[Event] 2024 Head In The Clouds New York was a blast with (G)I-DLE, Atarashii Gakkou!, YOUNG POSSE, BIBI, Joji, more

The Head In The Clouds festival has been around since 2018 to showcase the demand for Asian artists around the world, particularly in North America. While mainly held in California, 88Rising has expanded it to other places such as Indonesia and the Philippines. Starting in 2023, the festival added a New York show.

Same as last year, 2024’s two-day New York festival took place at the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens. Thankfully, the weather was immaculate on both days (May 11-12).

It was a sunny and brisk 70 degrees on Saturday, with Chinese singer WANG OK opening the show. She set a soft tone with her ballads and angelic voice.

A really cool feature of the Forest Hills Stadium is that the stage actually rotates, which allows the artist and bands to disappear behind the stage when making way for the next act. This made for a very smooth transition every single time. However, one issue with Forest Hills Stadium was the lack of big screens. There was one in the center that was used for background effects, but unless you were close to the photo pit in front of the stage, it was impossible to get a good view at the artists’ faces while they were performing if you were in the stands.

In any case, next up was YOUNG POSSE, the upcoming South Korean girl group that’s been getting more attention lately for its more hip-hop oriented sound.

I did find it strange that YOUNG POSSE came out so early, though I might be overestimating the group’s popularity. Due to their smaller catalog, they had a shorter set time, but they made sure to perform their singles like “MACARONI CHEESE” and “XXL“. When Doeun said, “Let’s hear that order!,” fans in the crowd went wild.

One thing HITC does incredibly well is its pacing. I’ve attended a few variety shows before, but HITC strikes the perfect balance of giving artists enough time to perform a good amount of songs (around 30-45 minutes) while allowing for short 10-15 minute breaks between acts.

And taking advantage of the pacing was Balming Tiger, who continued the hip-hop vibe, even if the collective had a more laid-back performance. They did simple and goofy dance moves while performing that contrasted with YOUNG POSSE’s more coordinated and professional choreography. Member Omega Sapien also did all the crowd engagement work, being a New Jersey native and able to connect with the audience. Juliet Ivy was up next, bringing some more variety to the show with her indie pop music. Being a new artist herself, she was able to play through her existing catalog. R&B artist Thuy followed and proved to be a really popular one with the crowd. She was truly a great vocalist live, with her singing sound incredibly close to her recorded songs. Dhruv returned to HITC to perform once again, and his presence is a nice addition, giving South Asians much needed representation. His most popular song, “Double Take“, was a hit with the crowd as well, and he took a moment to announce that he’d be moving to NYC soon!

Wave to Earth followed afterwards with their catchy indie rock music, continuing the tone that Dhruv set before them. They also revealed to an excited crowd that they were working on a new album. EDM duo Illenium B2B DABIN came out at the perfect time when it became dark outside. As the sun set, the stadium was much colder than it was during the day. However, the pair’s electrifying music and headbangers raised everyone’s temperatures.

(G)I-DLE closed the first night with an amazing set featuring their most popular songs like “Super Lady“, “Wife“, and “Queencard“. The fans were already riled up by Illenium B2B Dabin from before, and that energy transferred and exploded with even more applause.

An amazing conclusion to an eventful day.


The second day began with a heavier hip-hop focus with artists like Spence Lee, Warren Hue, and Awich. While energetic and exciting, artists Deb Never, Lyn Lapid, and Eyedress managed to balance out the bravado with their more pop and indie sounds. However, I found that the latter three acts had their voices drowned out by the supporting instruments and bands. I’m not sure whether or not it was a microphone issue, as it was hard to hear the artists singing.

By the time Atarashii Gakkou! performed, the stadium was packed with people and the four-member girl group gave an incredibly bombastic experience. Their songs really got the crowd up and in a frenzy.

BIBI was one of the most anticipated acts of the festival. Playing songs like “The Weekend“, “Vengeance“, and “Bam Yang Gang“, the audience went absolutely wild. Like during previous festivals, she did kiss a few people in the photo booth (unfortunately I wasn’t one of them). Fans were hoping for an interaction like that to happen again, and she definitely didn’t disappoint.

@lancee_ee mother bibi at hitc ny is now a core memory #bibi #bibivengeance #hitcny #headintheclouds #88rising #newyork #foryou @Head In The Clouds Festival @88rising @nakedbibi ♬ BIBI Vengeance – BIBI

Last but not least, Joji concluded the festival with his smooth R&B vocals. He got a full hour to himself and definitely pleased the fans by singing upwards to 15-20 songs (I vibed too much and lost count). “Glimpse Of Us” is my favorite, and for him to end his set with it was just the cherry on top.


This was my first time experiencing Head In The Clouds, and overall I had a lot of fun with the lineup. There were a few small hiccups with the production, but I’d definitely go again in the future!

About George Yang