Hundreds turned out yesterday for the Maldives Surfing Entertainment Surf Show near the tsunami memorial, perusing merchandise by day and dancing to music by local and guest DJs late into the night.
The event, which runs September 16 and 17, was organised by Maldives Surfing Entertainment. Sport clothing companies Sea Sports, Sony Sports, and Round-Up displayed their wares in tents evoking the minimalist surf shack atmosphere.
Maldives Surfing Association Event Organiser Mohamed Shabeen was optimistic about the event, which is the first in an annual series of surf shows.
“The goal was to raise awareness of surfing culture. Surfing has been picking up lately, more young people are coming out and we have had good feedback on the show so far,” said Shabeen.
Shabeen said that local groups were supportive of the initiative. “This wall you see here is not normally allowed, but we were allowed to build it for the event,” he said, pointing at the wooden barrier that demarcates the area as a festival space.
Set-up for the event was done by approximately 40 local surfers over three days, said Shabeen. The set-up includes surf board displays, plant decorations, and a light and sound system for the evening concerts.
While the surf show attracted families and children during the day, youth turned out in swarms for the concert at night. The show featured trance and techno music in sync with light displays and fog machines. DJs regularly called out to the crowd below, “Are we having a good time? This is a new era, we are here to celebrate!”
DJs and staff noted that this is the first time an outdoor rave has been held on Male in some time, and said most parties take place on a smaller, more subdued scale.
“What do you say when you just want to go ‘AHHHH!!’?” said one concert-goer. “That is how we feel right now, this is our outlet, we are finally able to express ourselves out here and have a good time.”
Others suggested that religious conservatism on Male’ has kept the youth from celebrating in public, and said they hoped that events such as the surf show would be held more often.
The event was organised by Maldives Surf Entertainment Director and Surf Guide Ahmed Azniel. Shabeen said he hopes this weekend’s surf will garner attention for a surfing contest to be held in November at South Foahmulaku, in honor of the 17th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit.
Correction: The article previously stated that the 2011 Surf Show was a cooperative event between Maldives Surf Entertainment and Maldives Surfing Association. It should have read, “The event, which runs September 16 and 17, was organised by Maldives Surfing Entertainment.”
Correction: The article previously stated “The event was organised by Maldives Surf Entertainment Director and Surf Guide Mohamed Azniel. It should have read, “The event was organised by Maldives Surf Entertainment Director and Surf Guide Ahmed Azniel.”