Norwich band flown out to Sahara Desert to play 'lavish' private gig

32 musicians from the Joe Ringer Band were flown to the Sahara Desert where they formed a large orchestra

Some 32 musicians from the Joe Ringer Band were flown to the Sahara Desert to play a lavish gig for a private client - Credit: The JRB

A 32-piece city band has played the show of a lifetime after it was whisked out to the middle of the Sahara Desert for a private booking.

The Joe Ringer Band (JRB) received a call earlier in the year to fly out to Africa for a mystery Brazilian client's mega celebration.

Joe Ringer who fronts the Joe Ringer Band was thrilled to be able to take his band into the desert

Joe Ringer who fronts the band said the event was a once in a lifetime experience. - Credit: The JRB

Joe Ringer, the band's 38-year-old front man, said: “We weren’t sure what to expect.

"All we knew was that the venue was right in the middle of the desert and that it was a celebration for someone bringing 150 of their friends and family from Brazil.  

“I knew it would be lavish but it was next level.” 

There were camels, Moroccan drummers and other performers. 

There were camels, Moroccan drummers and other performers at the event on June 12. - Credit: The JRB

Upon arriving in Marrakech on June 10, the band checked into a hotel before being driven to the middle of the world's largest hot desert for the event on June 12.

It was here they realised they would also be backing famous artists including Heather Small - who had similarly been commissioned for the show. 

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Joe said: “We backed her for 90’s bangers like ‘One Night in Heaven’ and ‘Moving on Up’ which was amazing.” 

The band didn't quite know what to expect but were blown away by how lavish it was. 

The band didn't quite know what to expect but were blown away by how lavish the Saharan Desert set up was. - Credit: The JRB

Although the band are seasoned professionals - selling out the likes of Norwich Theatre Royal - the 40-degree heat posed a new challenge to the musicians.

The client had brought 150 of their friends and family from Brazil to see the Norwich band in the desert.

The client had brought 150 of their friends and family from Brazil to see the Norwich band in the desert. - Credit: The JRB

Joe added: “There were even camels at this event as well as traditional Moroccan drummers and loads of other amazing acts around the venue."

Usually the lead singer of the band Joe only sang one number and conducted the orchestra for rest of the show.

This was because the mystery client had seen The JRB's work at Blicking's Classic Ibiza events and loved what they did.

Joe added: “It was a once in a lifetime experience.  

The client knew The JRB from their Ibiza Concerts which have been performed around the country and further afield. 

The client knew The JRB from their Classic Ibiza concerts which have been performed around the country and further afield. - Credit: The JRB

“I’ll never forget it.

"Of course I still love performing in Norfolk and we hope to bring our orchestra shows back to the region soon.” 

The Joe Ringer Band is currently planning its Christmas show which will return to Norwich and the surrounding areas in December.  

Joe said: “After such a rubbish two years it’s so good to be back and busier than ever.”

Unusual facts about the Sahara Desert

1. The Sahara changes size. 

Usually it is around 8,600,000km in size but it expands and contracts throughout the seasons.

It is also 10pc bigger than it was a century ago. Scientists believe this is partly due to climate change. 

2.  The desert takes up nearly a third of the African continent. 

It also spans 11 countries including Egypt, Algeria, Chad, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Western Sahara and Tunisia.

3. The desert’s highest point is an extinct volcano called Mount Koussi in Chad, which has an elevation of 3,415 metres.

Some of its dunes can even reach over more than 180m. 

4. The Sahara is actually home to more than two million people. 

They live close to water sources in order to sustain their communities. 

5. As well as the camels The JRB spotted in the desert, it is also home to a range of wildlife. 

Although it has among the harshest conditions in the world other creatures that live there include foxes, lizards, snakes and scorpions.