On Friday February 2nd, 2018, the second edition of the WASLA Arabic Alternative Music Festival took place at the Dubai Design District. Over the past couple years, WASLA has asserted itself as one of the most exciting and comprehensive events in the Middle East, playing host to rising and established artists from around the region, to perform their music for a diverse audience.
SceneNoise had the fantastic privilege of getting to not only take in this year's edition, but also interview the founders and artists to get to the bottom of the magic and good intentions that drive WASLA.
The festival felt at once cutting edge and wholesome, families and hip youth all taking in the electric environment, created from a blend of art installations, food trucks, outdoor bars and of course the music. WASLA selects its artists based on their belief in supporting and promoting independent, creative and sincere music from the region, hosting two stages, the smaller of which is devoted to local artists from the UAE. The main stage this year was a powerful show of talent, with Cairokee (Egypt), Autostrad (Jordan), Lekhfa (Egypt), Hayajan featuring Alaa Wardi (Jordan), Tania Saleh (Lebanon), Gnawa Diffusion (Algeria) and Majaz (Bahrain).