The Contemporary Culture Festival returns this weekend to celebrate 50 years of Hip-Hop.
Leave it to Sole DXB to outdo itself year after year. The time around, the region’s ultimate youth and contemporary culture festival is joining forces with Nas-backed entertainment company Mass Appeal and is set to return to d3 from 8 to 10 December.
For the uninitiated, Sole DXB is a Dubai-based festival owned and developed by Sole, the leading voice in the youth and contemporary culture scene. Its multi-format programming encompasses three nights and two days of live music, DJ sets, fashion, film screenings, talks, workshops, sports tournaments and youth clinics, collectively serving as the premier experiential platform for the world’s top brands.
Sole DXB is known for bringing big-name acts to Dubai, and this year is no different. Recently revealed additions to the impressive roster include Arlo Parks, a young British singer-songwriter and Grammy Award nominee, set to grace the stage on Saturday, 9 December. Saturday will also see hip-hop legends Big Daddy Kane, DJ Shadow, Jadakiss, Lupe Fiasco and Tobe Nwigwe perform.
On Sunday, 10 December, Trevor George Smith Junior, better known as Busta Rhymes, will headline the main stage. Over his career, Busta Rhymes has released ten solo albums and received 12 Grammy Awards nominations. He has collaborated with Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Lil’ Wayne and is known for his fast rapping style in the hit songs Gimme Some More, I Know What You Want, and Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See. Sunday will also see London’s seven-piece ensemble Kokoroko taking the spotlight at Rudy’s Diner and performances from Sampa The Great and The Recipe, amongst others.
In collaboration with Gulf Photo Plus, Sole DXB will present Occupied Pleasures, a photography exhibition by Tanya Habjouqa. The exhibition offers a multi-dimensional depiction of humanity’s resilience in finding joy amidst challenging circumstances in occupied Palestine. The exhibition captures the experience of being occupied under Israeli control and the act of occupying oneself with joy and defiance through pastimes and simple pleasures.
Spotlight by d3 is a pop-up for fashionistas featuring various independent fashion and lifestyle brands that champion cutting-edge practices, underlining their dedication to the community. Immerse yourself in the original, culturally rich collections crafted by emerging designers from Palestine, South Africa, UAE, the United Kingdom, and beyond.
Highlighted brands include All Good, Chicagoland by Bayan Dahdah, Homies Marbella, Kazan Asker, Life of Abraham, Lilith NYC, Neartwins, and Reeborn Vintage. Additionally, Retropia specialises in the trade of analogue, digital, and collectable cameras. BROKE Wear stands out as a daring fashion brand inspired by real-life experiences, Engy Mahdy (One and Four Studio) will showcase timeless designs with a sustainability focus, and Medina seamlessly blends streetwear and luxury with North African influences while supporting Libyan flood relief.
Les Benjamins, the upscale Istanbul-based streetwear brand founded by Bünyamin Aydin, will host an immersive pop-up experience. Positioned adjacent to the main stage, the setup includes a retail space where visitors can explore and purchase items from the brand’s FW23 Collection, along with exclusive releases from the past year across menswear, womenswear, and accessories. Notably, the retail space will feature the avant-garde SS24 Collection, titled ‘Kismet Voyage East to West,’ drawing inspiration from Turkey’s rich heritage and seamlessly blending comfort, futurism, heritage, and functionality.
An integral part of the Sole DXB weekend is the talk program, featuring engaging discussions with influential figures in fashion, music, publishing, and design. Notable speakers include Karl Kani, the legendary figure renowned for outfitting Hip Hop artists from Tupac to Quavo over the decades. On Sunday, 10 December, BMX athlete and philanthropist Nigel Sylvester from New York will join the discourse.
Additionally, Les Benjamins presents Joey Bada$$ for an off-stage conversation about his writing process, multi-hyphenate career, and his latest mentorship initiative. The talk space will also host a collaborative discussion featuring musician Oddissee, presented by Sole and Afikra.
Sole Ball Above All (SBAA) is back for the 2023 edition, promising even more thrills for festival attendees. Presented by Shake Shack, SBAA brings a series of basketball tournaments and enticing rewards for the winners, along with captivating competitions and giveaway prizes.
SKATE by Vice offers a weekend filled with exciting competitions, giveaways, and workshops, providing festival-goers with the nostalgic atmosphere of a skate park in the heart of the action. In a nod to Dubai’s skateboarding heritage, Sole DXB 2023 introduces a specially crafted 374-square-meter flat land street-style skate area, replicating iconic local spots like the Deira Fountain and Sparks. This communal hangout features a Vert Wall, Fun Box, and grind ledges.
Sole DXB 2023 is bringing more homegrown F&B brands to the festival. Guests can explore a variety of delicious dishes from well-known vendors such as Chef Halawa, Eatopia, Falafel For The People by One Life Kitchen, Goldfish Sushi & Yakitori, Homer Lobster, Jailbird, Kitopi, Kooya, Mattar, Miss Lily’s DXB, Pickl, PINZA!, Project Chaiwala, Rascals, Seven Fortunes, Shake Shack, Temple Creamery, West to West Kitchen, and Za Za.
On opening night, Rudy’s Diner will be the stage for a sequence of live performances, exclusively accessible to those aged 21 and above. Expect live DJ sets from Ayanna Heaven, DJ Brooklyn, Rich Fazo, Shef Codes, and a special performance by Ghostface Killah from Wu-Tang Clan.
Sole DXB 2023 will introduce Stage Front passes, a brand new category which includes weekend access and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the artists performing. Additionally, General Access weekend passes will be available to purchase at pre-sale rates for a limited time only. Tickets are available now via Platinumlist, starting from AED 349.
We’ll see you there.
GO: Visit https://dubai.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.