We get the lowdown on the top bands coming to town throughout February
This is undeniably one of the best times of year to be in Dubai. The sun is shining (and we’re not melting) and we’re past the chaos of the festive period. Next month also signals the arrival of many a top band to the emirate. Let’s have a look at who’s playing for us in February.
1 Remix 92 Kicking off the month is the return of Remix 92 on Friday February 2, following its glorious launch in October last year on the lake between The Irish Village and Jumeirah Creekside Hotel. Expect more poptastic heroes from the shimmering era of 1990s music including perennially happy double-denimed chart toppers B*Witched, plus S Club 3 (having shed 57.1 percent of its original line-up).
Corona (Rhythm of the Night), 2 Unlimited (No Limit) and Liberty X – who churned out hit after hit in the early 2000s including Just a Little and Got to Have Your Love – will also be taking to the stage. From Dhs225. Fri Feb 2. The Irish Village, Garhoud, www.800tickets.com.
2 WASLA Arab Alternative Music Festival Bringing some of the Middle East’s most prominent acts in the alternative Arabic music scene, WASLA is back in February for its second year – relocating from Dubai Media City to arty d3. Hear from the likes of Cairokee, Autostrad, Hayajan, Tania Saleh, Gnawa Diffusion, Lekhfa and Majaz. Whether you’re a fan of rock, reggae, indie, pop or jazz, you’re bound to find something right for you on Friday February 2. From Dhs245. Fri Feb 2. d3, tickets.virginmegastore.me.
3 RedFest DXB The following weekend (February 7-8) hosts one of the emirate’s biggest pop gatherings. Day one of RedFest 2018 will be headlined by one of the world’s newest pop sensations – The Chainsmokers, who will be bringing their top tunes and swathes of sing-alongable lyrics to Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Expect to hear some big tunes from the EDM pop titans including Closer, Don’t Let Me Down and, (unlikely but we can hope) an appearance from Coldplay singer Chris Martin to accompany chart-topping hit Something Just Like This – all from sensational debut album Memories... Do Not Open.
The Chainsmokers will be followed on day two by US pop singer Ke$ha, of Timber fame, UK hip-hop hero Craig David and anonymous electro maestro Marshmello. From Dhs395 per day. Feb 8-9. Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, www.redfestdxb.com.
4 Emirates Jazz Festival Now this is the big one. The winner of the Best Festival award at the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards last year, Emirates Jazz Festival is bringing out three titans of the, well, not quite jazz industry, but of their respective genres. Leading the way on Wednesday February 21 is iconic ’80s pop/rock four-piece Duran Duran. Known, predominantly, for smash hit tune Rio, the Brit rockers provided the soundtrack for a decade (or two) with hits spanning across the ’80s and ’90s – including Girls on Film, Hungry Like the Wolf, James Bond theme A View To A Kill (which is still on our favourite playlist), plus tonnes more. Ahead of Duran Duran there’s going to be a massive, 12-piece urban jazz act hitting the stage, and they are big. Renegade Brass Band are a UK-based act with grimy R&B rap, samples and beats busted out via a full brass band – it’s a brilliant fusion, and their unique sound has taken them to Glastonbury as well as support slots for Jamie Cullum, Busta Rhymes, De La Soul, Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash and more. It’s going to be a big start to the weekend, which also features John Legend. The US R&B superstar returns to Dubai following a triumphant performance in 2015, bringing with him mega-hit All of Me, while in the midst of his Darkness and Light Tour supporting the album of the same name. Supporting John Legend is US singer China Moses, who will be bringing her smooth, New Orleans-inspired soul and jazz (with an English blues slant). Closing this year’s festival is none other Latin American icon Ricky Martin. Living La Vida Loca, She Bangs, María and, who could forget, Shake Your Bon Bon. He’s supported by Latin music veteran Poncho Sanchez. Expect a fiesta with some great tunes. It’s looking like Dubai Media City Amphitheatre is the place to be. From Dhs342. Feb 21-23. Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, www.dubaijazzfest.com.
5 Groove on the Grass The first of this year’s outdoor dance festivals at Emirates Golf Club has been confimed, taking place on Friday February 23. This time, Los Angeles-based funky ambient house DJ Bonobo will be headlining the occasion, bringing with him a whopping-great eight-piece live band to reproduce his atmospheric, upbeat yet chilled tunes. If you’re a fan of cool vibes, good beats, al fresco dancing, stunning views of the night time Dubai Marina skyline and live music – don’t miss this one. From Dhs240. Fri Feb 23, 5pm-3am. Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Hills, www.Dubai.PlatinumList.net.