For Corrine Parco and Andie Pangan, the Head In The Clouds festival in Pasadena on Saturday, August 20 felt like home.
Not that they’ve ever attended the festival held at Brookside at the Rose Bowl before. But the music — pop, hip-hop, electronic and more — tied to their Filipino culture in particular and the Asian music scene in general, they said.
“A lot of Asian artists that we love are here,” said Parco de Tracy, who, like Pangan from Torrance, just graduated from California State University, Sacramento. “We love to see the performance.”
They posed for photos in front of one of the giant inflatable cloud emoticons attached here and there around the festival grounds for this very purpose.
In the food stalls of 626 Night Market, a long, long line of festival-goers waited patiently to place their orders at the Boba Guys stand.
Michigan State University students Cheryl Tam, Soobin Choi and Haley Tran waited 30 minutes before getting their drinks.
“I think there aren’t a lot of festivals that cater to the artists that we love,” said Tam from Ann Arbor, Michigan, as she, like Choi, cooled off with a tea boba. classic dark milk.
Label 88rising created Head In The Clouds Festival to do just that, helping to popularize Asian American and Asian artists alongside the rise of K-pop acts and other celebrations of Asian pop culture such as KCON LA, which takes place in Los Angeles. Convention Center this weekend.
“I think some of these songs are becoming mainstream and a lot of people outside the Asian American family are drawn to them,” Tran said from Hanoi, Vietnam.
She and her friends said they were most looking forward to artists such as K-pop singer Chungha, Chinese singer-rapper Jackson Wang, Japanese singer-songwriter Joji and Vietnamese American singer Keshi, a last-minute replacement for Saturday’s headliner Niki, who dropped out after contracting COVID-19.
Musical performances on Saturday morning ranged from a mellow set by Korean American R&B singer Hojean to a more energetic performance by Vietnamese American rapper Shotta Spence.
Thai rapper-singer Milli drew an even bigger crowd for her performance on the main stage, arriving on stage wearing a fluffy white cloud-shaped hat and then igniting the audience with a fun and energetic performance of mostly Thai-language songs. .
Most of the afternoon viewers shared Pangan’s feelings about the festival and the music: “There is a sense of belonging in the music,” she said.
Head In The Clouds continues on Sunday, August 21.