Trending
MOST READ
New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

Music: Like the bulk of Austin Mahone’s Instagram account, this one’s a selfie. In a white tank top, hair coifed up real big, Mahone arranges his facial... By Matt Stieb 7/22/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Brunch

Best Brunch

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Best Thai Food

Best Thai Food

Best of SA 2012: Tucked off Blanco Road in a bland shopping strip lies a tasty secret that has been keeping SA foodies smiling for over a decade. Once you pass through the rough exterior, you'll... 4/25/2012
Best Food Truck

Best Food Truck

Best of SA 2012: We love food trucks. But, honestly, there are days when the restaurant-on-wheels trend feels completely out of hand. Frequently operators wheeling out new mobile eateries... 4/25/2012
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

sa_20130828_cover

Will This Be The Year Of Festival People en Español?

Photo: N/A, License: N/A



Related stories


The second annual Festival People en Español returns to San Antonio with something to prove: that last year’s poor attendance was an understandable first-time fluke, and that the festival is destined to grow in years to come.

People En Español is the largest Spanish-language magazine in the U.S., and the festival—inspired by New Orleans’ Essence Festival—is an attempt to reflect what the magazine is all about: a glossy, superficial and, yes, fun look at the most marketable figures in Latino entertainment, all presented in a detail-oriented luxury package. The magazine has no room for intellectual or edgy content, but it is well-written and edited, and it looks just as good as its English counterpart. Similarly, Festival People en Español has little room for alternative or anti-establishment artists, but those who performed there last year were, at the very least, capable performers and, in many cases (Daddy Yankee, Luis Miguel), cultural icons of Hall of Fame stature. They all looked and sounded great and the City of San Antonio was fully behind it. So what went wrong?

The Festival got a city commitment of up to $500,000 (via the Convention & Visitors Bureau) for a three-year deal and a crowd of 40,000 was anticipated for the first year, but only about 15,000 showed up at the paid night concerts on Saturday and Sunday. Total attendance, counting both concerts and Convention Center events, was about 30,000.

“That was expected,” Emilio Estefan Jr., who is the festival’s producer this year, told the Current in February. “I remember the first time we did the Calle 8 festival [in Miami] only 30,000 showed up, and now we have more than a million people and it’s the biggest festival in the U.S.”

To make things worse, the first Festival People en Español took place in the same year that the acclaimed International Accordion Festival (which gets only $30,000 a year from the Department of Cultural and Creative Development, formerly OCA) was forced to take a hiatus after two straight years of financial loss due to rain (the IAF is coming back this year on September 14-15). Reporting for Plaza de Armas, former Current staffer Gilbert García wrote that going from IAF to Festival People en Español was “like trading an original of Picasso’s Three Musicians for a black velvet Elvis.”

Ouch.

In spite of last year’s poor sales, the musical festival itself was a technical marvel.

“I’ve never heard the Alamodome sound so good,” Councilman Diego Bernal told the Current, and he was speaking as a musician, not a politician; I was there, and I agree with him. Estefan predicted that this year will be even better.

“It’s going to be a spectacular stage,” Estefan told the Current in February. “We’re bringing the light person who worked at the Olympics and the MTV Awards.”

Last week, Chris Pérez saw the actual stage plot and was bowled over.

“Dude, you have no idea,” he told the Current. “The equipment is top-notch, top-of-the-line. The stage’s going to be huge, hanging speakers, the lights … It’s monstrous, gigantic.”

Recently in Arts & Culture
  • ‘The Other Side’ Tackles the Impossible: Writing about trauma I didn’t take any notes while reading The Other Side because by the time I paused to pick up a pencil, I was already three-quarters of the way through. And for... | 7/23/2014
  • 7 Public Art Projects Worth Searching For You’re likely familiar with the high-profile works of public art on view around downtown San Antonio: the gigantic, red swoop of... | 7/23/2014
  • Free Will Astrology ARIES (March 21-April 19): A report in the prestigious British medical journal BMJ says that almost one percent of young pregnant women in the U.S. claim to be... | 7/23/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus