What’s On teams up with Hype to celebrate GlobalFunk, the leading drum n bass night in Dubai. GlobalFunk at Ibis Al Barsha is 12 years old.

GlobalFunk interview

GlobalFunk promoter Ben McDonald has witnessed plenty of changes to the region’s clubbing landscape since he threw his first party 12 years ago, but his unwavering commitment to drum ‘n’ bass – coupled with a resident DJ pool of local nutters – has ensured his club night’s longevity, report our friends at Hype.

“I’ve not lost the buzz you get hearing a fresh tune,” said Ben. “In my opinion there isn’t an electronic genre out there that can match the energy of d ‘n’ b.”

Ben said he had his wife Natalie to thank for giving him the kick up the behind needed to get the music “out of the bedrooms and house parties of Dubai in 2003 and onto a stage for local artists to show what they had to offer”.

That first club night on June 14, 2003, saw Ben, who DJs as MACH 4, Gus Farrah and King Prav – whose older brother Pavan is frontman of The Foreign Beggars – take to the decks at Boudoir. Andy C was later GlobalFunk’s first international DJ in April 2004, at Oxygen nightclub, although he wasn’t the first international d ‘n’ b act to come to Dubai. Ben also used to co-promote the Liquid nights at a now flattened club called Atlantis and invited Jumping Jack Frost and J Majik to town in 2000.

The good vibes continue with Metalheadz’ Ulterior Motive flying in to celebrate GlobalFunk’s birthday knees-up. “These boys are at the top of their game right now and a leading light on Goldie’s infamous imprint. They can do no wrong and we have had so many requests from punters to get them over,” said Ben. “I’ve seen them a few times in the UK and they are going to kill it.”

Asked the biggest lesson he’s learned as a promoter, Ben told Hype: “Be humble, be respectful, don’t blow your own trumpet as you get found out very quickly in Dubai – I’ve been here 17 years and seen it many times – and try to coexist with other similar nights to help each other push the scene forward. “It’s not about the money. I’d be on the streets if I tried to make a living out of promoting drum ‘n’ bass in the UAE. It’s about the music and the people who come down, support and allow GlobalFunk to keep rolling on.”

Gearing up for this week’s party at Casa Latina, local MC Olly Wood said: “The heart of GlobalFunk is the people involved and the dedication of the complete ravers who attend. We see a huge range of international artists swing through GlobalFunk and each time they leave as friends and represent the brand around the globe. I’ve met GlobalFunk fans in Miami, London and in Croatia, so it’s definitely a little slice of the UAE that has spread – and long may it live.”

Ibis Al Barsha, Dubai, Thursday, May 21, 8.45pm to 2.45am, Dhs100. Taxi: Ibis Al Barsha. Tel: (050) 5520436. facebook.com/GlobalFunkDXB

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