THIS is the moment men and women legally danced together in public for the first time EVER in Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom relaxed its strict entertainment laws for Formula E’s season five opener in Riyadh, the capital city of the ultra-conservative desert state.
Daft Punk’s hit single ‘One more time’ was the first song they danced to, just a year after a 14-year-old boy was arrested in Saudi Arabia for doing the Macarana in the street.
Thousands of Saudis attended the public concert from Thursday to Saturday, which was the first of its kind on this scale.
The unsegregated crowd reflects Saudi Arabia’s approach to change, as just a few years ago women could only attend a university lecture by a male professor through a monitor.
MEET EJ – Formula E’s music man who made history in Saudi Arabia.
The all-electric series’ DJ was the first artist to play a set in front of an unsegregated crowd.
A-list musicians including The Black Eyed Peas, Enrique Iglesias, Jason Derulo and David Guetta joined the party in Riyadh to help kick-off season five in style.
EJ, real name Sam Cannon, gave an insight into how nervous he was ahead of his ground-breaking set as gender boundaries were broken down for the first time in the Kingdom’s 86-year history.
He told SunSport: “It was a nerve-racking moment, because No 1, it’s the first race of the season.
“And No 2, you’re coming to a country that hasn’t really experienced this sort of thing before, so knowing what to play and what they would respond to was really difficult.
“The crowd have been fantastic! On the opening day, the doors opened at 4pm and the main acts weren’t on until eight.
“But you had kids running right to the front bang on 4pm and they were very responsive, all hands in the air, loving it, dancing, jumping around and yeah it was really cool.”
EJ hopes Formula E’s shows can go from strength to strength after setting the bar high for the opening race of the season.
He added: “These are definitely the biggest acts we’ve had for Formula E.
“And with Guetta, I was buying his records when I was just an up and coming DJ so to be supporting people like him and One Republic and Black Eyed Peas last night, was crazy – it doesn’t get much better than that.
“For me, as EJ, this is what I’ve always envisioned Formula E to be the future of motor sport, going to all these amazing cities but also supporting the race with a large festival stage with major acts performing.”
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