Music festivals in Dubai

Tiesto, Akon, Example and more of the best live music coming to Dubai Discuss this article

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My Music X: March 28-29

They may have messed up the launch by announcing that Psy would be coming when he’s not, but My Music X should still be pretty special, with two huge gigs on Atlantis beach, plus a ‘music village’, both on Thursday March 28 and Friday 29. The event is divided into two days: here’s the lowdown.

MMX Live: Taking Psy’s slot on the opening big gig is Akon, a man who’s no stranger to the UAE. He caused a stir after stripping on stage at a Media City gig in 2009, despite efforts by security to get the Senegalese-American R&B singer to cover up. The line-up also includes Sean Paul: known for 2006 hit ‘Temperature’, the Jamaican dancehall artist was last seen at Chi in September. Also on the bill are R&B singer Eve, UK X Factor alumni Cher Lloyd and US DJ Baauer (the man behind the ‘Harlem Shake’ phenomenon), with more artists to be announced soon.
Dhs325-750. 8pm-3am. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.timeouttickets.com.

EDM-X: For dance-heads it’s all about the second day, which hosts a packed bill of DJs playing over 12 hours. Bringing the star appeal is Example, who’ll be making up for a cancelled Sandance gig last October. In his wake will be some huge names: Dutch decksmiths Sander Kleinenberg and Marco V, ‘9pm (Till I Come)’ hitmaker ATB, model-come-DJ Miss Nine, Brit trance veteran Judge Jules, Detroit techno pioneer Kevin Saunderson and Canada’s DJ Rudee.
Dhs250-450. 3pm-3am. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.timeouttickets.com.

The Village: Aside from the headline gigs, there will be a two-day ‘music village’ hosting live and electronic music, brand showcases, a VIP club for invited guests, cinema screenings, a chill-out zone, business lounge, sports area, dance workshops and fashion parades.
Dhs150-300 (one day); Dhs250-500 (both days). 10am-3am. Dubai International Marine Club, mymusicx.com.

du World Music Festival: March 28-April 6

The third du Fest has made efforts to embrace a wider audience than ever, mainly by programming hit acts from different corners of the globe in favour of the more eclectic jazz and world fare of last year’s festival. As well as some fringe events, the main stage has shifted from Burj Park to Dubai Media City, with all gigs starting at 9pm (doors open at 6pm). Our only niggle is that there’s only one free gig this year. Here’s the line-up.

Kadim Al Sahir and Sherine
Iraqi classical vocalist Kadim and poppy Egyptian singer Sherine.
Dhs195-495. Thursday March 28.

Natalie Cole and Frank Gambale
Nat King Cole’s daughter performs classic soul and R’n’B, plus a set from Aussie jazz guitar whizz Gamble.
Dhs295-595. Friday March 29.

Papon
The Indian singer performs alongside fusion group Midival Punditz and film composer Raghu Dixit.
Free entry. Tuesday April 2.

Eraserheads
The legendary Filipino rockers perform a reunion gig.
Dhs125-250. Thursday April 4.

Train
Upbeat, guitar-led American pop
trio hailing from San Francisco. Expect to hear Grammy Award-winning single ‘Drops of Jupiter’.
Dhs295-495. Friday April 5.

Amr Diab and Hussein Al Jasmi
One of the Arab world’s biggest stars, Diab returns for a second year to perform alongside the UAE’s own Hussein Al Jasmi.
Dhs195-350. Saturday April 6.
Tickets for all events available at www.timeouttickets.com. The du World Music Festival also features events in Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and more. For more details, see www.du.ae/wmf.

Sunburn Dubai: March 28

At the time of going to press, Sunburn – which takes place indoors and at night – only had one headline act, but what an act. Tiësto is one of the very biggest DJs in the world. Currently rated number two in DJ Mag’s influential poll, Forbes also ranks the Dutch decksmith as the richest DJ in the world with a Dhs80 million fortune. The last act brought to Dubai by organiser Peppermint Experience was Swedish House Mafia – so expect this gig to be massive.
Dhs250. 9pm-3am, Thu March 28. Dubai World Trade Centre, www.timeouttickets.com. For an exclusive interview with Tiësto, see timeoutdubai.com.

Dubai Rock Fest: April 12

Rockers and guitar geeks were sent into frenzied states of excitement with the news that Yngwie Malmsteen is to headline a new one-day rock fest on Friday April 12. The Swedish metaller’s widdly fret antics are a bit of a left turn – we’d heard rumours that the likes of Alice Cooper and Europe were being sized up to headline – but the strength of public reaction suggests promoters may be on the money with this one. Also on the bill are five other heavier-than-healthy acts from different corners of the globe: France’s Nightmare, Myrath from Tunisia, the UK’s The Sanity Days and local rockers Anuryzm.
Dhs290. Show starts 6pm. Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Hills, www.timeouttickets.com.

By Rob Garratt
Time Out Dubai,

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