Global superstars Coldplay rocked Al Wasl Plaza with a never-before-seen show at Expo 2020 Dubai, combining an incredible musical experience with a powerful environmental message. The highly-anticipated performance, in support of Expo 2020 Dubai’s Programme for People and Planet and part of the exciting Infinite Nights Series, thrilled the Al Wasl audience, with thousands more fans watching around the site and the concert streamed online across the globe.
The band, comprising vocalist and pianist Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion, kicked off the night with a stunning performance of Higher Power, with the audience singing along as they belted out their best-known hits, including Clocks, Fix You, Paradise, and Viva La Vida. My Universe, a collaboration with BTS that features on Coldplay’s newest album ‘Music of the Spheres’, brought the house down, with images of the K-Pop sensations projected across Al Wasl dome as part of a breathtaking 360-degree visual experience.
Speaking to the crowd, Chris Martin said: “We’re having such a good time… It’s turned into this wonderful, immersive experience for us.
“I hope this isn’t the last time we can play for you here in Dubai. We’d like to thank [Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai] Reem – ‘The Reem Team’ – for bringing us here and putting on this really cool Expo... There’s all these pavilions teaching us how the world can be better and kinder and cleaner and greener…Thank you for being such a wonderful audience.”
Fans had begun gathering from early afternoon, eager to see the British band, which has won an array of musical awards, including nine Brit Awards and seven Grammy Awards, and is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with more than 100 million albums sold globally. Since the beginning of Exp2020 music has wafted in the air day and night from dusk til dawn, on big stages and small stages, on walkways and inside Pavilions, transcending language, creed, religion, and race to entertain us, put a smile on faces and imprint a message on your soul.
In the words of Sarah Deesen; ‘Music is the great uniter’, and so it has been at the Dubai Expo 2020. The concert was free to Expo ticket-holders, with visitors also enjoying the performance on live screens at Jubilee Park, Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre and Festival Garden, as well as in the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) Arena. The concert was broadcast on the Virtual Expo website, Expo 2020’s YouTube channel, and on Expo TV.
Aligning with Expo’s subtheme of Sustainability, the show highlighted Coldplay and the UAE’s shared commitment to the environment, promoting the aim of creating a better, more sustainable future, inspiring climate awareness and driving action to preserve our planet. Coldplay has pledged to ensure that their upcoming ‘Music of the Spheres World Tour’ is as low-carbon as possible, working with a range of environmental experts to incorporate initiatives that aim to lower carbon emissions by as much as 50 per cent compared to the band’s previous tours.
As the first country in the region to announce a Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, the UAE has achieved global recognition for its commitment to a low carbon world and views climate action as an opportunity for sustainable economic growth – an approach that will gain global momentum as the country prepares to host COP28 in Abu Dhabi in 2023. Ahead of their show, Coldplay said: “We would love to return to the UAE as part of our ‘Music of the Spheres’ world tour. Our dream would be to partner with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to power our entire show with local renewable energy sources, and to develop other meaningful sustainability initiatives around the concert.”
Sonia Dixon and Delroy Constantine-Simms