88rising’s Head In The Clouds Music & Arts Festival went international in 2022 and descended in Manila for the first time with exhilarating performances from the likes of headliners NIKI, Rich Brian, Joji, Jackson Wang, eaJ, YOASOBI and Jessi, over two days at SM Festival Grounds Parañaque City from 9th & 10th December.
The festival also brought to local audiences homecoming performances from artists of Filipino heritage GUAPDAD 4000, and Manila Grey, joined by hometown heroes Manila Killa, Denise Julia, Zack Tabudlo, and SB19 while Korean-American rapper Jessi got in on the act with a quick return to Manila following her solo show in September. Atarashii Gakko!, BIBI, MILLI, Spence Lee, Stephanie Poetri, Warren Hue and more also delivered stellar debut stages in The Philippines for the high-energy crowd.
Day 1 highlights of Head In The Clouds Manila featured notable performances from Filipino acts with Manila-native singer-songwriter Zack Tabudlo’s early slot getting the local crowd warmed up and right in the feels playing his hit song ‘Give Me Your Forever’. R&B duo Manila Grey were joined by Filipino rapper AL James to set the stage alight and dished out their 2019 hit ‘Silver Skies’ among others to lift up the mood while the clouds hung low at the SM Festival Grounds. Manila Killa delivered an unforgettable homecoming set, waving the nation’s flag as he lapped up the crowd’s warm welcome, while sensational Filipino boyband SB19 – performing at a major festival in the Philippines for the first time – made sure to keep the energy high before sundown with popular tracks ‘What’, ‘Where you at (WYAT)’, ‘Bazinga’, and more.
88Rising’s roster of artists also dominated Day 1’s proceedings. The spectacle of summertime vibe filled with energy and elegance were encapsulated through the performances of the Indonesian-born Warren Hue and Stephanie Poetri, while MILLI teased and rocked the crowd at the SM Festival Grounds with her chic and spirited set.
Another highlight of the night was the return of Korean-American rapper Jessi to the Philippines as she picked up where she left off with a buzzing set featuring the hugely successful track ‘ZOOM’, and further hits like ‘What Type of X’ and ‘NUNU NANA’.
The crowd stayed on for the anticipated performances of headliners Joji and Rich Brian and they certainly didn’t disappoint with voices raised to the skies as the former’s global hit ’Glimpse Of Us’ ringed through the festival grounds. Rich Brian hit the ground running with his latest track ‘VIVID’ and shot the energy through the roof with ‘TOKYO DRIFT FREESTYLE’ and the viral hit ‘edamame’.
MILLI may have brought out a cardboard cutout of Jackson Wang onstage while she performed ‘Mind Games’, but the real Jackson Wang eventually came on with a superstar showcase to close an incredible first day of the inaugural Head In The Clouds Manila, blessing the crowd with tracks from the Magic Man album such as ‘Cruel’, ‘Blow’ and ‘Come Alive’ – the latest track to be accompanied with a music video which premiered a day before the festival.
Day 2 got off to a flying start with Pinay R&B star Denise Julia – one of the opening acts of the day – slaying on stage with killer moves performing her viral hit ‘NVMD’. Filipino pride continued in full flow with GUAPDAD 4000’s homecoming performance, which also saw Toronto-native Pressa who is of Filipino-Jamaican descent join the rapper onstage.
The festival kicked on with the South Korean rising star BIBI’s incredible showing featuring tracks from her latest album Lowlife Princess: Noir such as ‘Blade’ (music video premiered recently on December 2nd) and BIBI’s biggest hit ‘The Weekend’. The crowd was then treated to a nostalgia-inducing set of the festival’s special guest ZEDD playing all-timers like ‘Stay The Night’ and ‘Clarity’ that kept hearts racing for the epic finale to come.
Indonesia’s certified superstar NIKI was given the torch to light up the stage one final time and belted one hit after another, drawing out a massive sing-along session for her upbeat tracks ‘Lowkey’, ‘High School in Jakarta’ and global sensation ‘Every Summertime’ while also pulling heart strings with the ballad ‘Oceans & Engines’. The R&B singer delivered a fitting performance to conclude an amazing two-day festival jam-packed with music from Asia’s best pool of talents which also featured a host of other artists including Adawa, Atarashii Gakko!, YOASOBI, DJ E-Man, Spence Lee, Akini Jing, eaJ and Elephante.
Head in the Clouds Manila is proudly presented by Globe Telecom. Major sponsor is GCash. Additional sponsors include GOMO, Johnnie Walker, AirAsia, Heineken as well as Riot Games’ Valorant, with which Ylona Garcia had partnered with on the launch of their first Filipina character NEON earlier this year, and had a meet-and-greet during the first IRL activation on festival grounds. On ground sponsors include Y.OU. Beauty and Vida. Media partners include Wonder, Pie Channel, MYX, TFC, TikTok Philippines, Kumu and Viber. Special thanks to our food partners: Ebi 10, OnlyPans, Kampai, Overdoughs, Elait, Pocofino, Rub Ribs, Happy Truck, and our official bar partner Nokal.