Sole DXB to return in December after two-year hiatus

The annual lifestyle, music and art event was cancelled twice because of the pandemic

Dubai, United Arab Emirates-  People arriving at the Sole Dubai Festival at D3.  Leslie Pableo for The National for Saeed Saeed's story
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Dubai street-culture and music festival Sole DXB will return from December 9 to 11 after a two-year hiatus. First held in 2011, the annual event has since grown to be one of the UAE's top festivals. It now features a multi-format programme of talks and workshops to footwear exchanges, film screenings and musical concerts.

More than 36,000 people attended the last event, held at the Dubai Design District in 2019, which attracted more than 100 performers, designers and speakers across three days. Past performers and guests at Sole DXB include the likes of hip-hop greats Wu-Tang Clan and rappers Nas, Koffee and Stormzy.

In September last year, organisers cancelled the December event for the second year, owing to coronavirus pandemic.

"Despite our best efforts, we won’t be able to make the festival happen this year. We’d like nothing more than to bring the community back together, but current circumstances don’t allow us to build the show we want," they said on social media.

"Sole DXB will be back, and when it is, we will make it count."

Details of this year's programming as well as a line-up of performers are yet to be revealed.

The first Sole DXB was held on February 24, 2011 at thejamjar, a warehouse art gallery in Al Quoz. Marketed as a "sneaker summit", the aim then was to galvanise the city's nascent hip-hop scene. In 2015, Sole DXB found its permanent home in Dubai Design District and has since added international hip-hop artists, film screenings and panel sessions to its programme.

Speaking to The National at the 2019 event, co-founder Hussain Moloobhoy described Sole DXB as "a platform for people to connect”.

“Because hip-hop culture has not been here for 20 to 30 years, like other cities, it is an education on where the culture comes from and the different strands it has," he said.

Scroll through the gallery below for pictures from Sole DXB 2019:

Updated: April 26, 2022, 10:26 AM