Los Angeles gets tons of attention thanks to its Alt. Latino music scene but it’s not the only place in the region with badass Latino artists and musicians. ¡Saturado!, a Latin Alternative showcase at the Saturation Festival, in Riverside hopes to bring some attention to those other regions as well as L.A. by hosting a number of artists from L.A., San Diego, and the Inland Empire (San Bernardino/Riverside counties).
Saturation Festival is a DIY arts and music festival that takes place in the city of Riverside’s downtown area. The festival, which began as a single-day event in 2001, is a three-day celebration of local art and local music curated by (drum roll, please) local participants without corporate help or sponsorship. The festival runs from Friday May 24th – Sunday May 26th and ¡Saturado! is one of the opening night’s festivities.
“I wanted to purposefully do a Latino showcase,” says Eleanor Gomez who put ¡Saturado! together, “and it made so much sense culturally because Saturation Fest has been around for 11 years but there’s never been anything like this featured in it. That’s kind of ironic seeing how the community is predominantly Mexican in Riverside.” That’s like living in East L.A. and not seeing any storefront signs in Spanish!
The event features DJ Panamami, co-founder of monthly global-boogie fiesta Bodega, and Zoom-B, one of the very few acts in L.A. inspired by Brazilian forro music. Also on the bill are Las Feas, an all-female punk rock group from the Coachella Valley, which is also home to some little music festival named after the region (maybe you’ve heard of it. Probably not though). The band may be a young unknown but they have already pulled opening duties for bands such as The Adolescents.
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Representing San Diego will be Cumbia Machin. The duo of Joaquin Hernandez and Paul Lopez will drop the nu-cumbia bass all over the place. Finally, the headliners will be none other than San Bernardino/Riverside-based, tropical cumbia outfit QUITAPENAS whom we traveled to SXSW with.
Besides having a great time, Gomez hopes that the younger members of the all-ages festival will take away something more meaningful from the event.
“I feel that by doing a Latin scene concert,” she explains, “they’ll feel inspired to grasp the roots of their own culture and see that this is modern music that’s utilizing rhythms of their heritage and appreciate and keep the festival resonating with them more than the typical hipster scene. This is something more original and something that’s gravitating more toward their culture.”