Festival Marvin is known for booking a diverse bill every year, one that often features legendary bands alongside the obscure, as well as Mexican, Latin American, U.S.-based, and European artists. Marvin always hosts events in smaller venues, where artist-to-fan interactions are key and musical catharsis is more intense than in the typical outdoor festival setting. The energy at this year’s edition, which took place this past weekend, was no different.
The three-day fest is sprawling, taking place across two Mexico City neighborhoods, which means travel isn’t always easy. Festival grounds are split between venues like Salón Pata Negra and Salón Covadonga, which is an almost two-kilometer walk (thankfully there were vans and shuttle buses to transport attendees). Missing some key performances was inevitable, but despite the volume of events, a solid lineup meant there was a chance you were bound to catch a good performance no matter what.
Festival Marvin has an egalitarian quality to its bill, which means big names like Adán Jodorowsky, Los Blenders, Salón Acapulco, Los Viejos, Kristin Kontrol, and No Age opened stages and venues early in the day. It’s no surprise, then, that Coachella-approved artists like Mint Field played on the same stage or at the same same time as reunited garage rockers Nos Llamamos or fast-rising rapper Mcklopedia. There were noteworthy sets from acts such as garage rockers Viv & The Sects, hip-hop trio M3V, folk newcomer Negrø and and post-mariachi upstart Dani Bander. Some stages were popping all day long, like the aforementioned Pata Negra, which hosted a non-stop turn up closed out by up-and-comer P.FLXWS and scene champion Eptos Uno.
Although each show had its fair share of audiences giving their all to each performer, the response a few acts generated had a special lightning-in-a-bottle quality. When rockers La Vida Boheme took the stage, several groups in the crowd at Parque España held Venezuelan flags high, waving them as they pogoed to the band’s high-octane riffs. It was a welcome display of resistance and solidarity, as the country is experiencing one of its toughest periods of political instability yet. As people awaited eagerly to watch cult band Television, the crowd roared along to even the least catchy numbers, and collapsed as guitar solos surged ecstatically. Audiences let out primal screams of freedom and angst with hardcore act Touché Amore, and later, Joliette inspired people to shout along and become one with them.
There was much to experience at Festival Marvin, and witnessing rock legends alongside newer bands proved that there’s still plenty to be discovered for music fans of all backgrounds.