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    Abu Dhabi: Middle East Band Support Hopes Appear Doomed

    emiratespalacehotel1.jpgAn attempt by the band Juliana Down, an alternative rock band from the United Arab Emirates, to open for Coldplay at a local show appears to have failed, ahead of this Saturday's highly-anticipated concert at the Emirates Palace Hotel.


    When Juliana Down contacted the promoters for a Coldplay show to take place in Abu Dhabi, they were told by Coldplay's manager, "It would be my preference to support local and regional bands but in the end it is not [the local promoter] who dictates if a band will play the opening slot."


    Representatives from Coldplay's record label and official Web site said the decision ultimately rests with the members of Coldplay, who have not responded, according to a press release from Juliana Down.


    Juliana Down's attempt to open the show turned into a campaign to get any local UAE band on the show. Keyboardist Saleh Yahya Farah wrote an appeal to Coldplay in Gulf News, stating: "The UAE has a nascent music scene that needs all the support it can get. Local bands still have to pay crippling fees for the right to perform and promoters still do not automatically make provisions for them. This is why getting a local band to open for Coldplay is so important to us. Not only does such an event make it possible for a band to make it big, but it also sets a precedent."


    A Facebook group called "Get a local UAE band to open for Coldplay" currently has 1,000 members, and the story has made UAE national newspapers.


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