50 Cent, Duffy and Nelly on another huge bill for festival
The lowdown Atelier caused quite a stir when it launched in the Middle East in April, selling out 15,000 tickets for the Atelier Live Dance Festival, with an epic bill topped by Ne-Yo and featuring the likes of Leona Lewis, Taio Cruz and Jay Sean. This second event has seen a shift to a new home at Meydan, with the capacity soaring to 25,000 – more than double that of Sandance – while the music policy has swerved toward even more urban-centric territory. The team promise it will be the first in an ongoing series of events at the new home, so prepare for an onslaught.
Factfile Capacity: 25,000. When: 2pm-3am, Friday October 19. Where: Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba. Price: Dhs350-1,250. Transport: Free buses will run to various points across Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. Details to be confirmed. Stayover options: Book rooms from Dhs1,075 at The Meydan Hotel at www.meydanhotels.com.
50 Cent 50 Cent epitomises the hip-hop rags-to-bling dream more than anyone. Growing up a gangster who claims to have copped nine bullets, he was ‘discovered’ by Eminem a decade ago; 2003’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ spawned two number one singles. He’s since been eclipsed by younger kids on the block, but is still living the dream. See next week’s issue for an interview.
Duffy In a rare concession to fragility on the bill, retro soulstress Duffy stole hearts on both sides of the Atlantic with seven million-selling 2008 debut Rockferry, fuelled by number one hit ‘Mercy’. Sadly, 2010 follow- up Endlessly failed to create the same spark.
Nelly The seventh best-selling act in America of the noughties, American rapper Nelly has consistently churned out hits over the past decade, including 2002’s ‘Dilemma’, which hit number one in both the US and UK.
SkyBlu One half of LA electro-pop hitmakers LMFAO, SkyBlu headlines the festival’s dance stage, touting omnipresent dancefloor fillers ‘Party Rock Anthem’ and ‘Sexy and I Know It’.
Craig David He notoriously ‘chilled on Sunday’ after a long week of partying and tomfoolery – yet the smooth British singer likes to rest more than he used to. ‘I’m in a really nice balanced place in my life,’ he tells us coolly. ‘When you first start out you’re young and hungry and trying to find your way.’ He makes the first of many comparisons to footballer David Beckham. ‘He realised he could make the ball work for him – and I’ve realised I can let the songs do the talking.’
Craig, 31, enjoyed phenomenal success in the ’90s as the ‘new kid’ on the UK garage scene, topping the charts with early singles ‘Fill Me In’ and ‘Seven Days’. He’s since moved out of the limelight, relocating to Miami.
But there’s one thing he didn’t pack many of – his gold records. ‘Most of them are at my mum’s in Southampton,’ he says. ‘They’re a reminder of my old life – they’re not what’s happening with me right now.’
Craig is working on album number six, and has recently been writing with the Backstreet Boys, yet ‘right now’ David is as concerned with peace of mind as he is with music. He puts much of this down to his four-word ‘personal philosophy’ – ‘eat clean, train dirty’. He adds: ‘I’ve been very blessed with my career. I’ve played arenas and stadiums, I’ve sold millions of albums, and I don’t need that justification. Ego is a scary thing – if you’re always trying to outdo what you’ve done before, you’ll never be happy.’