The amphitheatre in Dubai Media City is a cracking place for gigs. Over its two years, we’ve seen triumphant indie rock bands, boy band megastars and pop royalty take to the stage. Each one has provided fans with musical memories that will stay with them long after they leave Dubai for their home shores.
Not only have the artists been memorable, but the overall experience at the amphitheatre can be excellent, too. The sound is mostly spot-on and you can get a good view from wherever you choose to stand or sit. Food trucks, bars and market stalls line the area and the events often become about more than just the music.
What has all this got to do with One Big Vibes? Well, it just didn’t feel the same. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t a success, but the nature of the night and music was much more low-key.
Firstly, the area in the amphitheatre that was set up for the event was much smaller than usual, which certainly made for a more intimate experience. However, the space still felt a little empty and (we’re going there) lacking in vibes somewhat.
We really wanted to love the event, as we’re big fans of Red Bull Music Academy and Vibe Series, who joined forces to put the gig on.
The line-up looked strong, and with Jamie Woon, we had the rare chance to see an artist visit Dubai while their star is still in the ascendency. Unfortunately, the schedule was running two hours later than advertised, meaning Jamie Woon didn’t hit the stage until after 10pm, and it seemed a lot of people had gone home by then.
Woon and his band hit the spot though, his laid-back soul coming at the right time after moody electro sets from Cosmo, and Sam Farsio and Bachir Salloum.
We’d love to say One Big Vibes was a roaring success, but it lacked a certain spark.
Dhs170-280. Fri January 15. Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.
The bottom line
An ambitious line-up on a big stage. Perhaps too ambitious, as it felt a little empty and flat at times.