As Tommorrowland festival rolls into town, Sofia Vyas gives you the lowdown on the line-up
The world’s biggest dance music festival is just weeks away from its Dubai debut. Sets from Armin van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and KSHMR will be streamed in from the main stage at Tomorrowland in Belgium, while out here in the desert, nine huge DJs will be live on the decks as part of UNITE with Tomorrowland. We introduce you to them here…
1 Arcade 82 First up, Arcade 82 – the rising stars of the UAE’s music scene, characterised by a mixture of deep bass and soulful vocals. You can hear them everywhere from Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE to DXBeach to audiotonic, and they have already supported huge names including The Chemical Brothers, Fat Boy Slim, Mark Ronson and Lost Frequencies. Still not sure who they are? It’s high time you got to know them, and Tomorrowland is the perfect place to find out.
2 Barry Fore Inspired by the explosion of house music back in the ’90s, Fore’s signature sound is less easy to pin down. He swings from house and groove to electro and techno, anything to get people dancing, and no two of his sets are ever the same. After playing the Leaf Stage at Tomorrowland in 2015, he joins some of the biggest names in the business here in Dubai.
Dawn’s melodic deep house, tech and feel-good vocal tracks epitomise everything that Tomorrowland is known for. House fans will be more than familiar with his biggest track Love Too Deep, a collaboration with Redondo, while his other tracks have been released on huge labels like Toolroom and D:vision, many reaching the top five in Beatport charts. He’s appeared on stages at festivals from Tomorrowland Belgium to AMF Amsterdam and Daydream Mexico, so we have high hopes for his appearance over here.
4 Franky Rizardo
One of the most exciting artists to come out of the Netherlands, Rizardo is at the top of his game with a string of huge releases. His radio show, Flow, has become one of the most respected in house music, plus he has residencies at Sankeys Ibiza under his belt, along with numerous rounds of Europe’s festival circuit, and has mixed albums for Defected Records’ sought-after compilations.
5 Martin Solveig Mini bios about Solveig have appeared on these pages so many times that we hardly know what else to say. He’s back in Dubai once again for another mega set of mainstream house, and is no doubt one of UNITE with Tomorrowland’s biggest draws here in the UAE. As ever, he seems to know exactly what people want to hear, whether that’s live on stage or in his releases like Do It Right and +1.
6 Mikael Weermets Part of the wave of huge Swedish house DJs credited with bringing the genre onto mainstream radiowaves – Tiësto, Eric Prydz, Ingrosso and Avicii all come to mind – Weermets has produced work for Craig David, Erick Morillo and more. His own releases, however, have been just as big, like his hit Arms Open Wide, which made waves around the world. Expect a set of pure house mixed in with hip-hop-inspired hooks and a bit of techno as he closes the main stage.
7 Robert Falcon
Not to be confused with the 19th-century arctic explorer, Falcon is a relative newcomer, but is set to become a big name on the house music scene. He has already released a track – I’ll Be Waiting – on the label of trance legend Armin van Buuren. His music is eclectic and unpredictable, and he’ll be playing a set live at Tomorrowland in Belgium on Friday July 28, before hot-footing it over to Dubai for Unite the next day.
8 Siege Born and raised in the home of Tomorrowland, Belgium, Siege’s work has been championed by everyone from Steve Angello and Pete Tong to Annie Mac and Laidback Luke. He may not be one of the biggest names on the bill, but he’s not to be underestimated. His releases on Toolroom and Azuli have reached the top ten of charts on Beatport, and before heading to Dubai, he’ll be playing alongside Pete Tong, Eli & Fur and more house heavyweights on the Masquerade by Claptone stage.
9 Tom Swoon
One of Poland’s rising EDM stars, Swoon’s music can easily flip from melodic and crowd-pleasing, vocal-led house to edgy techno. He’s topped Beatport charts, and just last year released several tracks on some of the biggest dance labels around. He’s got a fun, down-to-earth attitude when it comes to his music – just check out his video for Helter Skelter. From Dhs490 (over 21s only). Sat Jul 29, 2pm-3am. Dubai Festival City Arena, www.platinumlist.net.