English mega band Coldplay put on a barnstorming New Year’s Eve performance on the Abu Dhabi waterfront on the opening night of the Volvo Ocean Race’s Destination Village – the centrepiece of the race’s two week stopover in the city.
The sell out show was the hottest ticket in the city last night as tens of thousands of people thronged the concert venue adjacent to the Volvo Ocean Race village to see the super group belt out a stunning set featuring several of their biggest hits including Yellow, Clocks, Speed of Sound and their signature anthem Fix You.
Coldplay hit the stage shortly before 1030 PM local time (1830 UTC) to a rapturous reception from Abu Dhabi’s hoards of New Year’s Eve revellers.
The excellence of the super group’s performance was equally matched by a sophisticated video and light show which left the crowd breathless from the very first number.
The concert came to a climax shortly before midnight when lead singer Chris Martin led the crowd in a count down to the turn of the year, when a spectacular firework display exploded over the Abu Dhabi cityscape and Coldplay broke into their closing song, Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.
Earlier in the day, the Abu Dhabi Destination Village was opened by His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan and a party of senior local dignitaries.
Themed around Abu Dhabi’s maritime heritage, the village is packed with exhibitions, shows, simulators, hospitality, game zones, food and beverage outlets and merchandise shops.
The village will be open free of charge every day during the stopover and is expected to welcome as many as 100,000 visitors through its gates during the stopover which runs from December 31 to January 14.
On January 4 the five-boat Volvo Ocean Race fleet will complete the second stage of Leg 2 from Cape Town, South Africa, with a high speed, adrenaline packed sprint into Abu Dhabi, arriving in the city around 1600 local time (1200 UTC).