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Red Bull Music Academy descended on Dubai’s newly-minted design district to hold its first run of programming in the United Arab Emirates. Over the course of four days more than 30 artists participated in seven events that highlighted the intersection of art, fashion, culture and design. In addition to live music and an endless rotation of day and evening parties, Red Bull also organized enrichment activities such as an early morning meditation session with self-described spiritual house DJ Pierre Ravan, along with a series of panels.

Danny Brown, one of the mini-festival’s headliners, canceled due to a last minute emergency, but the remaining lineup still brought out the city’s young, creative and restless. Canadian alt-R&B crooner Jessy Lanza delivered an electric performance on Friday night, demonstrating her unique ability to create soulful, hybridized tunes in real-time. She was followed by NYC-bred rapper, activist and “Tomboy,” Princess Nokia.

Rounding out the lineup was producer and musical wunderkind Knxwledge, who also provided the soundtrack for notoriously reclusive rapper Earl Sweatshirt’s much-anticipated set. Smart Bar resident DJ the Black Madonna, Peggy Gou and DJ Earl also held down the turntables with dedicated mixes that kept the crowd dancing.

Warm weather, design, drinks and good music – what more can you ask for? If you couldn’t make it, take a look at the recap video below and make sure to visit RBMA’s website to find new music programming in your area.

New Yorkers, get ready for our RBMA NYC coverage running April 29  through May 21.

Also see what happened when Red Bull Arts partnered with Bjarne Melgaard for a $500k designer giveaway. 

  • Photography: Juan Veloz
  • Video: Robin Thomson, Jordan Boothe
Words by Stephanie Smith-Strickland
Contributor
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