A few weeks ago, Ears To The House reported on the news that Defected had finally done the previously unthinkable – and announced an event in Dubai. The company whose own slogan is about all being equal in their house were going to the United Arab Emirates – a country where many of its own citizens are anything but.
Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of criticism – so much so that Wez Saunders himself felt the need to step in. Curiously, however, he did not post his defence on any of Defected’s social media pages – instead opting to place it on his personal Instagram page.
Perhaps it’s just as well – it was a pathetic, weak defence which tried to suggest the problem was actually with the people making the criticism. Here’s a little excerpt of what he had to say…
“It’s easy to jump to conclusions about the reasons some host events in certain locations. We previously held successful events in Dubai, which forms part of my decision-making; I wanted to bring a showstopper to our community in Dubai. Of course, people will look at decisions and judge things politically or emotionally, but I will only ever make decisions based on serving our community.”
In the same way that Resident Advisor thinks of itself as irreplaceable, Wez Saunders now seems to think that he speaks on behalf of an entire community. The level of arrogance shown here is nothing short of staggering.
In the meantime, Defected announced the lineup for their event yesterday – but it really was a blink and you’ll miss it moment. Anyone looking at Defected’s Instagram page would be hard pressed to find it – the company has done the social media equivalent of carpet bombing to bury the announcement.
Ears To The House has been told by two industry insiders that Defected employees working on social media aren’t exactly enamoured with new boss Saunders – and taking the flak over the Dubai announcement a few weeks ago hasn’t helped matters. But is it possible that other factors are at play here?
For example, Ears To The House has been vociferous in its criticism of MDL Beast Soundstorm – a UAE government funded propaganda event. However, one thing that can be said in their defence is they do at least try to give local artists in their own country – and nearby ones – an opportunity to appear at the festival.
All Defected have done here is literally lifted the basic template from one of their other festivals, and stamped the word Dubai on it. The lineup has names such as Hannah Wants, John Summit, Low Steppa, and Roger Sanchez on it – not bad, but not exactly earth-shattering, either.
We also notice that ticket sales for the event have had to be pushed back – Defected’s socials originally claimed general sales would start on 3rd July, but this has now been pushed back to 31st July. Things don’t seem to be going too well…