Lady Gaga’s artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball is coming to Dubai — but it will be censored. The contentious pop star is known for her oft-outrageous stage antics, but organisers confirmed to tabloid! that her UAE show on September 10 at the Meydan Racecourse will be edited down for cultural reasons.
“There will be some edits for Dubai,” said Marco Rios, the chairman and CEO of AMI Live, one of three companies involved with bringing Gaga to the UAE. “It cannot be the full show, because it wouldn’t be allowed. So it’s a special show for Dubai and for the culture.”
The Dubai date, which will “respect the local law”, was officially announced at a Monday morning press conference at the RIRA Gallery in DIFC.
Becky Artmonsky, CEO of ATW Live — the executive producers and promoters partially responsible for Jennifer Lopez at the Dubai World Cup — said that Gaga is willing to play nice to avoid cancellations. She doesn’t want a repeat of the ban that has been imposed on her live shows in Indonesia.
“She’s a wonderful, ground-breaking artist and that’s why we all love her. She’s very, very excited to be playing for her fans for the first time in the Middle East, and that’s really, always for her, the absolute most important thing,” said Artmonksy.
“We’re working very closely with her and her team to ensure all cultural sensitivities are managed very well. It’s her first time here, and she knows she has a lot of Little Monsters here — and some Big Monsters, as well, actually — so that’s the focus for her.”
Despite a censored version of Gaga’s show, her UAE fans may be able to meet their idol in the flesh.
“There’s a few meet-and-greets — there will be a very nice meet-and-greet,” said Rios. “Gaga is not an artist who likes to meet-and-greet, but I think so, we might [have one].”
“It all depends on the artist,” added Vincent Guo, COO of AMI Live. “As promoters, we love to have meet-and-greets — it’s whether the artist wants to do that. Some love it, some don’t.”
China welcomes Gaga?
Alongside the announcement, the press conference served as an introduction to Guo and Rios’ Latin American company, AMI Live. Gaga’s concert is their first effort in the UAE. They plan to produce more live shows (they told us they have five big names already planned), sports programming and children’s programming. They have been the dominant Latin American events organiser for over 10 years, with more than 4,000 shows held and millions of tickets sold.
The conference also marked a strategic merger between AMI Live and Long Legacy Cultural Group, a Chinese organisation with experience in commercial stage performances. By joining forces, and through a somewhat ideal geographical proximity, they hope to bring more artists to Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball is Gaga’s fourth concert tour, and features, like many of her concerts, crazy costumes and elaborate productions. The tour so far has received positive reviews, with many praising the singer’s energy and enthusiasm.
Gaga’s last tour, the Born This Way Ball, had to be abruptly cut short in 2013 following a hip injury the singer sustained while performing. She later underwent surgery. Trade publication Pollstar named it the fifth highest grossing tour in 2012 behind Madonna, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Roger Waters and Coldplay.
Tickets for the Dubai show are priced at Dh495 (General Admission), Dh750 (Grandstand Seating) and Dh1,295 (Golden Circle). VIP tables and air-conditioned suites will also be available, starting at Dh2,000. Tickets can be bought from noon on May 15 on ticketmaster.ae. Gaga’s fan club members will have access to a presale on May 13-14, with a promoter presale occurring on May 13. A special website dedicated to the concert has also been created: ladygaga.ae.