BLACKPINK Headlining Coachella Is A MOMENT For K-Pop In Mainstream Music

BLACKPINK Headlining Coachella Is A MOMENT For K-Pop In Mainstream Music

Finally, some Asian representation.

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I was born and bred with K-Pop (Korean Pop Music). I was a die-hard fan, I admit, I've lost touch but I had so much love for TVXQ and BI-Rain (where did he disappear to?). I did cover dances of the "Wonder Girls" and I even tried to audition for JYP. Yes, I know me. I wanted to become a K-Pop singer/dancer. It's everyone's dream in Thailand. However, since moving to American, I stopped following K-pop because there wasn't that much of a scene for it.

Oh, how wrong I was...

K-Pop has a HUGE following in America, thanks to the renowned Korean boyband BTS.


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Oh yes, look at all those pretty faces.

They can sing, dance and are overall likable. What's to hate?

Their fans call themselves the "Army" and there is a large following in the U.S. as well. Having approximately 17.8 million followers on Twitter and over 300 million views on youtube; K-pop is on the move.

Now it's BLACKPINK's turn.


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Blackpink is a Korean girl group consisting of four artist Isoo, Jennie, Lisa, and Rosé. You might have heard there hit song "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du" (link). If not, here's a refresher:


BLACKPINK - '뚜두뚜두 (DDU-DU DDU-DU)' M/V www.youtube.com

I could be biased because I love BLACKPINK. My girl, Lisa is a Thai girl who auditioned into the group and now is the rapper for the group( You go girl!).

With over 500 million views, there earned their spot in the Coachella lineup 2019 alongside other amazing and well-known artists; Janelle Monae, Childish Gambino, Arianna Grande etc.

This is a huge moment for K-Pop artist because, sure, they have had international tours for the fanbase all around the globe but have NEVER been featured in an event as large as COACHELLA.

The Asian community is on a winning streak of moments; Sandra Oh, being the first Asian host of the Golden Globes and winning Best Actress in Drama TV Series, Crazy Rich Asians representing an all Asian cast in Hollywood and nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. BTS winning Top 2018's Social Artist Billboards Music Awards, and many other accomplishments.

After many years of being marginalized, finally, Asian representation and accomplishments are being acknowledged into today's society. There's only going up from here.

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Why Lollapalooza Is NOT Worth The Money

Save your money and watch the livestream from the comfort of your home.
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Why Lollapalooza is not worth the money. Now, you may be wondering how I could be saying this. I have for the longest time been the summer Chicago music festival's biggest advocate. Always encouraging my friends to go and always keeping up with news and updates from the company. These feelings slowly started to change as the year went on and ticket sales started approaching.


To begin, it is almost impossible to get tickets on release day. I don't know how many of you know how the process works to purchase tickets to Lollapalooza but I'll walk you through it real quick. Around the middle of March, the tickets go on sale on the festival's website. The site is actually pretty nice and fluid but they make the process so difficult to deal with.

You are best off going on the ticket sales website and making an account so that when you go to purchase the items you won't have to deal with this step at all. Full festival tickets are the first to go on sale, giving you access to all days that the music is happening.

This provides the best bang for your buck as you are not paying for individual days but it is also the most risky. Why is it risky you ask? Well because Lollapalooza is all about hyping you up and taking your money. They don't even tell you the lineup until the next day!

Now I will give it to them as this is impressive that they can sell so many tickets without even saying who is going to be there, but I feel like this is just so messed up! To build a brand so much to the point that people don't even care who is performing but only that they are there so they can show their friends how cool they are. As you can probably guess, these full festival tickets sell out within literally minutes that they are released and you are left having no choice but to buy individual days or face resale prices.

The following day, single day tickets are released and the full festival lineup is given as well. This allows you a chance to choose the days that you actually want to go to and actually will enjoy the music you're given.

As always, tickets sell out within minutes and you have even less of a chance of getting the days you want to go to because you'll have to visit different pages to pay for different days. Once again you'll be faced to pay resale prices if you still really want to go. Now you may be saying that if you are on the site right away and on top of your stuff then you should be able to get tickets right?

No. Times that I have tried to purchase tickets, I have literally been on the site well before they are released and immediately do the procedures when they do go on sale and even then, I am rejected. I know I probably sound like an annoyed child who didn't get his candy but I'm just trying to make a point. Why make buying tickets to a music festival so impossible? It should not be as crazy as it is and something needs to change. The full experience is really not worth the prices that this place is asking for and I would like to show you why.

There really is no "experience" that comes along with Lollapalooza. Music festivals like Coachella or Electric Forest really take you to a different world and provide an atmosphere far beyond what Lollapalooza Chicago can provide. They give you incredible scenic areas and amenities that transform you into a world of musical wonderment. Lollapalooza Chicago provides you with a crowded space and the aesthetic that Chicago is already giving. Not too much to see there and just filled with hot and sweaty crowds.

The lines throughout the festival are absolutely terrible. Now obviously at any festival you go to you will find long waits and such just due to the amount of people but these crowds need to be handled better. There are multiple entrances placed around Grant Park but they all get very backed up within minutes of the gates opening.

There are various lines for males and females as well as a no bag line but they move so slowly due to the processes invoved from the security. They are always havving people do various things to search them which I understand, but information regarding these procedures should be clearly provided prior to guests entering the venue. If people were more aware of what is and isn't allowed then these lines could move more quickly.

To make things even worse, August is not a very forgiving month in the Midwest in terms of heat. There are always high temperatures causing a lot of people to become dehydrated from not taking care of themselves.

As the festival does not have an age limit you will find there are tons of young teenagers drunk and high off of whatever they took on the train there, not prepared to handle what the day has for them. These kids waiting in line are passing out and throwing up because they are not taking care of themselves and forced to wait in long hot lines.

Can you not put some fans out there or maybe some misting water machines? Something would be better than nothing and maybe would avoid some of these issues that they have been facing.

As you enter the festival you will be greeted with beer and food tents. These tents are all along a street place right next to one another.

This is fine during the morning hours but as you can imagine these lines get very backed up and just block the flow of traffic entering the festival. Not to forget you will be paying an insane amount for the items you are buying but nevertheless, this is sort of the standard anywhere you go. When you are at the main stages for a later headlining show, forget about trying to get a beer or beverage near the actual stage.

There are only a few vendors at these locations and you will be waiting in line for 30-45 minutes before you actually get back to the spot you were in before. There should be more vendors near the stages than away and have the process be of ease to guests instead of a hassle.

Now there are some cool stages placed around the park that provide a nice shaded atmosphere but for the most part, you will be outside smushed between sweaty drunk people unable to see and hear the music you came there to witness. This is I guess part of the festival experience but not something that I really want to be a part of all that often.

With trying to fit the number of stages that they have in this little area, things get crowded and it is impossible to provide a nice and breathable environment. As you can imagine again, kids get sick and problems occur making these stage areas become chaotic.

If Lollapalooza maybe repositioned things or cut down on their stage use then crowds could possibly be accommodated for more properly and in turn provide a better quality environment for everyone.

With this festival being outside and in the Midwest, weather becomes a big issue. With any rainfall the areas becoming very muddy and things just are unenjoyable. You can not really hear or see the music and everyone becomes even more hot and sweaty due to the humidity.

If there is any dangerous weather approaching or in the area, concerts are cancelled without any rescheduling and you are just forced to deal with not seeing your favorite artist that year. There is nothing the festival can do about this obviously but it's just too much of a risk to pay the money that you do for it to possibly get rained out. If this bad weather does happen.

Then you will be forced to leave the festival grounds with the thousands of people there and wait in the area until gates are reopened again. You will once more, have to wait in insane lines as everyone tries to get back in now only having a little longer to see some shows before the day is done. This process is handled so poorly and it is the most anxiety heightening thing you will ever be a part of.

My point with all of this is to tell you to save your money. Save your time and energy and attend an actual concert for the person you are wanting to see. It is not worth the uncertainty and just almost negative environment that Lollapalooza provides. It is way too crowded and way too hyped for what they are actually giving you. I really liked Lolla during my high school days as it was more of a just fun thing to do in the summer that wasn't that much of a hassle to deal with. Now it is nothing more than a headache and hangover just waiting to break my bank. I will no longer be a part of that scene and will be taking my festival business elsewhere. Give me an experience and not a sweatbox then I'll be happy.



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Arizona's Newest Reggae Music Festival Is A Certified Hit

Arizona has gained a new music festival, and it's hopefully here to stay.

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It's an overcast and cool day in Chandler, Arizona as hundreds of reggae-lovers come together at Rawhide Western Town and Event Center to relax, dance and sing along to popular songs performed by Rebelution, Stick Figure, Atmosphere, Trevor Hall, Collie Buddz and many others. Some people are sitting on blankets scattered throughout the grass, while others are swaying back-and-forth to the beat of the music and closing their eyes in satisfaction. From the speakers comes a calming melody that ties in a beachy tune -complete with guitar riffs, soothing vocals and drum beats that fill the wide open space. The sky turns from a milky grey to different shades of pink and orange as Eric Rachmany, Rebelution's lead vocalist and guitarist, sings the lyrics to the band's most popular song, "Feeling Alright."

This is day one of Arizona Roots Music and Arts Festival, a festival that's the first of its kind at Rawhide Town and Events Center. Hosted by the team behind the annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival in Monterey, CA, the focus at Arizona Roots is on all things reggae and Rastafari culture.

Trevor Hall performing at the Arizona Roots Stage on Feb. 9, 2019.Photo by Amanda Marvin

"I love the vibe, and there are so many cool people here,'' says David, a 20-year-old reggae fanatic from Chandler, Arizona.

Two women dressed in black Rebelution hoodies holding Deep Eddy Vodka cocktails wait at the Arizona Roots Stage for Rebelution, the headlining reggae rock music band from Isla Vista, CA. "We flew in for a mini-vacation and came to see Rebelution live for the second time now,'' one woman states.

Within the first few steps upon entry to Rawhide Western Town and Event Center, tents and vendors line the edges of the dirt walkway. To the left is a tent stocked with beanies, tie-dye T-shirts and a sign that reads "One Love." To the right, a Deep Eddy Vodka trailer protrudes a line of smiling people as they wait for their cocktails.

People wait in line at first-ever Arizona Roots Music and Arts FestivalPhoto by Amanda Marvin

Vendors serving berry lemonade, loaded tater tots and other tasty foods face the main stage as a number of picnic tables provide a place to eat and relax while enjoying the cool breeze and sunshine of day two at Arizona Roots.

A refurbished, playground-like double-decker bus painted in red, yellow and green faces the second stage. The Rawhide Stage, located just past the Deep Eddy Vodka trailer, is the platform for performances by up-and-coming performers.

Photo by Amanda Marvin

One of the performing bands, Mellow Psychedelic Culture, is a local band from Mesa, Arizona. Combining tones from traditional roots reggae styles, rock and psychedelic music, MPC isn't afraid to experiment to establish their own unique sound.

"The psychedelic vibe we bring to [our music] really sets us apart," says 17-year-old Jacob Jensen, the bass player for MPC.

The band has played at many venues including Yucca Tap Room in Tempe, Arizona, Club Red in Mesa, Arizona and Pot of Gold Music Festival in 2017.

Mellow Psychedelic Culture's next performance will be at Days on The Green Festival in Phoenix, Arizona. Tickets can be found on daysonthegreen.com.

Thanks to the unity of Relentless Beats and California Roots Music and Arts Festival, the state of Arizona has gained yet another successful music festival. Arizona Roots Music and Arts Festival may be here to stay, so to tune in to event information, dates and more visit facebook.com/azrootsfest/ and arizonarootsfestival.com.

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