The Middle Eastern Music Scene Is Dying!
Band: JorZine/JoScene Team
Author: Muhammad Jaber - 2016-08-20
I don’t know from where i should start,
Jordan, where everything began for me the music, the live events, meeting and becoming friends with local bands there.
It had a lot of potential, a lot of passionate musicians with goals, but most of them either shifted to the alternative Arabic rock music where our society accepted it, or they just either leave the country or have left the scene completely.
We had a lot of issues with the Jordanian government, a lot of bands went to jail just because they played a genre of music that they couldn’t accept or understand, and for that we couldn’t bring any international bands to perform in Jordan even though we received a lot offers.
“Chalice of Doom” Live in Amman, Jordan – Event by JoScene
Then, after years of doing events in Jordan I moved to Dubai.
I was having the thought of finally having enough freedom where I can do all kind of metal events and bring all these bands that the Middle East deserves to see.
Yet again I was wrong, BUT this time the government wasn’t the main issue!
All my focus were on the government but I forgot that there will be others, who will try their best to shut us down, for not being able to do what we are doing.
After three successful series of events (Metal Eastern Night 1,2,3), Especially when Krisiun from Brazil Came on November 22, 2014 it was very successful and we had a great time!
Everything was going smoothly, no issues, no problems, everything is just fine!
“Krisiun” From Brazil live in Dubai, November 2014
Our event for Vader on the 6th of March 2015, the CID received a complaint from a competitor.
Although an important note to be made, that us or the competitors do not make a lot of money from these events, so it’s not about money.
We barely make money from these events and sometimes we pay from our own pockets, and although we get our money back with a little profit not to be mentioned, but still we do it for the love of music.
The reason they do this, is that they are sadly not on our same level of professionalism and would rather ruin it for everyone instead of trying to raise their level and help make it better for the entire scene.
Sadly many fans and bands from all over the world came to Dubai, excited to meet those bands but failed to see them perform and instead just maybe hanged around them and took a photo or two.
Still a good outcome, yet it’s not the satisfaction we promised to deliver, and we are sorry for this but it’s out of hands at the moment.
Yet we like to thank those bands by name, for actually accepting our invitation and coming although they weren’t allowed to play.
“Vader & Steel Engraved in Dubai”
“Vader & Steel Engraved in Dubai”
The second event that got cancelled was the Aborted show on the 30th of October 2015.
Again, a silly complaint from an “Angry parent”.
Of course as silly as it sounds, no one from us bought it.
The person who did this sent the complaint directly to the manager of the venue, and so it happens this person is the only one who got the number of the manager, so we know who is behind such move, and we restrict ourselves from calling out any names for the sake of professionalism.
But it was fine with us, we proceeded with local bands without the headliners, and it went really well!
“Verdict” from UAE live at Halloween Event
Insomnium came from Finland and performed, it was an amazing night from an amazing group of guys.
After you spend some time with the members of the band you find yourself saying to everyone in front of you (HAISTAKAA PASKA), which I cannot translate, sorry.
Swallow the Sun came on Feb, 2016 even though it caused problems and they weren’t able to perform live for us.
The members of STS were amazingly great people that even when they came to Dubai and knew about what happened they refused to take their fees.
Although it didn’t happen, but there were still fees, because that was the deal, mainly because the issue was from our side not theirs, but anyhow they were great enough to come support the Even organisers and didn’t take any money.
Thank you Swallow The sun For being professional and completely nice to to us.
Instead of having them on stage, we had them as guests, playing couple of songs for us while having some drinks and chatting with them, it wasn’t what they/we were expecting, but we enjoyed it a lot!
“Swallow The Sun” Gathering, Dubai Feb, 2016.
After couple of months, Mikko vocalist of (Swallow The Sun) And I were talking and we agreed on trying again!
I wanted them to perform in Dubai really bad and wanted to make it up to them for what happened last time, and they wanted to do the same!
We tried again and the date of the event were set on 30th of August, 2016.
All got accepted except 4 members, who got rejected.
We don’t know!
Have we tried to talk to someone to know the reason?
Yes we tried, no one is listening.
I even printed some pictures of STS while they were in Egypt, and translated some of their lyrics just to show the authorities that there is nothing wrong with this band!
But it was useless!
This effected not only The UAE but also effected The MENA region in general!
Now when you speak with a band about coming to MENA region they hesitate, and we do not blame them for it, especially if they cannot afford coming without being paid.
Have we only lost money and time?
No it’s not only that, the most harmful thing that effected us is that any international band is now afraid to accept any offer to MENA, and as I said , can you blame them?
No we can’t.
I wish I can see the faces of those unprofessional people who “work hard” on ruining this not only for us, but everyone else in the country, because they were unable to raise the bar higher like we did, and not be able to deliver the level of professionalism and international status that we were able to obtain.
It is quiet sad actually.
I was trying to remain professional and calm about this, although I have the full right not to be.
But I got a couple of words for the person who did this.
We will not stop, and you will not ruin us.
We are going to overcome this, and you will wish you were on our side instead of the losing side.
Too bad it’s late for you now, and people know the true story of what happened, and will support us and with their help we will rise above this.
Last thing I have to say to whoever behind this is…
-You ran away, so stay away.
-Headphones doesn’t make you a musician nor an artist.
At the end we would like to thank all of those amazing people in the MENA region who supported us all the way, and I hope that someday we can find someone to talk to about this.
Written by: Muhammad Jaber
Edited by : Mohhammed Bilal Al Lahham