Interview: Fatboy Slim on Dubai, Halloween and Party in the Park

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The man behind ‘Eat Sleep Rave Repeat’ tells us what to expect from his upcoming performance in Dubai…

Legendary British DJ, Fatboy Slim, will take to the stage on Thursday October 31 as part of an all star line-up for Party in the Park 2019.

But ahead of his performance on Halloween, Norman Cook talks to What’s On about his favourite Dubai pastimes, fancy dress costumes and his close encounter with Sister Sledge.

What’s On: You’ve performed at least seven times in Dubai already. Do you still get excited about the prospect of coming here?

Fatboy Slim: Yeah for me it does feel like one of my regular haunts, there’s definitely an affinity. I love coming back to Dubai and it’s nice because you build up a rapport and a reputation with people. There’s a few places in the world that I do like coming back to again and again and Dubai is a very unique environment, mainly because of its expat community all living in a very beautiful but very new and young city. In comparison to when I play at Ibiza or Glastonbury, Dubai’s a lot safer and cleaner and politer in every sense of the words.

WO: When you manage to get some downtime here, what are your favourite things to do?

FBS: Over the years I’ve been out into the desert, I’ve been skiing, but also I’ve been on family holidays to Dubai a few times so I’ve seen most of the sights. Eating is generally my favourite, there’s such a varied selection of food and restaurants in Dubai and eating is one of my favourite pastimes in life. Being able to travel is one of the perks of my job and I love being able to sample the world’s finest food.

 

WO: You’re going to be performing for us on Halloween, do you have any spooky surprises planned?

FBS: If it’s a proper full on costume ball then yes I’ll make the effort and join in, I do like to get involved in a party so yes. No doubt there will be some shenanigans going on but I don’t know specifics yet.

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WO: If there’s anyone out there who hasn’t been to a Fatboy Slim concert before, what can they expect to see at Party in the Park?

FBS: I call it a ‘big acid house rave’. It’s raving – but very much a party atmosphere rather than moody, hipster atmosphere. I don’t take myself too seriously and I don’t take the crowd too seriously, but we do take our raving seriously and we take our music seriously. It’s not a big EDM extravaganza but it’s got a lot of character.

WO: You’ve probably performed at hundreds of festivals over the years, but do you ever get to enjoy them as a spectator?

FBS: I do yeah, if I’ve got time there’s normally a band or DJ I’d like to check out and occasionally I get a chance. Normally you go in and do your job and then have to leave for another festival the next day, so you don’t get to hang around too much but I always try to if I can. I don’t get to watch other people play from in the crowd but it’s quite interesting because you normally watch them from the side of the stage.

WO: Have you got a favourite artist at the moment?

FBS: I was recently in Ibiza at the closing of Hï and Kathy Sledge was on before me, so I had to hide behind the decks while she was singing We Are FamilyThinking of You and He’s the Greatest Dancer. The crowd couldn’t see me but I was sitting literally at her feet waiting to go on so that was quite a magic moment.

Party in the Park, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, 6pm to 1am Thursday October 31 and 2pm to 1am Friday November 1, from Dhs160. partyinthepark.ae

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