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 ...
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.”
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