The record label/media collective has already established itself as festival mainstays — a mysterious collaboration was confirmed for Coachella this year with their “Double Happiness” project — and on Wednesday night EST, 88rising will broadcast to the world with nearly two dozen artists representing countries throughout Asia. In addition to highlighting Asian American & Pacific Island Heritage Month, the festival could help expand both 88rising’s platform and the larger Asian music industry.
1. 88rising’s festival staples are on board… From their planned Coachella collab to the international expansion of their Head in the Clouds festival, 2020 festival season was poised to be a major one for the 88rising roster before the coronavirus pandemic scrapped most planned dates. With new projects on the way from Rich Brian, NIKI, Stephanie Poetri and Dumbfoundead, Asia Rising Forever gives the collective an opportunity to share early tidbits of what could be coming later this year.
2. …But they’re also widening their scope. Bringing on the likes of beloved girl groups CLC and LOONA, a major-selling K-pop star in Kang Daniel and a indie-rock outfit like Hyukoh shows that 88rising is wisely servicing more pop- and rock-oriented audiences, in addition to their more hip-hop–leaning crowd.
3. It truly is Asia rising. When the western music industry discusses the broader continent of Asia, it’s often focused only on large markets like Japan, South Korea and China — but Asia Rising Forever shines the spotlight on artists from several different regions. Look out for artists repping Indonesia (NIKI, Rich Brian), Malaysia (Yuna, alextbh), Thailand (Phum Viphurit), Vietnam (Suboi) and the Philippines (Iñigo Pascual, beabadoobee), among others.
4. Asian acts continue to innovate the live stream game. From BTS utilizing moving cameras for their Late Late Show HomeFest performance to AR live stream concerts from K-pop and Chinese-pop groups like SuperM and WayV, more acts from Asia are showing their live-music ingenuity in navigating this pandemic. We expect several acts to go beyond the standard perform-in-one-spot-from-one-angle situation here as well.
5. It’s streaming where the fans are. By hosting the festival on 88rising’s Twitter as well as YouTube, you’re not only in front of the audience that constantly tells users to #StanLoona, but are creating more exposure for all the artists involved by catching the eye of curious users scrolling through trending topics. YouTube is practically essential for any music live stream, but Twitter is a shrewd platform choice as well.
6. Charity is at the forefront. If you peep 88rising’s page on YouTube, you’ll see the countdown to Asia Rising Forever has already started with hundreds of donations raised for Asian Americans Advancing Justice. The AAJC’s mission is “to advance the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.” Learn more about the organization here.
7. It’s coming at a crucial time. As millions around the world grapple with the social and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Asian citizens, in the U.S. and beyond, are dealing with an unacceptable amount of xenophobia and racism-based violence. Asia Rising Forever not only delivers an important moment of visibility, but can certainly act as an inspiration to rise above any close-minded climates COVID-19 has created.
8. More surprises could come. Upon the initial announcement of the festival on April 29, 88rising teased “more surprises soon,” with the lineup growing even more robust in the following days. We expect a few more unexpected treats to come during the actual broadcast, making each moment a must-watch.