UAE: Growing interest in live music in the Middle East has helped to ensure a strong initial take-up for the fourth annual Dubai Desert Rock Festival, in turn stirring demand for May's MUSAC expo. The MI-oriented event is an integral part of the PALME Middle East exhibition, which this year is set to reveal a greater focus on residential AV systems, writes David Davies.
The 2007 Dubai Desert Rock Festival, promoted by CSM, promises an eclectic line-up encompassing Iron Maiden, The Prodigy, Incubus and regional heroes Junkyard Groove (pictured). "There is an increasing western influence here - particularly in respect of heavy rock and metal - and the local population has the same appreciation of these genres as those in the West," said PALME project manager Jonathan Gadalla.
All this activity around live music is helping to boost local rental staging and set design companies, something that is reflected in the interest in MUSAC's sister show, Event 360. Notes Gadalla of the rising demand for world class facilities at music festivals: "Event 360 will demonstrate the development in the local service sector that concerts of this size are forcing."
Back at MUSAC, exhibitors are set to include V.V & Sons, showcasing equipment from Peavey and Trace Elliot; woodwind accessory manufacturer BG Franck Bichon, making its PALME debut after recently securing a new deal with Yamaha Canada for exclusive distribution in that territory; and Thomsun Pure Music, which has reportedly opened the largest music store in the Middle East, in the Ibn Battutah Mall, and distributes a variety of leading MI brands.
At the parent PALME show, meanwhile, group exhibitions director of event organiser IIR Exhibitions, Darren Brechin, says that visitors can expect "a lot more focus on the residential side of things, which is something we've really only tapped into in the last two years. [Additionally] I think you will see even more manufacturers present in their own right with their own stands."
The PALME Middle East show - incorporating MUSAC and Event 360 - takes place in Dubai from May 20-22.