SANDANCE Festival by Atlantis The Palm at Nasimi Beach is now starting to make waves into the music scene not just around the Emirates but internationally as well! Dubai, being multicultural and an open city as it is, have made hosting an event like this a possibility and a successful one at that! It's like Coachella in the Middle East, by the beach and overlooking the breathtaking Dubai skyline. Or something like that. I've never been to Coachella so that says a lot but I've always figured it as something infused with music and fashion. And if you've ever been to a Sandance event, I bet you'll agree with me that it's a little, if not a little too much, of both.
This is my Sandance 2.0 experience just as it is the Sandance 2.0 for the year 2012 as they kickstarted this year with SandanceNYE and I heard it was a blast! Since it happens fairly on Dubai's version of a weekend (aka Friday), I blocked the date and day off my non-existent social calendar! How convenient, aye? It also keeps getting better and better!This time around, Snow Patrol* is the one headlining with DJ Calvin Harris alongside DJ Yoda and Erick Morillo spinning on the side so you can tell how it's going to be a this-shhhh-cray kind of night! Maybe the line-up also explains the ticket price hike. I remember it was just 200 & 350AED for REG and VIP respectively during The Script's. Now it's 200, 250 and 400AED for ADV, REG & VIP. And from just about 12,000 Sandancers last time, we were whopping 17,000, give or take more, this time around! The open beach venue's packed to its core and that's probably still an understatement! In Tagalog, hindi mahulugang karayom!!!
I went with my sister Anei and my sister from another mother, Teen. When we were about to enter, a Kabayan approached us and asked if he can tag along if only for the door policy purposes so meet, Rio. Ironically, he was there for the DJ sets and had no idea who Snow Patrol was! We thought that's cool! Because then we can compliment each other as that night was all about Snow Patrol* for us! And then he turned out to be really one funny fella in the shortest time we shared walking towards the loo to retouch after our entry so we found ourselves a new found friend and added company that night! We were one of the few Kabayan bunches out there as there weren't many which is sad. It would've been nicer if we will be hopping from one group to another, but given that we were outnumbered by them with the sexiest accents in town, I have yet to find the courage to do that. Even liquor courage wasn't enough the last time I tried. HAHA! So maybe next time, or maybe next lifetime. Whichever comes first.
In the Philippines, we've got front acts before the concert proper, sometimes a band alone or a solo performer and more often than not, they're underrated by the concert goers. I was used to that kind of setting until Sandance. We had M People with a blast from the past lineup, DJ Yoda and Dan Greenpeace spinning before SP* and the most surreal thing happened! I ended up dancing the hours of anticipation away! I danced like a crazy person, the as-if-nobody-is-watching kind of dance! I cannot even begin to remember when was the last time I danced that long, heck! The last time I danced, period! It was as good as things - barefoot in the sand, with my happy dress on, under the Emirates' full-moon-lit sky, surrounded by beautiful people, dancing into some music - can get. I was already the happiest sans Snow Patrol. No kidding. So just imagine what happens next when they finally took over the stage that night!
Crowd's awesome as expected! Free flowing alcohol drinks from the bar and from your neighbor's pitcher. If my dress can only get drunk, it would've been as I've been the recipient of spillage a couple of times but I'm not complaining! Though I really hope the tightness of the security at least covered the strictly 21+ rule cos there's no way a minor can handle this kind of chaos! You know it's been a good night when your legs are wobbly and your vision's blurry and your voice's slurry - or at least that's what majority of the crowd looked like! You can't really blame people if they get wasted and had too much of a drink but that doesn't mean they can't be held responsible for their actions, particularly their bad behaviour. And honestly, our encounter with some Arrogant Araboies pales in comparison to some of the major things I've heard (or at least read) from Facebook! So I'm going to let that slide! I loved this night so much to have doubts and complains and regrets! Especially not when the skyline started beaming with neon lights! The fireworks has started right after SP*'s set! We were making our way out of the crowd when this happened so we basically just stood right where we were for a good ten minutes and just watched the fireworks! One awesome thing after another, only at Sandance!
By the time DJ Calvin Harris' spinning, we were back to our original place, our own little spot on the beach side's elevated part. I wanted so badly to get back where the party's at but aside from too much people out there already, I suddenly felt all the adrenaline rush subsiding, I'm all used up! My happy dancing monkey self's gone. At least for a good couple of minutes! I did try to enjoy his set, which is awesome and amazing by the way, while sitting on the sand and occasionally dancing in place. Particularly when he mixed up Coldplay's Paradise! That's one of my excuse-my-dancing-in-place-to-myself-but-I-just-had-to moments! Winning! Then a catchy beat suddenly filled the air! "I feel so close to you right now | It's a force field I wear my heart upon my sleeve..." Oooohhh... Now, that's tight!
The rest of the night's spent socializing, at least that's what my sister and Teen ended up doing. My anti-social self took the better of me and transported itself into a parallel universe. But... what happens there stays there and out of this blog. HAHA! Though part of my parallel thoughts was the realization that I work to live and not the other way around. And I live for Fridays like these! I love weekends well-spent with good company! And Sandance-ing is definitely one of my favourite versions of How To Spend A Friday! Hands down! Already looking forward to my Sandance 3.0, any chance you're bringing Coldplay soon? Because that's the ultimate not going is not option drama!
March 9's not just worth the wait. It's worth the hardwork and patience and I'm not going to lie, worth every extra bucks we had to shed in order to pull off a last minute fangirl miracle. Because my dear, as shallow and as worldly as this may sound, money can buy you happiness. Which is basically a fair deal because you can earn money back, time and happiness? I don't think so. Thanks a mill, Sandance Crew! This is definitely one for the books - erm, in my case one for the blogs too!
If you're a music fangirl and a dork for live concerts like myself, I suggest you make it a habit checking out Sandance's up and coming gigs from now on! To do that, you can either like their page on Facebook or follow them on Twitter for updates, meet and greet chances and even free ticket giveaways. They usually announce the line-up ahead of time so you'll have all the time to save up and prep up because it's pretty pricey for a one night only kind of thing! But it's going to be worth it and you can quote me on that one! They're like our modern day Genie in a Bottle! Make your musical wish now and who knows yours may just come true. Calling all fangirl gods and goddesses! We were lucky enough to have ours granted twice in a row. The Script then, Snow Patrol now. What are the frickin' chances right? It might be your lucky strike next time and when that happens, you know it! See you on the sand!