Ruido Fest weekend is here, and per usual, we’re overwhelmed with this year’s jam-packed lineup. In the five years since it’s debut on the festival scene, the weekend remains one of the only all-Latinx focused music festivasl taking place within the United States, and to celebrate their milestone anniversary, the fest is upgrading to a larger location (Union Park) while highlighting some of the world’s top Latinx talent.
What instantly caught our eye however, was the heavy focus on female talent a part of this year’s lineup – and according to fest organizer Eduardo Calvillo, it was a decision that was 100% intentional.
“There’s a big issue around the world with women not being equally represented in festivals,” Calvillo told The Chicago Tribune, and went on to comment that Ruido brings out a larger percentage of female concert goers in comparison to other music festivals.
To prep for the weekend ahead, we laid out the five women – ranging from iconic pop songwriters, to genre bending newcomers and shining local acts – that we can’t wait to see own the stages that they’ve long deserved to play on.
Booking Francisca Valenzuela – the Chilean-American singer, songwriter, producer and poet – for Ruido Fest seemed like a no brainer. Aside from being one of the biggest names to come out of the Chilean-Pop genre and being considered a poetic prodigy since she was a teenager, Valenzuela also helped found Ruidosa Festival, an annual, all women lineup meant to celebrate the diverse sounds and artistry of Latin America. Her latest release, “Ya No Se Trata De Ti” is her directorial debut in a music video and refreshingly vulnerable track centering on the longing for emotional freedom via a classic, pop/rock composition.
We love a humble but badass frontwoman, and that’s exactly the kind of energy Vanessa Zamora is set to serve at her Friday set. The Mexican singer’s music ranges from dreamy, folk inspired, guitar–based records like “Solegrande,” to 80s inspired, romantic dance tracks, like “Rio.” Her songs sound like her hometown of Tijuana – a little bit isolated, but still bustling, much like the Mexican beach town. Her songwriting and her breathy but confident vocals are sure to serve as the perfect soundtrack for fest-goers looking for a musical break from reality – even if just for one set.
Jarina De Marco
If you haven’t listened to anything by Jarina De Marco before, imagine the booming beats and high voltage energy of M.I.A meets Bomba Estereo. The Dominican and Brazillian singer creates dangerously hot, bilingual dance tracks inspired from all walks of the music world like the vogue inspired “Face,” to the cheeky “STFU,” and “Tigre” which was featured on an episode of Broad City. De Marco has said growing up, her parents were highly musical and she was influenced by the likes of bossa nova, blues and jazz, which explains why her incredibly unique sound is seemingly undefinable, yet infectious.
Alongside assuring that this year’s Ruido Fest Lineup had a noticeable presence of female talent, the fest producers also made a point to highlight some of the local talent that calls Chicago home. The city’s reigning princesa de pop, Tatiana Hazel, takes the stage on Saturday, and she’s proven in the past year alone that she brings a dedicated and passionate crowd no matter where she performs. We not only can’t wait to see her perform fan favorites like “Can’t Help But Notice,” and “Si o No,” but we’re also eagerly awaiting to see what self-designed sure-to-be-fire fit she’ll be rocking for the occasion as well.
While nostalgia bands and indie singer-songwriters make up the bulk of the Ruido artist lineup, the DJ stage is where one can go when fest-goers are ready for a dance break. A fan favorite among the Chicago club circuit, DJ Chava makes an appearance on Saturday. We can expect nothing but back to back current day Latinx bangers (think Bad Bunny and J Balvin and company), effortlessly mixed-in with throwback favorites from old school Daddy Yankee, Nina Sky and more.