x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Kylie Minogue to headline first of Abu Dhabi's three F1 shows

Who is on the line-up and what to expect at the much-awaited Yasalam After-Race Concerts in November.

Kylie Minogue Courtesy Flash Entertainment
Kylie Minogue Courtesy Flash Entertainment

The announcement detailing who will be gracing the stage at the Yasalam After-Race Concerts in Abu Dhabi has, for the past four years, been one of most anticipated dates on the UAE’s entertainment calendar. Well, the wait is – almost – over, with two of the three performers announced yesterday.

Who is coming?

Kylie Minogue, who this year celebrates 25 years in the music industry, will perform on the first night at the Yas Island’s du Arena on -November 2.

The Canadian band Nickelback, who have sold more than 50 million records worldwide and were reportedly the second best-selling foreign act in the US in the 2000s (behind The Beatles), are playing the second night.

The third night

The organisers, Flash Entertainment, are keeping the finale performance on Sunday, November 4, under wraps for now, and will release details at the official www.yasalam.ae website in the coming weeks.

But this hasn’t stopped those pesky rumour mills churning and the biggest name on lips is The Rolling Stones.

The legendary British rockers, who have recently been recording again, are believed to be about to embark on a 50th anniversary tour and there are reports of gigs in London and Brooklyn lined up later in the year.

But could they make an Abu Dhabi stopover first? Maybe, and they’d certainly ensure this year’s F1 closed with a bang. But the Stone’s first UAE gig has been the subject of speculation before, with nothing materialising.

Online response

The news of Minogue’s and Nickelback’s Abu Dhabi shows has been met with a largely mixed response from the Twittersphere.

“Sunday better be awesome,” suggested one commentator, while another claimed they could hear “the sound of barrels being scraped”.

However, it wasn’t all negative. “[Forget] the racing. I wanna go for the concerts”, was one of the more positive messages. However, ignoring the racing for the concerts isn’t an option anymore.

New ticket policy

This year, a new scheme called Y1 Access will give extra benefits to those attending the day’s racing events on Yas Island. Previously, race and concert tickets for all three days of the event were included in a package that was made available much before the F1 weekend.

This time, all racegoers have to visit the Yas Marina -Circuit on each of the three race days to collect their wristbands for each of the three after-race -concerts.

Attendees during the day will also have a chance to get one of 2,000 Golden Circle upgrades for that night’s concert. And with the new “2 Friends -Friday” promotion, the first 15,000 domestic F1 ticket buyers will receive an extra pair of tickets to see Minogue’s act on the first day.

Hasn’t Minogue been here before?

Well, yes. She performed at the opening of Atlantis The Palm resort and at Dubai Festival City in 2008. Since then, the pint-sized pop princess (journalists are legally required to use this phrase whenever referring to Minogue) has released her 11th studio album, Aphrodite, and performed at the Diamond Jubilee Concerts in London earlier this year.

Nickelback have visited the UAE before, too – they played in Dubai in 2010. The band recently made headlines with the somewhat unexpected news that their lead singer, Chad Kroeger, is engaged to his fellow Canadian singer Avril Lavigne. Assuming she’s a fan of Nickelback, Lavigne could well be in the Golden Circle for the event (you’d assume she’d get a free ticket, wouldn’t you?).