Metro users, listen up! Along with the announcements alerting you to the next station, keep an ear out for different sounds at the Dubai Metro stations this week. And no, I’m not talking about the deafening clamour of the crowds. Melodious music is what’s going to envelop you on your next metro ride as the Dubai Metro Music Festival has kicked off.
The weeklong free music festival is back for a third year and will run until March 12, transforming select stations into stages for live music. Those of you who give public transport a wide berth, now have a great reason to brave the packed metros. Just make sure you board and alight at these five metro stations: Union, Mall of Emirates, Burjuman, Dubai Financial Centre, and Sobha Realty.
Commuters and visitors will be entertained by a total of 20 different musicians, both local and regional. They’ll be playing an array of instruments and the music being performed will span genres and styles; santur players, recycled musical instruments, harmonica beatbox, percussion and more are in store. Dubai will finally have the edgy cool cultural vibes of London’s tube stations or New York’s subways where busking is the norm and musicians break out into songs out of the blue.
Organised by Dubai Media Office and the Roads and Transports Authority (RTA), the Dubai Metro Music Festival will have more of structure than ad-hoc busking. The festival starts at 4pm each evening and wraps up at 10pm. It’s one of the wave of events engulfing the city as part of Dubai Art Season.
Will that mean a fresh horde of crowds – besides the usual rush-hour veterans – will throng the stations? You bet your Nol card it will. The first day of the festival (March 6) saw commuters and musos gather in their hundreds at the above-mentioned metro stations. But it’s a small price to pay for free gigs that brighten up your otherwise uneventful journeys. More so, if you like me tend to forget your earpods at home.
These mini-concerts also include other fun performances such as puppet shows mixing music and Umm Kulthum’s performances and DJ sets by the Middle East’s youngest DJ. You can find the full list of performers here.