15 Summer Music Festivals That Actually Booked Latinx Artists

Lead Photo: Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla
Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla
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The dawn of summer is finally here, and after a particularly brutal winter, our bodies are ready to thaw with the promise of UV rays and summer bops. What better way to do so than by hitting up a few music festivals?

As Latinxs, it’s hard not to feel alienated in these mainstream festival settings, but thanks to examples set by local, on-the-ground organizers, larger entities like SXSW and Coachella are booking acts from across Latin America and the diaspora alongside buzzy Anglo artists, and not just as openers – it seems our art and buying power are finally being acknowledged. Many festivals and cultural events have begun catering to specific interests and audiences, thanks in part to increased involvement from local governments and community organizations, warming up the generally sterile corporate approach of the more mainstream enterprises.

Make no mistake: these hard-fought accomplishments have come thanks to years of media coverage, incessant audience demand, and sustained efforts from Latinx gatekeepers. But ultimately, it would be foolish for these festivals to continue ignoring the largest growing demographic in the country. Considering the sociopolitical implications of our time, inclusivity presents an opportunity for festival organizers to take a stand and support local communities like they would anyone else.

In the spirit of summer and our passion for live music, we’ve curated a list of homegrown U.S. festivals featuring Latinx artists across the country. From purely Latinx lineups to more diverse ones, we are highlighting a variety of established and emerging fests hosting some of the most riveting shows of the summer. Travel is always an option, but if you don’t see your neck of the woods represented here, remember that supporting local artists and venues is always the best way to nourish and grow a scene near you.

This piece will be updated with additional information as more festival announcements are made.


Neon Desert

Where: El Paso, TX
When: May 26-27

Neon Desert Music Festival returns to El Paso, Texas with a lineup that is bigger and more ambitious than ever. From headliners that include At The Drive In, to scene heroes like Café Tacvba and Bomba Estéreo, Latinxs hold a massive chunk of this year’s lineup. Indie sweethearts Cuco, Caloncho, and Little Jesus will also be adding a joyful flair to the festival. Neon Desert will be going down on May 26-27, and if you’re worried about the sweltering Texas heat, organizers have got you covered. Event Water Solutions will provide an unlimited supply of free water to make sure audiences are hydrated and cool to enjoy their fun in the sun.

To purchase tickets and find more information, click here.


Ruido Fest

Where: Chicago, IL
When: June 22-24

Entering its fourth year on June 22–24, Ruido Fest has set a high bar for U.S.-based and Latinx-focused festivals by bringing together legacy acts and energetic newcomers for some of the most deliciously curated lineups in the country. Despite some fans not being entirely satisfied by this year’s bookings, it’s easy to see why Ruido Fest continues to blaze trails both in its Chicago home and nationwide. Headlining icons Caifanes and Plastilina Mosh will be tugging at all our nostalgic heartstrings, while Los Ángeles Azúles, Ana Tijoux, and Miss Garrison reflect the genre diversity we want to see from the festival. Make sure to arrive early and check out some of the local acts – the most to ever appear in a Ruido roster – with names like Cqqchifruit, The Braided Janes, and DJ Chava showing out for the Windy City.

To purchase tickets and find more information, click here.



Where: Chicago, IL
When: June 15-16

Chicago is seriously upping their festival game this summer with the first edition of LatiNxt, a weekend-long celebration of indie, experimental, and club sounds at the city’s iconic landmark Navy Pier. The June 15–16 event is free, family friendly, sponsored by Sol beer, and curated by local collective Future Rootz. Featured artists include Colombian-Canadian vocal powerhouse Lido Pimienta, NYC-based Brazilian MC Zuzuka Poderosa, Mexican psychedelic cumbia outfit Sonido Gallo Negro and fusion masters Centavrvs. Set times are longer and more leisurely than at a traditionally hectic fest, so you’ll have a chance to get there early, thoroughly enjoy each show and dance late into the night, especially with beloved club DJs like Bembona, Uproot Andy, and DJ Jigüe at the helm of the party.

To find more information, click here.


NYC Migra Punk Fest

Where: Brooklyn, NY
When: June 30

Organized by members of ABC No Rio, Aklasan Fest, and Latinx Punk Fest, Brooklyn’s Migra Punk Fest was born last year out of rage and circumstance. When Bay Area pinoy hardcore band Aninoko told some New York friends they’d be coming into town, several bands and musicians pulled resources for an all-star night that included eight bands of various Latinx and Filipino backgrounds taking the stage for immigrant empowerment, rejecting the xenophobic rhetoric of then recently elected Donald Trump and his supporters. For the fest’s second installment on June 30, organizers have upped the talent count to 11 bands and moved the event from DIY venue Silent Barn to Brooklyn Bazaar. The roster is mostly comprised of New York acts like SPIC and Material Support, but keep an eye out for bands RHDP, Haircut, Y Qué?, and BRÜJA coming in from Virginia and California.

To find more information, click here.


MoMA Ps1 Warm Up

Where: Long Island City, Queens, NY
When: Every Saturday from June 30 to September 1

MoMA PS1 is at the vanguard of some of New York’s most forward-thinking summer party series. Last year’s performance by Cardi B at the height of her “Bodak Yellow” success made headlines and set a new standard for Warm Up shows. Dizzying sets by Asmara, Venus X, LSDXOXO, and DEBIT proved curation gears are set to the max. This year, Remezcla’s own music editor Isabelia Herrera sits on the Warm Up curatorial committee. The lineup includes DJ Kass of “Scooby Doo Pa Pa” fame, R&B upstart Omar Apollo, reggaeton pioneer DJ Playero, and many more.

To purchase tickets and find more information, click here.



Where: New York, NY
When: July 10-14

New York City’s Latin Alternative Music Conference returns this summer from July 10–14, hosting citywide panels, networking events, and shows. Whether you’re a fan or industry professional, be advised LAMC crowds get competitive, so pick up your passes to all conference-related events ahead of time. Eager fans looking to catch emerging acts and celebrated favorites should keep a watchful eye on the Summerstage and showcase schedules. Central Park shows by Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Tomasa del Real, Nicola Cruz, Jorge Drexler, and ÌFÉ have already been announced, while LAMC’s official Highline Ballroom showcases haven’t yet been unveiled, though you can expect some of the buzzier names on Nacional Records’ indie roster to be featured.

To purchase tickets and for more information, click here.


Afro-Latino Festival

Where: New York, NY
When: July 13-15

Few New York City events are as essential as Afro-Latino Festival, which centers conversations on racism, colorism, and sexism within our community by spotlighting Afro-Caribbean music, tradition, and heritage. This year’s lineup includes Brooklyn hip-hop upstart Latasha Alcindor, Dominican roots group Yasser Tejeda y Palotré, and many more. Panel discussions put a focus on criminal justice reform in the Americas, models for entrepreneurship, and census resources. The fest also includes a film and wine festival co-presented with Tap and Cork. We can’t wait to see what issues organizers aim to tackle through the power of art and community.

To purchase tickets and find more information, click here.


Nuevo Fest

Where: Philadelphia, PA
When: July 15

Philadelphia’s Nuevo Fest will return this year on Sunday, July 15, rounding out a packed week of independent music in the tri-state area as it coincides with New York City’s LAMC and Afro-Latino Fest. There aren’t many details on this year’s edition just yet, but if past lineups, which have included Balún, La Vida Boheme, Javiera Mena, Quitapenas, and Calma Carmona, are any indication, the 2018 edition should see the Philly staple reach all new indie heights.

To find more information on previous editions, click here.


OYE Fest

Where: Atlanta, GA
When: August 10-12

In a year full of newcomers, Atlanta’s OYE Fest is proving to be one of the most anticipated events on our music calendars. Organizers tested local waters last year with several one-off parties that brought folks like Riobamba and Combo Chimbita into town, playing to sold-out crowds and rave reviews. Taking things to the next level, OYE Fest has shared with Remezcla the official dates of August 10-12 and confirmed artists Ivy Queen and Cuco will be gracing the Atlanta stage. A full lineup announcement is expected soon, but organizers are describing the festival as an interactive experience complete with vendors, art installations, and lectures. OYE Fest is produced by the same team behind local street-art initiative Living Walls, guaranteeing a commitment to meticulous curation around Latinx cultures.

To find more information, click here.


Latinx Punk Fest

Where: Brooklyn, NY
When: August 10-12

Brace yourselves, because the fourth edition of Latinx Punk Fest is coming and it’s taking no prisoners. Organized by Peruvian punk Aldo Hidalgo, the self-funded DIY event will be taking over Brooklyn Bazaar on August 10-12, featuring over 30 bands from across the U.S. and abroad. The fest started in 2014 and went on hiatus last year, but its core values of supporting Latinx punk and instilling a sense of community through language and heritage remain the same. Check out ANTIFACES from Miami, Junta from NYC, Frente Norte from Ohio, and Mentira from Kansas to get a sense of the different Latinx punk perspectives happening around the country.

To find more information, click here.


Viva! Pomona

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Viva! Pomona .. 7th annual 🌠

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Where: Pomona, CA
When: August 18-19

Viva! Pomona, California’s DIY pride and joy, returns this year for its seventh edition on August 18-19. Little is known about the 2018 lineup, but previous iterations of the fest have included names on the brink of stardom, like Prayers in 2015, Los Blenders in 2016, and last year’s headlining slot by Cuco. Viva! Pomona has become a breeding ground for several future stars. Though not strictly Latinx-focused, the festival is a welcome anomaly in the national festival landscape – and indie spaces in general – for its evenhanded balance of Anglo acts and emerging names from Latin America and the diaspora.

To find more information, click here.


Pilsen Fest

Where: Chicago, IL
When: August 18-19

Pilsen Fest spotlights the importance of supporting and protecting locally owned businesses and preserving the neighborhood’s rich immigrant history and heritage. This year’s edition will take place on August 18-19. Though no official lineup announcements have been made, the annual battle of the bands to choose which local acts will participate in the fest is already under way. Past performers have included Rey Pila, Ile, Nina Sky, and Monsieur Periné, so you can expect organizers to pull out all the stops this summer.

To find more information, click here.


Los Dells

Where: Wisconsin Dells, WI
When: September 1-2

Last year’s Los Dells brought a major Latinx presence to Wisconsin, decentralizing the Midwest’s traditionally Chicago-centered focus. With headliners that included Maná, Nicky Jam, and Prince Royce, the Wisconsin Dells hosted one of the biggest Latinx parties of the year, and if all goes according to plan, 2018 will be no different. Though no lineup announcements have been made, Los Dells is scheduled for September 1-2 and we can hardly wait to see who shows up. Remember the festival is campsite and family-friendly, so plan ahead if you can’t find a babysitter or if your hotel budget is on the low end.

To purchase tickets and find more information, click here.


Lost Lake Festival

Where: Phoenix, Arizona
When: October 19-21

From the organizers of Bonnaroo and Outside Lands comes Lost Lake, a Phoenix, Arizona fest bringing together some of the hottest names in pop, hip-hop, and indie under the Southwestern sun. Fully aware of the scorching Arizona heat, organizers have scheduled the festival for October 19-21 at Steele Indian School Park, giving fans a break from the punishing summer highs. Lost Lake will feature art installations, a brew park stocked with local craft beers, and acts like Café Tacvba, Cuco, The Marías, Chicano Batman, and The Chamanas driving fans into a desert frenzy.

To purchase tickets and find more information, click here.



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Where: Long Beach, CA
When: TBA, typically October

Fine, Tropicalia happens in November, making it more of an autumn function, but after last year’s mind-boggling lineup, which included Los Tigres del Norte, Cuco, Kali Uchis, and so many other inspired curatorial choices, how could we leave them off the list? It’s still far too early to say what we can expect from the festival’s second edition, but what we know for certain is that last year’s cavalcade of vendors, fashionable crowds, and phenomenal talent already have our attention as a must-attend event of the year.

To find more information, click here.