Emerge Festival 2019


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About

Emerge is a thoughtfully curated annual event for emerging thoughts and voices in music and social impact spaces. It’s a pop-up crucible for the kind of passionate, intense interplay between art and agitation, between beats and movements that pushes culture. It’s a fantasy dinner party discussion between leading figures and thinkers ...

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Contact

Publicist
Benji Michaels
812-339-1195 X 204

Current News

  • 05/16/201905/16/2019

Raise Awareness and Your Glass: Progressive Causes Mingle with Craft Cocktails at HopeXHuman, Emerge Las Vegas’ Kick-Off Event

Sometimes change is so real, you can taste it. That’s the premise of HopeXHuman, the celebratory kickoff of Emerge. To underline the festival’s mission of uniting progressive social action and life’s beauty and savor, HopeXHuman combines four high-energy performers, a spoken word poet-turned-MC as host, and a bevy of exquisite craft cocktails based on some of the world’s most exciting emerging spirits.

For this event, Emerge is collaborating with Human Rights Campaign...

Press

  • Billboard, Feature story, 02/20/2019, The Greatest Festivals of This Decade Are Not Festivals, They Are Protests Text
  • The Guardian, Mention, 05/21/2019, From Billie Eilish to Hall & Oates: the best US summer festival lineups Text
  • Brooklyn Vegan, Feature story, 03/01/2019, Emerge music, art & social justice fest 2019 lineup (Laura Jane Grace, Andrew Bird, more) Text
  • Consequence of Sound, Article, 05/15/2019, Meet 10 of the Most Anticipated Artists Playing EMERGE Can't-miss acts like Tank and the Bangas and Cherry Glazerr share their set plans Text
  • + Show More

News

05/31/2019, Las Vegas, NV, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino  
01/15/201905/31/2019, From Protest to Fabulous: Las Vegas’ Emerge Festival Re-Aligns Music Discovery with Social Unrest
Event
05/31/2019
Event
05/31/2019
Event Notes
May 31, 2019 - June 1, 2019
Venue Zip
89169
Venue City, State
Las Vegas, NV
Venue St. Address
4455 Paradise Rd
Venue
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino  
Rehan Choudhry spent a year thinking about festivals, their models, and why most of them seemed to fail to present emerging perspectives and sounds in a compelling way. The tendency to present thousands of little-known bands without curation or context has become ineffective. MORE» More»

Rehan Choudhry spent a year thinking about festivals, their models, and why most of them seemed to fail to present emerging perspectives and sounds in a compelling way. The tendency to present thousands of little-known bands without curation or context has become ineffective. The digital revolution had transformed the music business, yet the festival model remained the same.

There was something missing. “It struck me that over the last 80 years of music history, every time emerging music spiked in popularity, it was tied to social unrest,” Choudhry relates. “Think about the explosion of rock and songwriters like Dylan and Joplin in the ’60s, the rapid development of hip hop in ’80s when city communities faced crises. This is the best time ever, now; the social movements suggest it. I realized the emotional tie, that sense of personal relevance was missing at many events.”

This epiphany brought him to create Emerge, a thoughtfully curated annual event for emerging thoughts and voices in music and social impact spaces. It’s a pop-up crucible for the kind of passionate, intense interplay between art and agitation, between beats and movements that pushes culture. It’s a fantasy dinner party discussion between leading figures and thinkers from across time and space, writ large and made wickedly fun.

This year’s festival revolves around four themes--Self, Protest, Fear, Sex--meant to drive conversations and discovery. For two days (May 31-June 1, 2019), festival goers will get a chance to focus on these themes at the Hard Rock Hotel. Though music and ideas form the foundation, Emerge will offer a range of immersive experiences and explorations, from the gritty to the charming. Eschewing scattered, clashing stages or tents, Emerge invites those present to sink deep into the topics one at a time, sometimes for as long four hours--and to find for themselves the new voices making vital connections between grassroots movements, social change, and musical expression.

The performers and speakers are a counterpoint to festivals that only consider career moments, follower data, or nebulous notions of “influence.” It’s about substance and wonder, not popularity. “Though we like to invite a few headliners to anchor the experience, we make it a point to incorporate a lot of perspectives and voices who wouldn’t play at a major conference or festival. Talks aren’t TED slick. They may not have the audience to drive a slot somewhere like Coachella, at least not yet. These are not the who’s who of glitzy influencers about how to get attention. It’s visionaries, regardless of career phase, talking about how to create a better world.”

This isn’t Choudhry’s first festival. Though he never thought he’d go into entertainment as a career--he worked for years in emergency management IT at the Department of Homeland Security--he wound up switching gears and running entertainment initiatives for an Atlantic City casino hungry to bring younger crowds to the city. Choudhry put together hip music, celebrity chefs with help from the Food Network, and other cool happenings. His success caught the eye of a major investment bank, and he ended up working as the opening Director to Entertainment for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

After years of working with big names at big venues in places like Las Vegas, Choudhry took the plunge into the festival world and became the founder and driving force behind Life is Beautiful. Sparked by Choudhry’s interest in building an event around the theme of shifting our concepts of mental health, the Vegas festival morphed into a major music, art, and food event. Choudhry wove together his past experience in high-energy, crowd-drawing entertainment to make a bold, engaging statement. The festival won Pollstar’s Festival of the Year Award and was named Best Musical Event by Forbes.

Yet Choudhry wanted to get back to his original vision, so he parted ways. He knew he wanted to create a platform for emerging voices, and he knew he wanted it to be about much more than a few days of intense enjoyment once a year.

Choudhry built a new team and launched an online magazine, A Beautiful Perspective, to create a home for deeper, globally-minded engagement with pressing issues and ideas. And with this team, he launched Emerge.

Its first edition saw a glittering enactment of the history of transgender people’s contributions to the culture of Harlem. It saw YouTube phenoms ranging from the android-like pop star Poppy to the liberated raunchy, sex positive rapper Cupcakke, alongside performers like redneck, terrorist drag queen Christeene and Dylan Marron, creator of the podcast “Conversations with People Who Hate Me.” A highlight of the festival was The Fairytale Ball, which celebrated the history of voguing, runway walking, and waacking, while dropping historic facts and demonstrating their impact on mainstream pop culture.

Instead of scattering attention, the festival focuses it. Instead of many shallow brushes with thousands of performers, Emerge offers a chance to go deep, to really listen.

This year, the need for inspiring beauty, cogent discussion, and meaningful action feels more urgent than ever. The myriad emerging challenges call for a chorus of new voices, and Emerge is giving them a platform to support their impact. “We want everyone involved to feel they have this uplifting, exciting opportunity to come together for a better world,” says Choudhry. “We can make things better, create a more hopeful world, not through pessimistic annoyance, but with artistic integrity. We want to leap from this moment in time, and work to really create sustainability.”

 

 

 

 

Event
05/31/2019

05/20/2019, Emerge Festival Announces Single Showcase/Event Tickets
05/20/201905/20/2019, Emerge Festival Announces Single Showcase/Event Tickets
Announcement
05/20/2019
Announcement
05/20/2019
In an effort to democratize music festival culture, Las Vegas’ Emerge Festival is announcing single showcase tickets for most Emerge events. MORE» More»

In an effort to democratize music festival culture, Las Vegas’ Emerge Festival (Hard Rock Hotel May 31-June 1, 2019) is announcing single showcase tickets for most Emerge events.

“We feel a reasonably priced ticket is another way we can fulfill our mission, to explore and encourage the intersection of music and social movements,” says festival founder Rehan Choudhry. “We’re pleased to be able to give potential attendees options to come and explore with us.” This includes a rare solo set by Andrew Bird, a fireside chat with Gerard Way, and a unique Brandon Flowers performance of “Land of the Free” with full choir, as well as performances by Big Freedia, Talib Kweli, Ana Tijoux, Tank and the Bangas, and a diverse range of emerging voices. Speakers include notable activists (Patrisse Cullors of BLM, Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg of March for our Lives).

A limited number of tickets to each main showcase (Protest, Self/Sex, and Brave) are available as of today for $45. Sessions curated by Whitney Bell (Women, Wellness and Reclamation) and by LV’s own Depressed Monsters are $25. Emerge’s cocktails+causes launch party HopeXHuman is $55 a ticket. All are available at emergelv.com/buy-tickets/ .

 

More about Emerge:

“Emerge highlights how music and social action inform each other,” says festival founder Rehan Choudhry. “Our artists and speakers all share a passion for social movements and have cultivated a very personal point of view on what’s happening today. Their music and words express this perspective.”

Emerge’s headliners include:

Brandon Flowers, whose set will include a compelling performance of the band’s passionately critical “The Land of the Free,” complete with full choir at the Protest showcase.

Gerard Way, who will explore My Chemical Romance’s seminal albums.

Whitney Bell, a fearless voice from the feminist activist movement who dedicates much of her work to lifting up women’s stories. Bell will act as curator for the Saturday afternoon showcase featuring an all-female speakers and performers.

“We’ve focused on emerging voices and have foregrounded them as we’ve unveiled our programming for the festival. Now we want to give the amazing established artists their due and provide a platform that lets them amplify their message in new, creative ways,” explains Choudhry.

In the history of modern protest movements, the message has been in the music, while the music shapes the message. “Protests and movements are filled with the same intensity and energy that music festivals once had, that power to galvanize people and encourage them to change their lives and communities,” Choudhry notes. “Our speakers and performers share stages, in a deliberate push to give this combined energy room to grow.”

Kicking off the festival, HopeXHuman combines four high-energy performers, a spoken word poet-turned-MC as host, and a bevy of exquisite craft cocktails based on some of the world’s most exciting emerging spirits.

For this event, Emerge is collaborating with Human Rights Campaign - Las Vegas; Musicians on Call; Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights; Communities in Schools (NV chapter); World Wildlife Foundation; Fuck Cancer; Proclaim Justice; Planned Parenthood Votes Nevada; Define America; and the Music Forward Foundation.

Full lineup and festival details at emergelv.com

Announcement
05/20/2019

05/16/2019, Raise Awareness and Your Glass: Progressive Causes Mingle with Craft Cocktails at HopeXHuman, Emerge Las Vegas’ Kick-Off Event
05/16/201905/16/2019, Raise Awareness and Your Glass: Progressive Causes Mingle with Craft Cocktails at HopeXHuman, Emerge Las Vegas’ Kick-Off Event
Announcement
05/16/2019
Announcement
05/16/2019
Emerge foregrounds where activism and music are fused, the spaces where new, urgent voices are calling us toward change and hope. MORE» More»

Sometimes change is so real, you can taste it. That’s the premise of HopeXHuman, the celebratory kickoff of Emerge. To underline the festival’s mission of uniting progressive social action and life’s beauty and savor, HopeXHuman combines four high-energy performers, a spoken word poet-turned-MC as host, and a bevy of exquisite craft cocktails based on some of the world’s most exciting emerging spirits.

For this event, Emerge is collaborating with Human Rights Campaign - Las Vegas; Musicians on Call; Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights; Communities in Schools (NV chapter); World Wildlife Foundation; Fuck Cancer; Proclaim Justice; Planned Parenthood Votes Nevada; Define America; and the Music Forward Foundation.

HopeXHuman follows the classic blueprint for a great cocktail party: intriguing drinks, poolside ambience, great conversation, but with a twist. “We’re grouping the cocktails and the non-profits by theme, reflecting the way Emerge is structured,” says Rehan Choudhry, founder of Emerge. “The themes are also picked up by the young, outspoken musicians performing at the event. It’s a taste of the broader Emerge platform through the lens of our themes and the cause-based organizations doing work on the ground.” Artists include Bishop Briggs, Yoke Lore, Ladies of LCD Soundsystem, and Marian Hill.

Pairing progressive movements and new flavors highlights the deeply human, sensual side of working for a better world. It shows that activism is serious, yet often intensely enjoyable. “We’re putting together a culinary cocktail experience curated by some of Las Vegas’ most creative minds that will take you on a cultural journey with emerging libations from around the world,” explains Paige Darensbourg of Breakthru Beverage. “The spirits have been selected for their unique characteristics, and flavor that embody the four themes of the festival. Just like the festival they are emerging brands that are shaping the future of the beverage industry. These emerging spirits brands identify with Sex, Self, Brave, Protest and we hope festival goers will enjoy the experience as they make their way through these libations.”

The goal is to try new sips and find a new calling, one shared with the festival talent. “We want people to experience what a hopeful, joyful world tastes like. If you’re trying to find a common interest with the talent you love, this is a really interesting way to do it,” Choudhry notes. “It’s not like a concert, with the artist elevated on stage. We’re all working on this together and we’re all enjoying and gathering around the same important causes.”

 

Emerge: HopeXHuman
May 31, 2019 at 9 PM
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Cocktail Sneak Peek:

PROTEST:

Origen Raiz Mezcal, Strawberry, Rhubarb, Basil, Seltzer, Lime Juice

Mezcal comes from individual village within Oaxaca. Each producing unique flavors from recipes rooted in tradition.

BRAVE:
Bluecoat American Dry Gin, Lychee Liqueur, Prickly Pear, Lime Juice, Angostura Soda

Americans have long established their own standards of excellence and independence. Bluecoat soldiers were free-thinking revolutionaries who boldly fought for freedom.

SELF:
Avua Cachaca Prata, Kiwi, Coconut Water, Lime Juice

A dry rum-style distillate, cachaca pairs wonderfully with more health conscious and delicate flavors.

SEX:
La Diablada Pisco, Solerno Blood Orange liqueur, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Lime Juice

La Diablada is named after an Andean spiritual dance reenacting a legendary fight between angels and demons.

See full Emerge schedule and lineup here

Announcement
05/16/2019

04/30/2019, Headliners, Changemakers: Emerge Announces Brandon Flowers, Activist Whitney Bell and More for Las Vegas Festival
04/30/201904/30/2019, Headliners, Changemakers: Emerge Announces Brandon Flowers, Activist Whitney Bell and More for Las Vegas Festival
Announcement
04/30/2019
Announcement
04/30/2019
Emerge, the festival where social impact and music intersect, is announcing several headliners for its unique showcases May 31 and June 1st at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. MORE» More»

Emerge, the festival where social impact and music intersect, is announcing several headliners for its unique showcases May 31 and June 1st at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

“Emerge highlights how music and social action inform and support each other,” says festival founder Rehan Choudhry. “Our headline artists and speakers show how powerful it can be when well-established and popular figures commit to making a statement, and the inspiration that can provide for audiences and for movements. They all share a passion for social movements and have cultivated a very personal point of view on what’s happening today. Their music is a vehicle to express this perspective.”


Emerge’s outspoken headliners include:

Brandon Flowers set will include a compelling performance of the passionately critical “The Land of the Free,” complete with full choir. He’ll be joining the Protest showcase as we explore modern-day protest movements.  Flowers will be joined by Talib Kweli, Ana Tijoux, Nahko, and Tank and the Bangas, as well as speakers from March for our Lives like David Hogg, and Emma Gonzalez.

Whitney Bell, a fearless voice from the feminist activist movement who dedicates much of her work to lifting up women’s stories. Bell will act as curator for the Saturday afternoon showcase featuring an all-female lineup of speakers and performers.

Along with these names, the festival is also announcing Luna Aura, whose frank exploration of women’s sexuality is coupled with a keen instinct for hooky songwriting, and The Dose, the grunge-inflected power duo.

In the history of modern progressive and protest movements, the message has been in the music, inspiring the music, while the music shapes the message. “Protests and movements are filled with the same intensity and energy that music festivals once had, that power to galvanize people and encourage them to change their lives and communities,” Choudhry notes. “Our speakers and performers share stages, in a deliberate push to give this combined energy room to grow.”

 

Emerge Festival

Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas

May 31-June 1, 2019

Full schedule and details: emergelv.com/

Emerge is structured differently from most music or ideas festivals. The heart of the event are three four-hour showcases that weave words, music, movement, and visuals into a unified, experience all festival goers can share without missing other elements of Emerge.

The main showcases center on loose but evocative themes. A short and sweet overview of the festival’s schedule gives a glimpse of Emerge’s unique approach.

 

Friday, May 31

Industry Panels (11 am-5pm): lively discussions on diversity and representation, Las Vegas culture, and social activism

Protest (5-9pm): The art of standing up and speaking out

With Brandon Flowers, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Talib Kweli, Ana Tijoux, Nahko & the Medicine for the People, Tank & the Bangas

HopeXHuman (9pm-12am):  Pairing craft cocktails and meaningful causes

With Bishop Briggs, Marian Hill, The Ladies of LCD Soundsystem, and Yoke Lore

Late Night Session (12-1am) with Doja Cat, Culture Abuse, Luna Aura, and Dose


 

Saturday, June 1

Self/Sex (10am-2pm): Living our truth, challenging our mores

With Big Freedia, Junglepussy, Leikeli47, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Dr. Zhana, Alecwithpen, Jonathan & Paula Williams, interwoven with dance and movement

Women, Wellness, and Reclamation with Whitney Bell (2-5pm): Exploring the many shades of female identity

With Swsh, Bedouine, and Tayla Parx

Brave (7-11pm) Turning fear into courage in tumultuous times

With Dessa, J.I.D., Laura Jane Grace (performance and talk), Andrew Bird, Weldon Angelos, Patrice Cullors (Black Lives Matter), Jose Antonio Vargas

Depressed Monsters Session (10pm-1am): LV artist collective takes the reins

With Le1f, Cherry Glazerr, Hobo Johnson, and Ryan Brunty


Lineup and schedule subject to change.

 

Announcement
04/30/2019

04/09/2019, Emergent Details: The Emerge Festival Announces Emma Gonzalez, Showcase Schedules, and Single-Day Passes
04/09/201904/09/2019, Emergent Details: The Emerge Festival Announces Emma Gonzalez, Showcase Schedules, and Single-Day Passes
Announcement
04/09/2019
Announcement
04/09/2019
Emerge foregrounds where activism and music are fused, the spaces where new, urgent voices are calling us toward change and hope. MORE» More»

Some festivals toss social impact elements into their programming like glitter, as a minor afterthought. Emerge foregrounds where activism and music are fused, the spaces where new, urgent voices are calling us toward change and hope.

 

That’s why the two-day Vegas-based festival is proud to host Emma Gonzalez as a speaker for this edition. After the Parkland school shooting, Gonzalez stood up as one of the leading voices of those directly impacted by violence--and those who refused to accept the thoughts, prayers, and lame apathy of lawmakers and officials. Boldly speaking truth to power, Gonzalez’s spirit, smarts, and resolve inspired the March for Our Lives, sparking a nationwide youth protest movement against gun violence and its apologists.

 

Gonzalez will join dozens of other engaging thought pioneers and activists, including fellow Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg, immigration rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Cullors, and Weldon Angelos, music producer turned advocate for criminal justice reform. They will come together for two days of intense, unique programs designed to challenge, engage, and ignite. (Schedule below)

 

“Emma and the activists we have invited embody what Emerge is about. She’s a progressive, young, adamant advocate for a different world, a new and better way of approaching a seemingly intractable problem,” explains Emerge founder Rehan Choudhry. “Protests and movements are filled with the same intensity and energy that music festivals once had, that power to galvanize people and encourage them to change their lives and communities. Our speakers and performers share stages, in a deliberate push to give this combined energy a platform to grow and expand.”

 

This energy is for all to enjoy, which is why Emerge is offering one-day passes for patrons looking for a taste of the experience at a more accessible price point. “We, like many in our business, are a bit tired of the influencer-addicted elitist approaches some events take,” Choudhry reflects. “We want people to come together and learn and savor who might not have a massive budget.”

 

Emerge Festival

Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas

May 31-June 1, 2019

Full schedule and details: emergelv.com/

 

Emerge is structured differently from most grab-bag-style music or ideas festivals. The heart of the event are three four-hour showcases that weave words, music, movement, and visuals into a unified, striking experience all festival goers can share without missing other elements of Emerge.

 

The main showcases center on loose but evocative themes. “The festival explores our current state of mind by focusing on key themes, which form the pillars of the event,” says Choudhry. “It’s designed to help you immerse yourself, to concentrate on the mix of art and ideas, and how they inform each other.”

 

A short and sweet overview of the festival’s schedule gives a glimpse of Emerge’s unique approach. “We’re going for depth of engagement, not just browsing,” Choudhry notes.

 

Friday, May 31
 

Industry Panels (11 am-5pm): lively discussions on diversity and representation, Las Vegas culture, and social activism

Protest (5-9pm): The art of standing up and speaking out

With Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Talib Kweli, Ana Tijoux, Nahko & the Medicine for the People, Tank & the Bangas

HopeXHuman (9pm-12am):  Pairing craft cocktails and meaningful causes

With Bishop Briggs, Marian Hill, The Ladies of LCD Soundsystem, and Yoke Lore

Late Night Session (12-1am) with Doja Cat, Culture Abuse

 

Saturday, June 1
 

Self/Sex (10am-2pm): Living our truth, challenging our mores

With Big Freedia, Junglepussy, Leikeli47, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Alecwithpen, Jonathan & Paula Williams, interwoven with dance and movement

Femme (2-5pm): Exploring the many shades of female identity

With Swsh, Bedouine, and Tayla Parx

Brave (7-11pm) Turning fear into courage in tumultuous times

With Dessa, J.I.D., Laura Jane Grace (performance and talk), Andrew Bird, Weldon Angelos, Patrice Cullors (Black Lives Matter), Jose Antonio Vargas

Depressed Monsters Session (10pm-1am): LV artist collective takes the reins

With Le1f, Cherry Glazerr, Hobo Johnson, and Ryan Brunty

 

Lineup and schedule subject to change. Additional performers and speakers to be announced

 
Announcement
04/09/2019