Guest post by Kim Castro.
96 Hours in Dubai, 8 artists live onstage, 3 of my best girls, and 1 weekend to remember.
In February, Garage brought us to one of the best and biggest nights in the Middle East: RedFestDXB! My BFF/blogging-partner/sister-by-blood, Bianca, and I packed our suitcases, flew 200 miles from Doha to Dubai, and headed to experience THE COOLEST WEEKEND OF OUR LIVES.
An hour’s flight and we landed in Dubai – Dubai-Dubai-the-always-bustling-and-unabashedly-glitzy Dubai – and as soon as we’re settled into our hotel room, the first thing we looked for was the number to dial for McDelivery. We all know that a smashing weekend always jumpstarts with a good fast food haul (or is it just us?). Did I mention the unbreakable bond of our sisterhood is sealed with our unyielding mutual love for McFries? Anyway. I digress.
Not too long and our duo turned into a quartet as 2 of Dubai’s leading fashion bloggers, Marjanne and Bettina (Garage’s #1 International Blogger!), joined us for a short but sweet girls’ night in. 1 Pizza and a gazillion of stories later, our long-time online friendship quickly escalated into a newfound sisterhood that’s *more than diamond, more than gold* (I’m quick to slip a Sean Paul lyric in there, haha!). We were just warming up, though. The real fun was just about to go down.
Thursday Night: Day 1 in Full Swing
Frenzied dancing in the rain. With my girls. To Sean Paul and G-Eazy LIVE. Could things get any better than this?
Left to right: Me and Bianca – twinning in Garage outfits for RedFestDXB Day 1.
On Bianca: Garage hoodie (check out this similar style!) and black, ripped skinny jeans.
What I wore: Garage’s tencel bomber jacket and a black chiffon top.
We spent the first half of the day prepping and gearing up for the music festival (read: heavy breakfast and 2 hours of hair and make-up). And the other half of the day? Well, it’s history. In true Garage girl fashion, of course, all 4 of us ~squadded it up~ in Garage outfits. Bianca and I brought our twinning game on in dusty pink athleisure. Bettina was decked out in a denim and floral ensemble, while Marj opted for a sleek preppy look with a black satin bomber jacket and a maroon skater dress.
When we arrived at Dubai Media City Ampitheatre, the venue was brimming and the queues were built up at the gates. The event was packed as expected. It was 11 degrees and we were shivering. And so, we did what any hangry music festival goer would do: hit up a fast food joint and fuel up!
Photo courtesy of @marjanne.co.
Left to right: Bianca, me, Bettina, and Marjanne – all smiles in Garage!
After waiting for roughly an hour and a half at the gates, we finally made it in. Daya was onstage performing her hit song (and the last of her set), Sit Still, Look Pretty, when we got in. Pumped up, we did what any group of ecstatic bloggers would do: take a groufie! I mean, priorities first, right? 😉
Intense excitement was building up as the crowd awaited Sean Paul to step up to the stage. One dance number and a couple minutes later and there he was. Sean Paul finally emerged with his infectious song, Get Busy, and everybody – us included – COMPLETELY. LOST. IT. It also started raining. Suffice it to say, Sean Paul made it rain that night. The energy kept going through the roof as he performed one hit after another. He finished off his set with his ubiquitous radio hits Rockabye and Cheap Thrills. Just when we thought the night couldn’t be any more super, yet another superhuman came onstage: G-Eazy. G-EAZY!!! And boy, was “Gerald from California” (how he charmingly introduced himself) phenomenal.
We danced and sang along and screamed and danced and laughed and danced some more until our lungs gave out and our feet couldn’t take it anymore. TIME. OF. OUR. LIVES. Did I mention it was also Bianca’s 19th birthday? ‘Lil Miss Bianca isn’t so ‘lil anymore!
As the night concluded, I was left with quite a few thoughts:
1. Was I the only person on this planet who didn’t know every single word to Sean Paul and G-Eazy’s songs?
2. G-Eazy is a real stud muffin (I’m still swooning).
3. I cannot emphasize enough how UNBELIEVABLE Sean Paul and G were on that stage.
4. Can we do that night again?
Friday: Day 2
There’s literally nothing and no one that can stop girls who just want to have fun – not even extreme weather conditions.
With post-festival euphoria and our bodies still sore from last night, we took on the day fueled with tenacity and a full plan: 1) Brunch at The Dubai Mall, 2) Take lots of photos, and 3) Hit RedFestDXB’s 2nd day.
The Garage store at The Dubai Mall.
For brunch, Marj and Bettina brought us to Parker’s, one of the city’s ‘it’ eat spots that involves an actual key hunt to be able to get into the garden-inspired diner to devour their one-of-a-kind burgers. Right after we stuffed ourselves with sliders and mac ‘n cheese, the day took an unexpected turn when RedFestDXB Day 2 was announced cancelled due to severe weather – sand storms. Oh, what luck! But the fun must go on – we went back to the hotel and came up with a new plan: pizza party!
To sum it up, this was how the night went down. Not too shabby for a stormy night! Bad weather: 0 – Garage RedFestDXB squad: 1.
Saturday: Day 2… For Real
Sun’s out, fun’s out! With Demi Lovato and Mike Posner, RedFestDXB wrapped up with a bang.
Saturday morning and Mr. Golden Sun was finally out again – this meant one and only one thing for us: more RedFestDXB! Arriving a tad early gave us leeway to experience more of the music festival fanfare and, yup, the chance and the perfect lighting for photos.
Day 2 opened with Britain’s Got Talent alumnus, Calum Scott, and the COOLEST of the Cool Girls, Tove Lo. Meanwhile, among the crowd, small talk I overheard:
Girl 1: Who are you here for? Demi?
Girl 2: Yaaas! I’ve waited for this all my life. She’s my queen!
Another group at the back was swooning on how they just wanted to see Demi and take a photo with her. Not that I spent most of my time eavesdropping, but right then and there I concluded the majority of the crowd were “Lovatics,” if you will. I had a flashback to my teenage years. I wanted to see Demi Lovato live too.
The best part of the day, though, was Mike Posner and his band that he calls The Legendary Mike Posner Band, and the whole crew’s astonishing stage presence. He emerged onstage donning his lime green hair and everybody, including me, went wild. The energy. The set list. The sax and hot, head-banging guitarist. Man, the guy was incredible. We all know MP from his song remix, I Took a Pill in Ibiza, but IMO, he’s one of the most underrated artists in the music industry. I mean, his other songs are great and he’s a published poet too, and he draws his own album covers. He got us all to kneel down at one point while he performed his older hit, Cooler than Me, and it was otherworldly.
Mike Posner concluded his set with his poem about love and fame.
On Bianca: Garage’s black polo, red muscle tee, and black, ripped skinny jeans.
Demi Lovato looking smokin’ hot onstage.
And then it was Demi’s turn. Needless to say, when she came out onstage with her song Confident, the whole crowd went manic. There was screaming, dumbfounded faces, and there was crying (tears of joy in concerts is real, people). I always say this, but I really was “blown away” on how gorgeous Demi in the flesh is. She performed songs from her new album, some of her previous hits like Skyscraper, Heart Attack, and Neon Lights, and closed the night with my favorite song of hers, Cool for the Summer.
As we bid RedFestDXB goodbye by hitting the burger stands and prancing our way out of the ampitheatre, I had only one thought in mind: I’M NOT READY FOR ALL THIS TO END.
Kim describes herself as a “millennial cliché” and a “girl’s girl” – and we love her for it. Last summer, she beat out the competition and won our Blogger of the Year contest to take home the title of Garage’s “Blogger of the Year”! Kim lives, breathes, and blogs from Doha, Qatar.