With the absence of Dubai Desert Rock Festival this year, the emirate has been in dire need of a serious rock fix. Yes, there are some great nights out there, courtesy of Metality UAE, Metal Asylum and the endeavours of numerous rock fans, but there’s nothing quite like an epic session.
Fear not, rock lovers: Rocktoberfest, an event packed to the teeth with live performances from both local and international bands, will shake things up next week. Hatta mountains will serve as a backdrop for the event, combining an open-air rock festival, custom bike shows and summer fair in the picturesque grounds of the Hatta Fort Hotel, just over an hour’s drive from Dubai.
What’s it all about?
A total of 12 bands will perform throughout the two-day festival, with the first set taking place on Thursday October 7. UK rockers Hoopy Frood will be the first act to take to the stage at 6pm. But the fun starts at 3pm when the stalls open, with archery from 4pm and silly biker games and a tug of war at 5pm. Activities throughout the weekend will include Harley Davidson 2011 model demo rides, a KTM bike show, face painting, fire breathers, belly dancing, henna artists, a custom bike show and a dance tent, which will be open until later in the evening for those who want to really get into the swing of things.
Who will be playing?
Colombian singer Fatiniza and local bands Absolace, Nikotin and Skreemin Egulz will take the stage on Thursday, along with Hoopy Frood, who will return on Friday before IED, Universal Rogue, The Maplejacks, Revolution Junkies and The Crow Murder take their turn to get the crowds going. ‘This is the first festival performance for Absolace. We’re really excited to be a part of it. It should be a great weekend!’ says Absolace drummer Greg Cargopoulos.
Fatiniza is also championing the festival, explaining that it’s a step in the right direction for Dubai’s largely under-supported live music scene. ‘Everything has a beginning, and this is ours,’ she says. ‘Hopefully this festival is the first of many to come. Rocktoberfest is one of the more exciting gigs, the kind where you can’t wait to be on stage and then don’t want to finish.’
UK tribute band Bootleg Blues Brothers will round off Friday’s events, performing their first set at 10pm, taking a short break and continuing until midnight. And it looks like we can expect a few old favourites from these two. ‘My personal favourite track is “Shake a Tailfeather”,’ says Bootleg Blues Brothers’ Peter Tobit. ‘Apart from really ripping it apart vocally, it’s great watching the audience participation. No matter how old or young, this song gets everybody in the party spirit, and you just can’t help getting involved.’
We think Dubai’s music lovers should be doing just that: the event is the perfect chance to get out of Dubai, hear great music and support some local talent while you’re at it. We’ll see you in the mosh pit.
Need to know
Thursday October 7 and Friday October 8
Hatta Fort Hotel, Hatta mountains
One-day entrance: Dhs200
Weekend pass: Dhs350
VIP tickets: Dhs550
Tickets are available from www.timeouttickets.com and Virgin Megastores outlets.
Hatta Fort Hotel is offering almost 50 per cent off normal prices, meaning you can get a standard double or twin room for Dhs680 including breakfast. There are only 40 rooms available, so get moving if you want to nab one.
Holiday Arabian Resort, an alternative three-star spot, is just down the road. Single chalets which can accommodate up to two adults and two children, are going for Dhs550, with double chalets for Dhs700 per night. Again, there are only 40 rooms available, so book early to avoid disappointment.
Camping will be available on-site, but to access the campsite you’ll need to buy the Dhs550 VIP ticket, which also grants full two-day festival access.