Towards the tail end of July, a summer weekend in Illinois, Chicago turned into a sweltering affair: as BTS’s J-hope fired up the Grand Park stage for Lollapalooza 2022. Not only was it the first time for a South Korean artist to headline a major US festival, the K-pop household name had also contributed to the highest ticket sales in 31 years of the festival’s history. J-hope’s Lollapalooza moment was indicative; the music festival scene as we know it is beckoning in a shift in the music industry—where Asian acts can now be seen to rule the roost.
One can easily look to the glamourous Coachella stage in recent years; this year’s line-up alone was bustling with a slew of Asian performers, from NIKI to Epik High to Aespa and even a surprising return of K-pop legacy group 2NE1—all received with an undeniably euphoric crowd that was soaking up the evening’s atmosphere. It’s a welcome change in the scene of course, with more and more festival-goers becoming slowly acquainted with a more diverse and global sound profile, despite the language medium. After all, what remains part of a music festival’s appeal is also the fascinating notion to acquaint yourself with rising musical acts of different genres that may somehow tickle your fancy. Performers aside, the scene on the ground also consistently points to one of liberating freedom: where audiences are able to express themselves wholeheartedly by means of dress, or simply gaining their long-awaited opportunity to listen to their favourite music from a lesser-known group or singer.
So whilst the pandemic may have caused the usual muster of festivals and concerts to forcibly come to a total standstill, it’s of note that the fog has fast cleared and the festival scene is now swiftly unravelling before us; the Coachella stages from April and the recent Lollapalooza buzz alone are testament to that. But perhaps we might proffer that the scene closer to home, finds its buzz all the same. The upcoming months will see headlining acts in the vein of Jackson Wang and CL, who are set to play across the region’s most anticipated festivals such as Good Vibes Weekender and We The Fest 2022 that’s perfect for an intoxicating party getaway within the weekend hours. Below, we also round up other buzzy destination music festivals to look forward to, including 88rising’s Head In The Clouds Festival, that shine the light on more Asian talents in the field.
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Head In The Clouds Music & Arts Festival
When it comes to Asian acts rocking it out in the West, there can be no better festival to look to than 88rising’s Head In The Clouds Music & Arts Festival. Festival go-ers can expect a colourful line-up of performers, as Jackson Wang once again takes the main stage alongside an eclectic list of other solo acts such as Keshi, Rich Brian, Jay Park, Bibi and Chung Ha. Set for its first run in California this August, the recording label has also announced its end-year descent on Jakarta and Manila.
The Head In The Clouds Festival will show at The Rose Bowl, Pasedena, California from 20 to 21 August.
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Hyperound K-Fest Abu Dhabi
A sensational line-up of Korean music acts are taking to the capital city’s stage with Korean hip-hop household names in the vein of Zico and Loco headlining the evening. Other exciting performers to be expected include more explosive solo artists and bands—Sik-K, Peakboy, DJ Woogie, GOT7 member JayB and The Rose—are just to name a few.
The Hyperound K-Fest Abu Dhabi is slated to stage at the Eithad Arena on 10 September.
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Primavera Sound 2022 Los Angeles
Previously held in Barcelona, Spain and Porto, Portugal, the Primavera Sound takes on its Los Angeles installment of the festival, rolling out an ambitious line-up of alternative and indie music names including Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, Nine Inch Nails, Cigarettes After Sex and Clairo—all set for a moody getaway weekend in the destination city.
Primavera Sound 2022 Los Angeles will play in LA State Historic Park from 16 to 18 September.
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Good Vibes Weekender 2022
One of Malaysia’s top music festivals is returning to the scene—with a bang. Good Vibes Weekender welcomes electrifying acts CL and Jackson Wang—with the latter recently in Marquee Singapore for Team Wang’s ‘Human Remix’ party. Other acts on the line-up include indie household names such as Oh Wonder, beabadoobee and soul artist Pink Sweat$.
Good Vibes Weekender 2022 is set to stage at Surf Beach at Sunway Lagoon from 23 to 24 September.
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Rolling Loud New York 2022
Touted as one of the few hip-hop based music festivals, the Rolling Loud Festival in New York this year will be headlined by none other than Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky and Future. With other rising hip-hop talents on the list including Lil Baby and 21 Savage, we can expect the festival grounds to be overtaken by smooth, suave stages of the rap prowesses.
Rolling Loud New York 2022 will play at Citi Field in Queens, New York from 23 to 25 September.
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We The Fest 2022
Seems like both Jackson Wang and CL are set for a festive-filled weekend, as Good Vibes won’t be the only stage they’re taking on within the span of the same three days. The We The Fest Festival—known for being one of the largest music festivals in the Southeast Asian region—is making its long-awaited return since the pandemic with a spectacular line-up of wide-ranging acts. Festival headliners include Wang, CL and Jeremy Zucker alongside a standout slew of regional stars such as Raisa and Surf Mesa.
We The Fest 2022 will play at Jakarta’s GBK Sports Complex Senayan from 23-25 September.
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When We Were Young Festival
The initial announcement of this festival’s line-up led to a nearly immediate sell-out of tickets, before they opened up additional days to accommodate to the overwhelming demand. The When We Were Young stage pays a nostalgic nod to the days of emo-punk, as seminal bands Paramore and My Chemical Romance take to the main stage. Other highly prolific acts include Mayday Parade, Bring Me The Horizon, Boys Like Girls and Avril Lavigne herself.
When We Were Young Festival 2022 will take to the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on 22, 23 and 29 October.