The creative energy will be palpable at the festival’s second edition, as its first round of confirmed artists and speakers proves. Headliners will include artists Andrew Bird, Big Freedia, Talib Kweli, JID, Bedouine, Leikli47, Culture Abuse, Doja Cat, Hobo Johnson, J.I.D., Laura Jane Grace, Marian Hill, Nahko & Medicine for the People, Tasha, Yoke Lore, and The Ladies of LCD Soundsystem; and activist David Hogg (March for Our Lives), Patrisse Cullors (Black Lives Matter), Jonathan and Paula Williams, Jose Antonio Vargas, Miki & Radha Agrawal, and AlecWithPen
If this lineup departs from those of other major festivals, there’s a reason: Emerge aims to create a radically different experience. The festival unites calls to action, insightful discussion, and engaging artists, both established and emerging, to grapple with topics vital to our times. This year’s themes include Protest, Self, Brave, and Sex.
“I like to imagine it like a fantasy dinner party, where your most admired thinkers and activists from the past and present get together and talk art and the way things could change for the better,” says Choudhry, who launched the Las Vegas event after years of creating groundbreaking festivals like Life is Beautiful.
For two high-intensity days, the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas will be transformed into a platform for emerging voices and creative connection. The festival will make full use of a wide range of spaces on site, but with a focused schedule that encourages festival goers to dig deep and get engaged.
It kicks off Friday night with HopeXHuman, a celebration that merges the best of human endeavors: exquisite cocktails, artist showcases, and meaningful social change work. The party will provide a fun dive into the festival ethos, as sensual delight and progressive creativity collide. Four banner showcases will explore the four themes and weave speakers, poets, artists, and performers into four-hour immersive experiences. Shorter studio sessions curated by collectives like Vegas’ post-punk art instigators Depressed Monsters will provide a more intimate environment for savoring provocative thought and art. There will be intriguing opportunities to meet like-minded creative thinkers and doers at several carefully crafted Collides, networking events designed to increase the connection and reduce the cringe.
PROTEST (Friday night)
Marching in the streets is one of the oldest forms of speaking truth to power, but what does it mean in our increasingly connected, yet fractured world? What other forms, media, and modes of expression will define the protests of the future? How do we move the needle to bring change, equity, and happiness FOR ALL via political means?
During PROTEST, we will celebrate the pivotal protests throughout history while exploring what the future of protest movements will look like in a world that is both highly connected and incredibly divided. Topics will include telling your own community’s story; the effects of police militarization; new forms of protest in a digital age; fighting for tangible policy change in women’s rights, lgbtq rights, and gun reform that leads to less violence.
Friday May 31, 2019
8:00 pm - 4:00 am
Emerge, Festival), Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas