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.
SELF (Saturday morning)
Mental health and a beautiful life start with you, yet it’s a struggle in the age of the face-tuned selfie. No more filters: let’s talk about seeing who really you are and coming to love yourself, inside and out.
From body positivity to mental health, and everything in between, we will explore how identity is shaped and transformed, how it evolves over time, playing an integral role in being your best self. Topics include body perception; self-care; ego and compassion; giving/charity; addiction; identity; social media dependency, holistic wellness.
BRAVE (Saturday afternoon)
Fear is universal. We’ve all felt it, but some confront it on a daily basis. Meet a series of speakers who’ve grappled with fear and found courage in the face of violence, harassment, ignorance and intimidation.
To turn our fears into strengths, we need to confront more than what scares us as individuals, but what threatens safety in our community.
We will dive into the sources of fear and celebrate those who have overcome their own traumas and achieved their own triumphs. Topics include overcoming fear and finding bravery; first-person stories of coping with or combating fear and violence; the current state and future of our union; and how holding onto fear can either keep us stuck or save us from ourselves.
SEX (Saturday night)
Sex has never been more accessible than it is right now. It’s on your phone. It’s on the street. It’s questioning monogamy and exploring new tangles of relationships and bodies. At this VERY NSFW panel, it’s all on the table: sex positivity, consent, sexual health, kink, and dating in the age of Bumble.
This showcase will be a forum for discussions around consent and relationships, and also a celebration of the diversity of circumstances, gender non-binariness, and sexual positivity.
Topics include sex positivity, consent, sexual health, dating, gender as a social construct, polyamory, and love in the app era.
Saturday June 01, 2019
9:00 am - 4:00 am
Emerge, Festival), Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas