Tomorrow, October 4th, Mexico City’s Raymondstock steps into its second edition with the tagline “un festival de música para chavos raros (a music festival for weird kids).” Deciding to reappropiate and embrace the stigma of those who go against grain of standard festivals’ marketing plans, Raymondstock has developed a conscious progressiveness in terms of inclusiveness. Making every effort to be an accessible festival, the organizers keep ticket prices affordable and make sure to book across genres, hosting acts from indie pop, hip hop, underground electronica, experimental outfits, punk rock, and hardcore.
With a roster of over 25 bands hailing from Canada, Mexico, Peru, and United States, the fest allows its audience to not only to have a great time surrounded by friends but also to be exposed to some of the best emerging acts around the world thanks to its philosophy of DIY transformed into DIT (Do-It-Together). The naïve, honest birth of Raymondstock not only reflects the intention to educate and mobilize the community around new music, but also to pursue precedents set by peer festivals in Mexico like Lxs Grises, Festival Antes, Chayito Fest, and WIRD. Above all, these collectives have reconstructed the concept of networking by creating ongoing spaces of interaction and support with year-round showcases and on-going support to independent acts.
In 2013, in true DIT spirit, Raymondstock occupied an abandoned school – in the neighborhood of Roma Norte in Mexico City – and organized a house party. It provided a key moment to introduce the public to acts like DJ Smurphy, Los Blenders, Josué Josué, Baby Nelson and the Philistines, O Tortuga, and more that have since received significant media attention and have made appearances at festivals like All My Friends in Tijuana, NRMAL in Monterrey, and Viva Pomona in California.
Now, a year after its inception, Raymondstock returns with a solidified objective, a new venue, and a generous sponsor. Ramón Jaramillo, founder and creative director, highlights the hallmark characteristic of the festival. “Last year,” says Jaramillo, “Raymondstock was a possibility due to a community effort: friends, friends of friends, and bands, all got together to make this a possibility. This year, the festival grows but the spirit remains. We will continue to support and generate a network and space for musical acts from the independent music realm of Mexico and other parts of the world.”
When asking Jaramillo how Raymondstock hopes to empower the weird kids, he explains, “This festival is a platform where ideas and sounds are exchanged; we hope to inspire kids to follow their intuition and to play music, whether it’s music or art– but we hope they will create something.”
As of the curated aspect of the festival, Ramón states, “We don’t follow any standard procedure. The main objective is for the audience to enjoy and discover new bands. The ending result is to have people gain knowledge of new acts and sounds. There are many bands in Mexico and other parts of the world– we want people to be able to hear them.”
Beyond community building and music education, what’s next for Raymondstock? Ramón, with a trustworthy good-hearted smirk, answers: “To grow together and take over the world”.
Raymondstock takes over Foro Zacatecas 39 in Roma Norte on October 4th, 2014. For more information, check out the Raymondstock website.