You might not recognize a ton of names on the inaugural Emerge Music + Impact Conference lineup—and that’s by design; this festival’s about new discoveries and rising stars—but serious music fans will know the names Henry Rollins and Britt Daniel.
Today, the punk-rock icon and the Spoon frontman joined the growing list of confirmed participants for Emerge, the three-day gathering set to take over stages on and near the Las Vegas Strip November 16-18.
Rollins—the 56-year-old former vocalist for SoCal punk outfit Black Flag, leader of the Rollins Band and outspoken columnist for LA Weekly—has signed on as a speaker, fitting given his extensive experience as a touring spoken-word artist. “All of us are really geeked out about [Rollins],” Emerge talent buyer Mike Henry says. “He was at the forefront of a musical movement, and to this day he’s interested in all kinds of stuff from all over the globe. It just feels right that he’s gonna be here. He’ll speak and host one of our bigger shows.”
Daniel, 46, is serving as an Emerge curator, joining the likes of The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Kaskade and ex-My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way in that lineup-selecting capacity. “I think Britt is one of the greatest working songwriters in rock music,” Henry says. “And over the years Spoon has stayed relevant and right on point with what’s happening in indie rock and pop music.”
Emerge also unveiled 50 additional music acts today, bringing its total to 80, with the final 20 set to be revealed next month. Among the new additions are Baltimore indie rockers Lower Dens, Louisville power-pop band White Reaper, 18-year-old Portland singer-songwriter Grace Mitchell, Detroit electronic/pop artist Quinn XCII, LA punk outfit The Regrettes and LA-based hip-hop MC Open Mike Eagle. The latest batch joins previously confirmed names like K.Flay, Beach Slang, Mondo Cozmo and L.A. Witch.
“It’s all about discovery—the event will be about discovery for people attending, and I’ve also been discovering,” Henry says. “Last night I was making a new Emerge Spotify playlist, and there are so many great songs in there from so many different genres.”
Today’s music additions also include four Las Vegas acts: rapper Ekoh, singer-songwriter Brittany Rose, post-punk foursome Dark Black and soul singer Sabriel. Already announced from the host city: The Lique and Mercy Music. “There are so many great bands in this town, and I would love to be able to include all of them, but for this particular event we were looking for something intangible,” Henry says. “We see each of these artists as ready to take the next step.”
Along with Rollins, the latest batch of Emerge speakers includes Radiolab producer Simon Adler, author Rick Smolan, slam poets Anis Mojgani and Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, father-daughter beatboxing duo Nicolas Paris and Ed Cage and Clark County poet laureate Vogue Robinson.
For a complete list of participating acts and curators, visit emergelv.com.
Emerge Music + Impact Conference on the Las Vegas Strip, November 16-18. Tickets available now at emergelv.com.