ABU DHABI // More than 20 DJs entertained around 10,000 revellers on Yas Island last night as the 10-hour Creamfields Abu Dhabi party got off to a grand start.
Headlining the emirate's most anticipated dance and electronic music event was the French DJ and music producer David Guetta. Other performers included Dizzee Rascal, Sander Van Doorn, Above and Beyond and Sasha.
Hotels on Yas Island were fully booked last night, as were flights from the majority of GCC airports to Abu Dhabi. Music fans began to arrive at Yas Arena shortly after 6pm, and the party started at around 9.30pm.
Despite the cheery mood, some visitors complained of the long walk from the carparks to the stages. "It's ridiculous that we have to walk this far to get to the party," said Angela Rory, 23, a beautician from the UK. "I am surprised I have any energy left to dance." But after hearing the first tracks, she quickly cheered up. "This is so amazing."
Many chose to sit on the lawns awaiting the headline acts, conserving their energy for the evening of dance.
Others chose to take advantage of the amusement park rides brought in by Flash Entertainment, the event organisers. One particular attraction, The Maze, was very popular.
"I really came for David Guetta," said Mark Hubbard, 29, an American investment broker who flew in from Bahrain. "My girlfriend is off somewhere in The Maze lost with some old friends who live in Dubai."
Outside the venue, Frederik Paul, a 16-year-old French national, stood with his parents, unable to enter. The event was specifically for people over 18.
"We drove here from Dubai to make a family evening out of this because our son really wanted to come watch David Guetta," said Michel Paul, Frederik's father. "It was my fault that we did not think that the party was for those 18 and over. We would have loved to be inside with the people, but we will have to be happy with watching from out here."
Security at the event was extremely tight. Guards from Group4Securicor were vetting identification and stood with metal-detecting wands, checking everyone coming in.
The Creamfields event takes place once a year in Abu Dhabi, but the international party has also been held in Buenos Aires, Andalucía, Spain, Punchestown, Ireland, Punta del Este, Uruguay, and Sydney, among other locales.