7 Things We Learned at Sueños Music Festival in Chicago

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla.
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla.
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Produced by the teams behind Lollapalooza and Baja Beach Fest, Sueños is quickly shaping up to be the next destination festival in the mid-West. Set in the heart of Grant Park in Chicago, IL, on May 27 and 28, the second iteration of Sueños Music Festival was a celebration of the many sounds and people that make up our Latine communities. From reggaeton to regional Mexican to dembow, there was something for everyone to enjoy. 

Day one was a treat for fans of el movimiento. Headliners Wisin y Yandel ran through their classics like “Noche De Sexo,” “Ahora Es,” and “El Telefono.” And while special guests were minimal throughout Sueños, Feid returned to perform “Yandel 150” with el duo de la historia. His set was also one of the most anticipated of the day, ultimately performing songs like “Chorrito Pa Las Animas,” “Normal,” and “Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo.” Other stand-out acts include El Alfa, Chencho Corleone, and Ivy Queen. 

Day two was just as eventful, but this day, the sombreros and botas came out to support headliners Grupo Firme and Junior H, who made their sets feel more like a giant peda surrounded by Mexican flags rather than just another music festival. However, there was also perreo on this day by way of Nicky Jam, Myke Towers, and Ryan Castro. Another highly anticipated artist this day was Becky G, who was moved to tears expressing her pride in being Chicana and treated the crowd to a performance worthy of the superstar she is.

At the same time, festival-goers got to experience activations with festival sponsors Buchanan’s Scotch Whisky, CÎROC Vodka Spritz, and Tequila Don Julio. Dominican Rapper Messiah hung out at the Buchanan’s Pineapple VIP experience, where fans met and took pictures with him. Jhayco, who played at last year’s Sueños Music Festival, also visited the CÎROC Vodka Spritz Oasis booth and kicked it with fans. Both artists were happy to experience the event as festival-goers rather than performing acts.  

From quick interviews to stellar performances, here are the seven things we learned at this year’s Sueños Music Festival in Chicago. 

When It Comes To Performers, Few Measure Up To El Alfa


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Some artists just show up to work and sing, and there are others that show up and entertain. El Alfa is an entertainer. No other artist hyped up the crowd quite like El Jefe. He commanded the crowd with ease, having them jumping up and down and showing off their different Latin American flags to the tune of some of his biggest viral hits like “La Mamá de la Mamá,” “Gogo Dance,” and even “La Romana.” 

Moreover, you know you’re in the presence of a legend when they open their set with a PowerPoint presentation on their achievements. To kick off his performance, El Alfa featured a video that showcased his biggest performances, hits, and a highlight reel on the top moments of his career. El Alfa has broken down so many barriers for dembow artists that it had to be celebrated, and his set at Sueños showed just how he got there.  

Fandoms Showed Out to Support

Fandoms showing up to support their favorite artist is something that’s more characteristic of the pop world, but the way the music landscape has been influenced by this culture and changed throughout the years, the stans came out for Sueños. The music festival was Feid’s Chicago stop on his Nitro Jam Underground North America tour, so it made sense that his fans would show up in droves on the first day of the concert. How do we know? Well, they were decked out in Ferxxo’s signature green and wore his merch, including the white Oakley sunglasses and T-shirts. For the second day, fans took out their sombreros and botas to enjoy the regional Mexican acts in the lineup. This included Junior H, Grupo Firme, and even Becky G, who even played a voice note by collaborator Peso Pluma sending his regrets over not being able to be there with her before jumping into “Chanel.” Fans busted all the moves in full regional mexicano regalia.

Messiah’s Working With Myke Towers Again


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On day one of the festival, Remezcla got the chance to kick it with Dominican rapper Messiah at Buchanan’s Pineapple VIP experience. “I’m Dominican, so those who know me know I’m not lying. I love Buchanan’s. Buchanan’s with apple juice,  Buchanan’s with coconut water,” he says as he raises his glass of Buchanan’s Pineapple whiskey with coconut water. “It’s amazing.”

Since he wasn’t there to perform but to participate in the brand’s pop-up and hang out, we asked him what his favorite thing about being at Sueños was. “Checho is a legend,” he says as Corleone sings his set in the background. “I love his tone of voice. Seeing him, Nicky Jam, Arcangel, Myke Towers, I’m just here for the vibes.” He also shouts out Feid as the artist he’s been listening to lately. Like many other fans, wearing a green T-shirt, he recommends listening to his new song with Nicky Jam, “69.”

On what’s next, he let us into a little secret. “I just shot the video for my next record. My single with Myke Towers; it’s called ‘Touchdown,’” he says. This would mark the second time they work together after 2017’s “Inverso.” “It’s something my fans kept asking me since that time. ‘Yo, when’s the next Myke Towers record?’ So it’s something me and my label have been very interested in, and we finally did it. So stay tuned for that.” 

LGBTQ+ Representation Is Growing Strongly


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Homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny are rampant in every music genre, and reggeaton and regional Mexican are no different. That’s why it’s so important to have representation from the LGBTQ community in these fields. The newer generation of artists is breaking gender norms just by taking up space in Latine music festivals. At Sueños, Young Miko and Jhonny Caz from Grupo Firme didn’t just take up space, but they made it theirs. 

Young Miko serenaded fans with many of her unapologetically queer anthems like “Lisa,” “Putero,” and “Classy 101.” And though her mic was cut off before she could perform “Riri,” fans couldn’t get enough of the Puerto Rican rapper. From the crowd, her supporters proudly displayed rainbow flags or hybrid Mexican flags with rainbow colors. By the end of her set, Young Miko grabbed one and put it around her neck. She was also gifted a bouquet of flowers whilst female fans screamed “Kiss me!” at her.

For his part, Caz proudly displayed the rainbow flag’s colors on his flag and sported an edgier, more-fashion-forward ensemble than his group mates or even peers in the banda genre.

Becky G Addresses Her Broken Heart


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Inglewood native Becky G has had a rough 2023. Good thing she has a hearty selection of empowering and dolida anthems in her repertoire. Because of what she’s been going through in her personal life, songs like “MAMIII” and “Chanel” have been hitting extra hard, and her performances of these hits at Sueños were no different. At one point, a fan in the audience gifter Becky a bouquet of flowers. The singer happily took them and said the gesture was very nice, especially when you were mending a broken heart. This, of course, made the crown break out in cheers of support and a “Becky! Becky!” chant. Nothing else had to be said, for everyone understood what she meant, and the cheers were of encouragement and empathy.

Jhayco Just Wants To Hang Out With Fans

Reggaeton Artist, Jhayco Enjoys CÎROC Vodka Spritz and Sets the Vibes at Sueños Music Festival in Chicago_Amber Millan
Photo by Amber Millan.
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Just like Messiah, Jhayco was at Sueños for the vibes. As a brand ambassador for CÎROC Vodka Spritz, he also participated in their VIP activation and met some fans. “I love being here,” he shares with Remezcla. “As long as I’m entertaining the public, doing something that has to do with entertainment, music, I’m happy. I was born to do this. I love watching people, the public, and sharing with them. They don’t always have the chance to meet an artist walking around, doing something at a festival. Also, I don’t really have the liberty to go to any festival, so when I can, I enjoy it to the fullest.”    

Though he was a performer at the inaugural iteration of the festival, Jhayco didn’t return for 2023. This may be because he has his own tour coming up, the Vida Rockstar Tour. “It’s going to be a great experience for me and my fans, my family. I’m excited for it to start,” he says with a smile and a shrug.  

Nothing Can Hold Back Ivy Queen – Not Even Technical Problems


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Technical difficulties are bound to happen during a festival of this scale. Unfortunately, Ivy Queen’s set was plagued by wardrobe and sound problems, including cutting out her music. After trying to play it off while singing and asking people to fix it, she took matters into her own hands and went a cappella. Not letting the mishaps take away from the crowd’s experience, Ivy Queen improvised on the spot and rolled with it, proving little to nothing stops her. 



Travel and accommodations were provided to the author by Diageo for the purpose of writing this story.