Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

We Bridge Music Festival & Expo Recap

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TX State chapter.

This past weekend, I had the honor of attending part of the inaugural three-day cultural expo and two-day music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, the We Bridge Music Festival & Expo, a celebration of Asian entertainment and culture. The expo took place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and the two-day festival was held in the Michelob ULTRA Arena inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  

The Michelob ULTRA arena has hosted immensely popular events in the past, such as the Latin GRAMMY Awards and headliner Katy Perry. It was illuminated with thousands of lightsticks showing support for various influential Asian artists over the weekend. The music lineup consisted of MONSTA X, Jessi, KANGDANIEL, Dreamcatcher, CIX, ONEUS, ENHYPEN, VIVIZ, ONEUS, BE’O and BamBam.  

The three-day expo hosted one of a kind opportunities to learn about and celebrate Asian culture such as:  

  • Arcade lounge featuring popular games in Asia. 
  • Food and drink marketplace. 
  • Merchandise. 
  • Photo opportunities, including The Lounge Booth
  • Albums and other K-Pop goods sold by K-POP Nation and other vendors. 
  • Various panels on topics within Asian heritage on April 21 and April 23 like:  
  • “Cultural Impact: When will you love us like you love our food?” with panelists Chinbat Nomin, Minister of Culture, Mongolia; David Zhao, Owner of Xpot / Chubby Cattle 
  • “Leadership: Asian Women Revolutionizing the Executive Space” with panelists Sandra Douglass Morgan, President of Raiders; Michelle Sugihara, Executive Director, CAPE; Stephanie Hsiao, NFL 
  • “Asian Innovation: Brilliant Creatives Changing the Landscapes of Reality and Entertainment” with panelists Anthony Francisco, Marvel Designer; Chris Pang, Actor (Crazy Rich Asians) 

The expo also consisted of 30 minute Q&As with popular artists, Hi-touches (meeting the artists), performances at the GRAMMY Museum Stage and more.  

I attended day two of the event (April 22), and as someone with a passion for K-Pop and Asian culture, it was amazing to experience an event packed with so many opportunities for both artist engagement and education.  

Upon entering the expo at Mandalay Bay, I was met with the colorful immersive pathway lined with life size cutouts of the artist lineup. These were a hit, as many people gathered to take photos with their favorite artists.The We Bridge phrase “Now. New. Next.” stood out in bright letters on the pathway walls. The phrase states the event’s purpose: to promote popular and up-and-coming artists.  

People walking at entrance to Expo
Original photo by Melanie Salazar

As I continued down the pathway, I came across the beautiful art gallery and luckily was able to catch live painting exhibitions by artists N5bra and SAMBYPEN. It was a special feeling to witness art in the making and also get to greet and compliment the artist in person. The art gallery featured beautiful mini exhibitions of the Gallery STAN artists’ work, and the gallery’s maze-like set up provided unique photo opportunities.  

Artist painting at live painting exhibit at festival
Original photo by Melanie Salazar
People looking at art at festival art gallery
Original photo by Melanie Salazar
Open to the public art gallery
Original photo by Melanie Salazar
me and artist at festival
Original photo by Melanie Salazar

Next, what caught my eye was the expo’s red carpeted dance stage, which was a collaboration between We Bridge and Euphoria Dance. The dance stage included choreographer-led workshops to learn songs from artists Jessi, Monsta X,  ENHYPEN and more. On April 22, the sessions offered opportunities to learn ENHYPEN’s “ParadoXXX Invasion,” BamBam’s “Sour & Sweet” and ONEUS’ “Same Scent”. I watched a portion of the workshop “Sour & Sweet,” which garnered a good amount of fans eager to learn the dance.

people dancing at dance workshop
Original photo by Melanie Salazar

The marketplace was my next stop, which was filled with multiple vendors serving free food and drink samples. Some of the vendors included:  

  • Matcha Cafe Maiko – Japanese Matcha Desserts 
  • Hawaiian Addictions – Hawaiian Snacks 
  • Little Ding’s – Taiwanese Food 
  • Soru Ramen – Japanese/Cajun Fusion 
  • Brew Tea Bar – Boba Drinks 
  • 702 Macarons – Macarons 
  • Bambu – Drinks 
  • Purpletopia – Ube desserts 
  • Boba x Ice Cream – Boba dessert 
  • Four4Corner – Filipino food 

I stopped by Brew Tea Bar for a sample of their “Taro MT” and it was truly one of the best drinks I have ever had. The drink was flavorful with just the right amount of sweetness. I would have purchased a full drink!  

Fans roaming the marketplace at Expo.
Original photo by Melanie Salazar

I had to stop by the merchandise shop, which included exclusive WE BRIDGE X SAMBYPEN pieces, limited edition ENHYPEN X SAMBYPEN merch, and Gallery STAN artist merchandise. Many of the shirts and hoodies had fun and colorful designs that had their own Las Vegas flare to them. More information on the collaboration pieces and items still available for purchase can be found on the We Bridge Shop website, at https://www.webridgeshop.com.  

The expo also had a DIY arts and crafts station and an interactive writing prompt on one of the walls with the question “What is your message to the world?” It was touching to see the wall filled with countless responses, along with words of encouragement to the artists lineup. One response, pictured in the photo below read “Thank you for the good memories. Thank you for the good music. WE LOVE YOU MONSTA X.”  

people doing arts and crafts
Original photo by Melanie Salazar
people writing on wall at festival
Original photo by Melanie Salazar

Overall, the expo, marketplace, art gallery and interactive activities exceeded my expectations for the event.  

For more information about We Bridge Music Festival and Expo, visit webridgeexpo.com

For more information about the GRAMMY Museum, visit www.grammymuseum.org

For more information about the Gallery STAN artists, visit https://www.gallerystan.com/artist

Melanie Love Salazar is Journalism student at Texas State University. She has written for the student-led radio station at Texas State and has experience writing across various media platforms. One of her biggest passions are for live music, and other hobbies of her's include going to drive-in movie theatres, reading, and drinking coffee!