Head in the Clouds Festival Returns to the Big Apple for 2024 with BIBI, (G)I-DLE, Dabin, Balming Tiger, Young Posse, wave to earth, and More

After its smash East Coast debut last year, Head in the Clouds New York Music & Arts Festival is returning to Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York on May 11 and 12 for round two. The internationally-renowned Head in the Clouds festival series organized by 88rising has showcased Asian music, art, and cuisine since 2018, and just like last year’s event, Head in the Clouds New York will coincide with Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month. Global Korean talent is once again well-represented on the lineup with headliners (G)I-DLE, Dabin, who is playing with Illenium, and BIBI in her debut New York City performance. Balming Tiger, Deb Never, wave to earth, and Young Posse are also set to join the ten other artists representing Asia and the diaspora performing throughout the weekend.

K-Pop girl group (G)I-DLE, composed of Soyeon, Yuqi, Miyeon, Shuhua, and Minnie, will headline Head in the Clouds New York Day 1 after previously headlining the first Head in the Clouds Festival Jakarta in 2022. Fresh off their 2023 I am Free-ty World Tour and the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour this past winter, the group has seen incredible success and growing international popularity in recent years. In 2022, (G)I-DLE’s fifth EP I love charted on the Billboard 200 and in July they made history as the highest-charting independent Asian artists on US Top 40 radio with their first fully-English EP Heat, which was co-executive produced by 88rising. More recently, (G)I-DLE became the fifth highest-ranking K-Pop girl group for all-time initial release sales with 2, their second studio album. Attendees can expect (G)I-DLE’s femme fatale energy and cheeky female empowerment anthems onstage at Head in the Clouds New York.

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Korean-Canadian musician and producer Dabin is returning to the Head in the Clouds New York stage after playing a fun, daytime set at the 2023 festival’s second day. This time Dabin is back as a headliner in his own right for Day 1, joined by fellow DJ Illenium in their first-ever back-to-back (B2B) set. Dabin made his first appearance at Head in the Clouds Los Angeles in 2022 while Illenium was a headliner for the festival’s 2021 event. If last year’s set and epic shows from Dabin’s 2023 Sanctuary Tour are anything to go by, festivalgoers will be treated to his and Illenium’s signature melodic dubstep complemented by a live band, anime-inspired graphics, and stunning pyrotechnics. Last year, Dabin dropped remixes of songs from K-Pop darlings NewJeans and XG. In an exclusive interview with Kpopconcerts.com after his set, Dabin revealed that he incorporated them into his set because they “fit the vibe” of the festival – which could point to having a few more surprises up his sleeve for K-Pop fans this year as well.

Korean alt-pop and R&B favorite BIBI has been a Head in the Clouds regular since her iconic U.S. festival debut at the 2021 Los Angeles event (where she famously kissed a fan and threw condoms into the crowd during her song “cigarette and condom”). Since then, BIBI has collaborated with international artists across genres like Becky G, MILLI, Baby Tate, Princesa Alba, LE SSERAFIM, and fellow Head in the Clouds New York performer Soyeon of (G)I-DLE. Now after performing around the world, BIBI is finally making her long awaited debut on the East Coast as she headlines Day 2 of Head in the Clouds New York. BIBI will be sure to bring her self-proclaimed “bad bitch” persona to Forest Hills with hits like “The Weekend,” “BIBI VENGEANCE,” with a sprinkle of sweetness in new songs such as “Bam Yang Gang” and “Sugar Rush.” With Soyeon in town, some fans are manifesting a collab stage for their fan-favorite track, “Is This Bad B****** Number?” with Lee Young-ji appearing as a surprise guest.

New to the Head in the Clouds New York stage is Balming Tiger, the self-described “multi-national alternative K-Pop group” with members on rotation for songs and live performances. Balming Tiger debuted in 2018 but hit the mainstream K-Pop scene in 2022 with their experimental hip-hop track “Sexy Nukim” featuring RM of BTS. The song peaked at #1 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart. The collective and its members, who are on a mission to reframe and popularize Asian youth culture around the world, have performed at the likes of KCON LA 2019’s After Party, on tour as part of AOMG’s label showcase, and SXSW Festival in Austin, TX over the years. At SXSW 2023, Balming Tiger organized the Tiger Den Showcase, where they provided a stage for 19 emerging artists from Asia and the Asian diaspora – including Head in the Clouds New York 2023 rocker LØREN

Deb Never is an up-and-coming Korean-American artist to watch at this year’s festival. Attendees of previous Head in the Clouds Los Angeles festivals may recognize her from the 2019 and 2022 events, the latter of which she shared the stage with fellow Korean-American rapper Audrey Nuna. The alternative hip-hop artist draws from her experiences of growing up poor in the Pacific Northwest, girlhood, queerness, and being Asian-American to craft stories through her music. Never’s releases to date have blended genres such as grunge, pop, and rap through projects such as 2020’s Intermission, created in support of healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic and 2021’s Where Have All The Flowers Gone? The latter received some love from Jennie of BLACKPINK, who is Never’s close friend and fellow Calvin Klein model. Her work has led her to collaborating and touring with Omar Apollo, Mura Masa, BROCKHAMPTON, and Dominic Fike.

Korean indie rock band wave to earth, signed under Colde’s label WAVY, is returning to the United States following a sold-out North American tour in August and September. The tour’s initial dates sold out quickly after its announcement, prompting the promoters to add seven new shows to the schedule and upgrade to bigger venues in five different cities. The band, consisting of singer-songwriter Daniel Kim, drummer Don Q, and bassist John Cha saw breakout success in 2023 when their song “seasons” went viral on TikTok (where videos featuring the song have garnered over 67.8 million views), and after their music was added to popular playlists on streaming platforms such as Spotify’s “Chill Vibes.” wave to earth was also given a boost among K-fans after LE SSERAFIM’s Yunjin shared their music on her Instagram story. Based on the response to wave to earth’s tour, the band could draw some attention at Head in the Clouds New York with their dreamy, lo-fi sound and comforting vibe. It’s sure to be a welcome refresher from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Making their U.S. debut at Head in the Clouds New York is Young Posse, a five-piece girl group under DSP Media made up of members Sunhye, Yeonjung, Jiana, Doeun, and Jieun. The group debuted in June 2023 and has quickly set themselves apart from their peers with a daring hip-hop sound drawing from drill, Jersey Club, and trap, and taking aim at the diet culture and physical expectations of the idol industry with their buzzy first EP, Macaroni Cheese. In February, Young Posse dropped “YOUNG POSSE UP,” a cypher featuring Korean hip-hop legend Verbal Jint, Korean rapper NSW yoon, and American rapper Token. The Young Posse girls are making a comeback on March 20 with a new EP called XXL, so festival attendees can expect to see a showcase of their short but punchy discography and fun choreography.

Head in the Clouds New York will take place rain or shine. 2-Day and Single Day General Admission, VIP, and 1999 Club (a newly-introduced “Super VIP” package) are available for purchase starting at $150 for a Single Day pass, and the festival offers flexible payment plans. Fans interested in attending can purchase tickets and find more information here.

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