The Other Side - live music gigs in Dubai

The Other Side is an independently run live music event that started in Dubai last summer. The aim is to host local and regional bands, musicians and DJs from the region. It's a great initiative since we only have a handful of venues that commit to promoting live acts from this region.

The first season of The Other Side started last July and went on till November 2015. I never had a chance to attend any of the gigs, but heard very good feedback from people I know that went.

The gigs take place at & Lounge (AND Lounge) in The Address Hotel Dubai Marina. The venue looks small and cosy and a much needed place for gigs like this, albeit being in a five star hotel. 


The Wanton Bishops at The Other Side on 31st July 2015


Bosaina at The Other Side on 11th September 2015

Here's what the first season of The Other Side looked like.
It included The Wanton Bishops, Bosaina, Safar, Hana Malhas Music Page, Z the People, Hollie Cook, Zeid and the wings and Loopstache.


New season of The Other Side

The second season starts this month, on Friday, 29th January with Who Killed Bruce Lee?. The rest of the line up has not yet been announced, but watch this space. 

Tickets in advance, AED 100 available here. Tickets at the venue: AED120 (cash only). Doors open at 9pm.


Who Killed Bruce Lee's unique sound has evolved with the music scene in Beirut since 2009. What started out as spiced up cover tracks for bands like The Strokes and LCD Soundsystem quickly snowballed into a Who Killed Bruce Lee EP with originals that has Beirut’s indie music fans wanting more on stages set up in the city’s most coveted underground venues.

Beirut might not strike one as a city where a rising electro-rock band might be based. The diversity of the 7000-year-old city is just as picky with its musical tastes. But WKBL’s winning combination of lo-fi and electro-punk rock sounds makes the crowd that shows up at their gigs

as wide as it is hard to categorize.

Elvis (2015)

Gypsy King (2015)

Pool Party (2013)

If you're in Dubai, go support local and regional bands. We need more of this. I hope to go to some of the gigs this season.

My only gripe with The Other Side is when this description is included in the press release and Facebook event pages:

The Other Side is an indie live music concept in Dubai inspired by the live music scenes of Williamsburg Brooklyn, SXSW Austin, Shoreditch London, New Orleans, and others.

There's live indie music in all parts of the world and if these kind of comparisons is to 'explain' to music fans in Dubai on what to expect, then I find it both condescending and pretentious. Music promoters need to be more confident than saying we're bringing you an event just like they do in New York and London.

I'd rather the promoters shout out loud that local and regional bands have a dedicated venue where they can play live original music, and for music lovers in Dubai to hear new music. That would get me out of the door and pay for a ticket. Surely I'm not the only one that feels that way.