#AsiansInMusic 88rising: Asian Coachella putting Asian Artists on the Map!

by Andrew Nguyen
Head In The Clouds. Photo: Evan Fitzpatrick for 88rising

88rising presents Head In The Clouds tour featuring artists such as Joji, NIKI, Rich Brian, AUGUST 08, Higher Brothers, and much more! This was my second year attending the concert and it can quite possibly be my last.

Let’s go through the highlights! All the performances were really amazing. Newcomers to 88rising festival: DPR Live and iKon really stood out to me because I had never heard of them but couldn’t stop listening to their music once I got home. NIKI also delivered with her incredibly soothing voice and continues to be one of the few artists that are even better in-person. The one artist that blew me away was definitely Rich Brian, with an actual band playing in the background that got the crowd really pumped up. 10 out of 10!

Unfortunately, the major flaw with this festival is that they sold way too many tickets. Last year, they had around 9,000 guests (including me) but this year that number reached nearly 25,000! While I understand that most festivals want to make as much money as possible, it got downright claustrophobic at times.

To start, the line was very, very long. It began at the La Historic Park and it wrapped around all the way to Chinatown with no end in sight. It became a hazard for people just wanting to see the performers. In fact, several artists had to stop their set to ensure the safety of fans being crushed because they wanted a closer look. A friend of mine who managed to get near the front row told me how she had to constantly fend off people pushing their way to the stage.

Other than that, I feel that 88rising is the equivalent of an Asian Coachella that is a great way to showcase the talents of Asian artists in hip hop, R&B, and more. I thoroughly enjoyed last year and was not as much as a fan of this year’s Head In The Clouds due to the high volume of attendees and disorganization of letting people in. BUT, I was able to discover new artists such as DPR Live and iKon which I have not stopped listening to. Let’s just hope that next year there will be a bigger venue and better organization.

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