The We Bridge Festival held at the Mandalay Bay last weekend was a three-day event consisting of a day expo and a night festival. The intention and mission behind the debut festival/expo was celebrating the growing influence of Asian culture within mainstream American pop culture.
The expo served as a bridge between cultures through food, live performances, panels, group interactions (hi-touches), and art pieces. Attendees were able to greet and see the excitement of fans meeting their favorite groups, find companies to support and shop from, support local and popular food chains/brands, and my personal favorite: buy tons of K-pop merch.
During the expo, I had the opportunity to listen in on a discussion regarding Asian women revolutionizing the executive space with Raider’s president Sandra Douglass Morgan, CAPE executive director, Michelle Sugihara, and Stephanie Hsiao of the NFL. The talk was moderated by Lai Frances. They discussed the importance of diversity in positions of power, especially WOC.
This festival aspect brought together influential groups and solo performers from across the world to celebrate music. As someone only recently introduced to K-pop and Asian artists in general, it was an incredible experience to see big names like Cix, OneUs, Viviz, BamBam!, Jessi, Monsta X, and Enhypen all on one stage surrounded by thousands of adoring fans. Seeing the sea of lightsticks swaying in the air song after song was surreal. I could hear the joy in the audience’s voice and cheers as they shared these special moments together.
I felt the need to take note of each song that stood out to me. Below is a playlist of said songs. These are the artists We Bridge has deemed most influential in transforming pop music as we know it:
- ONEUS – Same Scent
- MONSTA X – Burning Up
- CIX – Cinema
- VIVIZ – Pull Up
- KANGDANIEL – Paranoia
- DREAMCATCHER – Scream
- JESSI – Cold Blooded
- BAMBAM! – Sour & Sweet
- BE’O – Counting Stars
- ENHYPEN – Future Perfect (Pass the Mic)
Photos: Slides 1 and 3: Andrew Buxmann;
Cover Photo and Slide 2: PETER BYUN / IPE
Monsta X – @offical_monsta_x
Enhypen – @enhypen
Jessi – @Jessicah_o
Cix – @cix.official
Oneus – @official_oneus
Viviz – @viviz_official
Dreamcatcher – @hf_dreamcatcher
Kangdaniel – @daniel.k.here
Be’o – @auxi_beo
Bambam! – @bambam1a