The inaugural Rock Fiesta was a huge success for the American rock en Español culture. The audience loved it and media praised it, placing the brand as the first U.S. Latino Campout Music Festival. First staged in West Arizona (Quartzsite) March 2016, this last March, tickets sold to fans in 21 states and other counties. From dozens of positive news articles, this is what the music world said!
Rock Fiesta Brings Latin-Rock Authenticity To The Arizona Desert
by MTV News Staff
The first-ever festival featured great performance after performance. And while the press took to calling Rock Fiesta the Latino answer to Coachella, in reality its totemic lineup and reigning spirit of chaos suggest a more apt Woodstock comparison.
Rock Fiesta organizer Hal Davidson entered the world of rock en español three years ago, when Monterrey, Mexico, rockers Kinky, with whom he’s worked as a promoter, showed him a pic of them performing in front of 80,000 people at Mexico City’s Vive Latino festival. “I saw that there was a major hole in the market and a really great opportunity,” Davidson tells MTV. “There’s never been a camp-out Latino rock festival in America before, or anywhere else in the world. We’re the first ones.”
“2016’s Rock Fiesta was a diamond in the rough.”
Rock Fiesta Spring Break 2016: Arizona to Host the Biggest Latin Rock Festival in the U.S.
By Editor AZLatinos.com
As the festival draws closer, the 115-acre Desert Gardens Show Grounds is transforming into a World Class festival site with large scale excavation and construction taking place in an effort to build a perfect 15-acre concert area containing; 47.4 tons of production, one huge double Main Stage, 770,000 watts of crown power inside of a state-of-the-art sound and lights array plus 2 LED-sound relay towers
"Thirteen and a half hours of rock in your face with no breaks for two days in a row,"
By Stephanie Sanchez KAWC
Davidson said. But would 3,500 local residents and seasonal RV living retirees be up for a three day Latin rock show? "We may have 50,000 Mexicans jumping up and down, screaming, drinking beer," Davidson said. "Do you realize that? Is that OK? Can we bring that? They said yes, bring it … we did and it was loved by all."
This was the first time ever Arizona had this type of festival.
Channel 12 NBC Arizona
Rock Fiesta was basically a Latin Rock Coachella and the energy was amazing. I call it the
mini-Coachella with much potential for it to occur next year.
People -- and not only Latinos -- attended the festival from different parts of the world
such as Chicago, Mexico, Guatemala, New York and Los Angeles, to name a few.
I interviewed a young man named Cesar, 22, from Sonora, Mexico. He told me how he packed up his bags, got on a
bus with his passport and set up camp for the weekend at the Rock Fiesta campsitThe festival had two stages with
live bands playing music back to back. 12 News had the chance to interview several iconic bands: Los Angeles' own
Ozomatli, Alex lora from El Tri and S7N.
Not only did we get to interview, but also capture the essence of the ambiance: people cheering all day, vendors in
every corner of the show grounds and even a Donald Trump piñata being passed around the crowd.
There were thousands of people on Friday leading up to Saturday. Let me just emphasize that by the end of the
night, I could barely move through the crowds while trying to use Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram so our 12 News
audience could be part of the fun as well.
We even did a 12 News Facebook live stream in bilingual for the first
time and toured the show grounds along with a simple interview of
why it meant so much for Latinos and more to unite at concerts like
At the moment, there is still no word if there will be a Rock Fiesta in
2017, but we are crossing our fingers that it will happen.
Latin Rock and Mexican Pride Combine at Rock Fiesta
By Sarah Bennett Phoenix New Times
Selling out, the flag was a huge success
Hundreds flying in the campground
More than Coachella, Rock Fiesta felt at
times like Warped Tour with a pressing
In reality, Rock Fiesta — which we called
“the Coachella of Latin Rock” for its twoday
campout premise and impressive
lineup of seminal Mexican acts — was
never meant to be anything political. But
how could the largest rock en Española
concert on American soil not take on
greater significance when it’s happening
in a state that has historically passed
and enforced some of the strictest antiimmigration
laws that have only served
to make life miserable (if not hostile) for
its Latino population?
And who on Rock Fiesta’s organizing team could have predicted that after two years of planning, their festival would
fall right in the middle of a racially charged election season. Beyond politics, however, the festival marked
another major milestone for rock en español as a genre: Its U.S. audience is now formidable enough to sustain largescale
… others with traditional pre-Columbian headgear and Mexican flags. Despite 100-plus-degree temperatures,
everyone came ready to dance, mosh, and celebrate Mexico’s contributions to Latin rock on a level never before
Having Rock Fiesta as a one-day thing closer to LA might have allowed the event to sell out, but organizers took a
big chance on presenting the bands over a multi-day format in Quartzsite, a town of a few hundred geriatric gem
lovers no less than a two-hour drive from any major city. Given the impressive lineup and historic nature of the
event, Rock Fiesta was wildly under-attended (20,000 were expected yet only around 4,000 tickets pre-sold); but this
should not be taken as a failure.
The first Coachella missed its attendance goal by a similar margin and lost so much money it almost
never happened again. What it lost in revenue, it made up for in precedent. Like Coachella, Rock Fiesta
is only the start of something much greater.
By showcasing the splintering diversity of rock en español as a genre, Rock Fiesta laid the foundation for its
inevitable entry into the mainstream American consciousness. It also demonstrated the continued need for festivals
that fight the predominantly white status quo.
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