Blunt and Morrison, and Jools Holland, plus an expanded jazz garden. The event ran in February this year.
The Script & Groove Armada at Sandance – Atlantis Nov 18
We were a little suspicious of The Script’s blatant poppiness, but the Irish band went down a storm at Sandance IV, while those with more discerning ears were well-catered for with Norman Jay, Funkagenda and Pete Murray, in November last year.
World Best DJs competition – Festival City, December 1-3
This three-day celebration of electronic music packed in more than 30 acts over as many hours, with notable stints from The Prodigy’s Leeroy Thornhill, Akcent and Artful Dodger, between December 1-3.