So 2019 has kicked off in promising fashion, and it’s hard to believe February is already well on its way. For those who live in Dubai that means a few things – an overpriced and usually overrated Valentines dinner, but being near perfect weather conditions, it’s also the peak of events season. Here is my take on a few key festivals coming up in the next couple of weeks.
Virgin Radio’s RedfestDXB
It is hard to believe that Virgin Radio’s RedfestDXB is entering its 6th year at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. I have witnessed first-hand its evolution into an important event on the annual calendar for the region – particularly for millennials but also those with a liking to what’s hot in the music charts. The lineup this year featuring the likes of DJ Snake, G-Easy, Camila Cabello & Maklemore, who alone has over 2 billion views to his music videos – no mean feat!
From a media perspective, this is a fantastic platform for Virgin Radio Dubai (104.4FM) on many fronts. It gives months of content and engagement with listeners including on air promotions & ticket giveaways in the build up to the event. Then at the concert weekend of 14th & 15th of February where they broadcast live from an on-site studio, interviewing all of the artists, with on air talent taking turns to introduce the acts. What generally turns out to be a hugely positive experience for all concert goers over the weekend, also reaps benefits for the station. It is able to reinforce itself as the leading mass communication radio station in the UAE. It provides sponsors with multi-level engagement opportunities on air, on ground including celebrity meet & greet / social media content for its customers. It also provides a great corporate hospitality experience to mix with key clients and agencies in an informal setting. Overall a great marketing exercise, with the huge stage all plastered in red, leaving no doubt as to who is behind the festival.
Dubai Jazz Festival
The following week the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre is backed up with the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival, incredibly for its 17th edition! Snow Patrol will be headlining the first day on the 20th of February, the Jamiroquai leading the charge on Day 2 & rounded out by Alicia Keys on the final day. In addition to overall sponsorship with these type events, there are experiential marketing opportunities for brands wanting to engage with their target audience whilst they are reveling in the festivities. There is downtime between acts, F&B breaks or ample time for those just wanting to explore what is on offer from brands looking to integrate themselves with the festival and provide a memorable experience. If planned well enough in advance there can be a blank canvas of potential whereby you’ll be allotted an amount of space from which you can design and build something engaging – be it using cutting edge technology, a pop up store, a viewing platform, an innovative car experience etc.
Brands and radio stations alike need to constantly evolve and improve to remain at the top of its consumers’ minds. This year Dubai 92 is the official radio station to partner up and promote Jazz Fest & Catboy’s twist with ‘Jumeirah’quai, was an excellent content piece on air and across social media.
Which nicely sums up the longstanding appeal of radio – entertainment in the form of well-programmed music but mixed in with some great localised content along the way.