Formula One after-race concerts

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What’s On announces The Who, Armin van Buuren, Pharrell in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina Circuit for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after-race concerts.


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Pharrell Williams, The Who and Armin van Buuren have been announced as the headline acts for the Abu Grand Prix After Race Concerts in November.

The exciting news was revealed this morning at Yas Marina circuit, where the finale of the 2014 Formula One season will take place over the weekend from November 21 to 23.

Tickets for the concerts will not go on sale separately, with all Grand Prix ticket holders eligible to attend on any given day. Weekend tickets for the sixth instalment of the race are still available priced from Dhs395.

Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren kicks off the weekend on Friday 21 November. From music releases including Yet Another Dub, This is What it Feels Like and Sunburn to remixes of Time Is The Healer, Armin van Buuren has been wooing dance crowds with his DJing and producing abilities since he was 19 years old.


American superstar Pharrell will perform on Saturday – the day of qualifying for Sunday’s race – bringing his hugely successful blend of funk, hip hop and, most famously happy vibes.

The handsome hitmaker responsible for the three biggest global smashes of the past 24 months – Happy, and the equally ubiquitous Get Lucky by Daft Punk and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines – is set to brings a big hatted fashion glamour to the F1 party.


Since he released his first single Frontin in 2003, Pharrell has cruised into superstardom and although he didn’t release another solo album for eight years, his name continued to carry huge weight with much of the 2000s filled with commercially successful collaborations with the likes of Britney Spears, Jay-Z, Solange, and Madonna. In December 2013, Pharrell was nominated for seven Grammy Awards and is clearly making waves with his new album G I R L with smash hits including, Happy and Marilyn Monroe.

The Who, meanwhile, kick off a tour of their homeland on November 26, just three days after they bring the curtain down on the weekend on November 23. Fans who see The Who in Abu Dhabi will witness one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest sights: the famous windmill move by guitarist Pete Townshend. The Brit rock legend is renowned for the iconic stage move that sees him furiously whirl his hand around in a circle before bringing it crashing down onto his guitar strings. However, hopefully concertgoers won’t see a repeat of Townshend’s mishap during a 1989 gig in America when he impaled his hand on the whammy bar (the small metal rod near the strings) of his guitar during a show in Tacoma, Washington. Townshend, 69, had to leave the stage and go to hospital for treatment.


Last year’s concerts saw hip hop royalty Jay Z entertain the crowds on Friday, followed by rockers Muse on Saturday, and Depeche Mode after the race itself on Sunday. 

Other acts to have appeared since the concert was first bought in include Beyonce, Jamiroquai, Kings of Leon, Aerosmith, Kanye West, Linkin Park, Prince, Britney Spears, Incubus, Beatle Paul McCartney, Kylie, Nickleback and Eminem.

What’s On understands enormous lengths were gone to bring Beyonce back to the region for the first time since 2009. It has been claimed by industry insiders that a stand-alone concert was originally slated for October 30, forcing a change in date for Gourmet Abu Dhabi.

**VIDEO: Watch golf stars race buggies around Yas Marina Circuit**

But let’s not dwell on what might have been.

Today’s announcement is another big boost for the entertainment industry in the UAE, coming hot on the heels of several major music annoncements. Earlier this week, we revealed details of our very own festival, the Party In The Park in November, which will be headlined by Lily Allen.

Last month, Sandance and Sensation triumphantly announced stellar casts for their respective parties. At Atlantis The Palm on October 10, Rudimental, Empire Of The Sun, Clean Bandit, De La Soul, and Axwell and Ingrosso are all set to appear, and three weeks later, Martin Garrix will headline a record-breaking event at Meydan. Take That frontman Gary Barlow, meanwhile, also confirmed his first show in the region, on October 17, and, as we told you first, DJ Jazzy Jeff will revisit Barasti for Halloween, setting tongues wagging in the Emirate over a potential double-act with old pal Will Smith. There is also RedFestDXB and Jazz Festival.