The 8th edition of Sole DXB, Dubai’s premier footwear, streetwear, arts and lifestyle festival taking place at Dubai Design District (d3) from December 5-7. This year, expect a special focus on Jamaica and its arts scene. Plus, find out what film screenings, legendary music acts and rare sneakers you can experience at the 3-day affair.
FASHION DROPS AND RARE SNEAKERS
Streetwear is at the crux of Sole DXB’s DNA — at the 2019 event, you can expect exclusive drops like the specially developed Wu-Tang Clan x Sole DXB merchandise and a customised adidas Originals capsule collection.
But for the true sneaker heads who are hungry for history, Archive DNA will present an exhibition of some of the rarest sneakers on earth — more than 70 pairs of shoes alongside their stories.
These include a signed 1985 Michael Jordan Air Jordan 1 pair, a pair of game-worn ‘Air Zoom Generation’ for LeBron James, and a one-off ‘Air Max 90 SL Laser’ commissioned by the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen for his own private collection. If you’ve got cash burning through your pockets, select pieces are available to purchase.
LIVE MUSIC FROM LIVING LEGENDS
No music on the Mainstage — just films. (See below!)
Burna Boy will headline on December 6 at 10pm. The Nigerian singer-songwriter first rose to popularity in 2012 after releasing the single ‘Like to Party’. Earlier this year, he bagged the Best International Act accolade at the BET Awards. On the Mainstage, UAE-based rapper Tac, Foreign Beggars, Wiley, Dave East and Koffee will also perform.
On closing night, Wu-Tang Clan will headline at 9.45pm. The hip hop group are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their first album, ‘Enter the Wu-Tang’ (36 Chambers). The impact of their 1993 debut album is still felt today, considered one of the best hip hop records of all time. Wu-Tang is composed of RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta Killa. Founding member Ol’ Dirty Bastard died in 2004.
Also performing is the duo Black Star — Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli — who celebrate the 20th anniversary of their artistic collaboration. Don’t miss additional sets by Iraqi-Canadian rapper Narcy, Xharlie Black, Ocean Wisdom, Protoje and Rico Nasty.
*If nothing on the Mainstage strikes your fancy, check out a variety of other arenas, including but not limited to ‘On Air’ Radio arena and the adidas Originals, Cadillac, Puma and Farfetch stages.
Sole DXB partnered up with indie venue Cinema Akil this year for a limited series of film screenings. Here’s when to catch them.
LIFE AND DEBT (CINEMA AKIL): Ahead of opening night on December 3, catch ‘Life and Debt’ from director Stephanie Black at 7pm. The film explores globalisation from the perspective of Jamaican people, government and policy officials.
MARTHA (CINEMA AKIL): Later on December 3, watch the documentary ‘Martha’, which pays tribute to Martha Cooper, a New York City photojournalist who specialised in snapping graffiti in the 1970s and 1980s. ‘Martha’ premiered at Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. It shows at 9pm.
RUDEBOY: THE STORY OF TROJAN RECORDS (MAINSTAGE): On December 5, ‘Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records’ will take audiences on a trip into the late ‘60s, early ‘70s. Mixing archival footage and interviews, Grammy-nominated filmmaker Nicolas Jack Davies shines a light on how Jamaican reggae, ska and rocksteady found a home in the UK. After the screening, British film director and reggae artist Don Letts will sit for a Q&A moderated by Jamaican professor of the evolution of Dancehall, Sonjah Stanley Niaah.
Hop on down to the Talks arena to hear some of the industry’s insightful voices share their stories. Here’s a schedule of what sessions are happening when.
3pm-4pm: Jonathan Cheung, the senior vice president of design innovation at Levi’s; Jeff Staple, founder of Staple Design’ and Bunyamin Aydin, the man behind the Les Benjamis brand.
3pm-3.45pm: Jamaican music icon Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and his band Subatomic Sound System, in dialogue with Max Glazer of Federation Sound.
4.15pm-5pm: Mike Cherman, founder of streetwear brand Chinatown Market, brings his team for a session moderated by content creator Wahlid Mohammad.
1.30pm-2.30pm: Music duo Black Star in discussion with American DJ Bobbito Garcia.
3pm-4pm: Canadian artist Petra Collins sits with journalist and radio presenter Minya Oh (aka Miss Info)
4.30pm-5.30pm: An audience with the No-Maddz, a Jamaican art collective and roots reggae dub poetry band, currently comprised of Sheldon ‘Shepie’ Shepherd and Everaldo ‘Evie’ Creary.
FOOD AND DRINKS
While the usual chain restaurants and their food trucks will make an appearance at Sole DXB, offering everything from Arabic cuisine to diner bites and Mexican street food, there will be a new addition
Nyam & Scram, a Jamaican-inspired concept, will offer everything from chicken, veggie and beef patties to fish and vegetable curries and mac & cheese.
Sole DXB has become as known for the main event as it has for its after-parties, and this edition looks like no exception, with a mix of exclusive, restricted-entry parties, and some open to all.
1. PRE-OPENING PARTY (21+, INVITE ONLY): Kenzo is teaming up with Sole DXB for a pre-opening party on December 4 at 9.30pm, featuring appearances by Natasha Diggs, Fly Hendrix and a special guest.
2. OPENING PARTY (21+, INVITE ONLY): The official opening party this year is a team-up between Sole DXB and the Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster. Taking place on December 5 at 9.30pm, it will feature Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Subatomic Sound System, Khalil, Don Letts and Snips.
3. SOLE X KINGSTON DUB CLUB: Gabre Selassie and Uncle Ronnie take over on December 6 from 2pm-4.30pm
4. RED BULL PRESENTS: DJ Nu-Mark and Damianto on December 7 from 2pm-4.30pm
5. NO NONSENSE FRIDAY (21+): With Chromatic Live, Max Glazer, DJ Shortkut on December 6 from 10.30pm onwards.
6. CLOSING PARTY (INVITE ONLY, 21+): The last hurrah takes place on December 7 from 10.30pm onwards, featuring DJ Clark Kent, Stretch and Armstrong.
SOLE DXB APP
The 3-day event has introduced a dedicated 2019 app that holds the full schedule of events across all days.
TIMING & LOCATION
Dubai Design District (d3)
December 5 from 6pm onwards
December 6 and 7 from 12pm-10pm
Tickets, currently on sale, range from Dh245 for either a Friday or Saturday pass (including Thursday access), or Dh375 for a weekend pass, including access all three days.