Pachanga Fest: A Latino-Music Spread Worth Driving West

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Photo by Marco Torres
Los Lobos, headliners of Pachanga Fest 2013
Do you remember any experience in particular that cemented your desire to create your own event?
I remember one festival in particular... It was the 1997 H.O.R.D.E. Festival. My company was selling sponsorships to the festival and we had tickets, so I went down to the stop in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. One of my buds was a member of Neil Young's road crew, and he allowed me backstage and side stage for Neil's set.

I was hooked after that. I ended up hitching a ride on their tour bus for more than 40 shows. I always say it was my "running away with the rock & roll circus" phase. Either way, that was a very transformative and integral part of my evolution.

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Photo by Marco Torres
Julieta Venegas will headline this year's Pachanga Fest.
What was your initial goal when brainstorming about the first Pachanga Fest?
I wanted to provide an outlet to showcase the vast amount of talent in the Latin Alternative music realm. We wanted to create something other than just a Tejano or Regional Mexican showcase, something more modern and hip for the younger generation.

Click image to enlarge
What were the major obstacles?
RG: Money! Finding funding is the most important and most difficult part of producing something in this scale, but I knew I had the knowledge and ability to seek out the brands and sponsors. We provide then brands with a great proposal and deliver value to their brand.

That's the power of the Hispanic community. We make up 32 percent of the population here in Texas, so brands want to tap into that and align with their fans. This is definitely a labor of love, with lots of blood, sweat, tears, and maxed-out credit cards along the way, but it has certainly paid off. In the end, I want this to be a celebration of the culture, a way to share the love.

The 2014 Pachanga Fest kicks off Friday night with a pre-party at Empire Control Room (606 E. 7th St.), and takes place on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Fiesta Gardens (2101 Jesse Segovia). Afterparties will be held at Volstead Lounge, Hotel Vegas and Gypsy Lounge (1500-1504 E. 6th St.).


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