10 Dubai Jam Fest
Combining Dubai’s love of live music and, apparently, sitting in traffic and tooting the horn, this will be the festival of impatient drivers. Men in high-vis jackets will be on site to usher cars into longer lines of traffic until the sounds of angry beeping eventually drowns out the tunes from local artists to create a new genre of music – gridlock ’n’ roll.
9 Dubai Brunch Fest
We all like festivals and we all like brunch, so you can probably tell where this is going. A festival of brunch seems the logical next step, but the usual four-hour session is far too tame for Brunch Fest. It needs to take on a competitive element, where guests are invited to discover exactly how much they are able to eat. The rules are simple, after a Friday noon start, the eating does not stop until you burst in an explosion of mini-tiramisu, sushi rolls and wagyu sliders.
8 Dubai Rest Fest
All the dashing around between events, pressure to see headline acts, split venue happenings and multiple day events can be exhausting. So a festival that celebrates simply sitting down in a big wide open space and falling asleep and snoring will be a welcome change. No headliners, no activity zones and no fun sideshows. Just a weekend of soothing ambient sounds and a field full of big comfy bean bags.
7 Dubai Moron Festival
The city’s biggest idiots can all come together for a weekend and give the rest of us a break. Mall car parks, taxi ranks, club VIP rooms, gyms and art galleries will be emptied of their biggest bozos and the rest of us can enjoy the peace. The festival can take place on one of the empty World Islands and participants can have as much loud conversation, unawareness of personal space and disregard for manners as they want.
6 Dubai Desert Music Festival
Sometimes Dubai festivals are not festivals at all. They’re just called a festival to justify the expense of a ticket. How great would it be to have a full-on desert festival with camping, multiple stages, international headliners and poorly cooked barbecue food? The practicalities make it more or less impossible, but building our fantasy festival line-up is a favourite game for a cramped Metro commute home.
5 Souk Fest
Also known as the Same, Same But Different show, this festival would attract the biggest names in live entertainment. That is if you don’t mind knock-off tribute acts instead of the real deal. It looks the same, but for a tenth of the price, right?
4 Underwater Festival
Submerged restaurants, hotels and tennis stadiums have all grabbed headlines in Dubai over the years, so it can’t be long before somebody decides to splash the cash (see what we did there?) for a sub-aqua concert venue and festival location.
3 The Dubai Festival of Selfies
We’ve watched, transfixed, in recent years, as some of the biggest names in rock ’n’ roll history (Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden) have come to the UAE and been completely ignored by concertgoers taking endless selfie after selfie. This is the festival for anybody who values themselves more than the acts they’re going to see, and will consist of a series of raised platforms and well-lit podiums for ticketholders and no actual stage.
Scheduled for the same weekend as Dubai Jam Fest, this ultimate festival of standing around doing not very much actually does away with the performance element altogether. Instead, punters will be shunted from one meandering line to another. Queueing for tickets, queueing for entry, queueing for toilets, queueing at the bar and just queueing to move around before a final long queue for a taxi at the end of the night. The only problem is, it might be a bit similar to existing shows.
1 VIP Fest
The most exclusive section of a festival is like the first-class cabin of an aeroplane. Until you’ve actually experienced the extra space, private facilities and proximity to superior service in the VIP section, you wouldn’t think it was worth the extra money. But after you’ve done it, you’ll never want to go back. VIP Fest trims the festival experience down to its most exclusive of elements. With just VVVIP tickets available, there is none of the atmosphere, but also no queues at the toilets, so the sacrifice is tempting.
Will Milner is a regular contributor. We’re not sure he knows what a festival actually is.