As the world's biggest rock bands get ready to shake the stage this weekend, Marie-Louise Olson gives you the lowdown on everything you need to know about the Dubai Desert Rock Festival.


It might be daunting to think of that fact that some of the world's biggest metal and rock bands, such as Muse, Korn, Machine Head and Velvet Revolver, are ready to take the stage this weekend for the Dubai Desert Rock Festival, but it's going to be nothing less than a spectacular show.

Organised by Centre Stage Management (CSM), the festival is expected to attract more than 30,000 people for the two-day-event, which runs tomorrow and on Saturday at Dubai Festival City.


Festival revellers will not only have the chance to see some top notch rock bands, including Dubai-based acts such as Juliana Down and Nervecell, there will also be other types of entertainment in the shape of a slingshot, cable slide, arts and crafts booths and, wait for it… a suspended bar hoisted six metres above the ground.

There will also be an Infusion Dance Tent, which will host 19 of Dubai's top DJs and MCs who will be entertaining people with music ranging from techno and drum and base to electro-rocked house.

A food and beverage court will be serving a variety of food and drinks, and for parents planning to bring their children, the children's area will keep the little ones occupied while you rock out!

Velvet Revolver
Scott Weiland: Vocalist
Slash: Guitar
Dave Kushner: Guitar
Duff McKagan: Bass
Matt Sorum: Drums

This grammy-award winning band began with a spring 2002 jam session that reunited former Guns N' Roses bandmates Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass) and Matt Sorum (drums) on-stage. With the discovery that their chemistry was still going strong, the trio began pushing around some new music and auditioning singers for what became known as "The Project''.

By early 2003, the existence of "The Project'' and its quest for a singer, was common knowledge, so much
so that VH1 sent cameras to document the search. Dave Kushner (Wasted Youth, Dave Navarro) also joined up
as a second guitarist. Troubled STP-er Scott Weiland came on board next. Weiland and the band clicked
immediately and recorded a hyper piece of glitter metal for the Hulk soundtrack called Set Me Free.

James: Bass and vocals
Barney: Rhythm guitars, acoustic guitars
Rami: All lead guitars, rhythm guitars and acoustic guitars

This Dubai-based band made their debut performance at the Battle of the Bands 2001 and have since worked their way up the ladder. Known to many as the metal veterans of the scene, Nervecell have proven over the years to be the most potential metal outfit in the entire Middle East region.

Following the success of the first demo Vastlands Of Abomination in 2003, the band hit the studio to record their debut EP Human Chaos in the summer of 2004, which gave Nervecell the opportunity to open for the Dubai Desert Rock Festival in 2005.

Juliana Down
Dia: Vocals
Ray: Guitar
Abdul: Drums
Sari: Bass
Sol: KeyboardsThis Dubai-based band started their journey in 2001 when they won a Battle of the Bands for
best song and best vocalist.

Juliana Down played at the very first DDRF opening up for The Rasmus, as well as the 3rd edition of the
festival. They got a record deal with Spellbind Records in Dubai and after releasing their first album Cause and
Effect, went on summer tour in Europe. They were voted as Dubai's Favourite Band in Time Out in December

They were chosen as the opening act for Justin Timberlake at his concert in Abu Dhabi recently and are now
concentrating on their new album. Their first single Good for Nothing off the second album has already
been programmed on several radio stations throughout the UAE.

Matthew Bellamy
: Vocals, guitar and keyboards
Christopher Wolstenholme: Bass guitar, keyboards and vocals
Dominic Howard: Drums and percussion

Formed in 1997, this English band is a blend of alternative and progressive rock, classical music, electronica and heavy metal. They won Best Headliner and Best UK and Ireland Act at this year's EMAs (MTV Awards 2007) and also won the Q and BRIT awards for Best Live Act in 2007, amongst 24 other international awards in those categories.

Absolution topped the charts in the UK and France, climbing into the top five in 12 countries (including the Netherlands, Ireland, Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Norway and Belgium), the top 10 in 15 countries and the top 20 in 20 countries, all within weeks of its release. Currently all of Muse's albums are platinum in the UK and predominantly gold in the major European territories.

Machine Head
Adam Duce: Bass, vocals
Robb Flynn: Lead vocals, guitars
Phil Demmel: Lead guitars
Dave McClain: Drums

Challenging themselves and each other to write a record that would demolish all of their boundaries,
Machine Head delivered 60 minutes of the most structurally complex material that they have ever recorded
in The Blackening.

With a performance that has been strengthened through nearly nine years of non-stop worldwide touring, Machine Head are said to be the best live band in metal music. Often one can barely hear the band perform over the din of the audience singing along to favourites, new and old.

Killswitch Engage
Joel Stroetzel
: Guitar
Justin Foley: Drums
Howard Jones: Vocals
Adam Dutkiewicz: Guitar
Mike D'Antonio: Bass

From their modest beginnings in New England's hardcore scene to their current status as one of the most
influential and inspirational forces in modern music, Killswitch Engage have played by a simple rule: If
you keep playing the game your way, you'll eventually change the rules for everyone else. And they prove
that with their new, fourth album, As Daylight Dies.

Marky Ramone

Marky Ramone was asked to join punk band the Ramones in 1978, and went on to star in the movie Rock 'n' Roll High School. He recorded 10 studio albums with the Ramones and was with the band for 14 years in total.


Jonathan Davis: Vocals James “MUNKY''
Shaffer: Guitars
Fieldy: Bass

The follow-up to 2005's multi-platinum See You On The Other Side, Korn's latest, lead singer Jonathan Davis says, is “about us growing up... We always want to evolve, experiment and change''. Further proof of that credo is the lack of an album title. “This album felt like it didn't need to have a title or boundaries,'' Davis says.

In 2007, that passion is channelled into the making and release of the band's triumphant untitled album and the 2007 Family Values Tour which last year sold close to 500,000 tickets. Korn have sold more than 25 million records worldwide and earned six Grammy nods and two wins to date.

The event

•When: Tomorrow and Saturday
• Time: Doors open at 2pm. The first show starts at 2.30pm on Day 1 and at 3.30pm on Day 2. Doors close at midnight.
• Location: Dubai Festival City.
• Tickets: Dh250 per person per day or Dh350 per person for a weekend ticket.

Lineup Day 1
•Machine Head
• Killswitch Engage
• As I Lay Dying•
• Nervecell
• Slapshock

Lineup Day 2
• Velvet Revolver
• Marky Ramone
•Juliana Down
• Spoon Feedas