After an iconic debut in Los Angeles and high-octane jaunts in Jakarta and Manila, 88rising’s Head in the Clouds Festival finally makes it to New York City. Held at the historied Forest Hills Stadium, which has hosted some of the most culturally significant performances of the time – Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, Bob Dylan, just to name a few. Over the past few years, since 88’s inception in 2018, the record-label-slash-management-company has been highlighting some of the best music from Asian musicians.
And like the performances in the past, last weekend history was being made. The iconic venue was transformed into a vibrant celebration highlighting Asian and Asian American musicians and culture last Saturday and Sunday. And while the forecast was less than ideal, not even a flood watch could keep fans away on Saturday as guests took their spots to see British-Filipina rocker Beabadoobee, Punjabi-American pop and soul singer Raveena, Korean girl group Itzy, among others. Rich Brian closed out the festival on Saturday with an explosive set featuring hits like “New Tooth” and “Sundance Freestyle,” the latter of which certainly had the crowd on cloud nine by the end of the night.
In an interview with Rich Brian earlier this year, the 23-year-old shared that he “loves New York.” Adding that “Last year, we had one in California, so I’m looking forward to reliving that experience and energy.” After his performance on Saturday, new acts like Atarashii Gakko!, Maisiwei, and VEEGEE electrified fans. Among those Sunday acts also included XG, short for “Xtraordinary Girls,” which marked their US debut. And as the festival came to a close on Sunday night, 88rising signees re-emerged onto the stage for a surprise group encore, in true family form.
And if you weren’t able to make it to New York for this performance, you’re in luck. Head in the Clouds is headed back to California for another run in the City of Angels. The two-day festival, which runs August 5 and 6, will feature performances from New York City–DPR Live & DPR Ian, Rich Brian, NIKI–as well as new guests like Jackson Wang, Rina Sawayama, and Zedd. For more details, click here. In the meantime, enjoy some of our favorite moments from last weekend in New York.