Travis Scott and Wegz to headline Abu Dhabi's Wireless Festival Middle East

The inaugural event will take place in Etihad Park on March 11

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Travis Scott will headline the inaugural Wireless Festival Middle East in Abu Dhabi.

The popular and controversial artist leads a bill of international and regional hip-hop acts in a one-day event at Etihad Park on March 11.

Also lined up at the Yas Island venue is fellow US rapper Lil Uzi Vert for his debut concert in the Middle East.

Lil Uzi Vert should get a rapturous reception in Abu Dhabi after the artist went viral in 2021 for uploading an Instagram video dancing the dabke at a Palestinian wedding.

The rapper who is arguably the Arab world’s most famous will also be making an appearance. Egypt’s Wegz will take the main stage on the back of being named last year's most-streamed artist in Egypt and Mena for the third year running on Spotify.

The accolade is predominantly down to the monster hit El Bakht, garnering more than 167 million views on YouTube alone.

Iraqi rapper Ali Gatie will also be making his way to the capital.

The artist, who lives in Toronto, is known for the 2019 hit It's You, which charted in the US Billboard Top 100 and raked in more than 100 million views on YouTube.

The burgeoning Indian hip-hop scene will be represented by Mumbai rapper Divine, whose rags-to-riches tale inspired the 2019 Bollywood film Gully Boy.

He will be joined by compatriot King, who recently released the new album Champagne Talk.

Pakistani hip-hop group Young Stunners will also be at Wireless Festival Middle East.

A decade into their career, the Karachi duo are credited as pioneers of Urdu rap and featured in last year's Coke Studio Live in Dubai concert.

Black Sherif rounds off the first tranche of announced artists.

The Ghanaian singer and rapper gained online popularity in 2021’s First Sermon, a debut single blending the sounds of highlife, reggae and hip-hop and UK drill.

Ticket prices will be announced soon and go on sale on Friday from www.ticketmaster.ae.

Travis Scott returns to the big stage

Travis Scott delivering an explosive set at the 2016 Beats on the Beach festival in Abu Dhabi. Saeed Saeed / The National

Wireless Festival Middle East marks one of Scott’s biggest appearances since the Astroworld Festival tragedy in 2021, when 10 people were killed and more than 300 injured during his headlining performance.

With 50,000 people in attendance, authorities confirmed the fatal incident occurred due to a "crowd surge", which forced organisers to stop the show.

Scott reportedly settled one of the lawsuits relating to the event in October, and the artist has been making a gradual comeback to the stage since then.

Last year, he performed a series of club shows and at the Billboard Music Awards, before playing two sold-out concerts at London's The O2 Arena.

In a three-star review of the gig, The Guardian hailed Scott's "impressive energy" and declared it "a stunning show aesthetically".

Scott finished the year with his first pair of festival performances, headlining sets at Primavera Sound in Argentina and Chile in November.

Scott's last regional concert was in Abu Dhabi as part of the 2016 Beats on the Beach festival.

What is Wireless?

First held in 2005 in London, the festival’s debut had New Order, Basement Jaxx, Keane and Kasabian headlining the four-day concert at Hyde Park.

As well as moving to London’s Finsbury Park, the festival evolved from its electronic indie-rock roots to focus on hip-hop, grime and Afrobeat genres.

Attracting close to 50,000 fans, previous headliners include Cardi B, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Kanye West and Stormzy.

Wireless 2023 returns to Finsbury Park from July 7 to 9.

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