UAE-based musicians vie to join Ed Sheeran in concert

Esther Eden and Josh Monteath are using hashtags #EDENsingswithEd and #GetJoshToSheeran respectively

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Two musicians based in the United Arab Emirates have each begun an online campaign in the hope of securing a spot on stage with their idol, UK artist Ed Sheeran, whose Dubai concert is scheduled for March 5.

Esther Eden and Josh Monteath are using hashtags #EDENsingswithEd and #GetJoshToSheeran respectively to encourage family and friends to promote their efforts.

Eden is campaigning to sing alongside Sheeran, while Monteath wants to be the opening act.

The campaigns have caused a buzz around town, with the musicians getting publicity in magazines, newspapers and on radio.

Tickets to the concert sold out rapidly after going on sale, leaving some fans ticketless and spurring Eden and Monteath to start their campaigns.

Eden, 17, is in her senior year at Cambridge International high school.

She was invited to perform at RedFest by international music sensation Jessie-J, and has had gigs in the UAE and Goa. Eden even had the honor of giving a TEDx talk on how music can help students.

“I want to make a footprint in a the music industry as a singer / songwriter. I want to touch people’s lives with my lyrics and melodies,” she told Al Arabiya News.

“For example, I was bullied online and wrote a song that touched a lot of people who have gone through similar issues. However, I don’t write sad songs. They’re all about rising above it all and being the best you can be.”

A student at the SAE Institute, Monteath is building his career with the support of Freshly Ground Sounds, a non-commercial independent music initiative in the UAE.

“Freshly Ground Sounds has essentially shaped my way of writing music and keeping me grounded to basic acoustic guitar and singing,” he told Al Arabiya News.

Monteath has showcased his music at gigs at The Fridge, Dubai Eye, and the F1 in Abu Dhabi.

When asked what he hopes to accomplish in the next few years, Monteath said: “Big things. Music is my baby, and it’s that dream that needs to be fulfilled.

“I’ll be working on EPs this year, finally take my music in the studio and create something more for people, and keep feeding that dream.”

Sheeran has not said whether he will accommodate other musicians at his concert, and the promoters have not publically requested for anyone to apply.

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