Mid-March kicks off what’s unofficially known as festival season – SXSW, Ultra, Coachella, NRMAL, Glastonbury, Lollapalooza & a vagillion more – and with it the Twitter timelines filled with Austin Four Square checkins, newsletters from retailers about “festival lookbooks” (I swear if Urban Outfitters sends me ONE more email about fringe-y vests and jorts…), instagrams of wristbands and after-parties, etc. And obviously the music, duh.
With all these amazing offerings, it can be overwhelming to decide which festival to go to/pay attention to. They all have their merits, of course, but here is why we’re most excited about Vive Latino – a festival that doesn’t normally get much coverage from U.S. outlets:
1. The Music
Yes, pretty much all of the festivals listed above have some great Latin Alternative artists on their line ups. But none rival Vive Latino in scope and breadth of Latin artists represented; with over 100 confirmed bands performing, it is THE BIGGEST music festival in all of Latin America. 70,000 people come out each year! Where else can you see Latin Grammy alternative album and song winner Carla Morrison, Uruguayan rockers Cuarteto de Nos, Gepe from Chile, the reunited Mexican band Porter, Nortec Collective DJs Bostich and Fussible, Argentina’s Banda de Turistas, Afro-Colombian cumbia hip-hop group Bomba Estereo, and Spanish rapper Mala Rodriguez all at once?? It’s basically the Latin-Alternative festival mecca, and short of jet-setting to Europe, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival that has a more international line-up. This year Brit bands Blur and Underworld will also be performing, as will U.S. bands the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Silversun Pickups, and Australian band Tame Impala. IT’S AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES PEOPLE.
2. The Food
Okay, everyone tweeting about the tacos in Austin needs to take a seat. Compared to the monchis in D.F., the tacos in Austin might as well be that Taco Bell Doritos-shell shit. I have a feeling I’m going to get some angry emails from people for saying that, SORRY NOT SORRY #SXSWHATEVERRRR.
Also very important: Mexican beer. And the fact that you can get individual mezcal & lime pouches at the festival venue. And the tamaleros at the doors. And the fact that all of this costs probably a third of what you’d pay for food at any other festival. I’m actually on a plane to D.F. as I type this, and all I can think about is stuffing my face with chilaquiles AHHH.
3. The Cultural Activities
If seeing bands from all over Latin America isn’t enough for you, there’s also a bunch of related stuff to do because Vive Latino has joined forces with Faro de Oriente to create a bunch of cultural events and exhibits over the course of the three day festival. The series will include an homage to José Guadalupe Posada, creator of the infamous Dapper Skeleton, in a permanent exhibit of rock-themed skulls: