plsme facts and figures

See you in Dubai in September 2022

Sample Music Festival Dubai

From Berlin to Dubai - A dedicated event for DJing, Turntablism, Controllerism & Live Sampling for DJs, music producers and audio gurus. Get your hands on the latest gear, attend showcase presentations, meet international artists, and join the workshops.

SMF at Prolight + Sound Middle East

The primary aim of the SMF is not just to present equipment but rather to encourage active visitor participation. Away from the competition between the individual brands, combining different items of equipment leads to exciting applications – active and practical.

Visitors at Prolight + Sound Middle East experienced an exciting programme of workshops, showcases and competitions from the SMF crew. In a dedicated area within the exhibition, top brands gave visitors the opportunity to experience and get their hands on the latest technology. Product specialists from companies such as Ableton and Native Instruments showed their skills in the context of workshops and product demos. Well-known artists from the electronic music scene from Berlin, Paris and London ensured an inspiring experience dedicated to novel sound tools and visual technology. The SMF showcase and experience zone sessions are free-to-attend for registered visitors.




Panel Discussions

Prolight + Sound Middle East - SMF

Experience Zone

Who should attend? 

  • DJs - professional, amateur and aspiring
  • Music producers
  • Nightclub owners, managers and promoters
  • Tour, event and stage production managers
  • Audio engineers

DJ City Link Up

DJ City Link up

Taking place on Day 2 of the show, the Dubai DJ City Link Up took place during SMF.

Many DJs are aware of each other through social media, but their busy schedules often prevent them from developing those relationships further. The DJcity Linkup was created to solve this problem, by bringing DJs together in one place at the same time. Learn more about DJ City

SMF Sponsors & Supporters


Alex Sonnenfeld - Tonspielzeug

"Knowledge becomes worthless unless it is shared, and sharing knowledge has been a core element of Sample Music Festival since its inception."

Event Programme

The events at SMF were free-to-attend for visitors of Prolight + Sound Middle East and took place on all three days of the show.

About the 2019 show: Five minutes with Alex Sonnenfeld, CEO & Founder of Sample Music Festival

Alex Sonnenfeld, co-founder of Sample Music Festival


Q: This is the first time the Sample Music Festival is coming to the Middle East – is it also the first time the showcase is happening outside of Germany?

A: Yes, this our first Sample Music Festival production outside of Germany. Our artists are of course well-experienced when it comes to playing shows on international stages, but it’s certainly a new experience for the production crew, and we are really excited to come to Dubai.

Q: What are the reasons behind bringing SMF to Dubai, and the wider Middle East?

A: To us, it seems like the pro A/V industry has yet to recognise its full potential for growth in the Middle East, and we intend to help change that on a long-term basis. Turntables and MIDI controllers are the guitars and drums of today; due to the accessibility of digital production and performance technology, and the multitude of possibilities it offers to creators, these are the instruments of the modern age.

Of course, this isn’t meant to delegitimise traditional instruments in any way - for us, it’s more about legitimising the techniques electronic musicians use and have them recognised at the same level. Because learning to play the piano is just as hard as learning to scratch a record, and both of these things are equivalent methods of making music.

At Prolight + Sound Middle East, we plan to introduce a huge variety of techniques and technologies both in a B2C and a B2B sense - showing artists how much can be done, and demonstrating interesting cases to the local entertainment industry.

Q: Why use Prolight + Sound Middle East as the platform to present SMF?

A: Prolight + Sound is a historical brand with a global presence in established as well as emerging markets, including now in the Middle East. SMF has grown to become one of the world’s largest gatherings for creators of boundary-pushing digital art, as well as inventors and hackers. These two things go together hand in hand.

Our mission is to build on the foundation set in Berlin and take the experience worldwide, to the audience’s and the industry’s benefit. Artists from all over the globe come to Berlin to exchange knowledge, perform together and network. Exposure to brand-new products happens organically in a way that can’t really be emulated in any other setting.

Beginners and professionals alike meet in the same place without boundaries, and the creative energy is palpable. We believe that Prolight + Sound Middle East is a great event to introduce that energy to.

Q: Why do you think SMF will be popular here in this region?

A: It’s impossible to make predictions as to how successful the production will be, but as said before, the industry hasn’t yet fulfilled its potential in this region, and this year’s SMF presence is only the first in a series of many steps to change that using our collective network. However, DJs and producers are a connected global tribe, and with the help of DJCity Dubai we are indeed optimistic about gaining plenty of attention.

Q: What’s the future of the electronic music scene in the Middle East?

A: Sample Music Festival isn’t just about technology - after all, its potential can only be unleashed if you find the right people to take advantage of it. This is why we have already established contact with the local scene. DJCity, one of the largest online record pools for professional club DJs worldwide, has a presence in Dubai - following on their expansion to Canada, Germany and Spain.

We are planning to collaborate with their team for a networking session which will bring a lot of the local and regional talent together at Prolight + Sound Middle East.  Those people will be the ones shaping the future of the scene - the key is to provide a platform for them, and we’re hoping to help make that happen.

Q: What other surprises do you have in store for SMF?

A: Our creative director is working very hard behind the scenes to turn the SMF Theatre at Prolight + Sound Middle East into a mind-blowing audio-visual experience using all the technology at the team’s disposal. We are musicians first and foremost, but entertainment is about more than just that - so expect visual projections, interactive installations and probably also mixed-reality VR gaming aside from the individual artists’ showcase performances and workshops.

Q: What can artists from the Middle East electronic music scene learn from their European counterparts, and vice-versa?

A: If you look at the rhythmic structures predominant in electronic music, it’s impossible to deny their roots. A lot of the sounds we create originated in the African and Middle Eastern regions, and Western musicians have openly borrowed from that countless times over.

The great thing about music is that it’s a non-verbal form of communication, which transcends geographical borders and language barriers. When musicians come together and jam, words are rarely spoken, and they don’t need to be.

Exchange of knowledge will happen absolutely naturally, even between people who can’t actually talk to one another – although we do of course hope to talk to as many of them as possible, because we like to broaden our horizons as well.  In the context of DJing, it will be very interesting to see and hear how the local artists fuse traditional compositions with modern electronic music.

Q: Any final words?

A: Yes - come visit us! We like to be inspired as much as we like to inspire. Every single SMF event is an experience that leaves the entire team with enough creative input for weeks to follow, and meeting awesome new people is one of the greatest rewards for all the hard work we put into this project.

Background of SMF

smf logo

Audio samples are one of the most important building blocks of today's music. Due to the fact that they are played by computers, they are lacking the rhythmic imperfection which gives music a soulful touch. But it is precisely this "human touch" which brings the soul into the music and software solutions are trying and failing to simulate this in today's music production. However, turntablists and finger drummers modulate audio samples by hand which gives a comparable feel to playing a traditional musical instrument. This creates an interface between the computer and the human being, which is still completely unknown to many people.  This new art form is the focus of the annually held Sample Music Festival in Berlin, attracting sound fanatics from over 15 countries every year. In addition to numerous workshops, discussions, and musicological seminars, visitors get a chance to be involved in the many jam sessions and competitions. Below are the five 5 core values of SMF. Learn more about SMF here

Knowledge becomes worthless unless it is shared, and sharing knowledge has been a core element of Sample Music Festival since its inception. Over the last decade, technology has made significant advances, allowing those who choose to embrace it more creative freedom than ever. However, that overabundance of choices makes it hard for beginners to take the first steps, and even experienced artists are sometimes overwhelmed by it.

Every manufacturer aims to lock users into their ecosystem of products, but this is simply not how things work in the real world. Unique workflows demand unique combinations of hardware and software to provide the most efficient solution. Our workshops, ranging from entry-level topics to advanced masterclasses, will go above and beyond the established format and incorporate everything that helps an artist achieve their individual goals. We will talk about DJing, production, live performance and visuals as well as bold new approaches like syntablism, sensor tracking, live coding and extended reality.

The audio industry has failed to adapt to emerging social trends and urban culture. This has led to the decline, and in some sad cases the outright demise of some outstanding events. Because of this, marketing efforts have largely shifted towards online campaigns where a crucial aspect of discovering new products is simply missing. Interactivity is key - and this is where our Jam Box concept comes in. Unlike an expo in the traditional meaning of the word, we invite exhibitors to set up their products side by side, interconnected on a massive table - and linked to a sound system. Accompanied by artists from our roster, who each have worked in the industry as product specialists, attendees enjoy a fresh take on exploring new products by jamming together live alongside highly prolific creators to guide them.

We celebrate the creative synergy of the extraordinary talent attracted to Berlin over the last five years, and are proud to have become a catalyst for it. When many artists gather in one place, it’s natural for them to start brainstorming and exchanging ideas about their various individual methods. At Sample Music Festival, this has led to many unexpected impromptu sessions which have produced amazing results and keep the audience coming back for more. We are eager to share this energy with the world, and this is where our unique Experience Zone installations really shine. Our artists are incredibly passionate about their craft, so they usually follow up on their workshops and showcases in the Jam Box, taking advantage of its dynamic open format to move their setup there and interact with the audience in a personal way during Q&A sessions.

The final, and perhaps most important piece of the puzzle is where we return to the reason why every single one of us is doing what we do: to entertain. As showcase artists, we care deeply about creating impressive and truly memorable experiences for our audiences. We approach every project with reckless, playful abandon - and that attitude is best reflected on stage. We will educate during the day, and party at night. This is why it’s called Sample Music Festival. Your event can further benefit from having a line-up of amazing performers who will take the extracurricular part to the next level with jaw-dropping live shows.

Where will the industry be 10 years from now? The answer to that question will be determined by a collective effort to inspire and motivate the next generation. We were all kids once, and in many ways, we still are. This is why we take great care to never intimidate or overwhelm them. We treat our young audience with respect and will always encourage them to try any and everything they want. This is absolutely essential in order for the industry to thrive in the future. Those kids will be taking over from us some day, and they must learn early on to never be afraid to push boundaries. Being a collective of artists determined to push boundaries ourselves, we regard this as our main responsibility.

TONSPIELZEUG - the producers behind SMF


Tonspielzeug is a Berlin-based music company. We see ourselves as pioneers and experts in the continued development of contemporary music performance on turntables, midi-controllers and sound tools. As artists, we care deeply about creating impressive and lasting experiences for our audience. We approach every project with reckless, playful abandon on a mission to consistently deliver the best results imaginable. Modern media is our playground. Our various hands-on skills and curious approach to any and all technology are the secret ingredient. Allow us to blow your mind - and we will.

Philosophy - We play with sounds, we touch and catch them. We create sound with our bare hands after it has been manipulated into the smallest fragments. This is our art, it is unique. We would like to share it with you.

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Take part in Prolight + Sound Middle East


All information on how you can participate in the show as an exhibitor.

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