One festival, seven countries, 12 hours and millions of electronic dance music (EDM) fans across the world enjoying the same party at the same time.
Intrigued yet? On 28th July, you can be part of the experience as UNITE with Tomorrowland touches down in the capital for a night that sees Belgium’s most iconic electronic dance music festival beamed live to the UAE.
Featuring local and international DJs on the decks plus a satellite hook-up to the Tomorrowland festival in the town of Boom, you can expect a night of top tunes and electric atmosphere.
“For years, Tomorrowland has been an event that sells out in about five minutes,” explains Nicolas Vandenabeele, director of Envie Events, the brand behind the show.
“Once tickets release, there are two million people trying to buy them, but there are only 400,000 available.
“People ended up disappointed, and this is how they came up with UNITE. It’s a spin-off that gives people in several countries the chance to still be connected to the main festival.”
With stages in locations from Mexico to Taiwan, UNITE with Tomorrowland is all about joining EDM fans across the world. And while the main party may be happening 6,600km away, at UNITE you’ll definitely feel the beat.
“This is as close as you can get to the real vibe,” Nicolas says.
“When we go to the live stream, all the show elements – the lasers, the pyrotechnics – are all synced with the live show in Belgium. It’s not just about putting the festival on a screen – it’s so much more than that.”
For the Abu Dhabi show, nine live acts are set to take to the stage throughout the day and into the evening, including Dutch-Turkish DJ Ummet Ozcan and Dutch duo Lucas & Steve, as well as British-born D.O.D and Saudi Omar Basaad.
Things will shift up a gear in the final three hours of the night as a satellite feed brings Belgium’s Tomorrowland festival live to Abu Dhabi’s du Forum on a huge screen, alongside matching pyrotechnics, laser shows and some great tunes.
For Omar, the chance to be a part of the event in Abu Dhabi is all about creating a web of music fans around the world and exploring music that crosses genres.
“The reason for me to be a part of UNITE with Tomorrowland is the idea of creating unforgettable moments, syncing with the world and giving back to the culture,” he notes.
“Music nowadays is a mix of different instruments from different cultures. You can hear an Arabic oud on techno or an Indian sitar on a trap song.”
For emerging artist D.O.D, the chance to play his tracks at UNITE with Tomorrowland is a great way to showcase his sound on a global scale.
“People who like to go to music festivals are pretty open-minded; that’s the beauty of the electronic music scene,” he reflects.
“Before I became a professional DJ and producer, I used to be a festival-goer myself, making sure I’d go and check out upcoming talents. Now I have the pleasure to be the person who introduces new music to people all over the world. It’s amazing what dance music can do.”
But the music, live stream and pyrotechnics are only half of the vibe, says Omar – the audience provides the rest.
“The audience is the core energy of the event; they will definitely impact on creating a great time for [both] themselves and the artists,” he says.
D.O.D agrees: “Tomorrowland as a brand cares so much about its audience and their experience that you’re bound to have a great time. You have to see it to believe it.”
So what can we expect on 28th July? “A crazy set up from UNITE, a lot of talented artists playing great music and an unforgettable night,” enthuses Omar.
D.O.D remains more tight-lipped: “Expect the unexpected. One thing you can expect is a great time. See you on the dance floor!”
WORDS Camille Hogg