Six60, the first band in the world to play to a live stadium audience of thousands after the coronavirus pandemic began, will also perform at Expo 2020 Dubai, it has been announced.
The group will be part of the New Zealand pavilion's entertainment and culture programme for the major UAE event. They are the first in a line-up of national talent, which is yet to be revealed. This includes singers, dancers, artists and more.
Six60, which formed in 2008, is made up of drummer Eli Paewai, bassist Chris Mac, lead guitarist Ji Fraser, Marlon Gerbes on synths and singer Matiu Walters, who also plays guitar.
The award-winning band, whose single Don't Forget Your Roots has gone platinum four times, are New Zealand's highest-selling live group and known for their unique sound, which spans several genres including pop rock, reggae, soul and R'n'B.
In February, they played to about 23,000 people in Christchurch's Hagley Park, which was the biggest audience to attend a live concert in the world since the pandemic started.
They have yet to perform in Dubai, but it's something the band is now looking forward to.
"We've never played anywhere in the Middle East and anytime you can bring your music to a new crowd it's exciting," guitarist Fraser said. "We have incorporated some traditional Maori instruments and Te Reo Maori into some of our most recent recordings which will probably be very unique for international visitors."
Clayton Kimpton, New Zealand’s commissioner-general to Expo 2020 Dubai, added that the national pavilion's entertainment and cultural programme, which is curated by Parris Goebel, will include a diverse range of talent, with particular emphasis on those with Maori and Pasifika roots.
"We’re working with some very new, up-and-coming young talent right through to the established groups like Six60 and we know visitors will be thoroughly entertained.”
More about the line-up will be revealed in the run-up to the event.
After delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai will now take place from Friday, October 1 to Thursday, March 31, 2022.
Take a look through the gallery below to see more of the Expo 2020 Dubai pavilions: