WASLA announces New Date, Venue and Headliners for this year’s ultimate Arabic Alternative Music Festival

Combining the best in Alternative Middle Eastern music, art and entertainment to create an experience unlike any other in Dubai, WASLA festival goers can look forward to incredible beats, stunning art installations, traditional Arabic street food trucks, endless beverage options and fun pop-up retail stalls.
  • WASLA will take place on April 5, 2019 at its new home – Burj Park.
  • Thrilling new headliners Cairokee, Massar Egbari, Mashrou’ Leila, 47 Soul & El Morabba3 have been added to the line-up.
  • Tickets are now available atticketmaster.ae.

WASLA, the ultimate Arabic Alternative Music Festival has been confirmed for April 5, 2019, kicking off at 11am and rocking right through until 11pm, at Burj Park, Downtown Dubai. This year’s outstanding line-up includes heroes of the regional music scene, such as Cairokee, Massar Egbari, Mashrou’ Leila, 47 Soul and El Morabba3. Early bird tickets, at AED 195, are now available at www.ticketmaster.ae.

There’s something for everyone at this year’s WASLA and all in attendance will be able to soak up the inimitable all-day atmosphere, featuring a diverse line-up of cultural, artistic and musical elements, along with sensational live performances, in the stunning open-air setting of Burj Park. The unique venue enables fans to really make the most of the festival while basking in the fresh air of the iconic location, with fresh green grass beneath their feet and fantastic alternative music in the air. Spectacular views of the Burj Khalifa will provide an amazing backdrop to complement the underground sounds, welcoming vibes and exciting energy on offer.

The April 5 festival will mark the third year in a row that WASLA will gather together the very best alternative Arabic talent from the region’s buzzing genre-spanning music scene in Dubai. With Live Nation, in partnership with Brag in association with Emaar, as well as strategic partner Dubai Calender and hospitality partner Rove Hotels, on board for this year’s event, WASLA 2019 is guaranteed to be bigger and better than ever before.

Joining the line-up will be Egypt’s rock giants, Cairokee, whose ever-evolving approach to their craft is a true sonic reflection of the fast-paced, ever-changing nature of their beloved home city of Cairo. Widely recognised as one of the Arab world’s biggest underground acts, Cairokee’s incomparable live performances have become the stuff of rock lore, propelling the band to global popularity in the process.

Another newly added must-see act at WASLA will be Jordanian rockers El Morabba3. The Amman-based trio have been making waves across the region after winning the award for ‘Best Indie Music’ at the Arab Music Awards in Beirut, in 2017, for their Arabic, Indie, and desert-influenced brand of rock. With their haunting vocals, meticulously arranged lyrics, ambient guitar sounds, and intense melodies, El Morabba3 are sure to thrill all in attendance on April 5.

Eager festival-goers can look forward to what the New Yorker calls “the Middle East’s biggest alt rock band”, as Lebanon’s Mashrou’ Leila are set to unleash their brand-new album ‘The Beirut School’, live in the UAE for the very first time. Featuring the electrifying lead single ‘Cavalry’, the album is their first LP since 2015 and celebrates the 10th anniversary since the band’s formation. Fans will witness Mashrou’ Leila’s distinct approach to storytelling and orchestration come to life through melancholic ballads and raucous anthems on the WASLA stage. Joining them will be 47SOUL, straight from their headline slot on the globalFEST stage at SXSW, with their new album ‘Balfron Promise’, which made it onto The Guardian’s ‘Top Ten World Music Albums for 2018’.  The band will amaze the WASLA crowds with a high-energy setlist that combines Debka and traditional Palestinian street music with deep electronic beats mixed with sounds of the Middle East. Fans will be introduced to a hard-hitting live performance from the 4-piece, featuring the exciting new music genre Shamstep to really get the adrenaline pumping.

Egyptian rock heroes, Massar Egbari will also feature in the jampacked line-up, touring with ‘El Album’ and performing songs from this new album live for the first time outside of Egypt. The multi-award winning, globetrotting 4-piece’s oriental Arabic rock tunes, combined with jazz and Western influences, have been taking the Arabic music scene by storm for almost fifteen years.  Their raw live energy, paired with powerful satirical lyrics, is sure to have everyone rocking out and singing along at Burj Park.

Conveying his excitement about this year’s WASLA, Amr Ramadan, Co-Founder and Project Director of WASLA, said, “At its core, WASLA is about connecting alternative Arabic talent with the Arab community, both here in Dubai and, indeed, across the Middle East. This year’s festival will see WASLA broaden its horizons to demonstrate the brilliance of alternative Arabic music, culture and art to the wider world. We have expanded the scope of the event to cater to a larger and more diverse audience while still using the power of music to spread a positive message and provide a true celebration of creativity.”

Commenting on the WASLA and Live Nation collaboration, Vice President of Middle East/South Asia – Live Nation Entertainment, Zaed Maqbool stated, “Live Nation’s involvement enables us to build genuine relationships within the Arab community, both here in Dubai and across the world. We’ve also teamed up with BRAG to take the concept and programming to the next level, ensuring we provide truly memorable experiences for everyone attending. We hope to develop a reliable and dynamic platform for talent in the Middle East through WASLA, while celebrating Arabic culture, along with everything its music and art has to offer, so that Arab talent can be showcased not only on a regional stage, but also on an international one.”

Since its inauguration in November 2017, WASLA has continued to celebrate its Arabic roots and culture, able to capture the hearts and minds of thousands of music fans in the UAE and beyond. After two critically acclaimed festival seasons, the brand’s next festival is set to drive the brand’s mission to showcase, support and develop Arabic talent across the region’s creative and performing arts, forward.

Early bird tickets for WASLA 2019 on Friday, April 5 are available via www.ticketmaster.ae at AED 195.

To connect with WASLA online, follow @WaslaMusic on Instagram and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/waslamusic/, or check out www.waslafestival.com for more info.

To stay updated on Live Nation’s news, follow @LiveNationME on Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LiveNationMiddleEast/.

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