Vive Latino: 5 Reasons this Music Festival Está Con Madre

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Twitter: @AndreaGompf

Mid-March kicks off what’s unofficially known as festival season  – SXSW, Ultra, Coachella, NRMAL, Glastonbury, Lollapalooza & a vagillion more – and with it the Twitter timelines filled with Austin Four Square checkins, newsletters from retailers about “festival lookbooks” (I swear if Urban Outfitters sends me ONE more email about fringe-y vests and jorts…), instagrams of wristbands and after-parties, etc. And obviously the music, duh.

With all these amazing offerings, it can be overwhelming to decide which festival to go to/pay attention to. They all have their merits, of course, but here is why we’re most excited about Vive Latino – a festival that doesn’t normally get much coverage from U.S. outlets:


1. The Music

Yes, pretty much all of the festivals listed above have some great Latin Alternative artists on their line ups. But none rival Vive Latino in scope and breadth of Latin artists represented; with over 100 confirmed bands performing, it is THE BIGGEST music festival in all of Latin America. 70,000 people come out each year! Where else can you see Latin Grammy alternative album and song winner Carla Morrison, Uruguayan rockers Cuarteto de Nos, Gepe from Chile, the reunited Mexican band Porter, Nortec Collective DJs Bostich and Fussible, Argentina’s Banda de Turistas, Afro-Colombian cumbia hip-hop group Bomba Estereo, and Spanish rapper Mala Rodriguez all at once?? It’s basically the Latin-Alternative festival mecca, and short of jet-setting to Europe, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival that has a more international line-up. This year Brit bands Blur and Underworld will also be performing, as will U.S. bands the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Silversun Pickups, and Australian band Tame Impala. IT’S AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES PEOPLE.

2. The Food

Okay, everyone tweeting about the tacos in Austin needs to take a seat. Compared to the monchis in D.F., the tacos in Austin might as well be that Taco Bell Doritos-shell shit. I have a feeling I’m going to get some angry emails from people for saying that, SORRY NOT SORRY #SXSWHATEVERRRR.

Also very important: Mexican beer. And the fact that you can get individual mezcal & lime pouches at the festival venue. And the tamaleros at the doors. And the fact that all of this costs probably a third of what you’d pay for food at any other festival. I’m actually on a plane to D.F. as I type this, and all I can think about is stuffing my face with chilaquiles AHHH.

3. The Cultural Activities

If seeing bands from all over Latin America isn’t enough for you, there’s also a bunch of related stuff to do because Vive Latino has joined forces with Faro de Oriente to create a bunch of cultural events and exhibits over the course of the three day festival. The series will include an homage to José Guadalupe Posada, creator of the infamous Dapper Skeleton, in a permanent exhibit of rock-themed skulls:

There will also be dance, street theatre and slam poetry performances, as well as a bunch of workshops to promote the making of Mexican art, including body painting? I dunno, body painting has the potential to go awry, but I back it nonetheless.

4. Movies

Much like SXSW, Vive Latino also has a film component: The Ambulante Documentary Film Festival – co-founded by none other than our perpetual crush Gael García Bernal. Part of the festival for three years now, it will showcase 10 films that are the product of a collaboration between musicians and Ambulante filmmakers. The films are shown in a tent in the festival, which provides a nice, quiet place to take a break and cool off from all the sweaty dancing.

5. The City

Indio, California may have a beautiful landscape but…that’s kind of all it has. Just saying, you probably wouldn’t take a trip there if it weren’t for Coachella. D.F., on the other hand, is one of the biggest cities in the world and has literally EVERYTHING you can think of to do. Just imagine everything Stefon has ever talked about on SNL’s Weekend Update except en español.

These are just a handful of the reasons why we’re excited about Vive, and we’re even more excited to cover all its awesomeness for you guys. Over the next four days we’ll be bringing you exclusive videos, interviews, recaps, photo galleries, Vines, and more – so make sure to follow our coverage on Twitter using our hashtags #VamosAVive and #Vive13, as well as the official festival hashtag #VL13. You can also see all articles related to the festival by clicking the tags “Vive Latino 2013,” “VL 13,” and “Vamos a Vive.”