WIRD Festival Promises to Bring the Best of Latin American & U.S. Acts to San Luis Potosi

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The festival craze of the last decade is quickly filling up Mexico’s dance card with hip, brand-heavy events. The country’s centralist culture has promoters and brands orbiting D.F. and its periphery, taking advantage of its population and infrastructure. Massive festivals like Vive Latino and Corona Capital bring top-tier artists to the masses, but for the bolder, more adventurous listener, there exists only a handful of events. Each year, festivals like Nrmal, Germinal, Festival Antes, and All My Friends risk commercial failure in favor of a more nuanced curation. Unfortunately, only one of these festivals is held outside of the capital, but that’s about to change with a new event called WIRD Festival in the mix.

After a couple of years of making San Luis Potosí a stop for touring bands in Mexico, Vladimir Zamarripa decided to organize WIRD Festival. His main objective is to bring what would normally be an unlikely mix of artists and people together in his hometown. It’s also an opportunity to make a statement about decentralization while promoting a DIY ethos. This year’s slogan is “Si Black Sabbath hubiera tocado en San Luis,”  which references a show that band was supposed to play in the city back in 1989 that never happened. Zamarripa couldn’t help but wonder how his hometown would’ve been different if Sabbath had played, and his festival is an homage to that alternate dimension.

One of the benefits of having underdog status is the liberty to do things your own way. Since it’s mostly your money and your resources, you call the shots. In WIRD’s case, the choices made in curation, for example, showcase an exciting range of genres, like electronica, punk/hardcore, minimal wave, and pop. Zamarripa and his cohort have their finely-tuned ears to the ground, booking international artists like Ceremony and Crocodiles who have a considerable cult following in Mexico, and nationally based acts like Las Brisas and Algodón Egipcio, who will intrigue and attract new audiences. On the logistical end, the decision to book 14 acts – six of which are based in Latin America and the rest from different parts of the U.S. and Canada – keeps it manageable for the production team and gives attendees an opportunity to enjoy all the music.

In order to cut his losses and minimize risk, Zamarripa is crowdfunding the event, making it unbelievably cheap to contribute (a little over $12 gets you two tickets). Hopefully all of his efforts create a connection between audiences and WIRD.