UAE bands have a chance to jam with the indie-rock darlings We Are Scientists as part of a new global music competition set in place by Aloft Hotels.
The "Play and Stay" contest invites unsigned bands to send in demos for the chance to win an exclusive recording session with the California rockers at a custom-built studio located at the Aloft London Excel.
Aloft Abu Dhabi's general manager, Stephan Vanden Auweele, explains that Aloft hotels in the UAE capital, Brussels and London will serve as the base for bands to enter the contest. "In Abu Dhabi, the physical reality is that we will focus on the UAE," Auweele explains. "But the contest is open to all those from the Gulf and the wider region, such as Beirut, who want to join."
Bands have until September 12 to email a demo – a track, video clip or link – to their Facebook or MySpace page where original material can be heard.
The shortlisted bands will be invited to perform a gig as part of the week-long finals showcase, which will be held in either the hotel's pool area or the Relax@12 nightspot.
All finalists will receive a complimentary overnight stay and a video recording of their performance.
The recordings of the Abu Dhabi finals, as well as those held in London and Brussels, will be sent to We Are Scientists; the band, along with Aloft officials, will crown the winner.
Auweele says We Are Scientists – who formed in 2000 and went on to produce five albums and the hits After Hours and Chick Lit – were chosen because "their work ethic reflects the spirit of the competition". "This is a band that started from scratch and are quite well known," he says. "Also, they are funky guys and close to what the Aloft brand stands for."
• For competition details, visit www.facebook.com/alofthotels