BEIRUT: Internationally renowned DJ Jonas Blue is coming to Lebanon this month with what is said to be the biggest show of the season. The chart-topping artist will be performing at Beirut Waterfront’s Seaside Arena Dec. 28. Titled “Jonas Blue on Ice,” his show promises to package the tracks that have been blaring on local radios all year long, and on a winter-themed stage.
With 7.5 million global streams, Blue is ranked No. 1 on iTunes and is one of the most-played western artists on Lebanese radio.
The U.K.-born DJ, songwriter, singer, record producer and remixer burst onto the scene in 2015 with the release of his debut single, a tropical house cover of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 single “Fast Car.”
Featuring the vocals from Dakota (aka Sophie Elton), Blue’s cover peaked at No. 2 on the U.K. Singles Chart, charting higher than both Chapman’s original (which reached No. 5 in May 1988) and its April 2011 re-release.
Attaining No. 1 in Germany, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand, the single reached No. 1 on Spotify’s U.S. viral chart, where it’s been streamed almost 732 million times.
Blue has five Brit Award nominations, 40 million single sales and has been certified platinum over 120 times around the world.
Many will recognize such hit singles and remixes as “Fast Car,” “Polaroid,” featuring Liam Payne, and “Ritual,” his collaboration with Tiesto, sung by Rita Ora.
In light of the ongoing civil disobedience campaign across the country, concert promoters Artists and More Entertainment have been receiving daily inquiries into whether Blue would go ahead with his concert. To assure fans, they released a prerecorded video from Blue at a recent news conference.
“I’ll be performing in Lebanon for the first time ever,” Blue announced via video message. “It’s going to be big [and] I’ll be performing on top of an ice skating rink.”
It’s said Blue will be spinning from a DJ booth made of ice, above a stage also made of synthetic ice. The platform will serve both as a stage and a functional rink, suggesting that, in lieu of back-up dancers, Jonas Blue will be accompanied by ice dance performers.
According to AME founder Anthony Abou Antoun, two tranches of tickets have already sold out. Doors are set to open at 8:30 p.m. with performances from local DJs like Rami B, Ed ’n’ Ray and KAYCEE set to open the night.
“Jonas Blue is expected to perform around 12:30-2 a.m., followed by an after party with more local DJs,” Antoun predicted. “He’ll be playing all his global hits, especially the ones people are listening to right now, like ‘Ritual’ and ‘Younger,’ which are his most recent songs, and of course there’s ‘Perfect Stranger’ and also a commercial EDM set, for an hour and half show.
“Usually DJs around the world do their sets around 2 a.m., including the international DJs coming to Lebanon,” he added, regarding the late starting time for Blue’s set. “He’s coming earlier because we have a teen section … and the next day is a Sunday so people will be celebrating the New Year’s [early].”
“Jonas Blue on Ice” will take place at the Seaside Arena, Beirut Waterfront, on Dec. 28.