Here’s What Went Down at the First RBMA Weekender in Dubai

See what happened when we brought a dazzling four-day musical takeover to the UAE

Julianna Barwick's ambient Sunrise Session Waleed Shah

RBMA touched down in the United Arab Emirates from April 12th - 15th, 2017 to bring seven events and over 30 artists to Dubai for the city’s first ever RBMA Weekender.

The festival featured a wide range of performances and unique collaborations presented throughout the city, including Zahed Sultan’s Hiwar project, which explores the heritage of traditional pearl-diving music, and a sunrise meditation session on Dubai’s Kite Beach, which was led by Pierre Ravan and featured the ambient melodic creations of Julianna Barwick. Other events included Chicago’s dancefloor activist The Black Madonna appearing alongside Detroit legend Moodymann; Stockholm’s Axel Boman and Peggy Gou DJing with the live project of DeWalta & Shannon; and hard-hitting breaks and bass coming from Hyperdub label kingpin Kode9, Ikonika and Teklife’s DJ Earl on a terrace looking out over Dubai’s business district, with an unobstructed view of the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world.

Dubai’s Design District, also known as d3, hosted performances by LA rapper and Red Bull Radio host Earl Sweatshirt (who collaborated with Stones Throw’s beat whiz Knxwledge); NYC’s restlessly creative MC Princess Nokia, Canadian R&B explorer Jessy Lanza and more. RBMA’s Beyond the Noise photo exhibition was also displayed at Dubai’s d3, giving attendees a glimpse into the world of sweat, blood, tears, effort, self-doubt and strength that is present in every musician’s life. We also stopped by local record collector Dan Greenpeace’s place for a tour of his epic record collection, before the Weekender ended with an afternoon of house, disco and everything in between on a beach bar terrace with legendary NYC disco aficionade Danny Krivit and more. Here are some photo highlights from the above events and more throughout our sunny time in Dubai.

Zahed Sultan Waleed Shah
The Black Madonna Carys Huws
Moodymann Vartan Kelechian
DeWalta & Shannon’s live set-up Waleed Shah
Julianna Barwick Waleed Shah
RBMA's Beyond The Noise exhibition Waleed Shah
Earl Sweatshirt x Knxwledge Vartan Kelechian
Princess Nokia Vartan Kelechian
Danny Krivit Waleed Shah
Volcov Zahed Sultan
Waleed Shah

By Carys Huws on May 2, 2017

On a different note